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Old Feb 28, 2007, 8:08 PM   #41
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DigitalGal wrote:
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TCav has been keeping up saying that I dont need a dSLR.. I need another compact digicam.. I dont understand the reason - why?

An acquiring a dSLR I am considering as the best way to impove my skills and knowledge in photography, with a posibility to add new features - lenses etc. (as soon I am ready for more). I have posted to this forum only a few pictures, which do not describe all my interests at all..

So - Why don't I need a dSLR and why it should be enough with another compact digicam?
I'm sorry. I'm not saying that you need anothercompact digicam. The digicams I'm suggesting are by no means "compact". I'm suggesting that there are a few models of digital cameras that don't weigh a lot, and that might meet your requirements as well as a dSLR would.

If you are up for the weight and cost of a dSLR, GO WITH IT! Nothing else will give you the flexibility and capability that a dSLR will.
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Old Feb 28, 2007, 8:18 PM   #42
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kenbalbari wrote:
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All of the four-thirds lenses will autofocus. The biggest problem with the lineup is the lack of fast prime lenses for more challenging lighting conditions.
Ken - correct me if I misspeak but "all the four thirds lenses" is 17 lenses - correct? Compared to 60 lenses for canon, 40 for nikon and 30 for pentax - plus dozens more 3rd party lenses available for these cameras but not Olympus. Or am I mis-stating something? To me that's a lot more than just missing a few fast primes.
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Old Mar 1, 2007, 12:36 AM   #43
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"Ken - correct me if I misspeak but "all the four thirds lenses" is 17 lenses - correct?"

Well, there are 28 four-thirds lenses currently available, 17 of those from Olympus. There are also 4 more lenses due from Leica, and at least 3 known from Olympus, and a couple more from Sigma over the next year. All of which will autofocus.
Not everyone needs 45 lenses and 45 autofocus points. To me quality is as important as quantity.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/smp/06012005.html

"Best Lens Line for Overall Optical Quality (tie): Olympus Digital Zuiko (for Four-Thirds System) Leica R (for 35mm SLR)
All just personal opinions, of course. Don't sweat the fun stuff!
Mike Johnston"

Of course, just one person's opinion. But from my point of view, there's really not that much missing from the Olympus lineup. With the quality of the best modern zooms, most people don't really have as much use for prime lenses.

The other mounts all have more prime lenses than zooms available, and half the zooms that are there are older film designs that don't translate that well to digital. And a pretty good number of both primes and zooms are pro level lenses costing $2000 or more. There are still more good options with Canon than Olympus for many purposes. But it's not near the difference the raw number of lenses available suggests. Olympus could add a handful of new lenses and have everything I might possibly want. All at seemingly more affordable prices than Canon or Nikon.

I doubt the Olympus system, regardless of how many lenses are available, would best suit your needs as a sports shooter. But for the purposes described by the original poster, especially considering the desire for a light weight solution, Olympus/Four-Thirds may indeed offer the best system.

But you are right that she should take a careful look at lens lineups herself and consider any other types of shooting she might wish to do, besides testing out the actual cameras, before deciding that.

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Old Mar 1, 2007, 4:52 AM   #44
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Ken.. John.. TCav..

Thank you for giving your advice and driving me into wider consideration than a camera itself. Lens matters are really a thing I don't know much yet.

As one of my prime interests are portraits I might consider to get a good lens only for this purpose (I tend to use natural light a lot, avoiding a flash).

Another my interest is a reportage.. this might require good zoom options..

Then photographing a bit of everything..

A macro hasn't been important too much, but only because my camera doesn't offer e very good option for this. Whatever my equipment has ever been, I tend to become a pro user of everything. Exploring all the options available.

According to what I have understood I might need a camera itself.. maybe one primer lens for portraiture, and 2 good zoom lenses - wide and tele (which, I believe, can be not longer than 200mm, maybe 300mm). Also a flash (I can use Osram C 320 studio now, but never tried yet).. then a tripod, which is available here already. Another question arising is about filters.. What is the the basic set you are using?

I have made just a general conclusion, no details yet. For me is more important to understand the whole thing to go in detail further.

