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Pdotcantu Feb 19, 2008 11:36 PM

Alright everyone this is where I will need your help. I am stuck in between deciding getting the Olympus E-510 or E-3 or. . . . . the new Sony A-350 which comes out next month. The new sony is going to have 14.2 megapixels rather 10.2 like the Olympus. However; I'm kind of worrying about the lenses that can be used with the new Sony A-350. Olympus lenses are are nice and if you ask me Olympus specializes in cameras more than Sony does? and lenses are a big factor in image quality.

Someone please help me out with this and give me some feedback. I need the best of the best. How do these compare? Are Sony & Olympus dropping prices and making lighter weight DSLR's to get on the market? Are there any other DSLR's that that can compare to these? Everyone is stuck on Nikon's & Canon's but all of their lenses are heavy and these other companies are stepping it up.

Which will be the better deal?

Tullio Feb 20, 2008 1:30 AM

Well, one can write pages talking about the pros and cons of each of the cameras you are taking into consideration (plus the ones not mentioned by brand/model such as the Nikon and Canon). The bottom line? IMO, they're all good in their own ways. They also fall into slightly different categories. The A350 and the E510 are comparable models while the E3 is more of a PRO model (perhaps more in line with the A700).I've been a big fan of Sony and they'vecertainly climbed up the podium very fast.Sony hasbeen very aggressive and in a matter of months they released an impressive number of new dSLR models (A700, A200, A300 and A350). On paper, some of these models look real attractive.The E510 is my first Olympus camera ever and I really like it. The Zuiko lenses are impressive to say the least and the 4/3 systemhelps reduce the size of the lenses. A 70-300mm lens will give you 140-600mmcoverage in asmall package. Price wise, you can't beat the E510 2-lens kit. For about $650 you get the body, a WA 14-42mm and a small zoom 40-150mm lens. They are both very compact and light weight lenses and both produce razor sharp images. Besides the Zuiko lenses, there are a number of Sigma models for the 4/3 system.Most arevery decent and cheaper than the Zuiko. As for the Sony, all Minolta lenses work as well as Sony (Carl Zeiss)and third party lenses such as Sigma and Tamron. So, you do have good choices there as well. Now, the first thingI'd suggest youdo is to go to a local camera shop and hold both the E510 and the A350. Try to take some pictures with each one just to get a feel for them. Ergonomics play a big role in the decision making process. The camera should feel comfortablewhen being held and operated. Controls should be at reachw/o interfering with camera handling. Prior to the E510 I had a Pentax K100. It was a fine camera but the shutter was so noisy that drove me nuts. It would make birds fly away.The quietand smooth operation of the E510 shutter release was one of the biggest selling points for me. That's the kind of thing you should be looking at.

Pdotcantu Feb 20, 2008 8:43 AM

I know Olympus really promotes the E-3 rather than the E-510, but I don't really know what the big difference is besides price. Looking at the price, I kind of feel like this must be a better camera since it's double the price and referring to the E-3 even on the website Olympus provides interviews and better information than what they do on their E-510? but generally speaking, is there really a big difference when they refer to the E-3 as being for "passionate photography"?

In terms of the lenses, what are you more likely to recommend, the Zuiko lens or the Carl Zeiss? I just feel that Olympus specializes more in cameras than Sony does, then again Sony is starting to come out with blue-ray recordable camcorders, but thats a totally different subject. I know the lenses have a lot to do with the quality and angles. These models I'm referring to are new and lightweight. Other companies like Nikon/Canon all have heavier DSLR's but do any of the Nikon/Canon models compare to Olympus E-3/E-510? or the Sony A350? I want to narrow it down to the BEST selection.

