Olympus vs. Nikon vs Canon?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Katharina B., Oct 7, 2007.

  1. Katharina B.

    Katharina B. TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone, Im new to this forum, this is my first post and ive got a pretty pressing issue to solve...

    Which camera to buy?

    I recieved a Konica Minolta Dimage X50 P&S from my parents two years ago, and now I want to buy a dslr, seeing as Im really interested in photography. Theres a couple Ive tried out, and for two months ive been debating on which one to get. The problem is that new ones keep coming out, and getting better! typical technology...

    Possible Cameras?
    -Nikon D300
    -Canon 40D
    -Olympus 510
    -Panasonic L10 (not out yet)
    -Olympus E-3 (rumoured)

    Im leaning very heavily towards the Olympus 510 with kit lenses 14-42 mm & 40-150 mm, seeing as the whole kit would be very well priced and the kit lenses are said to be of very high quality. The olympus also has IS, the most effective Dust Removal system, and an LCD featuring live view, which are 3 aspects that are quite important, and appealing to me. The downsides? The fly-by wire manual focusing, the fact that the small sensor doesnt allow very shallow depth of field, and Im not sure about the 4/3 system, if it's a good one to invest in, seeing as the range of affordable lenses is quite narrow. This wont really be a problem though, seeing as Im not a professional, and am just thinking of buying a macro and maybe a teleconverter for longer focal lengths. The compactness and light weight of this camera also is a leading factor in my decision.

    The new Canon 40D and Nikon D300 are also quite interesting, but are obviously in a different class, both in price and in ability. I am willing to invest in one of these better bodies, although Im considering that lenses are very expensive, and I, as a beginner, wont really be needing such good bodies yet. This led me to the Nikon D300 ,as my father used to do lots of photography with a variety of cameras, and has a couple of Nikon lenses that I would be able to use . This would be a smart choice, because then I would have quite a 'large' choice of lenses to use, (even though they cant AF). The upsides to both these cameras are: quicker shutter speeds, live view (very important to me), larger screens (Nikon has screen with 920,000 resolution), better viewfinders, higher fps, and more autofocus points. THe Nikon menu is also very user-friendly and easy to use. The downsides: No IS, and noticeably heavier and less compact than olympus.

    Other possiblities would be the Panasonic L10, or the rumoured E-3 to released on October 17. If it will be better, but have all the positive points of the 510, and maybe even be more compact than the Nikon D300, and Canon 40D, price would not be a huge issue, yet availability will.

    Im flying to Toronto and then California on October 20, and for this trip Id like to have my dslr already, either bought here in europe, or at the beginning of the trip in toronto.

    Any opinions on the cameras? is it worth waiting for the E3 rather than buy the 510?
    Thanks in advance!
    Katharina

    (Ill be posting images from my curent camera soon)
     
  2. jon_k

    jon_k TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I've got an Olympus E-500. I'd upgrade to the e-510, but I'm waiting to see what the E-3 has to offer first, then I'll decide.

    The advantages to four-thirds:
    Small bodies, large DOF with smaller sensor, lighter lenses

    The disadvantages:
    If your one of those pixel peepers who judge a system by its 100% image view, you'll have a fit about noise, especially over ISO 200.

    I'm pretty sure everyone here will come on with 101 reasons why you should buy Canon or Nikon. Noise is the biggest arguement. We hear all the time that Olympus has too small a sensor, high ISO noise, not enough primes and a poor lens selection!

    Lenses...
    They have a good range regarding to zooms, but i would like to see more primes; thats the area where Olympus is still weak. To fill my prime fetish, I use OM, Hexanon and Pentax manual lenses with manual focus.

    Here's the full 4/3 lens lineup if you haven't seen it. The one on Olympus's website isn't complete. This site has a full list of all the lenses for the 4/3 system.
    http://four-thirds.org/en/products/lense.html

    As for the noise complaints...
    Tell me the Four Thirds system is trash after visiting this link. http://www.wrotniak.com/photo/oly-e/e510-fs.html

    The noise performance isn't as good as Nikons offerings, but it surely isn't a reason to not buy the system. Unless your in poorly lit gyms or poorly lit chapels, the noise isn't an issue at all.

    The best photographers use Nikon or Canon
    I've seen beautiful pictures taken with an old E-1 body. Check these out:
    http://photo.net/photodb/member-photos?user_id=1773259&include=all

    The legacy support is horrible
    The E- system is able to use the most amount of legacy lenses ever. The flange distance for the 4/3 system is most compatible with the 35mm lenses. The only 35mm lenses that won't work are the old Canon lenses. The converter rings are on eBay like crazy. If you have any 35mm lenses, chances are they'll work on your E- body. Although some converters haven't been made yet, so you may have to modify the mount for the E- body. That's what I've done with my Konica AR lenses.

    My opinion
    I've been using this system for quite a while and I have no regrets. I've noticed people get into wars when you ask things like you did with a thread like this. Everyone wants to justify why they spent a load of cash on their system. Luckily, I spent less money on my system than someone would have for the same equipment with Nikon or Canon as Olympus is more on the budget end of things.

    I've gone to about 20 or 30 photo meetups I've arranged with other photographers and people bring their heavy white glass and other items. When I pull out my old Kenko 840-1600mm lens peoples jaws drop when I tell them the focal length when they're glass is just as long with half the focal length. That reaction makes the system worth using alone.

