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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering moving up to my first DSLR. I've been reading up on three, but the more reviews I read, the more confused I am getting about the technical details.

I'm a novice photographer. I've always used nice compact point and shooters but would like to move to the next level. I would use the camera for work as well (Realtor) so I would take a lot of wide angle shots and more indoor photography than outdoors; then of course my watch photos...... But ease of use would be as important as picture quality.

The three are:

Nikon D60
Canon Rebel XS
Olympus E-520

Which would you recommend for my needs and why?

Thanks for your time.
 

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I purchased the D-510 early this year and am very pleased with it. I average about 20,000 photos a year and shoot everything from airshows, to macro stills. The camera performs very well in manual and auto with my only complaint being the autofocus loves to roam in low light situations. Cycling the power will reset the lens to infinity which helps some. The Olympus DSLR's have a few really unique and handy features. One is a live view that allows you to compose your shots on the lcd. The other that I use frequently is the depth of field preview button. The camera also has a fully adjustable white balance control which can be previewed on the lcd for white matching.

I have added the 70-300 Zuiko telephoto to my kit and am quite happy with the lenses. I would say the only other consideration to take would be how large you intend to expand your lens collection. There are not that many 4/3 olympus lenses available and they are pretty darn expensive.

Overall, while I can't comment on the others you are considering, I can say that you won't be disappointed with an E-510 or 520 (only difference is resolution) series camera.
 

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Can't really go wrong with the nikon or canon offerings as they have the most number of compatible lenses out there. However, I would get the D60 or D80 instead of the D40 for the Nikon.
 

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As a novice, one thing you may want to consider is which camera comes with the widest angle lens for your real estate work. I know the Olympus comes w. a 14mm which does a pretty good job.Unless you want to dump a ton of money into a pancake lens, the kit lens could potentially be your deciding factor as you probably aren't concerned with all the professional features of a camera at this point. You will find that the auto feature on all the cameras you are considering works pretty much the same in that they turn the camera into a high end point and shoot. They should all work very nearly equal for your indoor and watch photography.

Just remember, if you really want good pictures of your watches, you need to get the light away from the camera (don't use flash). You may consider a lightbox as a followup purchase to whatever you decide to go with.
 

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For a beginner SLR, I vote for the Olympus. Value for dollar I don't think it can be beat because of the Zuiko lenses that can be purchased with the kit. Neither Canon nor Nikor (nor sigma or tamron) can match these lenses at their price point. As a Canon guy, I must say Olympus has the ergonomics of a small camera down pat too.

The downsides are that it has a smaller sensor, so it's not terrific in low light and if you deside to upgrade at a later date you are stuck with the 4/3rds system. Since you aren't out much money in the beginning ($750 will get you roughly 22-400mm, converted to 35mm) I think it's a wash.

The fact of the matter is that you won't go wrong with any of the 3. They're all terrific cameras.
 

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I use E-500 Olympus and like it. Canon and Nikon are the big dogs in the DSLR but at the same time cost more than Olympus.
One thing to add, before you buy, look at what additional lenses you would like to have. For example, macro lens is one that many end up getting. At work I have D60 and recently found out that, one of the better macro lenses that we spend lots of money on is not compatible with D40 and D60, it works only in manual mode. :-(
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of your comments guys. It seems from here and TZ, the consensus seems to be for the Olympus. I guess the next step would be to go to the camera store and actually start shooting some pictures. :thanks
 

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As a novice, one thing you may want to consider is which camera comes with the widest angle lens for your real estate work. I know the Olympus comes w. a 14mm which does a pretty good job.
I beg to differ. Olympus' 510, 520, 410 and 420 respectively have a magnification factor of 2x. which means the lens is actually 28mm. read the specs on the camera and multiply any lens' focal length by the magnification factor in the specs, this will give you the real value of the focal.

andy
www.andix.org
 

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I don't know much about watches but as far as cameras go...