Tullio Feb 20, 2008 10:01 AM

Sony has been in the camera business for a long time with their video cameras. So, in a way, they do have developedimaging technology. They have also been in the photography business for a few years now. They have a multitude of P&S cameras already under their umbrella. So, when we state that Sony is relatively new to photography, we need to be specific. They are "sort of" new to developing dSLR cameras but the acquisition of Minolta gave them the initial push. The Fnnn series and the R1 are state of the art cameras and usually, owners of any of these models don't sell them (myself included...I will never, ever sell my R1, a 10 MP fixed lens 5x zoom but with a CMOS sensor). The only reason I bought the E510 was because I did not feel the A100 was good enough at that time. If I was to buy a new dSLR today, I'd probably get a Sony simply because I already own two Sony cameras and happen to love them. With that said, let's talk lenses. I was also not familiar with the Zuiko lenses until recently. They are amazing pieces of glasses but I feel some are way way over priced. Considering that Oly only has a very small line of Pro cameras, one would say "how can I justify buying a $5000 lens to attach to my $1500 camera? The Zeiss lenses are also excellent and I believe the variety of choices are greater with the Sony camera since you can use all the Minolta legacy lenses as well as a multitude of third party brand lenses also available. With the Oly, you also can use the legacy lenses as wellbut you need an adapter and at that point, the lens becomes fully manual. If I was to buy a new camera today, I think Sony would be at the top of my list even though I do love the E510 and I am investing on quitea few lenses for my system.

Pdotcantu Feb 20, 2008 11:21 AM

Tullio you've been very helpful to me. I went to Ritz Camera and they didn't have any of the models. Would you have rather gotten a Sony DSLR rather than your E-510? Why not get the E-3? Do you think any of these new models we're talking about compare to any of the Nikon models. The Nikon D300 which goes for about $1600, I've seen picture taken with it and they were "decent" but on this site

They list this Nikon as being the best camera for action and sports, which is what most of my pictures would be but I'd also want to do portrait and landscape pictures as well. Nikons are heavier than these newer models coming out though. I'm attaching some pictures at the bottom of the page just to give you an example of what I'm looking for. The photographer who took these pictures told me that as long as I have a camera that can do a 250th of a flash sync will work just fine. Let me know what ya think

JimC Feb 20, 2008 11:37 AM


Olympus E-3 & E-510 v.s. New Sony A350
Here's a "field test" that has some comments comparing the Sony A700 to the Olympus E-510. It's too bad the author didn't include the E-3.

Once the A350 starts shipping, you should start seeing some feedback on it's performance from users that have used multiple camera models.

Pdotcantu Feb 20, 2008 11:39 AM

Tullio, also one thing I don't like about Sony's website is that on their specifications don't tell whether none of their new cameras are capable of doing a 250th flash sync.

If you go to that website I sent in the previous post, they list their best cameras for different photography styles. Check it out and see if you agree.

Tullio Feb 20, 2008 12:05 PM

I'm glad I can be of any help. The one thing I don't care forabout theE510 is it's limited DR. This has been an issue from day one, which I've learned to deal with by making several adjustments tovarious camera settings. The Sony has a much much better track record in this department. Other than that, I'm very happy with the E510 and the Zuiko lenses. I hate to spend too much time in front of the computer doing PP and that's the biggest advantage of the E510 over previous dSLRs I've had. I really don't have to do anything to the final image except a bit of cropping every now and then. The images are well saturated and very sharp right out of the camera. That you don't get with very many dSLRs.I'm not convinced the E3 is a real upgrade to the E510. IfI had thatkind of money, I'd buy either the A700 or the D300, not the E3. But, that's my sole opinion. The D300 has received great reviews and it is certainly a great camera and so is the A700 for that matter. Now,the A350 has no track record yet so it's hard tomake a fair comparison with the E510. I just love the Oly colors, period.

Talking about flash, the E510 is a poor performer in this area. Usually Sony implements very powerful in-camera flash on their cameras. I had the Nikon D40 and was not impressed by its flash capabilities.But then again, I was not impressed by the whole package and sold it after two month of usage.

Pdotcantu Feb 20, 2008 12:21 PM

Why don't you think the E-3 is an upgrade from the E-510? Supposably the E-3 is the only Olympus camera that can do a flash sync at 250 (which I'll need). Do you think the Sony A350/A700 can take pictures like the ones I've posted above? I agree with you on Olympus' colors. You've had a Nikon previously? Was the price the only that kept you from getting one of their upgrades? I'm not really stuck between Sony & Olympus DSLR's now. However; the Nikon name keeps getting brought up which makes me keep thinking about the Nikon D300, but it's heavy just as the lenses are compared to the new models that Sony & Olympus are putting out.

