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Old Apr 19, 2010, 1:06 PM   #21
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aps-c isn't going anywhere. i am not sure where or why that rumor gets started.

it is THE new standard format, full-frame is now a niche pro format.

ppl want smaller/lighter/longer/cheaper, which will always leave room for the aps-c
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 4:48 PM   #22
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For those that care about the current saga of SirWired and his camera (and I know you are getting sick of it by now)... I have a current options list. Each option has one or two options for the short that are a step or two better than the kit zoom, plus a kit telephoto. This seems like a reasonable couple of starter lenses for all-purpose use, doesn't it?

One thing that surprised me was that the price difference IS vs. "normal" version of the Sigma zoom on the short list for all the systems (except Oly) was only $80.

(And no, Pentax isn't on the list... the only body I can afford is the K-x, and the lack of focus-point indication in the VF would drive me nuts. Maybe some future theoretical K-x2 would work, but not the K-x as-is.)

Prices are B&H and/or Amazon.

Camera options, pros/cons
Oly:
e620 $455
Oly 14-54 2.8-3.5 $480
Oly 40-150 4-5.6 $130
------
$1065 OR Upgrade to the two-lens e620 kit for $25, and unload the short kit zoom for a few bucks on eBay? No "2nd step up" lens as for the other systems, because the increased crop factor of 4/3 makes the Sigma 18-50 2.8 too long to act as my shortest lens, and the 14-35 2.0 is waaay out of my price range.

Sony:
a500: $650
Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 $370 OR Tamron 17-50 2.8 $460 (Sigma makes an 18-50 for a little less cost, but most reports list the Tamron as having superior build and quality control.)
Tamron 55-200 4-5.6 $165 (This is the base for the Sony lens, for a few less bucks.)
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$1165 OR $1275

Nikon:
D5000 w/ 55-200 VR: $685
Sigma 17-70 OS 2.8-4 $450 OR 17-50 OS 2.8: $670 (no reviews yet on the 17-50 OS 2.8 anywhere for any system)
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$1135 OR $1355

Canon:
T1i: $670
Canon 55-200 4-5.6 VR $250
Sigma 17-70 2.8-4 OS $450 OR 17-50 OS 2.8: $670
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$1370 OR $1590 (ouch!)

Right now, I'm leaning towards one of the a500 options, pending an in-person test of the ergonomics. It's not that much more than the Olympus option, and I have a much wider selection of available lenses both now, and in the future. (Why aren't there more available 4/3 lenses? Is converting the optics for a 3rd party lens from an APS-C to a 4/3 lens really that much work?) The Canon/Nikon options are more expensive, and I have to re-buy IS/OS/VC/VR in every lens I get where I want it, if it's even available. (Not to mention the fact most Nikon lenses don't actually work on the consumer bodies, although I admit pretty much every new lens out there does.)

You might be wondering why I don't just go with a double-lens kit, and then expand as necessary. It's a good question... basically, I don't want to be buying a kit lens and then having to dump it at a loss when I'm ready to upgrade not that long from now. I'm going to Italy in the fall, and I don't think a 4-5.6 is going to cut it with indoor available-light pictures. I'd rather spend the money on a decent lens now, rather than supplement my initial purchase with a flash to make up for the slower lens. If I add a decent flash to a double-lens kit, it doesn't come out that much cheaper than my "kit."

I can work the price down slightly on some (but not all) of the gear by going through Adorama/eBay and getting Bing Cash back.

I really wish the Sony body was cheaper... if it was $100-$200 less (and the ergonomics are okay for me), it wouldn't even be a contest. It's a shame they made such a hash of the lower-end bodies during the last update.

If you are happy with the kit lenses, both the e620 and D5000 are currently quite a bargain, but once you venture out of the kit lenses, things seem to get a bit hairy.

Thanks for all your advice... this is a much "friendlier" forum than some of the others out there.

SirWired

Last edited by sirwired; Apr 19, 2010 at 4:51 PM.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 5:22 PM   #23
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Don't sell the pentax k-x short it is an excellent camera also

18-55 and 55-300 for 700 dollars it is and excellent value also
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 5:49 PM   #24
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SLRGear.com and Photozone.de both tested the Tamron 17-50/2.8 VC. Unfortunately, the stabilized version isn't nearly as good as the unstabilized version.

SLRGear.com also tested the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.0 OS and it's also not as good as the unstabilized version.

If you want a stabilized, fast, standard zoom, for less than $1000, putting the image stabilization in the body is a better choice.

There is the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM, if you don't mind the f/4.5 part. Its as good or better than most kit lenses, it's stabilized, and it's faster.

