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Old May 31, 2008, 3:16 PM   #1
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I have decided to buy my first digital SLR, have seen the Olympus E410 in a shop, and feel that either the E410 or E420 would be a good choice for me.

My Previous Cameras:
I have had a couple of low end, non digital SLR cameras before, I purchased the last one ten years ago, I forget the make...

My first digital compact, a Konica KD400Z, purchased in 2003 gave me good service for several years, an excellent camera but now somewhat dated so now I want something more modern with better image quality.

My second digital compact, an Olympus FE280 was a big mistake. I got one as a present for my Girlfriend, great camera for her and decent print quality, I liked the size and features, so I got one myself. Big mistake, it is not a camera, and I get terrible image quality from mine, I must have got a bad one!

So, I want to return to an SLR, a proper camera.

My Situation.
I spend 12 months of the year living out of a suitcase, away from home for three months at a time so size and weight is important.

Photography is an occasional hobby only. However a good camera does make it more interesting. In the past I have developed and printed my own (B&W) films, and even produced Daguerreotype images, so with the right tools I like to play around.

The E410 or E420 seem ideal for my situation, good price, fairly compact for an SLR, and I feel that it is a good piece of kit.

I want to be certain that I make the right choice, and would welcome suggestions of alternatives. I have not yet considered any others.

Any suggestions or comments would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Dave..
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Old May 31, 2008, 9:22 PM   #2
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You haven't gone into any detail about what type(s) of photography you want to do, and it's important to know because different cameras do well in certain circumstances but not so well in others.

I will say that the Olympus E410/420 is a good, lightweight dSLR, but it doesn't have any image stabilization like it's dig brothers, or like other dSLRs. It does have what is called digital image stabilization, but that is the kind of image stabilization used in video cameras where resolution isn't as important as speed and simplicity.

In addition, while the kit lenses for the E-410/420 are quite good, the other lenses for the camera are quite expensive and the selection is not as good as for other brands.

But if it will do everything you want plus satisfiy the requirements of your mobile life, then it should suit you well.
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Old Jun 1, 2008, 8:43 AM   #3
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Thanks

I have no specialisation, I just want a camera for general photography.

For the first couple of months I will be in Luxembourg, so there is the chance for some good scenic and architectural shots, as well as pictures of friends. After that I will be spending a few months travelling in Asia, so travel pics...

Looks like I will buy this one. I have looked at the E410 in a shop but have not been able to find the E420 yet. Apart from a few minor points, they seem like the same camera.

As far as lenses are concerned I would go for the one lens kit with the 14-42mm Zuico only.

Dave..
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Old Jun 1, 2008, 10:22 AM   #4
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The E-410 and E-420 both offer 'Live View' which lets you frame your shot using the LCD display. But the E-410 can't autofocus during 'Live View' while the E-420 can. Also the E-420 has a slightly larger LCD display. There are other differences as well. Personally, I'd wait for the E-420.

The 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens is good, but it may only be barely wide enough for scenic/architecture/landscape/cityscape shots. It should be good for small group shots, though. It's not very long, so sports/wildlife are out. It's also fairly dim, so indoor/low-light shots are out unless you use flash, and the built-in flash isn't up to much. You could go with a good external flash, but that adds to the size and weight of the total package. Another option might be the 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5. It's faster so it would do better with the built-in flash (and it's longer) and won't add much to the size and weight of the total package, but it's more expensive.

I remind you that the E-410/420 don't have the image stabilization that the E-510/520 have. Some of us here find image stabilization invaluable, though it admittedly doesn't help much at wider angles, and it seems that's what you're after.

But either way, Olympus dSLRs are fine cameras, and should serve you well.


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Old Jun 1, 2008, 4:14 PM   #5
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As you say, lenses for this are quite expensive. If I go for the 14-54mm lens, that costs more than the camera, so I will stick with the standard supplied 14-42mm.

Just to return to image stabilisation, I understand camera shake, moving subjects, and all that, but is Image Stabilisation needed more with digital cameras than it was with film, or is it just the advance of modern technology?

The Olympus E510 has image stabilisation, but I want to keep the size down.

I will go for the E420, there are not many changes from the 410, but things like the contrast based focussing, face recogniton etc are of interest. I also prefer the slightly enlarged hand grip that I have seen in reviews.

Looks like a good camera at a very reasonable price!

Thanks for your help.
Dave..
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Old Jun 1, 2008, 4:49 PM   #6
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davee58 wrote:
Quote:
Just to return to image stabilisation, I understand camera shake, moving subjects, and all that, but is Image Stabilisation needed more with digital cameras than it was with film, or is it just the advance of modern technology?

The Olympus E510 has image stabilisation, but I want to keep the size down.
Image stabilization reduces (if not eliminates) motion blur due to camera shake. It does nothing for image blur due to subject movement. Sensor shift image stabilization is a feature the is available on digital cameras that was simply not available on film cameras. It's not that image stabilization is needed more with digital cameras; it's that it couldn't be done with film cameras. (That is, except for optical image stabilization like Canon and Nikon use.)

Good luck with it. And come back and post something ocassionally.
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Old Jun 12, 2008, 11:13 AM   #7
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davee58 wrote:
Quote:
As you say, lenses for this are quite expensive. If I go for the 14-54mm lens, that costs more than the camera, so I will stick with the standard supplied 14-42mm.

Just to return to image stabilisation, I understand camera shake, moving subjects, and all that, but is Image Stabilisation needed more with digital cameras than it was with film, or is it just the advance of modern technology?

The Olympus E510 has image stabilisation, but I want to keep the size down.

I will go for the E420, there are not many changes from the 410, but things like the contrast based focussing, face recogniton etc are of interest. I also prefer the slightly enlarged hand grip that I have seen in reviews.

Looks like a good camera at a very reasonable price!

Thanks for your help.
Dave..
Here are a few pictures taken with a E-510

http://philippeluyckx.zenfolio.com/p999439557/

Open to any questions
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Old Jun 27, 2008, 1:23 PM   #8
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Update:
I purchased the E-420 single lens kit, from Park Cameras, and collected it from my Mothers when I visited the UK last weekend.

First Impressions:
Wow, this was the right choice for me. Light years ahead of anything I have had previously. I know that I have a big learning curve with my first dSLR, and am slowly working my way through the instruction manual before I start on the books that I purchased. The training dvd provided with the camera also looks interesting.

The few test shots I have taken so far have excellent picture quality, and, the camera is a beautiful piece of kit, I love the compact body style.

First Mistake:

Single lens kit, I should have gone for the twin lens kit that has a 40-150mm as well as the 14-42mm lens that came with my camera.

My concerns about portability were unfounded, my Lowepro Rezo 160 camera bag was allowed as hand luggage in addition to the large backpack containing my laptop.

I have already ordered the missing lens from e-bay, I got a good deal on a new lens, and even after paying for delivery to my Luxembourg office I will have saved tuppence (0.04 US Dollars) :lol:. It would have been better if I had ordered the complete kit though as I would have had a better warranty.

So now for the real test, can I take pictures good enough to blow my socks off!! Only time will tell.


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