JimC Feb 20, 2008 12:51 PM

The Sony DSLR-A700 has a 1/250 second flash sync speed with Stabilization off, or a 1/200 flash sync speed with Stablization on.

It's my understanding that the Sony DSLR-A350 has a 1/160 second flash sync speed, with or without Stabilization from reports I've seen so far.

If you use a compatible external flash that supports HSS (High Speed Sync), you can get around the sync speed limitations (for example, the Sony HVL-56AM allows shutter speeds up to 1/12,000 second if they are supported by the camera model). Of course, none of the Sony DSLR models go that fast (1/12,000 second) - yet, anyway. :-)

If you end up buying one of these cameras, I'd probably get one of the more powerful flash models with HSS if you want to go faster than the camera's sync speed . For example, the Sony HVL-56AM, Metz 54MZ-4, or Sigma EF-500 DG Super (just make sure to get a newer one, as some of the older serial number ranges had some compatiblity quirks).

Because of the way the flash is "pulsing" the light when you use these flash models 'High Speed Sync feature, you'll lose flash range when you start going faster than the camera's sync speed. So, a more powerful flash is better for that purpose.

Tullio Feb 20, 2008 1:07 PM

If you compare the E510 with the E3, yes, the E3 is an upgrade but canOly justify doubling the price for the features it offers over the E510? I doubt. There were many reaons that led me to sell the Nikon D40. Limited DR to begin with. No AF in camera, meaning only a handful of lenses were available at the time and they were costly. No IS, no self-cleaning sensor, etc, etc, etc. The D40x is a better camera but it still has the AF limitation and no IS, the two big draw bakcs. The D200 (available at the time) was much more expensive and I did not want to go with the D80 because I found it to be too big. The Sony A350 looks very promissing and if I did not have the exposure to the Oly system I have today, I'd prbably go for it over the E510. Today, I feel good about the Oly and as I mentioned, I'm investing on lenses so I think I'll stick with it for the time being. Between the E3, A700 and D300, I'd probably go with the D300 or A700.

Pdotcantu Feb 20, 2008 9:22 PM

Supposably the new Sony A350 is supposed to make everything easier for you, but making it easier might not make better quality. I can't help but still remain stuck between the E-510 and the Sony A350. I was also checking out the new Pentax K20D, it also is pretty similar to the new Sony A350 with features and megapixels.

Pdotcantu Feb 20, 2008 9:23 PM

Also, the Olympus E-510 doesn't have a flash sync of 250 but if I buy one of the lenses that go on top of it, do those come with settings of adjustment that would probably contain a sync of 250?

Tullio Feb 20, 2008 10:06 PM

I had the Pentax K100 and although it was a good camera, I think the Sony A350 or the Oly E510 are better choices than the K200. I believe you meant an external flash, not a lens that go on top, correct? To be honest, I don't do flash photography that often so I don't have the need for external flashes. I know it's a tough decision to make having to choose between the A530 and E510. I'd not take # of MP into very serious consideration for I think 10 MP is plenty enough. This has become a marketing issue more than anything. The higher the MP, the more memory you need since the files are larger but unless you make large prints out of your photos, you really don't need more than 10-12 MP tops. Since your local camera store does not carry the models you are interested in, I suggest you buy both from Amazon (make sure the cameras are sold by Amazon and not by a different store).They offer a 30 day return policy with no restocking fees (you only pay for shipping to sendit back). That way, youhave 30 days to test them. You also need tomake sure you have the appropriate memory card (CF/xD for the E510 and MS for the Sony).

Pdotcantu Feb 20, 2008 11:13 PM

Yeah if you look at the PENTAX K20D
It seems to have really good specs, just as the Sony A350. Yeah I meant to say External Flash that goes on top. I hope I can get one that has a 250 flash sync if not better. Once again the only thing I really worry about is Sony's lenses, I really like Olympus' lenses and their quality. I hope that the A350 will live up to it's hype. I also think that Olympus has great optics built into their lenses. Also the Sony A350 only has 2.5 shots/per sec. Does that refer to it's continuous shooting? I believe the A300 had 3 shots/per sec. Does Sony have as many lenses as Olympus? The Pentax K20D has an ISO over 6000 which seems good but if you ask me the pictures at that high level are just going to add noise.

