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Old Jun 21, 2009, 5:21 AM   #1
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Default 1st dSLR e-620 vs D5000 vs... A200

I'm trying to learn more about photography, and I've decided it's time to jump onto deep waters, leave the world of "auto set" in my compact and move to dSLRs (tho I'll still keep my small cam :P)

Now, I made a mistake, and read reviews in the net. Generally evey site contradicts with each other, so I know even less then before. At first I wanted just Alpha 200, as it was cheap and felt good. But, I realised it's not that good at high ISO, and as I'm doing lots of pictures inside badly lightened palces like churches or castles (that's one of the reasons I'm moving to dslr, as compacts have real problems shooting in such areas)

I've narrowed my choices now to 2 models - e-620 2 lenses kit or nikon d5000, also with 2 lenses kit.
After seeing the pictures from here : http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Ca...1i/noise.shtml
I've noticed that e-620 will have lots of problems with shooting in high iso/low light, so should I get the d5000 or just stick to my original plan and get Alpha 200?
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Old Jun 21, 2009, 5:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyPl View Post
I'm trying to learn more about photography, and I've decided it's time to jump onto deep waters, leave the world of "auto set" in my compact and move to dSLRs (tho I'll still keep my small cam :P)

Now, I made a mistake, and read reviews in the net. Generally evey site contradicts with each other, so I know even less then before. At first I wanted just Alpha 200, as it was cheap and felt good. But, I realised it's not that good at high ISO, and as I'm doing lots of pictures inside badly lightened palces like churches or castles (that's one of the reasons I'm moving to dslr, as compacts have real problems shooting in such areas)

I've narrowed my choices now to 2 models - e-620 2 lenses kit or nikon d5000, also with 2 lenses kit.
After seeing the pictures from here : http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Ca...1i/noise.shtml
I've noticed that e-620 will have lots of problems with shooting in high iso/low light, so should I get the d5000 or just stick to my original plan and get Alpha 200?
Don't believe everything you read, the cameras that beat the A200 on noise rely on overprocessing. The in body stabilizer is fantastic, millions of great Minolta lenses will work. I'm very happy with my A-200.
http://www.pbase.com/tsiya
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Old Jun 21, 2009, 6:37 AM   #3
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Hi Andy, in your post you said the A 200 felt good, so I would say go with the Sony A200 and put the extra money you save towards a better lense i.e faster lense to shoot indoors. Here is a link to a test on the A200 you might have not read, it's pretty impressive for the money. I think the A200 is the best bang for the buck and I shoot Nikon.

http://www.anandtech.com/digitalcame...spx?i=3434&p=7
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Old Jun 21, 2009, 7:52 AM   #4
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Available light shooting is tough. What's most important is the lens, and since the subjects you say you want to shoot don't move much, you can use a long shutter speed and a tripod.

Something like the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 should wortk well, and sells for ~$450. Note that it won't autofocus on the Nikon D5000. For the Olympus E-620, which has a smaller image sensor, something as wide and as fast will cost a lot more.
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Old Jun 21, 2009, 9:50 AM   #5
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Morning Andy,

First off - there is no perfect camera. Next lenses are more important than the camera body. Lenses get the light to the camera so that it can be recorded and have a longer useful life span, in that bodies tend to get replaced and superceeded quicker.

So first, the camera that appeals to you, feels good in your hand, has a layout that you understand, will actually get used. Cameras that get used actually take better pictures - as opposed to cameras that do not get used do not take any pictures. So this is important.

To amplify on what TCav posted, here are some thoughts. Aperture (f stops) control how much is in focus (in terms of depth within the image). P&S cameras use lenses that essentially put everything in focus - this is a very large difference as compared to dSLRs. The smaller the f number the shallower the depth of field. This is important because at f2.8 or whatever, the DOF is going to be somewhat thin, so you need to increase to f8 or f11 to get more things in focus - deeper DOF (from the foreground to the background) using a normal lens. Lower ISO (100-400) produce images with less of a grainer effect (or noise) or higher quality. So to get good inside pictures, with some depth of field, with little noise, you are going to need to take longer exposures, at lower ISO speeds, using larger apertures (larger f stops) than what you may think.

Here are some additional areas to consider...

Wide angle lenses - In order to capture the grandeur of interiors, especially in large spaces, wide angle lenses will certainly help, or at least the lower end of your general purpose zooms (around 18mm). Also wide angle lenses, tend to have larger depth of field, because of the physics involved, so that is a plus.