Your help is much appreciated here. Thank you one more time!
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Old Mar 1, 2007, 7:29 AM   #45
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DigitalGal wrote:
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Thank you for giving your advice and driving me into wider consideration than a camera itself. Lens matters are really a thing I don't know much yet.
Buying a dSLR is more than just buying a camera. Buying a dSLR is buying the foundation of a system. Lenses constitute a significant portion of that system. You already have a good idea what your needs are, so select a system that encompasses your needs. And there has been plenty of good advice contributed to this topic.

And rest assured, the pleasure was ours. If you hadn't started this topic, we'd have been making the same arguments somewhere else.

DigitalGal wrote:
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As one of my prime interests are portraits I might consider to get a good lens only for this purpose (I tend to use natural light a lot, avoiding a flash).
That will require a mediumtelephoto; something with a field of view of about 20 to 30 degrees. (That's an 85mm lens on a full frame camera, or a 50mm on a 1.5 crop factor camera.) Anything more and you'll have to be in the next room to get the shot. Anything less, and you start getting a "fisheye" effect where the objects in the center of the frame (like noses) become more prominent. You could go with a moderate zoom for this, but zoom lenses tend to be less bright and less sharp, neither of which is good for portraits.

And available light is good. On-camera flash tends to be too harsh for portraits.

DigitalGal wrote:
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Another question arising is about filters.. What is the the basic set you are using?
I only have UV (skylight) filters. They don't actually filter much, but they do protect the objective lens (It's cheaper to replace a scratched UV filter than a scratched lens.) But many people get along fine without one.

And a number of people here have made some good arguments for "Neutral Density"and "Circular Polarizing" filters.

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Whatever my equipment has ever been, I tend to become a pro user of everything. Exploring all the options available.
I think I might enjoy watching you drive.
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Old Mar 1, 2007, 7:31 AM   #46
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Ken - last point. In my mind it's about choices - just like it's good to have multiple bodies to choose from it's good to have multiple lens options (different price points, weights, performance). Take for example the desire to have a zoom lens that incorporates 200mm and is autofocus and is not discontinued (or 150mm in Olympus). If you're a Canon user, you may choose from:

Canon lenses:

55-200, 70-200 2.8L, 70-200 2.8L IS, 70-200 f4, 70-200 f4 IS, 70-300, 70-300 DO, 80-200, 75-300, 75-300 USM, 100-300, 100-400

Sigma lenses for Canon:

50-500, 70-200 2.8 macro, 70-200 2.8, 70-300 macro, 70-300 apo macro, 80-400, 100-300 f4, 120-300 2.8,k135-400, 170-500, 55-200 (this last one is also available in two-thirds mount)

Tamron lenses for Canon:

75-300, 28-200 xr, 28-300 xr, 70-300, 200-500, 18-200, 18-250, 55-200

Tokina lenses for Canon:

80-400

Now, that's 32 lenses to choose from. Admitedly some of those lenses are of poor quality - but the CHOICE is there depending on what you can afford. So it's not just about sports lenses - it's about choices for ANY TYPE of lens. having a telephoto zoom that incorporates this range is a pretty common need across all genres. How many choices do you have for Olympus zooms that incorporate 150mm?
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Old Mar 1, 2007, 8:51 AM   #47
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Thank you one more time for joining me in my research and sharing your knowledge.. I hope that someone else might find this topic helpful..

TCav - I d love to know your name..
And you have mentioned about seeing me driving.. Hre you are! Not only driving, but taking pics also.. well.. I don't make selfportraits though..

[line][line]

Here I have stopped for a while to change a perspective of image..[line]
This is what you see to left.. [line]
And this is what you see to right almost the same moment..[line]
I have many photos taken while driving, but no more online.. have to search an archive.. This is a tipical scenery of Latvia.. around 7.30am..
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Old Mar 1, 2007, 10:01 AM   #48
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Ken,

I'd like to thank you for all the information you share. You have a great understanding of the entire spectra of camera systems, share the virtues, and warn of the shortcommings of each. You do so with no axe to grind from everything I can see.