I think I've come down to the Sony A350 and the Olympus E-510. Is it safe to single out Nikon and Canon?

Tullio Feb 21, 2008 9:43 PM

Carl Zeiss makes excellent lenses (many areeven better than Zuiko). They are in serious business, such as professional medical equipments, etc.). I think if you take into account all the Carl Zeiss + Minolta + Sigma + Tamron lenses available for the Sony system,the choices are much much greater than for the Oly system. In actuality, the Oly ZD system if very limited when compared to Canon, Nikon and even Sony systems.As I mentioned before, the greatest downsidefor Oly is the 4/3 system. Not that it is a bad system, on the contrary. I think thesystem works well and helps keep the lens sizes much more compact. The thing is, all legacy lenses become full manual lenses because of the required adapter. If Olympus ever make an adapter that will allow the camera to AF andAE, then we have a winner. As is, Sony, Canon, Nikon, they all have a great advantage over Oly when it comes to legacy lenses because most of them will work on the new digital models w/o problems. The other problem with Oly lenses is its cost. They are way too expensive and the cheaper alternatives in most cases are simply bad alternatives (i.e. Sigma 55-200mm)/

Pdotcantu Feb 21, 2008 10:01 PM

I really can't make up my mind over these different models. I also read that supposably the A700 is better and carries more features than the new Sony A350. Although the Sony A350 and the Olympus E-510 don't have a flash sync of 250, if I buy an external flash to go onto one of these camera will they provide me with that flash sync of 250?

I also read that the E-3 has a shutter speed of 8000 and the E-510 has shutter speed of 4000 just as the Sony A350? should that be concern?

Tullio Feb 21, 2008 10:32 PM

I can't really help you with the flash business because I don't usually do flash photography.

The A700 is not comparable to the E510 or the A350. It's Sony's top of the line and as such, most likely it will have many features that both the E510 and the A350 don't have. But, it's also much much more expensive. It's somewhat comparable to the Oly E3. As for the shutter speed, I find 1/4000 to be fast enough to freeze just about any motion. Keep in mind that the fastest the speed, the more light you need and/or higher ISO. Sometimes we need to look at some of these features and ask ourselves "will I benefit from it? How???". I work for a Software company and I can tell you that a lot of these so-called upgrades are nothing but marketing tools. People think more MP is better? Let's give them more MP. The thing is, in most cases, unless they increase the sensor size as well, more MP will do more harm than good. My suggestion? Take some of the upgrades with a grain of salt.

You should start by figuring out your budget. How much are you willing to pay for a system? Say you have $1500 to spend. You can either stretch it a bit and buy the A700 or the E3 or get either the E510 or the A350 and spend the rest of the moneyon lenses. If you have the money, I'd consider the A700 or the Nikon D300. If you don't, then go with the A350. You have more optionsin terms of lenses and the A350 hasall the features the E510 has (e.g. IS, sensor cleaning, Live view, etc, etc, etc.) plus a much better handle of DR (less highlight clipping).

TCav Feb 22, 2008 2:42 AM

From your initial post, it seems to me that a primary concern of yours is size and weight. If that is so, then the Olympus is the better choice.

And just to correct a misconception, the Sony dSLRs come from a long line of Minolta SLRs and dSLRs. Sony isn't an upstart in this field. Minolta has been an innovator for decades and has some significant accomplishments and some significant lenses, some are even the best in their class. Sony just picked up the ball and is running with it, bringing to bear the marketing savvy it is known for.

Pdotcantu Feb 22, 2008 12:51 PM

I agree with Tullio, and find out what exactly my budget is going to be. I was just checking out some sample pics of the Sony A700. Can anyone agree that Olympus takes better pictures than Sony in terms of color or skin tone?

JimC Feb 22, 2008 12:55 PM

My opinion would be biased, since I shoot with a Sony A700 now. ;-)

Pdotcantu Feb 22, 2008 1:05 PM

Would anyone agree that Sony's DSLR's produce more noise than Olympus'? I was looking at sample pictures of the A700 and I think I notice more noise in their test shots than in any of the Olympus models.