Image Stabilization - Image stabilization especially for hand held shot will certainly help here especially. In body stabilization will help especially with your lens selection, since all lenses mounted will be stabilized. Lens based stabilization is not usually available on wide angle lenses.

RAW format - tsyia hit the nail right on the head. Just about all the evaluations use JPG images as a basis of comparison. That involves a lot of in camera processing and thus produces large sets of differences between cameras (Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc.). You are probably want to use RAW format to capture all the image information, thus this negates all the in camera JPG processing. In terms of higher ISO, I would say it needs to be compared using RAW format as opposed to JPGs (just my opinion).

Toys - tripod or monopod, wired/wireless release - To do what you want to do, is going to take some additional toys. You are going to need a tripod (even a light weight travel tripod will do ~$50), and at least a remote release, so that you will not touch the camera in pressing the shutter (inducing additional vibration) about $10.

So where does that bring you - well the A200 has great image stabilization, a good selection of general and wide angle lenses, fast f2.8 lenses would certainly be nice (in a number of situations), but to get the depth of field you may want - an f4 lens (less costly, larger selection) may be just fine for you - at least to start, since you probably going to move out to f8 in order to get better DOF and most lenses have their optimum performance some where in the middle as opposed to their lowest f stop.

The A200 and D5000 use an APS sized sensor while the Oly E620 is an 4:3 sized sensor. The 4:3 size assists in the telephoto area with its 2x sensor crop factor, while the APS size helps in the wide angle area with its 1.5x crop factor.

Nikon lenses with stabilization (VR) essentially stop at 16mm (standard zoom) and none of their wide angle offer it. So the A200 with in body IS provides a plus on this point.

http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Ni...dard-Zoom.page

Sony, Zeiss and KM lenses also have a good selection...

http://www.sony.net/Products/dslr/lenses.html
http://www.sony.net/Products/dslr/lenses2.html
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...ategoryId=3770

So as Steve wrote, the A200 is half the price of the Nikon, and thus you can have more latitude in lenses. I also think that its better to start with a lower priced body than with a top of the line body, especially when you need to consider lenses. Also, for your needs - it appears that the Nikon lens line does not offer any additional benefits beyond what the Sony lens line offers. With the A200 you have access to both the Sony, Zeiss along with the Konica Minolta lenses.

So from my point of view, given that you like the feel of the Sony, I would go with it. I like shooting architecture and wide angle, do ambient available low light also. I use Pentax for the same reasons I listed here. I do not think that you can go wrong with your initial selection.

hope that helps....

Last edited by interested_observer; Jun 21, 2009 at 10:39 AM.
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Old Jun 21, 2009, 11:17 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. Now I really understand the problem, and it's much more clear then after reading reviews and seeing pictures of bottles and crayons in studio light (wonder why reviewers don't get, that real life pictures would actually help choose the camera :P)

THe thing that is clear to me is that I will not buy a kit - I'll get better with body and dedicated lens, which will be more usable to me then two or 1 from kit - taking that for my needs I'll have to buy good lens, kit will be throwing money.

That brings a question tho. Should I buy one lens, like Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC LD Asp (IF) Macro (Nikon) or Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR or rather get 18-55 and then 55-200?

And with a body, I might wait to see the new A230 (maybe will bring even better brices on A200). Though, after playing with different cameras today in shop (that's what MediaMarkt is good for - choose a product then find better deal in the internet :P) D5000 suits my hand even better and Canon/Olympus don't feel good for me
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Old Jun 21, 2009, 12:35 PM   #7
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I got back into photography about 6 years ago, and picked up a Pentax K100 (entry level) about 4 years ago, just upgrading to a K20 a couple of months ago. Overall, I would not say that the kit lenses are throwing your money away, since the "price" for the lens(es) are usually quite reasonable. Also, they are good for overall general photography, and provide you with something, until you determine what you really want to spend your money on. For instance is f2.8 that important to how you shoot, or is f4 just fine since you are going for a deeper depth of field and you prefer a lighter weight lens? It is those questions that you are unable to answer at this point in time.

