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For every newbie looking for a DSLR
I see 2 or 3 posts a day from folks looking for their first DSLR and want to know should I get a Canon xxx or a Nikon xxx or an Olympus xxx or a Sony xxx. So in an attempt to be proactive I decided I'ld put this post up for you to read before you post the question. Now I own an Oly and say that for clarity up front. Also I have put up almost the same statements for many posts so here's to being proactive..

Ok everyone likes their camera. So if you post a I'm choosing between the Nikon XXX and the Sony XXX you will generally get more coments that say get the Nikon because there are more Nikon /img/avatar9.jpgs. They may be right they may be wrong, so lets cut to the chase..

The lease important thing overall in the system, e.g. photographer, camera body, lens, is the camera body. ALL the DSLRs available today will take excellent images. All of them. So you have one variable which is basically a wash unless you want to count pixels, take pictures in very dark rooms without a flash, or whatever..

So we are left with the photographer and lenses. All the manufacturers make good lenses. Canon and Nikon make the most and there are more 3rd party lenses. And you will often see a posting about the "wide variety" of lenses from Nikon and Canon. But honestly how many lenses do you need? There are 32 lenses available for a 4/3 mount at my last count. I think that will cover all of my requirements with about 28 lenses left over.

All of the manufacturer make good quality lenses. However based on what I have read and experienced in the kit lens area Oly and Pentax have the best kit lens quality. There are so many other lenses that it really comes down to value. Can you get equiv quality lenses at the same prices. Generally the answer again is yes.

So in my opinion Oly/Pentax come out slightly ahead here for the kit lensesPlease note I said slightly. For everything else it's a wash..

That leaves us with the most important part of the system...the photographer. YOU have to decide what is the most comfortable system for you. Generally the Oly/Panasonic will have a lighter body and much lighter lenses. Pentax bodies are weather sealed so if you are going outdoors a good deal you may want to consider that. So many people use Canikons that you could be able to borrow lenses etc. Sony and Oly have built in image stabilization.

Does any of this matter to YOU? I don't know and nobody on these forums can make that decision. Some people like a heavier system. I don't but I don't like a really feather weight either. Are the controls where YOU want them? Does the menu make sense to YOU? Can YOU quckly change settings? How's the view finder? Is the camera comfortable for YOU to hold and control. If your 6'10 and have hands like Shak then you most likely will not be comfortable with a small camera.

The MOST important aspect in taking pictures is the PHOTOGRAPHER and his/her knowledge of his/her tools and his/her comfort in using that tool. DON'T put too much thought into the tool. Painters don't stand around admiring each others brushes. They talk technique. I've seen shots with Point and Shoots that are better then anything I can take with my fancy DSLR because the guy/gal that took them has more understanding of composition and has a better eye for what is interesting and they get the most from their tools..

Jim.

Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comments (59)

Bravo for that! I come to this forum often trying to see if I can help anyone out, but I feel a bit ridiculous recommending a camera to a complete stranger....

If you don't mind, I'd like to throw in my experience with buying into an SLR system (please note that I used the word "system!")..

A little more than a year ago, I knew I'd outgrown my bridge cameras and needed an SLR to take my photography where I wanted it. I knew what I wanted my photos to look like; I didn't know what I needed to get there..

I take photos every day, so I needed a sturdy system. I travel a lot, sometimes to places that don't have electricity, so forget charging a proprietary lithium battery - it would be AA batteries for me. My hands are small (no professional piano career for me!), so I didn't want a larger camera. I had never used a prime lens, but I found the idea of them ineluctably attractive..

So of course I ended up with Pentax. But I've never met anyone else who had exactly the same specifications I had. However, I _have_ met people who like the same kinds of photos I like and who have the same standards for what they expect their cameras to do. And they shoot with Oly, Samsung, Canon, and Nikon - and some of them even use film (oh, Holga shooters, how you inspire me!)....

Just get an SLR you can afford with a lens you think you might love, and go out there and take some photos! If you realize you made a huge mistake, there's always ebay or KEH to take that mistake off your hands .

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Keitha McCallPentaxian and Shapshot Shooter since April 2007http://flickr.com/photos/aravis121/http://www.ascenicworld.com..

Comment #1

I should add that a few years ago I contemplated a DSLR but eventually went for the Panasonic FZ20 which at the time fulfilled the need for a more compact and lighter 'all in one' travel and general purpose camera. It has it's limitations but is still going strong and performing well. The new Pentax DSLR is looking an attractive value for money option/addition to my future needs...

Comment #2

Imaging Resource - Find the Best Camera For Youhttp://www.myproductadvisor.com/mpa/camera/inputSummary.do.

Imaging Resource - Dave's Pickshttp://www.imaging-resource.com/WB/WB.HTM.

Camera Labs Buyer's Guides: our top recommendationshttp://www.cameralabs(dot)com/buyers_guide/best_digital_cameras.shtml.

Digital Camera Resource - Jeff's Favorite Digital Camerashttp://www.dcresource.com/buyersguide/.

Steve's Digicams - Best Camerashttp://www.steves-digicams.com/best_cameras.html.

T.O.P. Ten New Camera Recommendations (need to hunt a little for the page)http://theonlinephotographer.com/.../the_online_photographer/blog_index.html.

CNET - Best 5 digital camerashttp://reviews.cnet.com/best-digital-cameras/?tag=dir.

Popular Photography - Buying Guidehttp://www.popphoto.com/buyingguide/.

Group Captain Mandrake: 'I was tortured by the Japanese, Jack, if you must know; not a pretty story....Strange thing is they make such bloody good cameras.' (Dr. Strangelove, 1964)..

Comment #3

We're all try to help the newbies. But the newbies are quite bewildered whatever we say. I guess we've got to say it simple (not simplistic) and clear..

We've also got to address their concerns - not what we perceive as their concerns or our concerns but their concerns. That's hard..

BTW, my contribution:.

Http://anandasim.blogspot.com/2008/07/which-dslr-shall-i-buy.html.

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

The lease important thing overall in the system, e.g. photographer,camera body, lens, is the camera body. ALL the DSLRs available todaywill take excellent images. All of them. So you have one variablewhich is basically a wash unless you want to count pixels, takepictures in very dark rooms without a flash, or whatever..

Yes, correct. However, what the newbie wants to know is, which body, even if we say all bodies are competent. That's why many of our responses are to imply different discriminants - not the IQ from the body but the feel in their hands, the subjective bonding of the person to the camera. Again, without a take home trial or a few hours of shooting, the newbie comes back with empty hands - unless they clearly don't like a body (that's already a good start), they still don't understand the criteria..

So we are left with the photographer and lenses. All themanufacturers make good lenses. Canon and Nikon make the most andthere are more 3rd party lenses. And you will often see a postingabout the "wide variety" of lenses from Nikon and Canon. Buthonestly how many lenses do you need? There are 32 lenses availablefor a 4/3 mount at my last count. I think that will cover all of myrequirements with about 28 lenses left over.



