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Old Mar 17, 2009, 8:06 PM   #1
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looking to upgrade my gear to a more serious approach for 2009....

i have little to no experience with the dSLR market. I have used a few friends' cameras recently to try and help me make my decision....

i am curently looking into 3 cameras...

Nikon D300

Canon 50D

Olympus E-30

i like them all....in one way or another...

and, i dont know where to go from there....i have a local 'camera' shop that sells them all and they are pushing the oly e30 on me. i like its weight, like the built in stabilizer in teh body as opposed to the individual lens of the canon...



the lenses i looked at for the olympus 'felt' heavier, as if they ad a better quality glass in them than a standard canon lens....

can anyone elsborate on this?

is there one that i shoudl get (ie, canon) because it has more online and aftermarket support?

the olympus seems good because the lenses are a little cheaper too...is this because there is no built in stabilizer like in the canoncameras?

don't know anyone with a nikon that is close, but they are nice and get a lot of support...

my medium will range from rock crawling and track racing motorsport races to food (i am a chef) to the wife and dog....

i appreciate any and all comments i receive...i understand that this question gets asked a lot...and i am sorry....

thanks!







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Old Mar 18, 2009, 8:06 AM   #2
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In order to answer you question as to what would be a good camera in your particular situation, folks are going to need a bit more information.

On your rock crawling, will you be up on the rocks with the camera? If so then maybe a point and shoot would be more workable while your hanging on. Or, if you are down on the ground taking pictures of folks up on the rocks, how far away are they, what weather and lighting conditions (would they be in deep shadows most of the time), etc. Do you want to get pictures of the overall area with them as flys on the rocks, or do you want a close up as they maneuver from one hand hold to another? If this is the case, then a telephoto lens, or superzoom camera may be approperiate.

Then on the track racing motorsport races interest, this brings up another whole area that is somewhat specialized - sport shooting. The reason why this is specialized is that stuff that your shooting - is moving very fast, so the camera need to auto focus very quickly from shot to shot and if your doing this in the evening or night, lighting conditions really matter. JohnG the resident sport shooting expert is the person to answer. This question would probably form the basis for the camera since it would be the most demanding application. This interest also appears to call for some level of telephoto lens, depending on where (or how close) to the track you are, and the type of shots you are interested in.

Ah, food - Food is usually not that small, so it would not be macro photography necessarly, but you would still need to be relatively close. With you being a chef, do you want a camera that is really easy to use and small, so that you can pull it out of a pocket and take a picture of a plate going out to the table? Or do you have some time to set up the shot with lighting, etc.? My son is in culinary school and does extremely well with my old Canon SD500 a point and shoot.

These are the three main areas that appear to define what you may need or want. There is also the question that maybe two cameras may be better - a small pocketable point and shoot - something that is really portable, when your up on the rocks and then in the kitchen. Then for taking pictures of folks up on the rocks and for the track racing along with the serious food pictures, maybe a dSLR with a couple of lenses. The easy part is your wife, family and dog pictures.

Another question - since you have been looking at cameras is what feels best in your hands, and appeals to you? A larger body camera (big hands), or a smaller lighter camera (smaller hands). A camera that you like to use, will get more use than one that you hate to use.

Which brings out the last question - what is your budget and how much do you want to spend?
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 8:46 AM   #3
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ok, i think that you mistook me on the rock crawling thing. i am talking in Jeeps and custom built vehicles, motorsports, not rock climbing by hand a foot....it's ok...thanks for the input...

i hate point and shoot and am ready to move on. i have had some good results with them, but not what i would like to see. the overall quality is not there....

a dSLR is definitelywhat i am looking into...

i like both the canon and the oly i have looked at. i like the weight of the oly e-30 a little better, but if there is more end user support and options for say a canon or a nikon, then so be it. i would go that route...

i understand that i will probably need a good zoom lens for the track and will be expanding on that once i make my decision on a camera.



basically want to know if something like a D40/50 canon or a d300 mikon will do me any better...they are all about the same $ with the D40 being a little cheaper since the release of the D50...



thanks!




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Old Mar 18, 2009, 9:54 AM   #4
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Oly definitely has a size/weight advantage.

Oly also has some fabulous bargain lenses - quality optics for the price at the consumer grade level.

They have good top quality optics as well but there's no 'bargain price' there - you pay as much for the top quality Oly lenses as you do for the counterparts.

Now, where Oly falls behind Nikon and Canon is in the autofocus department - particularly in focus TRACKING (VERY, VERY different concept than single shot focus locking). The oly system (and I say system because focus performance is as much about the lens as it is about the body) isn't on the same level as Canon/Nikon. Where that will come into play is your motorsport racing shots.

Canon / Nikon will also have better dynamic range and high ISO performance but from your stated shooting needs I don't think that will affect you much.

