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Old Nov 4, 2009, 2:24 PM   #1
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Default Help me decide between a Sony A330, Pentax K2000, Canon EOS 1000D, Olympus E520/E420

Hello all,

I am currently looking into purchase my first dslr, and I have been using this site to do a good amount of my research, but I wanted to get also get the opinion from some of you camera enthusiasts and/or experts. I reviewed all of Steve’s conclusions and my head is spinning from all of the information I read, so I was hoping that you all could offer me some assistance in deciding which camera is the best overall. I am looking for a well-rounded camera that will allow me to take great portraits, close ups, sports, night shots, landscaping, etc. I want the best shutter speed, so that I can avoid the blur that I currently get using normal cameras. I know asking for help choosing between 5 different cameras (Sony A330, Pentax K2000, Canon EOS 1000D, Olympus E520/E420) is not the easiest and is subjective, but whatever input you can give me will be greatly appreciated! Thank you all for your time!
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Old Nov 4, 2009, 2:43 PM   #2
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I want the best shutter speed, so that I can avoid the blur that I currently get using normal cameras. I know asking for help choosing between 5 different cameras (Sony A330, Pentax K2000, Canon EOS 1000D, Olympus E520/E420) is not the easiest and is subjective, but whatever input you can give me will be greatly appreciated! Thank you all for your time!
The shutter speed you can expect to achieve (and still have a properly exposed image) is dependent on the ISO speed you have set (which is how sensitive the film or sensor is to light), your Aperture setting (which is how wide the aperture iris in the lens opens up to let in more light as related to the focal length, with smaller f/stop numbers representing brighter apertures), and light levels.

The kit lenses with most dSLR models have a widest available aperture of around f/3.5 on their wide end, dropping off to a widest available aperture of f/5.6 when zoomed in much. The available ISO speeds on most entry level models is going to be around ISO 1600 (although some will have lower noise levels at higher ISO speeds compared to others, you'll be limited to ISO 1600 with most entry level cameras).

If you need faster shutter speeds in lower light, you'll want a brighter lens (wider available apertures, represented by smaller f/stop numbers), using a camera with higher usable ISO speeds (each time you double the ISO speed, you can use shutter speeds twice as fast for the same lighting and aperture). The cost of brighter lenses will vary a lot, depending on focal lengths, specific brands, and more.

Out of the cameras you mentioned, only the Sony A330 has an ISO speed higher than ISO 1600 available (the Sony can go as high as ISO 3200). But, you really don't want to use ISO 3200 on an entry level model like that, unless you really have to (as noise and/or loss of detail from noise reduction tends to be a bit on the unacceptable side at the highest available ISO speed settings, unless you're sticking with smaller print/viewing sizes). Even with ISO 3200, most kit lenses are not going to be bright enough if you want blur free shots in some conditons.

IOW, with an entry level dSLR model using a kit lens (since none of them are going to be very bright), your best bet would be to use a flash in low light if motion blur from subject movement is a consideration (making sure to stay within the rated flash range).

If you can't use a flash, are outside of the flash range (or are interested in something like indoor sports or night sports in a stadium), then you'll need a much brighter lens compared to the lenses that come in entry level dSLR kits.

I'd give members more information one what kind of sports you want to shoot for better responses. If you include your total budget for camera and lenses, that would probably help, too.
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Old Nov 4, 2009, 3:43 PM   #3
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Of the dSLRs you mentioned:
  • Sony A330:
    • Advantages: Good selection of lenses for what you want to shoot, including some of the best on the market; highest available ISO setting
    • Disadvantages: Good lenses are more expensive; smaller optical viewfinder, which you would use more for sports than you would the 'Live View'.
  • Pentax K2000:
    • Advantages: Small and light.
    • Disadvantages: Smaller selection of lenses for what you want to shoot;
  • Canon 1000D (aka XS):
    • Advantages: Best selection of OEM and third party lenses, including reasonably priced lenses;
    • Disadvantages: Not stabilized, and stabilized lenses are few and expensive
  • Olympus E520/E420:
    • Advantages: Smallest and lightest, camera bodies; for equivalent angles of view, smallest and lightest lenses too.
    • Disadvantages: Worst high ISO performance; worst AF performance; worst selection of OEM and third party lenses; E420 isn't stabilized.
For "portraits, close ups, ... night shots", I think stabilization should be on your short list (your shorter list?) For "... sports, ...", I think a good selection of lenses and a good AF system should be on your short list. Put those two together, and I think the Sony is the best choice.
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Old Nov 4, 2009, 4:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
The shutter speed you can expect to achieve (and still have a properly exposed image) is dependent on the ISO speed you have set (which is how sensitive the film or sensor is to light), your Aperture setting (which is how wide the aperture iris in the lens opens up to let in more light as related to the focal length, with smaller f/stop numbers representing brighter apertures), and light levels.