If you look at this website:
Although their shot with older models Olympus wins in a noise contest against the A100.

JimC Feb 22, 2008 1:12 PM

Pdotcantu wrote:

If you look at this website:
Although their shot with older models Olympus wins in a noise contest against the A100.
The A100 is the noisiest DSLR model using a 10MP Sony sensor (as compared to the Nikon D40x, D80, D200, and Pentax K10D, which also use a Sony 10MP APS-C size Sensor). But, at the same time, this Sony model was very light with noise reduction and it's shots typically retain more detail. It's also more sensitive than rated, whereas the other models using this sensor are not (the A100's ISO 1600 setting is actually ISO 2000 based on tests I've seen).

The new A200 and A300 models using a Sony 10MP sensor have much lower noise levels compared to the A100. Sony has made great progress in this area.

JimC Feb 22, 2008 1:21 PM

In reference to the A200 improvements in higher ISO speed noise levels, here are samples from Dave Etchells at

Click on the image that loads to see the full size 10 Megapixel Original.

Sony DSLR-A200, ISO 1600, 1/250 second, 70mm, f/8:

The A100 did not have an available ISO 3200. But, it's there if you need to use it with the new A200.

Sony DSLR-A200, ISO 3200, 1/500 second, 70mm, f/8:

Looking at a full size 10MP original size image on a typical monitor is looking at a poster size print from up close. ;-) So, keep your desired viewing and print sizes in mind when judging image quality.

We should start seeing a lot of real world photos from this model soon, too (it's shipping now).

Pdotcantu Feb 22, 2008 4:29 PM

Alright I think I've narrowed down between two cameras. The Sony A350 & The Sony A700. Time and reviews of the A350 will help me choose between the two DSLR's. There are minor differences in features between the two models but the A700 can shoot more frames than the A350 which is probably something I'll need as well as the 250 flash sync. However; the 700 FOR SOME REASON does not have Live View I believe which is it's only downfall.

JimC Feb 22, 2008 4:41 PM

If you plan to shoot at higher ISO speeds often, I'd look at the A300 and A700, versus the A350 and A700. You're going to have smaller photosites trying to stuff 14 Megapixels into an APS-C size sensor, versus only 10MP into an APS-C size sensor.

The 10MP sensor in the A300 is going to have better image quality if you plan on using a camera at higher ISO speeds often. This model would also give you a faster frame rate compared to the A350.

In better light, you may appreciate the increased resolutoin of the 14MP sensor in the A350.

The best (and most expensive) compromise between resolution and noise levels between these Sony models is the new 12MP CMOS sensor in the A700, if you plan on using higher ISO speeds often. I've been impressed with mine.

You can see some ISO 3200 images taken with my Sony A700 here:;forum_id=84

Pdotcantu Feb 22, 2008 5:03 PM

Do you experience noise often in your A700? Is it capable of being competetive with Professional studio cameras? did you use any lenses in your pictures posted?

Tullio Feb 22, 2008 9:05 PM

No. They may be both very comparable but I would not say better. The Sony image is very well balanced with a high DR and excellent skin tones. They also handle AUTO WB a lot better than Olympus. I very seldom use AUTO WB with the E510 because it often produces inaccurate colors, particularly in difficult lighting situations. If you have the money, get either the A700 or D300.

Pdotcantu Feb 22, 2008 11:29 PM

Tullio, I'm doing a little comparison between the A700 and the Canon EOS 40D, have you ever compared them they both are balanced out in ratings.

Tullio Feb 23, 2008 12:53 AM

The 40D does not have IS while the A700 does. This is a big plus, IMO. Sony's implementation of image stabilization is excellent (and so is theOlympus). I don't know why you are so reluctant about buying the Sony. It is an awesome camera and I think much superior than the 40D. Now, I'd consider the D300 if I was not too sure about the Sony and alsothe Olympus E3 before considering the 40D. But, that's my preference.

Pdotcantu Feb 23, 2008 12:11 PM

I'm getting a lot of emails back from Photographer saying to go with Canon because "I'll be dissapointed with anything else" I dont know if I believe that. Well here's a question . . . . . if you had $5K what camera would you choose?

