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Old Feb 23, 2009, 9:02 PM   #1
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Hey guys, I finally made up my mind about getting an entry level DSLR. I was at bestbuy today getting a feel of the Oly E520 because most reviews I read agrees that this is a great camera and value for entry lvl, all I can really think of is that I porbably do alot of casual shooting indoors and vacation outdoor shots, A nice sales man was talking to me about this new bundle with D60 they have this week,

it's $649.99 for D60 w/18-55mm & Nikon zoom 55-200mm f/4-5.6G If-ED AF-S DX VR,

originally I was gonna get Oly E520 w/ 14-42mm & 40-150mm for 649.99 @ B&H photo or 599.99 @ amazon.com

The salesmen saids he doesnt know much about Oly DSLR to comment but he uses D40 himself for years and doesnt see much need to upgrade, and also he mention with the nikon 55-200mm is pretty much good enough for most of my needs for shooting outdoor and indoor. I just need you guys opinion to see if i should take this deal with the nikon or oly, or even wait for better deals? I'm not in a hurry though. Thanks!


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Old Feb 23, 2009, 9:32 PM   #2
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The Olympus E520 has sensor shift image stabilization that the Nikon D60 doesn't have, and it's smaller and lighter. But the D60 has a larger image sensor so it will give you shallower depths of field than the E520, and it does better in low light.

Another choice might be the Sony A200 with the kit lens and the Tamron 70-300 Di LD for the same $650. It's bigger and heavier, but it has image stabilization like the E520, a larger sensor like the D60, does better in low light than the E520, and it has a better autofocus system than either of them, and a better selection of lenses than either of them.
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Old Feb 24, 2009, 2:07 AM   #3
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Hi Tcav, thanks for the info. After reading a bit between the A200, D60 & E520, I found that they rated pretty close to each other as far as noise and picture quality, though 1 review saids the E520 might produce a bit more natural color compared to the other 2, what does seem interesting was the deal you mention with the A200 and Tamron 70-300 Di LD bundle for $650, I can't seem to find any links for it, could you likely point me to the store site? Thanks.
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Old Feb 24, 2009, 4:41 AM   #4
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Really, either of the three camera's will do a good job. Purely on IQ, the D60 probably has a slight edge over the E520, especially at higher iso's. Neither has a great AF system. The oly is stabilized with any lens you put on it, but the 55-200 has VR for the D60, and you likely won't miss stabilization with the 18-55.

Since the cameras are so alike, how they handle is probably the most important aspect. Make sure you hold each camera, and get a feel for the controls. Whichever feels the most comfortable should be your choice.
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Old Feb 24, 2009, 5:59 AM   #5
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dimsumboy wrote:
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... what does seem interesting was the deal you mention with the A200 and Tamron 70-300 Di LD bundle for $650, I can't seem to find any links for it, could you likely point me to the store site?
That's a DIY bundle.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Digital SLR Camera Body with Sony 18-70mm Zoom Lens, 10.2 Megapixels, 2.7" LCD Screen

and

Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di 1:2 Auto Focus Macro Zoom Lens with Hood for the Maxxum & Sony Alpha Mount, 6 Year USA Warranty

and I misspoke. The total is actually $660.

And the Tamron 70-300 is longer than the telephoto zooms from Nikon and Olympus, and where their ranges overlap, the Tamron is a match for the Nikkor, and while the Zuiko is sharper, it also has more chromatic aberration, vignetting and distortion.
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Old Feb 24, 2009, 2:44 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info guys and thanks for the link Tcav, I'm gonna go again today after work to play with those models again and see if I can pick a favorite. It's so hard to decide because often I read and saw more advanced photographer mentioned " when you buy a dslr, you're buying into a system" which got me so hesitant, cameras with IS build in has cheaper lenses, and cameras with out IS build in has more expensive lenses, Sony does seem to be a great choice to start with since the history behinds it and capable of using large selection of lenses old & new, but sony is new to DSLR so are they as reliable as nikon and canon? do i have to worry about certain production patch being defective? and is extended warranty needed if available through retail or any other company? Thanks!
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Old Feb 24, 2009, 3:56 PM   #7
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When you buy a dSLR, you are buying intoa system. What you're doing is not to be taken lightly. This stuff can get expensive, and mistakes are costly. At this level, there are lots of choices, and those choices have consequences later on.

