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Old Feb 18, 2007, 2:41 PM   #1
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Well at the moment I've got a Canon point and shoot and am really enthusiastic about photography. I also have an old Minolta X-300 SLR which I love using. I am really interested in buying a DSLRalthough amreally stuck on which one to choose.

I am going to use the camera mostly for my travels. I am going on a gap year soon before I go on to study graphic design at Uni. I really hope to capture some fantastic moments, I'm particularly interested in people photography. I amlooking to spend around 600-1,000 euros for the body and kit lens.

I am very interested in the....

Nikon D80 - The specification is excellent and it just looks like a brilliant camera. In terms of features and quality this is my number one choice. The problem is the size, I know it will be a real burden to lug around. Is it worth it?

Nikon D40 - This camera looks lovely although I'm worried it's too much of a 'begginers' camera. I really want to be able to develop and learn from the camera I buy.

The Canon 400D/350D - It is clear that this is a very popular and excellent camera. I'm sure I'd be very happy with it although I just have a feeling that some of the other brands have a bit more to offer. Maybe this is just because I don't like following the crowd :-P

Olympus E-400 - I absolutley love the look of this camera, I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. It reminds me of my Minolta, I love this old style. It's size is also brilliant and perfect for my travels. I'm just quite worried that the image quality won't be as good as the other well known brands. I believe it has a smaller sensor and it also doesn't have such a great choice for lenses.

I'd really appreciate any advice :-)

Joyce
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Old Feb 18, 2007, 4:27 PM   #2
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sandytrail-

Yes, you are correct, the size of the Olympus E-400, now being sold in Europe and soon to be introduced to the USA is very appealing. However, the sensor used in the E-400 is measurably smaller. That reduced size is proven by the fact that the lens multiplier for all Olympus DSLR cameras is 2.0X and the Nikon, Canon and Pentax cameras have a 1.5 and 1.6X multiplier.

I have used the Canon XTi and the Nikon D-80, and the Nikon D-80 has a lot more going for it, as you have already noted. If size is an issue, the Nikon D-40, the Canon XT, and the Olympus E-400 are just about the same size.

Of those three cameras, I personally prefer the Nikon D-40. It would be a particularly good choice for you as you don't own any lenses yet. The D-40 is limited to the Nikkor AF-S and AF-I lenses, or the Sigma HSM series of lenses. Take a look at the Nilon Forum over at http://www.dpreview.com and you will very quickly learn that the D-40 is just not a beginner's camera. The D-40 is very popular with some long time Nikon DSLR users and is really a pretty full featured DSLR camera that has great image quality.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 18, 2007, 4:30 PM   #3
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I think you'd probably do fine with any of those cameras. You seem to have taken a liking to the Olympus so I'd suggest you take a close look at it before dismissing it. I never considered it for myself because it didn't suit my style of photography, but it might be right for yours. The smaller sensor does mean it's more prone to noise when the ISO is turned up. It also means that there's more crop factor, so that a 300mm lens would be 600mm equivalent as opposed to around 450mm on the Nikon or Canon. Whether that's an advantage or not depends on your preference.

Also, the smaller sensor means greater depth of field, which could mean that you won't need to use smaller apertures and could help balance the drawbacks of the higher ISO settings. I used the Canon 5D at work which has a full size sensor which means it's great in low light, but it's depth of field was so small that I frequently had the aperture all the way down to F/20 and still couldn't get the whole subject in focus.
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Old Feb 18, 2007, 5:21 PM   #4
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sandytrail-

I just went back at re-read the review of the Olympus E-400 at this website:

http://www.trustedreviews.com/digita...ympus-E-400/p1

The camera is very impressive. I have experience with one (the Zukio 40-150mm lens) of the lenses used in the two lens kit, and I can vouch for the fact that it really is a quality lens. It will be interesting to see how the E-400 is priced whenit is introduced to the USA. The E-400 is also the first Olympus camera to address the poor high ISO photo quality issue that has plagued Olympus DSLR cameras due to their smaller imager size since 2003.

I think that we can say without the slightest doubt, that Nikon is out to capture the low price market with the Nikon D-40 model, which also, IMHO is a veryimpressive, rather full featuredcamera.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 3:41 AM   #5
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Thanks for the comments! I've really been looking into the D40. It does look like a great camera. I was just wondering about the lenses, I understand that it can only take AF lenses. Aren't they ALOT more expensive?? I've also heard some things about the auto focus being dodgy...?