I say a different tack. Whether we have 28 lenses or 280 lenses, the newbie won't YET be buying all of them. So, the lens choice is easier - make a decision roadmap of how many and which lenses you want to buy right now and say within 3 years. Go look at each brand you are interested in, calculate the costs, weight for that brand. Look for lens reviews or even better try to get the lens to shoot with even inside the shop. Using a lens simulator isn't the same as holding the lens..

That leaves us with the most important part of the system...thephotographer. YOU have to decide what is the most comfortable systemfor you. Generally the Oly/Panasonic will have a lighter body and.

The MOST important aspect in taking pictures is the PHOTOGRAPHER andhis/her knowledge of his/her tools and his/her comfort in using thattool. DON'T put too much thought into the tool. Painters don't stand.

We're on the same page as you will note in my blog entry..

Around admiring each others brushes. They talk technique. I've seenshots with Point and Shoots that are better then anything I can takewith my fancy DSLR because the guy/gal that took them has moreunderstanding of composition and has a better eye for what isinteresting and they get the most from their tools..

I go so far though as to say that some people just can't handle branding and flourishing the brand in public. Unlike a painter whose brush is kept "at home", photographers carry their cameras like bling - the brand is very clearly evident. They have to bond with the brand or get post purchase remorse..

8-).

Anandahttp://anandasim.blogspot.com/http://olympuse510.wikispaces.com/http://picasaweb.google.com/AnandaSim/http://www.flickr.com/photos/32554587@N00/..

Comment #4

AnandaSim wrote:.

I go so far though as to say that some people just can't handlebranding and flourishing the brand in public. Unlike a painter whosebrush is kept "at home", photographers carry their cameras like bling- the brand is very clearly evident. They have to bond with the brandor get post purchase remorse..

You may be correct but I don't understand it much. I don't feel the need to compensate through my camera manufactures logo and I don't buy jeans that cost more then 20 bucks. LOL..

Jim.

PS I drive a Hyundai too!!!.

Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #5

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

Hi Jim.

You may be correct but I don't understand it much. I don't feel theneed to compensate through my camera manufactures logo and I don'tbuy jeans that cost more then 20 bucks. LOL..

Jim.

PS I drive a Hyundai too!!!.

I'm not saying that you have to bond to a Mercedes. A Hyundai is fine - you chose that brand, you chose that model. And you're not having buyers remorse. So, the brand suits you, the price suits you, go for it..

I have Nikon friends. They really won't consider the Oly as a DSLR but I'm quite happy with my Oly - I have no yen for their camera. Give me a D700 with lenses that compare to my current lenses, that's different. But for me to go and buy that kit - it doesn't even come into my mind..

Anandahttp://anandasim.blogspot.com/http://olympuse510.wikispaces.com/http://picasaweb.google.com/AnandaSim/http://www.flickr.com/photos/32554587@N00/..

Comment #6

I understand what you mean. The only problem with buying an oly is that everyone elses camera is bigger then mine!!  ..

Liked your blog site. If you don't mind I'll post your URL when it fits the forum from time to time..

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #7

Jim,.

While I generally agree with your post, there are a couple of things I believe you have oversimplified..

The lease important thing overall in the system, e.g. photographer,camera body, lens, is the camera body..

Well, it depends on your needs and preferences. Some camera bodies have build in optical image stabilization. A few even have articulating LCDs. Some are very light and compact. Some are quite heavy. A few are weather sealed.



ALL the DSLRs available today will take excellent images. All of them..

Yes, I agree. All DSLRs made today are capable of taking excellent images. But there are still some serious differences in features and capabilities between cameras..

So we are left with the photographer and lenses. All themanufacturers make good lenses..

But every manufacturer doesn't make great lenses. There is probably a good reason that some lenses sell for $129 and other sell for $4,000. Of course, no beginner should worry about $4,000 lenses, so I get your point..

And this is probably the mose sensible thing ever said on this forum:.

The MOST important aspect in taking pictures is the PHOTOGRAPHER andhis/her knowledge of his/her tools and his/her comfort in using thattool..

Martyhttp://flickr.com/...photos/7735239@N02/sets/72157604030772272/detail/?page=5.

Panasonic FZ7, FZ30, LX2.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #8

This nervous, bewildered buying psychology is very difficult to communicate, but I'll try anyway. When I read a thread (should I buy x or should I buy y), the poster expects someone to say "buy x", and snap! Just like that expects his buying concerns to be over, and know straight away it is the right camera for him, go and buy it, and his worries will be over..

But it is not over, because cameras have different features and characteristics which are usually qualitative, not quantative, and the hardest part in choosing is balancing the huge list of positives and negatives for one camera against the other, which is also very difficult for a newbie to evaluate and prioritise on. So usually it is actually branding which wins a customer over. Practically speaking, also spend some time in the forum of your chosen camera to seef you like it..

Talking of indecision, I decided a while back which camera I would get (an e-510) but havent yet had the courage to go and buy it, because I dont know if the money would be better spent elsewhere.Daniel..

Comment #9

Not a problem Jim..

I thought I had a small sweet system with the Oly until I got some lens lust and ended up with a 7-14mm. I passed on the 50-200 - John King ended up with that one..

Anandahttp://anandasim.blogspot.com/http://olympuse510.wikispaces.com/http://picasaweb.google.com/AnandaSim/http://www.flickr.com/photos/32554587@N00/..

Comment #10

Hi Daniel,.

I've noticed your posts from time to time..

Profborg wrote:.

This nervous, bewildered buying psychology is very difficult tocommunicate, but I'll try anyway. When I read a thread (should I buyx or should I buy y), the poster expects someone to say "buy x", andsnap! Just like that expects his buying concerns to be over, and knowstraight away it is the right camera for him, go and buy it, and hisworries will be over..

I think a few people get firm recommedations and a good fit. Problem, is this is a public forum and lots of people can thereafter come up with more recommendations..

But it is not over, because cameras have different features andcharacteristics which are usually qualitative, not quantative, andthe hardest part in choosing is balancing the huge list of positivesand negatives for one camera against the other, which is also verydifficult for a newbie to evaluate and prioritise on. So usually it.

It is. Some newbies don't ever figure that there are subjective aspects, they keep hitting the numbers only..

Is actually branding which wins a customer over. Practicallyspeaking, also spend some time in the forum of your chosen camera toseef you like it..

Yes, the brand plays a very big part. And again participants fail to recognise that and tear each other and each other's arguments to shreds, get upset without realising that each one may be vindicating their choice of brand or model (emotive response) rather than the quantitative criteria (which by the way, works best in the lab and may be completely nulled by indifferent skill, resources or interest)..

Talking of indecision, I decided a while back which camera I wouldget (an e-510) but havent yet had the courage to go and buy it,because I dont know if the money would be better spent elsewhere..

You've got a Canon A540? You've got to yearn enough for the e-510 to put up the money. If the A540 is giving you the goods and the happiness, then the DSLR purchase will be much less urgent..

The time when I get a new camera is when I feel suffocated by my previous camera. Sometimes after I buy a new camera, I see my old camera as a friend and use it from time to time..

Anandahttp://anandasim.blogspot.com/http://olympuse510.wikispaces.com/http://picasaweb.google.com/AnandaSim/http://www.flickr.com/photos/32554587@N00/..

Comment #11

Profborg wrote:\>.