In your first post, you said you were interested in shallow depth of field and low light. Those two, all by themselves, rule out P&S digicams, and should nudge you away from the Olympus dSLRs, andtoward dSLRs with larger image sensors. Size and weight also seem to be a consideration, but what you want doesn't come in small packages.

There are entry level dSLRs from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony that will meet your requirements and will come in under your apparent budget, so you need to narrow down your choices by filtering with some of the things you want and don't want.

Canon and Nikon both have large selections of lenses and accessories, both from the OEMs and from third parties. But because of a particular limitation of the D60, that selection is lessened, particularly with regard to stabilized lenses with large apertures, and it's autofocus system isn't very good. Canon has the XS for ~$530 with a stabilized kit lens and 'Live View', which is an attractive package, andNikon has the D60 for ~$550 with a stabilized kit lens. But they both put image stabilization in the lens which makes additional lenses bigger, heavier and more expensive.

Pentax, Sony and most Olympus dSLRs have stabilization in the camera body, which makes the body bigger andheavier (except for Olympus, by virtue of its smaller image sensor) but it also makes 20+ year old lenses stabilized (except for Olympus, by virtue of its smaller lens mount.) The Pentax K2000 is a nice deal right now; it's small, and for ~$575 you get the kit lens and a flash too. The Pentax K200Dcosts $600 with the kit lens. The Sony A200 with the kit lens goes for $500, and for $600 you can get the A300 which adds 'Live View'. The Olympus E420 (which isn't stabilized) with the kit lens and 'Live View'is $430, while the E520 (which is stabilized) with the kit lens and 'Live View'is $550. Adding the second telephoto kit lens to either Olympus dSLR adds ~$100 to the price.

What arethe differences among the Olympus, Pentax, and Sony dLSRs? Olympus uses a smaller image sensor, so you won't get the depth of field as shallow as with the others, it doesn't do as well in low light, and it's got a slower autofocus system. Sony's autofocus system is probably better than Pentax' for sports/action/wildlife, but from what you say, that's probably not much of a consideration. Sony has a better selection of telephoto zoom lenses, but Pentax has a better selection of fast primes.

The Tamron 70-300 Di LD that I mentioned in an earlier post is a good, inexpensivetelephoto zoom lens, and isavailable for Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony (though it won't be stabilized on the Canon and Nikon) for $160 ($180 for the one that will autofocus on the Nikon D60.)

None of these are bad choices, but only by trying them out will you be able to tell which is the best choice for you.

Good luck with that.
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Old Feb 24, 2009, 6:46 PM   #8
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Thank you for pointing out that the A200 doesnt have liveview, my dad will be using this the new DSLR and I'm sure he really need the liveview for some easy snaps, so the A300 will be good choice. where would you recommend for buying DSLR online that can be trusted, prefferablely paypal sites. Thanks!
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Old Feb 24, 2009, 7:22 PM   #9
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Sony fixes the prices for its products. Anywhere that rates well at http://www.resellerratings.com isa good choice, including http://www.adorama.com/, http://www.bhphotovideo.com/, and, of course, http://www.sonystyle.com/(but, unfortunately, SonyStyle won't carry the Tamron lens.

I still strongly recommend that you try them out before you buy anything.
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Old Feb 24, 2009, 9:47 PM   #10
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dimsumboy wrote:
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my dad will be using this the new DSLR and I'm sure he really need the liveview for some easy snaps
I'm curious about this statement. I've used live view on a dSLR a couple of times and have found it's not particularly useful for easy snaps, for a couple of reasons. First, a dSLR is significantly heavier than a point and shoot camera. Add batteries, card and a lens and it can easily reach 2 pounds. Try holding 2 cans of beans out at arm's length (where you hold a camera to see an LCD), then try fiddling with it as though you were operating a zoom and pushing a shutter. Do that for 5 or 10 minutes and then tell me how often your father would want to use live view for "quick snaps".

Second, I found the LCD hard to see outdoors. The one time I tried to use the LCD while off-roading, I rested the camera on the side mirror and could barely see the image, only enough to frame the shot, not to judge focus. It works best when the camera is indoors and on a tripod (or resting on something).

So I'm curious about what you expect from live view, and hope you don't have some unrealistic expectations.
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