    I've never had buyers remorse or ever really wish I had a Nikon or Canon. I've never found a situation where 4/3 has hindered my pictures or my creative ability. If you learn your camera, you can take good pictures regardless what the name on the body is.

    You making your choice will be a hard one because you'll soon get a lot of counter-arguments to my arguments and it'll be easy to make your head spin with what people are going to say here. Unfortunately there isn't many Olympus users on this forum, so there's going to be much more arguements for Nikon and Canon offerings.
     
  3. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

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    I am a nikon and canon man myself, but as jon said unless your really worried about noise, i am because i like concerts and very low light no flash at all situations and little room for tripods this is an issue for me but if you dont have a problem with that and you like the feel and compactness of the olympus then get the olympus, don't let us sway you by what we like, get what you like, you'll be happier with the choice, any of those will still take great photo's.
     
  4. jon_k

    jon_k TPF Noob!

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    I'd like to add another thing about your wonderance about the DOF

    There's about a stop of difference in DOF between APS-C and 4/3. Add another stop of difference with Full-frame. So, if you use a tele to get subject isolation, as in sports and many other aplications, the bigger formats has an advantage.

    Although 4/3 clearly has an advantage because you can get more tele with less focal length. (2x crop) ;-) If more DOF is the goal, then 4/3 has the advantage.

    For quite some time, folks have been complaining about the drawbacks of vignetting and soft corners with the FF medium in the dpreview forums. This could be an issue to consider. Full frame also costs more and bigger body/heavier.

    APS-C might be something to consider but it's only a tad bit larger than 4/3 when you compare the two against the full frame format.
     
  5. Patrice

    Patrice No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Except for a very few and some really old ones, almost every lens that Nikon has ever made will work on a D300 or D200. This means that a large selection of reasonably priced second hand lenses is available.
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm a Nikon user and will be happy to upgrade to another Nikon.
     
  7. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    errm, I always considered larger DOF one of the downsides of APS-C and smaller formats ... people buy expensive wide aperture lenses just to get the DOF shallow ...
     
  8. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you think You like the Olympus ,go for it. But the selection on Nikon lenses you father has might make the Nikon worthwhile. Personally I shoot with an OLD Olympus E-10 fixed lens SLR. It was a Pretty good Cam back in 2001, and I still get some great shots today. I will probably be Buying an new Canon 40d and lenses. But For you I think its between the Olympus and Nikon, which ever way will probably serve you well.

    I would not worry about physical size; between a P&S and a SLR is a big step, but from SLR to SLR, especially if you are carrying extra lenses and gear, a bit bigger or smaller, doesn't make that much difference overall. IMO
     
  9. jon_k

    jon_k TPF Noob!

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    There's many many Nikon to 4/3 adapters that can be had on ebay to convert Nikon lenses to mount on 4/3 cameras.

    AF won't work, of course, but they will work fine with infinity focus etc.

    Word of advice if you do any MF on an Olympus body is to get a split prism focus screen installed. That's what I plan to do. The naked eye can only manually focus so well.
     
  10. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Honestly, if you are thinking of buying something in the class of a D300 or a 40D you would do best to stay with a Nikon or a Canon. Some people are sooo adamant about the quality and future of Olympus or even Sony Dslr's but a good way to judge is to look at the past.
     
  11. jon_k

    jon_k TPF Noob!

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    What's wrong with Olympus's past? The OM line of cameras was amazing and had the best Macro equipment out there. A nice bellows system, plenty of nice primes, micro stands, the lens selection was wonderful. They had a pretty wide range of zooms on the wide and long ends too. Pro's and amateurs alike enjoyed the system and the range of cameras.

    4/3 was a new system that Olympus designed from the ground up for the digital age while keeping in mind computability with legacy systems (which is accomplished with a very short flange-to-film distance.) This is why the flange distance is compatible with most all film-lenses.

    4/3 was a joint effort with partners such as sigma, kodak, and panasonic. The system is only 4 years old, so you can't blame it for its currently small digital lens selection. If the OM system is any indication, within the next 5 years the lens selection should be pretty attractive and many Canon or Nikon users might even switch to Olympus. Even Leica has come on board with designing a few lenses, and plans to design more.

    You have to remember the reason Olympus ditched OM for the 4/3 is because they were one of the very first users into the Digital SLR market and they felt that designing a new system would be best for image quality rather than working a digital system around lenses designed with film standards in mind. Many other players decided to keep support for their legacy systems and that eased the blow for many going from film to digital.

    I think it's a system that can only grow from here. If Olympus can make some good bodies that entice the pro's, the system can really take off and break the chains of the consumer market. I hope this doesn't sound like marketing fluff. I hate marketing fluff. But the thought that 4/3 has no future, or that Olympus has no track record in the past just isn't true.

    If I thought 4/3 was going to disappear in a few years I'd have already sold all my equipment and jumped to Nikon. Fortunately, with Kodak, Fuji, Leica, Panasonic, Sanyo and Sigma on board as 4/3 partners I doubt the system is going to disappear anytime soon.

    Whichever system you decide to go with in the end, please post back here and let us know! Don't leave us hanging! We want to know too!
     
  12. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Canon=Coca-Cola
    Nikon= Pepsi
    Olympus= RC Cola
     

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