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Old Dec 5, 2008, 2:44 PM   #21
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Hi Finspot,

I generally don't get into the mix whenever I read this particular forum because there are a lot of people who have a great deal more knowledge of ALL types of cameras as opposed to just one or two. Also, I'm not a professional photographer, just someone who loves taking pictures. Especially of my grandkids, landscapes, flowers, macros, etc.

Having said that, I can't help but throw my .02cents into your request for information, largely due to most everyone dismissing the E series DSLR cameras by Olympus, out of hand. Quite frankly, based on your budget and your requirements, the Olympus E-520 would be worthy of consideration. Heres why:

Your budget: around 1200bucks

An E-520 equipped with a standard 14-42mm lens as well as a 70-300mm lens currently sells for 683.00. Add a 50mm f2.0 macro lens for400bucks and the tootall is 1083.00.

You mentioned you like to take macros and portraits. The 50mm f2.0 ZD macro lens by Olympus is one of the highest rated macro lenses currently available. It also is a great protrait lens. But don't take my word for it. Here's a review;

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/olympus_50_2_o20/

As for the E520, it features: in body image stabiization. that means every lens you use with the camera will be image stabilized. The E-520 also allows you to use older non-digital 35mm slr lenses MADE BY ANY LENS MANUFACTURER, (provided you use an adapter) and they too will be image stabillized.

Additionally, the camera has live-view so that you can set the camera up on a tripod and really fine tune focus for macro work.

it is easy to use, has a great user interface(IMHO), has an extensive feature set, and is built well.

a pretty extensive review can be found on this site:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2008_...mpus_e520.html

As for sport shooting, the 70-300mm lens is quite capable of taking pictures of your son playing soccer. Additionally, it's a great macro lens too. at 284.00 it's a relative bargain. if you want to get serious about shooting fast action situations, there is always the 50-200mm ZD f2.0 lens at 950dollars. But for shooting wildlife, birds etc. it's actually quite a good little performer.

The pixel peepers in the crowd will tell you that the olympus isdeficient-which is not true. Quite honestly at this price point, all of the cameras mentionedin this posthave good points as well as weak points including the E-520.

I think proof is in the pudding. Here are a few images taken with an E-500 and E510 DSLR:

Macro work







people pictures









finally, here is what my sons dog has to say to those that continually say Olympus lags far behind the competition;





Seriously, do take a look at what the e-520 camera has to offer. Read the reviews, go to a camera shop and test it out along with your other candidates. just don't dismiss it out of hand.



Iwish you good luck withwhat ever you decide on.

zig
















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Old Dec 5, 2008, 2:49 PM   #22
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To Peripatetic's point, I was still hoping for small and light. Is that an insane desire? I do a lot of bushwhacking on my foraging adventures, and imagine I'll carry the camera slung under one arm. Will a larger dSLR feel like a bag of bricks after a while? I keep hearing that you need to be comfortable with the camera or you won't use it...

And thanks for the detailed shout-out re: Olympus, Zig. We must have posted at the same time 'cause I missed your post the first time around. The shop I frequent doesn't have Olympus but I can check it out somewhere else.
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Old Dec 5, 2008, 2:50 PM   #23
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I definitely agree that the K20 is an awesome value, one of the best right now. I love mine. However, it's even heavier than the K200 so I don't think it's the bestcamera for Finspot. Sure, I hike with mine on a regular basis, but that's because I love the camera enough that I'll put up with all that extra weight. I suspect I'm in a very small minority when it comes to this.
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Old Dec 5, 2008, 3:00 PM   #24
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Pretty hard to beat this deal at the moment:

Olympus E-420 with the 14-42mm lens AND the 40-150 lens for
$509 at B&H:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

Your practically getting the camera for free at that price.




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Old Dec 5, 2008, 3:03 PM   #25
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Finny-

There is however, a compromise. Take a look at the Olympus E-420. The body is a bit smaller than pentax K-2000. That might meet your back packing requirements. And you could use the same lenses that Zig mentioned. The E-420 has received good reviews and is capable of using high ISO settings with ease.