To start... I'm a canon shooter myself so i'm a little bias, but not without good reason.

The Canon Xsi is a very capable camera (actually most any dslr is these days). You could even try to get a used prosumer body instead (30D or 40D). Don't be fooled by some of the marketing (megapixels, etc...). Most people don't print larger than 8x10. What I would suggest is always invest in your glass, not your body. Bodies change quite frequently compared to lenses. What i've found is that Canon has a lot of great used lens on the market. This makes it much easier to figure out what you want without dropping major $$$. Canon glass resale value is also quite good. Often, you can buy a decent top quality lens for much less than a new one , then sell it if you need and pretty much get your purchase amount back. On top of that Canon has the largest mount of the camera manufacturers. This allows for special adapters that can allow you to use other brands of glass (e.g. Leica and Zeiss!!) on your canon body! (Not that Canon glass is bad (actually quite amazing actually, especially on the long end.. and the holy trinity of the 35mm f1.4L, 85mm f1.2L, & 135mm f2L... and most recently the 50mm f1.2 L)).

... also lots of online support for their products and advice from pros who use the equipment on a daily basis (www.fredmiranda.com is where i got my start)

hope this doesn't confuse things :)

whatever you get the most important thing is to enjoy the shooting :)
 

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What about a used DSLR? People upgrade all the time and you can find good deals on older camera bodies on craigslist and eBay.

I picked up my Canon 10D body for $200 with 2 neck straps, a battery, charger, usb cable, and a 1GB CF card. Came with the booklets and CD, too. It's only 6.3MP, but since I mostly put my photos on the web, or don't print any bigger than 8x10, it's plenty. I snagged it because I was ready to upgrade from my 3.2MP Cybershot, and since it was about the cost of a good P&S I figured what the hell, I'll learn how to use an SLR.

DSLR stuff also seems to be more easily resellable than P&S. If I didn't end up liking my 10D, I probably could have turned around and re-sold it for what I paid and gone and bought a P&S.

The problem with DSLR, though, is that you're never done buying stuff :D The more you shoot, the longer your wishlist gets with lenses, lighting, and other stuff.
 

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What about a used DSLR? People upgrade all the time and you can find good deals on older camera bodies on craigslist and eBay.
I wouldn't go for that. you have no control on how many shots have been taken with the camera without actually having it in your hand and/or connecting it to software in certain cases. and shutters do have a limited lifespan. most of the prosumer users don't have a lot of training and tend to take 7-400 frames for a single shot they want "perfect" trying to compensate for lack of skills and practice with tons of photos, hoping that "one might be a keeper". high-end DSLRs are rated for 100-200k shutter actuations. low-end and prosumer are expected to die at about 70-80k. would you like buying something that was shot 60k and not knowing it?

The problem with DSLR, though, is that you're never done buying stuff :D The more you shoot, the longer your wishlist gets with lenses, lighting, and other stuff.
for the glass part I agree. as far as you're sure you're gonna stick to a certain brand it's worth the investment. however I got burned with that and ended up with $20k in lenses that I am not using now 'cause my former favorite brand is not that favorite anymore...

but to sum it up, it doesn't matter if you go Leica, Olympus or Praktica MTL-5. it doesn't matter if you have that slow lens and not the other fast one. it's the wizard, not the wand. and remember, people tend to blame poor technology for poor results, when in fact it's their poor technique at fault.

andy
www.andix.org
 

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If I were you I would read reviews ... I would look at the Sony Alpha 200 if I were you .. i have one and an Alpha 300. You may think Sony do not make DSLR camera but Sony purchased Konica Minolta's camera division. So you have compatability with all Minolta A mount glass easily available on fleabay. And with Sony having sensor anti shake it works with every lens.
Read reviews, go to a camera store and handle all the cameras you are interested in.
One of them will call to you.. that is the one you buy.
 