Talking of indecision, I decided a while back which camera I wouldget (an e-510) but havent yet had the courage to go and buy it,because I dont know if the money would be better spent elsewhere.Daniel.

And that is just my point. Many folks looking at the DSLR market want someone on the forum to tell them what to buy (usually to provide support for the decision they have already made) so they can feel positive about their decision..

I have the E510. I got it about 2 months before they were generally available and paid about 200 bucks above what I can get one for now. Could the money have been better spent in Elsewhere. Hell yes. I got kids in college, a great wife, and 2 cats. I am sure all of them would happily tell me where Elsewhere actually is located because they go there often.

They like to attend investment seminars..

On the other hand I love the camera. I have lots of fun with it. I am happy when using it. So every once in a while I wake up and find I have been teleported to Elsewhere myself. I so seldom go there and never on my own that I don't remember the way. And the folks in Elsewhere are happy people trying to make others happy.

I give them small portraits of dead presidents and they give me camera equipment.  .

Jim.

Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #12

Talking of indecision, I decided a while back which camera I wouldget (an e-510) but havent yet had the courage to go and buy it,because I dont know if the money would be better spent elsewhere..

You've got a Canon A540? You've got to yearn enough for the e-510 toput up the money. If the A540 is giving you the goods and thehappiness, then the DSLR purchase will be much less urgent..

The time when I get a new camera is when I feel suffocated by myprevious camera. Sometimes after I buy a new camera, I see my oldcamera as a friend and use it from time to time..

I see it a different way as I have always wanted a DSLR and am quite limited in funds, but am happy to spend a bit to get my e-510. My only consideration is that I will spend 350 on a double zoom kit and not use it enough, I mean how many buildings can you photograph?.

Anandahttp://anandasim.blogspot.com/http://olympuse510.wikispaces.com/http://picasaweb.google.com/AnandaSim/http://www.flickr.com/photos/32554587@N00/.

Daniel..

Comment #13

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

I see 2 or 3 posts a day from folks looking for their first DSLR....

That leaves us with the most important part of the system...thephotographer. YOU have to decide what is the most comfortable systemfor you. Generally the Oly/Panasonic will have a lighter body andmuch lighter lenses. Pentax bodies are weather sealed so if you aregoing outdoors a good deal you may want to consider that. So manypeople use Canikons that you could be able to borrow lenses etc.Sony and Oly have built in image stabilization. Canon and Nikon havebetter low light performance.

Somepeople like a heavier system. I don't but I don't like a reallyfeather weight either. Are the controls where YOU want them? Does themenu make sense to YOU? Can YOU quckly change settings? How's theview finder? Is the camera comfortable for YOU to hold and control.If your 6'10 and have hands like Shak then you most likely will notbe comfortable with a small camera. On the other hand if you plan ontaking your camera backpacking an ounce in the morning feels like apound that afternoon..

I posted one of those threads very recently. And people here were very nice and helped to point out many of the things you just said here. A general thread could be very helpful, but I also really appreciated the hand-holding that I got..

In terms of the advice I was looking for, the paragraph quoted above are the sorts of things I would find most helpful. It takes the pros and cons and makes them general enough that someone new can use them and points out some of the places/uses where they come into play..

Something else that I would imagine would be useful (this is based on what I was first looking for, but it seems like it would be generally helpful) would be an easy language description of when you would notice the difference between some of the specs. Maybe this already exists, but I haven't come across it. What situation would you have to be in to notice the difference between say 6 and 10 MP or some other common technical specs. I already got my answers, so no one needs to do this for my benefit, but I thought it might be a helpful tool.-C..

Comment #14

Profborg wrote:.

Talking of indecision, I decided a while back which camera I wouldget (an e-510) but havent yet had the courage to go and buy it,because I dont know if the money would be better spent elsewhere..

Daniel,.

I am exactly in the same boat. I decided on an E510, just as the price dropped to around $600 for the camera with the two lens kit..... and then they announced the E520! Which is pretty much an "improved E510.".

So now I'm waiting for the E520 to drop..

But by then, there will be an E530 looming on the horizon!.

You call it "not having the courage." I call it "being a cheapskate who already owns too many cameras.....".

The truth is I really want a DSLR for the lower noise at higher sensitivity and better indoor shooting, but I keep dreading collecting lenses again. There is something really nice about a fixed lens superzoom camera..

Martyhttp://flickr.com/...photos/7735239@N02/sets/72157604030772272/detail/?page=5.

Panasonic FZ7, FZ30, LX2.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #15

We must also be careful not to impose our "bias" in our answers tothe newbees. We (wife & I) have 4 different makes and styles of cameras,P&S, bridge, DSLR.. Each has a different way of displaying photos,depending on type of photo needed.The most important thing as said by most is that "you" checkthe prospective camera in "your" hands at a store or from a friend, etc...

Keep on shooting memories.....

Comment #16

CHarvie wrote:.

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

Something else that I would imagine would be useful (this is based onwhat I was first looking for, but it seems like it would be generallyhelpful) would be an easy language description of when you wouldnotice the difference between some of the specs. Maybe this alreadyexists, but I haven't come across it. What situation would you haveto be in to notice the difference between say 6 and 10 MP or someother common technical specs. I already got my answers, so no oneneeds to do this for my benefit, but I thought it might be a helpfultool.-C.

It's been done. They're called "Books on Photography"..

There comes a point where real effort to study and learn are the only real way to understand "when you would notice the difference between some of the specs". The explanations are so complex that a proper response can be made only with something like a book..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #17

3 years ago I was puzzled by choice same way as most potential buyers are now..

After reading reviews, comparing noise at different ISO/long time exposure modes I ended up being still not convinced....

I brought to the camera store my CF card and also bought 256MB SD memory card.Came to store with my tripod and made test shots with different camera models at.

Default, and manual settings with different ISO, using devault and some good lenses available at the store (Ritzcamera)..

Then I reviwed results by different cameras and bought DSLR I liked most..

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #18

You can also rent cameras via the web at very resonable prices for a day or two. It's worth the investment to make the right choice..

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #19

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

Got kids in college, a great wife, and 2 cats. I am sure all of themwould happily tell me where Elsewhere actually is located becausethey go there often. Elsewhere is where cats go when you can't find.

Must have taken a wrong turn. Ended up here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Elsewhere.

I almost never get lost - people unfailingly tell me where to go.

Anandahttp://anandasim.blogspot.com/http://olympuse510.wikispaces.com/http://picasaweb.google.com/AnandaSim/http://www.flickr.com/photos/32554587@N00/..

Comment #20

Profborg wrote:.

I see it a different way as I have always wanted a DSLR and am quitelimited in funds, but am happy to spend a bit to get my e-510. Myonly consideration is that I will spend 350 on a double zoom kit andnot use it enough, I mean how many buildings can you photograph?.

Thanks for enunciating this. Another one to go into my thought processor, will tell you if something does come out as a result..

I have a Uni friend from many years ago. He is watching his spending as well. He's had a film SLR. Now he firmly does not want a DSLR, he wants a bridge cam. He says:.

