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Old Feb 14, 2008, 10:23 AM   #1
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Hi all,

Just finished reading about the XSiand I think I'm about 6 months away from a dSLR (got an itch). At this point I'm thinking XSi, XTi, 40D or the Olly E-510. Other than general opinions, which I welcome, I have specific questions:

(1) What are the respective advantages/disavantages of In Body IS vs.lens IS? This is important to me because I spend a lot of time on my S5 out between 300 & 430 mm for sports and wildlife.

(2) Is anybody using the E510? How is the quality of the E-510 2 lens kit? The twin lens kit is a big consideration for me since it covers most of my desired range. However, I have a Canon External Flash (430EX) so that's a potential disincentive here. Then again, a twin lens kit and an Olympus external flash would be about the same price as the projected XSi so maybe that evens out.

(3) I shoot almost totally through the EVF but what is the experience of dSLR people with Live View? Really desirable or just OK if it's there? I don't really do, or care about, macros.

(4) If I go all out and bust a lung on the 40d, am I getting in over my head for no real reason? I'm about 2 years into ths hobby and just getting to fully use the S5 with any decent results most of the time (along with some god awful other results).

(5) What does anyone think of the idea of an XTi body and then 2 IS lenses to cover basically 28 - 200 mm or so? Are the F4/5.6 lenses sufficiently fast for sports & wildlife or do I need another mortgage for a 2.8L?

Anyway, feel free to opine on any, all or none of the above as well as general thoughts. I shoot wildlife, candids, sports and some portrait stuff. I'm not a pro and not planning to bebut I like to do things well.

Waiting to hear from you all.

Thanks.

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Old Feb 14, 2008, 11:43 AM   #2
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JohnGaltNY wrote:
Quote:
(1) What are the respective advantages/disavantages of In Body IS vs.lens IS? This is important to me because I spend a lot of time on my S5 out between 300 & 430 mm for sports and wildlife.
Sensor Shift IS (In Body) works for all lenses mounted on the camera body. Optical IS is only for the lenses that have it, and IS lenses are bigger, heavier and more expensive.

Optical IS provides a stabilized image to the viewfinder, while Sensor Shift IS doesn't, except for the 'Live View' available in the Olympus E-510 and E-3. Not all Sensor Shift IS camera bodieswith 'Live View' provide stabilized displays, but those two do.

JohnGaltNY wrote:
Quote:
(2) Is anybody using the E510? How is the quality of the E-510 2 lens kit? The twin lens kit is a big consideration for me since it covers most of my desired range. However, I have a Canon External Flash (430EX) so that's a potential disincentive here. Then again, a twin lens kit and an Olympus external flash would be about the same price as the projected XSi so maybe that evens out.
All indications are that the lenses in the two lens kit are pretty good.

You say that you "spend a lot of time on my S5 out between 300 & 430 mm for sports and wildlife" (I presume that you're talking about 35mm equivalent focal lengths.) The telephoto zoom in the two lens kit only goes as far as 300mm (35mm equivalent.) One of the drawbacks of the Olympus is that if you need something longer or faster or closer, the lenses get real expensive real quick. But if you can do everything you want with the two lens kit, it's a good deal.

JohnGaltNY wrote:
Quote:
(3) I shoot almost totally through the EVF but what is the experience of dSLR people with Live View? Really desirable or just OK if it's there? I don't really do, or care about, macros.
'Live View' seems to be a nice-to-have feature, but theOlympus E-510 and E-3 have their autofocus system in the optical viewfinder, so you can't use 'Live View' and autofocus at the same time. So for sports and wildlife, you may not want to use 'Live View'. Sony's dSLRs can autofocus during 'Live View', but the 'Live View' isn't stabliized like the Olympus'.

JohnGaltNY wrote:
Quote:
(5) What does anyone think of the idea of an XTi body and then 2 IS lenses to cover basically 28 - 200 mm or so? Are the F4/5.6 lenses sufficiently fast for sports & wildlife or do I need another mortgage for a 2.8L?
A 200mm lensis still only going to get you out to 300mm (35mm equivalent) (320mm on a Canon dSLR) which isshorter than what you're doing now. So I don't think you'd be happy with a 200mm lens unless you're prepared to do a lot of cropping, and for that you'll need a lot of megapixels.

And for "sports and wildlife", if you don't have fast lenses, you'll need to make up for it with slow shutter speeds (risking motion blur from subject movement) or higher ISO settings (risking noise.) Neither option is particularly attractive.