The kit lenses with most dSLR models have a widest available aperture of around f/3.5 on their wide end, dropping off to a widest available aperture of f/5.6 when zoomed in much. The available ISO speeds on most entry level models is going to be around ISO 1600 (although some will have lower noise levels at higher ISO speeds compared to others, you'll be limited to ISO 1600 with most entry level cameras).

If you need faster shutter speeds in lower light, you'll want a brighter lens (wider available apertures, represented by smaller f/stop numbers), using a camera with higher usable ISO speeds (each time you double the ISO speed, you can use shutter speeds twice as fast for the same lighting and aperture). The cost of brighter lenses will vary a lot, depending on focal lengths, specific brands, and more.

Out of the cameras you mentioned, only the Sony A330 has an ISO speed higher than ISO 1600 available (the Sony can go as high as ISO 3200). But, you really don't want to use ISO 3200 on an entry level model like that, unless you really have to (as noise and/or loss of detail from noise reduction tends to be a bit on the unacceptable side at the highest available ISO speed settings, unless you're sticking with smaller print/viewing sizes). Even with ISO 3200, most kit lenses are not going to be bright enough if you want blur free shots in some conditons.

IOW, with an entry level dSLR model using a kit lens (since none of them are going to be very bright), your best bet would be to use a flash in low light if motion blur from subject movement is a consideration (making sure to stay within the rated flash range).

If you can't use a flash, are outside of the flash range (or are interested in something like indoor sports or night sports in a stadium), then you'll need a much brighter lens compared to the lenses that come in entry level dSLR kits.

I'd give members more information one what kind of sports you want to shoot for better responses. If you include your total budget for camera and lenses, that would probably help, too.
JimC the Pentax K2000 (KM) has ISO good for 3200...the Pentax KX up to 12800.

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Old Nov 4, 2009, 4:06 PM   #5
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Hello all,

I am currently looking into purchase my first dslr, and I have been using this site to do a good amount of my research, but I wanted to get also get the opinion from some of you camera enthusiasts and/or experts. I reviewed all of Steve’s conclusions and my head is spinning from all of the information I read, so I was hoping that you all could offer me some assistance in deciding which camera is the best overall. I am looking for a well-rounded camera that will allow me to take great portraits, close ups, sports, night shots, landscaping, etc. I want the best shutter speed, so that I can avoid the blur that I currently get using normal cameras. I know asking for help choosing between 5 different cameras (Sony A330, Pentax K2000, Canon EOS 1000D, Olympus E520/E420) is not the easiest and is subjective, but whatever input you can give me will be greatly appreciated! Thank you all for your time!
The K2000 has ISO to 3200. It has specific settings for portrait, close ups, sports, night shots...etc...even one for night fireworks.

Another one you might want to consider is the newly introduced Pentax KX which has all that plus HD video and 12800 ISO.

All the cameras you mentioned are good. I would sugges you might go to a good camera store and try them all..see what feels best to you...take pix.. at the camera store...see which you prefer.
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Old Nov 4, 2009, 4:07 PM   #6
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if you really plan to do any sports shooting. plan to add quite a bit of money onto your estimated price. and this could impact the selection of brands you can choose from.

if sports is a distant afterthought than pretty much any of the better dslr's would serve you well.

i am a big proponent of finding the camera that feels best to you. get to your local dealer and spend a good 5-10 minutes with each camera thats within your budget. get a feel for how it sits in your hand. play with the controls and menus. see which one is most logical for you to easily switch ISO, etc. Toss it around your neck, or over your shoulder and see how the weight feels.
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Old Nov 4, 2009, 4:10 PM   #7
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My bad (I didn't look up the K2000). I was aware that the new K-x has higher available ISO speeds, but it's a bit higher priced compared to the other entry level models mentioned.

However, for a camera with that sensor, the new K-x appears to be a great buy (it's the lowest priced camera that I'm aware of using a Sony 12MP CMOS sensor, which tends to do a bit better at higher ISO speeds compared to models using the older Sony 10MP CCD sensor). From samples I've seen so far, noise is well controlled at higher ISO speeds with the new Pentax K-x, too. But, for sports use, I'd get more info from the OP, so that lenses and more could be taken into consideration.
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Old Nov 4, 2009, 4:22 PM   #8
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djcj-

Welcome to the Forum. Thanks for dropping by.

Certainly a good starting point is to learn the budget you have set aside for this DSLR purchase? And is that budget designated for the camera and kit lens, or for Camera, kit lens, and perhaps a faster lens that could be used at a wide aperture to increase your shutter speed. Beyond that there is also an external flash to be considered at well. Will that be factored into the original budget, or will it be purchased later.

