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Old Jun 26, 2007, 6:47 AM   #1
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 9:13 AM   #2
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They are both fine cameras, but there are some significant differences between them.

The Canon has a much larger choice of available lenses, from Canon, from third parties (Sigma, Tamron, Tokina), and from the used market. The Olympus uses the 4 Thirds lens mount, and only a relatively small number of lenses are available for it, though the lenses available certainly cover a wide range of focal lengths.

The Olympus has a smaller image sensor than the Canon. That meansthe Olympus has a narrower field of view than the Canon when they both have lenses of the same focal length attached. A 35mm film camera makes an exposure that is 36 mm by 24mm, the Canon's image sensor is 22.2mm by 14.8mm, and the Olympus' image sensor is 17.3mm by 13mm. This has a number of implications.

First, the Canon has a1.6 crop factor, while the Olympus has a 2.0 crop factor. So the Canon, when it has a 100mm lens attached, will have the same angle of view as a film camera with a 160mm lens, but the Olympus with a 100mm lens attached will have the same angle of view as a film camera with a 200mm lens. This makes the Olympus especially well suited for telephoto work. When using lenses with the same focal length, an image captured with the Olympus will have a greater magnification.

Second, a camera with a smaller image sensor will always have a greater depth of field than a camera with a larger image sensor for lenses with the same focal length and maximum aperture. Depth of field is a measure of how much of the foreground and background will be in focus along with the subject. Typically, for macro work and portraiture, a photographer might want to have less depth of field so that foreground and background objects don't detract from the subject. The Canon has a larger image sensor than the Olympus, so images captured with the Canon may have less depth of field.

And as to taking pictures at odd angles and such, the Canon does have an optical angle viewfinder that might solve some of your issues in that area. And the angle viewfinder can also magnify the viewfinder image.

Plus, while the "Live View" LCD display of the Olympus is significant and unique for thedSLR market, itdoesn't work exactly the same way as the LCD display you are accustomed to on your Canon S2IS, so check it out to make sure you can do what you want.
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 4:53 PM   #3
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Another significant difference between them is that Olympus dSLRs (not just the E-510) are smaller and lighter than other dSLRs, and because of the 2.0 crop factor, lenses for the Olympus dSLRs are smaller and lighter than lenses for other dSLRs for the same angle of view.

That is, a 50-200mm lens on an Olympus would have an angle of view equivalent to a 100-400mm lens on a film camera. In order for a 1.6 crop factor camera to have the same angle of view, it would have to use a 62.5-250mm lens, which would be bigger and heavier than the 50-200mm lens for the Olympus.
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 10:20 PM   #4
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Both would be good cameras.

I'd try handling both cameras. They are different. I find the XTi too small for my comfort, but you may feel exactly the opposite.


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