Tullio Feb 23, 2008 1:17 PM

If I had that much money, I'd get the Canon 5D, which is FF. Otherwise, I'd go with either Sony or Nikon. Make sure the opinions you are getting are not coming from a Canon forum. Forums from brand tend to be biased toward that particular brand (e.g. people participating on Nikon forums are mostly nikonians and will trash just about anything that is not Nikon. I work with a couple of those people. The same applies to Canon, Oly, Sony, etc. It's called brand loyalty!). Some people really love Canons while others love Nikon. Then you have those who are more open minded and try the Oly, Sony, Minolta (in the old days). The bottom line? There is no perfect camera. Theyall have goods and bads, strengths and weaknesses. You buya Sony and you'd wish you boughta Nikon. You buy a Nikon and you'd wish you boughta Canon. Just get on with it. Look at the features each camera has to offer. For me, in-camera IS is a must.I don't want to pay for IS every time I buy a lens and since I believe in IS, have it in camera is, likeI said, a must. You should do the same exercise. Write down the features you want your camera to have and then find thebrand/model that incorporates them.

JimC Feb 23, 2008 2:32 PM

Pdotcantu wrote:

Do you experience noise often in your A700? Is it capable of being competetive with Professional studio cameras? did you use any lenses in your pictures posted?
You're asking a lot of questions that I would not expect from someone looking at the type of cameras you are considering.

Almost any camera is going to have more noise and/or loss of detail from noise reduction as you increase ISO speeds, and you have to use a lens with a DSLR. ;-)

Those were taken using a Minolta 100mm f/2 Autofocus Lens. I use a Minolta 28mm f/2, 50mm f/1.7, 100mm f/2, 135mm f/2.8, 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5, 35-70mm f/4 Macro; Konica Minolta 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6; Tamron 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5, Tamron 35-105mm f/2.8; and Vivitar 70-210mm f/2.8-4. All Autofocus (and all are stabilized on my Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D and Sony DSLR-A700).

But, you may want totally different lenses for the types of photos you want to take more often. For example, my lenses are not well suited for subjects like sports and wildlife.

The dSLR models you are considering all have interchangeable lenses, and there are tradeoffs between lens choices (size, weight, cost, ergonomics, focus speed, focal range, brightness, minimum focus distance, flare resistance, distortion, chromatic aberrations, sharpness at available apertures and focal lengths, contrast, color and more).

The body is only one part of the equation. You'll want to make sure you have lenses to match the conditions and subjects you plan to shoot more often, with acceptable image quality for the viewing and print sizes needed (taking things like size, weight and flexibility into consideration, too).

The cost of a single lens can exceed the cost of a camera body, depending on what you want to shoot, the conditions you plan to shoot in, and your desired image quality.

You also seem to be giving a lot of weight to the higher resolution A350 model. More megapixels is not always better. When you stuff more megapixels into a given sensor size, that means the photosites have to be smaller (so that you can fit that many in), which means that each photosite will have a smaller surface area for gathering light.

So, they'll generate a weaker signal (which may not be as high above the noise floor of the electronics as needed -- i.e., lower signal to noise ratio), requiring more amplification for equivalent ISO sensitivity.

This amplification can add noise, sort of like turning up the volume on a radio tuned to a weak station, only instead of static, hiss and hum, you get image noise.

You'll need to compare each model on a case by case basis in areas like this, because of advances in sensor design, image processing and more. But, all things being equal (and they never are), larger photosites can mean higher image quality, depending on the conditions you want to shoot in. The quality of the pixels can be more important than the quantity of the pixels.

I'd give more information on what you plan to shoot more often to get better feedback. So far, I've only seen a couple of examples. The photographer's knowledge of the equipment being used and skill at the type of shooting being done is gong to be most important factor in capturing good images.

I'd also give more information on what the images are going to be used for.

For action shots (like the samples you posted), if budget permits (making sure to factor in lens costs), I'd lean towards the EOS-40D and Sony A700 out of the models you've mentioned so far in this thread. They're going to have better AF systems and faster frame rates compared to the entry level bodies.

