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Old Jul 3, 2008, 9:15 AM   #1
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hi guys, i have a question. i decided to bite the bullet and get a dslr. alot of beginers dslr's are on sale these days and even tho i got an olympus sp-550uz recently i decided to go a little better and get a dslr.



now i am on a very very tight budget and i'll have to do with the lens camera comes with for a little while, untill i save up enough again to get a second lens (probably a tele lens). anyways here are my options and i would appreciate any kind of recommendation here.



options are

sony apha 200k which comes with 18-70mm lens kit and is 10mpixels

olympus e-510 14-42mm lens kit and again 10mpixels

nikon d40 18-55mm lens kit and is 6mpixels

canon rebel xt with no lens (leaves me only $150 to find a lens and is 8mpix)



now i am kinda leaning towards sony alpha as it accepts both minolta and sony lenses but it seems to have a slight noise issue at higher iso's. canon seems really good with higher iso's but lenses are expensive. olympus is very balanced but zuiko lenses seems to cost an arm and a leg.



so guys (and steve) please help me pick one of those camers up there



after using olympus sp-550 with conversion lenses (2x tele and .45x wide) i really love the huge range that the camera covers 28-504mm with no conversions and double it with the conversions.



i am kinda worried these standart lenses with the dslr's wont let me shoot that wide range of photography. but hey i gotta start using dslr at a some point i guess.


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Old Jul 3, 2008, 9:47 AM   #2
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My vote would be the Sony A200. But, I'm probably a bit biased since I shoot with a Sony A700 right now. ;-)

The A200's kit lens isn't quite as sharp as some in the corners at some focal lengths and apertures But, it's got a better focal range from wide to long compared to most kit lenses (giving you the same angle of view you'd have using a 27-105mm lens on a 35mm camera).

There are pros and cons to any lens choice, and you have to make choices on things like like size, weight, focal range from wide to long, brightness, distortion, sharpness at various focal lengths and apertures, etc.), taking convenience into to equation.

IMO, the Sony A200 has the best "bang for the buck" of any entry level dSLR model, at a new list price of only $499.99, including the 18-70mm kit lens (giving you the same angle of view you'd have using a 27-105mm lens on a 35 camera).

It's also got ISO 3200 (missing on some of the entry level dSLR models like Canon's XTi, XSi, etc.).

The A200 also has very good AF speed (1.7 times as fast as the older A100, thanks to a beefed up AF motor and improved algorithms), with a very nice 9 point AF sensor that's sensitive down to EV -1. Here are some of Dave Etchell's tests for Autofocus I compiled a while back from imaging-resource.com

Full Autofocus Lag:
Sony A200 0.189 second
Canon XTi 0.20 second
Nikon D40x 0.243 second
Pentax K10D 0.254 second
Olympus E-510 0.35 second

But, if you look at the tests for the older A100 at sites like popphoto.com that measure AF in various light levels (I don't think they've got them for the A200 yet), you'll see that even the older A100 was faster than most entry level models when it was released, and could lock focus in lower light compared to most. The A200 is around 1.7 times as fast now.

It's also got very fast write speeds to media. The A200 can shoot it's best quality jpeg images at up to 3.4fps until a fast memory card like a compact Extreme III is full without any slowdown (even faster than Sony's advertised 3fps), according to some tests I've seen (see Steve's A200 review conclusion here for one example).

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Old Jul 3, 2008, 9:57 AM   #3
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w-n-w-

I agree with JimC! The Sony A-200 is a great beginner DSLR camera. It has a lot of very usable features lik its 9 point fast focusing. I think you would be happy with the A-200 and you could use the Oly for your long zoom needs.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 3, 2008, 12:45 PM   #4
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yeah i realized kit lens with the sony isnt anywhere sharp as the more expensive lenses, but it still seems like a semi/fast/sharp (well all kit lenses that comes with the options i listed are kinda slow) still.



my main reason for wanting to go with a dslr is purely the noise issues with the sp550 iso400 and up are simply not acceptable. (iso400 is only ok if i am desperate) i am still trying to justfy the costs that comes with a dslr camera, lenses and tons of stuff. taking photos sure is fun. but i am starting to feel like even a prosumer camera isn't really cutting it anymore.
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Old Jul 3, 2008, 1:43 PM   #5
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w-n-w-

To get image quality at higher ISO setting is the primary reason why most folks opt for a DSLR camera. The image quality of the DSLR's is made posssible by the fact that the imager size and pixel density is much greater on a DSLR camera than on any digicam.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 3, 2008, 2:23 PM   #6
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If your budget is really tight, the Olympus E-510 can use the samexD cards your SP-550UZ uses. Anything else on your list would require different flash media.

The Olympus E-510 with the 14-42 lensis $550 at Adorama, which makes it the most expensive choice. The kitlens covers the wide end of your goal, it's smaller and lighter than the others, and for equivalent angles of view, it's lenses are smaller and lighter as well.But its lenses are pricey, and whileits high ISO performance is better than your SP-550UZ, it's not as good as the others in your list. It has sensor shiftmage stabilization.

The next most expensive is the Canon XT with a 18-55 at $530. It has good high ISO performance and the broadest selection of lenses and accessories, and a pretty good selection on the used market. It uses optical image stabilization, but it's not in the kit lens, and OEM lenses that have it are bigger, heavier and more expensive, and third party stabilized lenses are few and far between.

Next is the Sony A200 with the 18-70 at $500. It's lens selection isn't as good as the for the Canon, and they can be expensive, but the selection is better than the rest, and it has the best selection of used lenses and accessories. It also has sensor shiftmage stabilization.

Thenthe Nikon D40 with the 18-55 comes in at $480. It's only a 6MP camera, the lowest resolution in this group, and because it doesn't have an internal autofouc motor, it's selection of lenses, new or used, is not as good as the others except Olympus. It also uses optical image stabilization, but it's not in the kit lens, and OEM lenses that have it are bigger, heavier and more expensive, and third party stabilized lenses are few and far between.

Lastly, there's the Canon XT body only for $395, which would give you $155 for lenses. $155 for lenses isn't a lot, even used, but you could get 1 or 2 lenses that might serve you for a while.
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Old Jul 3, 2008, 8:20 PM   #7
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all these cameras i've listed (except canon xt) will cost me 499.99. i also can use my memory stick pro duo from my psp on the a200 with the cf adapter but i don't think oly e-510 supports xd cars probably due to its slow read/write speeds.
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Old Jul 3, 2008, 9:08 PM   #8
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Unfortunately the dynamic range of both the Oly E-510/520 and the E-410/420 is measurably limited. I bought an E-410 so I have hands on experience with its rather limited dynamic range.

I sincerely believe that the Sony A-200 with its DRO feature offers much better features.

Sarah Joyce


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Old Jul 3, 2008, 9:19 PM   #9
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whisky_n_whisky wrote:
Quote:
... but i don't think oly e-510 supports xd cars probably due to its slow read/write speeds.
From the E-510's Features and Benefits page on the Olympus America website:

"The E-510 provides the flexibility of two memory slots that hold Compact Flash Type I and Type II, Microdrive and xD picture cards."

See http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_se...=1295&fl=2
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Old Jul 3, 2008, 9:25 PM   #10
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Just an FYI - you can get $100 credit from SonyStyle (chase actually) if you apply for and get the sony credit card - also if you are around the Sony tour you can get up to another $100 off the 2 lens kit (a200 included)
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