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  1. #1
    Senior Member zoeglassjd's Avatar
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    Camera Nerds: Another DSLR Thread

    I know there are several threads in Foo and I have read all over the interwebz, but I have a very specific question.

    I am looking at pulling the trigger on a used slr. It is between the following "kits". I know there are pros and cons to each.

    I have handled them both so, I have a sense which "feels" better, but they both feel pretty good.

    Anyway, I am going to make a purchase today or tomorrow, so I would love some last minute opinions.

    Olympus Evolt E500 (Feb 07)
    * $325.00
    * 8-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 16 x 22-inch prints
    * 2.5-inch HyperCrystal LCD display; 5 metering modes and built-in filters, including nine filters for black-and-white photography
    * Exclusive dust-free technology for spot-free photos
    * Lightweight ergonomic design; kit includes one 14-45mm f3.5-5.6 and one 40-150mm f3.5-4.5 Zuiko lens
    * Powered by one lithium-ion battery; stores images on CF, Micro Drive, or xD Picture Cards
    * I do not have the original box
    * all other accessories included


    Nikon D40 (6 months old under warranty)

    Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Autofocus Lens for Nikon AF
    (Lens 4 months old. That lens does have a built in AF so it works well with a D40.)

    Also included:
    Neckstrap
    2 GB memory card
    USB cable
    software
    Two Nikon rechargeable batteries and charger
    case

    $375.00 ships in US paypal preferred

  2. #2
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Here's a link to my favorite digital camera review site which has reviews of both camera's to read, http://www.dcresource.com/

    Both camera's get positive reviews but to my mind the fact that the Olympus has 2 Olympus lenses and the Nikon only has 1 Tamron lens sways the value for money WAY over to the Olympus.

    Regards, Anthony

  3. #3
    pathetic earthling volleybrad's Avatar
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    Get the Nikon.
    '06 Felt F1X
    '07 Niner Air 9

  4. #4
    Senior Member zoeglassjd's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I have read those reviews and many others. I think the comparison really does come down to a bit of preference and some nuances. The Nikon name is strong and the possibility of future expansion seems better. But the need to buy AF specific lenses for the D40 seems limiting, while Oly is limiting with the aftermarket availability of lenses.

    I have read that the Olympus lenses are really quite nice for Kit lenses.

    I am relatively convinced I won't be disappointed with either and, for those prices, I think if I am disappointed I can always get my cash back on resale.


    Anyway, others?

  5. #5
    Senior Member ravenmore's Avatar
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    I believe the olympus uses the same sensor that point and shoot cameras use. The nikon uses a full blown dslr sensor. Image quality especially at the higher ISO's will be much better with the nikon.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member zoeglassjd's Avatar
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    The image sensor on the olympus is smaller and I am a bit confused when it comes to all the terms. The smaller sensor is pitched as an advantage for some reason and I am uncertain why...
    Last edited by zoeglassjd; 08-19-08 at 09:44 AM.

  7. #7
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    To get it out of the way, I am a Canon DSLR person. I would not buy the Olympus solely due to the very limited number of third-party lenses. This will severely limit your lens choices and you will pay higher prices for them. If you go with Canon or Nikon, you will have a vast selection of third-party lenses. Canon and Nikon are more or less the defacto lens mount standard, and going with a proprietary standard such as Olympus, Sony and the like limits your choice.
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    I'm a Canon person myself.

    Between Olympus and Nikon there is no comparison in DSLRs, get the Nikon.
    Olympus = toy
    Nikon = tool
    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen
    I believe that in this case "solid meh" means "so 'meh' that it could never be anything more than 'meh', and yet also no less than 'meh' -- in a word, exactly 'meh'"

  9. #9
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    Nikon. I have the D40X and love it. There are tons more lens available, and if you are comfortable with manually focusing the lens there are plenty without the AF motor to get.

    The D40 is quite lightweight and a good shape for it's size. It's an entry model, like the D40X and the D60, but take great photos.

    I've read that the Tamron lens is quite a good one. (I have my eye on it too. I have a Nikon 55-200 VR, but I'd like the extra reach for nature photography.)

    The asking price is good too.


  10. #10
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    Can't go wrong with either Canon or Nikon. Buy what you like, accessory and software wise.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ravenmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
    I'm a Canon person myself.

    Between Olympus and Nikon there is no comparison in DSLRs, get the Nikon.
    Olympus = toy
    Nikon = tool
    In DSLR's yes, but I had an Olympus C5050 that I really really miss. Gawd that was a wonderful camera.







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    Mean people are like slinkys. They're really not worth much but still are rather entertaining to watch tumble down the stairs.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    In DSLRs yes, I agree their point and shoots are sweet little rigs.
    I like them better than Nikon's point and shoots actually, their menus make sense, Nikon's menus are puzzle boxes.
    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen
    I believe that in this case "solid meh" means "so 'meh' that it could never be anything more than 'meh', and yet also no less than 'meh' -- in a word, exactly 'meh'"

  13. #13
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Now we have had a popularity contest and YES, Nikon's are more popular which is why its price is higher. Because it can be. Going by the reviews I linked to then yes, the Nikon has a slightly better sensor but the Olympus has the far better lenses. The 3, 4 sensor on the Olympus is considerably larger than a point and shoot sensor while not as big as a regular DSLR sensor. Smaller sensors mean smaller and lighter lenses to do the same job but there are limits of course because the larger lenses and sensors are better at maximum resolution although the cost is size, weight and $$$. The Olympus you could just buy and use and NEVER need anything else save some memory cards. With the Nikon you are going to need to buy a standard lens straight up and its already more expensive.