JohnGaltNY wrote:
Quote:
... I shoot wildlife, candids, sports and some portrait stuff. ...
I think you should definitely consider IS as a must-have feature, and having it in the body is a lot cheaper than having it in the lenses. Olympus, Pentax, and Sony all do that. If you are really comfortable with Canon, then you should go that way, but the IS is going to cost you.

On the other hand long lensesfor Pentax are scarce, and can be expensive for Sony and Olympus.

You didn't think this was going to be easy, did you? [suB]:-)[/suB]
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 12:05 PM   #3
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TCav,

Thank you so much for the spot on answers. Really helps me sort through it all.

Also, to clarify, when I say 300-400mm I mean 35mm eq. on my S5. It has a real FL of 6-72 mm with a crop factor of 6x on the 1/2.5 sensor.

Anybody else please?

JG

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Old Feb 15, 2008, 6:20 PM   #4
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Hi,

TCav pretty much has it covered but since you've asked for additonal input, I'll chime in with my 2 cents.

As a user of an Oly E-510, I can say that:

1:the standard kit lenses are quite good and when you consider that you can pick up an E-510 with 2lenses for around $650.00(B&H Photo) your paying around 75bucks per lens-a steal. As mentioned the image quality is quite good. You might want to take a moment and read the lens reviews at:

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/index.php for an objective look at both the kit lenses as well as some others.

The 2 lenses should give you an effective focal range of 28mm to 300mm - in 35mm equivalant. A cost effective way to add focal length would be to add an EC-20 2x teleconverter, which would extend that out to 600mm (around $490.00)By the way, there are currently over 3 dozen lenses available for the Olympus Dslr cameras.

And yes, TCav is right, fast lenses will cost you a bundle of money-- regardless of brand be it Nikon, Canon, or Olympus.

2.In-bodyimage stabilization is simply more cost effective than having it built in each lens. One of the reasons I bought the E-510

3. Unless your shooting mostly macro or static type images, live-view on the E-510 isn't something you're going to use. It really is impractical for candid photography.

4. The E-510 has the ability to hold both a compact flash and Xd card at the same time. On a trip, when I fill up one card, I switch to the next.

5. As in all the Dslrs these days, the E-510 has a very extensive feature set. Frankly, unless you're a professional photographer, it has more capabilities than you'll use.(me included)

Since you mentioned that you're about 6 months away from making a decision, you've got plenty of time to investigate all the wonderful cameras that are available toyou right now.

My suggestion would be to go to your local camera shop and try each of the cameras that your interested in. see how the camera "fits" in your hand. Some cameras are quite large while others are quite small. If you wear glasses, be sure and look thru the viewfinder with them on. My only quibble with the Oly is the viewfinder is smaller than in some cameras and I wear glasses. I still love using my camera but this may be a deal breaker for you.

Lastly, read the review on this website of the E-510 as well as the review found on wrotniak.net.

Good luck in your hunt.


zig

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Old Feb 16, 2008, 4:18 PM   #5
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Since I'm a Pentax K10d user, the only comment I have on the Canon or Olympus cameras is that I went a different direction primarily because I didn't like the feel of either in my hand. I have seen some wonderful shots taken with both.

I do like in-camera stabilization. Over the course of building a system, it can save significant dollars in lens purchases if you don't have to buy stabilized lenses separately.

You say you would like to do "sports and wildlife" photography, but don't indicate with sports what type you'd like to do. The kit you use for indoor basketball is very different from what you would need for daytime baseball. Low-light is my constant companion. The vast majority of sports I shoot are either indoor or under stadium lights. (f2.8 for stadiums at night and faster for indoor sports) Thus, for me, fast lenses are a necessity, along with their high prices. However, if you're shooting primarily outdoor, daytime sports the f4.0-5.6 ranges are usually fine.
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Old Feb 16, 2008, 4:36 PM   #6
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Thanks to Zig & Trojan. Soem great information here.

Trojan, I shoot baseball, mostly at high (300+ mm eq) zoom, both day and night games.One reason Ilike my S5 is it gives me a 432mm eq at f3.5. That's one very expensive DSLR lens.

I rarely shoot indoor events and when I have, it's been a disaster.

Thank you both. Anything or anybody else??


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Old Feb 16, 2008, 5:16 PM   #7
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John-

Replacing the lens focal length of the S-5 on a DSLR is going to be a very expensive proposition. You might want to keep the S-5 for those very long sport shots and opt for shorter less expensive lenses on the DSLR camera.

I shoot with my Nikon D-40X with the Nikon 18-200mmVR most opf the time and switch over to the S-5 when I need those super long zoom shots.