Yes the great thing about the olympus-400 is that it comes with TWO (apparently) very good kit lenses. Of course that does make it slightly more expensive than the others. In Holland, I belive you can get it with the two kit lenses for just under 1,000 euros although I think that has gone down a bit now that these new (possibly) olympus DSLRs are being introduced. Also worried because you buy into the company when you buy a body. I think I'd probebly get more for my money with Nikon or Canon as they have made so many lenses already...Ooo it's tricky.

Thanks for the comments again. I think the D80 is being crossed off my list. It just isn't practical for travel and I believe the others have alot to offer!

Joyce
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 9:23 AM   #6
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Joyce-

Thanks for your post. Yes, I think we both agree that the D-80 due to its size is probably not a DSLR camera for serious consideration. Also, at least for myself, I would be concerned about opting for the Olympus system. My focus would be on the Canon and Nikon systems, as they are the two major systems as far as DSLR cameras are concerned. Nikon and Canon lenses, in particular, will keep their value better than Olympus lenses over time.

I shoot with both the Nikon D-40 and D-50. What makes the D-40 a bit different from other Nikon DSLR cameras is the fact that it does not have a focusing motor in the camera body. Therefore, the D-40 can only use the Nikon AF-S and AF-I lenses, which have the focusing motor as a component part of the lens. There are 26 lenses in the Nikon system that the D-40 can use. So there is certainly not a lack of lenses. In addition to those Nikon lenses, the D-40 can also use all of the Sigma HSM lenses. In my opinion, the ideal starter kit with the D-40 is the D-40 body with the Nikkor 18-135mm lens which when the DSLR multiplier is applied, willgive you, in 35mm terms, a lens with a focal range of 27mm to 202mm, which is a very nice range. Even the kit lens (the Nikkor 18-55mm) will give you a range, in 35mm terms of 27-82.5mm.

The Canon XT and XTi are also good cameras. My only complaint is that I really do not like the grip on the cameras. It feels very pinched and the camera body on the XT and XTifeelsomewhat "plasticky" to me. But that is more a matter of personal likes and dislikes. I urge you to physically handle the Canon XT, the XTi, and the Nikon D-40, then to make your owndecision.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 4:06 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice Sarah. I think I may go with the Canon as I just feel it has the most to offer.

I was wondering if anyone knows whether there will be any new DSLR camera releases coming up soon...just wondering if I should wait. Still got a few months till my gap year.
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 4:16 PM   #8
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Sandytrail wrote:
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I was wondering if anyone knows whether there will be any new DSLR camera releases coming up soon...just wondering if I should wait. Still got a few months till my gap year.
There's a big show coming up soon (PMA) that may have new camera announcements. If you're waiting, I'd wait for that show in March.

Russ
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 9:00 AM   #9
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Joyce-

Russ is right "on target." The PMA show will be on shortly in Las Vegas, I believe, and that is a prime show for camera manufacturers to introduce new models. In fact, Olympus (as well as others) is expected to announce the availability of the E-400 DSLR to the USA market at PMA. It is the primary event, ecah year,for introducing new cameras for the manufacturers.

So Russ is 100% correct, it might be valuable to wait a bit with your decision.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 11:14 AM   #10
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Joyce.

I'm not sure if I'm correct - since I don't live in the USA - but there maybe a lag time between announcements at PMA and actual delivery on the street of the new cameras. I have read somewhere that there are around 65 new cameras to debut ? There will be a substantial number for sure.

Sarah, can you advise here as you seem to have a wealth of knowledge relating to lenses ! I think that as Joyce is / will be a full time student then initial cost of lenses may be more important than long term re-sale value (please note I am not taking a cheap shot !!). That being the case isn't the D40 limiting her choice somewhat ? Olympus have ca. 24 million lenses out there (I think I have quoted that figure correctly) so a far greater chance of picking up affordable lenses in the future - especially on EBay.

Have you considered the Oly E330 ? 8MP - Live LCD view - it's light 1.4 lbs with battery - 3fps (to 15 max) - NMOS Sensor 17.3 x 13.0mm (relatively small for a DSLR) but as Corpsy said, a greater DOF as well as a greater lens multiplier (x2) means longer zoom but not as wide. That last point shouldn't be too much of an issue as their two kit lenses are 14-42mm (28-84 in 35mm) and 40 - 150mm (80 - 300 in 35mm). Of course the E400 should be better still being a 10MP camera and also having a dust removal system.

I have some more information for you here, in tabular form, should you need it. Note that what Sarah mentioned re. sensor size is highlighted here.

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=87
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