Also, mention a desired budget for better responses from more members. Depending on how you want to use a camera, you may spend far more on lenses compared to the camera body.

Pdotcantu Feb 24, 2008 4:16 AM

Jim C. thanks for the reply. I didn't realize that the Olympus E-510 was the best rated DSLR of 2007. It's the ONLY camera with image stabilization in the body and the lens and live view built into one camera. I was looking at other models tonight and I saw the images the Nikon D3 was shooting and I thought they were superior. I want a camera that can shoot as good as that.

I realized that the Sony A700 seems to have the bigger and better of everything than in the Canon EOS 40D except for frames per second. I was even considering the Canon EOS 5d, but many people agree that the EOS 40d is to similar to it and don't want to make the jump for the price.

My friend has been buying a few DLSR's himself and he already has the Olympus E-510 and says it's great as Tullio has said. He says he wouldn't want any better to be honest. I was quite amazed. However, he did order the Sony A350 which HE believes is going to be better than the Sony 700. I don't know if I agree with that but he says the new technology that is being built into the A350 is going to make is marvelous. It's going to have 2 image sensors in it and have 14 MP, plus automatic eye focus when you put your up to the optical viewfinder. He says that in a few months all of these other brands are going to be copying it.

My price range is going to around maybe 2K and below?
Let me know what you think. Thanks again.

TCav Feb 24, 2008 6:11 AM

I've been watching this conversation for some time, and it seems to me that you started with a very specific question and as the thread has progressed, your choices have actually increased. That's not how this is supposed to go.

It seems to me that, for whatever reason, 'Live View' is important to you. Olympus' version of 'Live View' displays a stabilized image on the LCD display, but the camera can't autofocus during 'Live view'. Sony's version of 'Live View' can autofocus but doesn't display a stabilized image.

'Live View' is a compromise, and if you want it, you have to decide which compromise you can accept.

Olympus has some fine lenses, but the selection is limited and they get very expensive very quickly. Sony also has some very fine lenses, some are the best of their type, but they also get very expensive very quickly. But Sony dSLRs are better supported by third part lens manufacturers and by a large number of available used Minolta Maxxumlenses.

Ultimately, the camera can be a small part of your photographic system, but when you buy a camera, you're committing to a system. I think you need to set aside your camera prejudices, and pick a system that will best serve your photographic needs.

And maybe your friend should do the same.

Tullio Feb 24, 2008 10:51 AM

Pdot, we are on page 2 of this thread already and a lot of opinions, suggestions and recommendations have been expressed. I feel weare providing comparative analysis between this camera vs. that camera and in the meantime, you keep adding new models to the mix. The D3 does not belong in this conversation. It is Nikon top of the line and you can not possibly compare it with the E510 or A530 or any other model discussed here. Besides, it's way out of your price range.I feel you need to do some serious homework. Pick ALL camera brands you are considering (Canon, Nikon, Sony and Olympus are the ones you've mentioned so I hear Panasonic???) and within these brands, select every SLR model within your price range. Then, list the features important to you, side-by-side, in order of relevance. And the winner is...whatever camera has more check marks. They are all very good cameras so you can't go wrong with whatever brand/model you choose. As it's been said many many times here, it's all a matter of compromise. One camera may have a better live view implementation while another may have better handle of highISO while another may have faster shutter speed. Not one model out there has it all. Your budget is a decent one. With $2K you can either pick an expensive body with a kit lens (A700, E3, D300, 40D) or acheaper body (E510, A350, A300, or even the E410 if you really want to save money on the body) and then use the left over $$to get yourself some extra lenses and a flash, which appears to be important to you. So, that's your assignment for now!

JimC Feb 24, 2008 10:55 AM

Pdotcantu wrote:

However, he did order the Sony A350 which HE believes is going to be better than the Sony 700. I don't know if I agree with that but he says the new technology that is being built into the A350 is going to make is marvelous. It's going to have 2 image sensors in it and have 14 MP, plus automatic eye focus when you put your up to the optical viewfinder. He says that in a few months all of these other brands are going to be copying it.
I wouldn't believe everything you hear. ;-)

I think the Live View system Sony is using in the new A300 and A350 is a more innovative solution, without some of the drawbacks you see from the Live View systems in other DSLR models with this feature.