So, if motorsports is going to be a big part of your shooting I would suggest you search various forums (here, dpreview, fred miranda, etc...) for any Oly users that shoot motorsports. Let me ASSURE you, sports shooting is very demanding of equipment. Taking the occasional photo of a running dog or kid in the back yard is not a good predictor of how gear will perform in the sports arena. So find examples of motorsports photos with Oly cameras. You can then judge for yourself if the results are 'good enough'. What that will also give you is some lens options too. Remember, the lens is a VERY important part of sports photography.

That would be my only hesitation about recommending Oly for you. The truth is I see very few sports shooters posting quality sports shots with Oly cameras. Doesn't mean they're not out there. But when I search Oly boards I'll see sports shooting discussed but rarely do i see shots. Conversely I've seen a ton of work from Canon and Nikon with great results. I've seen great results from Oly in other areas so have no doubts it will meet your other needs but as a sports photographer myself I know how demanding it is of fthe equipment - I've shot with bad equipment and good equipment and I have no doubts having better equipment is key to success. And predictive focus/focus tracking is NOT something you see in reviews.

Realize though, with the Canon & Nikon cameras you're considering you still aren't going to shoot motorsports with the kit lens.
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 2:19 PM   #5
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thanks for the words JohnG.

that is exactly what i was looking for. i had a feeling that the Oly line was not up to par with the canon/nikon lines...

i really like the D50, it is not too expensive and i consider it to be a good mid range dSLR....i am not wanting to go too cheap on the equipment, so i plan on starting off with something that is quality out of the box...

with that being said...

would anyone care to comment on the canon lenses having the stabilizer built in to them? is it better to have it in the camera? or in the lens?

thanks again!

Louis

JohnG wrote:
Quote:
Oly definitely has a size/weight advantage.

Oly also has some fabulous bargain lenses - quality optics for the price at the consumer grade level.

They have good top quality optics as well but there's no 'bargain price' there - you pay as much for the top quality Oly lenses as you do for the counterparts.

Now, where Oly falls behind Nikon and Canon is in the autofocus department - particularly in focus TRACKING (VERY, VERY different concept than single shot focus locking). The oly system (and I say system because focus performance is as much about the lens as it is about the body) isn't on the same level as Canon/Nikon. Where that will come into play is your motorsport racing shots.

Canon / Nikon will also have better dynamic range and high ISO performance but from your stated shooting needs I don't think that will affect you much.

So, if motorsports is going to be a big part of your shooting I would suggest you search various forums (here, dpreview, fred miranda, etc...) for any Oly users that shoot motorsports. Let me ASSURE you, sports shooting is very demanding of equipment. Taking the occasional photo of a running dog or kid in the back yard is not a good predictor of how gear will perform in the sports arena. So find examples of motorsports photos with Oly cameras. You can then judge for yourself if the results are 'good enough'. What that will also give you is some lens options too. Remember, the lens is a VERY important part of sports photography.

That would be my only hesitation about recommending Oly for you. The truth is I see very few sports shooters posting quality sports shots with Oly cameras. Doesn't mean they're not out there. But when I search Oly boards I'll see sports shooting discussed but rarely do i see shots. Conversely I've seen a ton of work from Canon and Nikon with great results. I've seen great results from Oly in other areas so have no doubts it will meet your other needs but as a sports photographer myself I know how demanding it is of fthe equipment - I've shot with bad equipment and good equipment and I have no doubts having better equipment is key to success. And predictive focus/focus tracking is NOT something you see in reviews.

Realize though, with the Canon & Nikon cameras you're considering you still aren't going to shoot motorsports with the kit lens.
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 3:17 PM   #6
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Of the 3 the Nikon is the best camera.

All are very good though.

I suggest you look at a combination of lenses and camera to decide what you should purchase.

As a rough guide, unless like me you shoot only a single prime lens, you should probably be looking to spend 2/3 of your outlay on lenses and 1/3 on the camera.

I would think that a nice top-grade 70-200mm lens would be high on your list as a nice choice for motorsport and sport in general. However as John has alluded to below "sport" is not one category of photography when it comes to equipment. The type of sport and the type of conditions make an enormous difference to what equipment is required.
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 7:00 PM   #7
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thanks again for the input...

i am going to keep looking at cameras.....and lenses and hopefully make my decision soon...


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Old Mar 20, 2009, 10:00 PM   #8
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I concur that Nikon or Canon is the way to go. I spent a month or more checking camera reviews on the net. But what I found to be more than helpful was having the equipment in my hands. See how the camera controls work for you. Check how the camera with a few lenses attached feel in your hands. Then make your decision.

I ended up buying the Nikon D300. It is just a terrific camera.
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