Next zoom lens ranges. There is a rule of thumb of 4x for zoom lenses in general. Zoom lenses with wider ranges tend to suffer from trying to do too many things at one time, thus tend to do nothing really very well. However, that said, they server a great purpose as walk around lenses, where you do not spend all of your time lugging around a lot of lenses and switching them all the time. So everything is a trade off. The other thing is that for telephoto, you tend to be able to get away with larger ranges that work well, as opposed to wide angle, where by the ranges tend to get smaller. The better wide angle lenses (actually everything less than about 16mm) are in the 2x range (11-16, 10-20, 12-24mm). This is because of the optical design of the lens, where by you need to gather light from a wide angle and bend it into the sensor area, with as little distortion as possible. So edge sharpness becomes very important in wide angle. The Tokina 11-16/f2.8 lens (not stabilized) is a prime example. It supports the Canon and Nikon lens mounts, neither of which supports body stabilization. However, Pentax (and Tokina) has the 12-24/f4 which was co developed with Tokina (and served as the base for the Tokina 11-16) that is a suburb lens and mounts on Pentax's complete line of body stabilized camera line (K100, K200, K2000, K10, K20 and the new K7). And just a note, Hoya owns both Pentax and Tokina, and supplies much of the optical glass to the camera industry.

If your going to go the Nikon route, I personally would consider the 2 lens route, with the 18-55 (3x range) and the 50-200 (4x range), as opposed to the 18-200 (11x range), if image quality is important. There are folks that do rave about the 18-200.

The other item that I will toss out is your price range. It appears that $700 for a body and another $700 for a lens is not out of the question. If that is the case, then I might suggest that you look at Pentax. Their current top of the line K20 is being replaced by the K7, thus is essentially on sale at around $650 for the body, is image stabilized, and is a great camera body (excellent ISO from 100 to 800 and possibly 1600 given conditions). The lenses excellent, especially for wide angle photography. Pentax has also announced and will be shipping the K7 here in a couple of days (~$1,200 body only) that is suppose to be an exceptional camera (everything is spectular until users get their hands on it).

Also, the cameras you are looking at are all fine cameras, You really can not make a poor choice here. You are now down to splitting hairs, in terms of analyizing and making a selection. Your largest decision factor is frankly, image stabilization coupled with the egronomics. Specifically if you want IS to support wide angle photography within the 10m to 20mm focal lengths, along with how it feels in your hands. And no one but you can answer thoes questions.

hope that helps....
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Old Jun 21, 2009, 2:17 PM   #8
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Superzoom lenses like the Tamron 18-270 and the Nikon 18-200 have a lot of distortion at shorter focal lengths. Since you have a specific purpose in mind, I suggest you get a lens that is more appropriate for that purpose, than try to get by with a jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none lens. The kit lenses aren't very good in this area either, but will work better than the superzooms.

From your comments, it seems that you've limited your choices to teh Sony A200 (possibly the A230) and the Nikon D5000. You might want to consider the other entry level Sonys as well. The A300/A330 add a 'Live View' feature allowing you to compose a shot using the articulated LCD display (The Nikon D5000 has one as well, but it doesn't articulate.) The A350/A380 also have a higher resolution image sensor (14MP vs. 10MP.) The newer models use smaller SD Cards instead of the larger CF cards used in the older models, and have easier menues. All are basically the same size and shape as the lesser A200/A230 models with the exception of the articulating LCD display. 'Live View' might be better for what you want to do, especially with the articculating display the Sonys have.
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Old Jun 21, 2009, 3:00 PM   #9
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Thank you all for the excellent advice on lenses and camera. Right now, after playing all the cameras, hearing from you and so, I'm really tempted by the 2 lenses kit with D5000. Especailly after I saw the sample images of new Alphas.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/AA330/AA330A7.HTM

If you click on those with a house at iso 1600/3200 -
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PROD...330FAR1600.HTM
Even at 800 ISO (if I'm not mistaken) there are some problems, and that is in full sun, I'd be very afraid to use this in a place with bad light
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PROD...330FAR1600.HTM


I just don't like the noise of Alpha 330. Even "old" Canon 400/Nikon D60 don't have such noise at 1600 iso. Even the pictures from A200 were not that noisy. Then there is also slow shutter speed, only 2,4 fps, and the price is same as D500/K20d.

I guess I'll go with Nikon kit, then learn to use it, and when my abilities grow enough so I willl start see the limits of kit I'll move to more expensive glass But once again thank you for advice, and I'll be happy to share my pictures, provided you won't laugh

Last edited by AndyPl; Jun 21, 2009 at 3:47 PM.
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Old Jun 22, 2009, 9:27 AM   #10
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The Nikon D5000 does have a LCD screen that does articulate. In fact I think that it articulates in more planes than the Alphas do.

Dunno about your neck of the woods, but an E-620 with two kits lenses is nearly 400€ cheaper than the D5000 for the same focal length lenses.

Matt

Last edited by mattyb; Jun 22, 2009 at 9:36 AM.
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