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Old Dec 5, 2008, 3:03 PM   #26
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Finspot wrote:
Quote:
I was still hoping for small and light. Is that an insane desire? I do a lot of bushwhacking on my foraging adventures, and imagine I'll carry the camera slung under one arm. Will a larger dSLR feel like a bag of bricks after a while? I keep hearing that you need to be comfortable with the camera or you won't use it...

And thanks for the detailed shout-out re: Olympus, Zig. We must have posted at the same time 'cause I missed your post the first time around. The shop I frequent doesn't have Olympus but I can check it out somewhere else.
Your welcome.

As for size,I think one of the benefits of the 4/3 system is the small size of the lenses. I typically take my E-510 wherever I go. the camera usually has the 70-300mm lens mounted on it and I carry it in hand. I usuallly stick my 14-54mm lens in my pocket. That's all I have with me 90% of the time as I hate carting around a bag with me.

BTW, Oly makes a 35mm macro that's about 1/2 the size of the 50mm.
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Old Dec 5, 2008, 3:03 PM   #27
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Finspot wrote:
Quote:
I was still hoping for small and light. Is that an insane desire? I do a lot of bushwhacking on my foraging adventures, and imagine I'll carry the camera slung under one arm. Will a larger dSLR feel like a bag of bricks after a while? I keep hearing that you need to be comfortable with the camera or you won't use it...

And thanks for the detailed shout-out re: Olympus, Zig. We must have posted at the same time 'cause I missed your post the first time around. The shop I frequent doesn't have Olympus but I can check it out somewhere else.

Your welcome.

As for size,I think one of the benefits of the 4/3 system is the small size of the lenses. I typically take my E-510 wherever I go. the camera usually has the 70-300mm lens mounted on it and I carry it in hand. I usuallly stick my 14-54mm lens in my pocket. That's all I have with me 90% of the time as I hate carting around a bag with me.



BTW, Oly makes a 35mm macro that's about 1/2 the size of the 50mm.


sorry about the double post. Not sure how that happened.
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Old Dec 5, 2008, 4:21 PM   #28
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Ah well.

If you want small and light, then there is no contest - the new Panasonic G1.

Looks like a truly amazing camera. I am very likely to be in the micro 4/3 market sometime soon for a digital street camera when they release the 20mm f1.7. Olympus are also going to do something along those lines.

Check out some of the reviews of the G1.
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Old Dec 5, 2008, 4:45 PM   #29
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peripatetic-

Yes, there is a surprising number of us who are enthusiastically waiting to see what move Olympus will make on a Micro 4/3 entry camera. The Panasonic G-1 is a great entry, but it remains a bit overpriced for my taste.

More folks than you might think are ready for a smaller, more capable, and high quality camera. Perhaps the first quarter of the year will see decreased prices and more Micro 4/3 cameras. I am hoping.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 5, 2008, 5:03 PM   #30
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For small and light macrophotography without a tripod, the Olympus E-410/E-420 are out as they are not stabilized, and the Panasonic G1 is out because it has no macro capability. And the OP said "I might try to capture my kid kicking a soccer ball", and the autofocus system in the Olympus E-510/E-520 is not very good for shooting sports.

That, once again, narrows it down to Pentax and Sony:
  • Pentax K2000 - 10MP, 18-55mm kit lens,28.6 oz.,$700 including flash [/*]
  • Pentax K200D - 10MP, 18-55mm kit lens, 32.1 oz., $600 [/*]
  • Pentax K20D - 14MP, 'Live View', 18-55mm kit lens, 36.0 oz., $800 [/*]
  • Sony A200 -10MP, 18-70mm kit lens, 29.6 oz., $500 [/*]
  • Sony A300 - 10MP, 'Live View', 18-70mm kit lens, 31.1 oz., $550 [/*]
  • Sony A350 - 14MP, 'Live View', 18-70mm kit lens, 31.1 oz., $700[/*]
The Pentax K2000 is the lightest 10MP dSLR that matches your criteria,the Sony A200 is the least expensive10MP dSLR, and the Sony A350 is the lightest and least expensive14MP dSLR.
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