1. He does not want a wimpy camera - he wants something he can hold, not a cigarette packet..

2. His wife wants a wide angle.

3. They both want a 10x zoom.

4. He wonders whether he could spend the money ELSEWHERE since he may not use the camera much all the time and may not shoot with my fervour..

5. In the scale of things the cost of Oly 570 etc... is a bit high considering he may not commit to being a keen photographer.

6. He might wait for the price to drop or wait for a real excuse like a real holiday trip instead of just shooting the dogs..

Now, as long as he doesn't go beserk trying to walk his brain between to and fro, he's happy and I am happy for him. But I see in the way some people appear on these forums that they are burning their brain matter in the indecision..

By the way, I keep telling my friend, the best camera for him is a in inexpensive cam like the Canon A series or similar with a slight wide angle slant - if they are pocketable, they can go with him everywhere, thus increasing the likelihood of being used. Low cost - small size - higher useage isn't that logical?.

But he says, ah, low cost maybe poor IQ, Small size, not holdeable so need a bigger camera, better IQ, bigger zoom range but wait, that makes it expensive and really is the money worthwhiile spent ELSEWHERE?.

Anandahttp://anandasim.blogspot.com/http://olympuse510.wikispaces.com/http://picasaweb.google.com/AnandaSim/http://www.flickr.com/photos/32554587@N00/..

Comment #21

There also some road-shows, by local distributors or consumer electronics expo, where you cant LIVE-test DSLR-s, even BEFORE release .

P.s..

In some city, is hard to find cunstomer-friendly shop, where you canmore or less familarize yourself with tested camera and make some test -shots. in that case - internet-shop with extended return policy(just add about ~$40 to each Camera(over standart pricing)) more or less acceptable...

Comment #22

I would - and have - told anyone considering a DSLR to think twice. How much commitment do you want to photography? Are you willing to spend a bunch of money on a camera and lenses, lug that equipment around, change lenses as needed and postprocess images to achieve the best IQ? Also consider that the camera body you buy today will be obsolete in 3-5 years. There are some really good alternatives. In addition to my DSLR, I have a Canon G9. It has great image quality and is convenient. It does not do well in low light condition, but it has a built in flash and a hotshoe so an external flash can be used.

All of them will rival an entry level DSLR with cheap, kit lenses. All of them will cost much less..

If you are going to venture into the DSLR world, that should mean you are quite serious about photography. Expect to buy several lenses each of which could cost more than the camera body. Select a vendor which has a great selectio of lenses and a strong track record of success in photography. As with the computer field, the camera field will mature and many of today's vendors will be gone. You want to be reasonably sure that those expensive lenses will still be useful as you continue to replace and upgrade camera bodies...

Comment #23

The a DSLR. I think may folks get into a DSLR and then never really learn how to use it. I think they also have flashing DVD Recorders..

A DSLR by itself will not give getter pictures then a good point and shoot if you don't know how to use it. If all you are going to do is print 4x6 and want to use AUTO for everything a DSLR will be an expensive frustration. My wife has a DSLR (she won it in a contest) and a point and shoot. She is far more comfortable with her point and shoot and for what she does frankly it meets all her needs..

I like shooting birds and sports and landscapes and I like very sharp large prints of my best shots. I also like doing HDR. Photography is a real hobby for me and one that I get a great deal of enjoyment from, therefore I am willing to spend a good amount of time and effort to learn how to use my camera..

If you don't want to make the investment in time don't make the investment in $$. Its not worth it..

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #24

Well I bought the e-510 now, and am so happy I did. An outstanding offer I got, the double zoom kit for 340 delivered.Daniel..

Comment #25

I'm sure you will enjoy the 510. Take the time to learn how to use it. I'm still learning stuff and I've had it for more then a year. You won't be disappointed in the time you invest. You images will definatly show it. If you are interested here is an area that I've put 510 test shots in which you might find interesting..

Http://www.pbase.com/maddogmd11/tests.

JIm.

Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #26

Hi, I consider my self a newbie..

I have read this thread, and "maddogmd11" you did a really nice job with this..

However I do think you can change/add something to it.(English is not native to me, so just read it as it is).

I want a DLSR I have decided what system to get, based on hands-on and reviews..

(And thanks to all of those who knows more about photografi than I doand their willingness to share that information).

BUT I havent bought it yet, why?.

The answer is neither in confusion, nor in budget. (I could get a 1DsIII with a large lens collection).

The answer is simple, I am scared that the learning curve might be to steep, at least for now, give me a month or two and I am ready.I have allready used many hours on reading "how to" and tons of reviews..

My story goes like this..

First I got a p&s from a supermarked, flashing adds cheap - bling bling , wow!!It did take pictures I have many keepers.

But After some time, I went sigh, the amount of keepers where no good, to many missed shots..

About 1 year ago I consulted a colleague known to be good with a camera.- Hey, I need a very good DLSR what to get????The answer where on par with your statements:-"What is your problem with your current camera?"-I said "Ehhh to many missed shots" and we talked about my problems..

Then he said you dont need a DSLR you need a really good P&S..

Then he listed a few good performers and said got to the store and pick one of these, I got my G7..

And gues what I went WOW what a lovely camera..

After the WOW stuff settled (about 7 months ago)I started to want more from my G7 so I went back and asked for new advice..

Gues what the only comment was:- Have you noticed the two dial buttons on the top of your G7 ?.......

USE THEM.!! And read about photografi on the net, DPR is a good start, when using DPR you will get to know about other sites, use them as well..

And gues what I went WOW what a lovely camera that G7 really is....I am really impressed with the performance the G7..

The differance is that, after 7 months of learning - I know the limits of the G7.

Also I understand many aspects of photografi; framing/background/lightning ISO/Aperture/shutter speed etc..

When I confronted him again. he said:.

-"If the limits of the G7 is annoying to you, wich of those limits are really annoying?"and for everything I listed he just said hmm...- Finaly I said why do you "hmm..".

And he said you have proven that you are willing to invest/dedicate TIME in your photografi skills, you should be ready to get and use a DSLR without wasting your money, And you have to start with a really bad task;.

-Picking a system that will overcome your list of short commings on your P&S..

And if budget isnt a problem, consider Canon they got great lenses for all purposes.But at some focal lentghs, other lens vendors can perform the same or better.!.

Main reasons for me to get DSLR system:Low light performance (ISO and aperture)FOV - 35mm is often to narrow.Shallow DOFFast autofocus.....etc..

RegardsMajoren..

Comment #27

So, you've read the original post and think it's quite helpful....

It is and I wish DPReview had some method of locking posts at the top of a forum.....

As commented, ALL (or nearly all) current and nearly current DSLRs produce fine images. It's up to you to produce really good images. Yes, a $5000 camera will probably have 'more ability' than a $500 camera, but budget is up to you..

It's like buying a car - the camera has to look nice (to you) and feel nice (to you).THAT IS IMPORTANT!!!!!.

There are excellent lenses avaivable for all DSLRs. What focal lenghts you need is up to you. So check other forums for their thoughts on lenses..

Majoren wrote:.

Main reasons for me to get DSLR system:Low light performance (ISO and aperture).

READ THE CAMERA REVIEWS......

