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Old Sep 10, 2007, 11:23 PM   #1
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Hey Steve's

Unless the courses I am taking prohibit me from using my Fuji S6000fd I'll end up buying an SLR soon. I love the ergonomics of my fuji; 10x optical zoom, manual zoom ring, great battery life, low noise, and my pictures are so detailed and full of life!

The camera I am considering is the Olympus E-510 or anything <$1000. I doubt I'll get the kind of zoom I want with a kit lens and am prepared to buy another too. It is the most similar to my Fuji. I've wanted mirror lock-up (not on D40X) and long exposure NR for astrophotography. It has spot metering which the Canon is missing. Olympus take xD cards which fortunately Fuji has in common. Olympus come with the best kit lenses so I hear.

I use my camera a lot at night...you could say astrophotography is important for me. I take lots of nature pictures, but rarely macros. I don't like to be limited by the camera because the weather isn't optimal.

Questions about it:

What do they mean by motorized focus ring?
Any opinions of the 4:3 aspect?
How do you auto-focus...I read it's not just a half-press like most cameras.
What kind of lens would I need to be comparable with my Fuji? (Fuji is 10.7x optical, but none list spec as magnification)
Is it comfortable to use and navigate the menu?
What are the downsides of this camera?
Any upcoming SLR I might consider?


Thanks everyone!
Jarrett


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Old Sep 11, 2007, 7:43 AM   #2
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The Olympus E-510 is a fine camera, and Olympus makes the smallest, lightest dSLRs and lenses, which I think would be desireable attributes for astro- and nature photography.

As I understand your requirements (astro- and nature photography), you'll need long fast lenses, and Olympus has those available, but at significant cost. The Sigma 300-800 f/5.6 runs $6,500, the Olympus 90-250 f/2.8 runs $5,500, and the olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 funs $825. There are slower and/or dimmer lenses, but I don't think they would suit you very well.

For long fast lenses, you realy need a Canon or Nikon. The Sigma 300-800 f/5.6 is actually more expensive for the Canon and Nikon moounts, at $7,000, and provide less magnification because of their physically larger image sensors. Sigma also has the 120-300 f/2.8 at $2,700 and the 100-300 f/4.0 at $1,000for both. And Nikon has the 200-400 f/4.0 VR for $5,100, and both Nikon and Canon have 70-200mm f/2.8 and f/4.0, stabilized and not, for $800-$1,700.

I think that, before you buy a camera, you should shop for lenses that will suit your purposes, and then buy the camera thatthey'll fit.
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Old Sep 11, 2007, 8:03 AM   #3
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Jarrett84 wrote:
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... Unless the courses I am taking prohibit me from using my Fuji S6000fd I'll end up buying an SLR soon. ...
What kind of course is it?

If there might be a specification of the camera you must use, you should find that out before buying anything else. Doesn't matter if another choice is much better when you are required to use the instructor's favorite camera.
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Old Sep 11, 2007, 12:48 PM   #4
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I'm looking at this page...

http://www.vistek.ca/details/results...D=CameraLenses

I don't know how to read the specs very well! Maybe you could show me what I need to be looking for. I need something some with a wide aperture on both ends of the zoom right? How do I know how far it will see?

Maybe astrophotography was an overstatement...if I honestly wanted to take deep sky pictures I would get an adapter for my telescope.

Here's some moon pics at 10x zoom with my Fuji...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jehathe...7601315210648/
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Old Sep 11, 2007, 1:02 PM   #5
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part of a certificate course at ryerson university

"
Students must own a Digital SLR with manual capabilities"

BillDrew wrote:
Quote:
Jarrett84 wrote:
Quote:
... Unless the courses I am taking prohibit me from using my Fuji S6000fd I'll end up buying an SLR soon. ...
What kind of course is it?

If there might be a specification of the camera you must use, you should find that out before buying anything else. Doesn't matter if another choice is much better when you are required to use the instructor's favorite camera.
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Old Sep 11, 2007, 6:22 PM   #6
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Sorry if this sounds elementary, but I don't know what you know and don't know, and before you buy a dSLR, I think I should point out a few things about what's going on.

First, there are 2 specs that are important about lenses. The first is the focal length, and the second is the maximum aperture.