My one complaint about the E-510 is that it takes too many work arounds to get really excellent photos. You can find data opn that in the reviews, especiall at www.dpreview.com.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 16, 2008, 5:43 PM   #8
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JohnGaltNY wrote:
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Trojan, I shoot baseball, mostly at high (300+ mm eq) zoom, both day and night games.One reason Ilike my S5 is it gives me a 432mm eq at f3.5. That's one very expensive DSLR lens.
Yes, 432mm f/3.5 will be tough to beat. But what you can't get via focal length, you can get via cropping. A 200mm lens on a 1.5x (or 1.6X) crop factor 10MP dSLR will get you roughly the same photo as the 432mm lens on your 8MP S5IS, once you cropa little. And a 200mm f/4 lens isn't too expensive.

JohnGaltNY wrote:
Quote:
I rarely shoot indoor events and when I have, it's been a disaster.
For indoor sports, you need a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.0 or larger. That's why your efforts with the S5IS didn't work out well. There are large aperture medium telephotolenses for any dSLR that will do what you want, but you should consider them in your decision. Some of them can be very expensive.
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Old Feb 16, 2008, 10:12 PM   #9
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Thanks Sarah. It's great to hear from you again. I have no intention of getting rid of the S5. I still have my S2. It's called packrat syndrome I think.

Thanks again to TCav. I'll do another lens search before I do anything. I still want to see where prices go after the XSi is out for 2-3 months, so I'm probably doing nothing until July or so. Gives me plenty of time for research.

JG
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Old Feb 17, 2008, 4:33 AM   #10
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Optical IS is only for the lenses that have it, and IS lenses are bigger, heavier and more expensive.
As a basic principle that is of course true, and I think it is fair to say it is applicable for consumer-grade lenses. But the devil can be in the details depending on your specific needs.

When you get to the telephoto lenses where IS is arguably most important - looking at the prices between manufacturers can be surprising.

Direct comparisons for 35mm equivalent focal lengths are tricky because Canon and Nikon both have crop and FF cameras.

Firstly that old workhorse - the 70-200 f2.8...

Canon 70-200mm L f2.8 IS = £1247
Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR = £1148
Sony 70-200mm f2.8 = £1759

(Not directly equivalent but consider Olympus 35-100 f2 = £1600)

Oh dear it seems that the Sony is rather more expensive without its in-lens IS than the Nikons and Canons.

Another workhorse for sports/wildlife lenses?

Canon 300mm L f2.8 IS = £2925.
Nikon 300mm f2.8 VR = £2789
Sony 300mm f2.8 G = £4275
Olympus 300mm f2.8 = £4770
Sigma 300mm f2.8 EX = £1500 (Available for Nikon, Canon, Sigma only)
Pentax - no equivalent.

So the Canon and Nikon with IS in the lens are both a lot cheaper than the Sony and Olympus without. Lens-based IS may be better for longer lenses as they are tuned to the specific optical characteristics of that particular lens (this is what Canon and Nikon claim) though a good in-body system may do just as well. I don't think there is any conclusive evidence either way.

What about even longer lenses then? 400, 500, 600, 800, etc?
I'm afraid those are only available from Canon and Nikon (or from Sigma in Canon,Nikon and Sigma mount) , so the point is really moot. If you want to use long telephoto lenses you have to choose Canon or Nikon.

So what's the point? Well simply that a blanket statement of "It's cheaper to put IS in the body than in every lens." doesn't really apply when you are talking about the high-end telephoto lenses. The Sony and Olympus lenses are actually MORE expensive. They may be (probably are) optically superior, but don't choose Sony or Olympus because in-body IS is going to save money. At the top end it's not!

There is also another matter to consider: how often do you change lenses v bodies? In my particular case I have 2 lenses with IS and 1 without. I expect to keep those lenses for the next 10 years, hopefully longer. I have already had 2 digital bodies, over the next 10 years I doubt I shall be buying any more lenses, but will probably get 2 or 3 new bodies. For SOME people paying for IS in the lenses actually means you pay LESS frequently because lenses last much longer than bodies. If, over a 15 year period you have 2 lenses that need stabilizing and 5 bodies - it's obviously cheaper to put it in the lenses. Other people might have 3 bodies and 20 lenses, obviously there it's cheaper to put it in the bodies. Once again a blanket statement can be misleading. It all depends on what your photography is going to require over the years.

My conclusion - really is that you have to look at the whole system. What do you want from the combination of ergonomics, camera features, available lenses, flash, software, support network, etc. Try to get an idea of what your likely end-point is and choose a system on that basis taking into account cost and quality.


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