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Old May 24, 2008, 7:01 PM   #1
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Hello,

My son will be majoring in Photojournalism and Communications but is still a year away from college. He has been using a Sony H2 for the last year but has now asked to borrow my Pentax K100D. I have beenresearching different cameras and had been thinking about buying him an entry level SLR Canon, maybe an XT or XTi but thenI saw the Olympus 510 on sale at several vendors for just over $600 for the two lens kit, the 14-42 and 40-150mm. The camera has many features I know he would want like live view, IS and a smaller size. It handles and feelslike the Pentax which he is comfortable with.

My question is would I be making a misake by buying him the Olympus when many professionals--and I don't know if he will ever be a professional photographer--seem to prefer Canon or Nikon because of the lens selection and number of higher end models. I know Olympus has the E-3 but I don't know how it compares to the equivalent Canon and Nikon. I don't want to invest in the Olympus just because it is a good value today and find out I made a mistake and should have put the money toward a Canon.



Of course, I could just let him use my Pentax but somehow, sharing doesn't really work with us and I know on weekends, there would be an issue as to who gets the camera.

Any opinions would be appreciated.

Thank you

MJW



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Old May 24, 2008, 7:30 PM   #2
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mjw48, you might do yourself a favor and drop in on the Olympus DSLR forum here and search through some of the threads and the posted photos.

Here's the problem, Canon and Nikon control about 80% of the DSLR market so other brands tend to get "out voted". If you ask a question about Olympus compared to Canon or Nikon...when most DSLR owners own Canon or Nikon...you can predict in advance what the response will likely be.

Let me say that I currently own the Oly E-500, E-510 and 6 Oly lenses (heck, I went out for walk last Sunday and came back with a new lens...impulse buy). In my film days, I owned, and STILL own, a large Nikon F3 system, Bronica ETR, a couple of Pentax SLRs and even Minolta, Yashica and a Mamiya Sekor SLR so I don't consider myself to have a particular brand bias. That being said I do have a personal preference for the Olympus E system. And I think the E-510 two lens package is the best DSLR deal on the planet (which I said about the E-500 until the 510 came along).

So read the opinons here but see us in the Oly DSLR forum before you make up your mind.
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Old May 24, 2008, 7:46 PM   #3
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Off the top of my head, you could give him your K100D and buy yourself a K200D. He gets what he wants, you get something new, and you can share lenses!
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Old May 24, 2008, 7:55 PM   #4
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Another consideration is that the Olympus lens mount is new, so there aren't a lot of lenses on the used market, and the new lenses are expensive. The lenses in the two lens kit are good and cover a good range, but they are dim, and faster lenses are pricey and hard to find.

To be sure, he will probably be happy and do well with whatever dSLR you give him, and the Olympus E-510 is no exception. But a limited seltion of expensive OEM lenses, few third party lenses, and no used lenses, doens't look good for a student's budget. The E-510 has a lot going for it, but if he's serious about photography butdoesn't know where photography will take him, I think there are better choices.
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Old May 24, 2008, 7:59 PM   #5
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The Olympus system is capable of excellent quality images. Until the day comes that he's actually working for a service/paper, and at that point THEY will be the ones supplying the equipment he uses, not you or him, I see no reason why picking the E510 outfit up would be a mistake.

Using the same logic, why did you "settle" for a Pentax? As you said, he's no pro yet. The E510 outfit would serve him fine. Their kit lenses are as good or better than most anyone elses. I have a bigger 70-300 f4-5.6 Digital Zuiko, but will take my E510 and the very small40-150 kit lens into arenas where "pro" cameras are not allowed unless you are press, and it does a very good job, even from the upper deck...

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/galler...66413216_j2WZZ

All the major brands are good enough at the consumer level. Canon makes some excellent,highly specialized, fast, expensive glass. Unless you or him would be planning to drop a wad in the short term for some of those optics, in the consumer line, Olympus is as good as anyone and probably a better value.
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Old May 24, 2008, 8:27 PM   #6
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Thanks for the fast responses. Great Olympus forum and Greg, great hockey shots. I tried to take picures of my sons in door track meet and my results aren't even close to yours.



TCav, Really like your idea of me upgrading to the K200D but that would still create a problem as we would be fighting over the few lens I have. I only have the two Pentax kit lens --18-55 and 50-200 and I just purchased the 70-300 Tamron for only $140 new. I checked the prices on the 70-300 Olympus and it is more than double the Tamron although it is probably a better lens. Don't know about 300mm third party lens but I know my son would want at least 300mm for his nature shots.



MJW




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Old May 25, 2008, 1:13 PM   #7
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mjw48 wrote:
Quote:
TCav, Really like your idea of me upgrading to the K200D but that would still create a problem as we would be fighting over the few lens I have.
Well, yes, sharing can be a problem sometimes. [suB]:-)[/suB]

mjw48 wrote:
Quote:
...I just purchased the 70-300 Tamron for only $140 new. I checked the prices on the 70-300 Olympus and it is more than double the Tamron although it is probably a better lens. Don't know about 300mm third party lens but I know my son would want at least 300mm for his nature shots.
The Olympus has a smaller image sensor than other dSLRs, and as a result, it has a narrower angle of view than the others when using the same focal length lens. Your Pentax has an APS-C image sensor, which means that it has a 1.5 crop factor; a 300mm lens on your Pentax will have the same angle of view as a 450mm lens on a 35mm film SLR. The Olympus uses a smaller image sensor, so it has a 2.0 crop factor. A 300mm lens on the Olympus will have the same angle of view as a 600mm lens on a 35mm fil SLR. So a 300mm lens on your Pentax isn't the same as a 300mm lens on an Olympus. You may have noticed that the focal lengths of the lenses that Olympus sells are a little different from the focal lengths of the lenses that other manufacturers sel, and this is why.
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Old May 25, 2008, 8:49 PM   #8
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TCav,

You are right, I would not need to buy an Olympus 300mm lens to equal the 450mm on my Pentax and on my sons Sony H2 which is also around 450mm. Until I got the Tamron, the H2 had much more reach thanmy Pentax with the 50-200. My son took some very good detailed pictures of Boston Lighthouse from aquitedistance that I was unablematch with my Pentax.



The price of the Olympus 510 kit just dropped under $600 with free shipping from a few vendors, getting a lot more tempting.



MJW
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