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Old Apr 7, 2009, 11:32 AM   #1
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I bought a Sony a200 about 3 weeks ago for a great price of 300 dollars but today I saw a deal for Olympus E-520 for 400 dollars which is a great deal for the camera. I do believe the Olympus comes with a better kit lens. I do like the a200 but the camera is little bit bulky for me and my friends keep on telling me about his Olympus E-420 how it is better than the a200. On the other hand, I been reading and doing researches on the Panasonic G1. G1 so far has been the most impressive out of the 3 cameras with it's functionality especially with it's rotating lcd screen and the size of the camera. If price is no object which camera out of the 3 would you choose and which one out of these 3 takes better picture overall. To my understanding the Olympus is poor in the low light condition due to the size of the sensor. The Sony does have ISO3200 which can come in handy in a pinch. Please help me pick. Thanks!
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Old Apr 7, 2009, 3:04 PM   #2
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You can be forever chasing "the better camera" and "the better lens". There is no such thing as a "perfect" (in an ultimate sense) camera - all cameras and lenses have compromises. Changing systems is expensive - you'll take a loss selling the A200 and if it's 3 weeks old, I'd be surprised if you can return it. And you'd still have to buy the new camera. The differences between image quality of the cameras is fairly small. I think the Oly's high ISO performance is a little noisier than the Sony - check out the various reviews on-line (like here at Steve's) and especially look at the sample photos. See if you notice any extra noise, and whether you'd find it objectionable or significantly different than what you have.

Personally, for me it would come down to how much I object to the weight and size of the Sony vs. the other two. And I'm absolutely sure I'd keep the Sony as I would not find the size difference significant enough to give up the ability to have a smaller depth of field and less expensive wider angles you get with the same focal length lenses (along with the ability to use cheaper, used KM lenses). But you may decide differently. If the Sony isn't comforable for you to use, better to take the finanical hit now and get something smaller.
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Old Apr 7, 2009, 3:35 PM   #3
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b00st4ddicted wrote:
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I bought a Sony a200 about 3 weeks ago for a great price of 300 dollars but today I saw a deal for Olympus E-520 for 400 dollars which is a great deal for the camera. I do believe the Olympus comes with a better kit lens.
$300, huh? Was that new? Is it a US model, or is it gray market (one not intended for sale in the U.S.)? Do you mind sharing the vendor name? The usual price for the Sony A200 kit is about $499 at authorized Sony dealers in the U.S.

Be careful buying cameras, as there are a lot of scammers out there with nice looking web sites and low advertised prices. Most are in the Brooklyn area (where they seem to be able to get away with it).

They'll usually charge outrageous prices for extras like memory cards, batteries, extended warranties, shipping and insurance (sometimes unauthorized) and more. That's the only way they can make money trying to sell cameras at the advertised prices.

The usual scam is to call you to confirm the order in order to upsell you so they can make more money. If you don't buy the extras, the camera will suddenly go to backorder status (even though the web sites still show it in stock). I'd always check any vendor you consider using the store ratings at http://www.reselleratings.com (they're better than most ratings sites about keeping out fake reviews, since vendors will often try to "pad" their own ratings that way).

The price I'm seeing from reputable vendors like http://www.bhphotovideo.com and http://www.buydig.com has the E-520 with a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens for about $549. $400 is too low for that kit. The body only is less (around $449). But, then you'd spend around $225 for the kit lens separately, and end up spending more than you would have buying the camera in a kit including the lens to begin with.

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I do like the a200 but the camera is little bit bulky for me and my friends keep on telling me about his Olympus E-420 how it is better than the a200.
If you really want to play the "mine is better than yours game" (versus looking at the results you're getting), tell him your A200 has larger viewfinder with a nice 9 point AF sensor assembly, along with built in stabilization for any lens you use on it, and you can use any Minolta Autofocus Lens ever made. ;-)

You'll find lots of Autofocus lens choices for it, both new and used. Minolta started making Autofocus lenses for this lens mount in 1985, beginning with the Maxxum 7000 and Maxxum 9000, and a lot of AF lenses have been produced by third party manufacturers for Maxxum/Dynax/Alpha mount over the years, too. You'll have far fewer choices in Autofocus lenses for the 4/3's system in comparison, especially on the used market (although you can use a lot of different manual focus lenses on an Olympus dSLR via adapters). There are pros and cons to both systems.