FOV - 35mm is often to narrow..

So get a wider lens..

Shallow DOF.

Maintaing the discussion to 35mm type cameras do not forget the crop factor. All lens set to a given focal length will have the same depth of field - I'll wait for the pedantic corrections - so you need a lens tha opens wide..

Fast autofocus.

Up to the camera plus lens. A Tamron 18-250 on a KM 7D does not focus as quickly as the EXACT SAME lens on a Sony A700..

Etc..

Etc. can cover a multitude of points.............

Comment #28

Great. I have no problem with what you said and congratualtions on making a choice. I have no problem with some reluctance to make the buy. We all suffer from that..

What concerns me are the newbies that expect the forum to help them decided between xxx and yyy and they have never even held a DSLR. I'm going to tell them often to get an OLY because of value. Others are going to say get a canikon because if ISO performance and lenses..

They get a wealth of information but have little or no foundation on which to base that information. YOU on the other hand have done your own work. You've developed your skills and have experience with a P & S and know what you want you want in a DSLR. THAT'S GREAT!!!.

Don't worry about waiting a little. That's normal. I've been looking at a lens for about 2 years and I still haven't purchased it yet..

As for your English. It is excellent. I am positive it is about 1,000,000% better then my Danish!!!.

I truely hope you enjoy your purchase when you make it and congratualtions on making a selection which fits your needs..

Good luck.

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #29

Tony Sx wrote:.

So, you've read the original post and think it's quite helpful...It is and I wish DPReview had some method of locking posts at the topof a forum.....

Me to, it would have saved me many hours of reading useless "wall chart pixel peeping" reviews.The original post gets my vote to be locked.(This goes for the thread as well, maybe in a cleaned-up version).

I've read the rest of your post, I find some of it a bit harsh/arrogant(But that might just be me reading it wrong, and being a sensitive newbie).

RegardsMajoren..

Comment #30

Everything not worth of money no, seriously !! so, better stay home and not buy anything.at all ..

Comment #31

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

The lease important thing overall in the system, e.g. photographer,camera body, lens, is the camera body. ALL the DSLRs available todaywill take excellent images. All of them. So you have one variablewhich is basically a wash unless you want to count pixels, takepictures in very dark rooms without a flash, or whatever..

Hmmm ... I'm not sure to what extent I agree with that. There's the old sophomoric "a great photographer can take a great picture with any camera" line, but a great photographer can't take a great picture of anything with any camera. Features affect what & how you shoot. Depth of field preview, a good focus screen for manual focus verification, "fast AF LV" versus "main sensor LV" each help you do different things; image stabilization, vertical control grips. I suspect that most people don't simply want a camera that can "take good pictures" but want a camera that "makes it easy to take good pictures of xxxxx"..

So we are left with the photographer and lenses. All themanufacturers make good lenses. Canon and Nikon make the most andthere are more 3rd party lenses. And you will often see a postingabout the "wide variety" of lenses from Nikon and Canon. Buthonestly how many lenses do you need? There are 32 lenses availablefor a 4/3 mount at my last count. I think that will cover all of myrequirements with about 28 lenses left over.



Again, an oversimplification. People bemoan the lack of affordable primes for Oly constantly. Ditto for Sony - you can't get a 50/1.7 without paying too much for a used one. No affordable portrait prime, either. Sure, they all offer more lenses than you'll ever need, but do they offer the lenses you *do* need ? .

That leaves us with the most important part of the system...thephotographer. YOU have to decide what is the most comfortable systemfor you..

And what features you can benefit from..

Generally the Oly/Panasonic will have a lighter body andmuch lighter lenses..

At the expense of a reasonably sized viewfinder. OK, I'm not an Oly fan, but my point is that when you start looking at it, the choice in camera is ... significant. Maybe important. Any car can get you there, but you pick the car you buy for some particular reason. Similarly, there are enough differences between cameras & systems that it's really worth your while to do some research.

And sure, if you don't make the best choice, you can still take great pictures, but that's not a reason not to try making the best choice..

Does any of this matter to YOU? Idon't know and nobody on these forums can make that decision..

Exactly ! There are so many people who are more than happy to make recommendations that may be totally wrong because they don't know. The best thing to do is research; look at the features, ask questions about what they're good for and what the compromises are. When someone recommends something, ask "why" ? Tell them what you want to do with your camera; what you want to shoot, what you're unhappy about with other cameras you've tried..

The MOST important aspect in taking pictures is the PHOTOGRAPHER andhis/her knowledge of his/her tools and his/her comfort in using thattool. DON'T put too much thought into the tool..

Again, I disagree. Put some thought into it. Don't be the guy who comes back in 3 months wishing he'd bought a camera with live view, or one with in-body image stabilization, or a bigger viewfinder, or one with an affordable fast normal prime option..

Painters don't stand around admiring each others brushes..

Bad analogy. Painters choose a collection of brushes that lets them paint what they want to paint. Different brands don't limit you to in-lens stabilization, lack of 3rd party choices, no upgrade paths to larger sensors, etc..

They talk technique. I've seenshots with Point and Shoots that are better then anything I can takewith my fancy DSLR because the guy/gal that took them has moreunderstanding of composition and has a better eye for what isinteresting and they get the most from their tools..

But have you seen anyone get great shots of sporting events weekend after weekend with a point and shoot ? Understanding of composition helps you get aesthetically pleasing pictures; it doesn't do anything for helping you get pictures of what you might want/need to get pictures of without the right tools..

- DennisGallery at http://kingofthebeasts.smugmug.com..

Comment #32

Dennis,.

You missed the point. I never said features didn't count. I never said the body didn't count. They do. However for MOST newbies taking pictures the entry level DSLRs will all take great shots. THEY have to do their homework.



Like you pointed out you are not an OLY fan. So what. An OLY may work perfectly well for the newbie but the Canikon fan boys will slam them. The same with Sony and Pentax. You make a big deal about a portrait prime lens. Most newbies don't know a portrait prime from a prime rib and 90% of them will not care.



But if the newbie gets "They don't have a good portrait prime." They actually think it is meaningful to them and like I said 90% of the time it isn't. They need to do there homework so when they get both fan boys and bashers they can make some rational judgement..

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #33

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

You missed the point. I never said features didn't count. I neversaid the body didn't count. They do. However for MOST newbiestaking pictures the entry level DSLRs will all take great shots.THEY have to do their homework. But they constantly come to theforums and ask "Tell me what I should buy"..

You're right. I think the problem, though, is that they don't know where to begin or what questions to ask, so they ask "what should I buy" hoping that someone says something that makes sense to them. What they need is a comprehensive "how to pick a camera" guide that tells them why they might or might not need to consider various features. Most car buyers know what EPA fuel economy, HP, 2-door or 4-door, remote start, etc. mean to them, personally, but I think most camera consumers don't can't relate to the list of features & specs. So they either need to learn; need to explicitly explain their requirements to some objective advisor (like, you know, a salesperson or someone who hangs out on a camera forum  or just buy something and live with it because, as you say, they'll all get the job done and the buyer likely won't know what they're missing..

Like you pointed out you are not an OLY fan..