If that's out, then your choice is narrowed to the Sony. That is if you really don't like not having the focus confirmation LEDs. I use continuous AF, both with my Nikon D90 and with the KM5D I had before it. With continuous AF, those LEDs never lit up anyway.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 6:19 PM   #25
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For the Tamron 17-50, I wasn't looking at the VC version, as the only camera I was going to slot it on is the Sony, which of course does it in-body. (I admit I missed on the fact it existed, which why I didn't list it for Canon/Nikon.)

Thanks for the info on the Sigma 17-70... don't know how I missed that.

SirWired

Last edited by sirwired; Apr 19, 2010 at 6:27 PM.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 7:02 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirwired View Post
For the Tamron 17-50, I wasn't looking at the VC version, as the only camera I was going to slot it on is the Sony, which of course does it in-body. (I admit I missed on the fact it existed, which why I didn't list it for Canon/Nikon.)
You listed a "17-50 OS 2.8" for both the Canon ans Nikon. Since Sigma doesn't have a 17-50mm f/2.8, I presumed that the "OS" was a typo. The real typo, then, was the "17-". You were talking about the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 OS, and, no, no one has tested it yet.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 7:30 PM   #27
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Quote:
You might be wondering why I don't just go with a double-lens kit, and then expand as necessary. It's a good question... basically, I don't want to be buying a kit lens and then having to dump it at a loss when I'm ready to upgrade not that long from now. I'm going to Italy in the fall, and I don't think a 4-5.6 is going to cut it with indoor available-light pictures. I'd rather spend the money on a decent lens now, rather than supplement my initial purchase with a flash to make up for the slower lens. If I add a decent flash to a double-lens kit, it doesn't come out that much cheaper than my "kit."
I would argue that most (if not all) of the current kit lenses available are excellent values, especially when purchased with the camera. The biggest issue you'll find is build quality. I know nikon's current 18-55vr and 55-200 vr are very good performers, and optically pretty good. Even the higher end versions of these focal lengths struggle optically at the extreme ends of the focal length. They are also extremely light weight (due to the plastic build). When I want to go light, I often use the 18-55 with the D5k. I do own the sigma 18-50 and 50-150 f2.8 and use them when i can't use flash.

I would also argue that flash gives you more flexibility (except when you can't use it), and I often use it even in bright sunlight to brighten shadows. I'd recommend getting the kit lenses and a flash, and only upgrading when you figure out where the kit lenses are holding you back. Then you can always have the kit lenses for backup or eventually to use on another body. There are also times when the only way you can get the shot is with a flash.

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Old Apr 19, 2010, 7:45 PM   #28
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You mentioned some interest in the E-620 Olympus dslr with the 2 kit lenses.
FWIW, Adorama is currently listing an E-600 w/2kit lens @490.00. It is a factory remanufactured unit that come with a 90day manufacturers warranty.

There are really only two differences between the E-600 and the E-620. The E-600 lacks 3 art filter modes and also lacks backlit buttons. Other than that the cameras are identical.

If you decided to add a 14-54mm mkII lens to that, your outlay would be around 980. However, used 14-54mm lenses are fairly readily available for around 325bucks. You should be able to get the complete system (as per your list) for under 825.00.

No doubt, if you checked E-Bay or any of the online retailers, they would also have available refurbed systems from Nikon , Sony or Canon.

I'm not sure that they would get as attractively priced as the E-600.

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Old Apr 19, 2010, 10:18 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
You listed a "17-50 OS 2.8" for both the Canon ans Nikon. Since Sigma doesn't have a 17-50mm f/2.8, I presumed that the "OS" was a typo. The real typo, then, was the "17-". You were talking about the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 OS, and, no, no one has tested it yet.
There is a Sigma 17-50 2.8 OS: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...-50+os&x=0&y=0 but it's too new for anybody to know anything about it.

The Sigma 18-50 2.8 does not come in an OS version. (Nor does the Sigma 17-50 2.8 come in a non-OS version.) Why the slightly different focal lengths for the two lenses with the same aperture? That's a very good question.

To pile things on even further, the 18-50 2.8-4.5 is stabilized, while the 18-50 3.5-5.6 is not. And that doesn't count the two different 17-70's; the stabilized version of which is a third-stop faster on the long end.

Confused yet?

SirWired
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 1:57 AM   #30
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About that other topic... I recall a discussion about how sensors are getting cheaper and that full-frame will become much more affordable in the future, edging out the APS-C format. The comments made sense to me at the time, but I'm rather glad to hear that this notion is not the consensus.
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