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Old Jan 23, 2009, 4:19 PM   #1
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Well, hear I am about to make my final decision on which camera to purchase and asking for any help with my thoughts.

I find Sony to have the best ergonomics and feel and otherwise all points considered a fair match for the XSI. Except one point. The XSI is clean and free of noise at 400 ISO and up, a big point?

Canon XSI has clean pictures and modern menu, larger and best viewfinder, beautiful 3" lcd.
Olympus E520 has small lcd, menu antiquated looking, and old design retro look sorely in need of an update.

BUT, that dam Olympus keeps taking the best photos at lower ISO, is the just a peculiarity with my picture taking? It seems like the indoor shots generally sharper and have beautiful color and general all round look/feel to them.

Does Olympus have better metering, better lens in regards to the new xsi kit IS lenses?.... better sensor/processing electronics, or is my results just peculiar to my personal experience? Is there a formula to enhance the the XSI photos to approximate the Olympus results?

I want to buy the Canon but can't take a blind eye to the beautiful Olympus photos.
I take only natural light interior decor photos, and outdoor bird dog action shots.... what to do? Please help.

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Old Jan 23, 2009, 5:05 PM   #2
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Some random thoughts on your random thoughts.

The Sony A350 is a 14MP dSLR, the Canon XSi is 12MP and the Olympus is just 10MP.

Ergonomics plays a big part in how useful a camera will be to you.

The Olympus is generally accepted as having the least dynamic range of the three.

While the Sony kit lens is probably the least good, the Sony and the Canon have better selections of lenses, including large aperture lenses that you would use for available light photograpy.

The Olympus has the slowest autofocus system among the three, while the Canon has the best. That will be important for your action shots.

The Canon probably has the best High ISO performance of the three, and if you can't get large aperture lenses, that may be a significant factor. Plus Canon also has the best selection of large aperture lenses.
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Old Jan 25, 2009, 6:26 PM   #3
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Points well taken and I appreciate your response. I will be living with the kit lenses and must base my decision on that.
Here's 4 photos taken raw and converted in lightroom, a1 & a2 with one camera and z1 & z2 with another.
Any comments as to which show better IQ would be much appreciated.
Looking forward, Bugs
f8, iso 100.

http://ceovacations.110mb.com/images/a1.jpg

http://ceovacations.110mb.com/images/a2.jpg

http://ceovacations.110mb.com/images/z1.jpg

http://ceovacations.110mb.com/images/z2.jpg
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Old Jan 25, 2009, 6:45 PM   #4
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BUGSEY wrote:
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I want to buy the Canon but can't take a blind eye to the beautiful Olympus photos.
I take only natural light interior decor photos, and outdoor bird dog action shots.... what to do? Please help.
Hi and welcome to Steve's.

Don't let one shot sway you either direction. This is a well lit shot that any of the cameras could have captured. Look at the shadows these are created by low level lighting on 2 sides so there is a lot going on here.

AF and good high ISO are important which is where the Canon wins.

Personally I would go for the A300 over the A350 as the 350 has a smaller viewfinder than most dSLRs due to the Sony live view feature. For the sort of work you are wanting to do live view is not going to be a big help IMHO.

I would have the Canon at the top of my list, the Sony next and then the Oly.
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Old Jan 25, 2009, 8:50 PM   #5
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Mark1616 wrote:
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Personally I would go for the A300 over the A350 as the 350 has a smaller viewfinder than most dSLRs due to the Sony live view feature. ...
I think Mark was referring to the A200, not the A300. Both the A300 and the A350 suffer from the smaller optical viewfinder that is a result of having the 'Live View' image sensor within the pentamirror. The A200 is the A300 without the 'Live View'.
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Old Jan 25, 2009, 9:39 PM   #6
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The key advantage for the olympus is the price and the lens.

The price part is self explanatory.

While it is true that olympus has a smaller selection of lens, that is so because they have decided to start their lens system for dslrs from scratch, which means that most of their lens are very good or excellent. Of these three, for example, the olympus kit lens is certainly the best. Add to that the fact that olympus doesnt need IS on the lens because it has IS on the body and the difference in selection falls even further if IS is important for you(with relation to the canon, as sony also has in body IS). Just as an example, bhphoto has 39 olympus lenses for sale, and 227 canon. But of those 227, only 30 have IS.

Now, if you want several different lenses, or you have a need for specific types of primes and so on, yeah, that is a big advantage for canon and sony.

But if you are looking for the standard 2 or 3 lens kit, then it is not that big of an edge.

As a matter of fact, I think the 14-54 zd is the best all around lens for under 400 and the 12-60 is the best all around for its price bracket too (~700). The fact the lenses were designed specifically for the 4/3s sensor means that at this sort of range (zoom-wide) it is very difficult to beat zuiko lenses in terms of distortion and so on. The selections of f2.8 all arounds at that price range is very limited for other manufacturers, and even when they do have it, it is simply not as good.

At least those were the things that drove me to olympus. When I was looking at body only, the pentax was my favorite in terms of bang for the buck. But since I knew from the start that I wanted a camera and a 2 or 3 lens solution which could fit multiple purposes, the combination of excellent lenses + adequate body was better than anything the competition could offer for me at the amount I was willing to spend.


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Old Jan 25, 2009, 10:17 PM   #7
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dlpin wrote:
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... Of these three, for example, the olympus kit lens is certainly the best. ...
I don't necessarily agree with that. While the Olympus kit lens is better than Sony's, the Canon kit lens is quite good, better, in fact, than the Olympus kit lens. See SLRGear's reviews:

Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ED Zuiko Digital (Tested)

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (Tested)

Olympus certainly has a lot going for it, including some extraordinarly lenses (case in point: Zuiko Digital ED 35-100mm F2.0, the largest aperture medium telephoto zoom available), but most are very expensive, and the Olympus just can't compete in dynamic range or autofocus speed.
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Old Jan 25, 2009, 10:40 PM   #8
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All respected points well taken.
My concern is image quality.

The site link given gives the Olympic 9.00 vs Cannon 8.88 for image quality.

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...ct/1086/cat/15
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Old Jan 25, 2009, 11:26 PM   #9
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I never had any Canon DSLR so I can not say anything in favor or against it. I did have the Sony A300, the Oly E510 and now the E520. The Sony has w/o a doubt the best live view implementation of any DSLR at its price level while the Oly has one of the worst. The Oly E520 is a great improvement over the E510 in terms of DR. The Zuiko kit lenses are IMO better than any other kit lenses from any other brand. Actually, although the selection is some what limited, Zuiko lenses are some of the best one can get. During the time I had the A300, I bought some Minolta lenses and was very disappointed with their IQ. Granted I did not buy the $500+ lenses but still, I expected more from them. I paid only $100 for the Zuiko 40-150mm lens, which happens to very very very good. The Sony has a faster AF system than the Oly and also better DR. Both have very effective IS systems. So, if LV is an important feature, the Sony is the way to go (I'd buy the A300 over the A350 since the extra MP will cost you in terms of IQ). If not, then I'd go for the E520 2 lens kit. The cover an exceptional range for the price and IQ is excellent.
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Old Jan 26, 2009, 12:15 AM   #10
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BUGSEY wrote:
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The site link given gives the Olympic 9.00 vs Cannon 8.88 for image quality.
Those are the user reviews of those particular lenses compared to other lenses they have. The real test is the objective test results that are available further down the page. The Canon kit lens outperforms the Olympus in almost all respects.
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