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Old Jul 3, 2010, 12:53 AM   #1
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Default Olympus E-PL1, Nikon D5000, Canon T1i, or another...?

Hello:

I'm in the market for a new digital camera. I currently own a Canon G2.

I mostly take landscape photos and family events, very little action shots. I don't print a lot of photos, either, preferring to view them on my computer LCD display. I prefer very sharp images with crisply defined detail.

I'm looking for an entry-to-mid level DSLR or 4/3 camera that will provide the best image quality when displayed on screen.

I've done extensive research and the Olympus E-PL1, Nikon D5000 and Canon T1i are the front runners. Actually, of the 3, I prefer the images from the E-PL1 the best, very sharp and crisp, with good color. The only problem with the E-PL1 is its size and interface... it does not seem as easily to control the settings as with the Nikon or the Canon.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 2:31 AM   #2
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I'm very happy with my E-PL1, and also have an E-620 and Canon SX10 IS. Use to have a Canon EOS 20D DSLR.

I looked at the D5000, and it's like a D90 with a couple more "consumerized" user friendly features. Otherwise, an OK entry level SLR. I would not buy a Canon in the Rebel lineage however. I know of more than one person who has had problems with a Rebel over the years. They are very cheaply made compared to their other lines.

As for image quality, check the sample pics in Steve's reviews and you will see that the Olympus photos are punchier and sharper particularly at the edges. 4/3 quality used to be questionable, but not now. Olympus has been known for high quality lenses for a very long time, and design them now specifically for digital sensors. In fact, compare the E-PL1 sample pics to the high end Canons - the EOS 7d and 5d Mk2. You will be surprised what you find. Many of the kit lenses packaged with even the higher end cameras are very poor.

The Canon menu system is definitely more intuitive than the Olympus, but like anything it's a matter of getting used to it. I'm not sure what you mean by a size issue, because the E-PL1 is the smaller model of the 3. The only issue I have run into re setting controls is with the macro setting. It is included as one of the "scene" modes, and you cannot adjust exposure, etc. For that, I will use my E-620, which is also a camera you might want to look at if you haven't yet. Nice build quality and compact size with a flip screen.

If you go for the E-PL1, consider a viewfinder. The screen is high quality, but hard to see outdoors in sun. The VF is expensive, but very nice. High res, articulating.

Hope this helps.
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 5:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FWSchreck View Post
I'm looking for an entry-to-mid level DSLR or 4/3 camera that will provide the best image quality when displayed on screen.
Since I presume your screen is at most a 2MP output device, any modern camera can create images that are better than your screen can display, even if you crop them quite severely.

For landscape shooting, wider angles of view are generally more useful, and the kit lens on the Nikon gives a wider angle of view than the kit lenses on the others, thought the difference is slight.

Since your other requirements aren't as demanding, I suggest you go with the camera that feels best to you. If you can't hold the camera comfortably, if you can't find the controls and cammands when you need them, you'll miss shots, and you'll be disappointed with the camera as a result. Go to a good camera shop and try them out.
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 7:37 AM   #4
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olympus has the best jpeg engine on the market. I have a t1i and epl-1, and out the camera the epl-1 is better as you know. I like the epl-1 as it is a smaller package. Great for when my wife does not want to carry our larger t1i around. Which is actually most of the time. But it is not as good in low light as the canon, 2000iso is about the max you want to shoot at while the canon is good to 3200iso and decent at 6400iso with editing.

There are 3 modes to the epl-1 interface, full auto with the scene moods, iauto, and manual control with aperture, shutter and full manual. I found the control lay out pretty easy to adjust to coming from a dslr and very similar to the lay out of the oly point and shoot.

Base on what you listed you want to shoot all 3 camera will do the job well. And will be a mark improvement to what you are uses too.

The VF is a bit pricey, but it is a very great add on if you want for down the line.

Here is a link showing the epl-1 and t1i in daytime and night time, the canon required a bit more post production editing the the oly.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/wi...s-germany.html

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/tr...ris-night.html
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 12:24 PM   #5
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FW-

Welcome to the Forum. We're pleased that you dropped by.

I own the EPL-1, D-5000, and the T-1. The camera that I use most, hands down, is the EPL-1! The EPL-1 is the size of your Canon G-2 with interchangeable lenses and full DSLR image quality. Everything is beautifully sharp with nice color and contrast.

As soon as you begin to use the EPL-1, you will be saying to yourself, why didn't I do this years ago! That is what I felt. You can use all of the Olympus 4/3 lenses and flashes on the EPL-1. Those lenses are not expensive. The Oly 40-150mm which on the EPL-1 equates to a 80-300mm lens can regularly be found for around $115.00.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 12:56 PM   #6
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TCav- I have a 24" Dell LCD which displays at 1920 x 1200. Yes, it is true that all digital cameras output at higher resolution that this monitor can display, but there are marked differences between cameras in how their images look on screen.

The sample shots of the E-PL1 I've downloaded from the web all look very sharp and crisp on my display. The Canon T1i and Nikon D5000, slightly less so.

Sarah, your comments about the Olympus size being very similar to my G2, plus the availability of good quality and inexpensive lenses for E-PL1, are very persuasive.

Thank you all for your replies.
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 1:05 PM   #7
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I have the very first Oly m4/3, the EP1. Although it's a great little cam, the lack of EVF is a problem because the LCD is not that clear and sharp as some of the compact P&S models I've come across. Now, the EPL1 allows you to attach a viewfinder to it, which is a good thing. The bad thing is, the VF is not that cheap and adds to the cost of the package. Not to mention the fact you need to carry an extra piece of equipment with you and if you choose a very small camera bag, you'll have to find a place to store it. One other issue to consider (or not) is the limited (and somewhat costly) lens selection dedicated to m4/3. The greatest advantage of a m4/3 lens over other regular lenses (or even 4/3 lenses for that matter) is its small size. It makes your m4/3 gear be a light one, for sure.
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 1:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FWSchreck View Post
TCav- I have a 24" Dell LCD which displays at 1920 x 1200. Yes, it is true that all digital cameras output at higher resolution that this monitor can display, but there are marked differences between cameras in how their images look on screen.

The sample shots of the E-PL1 I've downloaded from the web all look very sharp and crisp on my display. The Canon T1i and Nikon D5000, slightly less so.
There are a number of factors that could cause some images to appear less clear than others on your screen. I think it's highly unlikely that all the variables could be eliminated and that the differences could be attributed directly and entirely to individual camera models.
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 2:23 PM   #9
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TCav - I understand your point... laboratory testing levels the playing field and yields purely objective results. I've seen comparisons of these cameras at dpreview.com doing just that.

For real world samples, I've downloaded approx. 50 photos from each camera from various web photo galleries. When you view these samples in succession, differences in image quality, albeit subtle, are apparent. That's what drove me to prefer the Olympus E-PL1 over the others.

Maybe the kit lens with the E-PL1 is superior to the Canon T1i or the Nikon D5000. I don't know.

Last edited by FWSchreck; Jul 3, 2010 at 2:56 PM.
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 3:24 PM   #10
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FW-

Yes, the kit lens on the EPL-1 is indeed superior to the kit lens on the Canon T1i. Having both I made comparison shots. And yes, they both have the benefit of IS, as will every lens you mount on the EPL-1. That is something the Canon T-1i can not offer.

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