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Old Feb 14, 2009, 11:23 AM   #1
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I'm totally new to this fantastic site. I am considering the cameras stated above and would like some of your opinions about which to purchase. I hike quite a bit and would like a camera which I could use for backpacking pictures of landscapes as well as vacation pictures in the mountains of Colorado. I would like to be able to zoom in on wildlife and birds in these scenarios. I was looking at mainly superzoom cameras but the I can get the olympus with two lenses pretty cheap also. I am looking to get something in the $400 dollar range. Please help. Thanks.
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 11:41 AM   #2
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The first thing you need to make a decision about is whether you want a dSLR at all or not. Saying you can afford the E410 and two lenses is only half the story - a dSLR camera will "cost" more in weight, size, and time (having to change lenses etc.). It's a more versatile solution, but if your primary purpose is for hiking - you might not want to make the significant compromises that you do with one. I happily cart around a much heavier dSLR and about 4 or 5 different lenses when I day-hike, but that's a price I'm personally willing to pay for the increased image quality and versatility - not everyone is going to be willing to do that. I tried a Panny FZ30 and decided that I disliked the quality loss more than I disliked the idea of going back to SLR land (I had previously owned a film SLR camera). Many people will make the opposite choice.
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 11:47 AM   #3
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These are interesting choices. The two super zoom point and shoots would be more convenient, and I would tend to go with the SX10, since I prefer Canon. The FZ28 is also a very good PnS camera, which includes the ability to shoot in RAW, so you can have the option of "reshooting" your picture at home on your computer to your satisfaction.

The E410 with two kit lenses (?) is also an interesting choice, with more bulk to carry a second lens. However, going with a 4/3rds image sensor really improves issues the PnS cameras can't handle; image noise and dynamic range. The E410 does not offer Image Stabilization like the PnS cameras, but you can increase the ISO and therefore the shutter speed to compensate, like I did in the "old" days with a film SLR by using "faster" film. You can also carry a small tripod (for any of the cameras listed) to overcome image blurring due to low light or long lenses. I carry an Ultrapod II when hiking, which is helpful, but you may prefer a different type.

Your preferences will rule here, but in the long run, I think you would be happier with the better quality images from the E410. You will have to deal with dust getting on the image sensor, and other DSLR related issues not found in a PnS. For convenience and size, I would still prefer the SX10 for several reasons, but an articulating LCD is one of the major one's for me, as well as four AA batteries, especially if you were to use rechargeable eneloops. Regular AAs are available everywhere too.

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Old Feb 14, 2009, 11:52 AM   #4
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In addition to the comments made by mtngal, I'd like to mention that thePanasonic FX28 and the Canon SX10 both have image stabilization, while the Olympus E-410 does not.

Image stabilization reduces, if not eliminates motion blur due to camera shake. In order to get image stabilization with a dSLR, you'd need to step up to the Olympus E-520, or something bigger and heavier.
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