Thanks for sharing
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Old Mar 1, 2007, 6:11 PM   #49
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"How many choices do you have for Olympus zooms that incorporate 150mm?"

"Only" 9. But, I admit that's counting 2 Sigma lense which are supposed to be available by now but which seem to have not yet arrived (but taking orders).

But, geting back to the quality issue, let's look at that dozen (well I have 13) Canon lense compared to the 5 Zuiko offerings. Here's some data from a couple of review sites:

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html
http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/index.php

The first column below is the overall optical rating from the photozome user survey. The second is the total score from users at SLRGear. For the third I put each on a 1-10 scale and took a weighted average. Next is the total number of votes included in that average score. (Zeros in my chart indicate no data, rather than a zero score.)

To me it looks like the half dozen Canon offerings for under $500 are all subpar. The 70-300 f4-5.6 is decent optically, and I guess a good buy if you really want IS. The 70-200 f4L is the one real bargain of these Canon offerings. In the over $1000 range, Canon offers some good high quality lenses.

Looking the the Zuikos, the $230 40-150 is offering quality comparable to the Canons in the $500-600 range. I don't quite trust the high scores for the 18-180, given the small sample. The 50-200, looks like it's giving you comparable quality ot the Canon 70-200 f4, with faster glass and 100mm more EFL. There are no ratings here yet for the new lightweight kit lens for the E-400, but reviews suggest it's the same high quality as the previous 40-150.

In short, if mount didn't matter, and I were able to chose to spend my money on any of these lenses for either of these mounts, my short list would include 4 lenses; the Canon 70-200 f4L, and three Zuikos.

The number one reason for this is that not one of those Canon lenses was designed for the camer you are putting it on. They are all designed for 35mm film or a full frame sensor. So you are paying for alot of glass that you aren't using, unless you invest in a full frame dSLR.

This seems to me to hold up throughout the Zuiko lineup, covering a range of about 14-560mm EFL. There seems to be especially an advantage on the wide end, where the shorter back focus distance makes it easier to produce higher quality wide angle optics.


Code:
PHTZ SLRG Comp Vts grms Price
1.59 6.50 3.76 23 0480 $ 150  Canon 75-300 f4-5.6 III     
1.59 4.50 3.50 25 0480 $ 190  Canon 75-300 f4-5.6 III USM IS   
1.24 5.29 3.57 18 0310 $ 209  Canon 55-200 f4.5-5.6  USM  
2.08 6.33 5.03 15 0540 $ 270  Canon 100-300 f4-5.6  USM   
1.16 7.00 2.60 17 0500 $ 360  Canon 28-200 f3.5-5.6  USM 
3.44 8.50 7.49 45 0630 $ 550  Canon 70-300 f4-5.6  USM IS 
4.38 9.38 8.96 92 0705 $ 580  Canon 70-200 f4 L USM    
0.00 9.80 9.80 05 0760 $1060  Canon 70-200 f4 L USM IS 
4.58 9.54 9.36 26 1310 $1140  Canon 70-200 f2.8 L USM   
2.85 7.30 6.46 21 0720 $1143  Canon 70-300 f4.5-5.6 DO USM IS
4.44 9.00 8.92 49 1380 $1400  Canon 100-400 f4-5.6 L USM    
4.24 9.65 9.08 45 1470 $1700  Canon 70-200 f2.8 L USM IS   
3.90 0.00 7.80 09 1670 $2200  Canon 28-300 f3.5-5.6 L USM IS
Code:
3.35 8.40 7.09 22 0425 $ 230  Zuiko 40-150 f3.5-4.5
0.00 8.33 8.33 03 0440 $ 370  Zuiko 18-180 f3.5-6.3    
4.81 9.29 9.56 40 1070 $ 770  Zuiko 50-200 f2.8-3.5  
0.00 0.00 0.00 00 3270 $4700  Zuiko 90-250 f2.8-2.8   
0.00 0.00 0.00 00 0220 $ N/A  Zuiko 40-150 f4-5.6
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Old Mar 1, 2007, 8:11 PM   #50
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Ken,

Good info. Definitely worth reconsidering my anti-oly bias Especially if they solve the noise issue with their upcomming camera.
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