A good place to read user reviews of lenses posted by Konica Minolta and Sony dSLR owners is Dyxum.com. If you click on a given lens model, you'll see lens specifications, as well as links to user reviews and sample images when any have been posted there.

Fixed Focal Length Lenses (primes)

Macro Lenses

Zoom Lenses

If you like the A200 and don't like it's bulk, I'm not so sure how much better a model like the E-520 would be for you.

The E-520 is a larger and heavier than your friend's E-420 (of course, the E-420 doesn't have stabization built in). Lens choice will impact size and weight, and some of the Zuiko lenses are smaller and lighter. But, you'd have to take a given configuration on a case by case basis.

The G1 may be one to look at if you're looking for something different in a smaller and lighter package. Just make sure any model you buy has the lenses you may want to use later.

Any of the entry level dSLR models are capable of taking nice photos in most conditions. Your skill at using one is going to be the limiting factor in most cases, not the equipment you're using. If you find that one of the kit lenses is limiting you in some way, get a better lens. ;-)

Try them out in a store and see what feels better to you. Personally, I'd keep the Sony. But, I'm shooting with a Sony A700, so I'm probably a bit biased. ;-)

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Old Apr 7, 2009, 4:00 PM   #4
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I got my a200 at wal-mart when it was on clearance and I don't think they even sell it anymore. The e-520 was on sale today for 400 dollars on newegg.com, but it is sold out now. You brought up a very good point with lens selection for sony's. I think I have decided that I will keep the a200. Thank you very much for your comments. It really cleared things up for me.
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Old Apr 7, 2009, 4:06 PM   #5
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b00st4ddicted wrote:
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I got my a200 at wal-mart when it was on clearance and I don't think they even sell it anymore.
That was a great deal. I may have considered getting one for a spare body at that price. lol

Quote:
The e-520 was on sale today for 400 dollars on newegg.com, but it is sold out now.
That's a really good deal, and newegg.com is a reputable vendor (I buy all of my memory cards and computer related accessories from newegg.com). I see the listing there (sold out now). I'm wondering if someone may have made a pricing mistake (priced the E-520 kit with both camera and lens at a low body only price or something).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...lympus%20e-520

For example, I see another newegg.com listing for that kit at $499.99 ($100 higher). It's also sold out:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16830111214

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Old Apr 7, 2009, 4:20 PM   #6
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I am so convinced that I will stick with Sony, I am going to return the a200 and get a a350.
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Old Apr 7, 2009, 4:26 PM   #7
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A350, huh?

Try it out in a store to see if you're comfortable with it. The A350 is a different camera compared to your A200. It's got a smaller viewfinder (about the same size as the viewfinder in the entry level Olympus models), in order to make room for a separate Live View sensor in the viewfinder housing. It's got faster AF in Live view mode compared to competing models because of it's design though (still able to use it's dedicated 9 Point AF sensor at the same time it's supplying the Live View image to the LCD).

It's also got a different sensor compared to your A200 (14 Megapixels versus 10 Megapixels), which means more demand will be placed on the lens quality needed for best results. Noise is also a bit higher compared to the A200 or A300 (both 10MP models), and it will generate larger file sizes, making frame rates a bit slower. It's a higher resolution model, but that comes with tradeoffs.


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Old Apr 7, 2009, 5:06 PM   #8
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IOW, any choice is going to be a compromise in one area or another. There is no perfect camera for all shooting conditions. You'll need to decide what's more important to you in a camera (taking into consideration things like a camera's size/weight, image quality in different conditions, AF performance, lenses needed and much more).

But, most any of them are capable of taking great photos in most conditions, since the photographer's skill is the usually the most important part of the equation (and getting better photos takes practice, regardless of camera choice).

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