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Digital SLR Cameras- Any thoughts ?

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Postby wheland » Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:17 am


We are looking to buy a SLR digital Camera for our daughter Beth- with the finacial assisitance of everybody else who is planning on buying her a birthday (12-17) and Christmas present.

She is entertaining the idea of going back to college and getting a Master's degree in Photo journalism (can you say "Do you want fries with that? ") and wants to get a good camera.

I did some research on various places- including Steve's digicam site that i used when I was researching my purchase- and has ben mentioned here before as well.

I don't want to break the bank but want to get a multi-purpose camera that can be expanded with additional lenses.

The Olympus EVOLT E-510 looks like it fits those criteria. doe snybody have any experience with this particular camera- or even with Olympus a sa brand?

Good, bad or indifferent all opinions are welcome.

Thanks,

Dennis
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Postby LeadingLight » Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:21 pm


My first digital camera was an Olympus C2020, a 2 megapixel camera. But....that was in 2001. It was top of the bill then. I got it by coincidence. A friend of mine had a store and burglars had stolen all digital cameras, but on their way out they dropped one. It was a bit damaged on the outside but worked well. I still carry it when I want to take a small camera with me, instead of my SLR. I have a Pentax IstDS SLR. I have chosen for Pentax because my old analogue camera was a Pentax and I could use my lenses on the digital one as well. (The IstDS was the same price as the Olympus in 2001 :? )
I have made very good photos with the Olympus and the brand is well known for good quality cameras and equipment. In my opinion buying an Olympus is a good decision. It's comparable with the other main brands in photography.
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Postby Rob143 » Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:50 pm


3 fps seems slow, and the buffer small, for an aspiring photojournalist.

Without getting into brand wars I've no doubt they make a respectable DSLR but the limited amount of glass available wouldn't excite me.
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:16 pm


Were I starting from scratch, I would go Nikon or Canon.
They both offer a huge array of excellent glass, have excellent reputations, and are extremely well supported. Also, they is less likelihood of rapid obsolescence.

Take a look through any of the photo magazines, and you will quickly see that 90% of images were shot using one of these two brands.

Also take a look at the lens mounts supported by such aftermarket lens manufactures as Tamron and Sigma - Nikon & Canon, to a lesser extents Pentax, very few Sony, and virtually nothing for Olympus.
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Postby LeadingLight » Fri Nov 23, 2007 2:48 am


Terry_Pepper wrote:
Also take a look at the lens mounts supported by such aftermarket lens manufactures as Tamron and Sigma - Nikon & Canon, to a lesser extents Pentax, very few Sony, and virtually nothing for Olympus.
That's a good point, Terry. Cheap can become expensive when you are "condemned" to original lenses.
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Postby wheland » Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:57 am


Thanks for the input- it is appreciated. Good point about the lenses.

Dennis
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Postby Gary Martin » Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:33 am


One other thing to keep in mind that hasn't been said in this thread, Dennis, is how well the camera is sealed against the weather. Canon and Nikon specifically, at least in my experience in weather worse than most want to be out in, have always performed flawlessly. I have had rain running off of my Nikon bodies and have never had a failure. If your daughter is going to do photo journalism, that might also be something to keep in mind. Newsworthy stuff doesn't always happen on nice days...
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Postby rocky5128 » Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:38 am


Sigma makes lenses that fit the Olympus cameras. I have not had a problem with my Olympus yet.

Kathy
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Postby wheland » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:02 am


I've been taking everything said into consideration and been looking non-stop at various configurations of cameras and lenses and I'm now leaning towards the following camera (it includes one lens- Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens)

Canon EOS-40D aprox $1399.

I was hoping to spend a bit less but after considering what been said here and elsewhere it would seem prudent to go with the most prosumer camera available that could be easily extended to a true professional camera. In thiis case a savings could actually cost money in the near future.

Any thoughts- is this a prudent way to go or is there a better choice for a high level consumer slr that could morh into a true professional setup- at least at the entry level of that ?

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Postby Terry_Pepper » Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:44 am


If you are going digital from the outset, then it is likely logical to purchase lenses which are specifically designed and optimized for use with digital bodies. In that way there will be no clipping resulting from the reduced size of the sensor vs. the standard 35 mm frame size.

In response to Kathy’s comment concerning the availability of Olympus compatible lenses from Sigma, below you will find a complete listing of Sigma’s dedicated digital glass, and the mounts which they support. Since the Olympus EVOLT E-510 conforms to the Four-Thirds lens mount standard there certainly are lenses which will fit available from Sigma. However, it is evidently clear that you will find a far wider selection available for either the Nikon or Canon body.