Based on the type of photos you want to take some sort of IS seems to be a wise investment, just as TCav has noted. it is only my personal opinion, but I would delete the Olympus choices. The E-420 has no IS, and the E-520 has a substantially reduced Dynamic Range. If you want to include the E-620, that would be a major improvement.

The Canon 1000D is an excellent camera with a wide selection of lenses. Excepting the Olympus E-620 which is a step up, the Canon 1000D is the highest priced entry level DSLR camera.

Is your selection of the Sony A-330 based on a real need for "Live View?" If you were to go with the Sony A-230 DSLR camera, you could save some money and still get an excellent entry level DSLR camera with some of the highest ISO capability.

Keep in mind that your desire for: "...portraits, close-ups, and night shots..." might require some specialized lenses for close-up and portraits. Will those specialized lens lens be part of the original budget, or a later purchase.

Thanks for dropping by. With a bit more information we can get this rolling for you.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Nov 4, 2009, 8:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
The shutter speed you can expect to achieve (and still have a properly exposed image) is dependent on the ISO speed you have set (which is how sensitive the film or sensor is to light), your Aperture setting (which is how wide the aperture iris in the lens opens up to let in more light as related to the focal length, with smaller f/stop numbers representing brighter apertures), and light levels.

The kit lenses with most dSLR models have a widest available aperture of around f/3.5 on their wide end, dropping off to a widest available aperture of f/5.6 when zoomed in much. The available ISO speeds on most entry level models is going to be around ISO 1600 (although some will have lower noise levels at higher ISO speeds compared to others, you'll be limited to ISO 1600 with most entry level cameras).

If you need faster shutter speeds in lower light, you'll want a brighter lens (wider available apertures, represented by smaller f/stop numbers), using a camera with higher usable ISO speeds (each time you double the ISO speed, you can use shutter speeds twice as fast for the same lighting and aperture). The cost of brighter lenses will vary a lot, depending on focal lengths, specific brands, and more.

Out of the cameras you mentioned, only the Sony A330 has an ISO speed higher than ISO 1600 available (the Sony can go as high as ISO 3200). But, you really don't want to use ISO 3200 on an entry level model like that, unless you really have to (as noise and/or loss of detail from noise reduction tends to be a bit on the unacceptable side at the highest available ISO speed settings, unless you're sticking with smaller print/viewing sizes). Even with ISO 3200, most kit lenses are not going to be bright enough if you want blur free shots in some conditons.

IOW, with an entry level dSLR model using a kit lens (since none of them are going to be very bright), your best bet would be to use a flash in low light if motion blur from subject movement is a consideration (making sure to stay within the rated flash range).

If you can't use a flash, are outside of the flash range (or are interested in something like indoor sports or night sports in a stadium), then you'll need a much brighter lens compared to the lenses that come in entry level dSLR kits.

I'd give members more information one what kind of sports you want to shoot for better responses. If you include your total budget for camera and lenses, that would probably help, too.
Thank you all for your assistance! I really appreciate it. I am really new to this world, but I am extremely interested. Initially, I plan to purchase the camera and the kit that comes with it and then as I become more comfortable with the camera I will gradually purchase additional pieces such as lens and what not. All of the cameras that I listed, I have either found online or at a local shop for anywhere from $450-$550, so as for right now I don't want to spend more than that or maybe $600 (But the less expensive the better!!). As I get other lens I know my grand total will increase beyond that, but for right now I think that will do!

The sports I will be shooting most of the time will be: basketball, football, and possibly baseball and soccer.

But as you all can tell, I am not a professional/expert, so right now I really want to figure out which one camera will be the best out of the box. Also, I want to figure out which one will be the best as I decide to purchase additional lens and as I upgrade! I want whatever camera I buy to last me a good amount of time because I really do not want to purchase a new camera every 2-3 years!

Thank you all again for your time and welcoming comments.
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Old Nov 5, 2009, 4:25 AM   #10
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Ok. Basketball is a problem.

The other sports you mentioned are all held outdoors. Basketball is held indoors in poorly lit gymnasiums. That means, in order to get appropriate shutter speeds to capture the action without motion blur due to subject movement, you need large aperture, medium telephoto lenses (f/2.0 or larger). That narrows down your selection to Canon, Nikon and Sony, and Sony's large aperture, medium telephoto lenses are very expensive. They are very good, excellent in fact, but they are very expensive.

Also, if budget is a big issue, Nikon's entry level dSLRs don't have the autofocus motor in the camera body, so it won't autofocus Nikon's large aperture, medium telephoto lenses.

Since Sony and Pentax have higher ISO settings available, you might be able to get away with an f/2.8 lens (like a 70-200/2.8), which opens your options a little, but the Pentax AF system isn't as good as Sony's or Canon's.

So that narrows your selection down to Canon and Sony. Again.
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Last edited by TCav; Nov 5, 2009 at 4:29 AM.
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