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Old Dec 1, 2007, 12:23 PM   #1
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Have read so much and felt these two babies and they work much better for my hand than either Nikon or Cannon. And I am not worried about a more "limited" choice of lenses; I don't plan to have more than three or four ever! My last two cameras I had three and two respectively. Non issue.

But, I run into two technical differences and dont know ifeither really matters:

The Pentax K10D supposedly has less than desireable results from the camera software resulting in weak JPEG images that supposedly the camera adjustments cannot fix. Well, someone had said it was not such an issueif you changed the defaults and were not worried about 8x10's and larger. Maybe now and then but more likely cropping and enlarging will give me the same issues.

The Olympus E-510 has a physically smaller sensor resulting in a higher lens multiplier than the Pentax. This results in slightly smaller lenses for the same capacity, a good thing. But I read that this also results in smaller photosite (the actual light sensing electronics of which there are 12MP of them), providing less sharp details than if the photosites were larger. This does make sense.HoweverIhad not seen anything previously to indicate thatsharpness was a problem with the E-510; in fact, the results I saw comparing the two definitely favored the E-510 and I did not see any weakness in the 510 when compared to the Cannon XTi or Nikon D40.

So is the technical details more a theory issue that does not have real ramifications or are there other places in the package for the manufactures to fix other shortcomings introduced into the cameras?

...thought I had my choice made but now a bit perplexed.


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Old Dec 1, 2007, 12:53 PM   #2
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Unless you plan to own heavier, fasterlenses, the E510 two kit-lens outfit to me is just an outstanding setup. Buy a discounted FL36 or FL50 flash and you're set.

The K10D has some excellent, fast, very expensive primes. A K10D with the 31mm f1.8 and 77mm f1.8 would be a superblow light setup, obviously at a MUCH higher overall price tag. One of those primes costs more than the entire Olympus outfit, less the flash.

The above are what I consider to be the two strengths of both systems, at least with these two bodies. Either produce excellent images. Technically, yes, the sensor of the Olympus is smaller. Real-world, the differences are not as big as some would like to think. The Olympus system is outstanding.

The Pentax K-mount means you have access to thousands of older optics, but that would be meaningless to me. If I'm going to use a digital SLR, I want to use the complete capabilities of the camera, which will only be available using fully dedicated lenses.

Which one is better for you? Well...that's kinda hard for anyone who doesn't know you or what you like to shoot to know. I don't think either would be a bad decision.
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Old Dec 1, 2007, 1:44 PM   #3
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xd11lover wrote:
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The Olympus E-510 has a physically smaller sensor resulting in a higher lens multiplier than the Pentax. This results in slightly smaller lenses for the same capacity, a good thing. But I read that this also results in smaller photosite (the actual light sensing electronics of which there are 12MP of them), providing less sharp details than if the photosites were larger. This does make sense.HoweverIhad not seen anything previously to indicate thatsharpness was a problem with the E-510; in fact, the results I saw comparing the two definitely favored the E-510 and I did not see any weakness in the 510 when compared to the Cannon XTi or Nikon D40.
First, the E-510 has a 10MP image sensor, not 12MP.

Second, while the image sensor in the E-510is smaller than those used in other dSLRs, it's larger than the image sensorsof the same or similiar resolutionsused in P&S digicams. So this argument doesn't hold up under scrutiny. There is no reason why the image quality of the E-510 shouldn't be comparable to the quality of images from the XTi or D40x.
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Old Dec 1, 2007, 5:35 PM   #4
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Either the Olympus E-510 or the Pentax K10 are good choices. I shoot with the Olympus E-410 and have great image quality and excellent high ISO performance. Based on my experience, if the chopice were mine, I would select the E-510.

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Old Dec 1, 2007, 6:47 PM   #5
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I think someone is splitting hairs. In actual use with the K10, I don't find the pictures a problem at all. I do tend to shoot mostly raw but mainly because I like the controls in Lightroom (I use it with jpg files, too, so it doesn't matter which file formatI use. While I've used the Pentax software and it does OK for raw conversion I found it awkward to use). I've never tried to print bigger than 8x10 but have done some serious cropping when printing this size and haven't had a problem.

I've saved myself a whole bunch of money by buying some used lenses - that was the only way I could afford a top quality longer telephoto lens (300mm) and macro lens - I can't afford over $1,000 for a lens, and I've discovered how much better my pictures are with top quality lenses.

The Pentax is significantly heavier than the Oly and that could be a deal maker or breaker for some.
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Old Dec 1, 2007, 8:12 PM   #6
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Perhaps a sample image would be helpful. Here is a photo from the Olympus E-410 that was handheld at a shutterspeed of 1/13th at F 3.5 with the Olympus Zukio 14-42 kit lens at ISO 1600, using tungsten WB. I think that it is a very creditable sample of what an Olympus DSLR can do under really tight lighting conditions.

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Old Dec 2, 2007, 12:16 PM   #7
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I don't have a cooperative husband, so I took a couple of knick-knack shots. The first one is pretty horrible when it comes to framing and you can tell I didn't try to keep the camera level - it's a thoughtless jpg snap taken at ISO 1600, handheld, 1/25 sec shutter speed, f3.5, 18mm focal length, K10 and the kit lens. I did set a custom white balance because the light was filtered through light blue curtains, and the resulting bluish tint isn't indicative of the camera's normal white balance. I didn't do any post processing (shot jpg so no raw conversion)- only resized it with CS2 to post here (it's a reduced full frame picture).
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Old Dec 2, 2007, 12:22 PM   #8
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One more, also full frame. This is also handheld with a shutter speed of 1/6, f4, 31mm focal length. The f4 is as wide as the lens goes at 31mm focal length. I post this one as an example of the IS capability of the K10 - I'm not the steadiest person any more and without it I'd only have a chance (maybe 1 out of 5) of getting thisshot without camera shake (I took several around this shutter speed and none of them had significant shake).

P.S. - I think I need to do some dusting!
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Old Dec 2, 2007, 1:11 PM   #9
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Looks like you had a lot of light in the room, but those look noise free, especially for 1600. The elephant looks a little soft, but I don't think it was due to camera shake because I think I see some front focus due to the narrow DOF.

I think you acomplished what you were trying to do, very low noise for 1600 indeed.

By the way....dusting.....I'm not familiar with that term. What exactly is that?
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Old Dec 2, 2007, 2:05 PM   #10
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I agree about the elephant - I was disappointed in the picture and if it were for some other reason I would have tried sharpening it a bit in software. Not quite sure why it looks as soft as it does, because I thought the dust stood out too well. It might have been the lighting, since it was so diffused there's not much sense of shape, along with probably a poor choice of subject (it might be better with a flash, but that's not part of the topic here).

I have some fast lenses (mostly old ones) and the depth of field is so small with some of them that you have to be really careful where you focus. That could be frustrating to someone who isn't used to it, and another reason why the kit lens is not a bad lens to start off with.
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