As an aside, I keep looking at Oly offerings and still might end up w/something like an E-420 & pancake for a semi-compact (if the E-420 had IS I'd probably own that combo today)..

- DennisGallery at http://kingofthebeasts.smugmug.com..

Comment #34

Dennis wrote:.

You're right. I think the problem, though, is that they don't knowwhere to begin or what questions to ask, so they ask "what should Ibuy" hoping that someone says something that makes sense to them..

Yeah, that's what we're responding to. But that's not the only question floating around. As I said previously, one question is "Will I use the camera after spending a four digit figure on it - I'm not like a real pro". Another is the Elsewhere problem - "Can the money be spent elsewhere on other household items"..

What they need is a comprehensive "how to pick a camera" guide thattells them why they might or might not need to consider variousfeatures. Most car buyers know what EPA fuel economy, HP, 2-door or.

I think what we are saying, some of us, is that cameras are not cars or hifi. I drive a car but I am not a car enthusiast. In cars and hifi you can compare specs, value for money, absolute $$$ and so on. At the end of the day, hifi is just dead - you listen to music, you don't create music. Hence the more $$$ you spend, if you haven't got cloth ears, the more you feel good. In cameras, you can get a Nikon D3 with expensive lenses or any brand entry level DSLR cameras with kit lenses - there is an obvious difference in quality and performance that money can buy but the human holding it may be and often is, the limitation, not the diference in the in those cameras..

4-door, remote start, etc. mean to them, personally, but I think mostcamera consumers don't can't relate to the list of features & specs..

Yes. You see people pouring their heart out on MTF figures, high ISO noise etc.... but when they finally buy their entry level DSLR, they don't know how to blur background or how to shoot a macro..

So they either need to learn; need to explicitly explain theirrequirements to some objective advisor (like, you know, a salespersonor someone who hangs out on a camera forum  or just buy something.

Even the best salesperson has to make a buck at the end of the day. That's their job. A better salesperson will give goodwill and use that to ensure repeat and continuing business, have some ethics, have some technical and hands on knowledge but commissions also come into play..

Forum posters may be happy to share and spread good karma (they learnt and they want to pass on their learning) or they establish a reputation or they are out to vindicate their purchase - they may be well balanced or they may only see with one eye..

What was that old saying?.

Something about a person and his money and parting?.

Anandahttp://anandasim.blogspot.com/http://olympuse510.wikispaces.com/http://picasaweb.google.com/AnandaSim/http://www.flickr.com/photos/32554587@N00/..

Comment #35

Jrkliny wrote:.

Also consider that the camera body you buy today will beobsolete in 3-5 years..

No it won't. It'll have been superseded by more up-to-date models, but it will probably (barring any faults) still function just as well as the day it was purchased. The functionality and image quality of today's DSLRs is perfectly sufficient for most people in the majority of situations, so it'll take a lot longer for them to become really obsolete the way the 1mp digicams of old now are..

If you are going to venture into the DSLR world, that should mean youare quite serious about photography. Expect to buy several lenseseach of which could cost more than the camera body..

Why should this be? Not everyone who buys a DSLR is going to also buy big, heavy and expensive f/2.8 zooms, especially not the ones who buy an entry-level camera. For them, that camera and the kit zooms, and possibly a fast medium prime, will be all they ever need..

~Andy Farrellhttp://www.caerphoto.com/http://flickr.com/photos/caerphoto/..

Comment #36

Caer wrote:.

Jrkliny wrote:.

Also consider that the camera body you buy today will beobsolete in 3-5 years..

No it won't. It'll have been superseded by more up-to-date models,but it will probably (barring any faults) still function just as wellas the day it was purchased. The functionality and image quality oftoday's DSLRs is perfectly sufficient for most people in the majorityof situations, so it'll take a lot longer for them to become reallyobsolete the way the 1mp digicams of old now are..

If you are going to venture into the DSLR world, that should mean youare quite serious about photography. Expect to buy several lenseseach of which could cost more than the camera body..

Why should this be? Not everyone who buys a DSLR is going to also buybig, heavy and expensive f/2.8 zooms, especially not the ones who buyan entry-level camera. For them, that camera and the kit zooms, andpossibly a fast medium prime, will be all they ever need..

~Andy Farrell.

Excellent points. I often see this in posts that the newbie NEEDs more lenses. I think in many instatances this is false. That is why most Newbies should evaluate the kit lenses. I do believe however that if you are getting a DSLR it requires first and foremost an investment in time..

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #37

Thats all about UNDERSTANDING of newbie.understaning of needs, by reveal unspoken ...after brief analysis and with little help of expirence(anvising)..

People constantly heave parts of ... call if "own preference" to oppose, something like "inducted by massmedia" opinion-weight coefficients.....

Comment #38

Different people - outbalace specs and L&F and something other - WAY different, that others.thats we all becomes.people."think[feel?] different !!" (c) (tm) is what we are made from...

Comment #39

Sorry if I repeat some things that have already been said, but I got here late , read the OP and a few of the responses, and have a few comments..

First, the reason beginners have problems deciding on a camera is because they haven't enough experience to know themselves photographically. To suggest they decide what is important to them, what's comfortable, etc. is not very useful because beginners don't have those answers..

Also, I think it's time to retire the old cliche about the body being unimportant. Digital has made that obsolete. When you buy a digital body, it comes with a lifetime supply of digital "film" the sensor and associated electronics which are arguably the most important hardware component in the entire system. Pixel size and count differ markedly among different types of cameras, especially among compact cameras versus the larger SLRs..

Lenses are still very important, but mostly for focal length, aperture, and zoom range. To a large extent post processing software has been a great equalizer for distortions and vignetting, and to a smaller extent, sharpness..

So yes most any camera will do fine for static pictures in bright light, and choice can be based on hand comfort. But beginners quickly turn into intermediates, and at that level they do want to take low light photos without flash, and they do learn to see "noise" and other artifacts that can occur with noise-prone sensors..

And, when they become advanced photographers, they sometimes want to rent special lenses, and there is a very big difference between brands in availability of rental items..

There is no easy answer for all beginners, but all should be aware that if they choose mainly on "comfort", they may have to rebuy their system a year or two down the road..

Lest any one take this in wrong way, I'm not denigrating or boosting any brand, just trying to make the point that the question of which brand to buy into is not trivial or unimportant..

Just my $.02.

JerryG.

See my galleries at:http://www.pbase.com/jerryg1..

Comment #40

OK, some beginners will take up photography as a serious hobby. I suspect others are moving up from a prosumer or compact all-in-one..

If a beginner doesn't yet know, and has about 1000 USD budget, I submit maddog's argument is a good one. Buying into a system with top notch pro lenses and accessories is not for everyone, especially if the entry level gear is not up to the value of system with lesser, but still sufficient choices of lenses..

If that same beginner decides they need top end bodies and lenses then 1000 USD won't scratch the surface of the budget they'll need. Therefore the difference of where the person starts out and ends up is trivial if they go pro/serious enthusiast. If the don't go pro/serious enthusiast they may get better value by only considering the value of the consumer gear lineups..

IMHO. YMMV. etc...

Comment #41

The BEST camera is&..the one that.