    If those are your only 2 options then the value for money is with the Olympus and it's your money.

    Regards, Anthony

  14. #14
    Senior Member zoeglassjd's Avatar
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    Thanks all. These have been really helpful perspectives. Any more would be great.

    Is this Campy vs. Shimano? (Mostly kidding!)

    By the way, nice pics Ravenmore!

  15. #15
    Senior Member ravenmore's Avatar
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    Thanks.

    was just noticing the highlights look a little blown on the screen I'm looking at them on now. Didn't when I was editing them. The tonal quality of that camera was nice - always got a tremendous amount of shadow detail.
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    Mean people are like slinkys. They're really not worth much but still are rather entertaining to watch tumble down the stairs.

  16. #16
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    CANON AND ONLY CANON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    all i use for my business and art.

  17. #17
    Senior Member WilliamK1974's Avatar
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    I'm just getting into photography and am not an expert. But something I've noticed about the two cameras you've described is that the lenses with the Olympus are "faster" than the one included with the Nikon. That might give you more versatility with your equipment, but the Nikon might be the better long-run camera if you can afford to buy it a better lens. That lens isn't bad. It just seems like the typical kit lens that's sold with a new camera. They're decent as long as you don't try to do anything too challenging with them. Shots in good lighting outdoors will work fine, and shots with a flash in poorer lighting tend to be ok. But if you're in a situation where you want to take low or less than idea light shots without a flash, you may end up disappointed.

    I've always been told that when using an SLR, be it film or digital, you want lenses that are the optical equivalent of a 50mm f/1.8, some kind of fast wide angle like 28mm, and maybe a kit-type zoom or something more sophisticated depending on what type of photography you're trying to do. The 50mm lens will be the cheapest lens you'll ever buy, and will take care of several basic needs.

    As far as camera preference goes, I'm probably going to end up Nikon by default thanks to the access I have to some older Nikon equipment. However, I have a couple of M42 screwmount cameras and a Canon body that may or may not be functional. I have an affinity for older cameras and still see DSLRs as not quite mature. Just my opinion, YMMV

  18. #18
    Senior Member ravenmore's Avatar
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    I have to admit that in DSLR Canon delivers the best image quality IMO. This is from a D80 owner too.
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    Mean people are like slinkys. They're really not worth much but still are rather entertaining to watch tumble down the stairs.

  19. #19
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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    Take my gut feeling with salt. Olympus lenses are better than Tamron, but Nikon body is better than Olympus. And Nikon lenses are better than Olympus. Depends if you wanna get more lenses in future.

    Having said that, for this particular deal, I'd go with Olympus (though I specifically bought a Nikon body as I wanted to upgrade to a certain Nikkor lens).

  20. #20
    was kung-fu fighting lodi781's Avatar
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    I'll be the lone pentaxian here, but you should atleast check out what they have to offer, I think you'll be impressed....
    " The love you withhold is the pain you carry, lifetime after lifetime."

  21. #21
    Senior Member ravenmore's Avatar
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    As far as lenses everyone has hit or misses. I believe Olympus had a 180mm 2.8 back in the day that was highly coveted as one of the sharpest pieces of glass in the business. Tamron made a 17mm rectilinear lens in the manual focus days that was stunning. They also had a 28-105 2.8 that was amazing. Pentax, since Lodi just mentioned them, might have had some of the most underrated glass. As a line they were really consistent from lens to lens and an excellent value.
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    Mean people are like slinkys. They're really not worth much but still are rather entertaining to watch tumble down the stairs.

  22. #22
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoeglassjd View Post
    Thanks all. These have been really helpful perspectives. Any more would be great.

    Is this Campy vs. Shimano? (Mostly kidding!)

    By the way, nice pics Ravenmore!
    Really, it is pretty much a Campy vs. Shimano.

    The Olympus has pretty much everything you need. As mentioned, you'll want a basic zoom for the Nikon. You can pick up used 18-55's for under $100. That would leave you with a small gap in zoom range, but there is also an 18-70. It just costs twice as much.

    I would say if photography is going to stay a minor hobby, the Olympus is a really good value. If you think you're going to want to get more into it, the Nikon is going to offer more lens and accessory choices down the road. I know the Nikon is a good deal because I own one, and I assume there's no red flags on the Olympus either. Since both kits are pretty inexpensive (about as much as a top-of-the-line point and shoot), you're not out much money if you decide to go a different direction later. Go with your gut.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamlucky13 View Post
    Really, it is pretty much a Campy vs. Shimano.
    I'd say Canon v. Nikon is Campy v. Shimano (and everyone knows Campy is superior! ).

    But comparing Oly DSLR to a Nikon DSLR is more of a "Sora/Tiagra v. Ultegra/Dura-Ace" debate. Sure, Sora and Tiagra will get you there, and for many people are sufficient, but they do have their limitations.

    The Oly DSLR is going to have some pretty limiting factors (Sensor size/quality and Lens quality being the two big factors). It is probably enough for most people, but if you really take to photography, and start pushing it as a serious hobby, you'll soon find yourself wishing you had a nicer array of lens options, and a better sensor if you go with the Oly DSLR.

    I'd say, for a DSLR the two big players that 1) will be in the market for a long time, 2) offer the ability to exceed the "consumer" level camera, and move to "pro-sumer" and professional quality are Nikon and Canon.

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