1.: Focal length is a measure of how strongly a lens converges light (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focal_length ). A short focal length means that a lens converges light quite a lot, while a long focal length means thelens converges light only a little. What that means is that short focal length lenses give a broader angle of view (and are called wide-angle lenses), while long focal length lenses provide greater magnification, allowing you to see objects that are further away (and are called telephoto lenses.) Lenses with adjustable focal lengths are called 'zoom' lenses, while lenses with a fixed focal length are often referred to a 'prime' lenses. Your Fuji S6000 has a zoom lens with a focal length from 6.2mm to 66.7mm.

2.: Aperture is a hole through which light passes (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperture ). Lenses have adjustable apertures to vary the amount of light that gets throughto the camera, so you can control the exposure. Lenses with large maximum apertures let a lot of light through, but are big, heavy and expensive. The lens on your S6000 has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 at 6.2mm and f/4.9 at 66.7mm. The f number is a ratio of the diameter of the aperture to the focal length, and is a measure of how much light is getting through the lens.

Second, there are three things that determine the exposure of a photo. The first is aperture, the second is shutter speed, and the third is the sensitivity of the image sensor.

1.: The size of the aperture controls how much light gets to the image sensor. A consequence of the aperture is the depth of field, but I'll skip that here.

2.: The shutter speed controls how long the image sensor is exposed to the light. Fast shutter speeds capture movement, while slow shutter speeds allow more light to get to the image sensor.

3.: Light sensitivity, expressed as the ISO setting, allows you to control the sensitivity of the image sensor. This goes back to the days of film, where different films reacted differently to light. With digital image sensors, this sensitivity can be controlled and adjusted, but if you set the image sensor to be too sensitive, the individual light sensors will react to light that the adjacent light sensors are seeing, resulting in what's called 'noise'.

Lastly, how the lens and camera work together determines what you'll actually take pictures of. This is determined by the size of the image sensor. 35mm film cameras create exposures that are 36mm by 24mm on a strip of film 35mm wide, and some dSLRs have image sensors exactly that size. These dSLRs are referred to as 'full frame' dSLRs. Most Nikon dSLRs, and all Sony and Pentax dSLRshave image sensors that are about 24mm x 16mm. Most Canon dSLRs have image sensors that are a little bit smaller, at 22mm x 15mm. Olympus dSLRs have even smaller image sensors, at about 17mm x 13mm. P&S digicams have even smaller image sensors. For instance, the image sensor in your Fuji S6000 is about 8mm x 6mm.

The size of the image sensor is important because it determines the amount of the image projected by the lens, that will be captured. This is the 'angle of view' of a lens. A smaller image sensor captures a smaller portion of the projected image than a larger image sensor, and so a lens will have a narrower angle of view on a smaller image sensor. Your S6000's 6.2-66.7mm lens, using it's smaller image sensor captures an image equivalent to that of a 28-300mm lens on a 35mm film camera, or a'full frame' dSLR. This 35mm equivalent focal length doesn't actually mean anything; it's just a way to make sure everyone is talking about the same angle of view.

So if you're looking for a dSLR that will have the same angle of view, you need a lens that will have a focal length equivalent to a 28-300mm lens on a 35mm film camera. Since a 35mm film exposure is 1.5 times larger than the image sensor in most Nikon, and all Sony and Pentax dSLRs, you would need a lens (or lenses) that has a focal length of 18.67-200mm. Since most Canon dSLRs have an even smaller sensor, you would need a lens with a focal length of 17.5-187.5mm. And since the Olympus dSLRs have an image sensor that is even smaller still, you would need a lens with a focal length of 14-150mm in order for the Olympus dSLR to have the same angle of view as your Fuji S6000.

Since you want to shoot nature and the night sky, you need a long focal length lens. But because nature and the night sky move, you also need a large maximum aperture, so you can use faster shutter speeds, so you can capture nature and the night sky before they move too much.

You haven't mentioned anything that might require a wide angle lens, but if you do, you may need to take some of this into consideration as well.

So you can't just look at focal lengths; you have to take into account what a lens of a particular focal length will do on a particular dSLR. I hope that some of this stuff will help with that.

And it's very important that you are comfortable with the camera. You should go to a store with a good selection of dSLRs, and see which ones you can locate the controls the easiest.

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Old Sep 11, 2007, 8:34 PM   #7
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There is a downtown Henry's camera store not too far from Ryerson University. They have a pretty good selection of DSLRs. They also offer student discounts.


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