1) Has the ergonomics and user experience qualities that are best in the eyes of it's owner.

2) Has a feature set that is most effective for the kind of photography the owner plans to do - and actually uses those features.

3) Has a price point that fits the owners cost/value proposition.

Every camera has a different feature set, different ergonomics, different user experience, and different price points. To be able to recommend a camera, wed need to first ask the prospective owner a series of questions about planned usage and expectations. Then we can objectively recommend one or a subset of candidates..

So it isnt wrong that new people ask what camera should I buy? they often dont know enough to provide the parameters described above (and more) and it's our option to help them by getting them to think critically rather than be salespeople. So yes, it is about the photographer and the photographers skills, but it's also about choosing the right tool for the job and one size does not fit all..

Mike.

Polaroid Swinger; Kodak Instamatic 126 Ricoh 500G; Canon FTb; Nikon F2AS; Nikon F3HP; Hasselblad 501CM; Pentax 67II, Nikon 990; Nikon D1x; Nikon D300; PhaseOne P65+ (in my dreams ..

Comment #42

Mrxdimension wrote:.

...If a beginner doesn't yet know, and has about 1000 USD budget, Isubmit maddog's argument is a good one. Buying into a system withtop notch pro lenses and accessories is not for everyone, especiallyif the entry level gear is not up to the value of system with lesser,but still sufficient choices of lenses..

... If they don't gopro/serious enthusiast they may get better value by only consideringthe value of the consumer gear lineups.....

I don't really disagree, whch is why I said there is no one answer or even one approach to an answer for all beginners. Some folks change hobbies every six months, and some play for keeps. I've been doing photography my whole life (a long time!), most seriously since I retired a few years ago. I wasted my share of coin on false starts, on products that just couldn't grow with my skills and interests, and with maufacturers that went out of business. (Believe me, it's no fun getting thirty cents on the dollar for your equipment).

Personally and this is not a universal recommendation if I were starting out today I'd go with Canon or Nikon. Not that I think those brands necessarily offer better value in starter equipment, but I do think I'd have the smallest risk of outgrowing those product lineups, and the smallest risk of the brand abandoning me because they opt out of the SLR business.________I love these discussions. Hope they do the beginners some good..

JerryG.

See my galleries at:http://www.pbase.com/jerryg1..

Comment #43

Michael Firstlight wrote:.

... wed need to first ask the prospective owner aseries of questions about planned usage and expectations.....

As a novice, I never planned to ever be taking macros or second-curtain synch bounce-flash pictures, yet I just spent the weekend doing those things..

Who really knows what they'll be doing with their camera in two or five years?.

JerryG.

See my galleries at:http://www.pbase.com/jerryg1..

Comment #44

Majoren wrote:.

... Also I understand many aspects of photografi;framing/background/lightning ISO/Aperture/shutter speed etc..

If you understand these, you are no newbie, my friend..

Main reasons for me to get DSLR system:Low light performance (ISO and aperture)FOV - 35mm is often to narrow.Shallow DOFFast autofocus....

Well you've certainly listed the right reasons. The only one I would add is time between shots, but that may not bother you..

Sounds like it's time to buy. Don't worry about the learning curve. Sounds like you have a strong background and a wise friend..

JerryG.

See my galleries at:http://www.pbase.com/jerryg1..

Comment #45

JerryG1 wrote: if I were.

Starting out today I'd go with Canon or Nikon. Not that I think thosebrands necessarily offer better value in starter equipment, but I dothink I'd have the smallest risk of outgrowing those product lineups,and the smallest risk of the brand abandoning me because they opt outof the SLR business..

I've been at it a long time too. Canon abandoned their FD mount and left me stranded. I know the pain. (BTW I still enjoy using my old Canon film gear, as well as gear by other manufacturers have produced over the last forty years) Perhaps I don't have the need for the range of you or others but I don't see the value in a range of equipment I'll never want nor need. I suspect many beginners won't benefit from that range either..

Risk is a part of life. Being risk adverse plays into the hands of fear, uncertainty, and doubt marketers. I like my old "outdated" equipment because it was built well and performs well even if it isn't the latest and greatest. I like my new equipment because it's built well and has the capability I desire into the foreseeable future. I don't desire insurance from the big two, they'd ditch my investment in a minute if they could make a buck on the deal...

Comment #46

No one can project every use, but you can get an idea of their core interests. A D3 or 1DsMKII would be a bit of overkill for casual family snapshots and a light interest in learning a DSLR as a hobby. An outdoor hiker/climber on the other hand, might just be interested in good weather sealing..

Regards,Mike.

Polaroid Swinger; Kodak Instamatic 126 Ricoh 500G; Canon FTb; Nikon F2AS; Nikon F3HP; Hasselblad 501CM; Pentax 67II, Nikon 990; Nikon D1x; Nikon D300; PhaseOne P65+ (in my dreams ..

Comment #47

Funny, I just bought a mint condition Canon FTb for nostalgia sake for a song on eBay; that and a mint Nikon F2AS; they both remind of what build quality and being in total control really meant..

Mike.

Polaroid Swinger; Kodak Instamatic 126 Ricoh 500G; Canon FTb; Nikon F2AS; Nikon F3HP; Hasselblad 501CM; Pentax 67II, Nikon 990; Nikon D1x; Nikon D300; PhaseOne P65+ (in my dreams ..

Comment #48

Yup. I love my old Ft. Happy shooting. The Nikon F2's were the thing to have in the day. I never owned one, but I admired and used my buddies F2 a few times. Talk about built like a brick house...

Comment #49

We don't totally agree, but you're OK, mrxdimension JerryG.

See my galleries at:http://www.pbase.com/jerryg1..

Comment #50

As well as sensor overall quality. Even though it's true that in bright conditions most dslrs will show pretty similar results, once you take your camera indoors and not use flash, or need high ISO to crank up speed to shoot wildlife in movement (birds, for example), noise becomes an issue pretty fast..

Also, even if you think you'll never need a specialty lens, why assume that before-hand?.

I think the overall system is relevant for those who may take photography more seriously as time passes, and those are the ones worth pointing this out to..

JerryG1 wrote:.

Sorry if I repeat some things that have already been said, but I gothere late , read the OP and a few of the responses, and have a fewcomments..

First, the reason beginners have problems deciding on a camera isbecause they haven't enough experience to know themselvesphotographically. To suggest they decide what is important to them,what's comfortable, etc. is not very useful because beginners don'thave those answers..

Also, I think it's time to retire the old cliche about the body beingunimportant. Digital has made that obsolete. When you buy a digitalbody, it comes with a lifetime supply of digital "film" the sensorand associated electronics which are arguably the most importanthardware component in the entire system. Pixel size and count differmarkedly among different types of cameras, especially among compactcameras versus the larger SLRs..

Lenses are still very important, but mostly for focal length,aperture, and zoom range. To a large extent post processing softwarehas been a great equalizer for distortions and vignetting, and to asmaller extent, sharpness..

So yes most any camera will do fine for static pictures in brightlight, and choice can be based on hand comfort. But beginnersquickly turn into intermediates, and at that level they do want totake low light photos without flash, and they do learn to see "noise"and other artifacts that can occur with noise-prone sensors..