That's because the AF Sensor Assembly and separate Live View Sensor see the image coming through the lens at the same time. So, you don't have the problems associated with a Contrast Detection method, and you don't have the delays associated with switching in and out of live view in order to use the camera's main AF sensors. Sony's solution of sending the same image to the main AF sensors and the Live View sensor at the same makes that type of system more appealing from my perspective.

It's still not going to be a perfect solution for all types of shooting compared to an Optical Viewfinder, as live feeds have problems with inherent refresh delay (and refresh speed will be slower in low light) and more.

As for Eye Start AF, all of the new Sony models have it (A200, A300, A350, A700). Only the A300 and A350 have Live View, if that's an important feature to you.


My price range is going to around maybe 2K and below?
Let me know what you think.
I still haven't heard anything that suggests how you'll want to use a camera (for example, types of subjects, conditions, use for images).

I get the feeling that you are probably pretty new to cameras. Please correct me if that's wrong.

So, you may not know what you need yet. It's easy to spend a lot of money on camera gear.

So, I'd probably lean towards getting a better feel for what you need first, setting some money aside for things like different lenses, after you've had a chance to use a camera for a while and get a better understanding of where your gear is holding you back.

IOW, go with one of the lower priced kits for the body you select and use the included kit lens for a while. Then, you'll have a better feel for where to spend the remaining money set aside for photography (i.e., lenses better suited for the conditions you want to shoot in, etc.). Again, if you plan on shooting at higher ISO speeds often (i.e., above ISO 800), I'd probably go with one of the lower resolution models versus the 14MP A350 for better image quality.

Tullio Feb 24, 2008 12:24 PM

JimC wrote:

As for Eye Start AF, all of the new Sony models have it (A200, A300, A350, A700). Only the A300 and A350 have Live View, if that's an important feature to you.
Sony's 1st dSLR (the A100) also has this feature. From a quick check at the store, I think it would annoy the heck out of me because the camera would keep trying to focus every time something got close to the viewfinder (like your body if you have the camera hanging down your neck). It would drain the battery a lot faster as well. Now, that's not to say that it would be better not to have the feature altogether. As long as you are allowed to deactivateit (which you are), it's nice to have the functionality.

I also agree with Jim as far as a cheaper system being a better choice. Actually, I don't consider myself a beginner (I'm far from being a PRO also) but I find it hard to justify spending thousands of dollars on a camera body for my hobby. I rather buy a decent body (not top of the line) and invest on lenses instead.So, to me, the most important thing is to choose the brand because of the investment you'll make on lenses. You can always upgrade the body if you feel the needssince you already have the lenses.

JimC Feb 28, 2008 4:16 PM

Tullio wrote:

JimC wrote:

As for Eye Start AF, all of the new Sony models have it (A200, A300, A350, A700). Only the A300 and A350 have Live View, if that's an important feature to you.
Sony's 1st dSLR (the A100) also has this feature. From a quick check at the store, I think it would annoy the heck out of me because the camera would keep trying to focus every time something got close to the viewfinder (like your body if you have the camera hanging down your neck). It would drain the battery a lot faster as well.
Actually, I've gotten some of my best battery life using Continuous AF with Eye Start Autofocus On. I took over 800 photos in one day a while back with the A700, with it still showing around 50% remaining (and that was shooting raw + jpeg with over 1600 images saved since you have two for each shot taken).

But, that's with the A700's grip sensor. It works in concert with the eye start sensor so that it doesn't come on unless you're holding the camera. ;-)

The European models don't get this feature (grip sensor). That's because of the EU regulations regarding nickel content in consumer products now.

It looks like Sony omitted it from newer A200 model (probably so they don't need more than one body design for multiple regions, increasing costs). But, I'm seeing reports that the A300 and A350 get it (but, not European models because of nickel restrictions). My A700 has one.

You can still disable Eye Start Autofocus on models with or without a grip sensor if you don't want to use it.

Pdotcantu Mar 1, 2008 5:36 PM

I'm borrowing my friends Olympus E510 and am trying to find out how to set it to do continuous shooting (sequential shooting) anyone who has this model know how to?

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