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If I were you I would read reviews ... (...) go to a camera store and handle all the cameras you are interested in.
One of them will call to you.. that is the one you buy.
I would take reviews with a BIG spoon of salt. it's a proven fact that 90% of the reviewers (who actually, and unfortunately) make a lot of fuss about their "knowledge" over the Internet, are either amateurs or "educated" semipro's with little to no knowledge about photography and cameras.

as a matter of fact since the digital photography hit the market on a mass scale, all and everyone able to point and shoot claimed themselves "experts" and started yapping about how good their camera is, and how crappy the other brands are. it's full out there of fanboys who haven't got a clue about what they're saying.

as a person who earned his living from photography for a good number of years (read: newspaper and news agency/wire) I can tell you this one thing: few, if any professionals, have the time and / or the will to write reviews. they're too busy taking photos.

and let's not forget the "plants" - people "planted" on review sites or photography forums by certain brands and/or their resellers, to promote their interests and discredit all other brands on the market. okay, each camera brand has its own glitches known to the industry and the potential buyers, but if you sink deeper into reviews you'll find out a cr*pload of rants and exaggerations - so far the Internet has no censorship and sometimes this is a bad thing...

so all in all it's really difficult to find unbiased, effective and scientific approaches to what which camera does. the only websites that have proven impartially so far are steves-digicams.com and dpreview.com . take a look at their reviews and you'll know why, it's pretty exhaustive and to sum it up you can find hi-res photos of actual tests they made.

least but not least, never forget two things: as opposing to film technology, this branch is still under constant development. there always will be a newer camera hitting the shelves the next day you bought yours, and there always will be something that will make your brand new camera a bit less than perfect. these being said, buying a camera (any digital camera!) is a compromise, no matter how you look at it. either you sacrifice high-iso for vivid colours, or resolution for no. of frames per second. there is no "ultimate", "absolute" or "perfect", period.
 

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I find reviews helpful in that they do tend to go through most of the camera functions - and this is always useful.
The conclusions perhaps are rather subjective, often don't compare eggs against eggs and very often you can see through their observations using your own knowledge, but useful to mark that particular item down for further personal investigation.
I personally have used mostly Canon now for over 30 years, prior to that Minolta and when I started over 50 years ago it was Leica, Hassleblad and Voigtlander - so I've been around.
My present camera (I'm retired now) is a Canon 20D with various lenses from 18mm to 600mm. But I use two everyday Panasonic Lumix cameras FZ30 and FZ50 which are digital with built in (end ringed zoom) Leica Vario-Elmarit lenses, which cover basically 35mm to 420mm (35mm equivalent) and are VERY, VERY handy (no bloody great lenses to cart around) and produce pretty good images for my Photo/Art business.

Of course almost as soon as you buy any camera it is obsolete as another "better" one appears. However, these cameras suit my purposes very well, so there's no reason to change.

But why not "try" a camera - find out what kind of card it takes, take it along to your local shop and click away - check them out on your PC at home and decide (a) are the pictures OK for you and (b) was the camera "easy" to use - did it fit your hand, fit your way of operating (c) did the features actually benefit the way you want to use it....and so on.
Also remember the secret of good photgraphy these days - is editing anyway and sometimes the camera is very much just a means to an end.

Whatever - have fun.:-!
 

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I look around the web for camera reviews but I usually just go to www.imaging-resource.com. The reviews are extremely detailed and there are always plenty of sample photos. Also, the reviews are always balanced and they aren't afraid to put down a camera if it doesn't measure up. You can compare review pictures side by side to determine if, say, upgrading from the SD800 (my point and shoot) to the SD1000 would be worthwhile or not.

Personally I have a Digital Rebel and it takes pretty good photos. The body is usually cheap compared to the lenses which (at least Canon's lenses) are usually $500 and up. They have a 50mm f1.8 prime lens which is $85 and lots of folks are extremely pleased with the results although that lens' build quality is low.
 
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