LIST OF SIGMA DIGITAL LENSES
4.5mm F2.8 EX DC Circular Fisheye HSM - Sigma, Nikon, Canon
10mm F2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM - Sigma, Nikon, Canon
10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM - Sigma, Canon, And Nikon
17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC Macro - Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta, Pentax
17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC Macro HSM – Nikon Only
18-50mm F2.8 EX DC Macro - Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta, Pentax, Four-Thirds
18-50mm F2.8 EX DC Macro HSM – Nikon Only
18-50mm F3.5-5.6 DC - Sigma, Canon, Nikon (D), Sony/Minolta, Pentax, Four-Thirds
18-50mm F3.5-5.6 DC HSM – Nikon Only
18-200mm F3.5-6.2 DC OS HSM – Nikon Only
18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC - Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony/Minolta
18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS – Sigma, Canon, Nikon
30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM - Sigma, Canon, Nikon (D), Sony/Minolta, Pentax, Four-Thirds
50-150mm APO F2.8 EX Dc HSM - Sigma, Canon, Nikon
55-200mm F4-5.6 DC - Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta, Pentax, Four-Thirds
55-200mm F4-5.6 DC - Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta, Four Thirds, Pentax
55-200mm F4-5.6 DC HSM – Nikon Only

Taking a quick look at the offerings from Tamron and Tokina, the ratio of support is bvirtually identical. It is clear that all manufacturers heavily support Nikon and Canon, and ALL other brands to some lesser extent.

It makes sense to go with a SYSTEM that offers the MAXIMUM in flexibility and support.

As such, you can't go wrong with either Canon or Nikon. It's the reason I bit the bullet and made the switch from Pentax to one of these two brands myself around 20 years ago - a change I have never regretted.
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Postby mikev » Fri Nov 23, 2007 12:54 pm


For what it's worth, I'm a senior editor at an urban daily newspaper and have worked with staff photographers and photojournalists through more years than I care to remember. Our staff used to be mostly Nikon, but reliability issues have led us to shift completely to Canon (those two seem to be the serious brands in newspapering). Former chief photographer once told me he had to cover a Hillary appearance in poor stage-lighting conditions and the Nikon he was using (we're talking $3000-$5000 cameras here) left him with little useable, not to mention longing for his wife's lesser Canon, which he knew he could have counted on.
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Postby Ross » Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:14 pm


I have had no reliability issues with Nikon, but I think both Canon and Nikon are the top two choices for Digital SLR. I'm shooting with a Nikon D200 at the moment, and I have played around with the Canon Digital Rebel. Jeremy D'Entremont is a happy owner of the Digital Rebel, and has had some fantastic shots with it.

There are diehard Nikonians and Canon(ians?) out there, and I'm sure there are some differences, the best thing to do is try them out, but that's hard to do if it's a Christmas gift.

Though I'm a Nikon user, I'm confident either will accomodate her use perfectly.
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Postby wheland » Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:21 pm


I'm definitely leaning towards buying the Canon EOS 40D from an online seller with good feedback called DigiCombos. they have a combo special with the following items-

Canon EOS 40D
4GB Memory Card
Canon 18mm-55mm Zoom Lens
Canon 28-105
Canon 75-300
High Resolution Wide Angle Lens
High resolution 3 pc Professional Filter Kit
Hi-Speed USB Card Reader/Writer
Heavy Duty Aluminum Hard Case w/Dividers
Compact Digital Camera Case
60" Photo / Video Tripod
5 Piece Cleaning Kit
TableTop Tripod

The total including shipping is about $1700. Based on what I've found the lenses and camera going for from reputable sellers it seems to be a good deal. It includes some other extras as well like tripods, flash, etc.

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Postby Rob143 » Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:59 pm


As always, check out any unknown online retailer on resellerratings.com



http://www.resellerratings.com/store/DigiCombos
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Postby wheland » Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:18 pm


Rob143 wrote:As always, check out any unknown online retailer on resellerratings.com



http://www.resellerratings.com/store/DigiCombos


Did that already- the rating seems fairly good- 7.65 out of 10 with the average store getting a 7.62 from resellerratings

I found some places with better prices but with ratings as low as .85 - definitely a place to avoid.

I look for the best price from the best place I can find. Digicombos seems to have both going for it.

Thanks for the reminder, though.

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