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Old Mar 6, 2008, 8:51 PM   #1
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Y'all gave me a lot of solid advice last month on this topic so I'm back for more.

Using the "lens first" analysis everyone advised (I want to roughly cover 36 - 400 mm equiv with IS like my S5) I researched these specifics:

XTi body + EF18-55 IS + EF55 -250 f4-5.6 IS+ 2 x 2GB CF cards at a total cost of $1,075 US

XSi Kit+ EF 55-250 IS at a total cost of $1,200 US (I have SD cards already)

Olympus 2 lens Kit (14-42mm & 40-150mm at a crop factor of 2) + FL36 flash (to replace my 430EX) + 2 x 2 GB CF Cards at a total cost of $ 890.00 US

I tend to shoot indoor candids and portraits and long zoom animals so I generally work around 70-90mm and out beyond 300mm equivalents.

Anybody who has experience with any combination of the above, please chime in with your opinon. Obviously, if the quality is there, the Olly is the best buy but I can afford any of them if it means a better setup. Assume I can't afford another lens for at least 2-3 years or "L" glass probably ever.

All advice will be heard and appreciated.
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Old Mar 6, 2008, 9:42 PM   #2
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The Oly 40-150mm with a crop factor of 2, will only give you theequivalent of 300mm. Since you've been using the S5 with a 400mm top end, I think you would be disappointed with the reduced reach when you're trying to get a good long range animal shot. The Canon 55-250mm would give you a comparable equivalent focal length of 400mm - more like what you're accustomed to.

Although you didn't mention it, you can pick up a Nikon D40X with an 18-55mm and a 70-300mm (equivalent of 450mm) for around the same amount as the XTI comboyou listed.

Good luck with your search.

the Hun
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 5:56 AM   #3
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In your choices, you've got the IS and focal length covered, but there's another spec you're missing, and by quite a large margin.

The Canon S5 IS has a lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 36-432mm AND an aperture of f/2.7 at the wide end and f3.5 at the long end.

The lenses you've selected are a lot dimmer, and that will have an adverse affect on your shots. You can compensate for that lose of light by using slower shutter speeds (not good for wildlife, which is what you say you'll use the longer focal lenghts for) or increasing the ISO setting (risking noise.) The jury is still out on the Canon XSi's high ISO performance, but I believe the XTi outperforms the Olympus E-510 in that area.

To quote Steve's reviews of these to cameras:

For the Canon XTi: "Noise is absent from images shot at ISO 100 and ISO 200, barely detectable in shadow areas at ISO 400 and 800, and noticeable in shadow areas at ISO 1600, but still usable."

For the Olympus E-510: "The E-510's image quality was very good at ISO 100 and 200 and at higher ISO's, some noise becomes evident."

Personally, I'd go with faster lenses.

BTW, have your held them? Which one do you like?

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Old Mar 7, 2008, 7:09 AM   #4
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I would disagree that you are going to have a problem with light. Yes you have slower glass here but a stop and a half, but as ISO 200 on the S5 is about as noisy as ISO 1600 on the XTi you have 3 stops to play with on ISO. Here are 2 sample shots to show this from Steve's review, and although some might argue that the 1600 looks more noisy, just look at the overall pixel detail and then use your noise removal software and tell me which wins .

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_...s/img_0359.jpg

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_...s/IMG_1613.JPG

Not only that but you are getting better optical quality with the 55-250 so that helps even more. If you can stretch the budget I think you will find a benefit in getting the Canon 70-300mm IS as you will like the extra reach to take you over what you have currently rather than having slightly less.
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 10:04 AM   #5
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Great stuff guys. Thanks for the viewpoints.

Hun - I'll take a look at the D40x again. My original thought was that Nikon & Canonseem virtually the same and I'm used to the Canon controls and menus. I also already have the 430EX flash. Perhaps I should revisit that idea.

TCav - right as always. I am considering aperture but the kid in college makes any long zoom/ f3.5 or better glass out of range for the next few years. I am frankly hoping that the higher useful ISO in the dSLR will make the f 5.6 acceptable. In the S5, anything above ISO 100 is "iffy" and above 200 is useless to me. I've handheld the XTi and the E-510 and they're both acceptable althoughthe XTi has the more substantial feel to it. When the XSi comes out, I'll go find one to hold also. Hanholding is how I decided that the 40D is not comfortable for my hands.

Mark - I saw the 70-300 at$560.00 US (Adorama). I could probably stretch for it with the XTi, probably not with the XSi. I still have some time to find the extra money.

Yet another question. The Canons have 9 point AF. The E-510 has 3. Is that a big deal in the real world? Is it worth $200 to $400?

and another: Is spot metering in a dSLR important enough to either (1) go with the Olly or (2) pay extra for the XSi?

Thanks again to all.




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Old Mar 7, 2008, 10:27 AM   #6
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The point I was trying to make was not to compare your choices with what you have now, but to compare them with each other.Because of its better high ISO performance,I think the Canon XTi will be better than the Olympus E-510 for wildlife.

And I also thinkthe Canon's AF system would be better for wildlife than the Olympus'. And there's no reason to expect that the XS1 wouldn't, as well.

Though, because of its higher pixel density, there might be some increase in noise in the XSi, but I haven't seen any comments one way or the other.
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 11:03 AM   #7
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Got it. Thanks again TCav.
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 11:41 PM   #8
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Yet another query.

Does anyone with experience feel that 12 MP will be a decent fit for the APS-C sensor as opposed to 10 MP. I like the idea of live view and the DigicIII processor (XSi) but would be willing to stay at 10 MP (XTi) if its a lesser signal/noise ratio.

Reason I ask is that I have an S5 with 8 MP on a 1/2.5 sensor and I wish they had left it at the 6 MP of the S3.

Thanks in advance.

JG


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Old Mar 8, 2008, 1:52 AM   #9
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No hard evidence as yet, although the noise of my MKIII is very low so sure Canon know what they are doing (well possibly). However if you were to ask me if paying more for the body or for the glass between these two I would probably say get the better glass. My 30D with 'only' 8mp is fine for weddings (now it is only a backup to the other 2 cameras) as the per pixel info is great and the 10.1 mp of my MKIII is more than enough so don't get bogged down by the megapixel race. As for the other features, that is your choice if they are going to be helpful.
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Old Mar 8, 2008, 11:01 AM   #10
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Thanks Mark. I'm not concerned with MP. In fact, my question was more to the negative. If 12 MP on an APS/C is crowded, I'd stay with the XTi.

As for the rest, I shoot through the EV on the S5 so Live View is nice but not necessary. The processor is the reason I'm going to wait until the XSi comes out to see some test images.

Thanks again.

JG
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