And, when they become advanced photographers, they sometimes want torent special lenses, and there is a very big difference betweenbrands in availability of rental items..

There is no easy answer for all beginners, but all should be awarethat if they choose mainly on "comfort", they may have to rebuytheir system a year or two down the road..

Lest any one take this in wrong way, I'm not denigrating or boostingany brand, just trying to make the point that the question of whichbrand to buy into is not trivial or unimportant..

Just my $.02.

JerryG.

See my galleries at:http://www.pbase.com/jerryg1.

Regards, Renato.http://www.flickr.com/photos//..

Comment #51

Rhlpetrus wrote:.

As well as sensor overall quality. Even though it's true that inbright conditions most dslrs will show pretty similar results,.

This is so true, not only for DSLRs, but for all camera types. I challenge anyone to identify the brand or type of camera used to make a static image under good light by looking at the image, especially after a bit of post processing.Take a look on pbase at photos sorted by camera to see what I mean..

Onceyou take your camera indoors and not use flash, or need high ISO tocrank up speed to shoot wildlife in movement (birds, for example),noise becomes an issue pretty fast..

Exactly correct. Noise under less than ideal conditions is what differentiates body-related image quality. It often becomes the dominant image quality factor..

Based on my wife's learning curve with her G9, I'd say the desire to shoot more challenging subjects in adverse light happens about 3-months after purchase. (In a museum where flash is not allowed, and an evening outdoor performance too far from the action for flash to work.) At this point they either get frustrated and drop the hobby, or start looking at more capable gear, or borrow their husbands dslr..

Also, even if you think you'll never need a specialty lens, whyassume that before-hand?.

She wants wider angles on the G9 now!.

I think the overall system is relevant for those who may takephotography more seriously as time passes, and those are the onesworth pointing this out to..

Yes, but the problem is they are hard to identify, and they often don't know themselves..

This is how I deal with it: If a newbie considers a $200 digicam, I say great choice, buy it and enjoy it. But if he/she considers a $1000 camera, I feel obliged to point out the differences between that choice and others that offer extra abilities that will become useful only for those who advance in the hobby. Then the newbie makes a choice, and my conscience is clear..

JerryG.

See my galleries at:http://www.pbase.com/jerryg1..

Comment #52

I can typically tell a set of images shot with a Canon apart from a Nikon; Canon has always had a smoother, plastic like look - almost too perfect while Nikon's have had a more gritty film look. That was easily apparent when the Canon sensors were CMOS and the Nikon sensors were all CCDs. Default color and noise processing varies as well. I think the difference is less apparent today than it was, say, 4-5 years ago, but my eye is now sensitive to even the more subtle difference and each does have it's own character. Heck, witness the various camera profiles for each - they each have a distinct look. its getting so that you can study the various camera profiles under CS3 now and get pretty good at identifying which belongs to each mush like comparing Provia to VPS..

Now, instead of different film looks you have different camera profile looks and they certainly are influenced by each manufacturers default processing algorithms, color space application, noise characteristics (Nikon clearly has lower chromatic aberration in it's flagships over Canon) and then again with canned camera profiles..

Mike.

Polaroid Swinger; Kodak Instamatic 126 Ricoh 500G; Canon FTb; Nikon F2AS; Nikon F3HP; Hasselblad 501CM; Pentax 67II, Nikon 990; Nikon D1x; Nikon D300; PhaseOne P65+ (in my dreams ..

Comment #53

To make was not so much dealing with what we should tell beginners. It was what beginners need to do, to tell us, and to understand to get valid responses..

The OP starts with "tell me which camera I should get". Based on what? A newb has to at least think about what they want to do with the camera. I mean how many different kinds of hammers are there? They all pound stuff really well. But you don't use a ball pien to do brick work. You use a brick hammer. Hello.

What do you want to accomplish and how much are you willing to pay?.

When the post starts with "I want to shoot concerts without using a flash" that actually provides a basis for some intellegent recommendations. If it starts with "I need a really small DSLR for taking on backpacking trips." again that provides some useful information..

"I have limited my choices to a Nikon 60 and an Sony A200 which one should I choose." that is basically pretty useless. They will get 60-70% buy a nikon and 30-40% buy a Sony. The the responders will beat up each others systems. This is basically useless info regardless of how entertaining it might be..

The Newb should do, and to be honest, must do something more then read reviews which vary between "highly recommended" and "highly recommended (just)". I don't expect the Newb to know what they are going to be doing 5 years from now. I don't know what I'm going to have for lunch tomorrow. But I know I'm going to HAVE lunch and pretty much where I'll be having it..

If they just want to take snapshots and print 4x6 prints from time to time but mostly keep them on a slide show on the computer save your $$ and get a decent point and shoot. They will not notice much difference 90% of the time IF you learn how to use the point and shoot. If the newb doesn't want to invest the time in learning a p&S the best advice any of us could give them is DONT buy a DSLR..

As for sensor issues, are there differences...sure. Does it matter...to a degree but if you have photoshop not a hell of alot when you shoot in raw with almost any DSLR you will get great shots. I've got an Oly; small sensor high noise...according to the Canikon crowd and it should never even be considered. I often get excellent scores and beat Canikons at our club contests because I freakin know how to use the camera. Most newbs are not looking to compete and many will not move up in lenses above what come with the kit. So unless they say "I plan on being a serious hobbiest" who cares about the number of lenses that are available above the kit lenses or in camera noise unless they are going to blow up the image to something pretty large.

But the Newb needs to KNOW if it matters to them..

And lets be honest the differences between the entry level DSLRs are by and large insignficant at the kit level. The guy/gal holding the camera makes ALL the difference at this level..

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #54

This is a cool topic and I wanted to throw in my 2 cents (well more than that cause this is going to be kind of long), as a DSLR newbie. I started with Digital Photography in Feb of 2005 when I bought my first one, a Kodak DX7440. I had been using Advantix up to that point, so this was a huge step for me. After 3 months the DX broke and I exchanged it for a Kodak Z730, essentially the same camera, just newer. Why did I pic Kodak for my first camera? Because I'm from Rochester, NY and I used to visit the Eastman House. Still love going there.

(Plug, if you ever get a chance, go to the Eastman House, it is one of the best places I've ever been, it's like nirvana for a photography buff)..

It didn't take too long, and I outgrew the Z730. At the time I wanted more zoom and better low light pics. But I still wanted to stay with Kodak so I got a P850. Not a great idea, not great at low light, pics weren't so good. But it was fun to use and I felt more advanced. After some time, I then discovered wide angle was my thing.

Now this camera was a dream to me at the time. I loved the controls, I loved the wide angle, the picture quality was light years ahead of the P850. And believe it or not, I like the funny way it looks. It's unique. I still have this camera and use it all the time.

Have to wait an interminably long time after each picture..

So with these three cameras I discovered what kind of photographer I am, and how much I truly love photography and cameras. I soon found out that fuji made a great low light camera, the F30. No store carried it, and I tried everywhere. I wanted to hold it in my hand and try it out before I bought it. I don't like ordering off the internet for that reason, and I've still never ordered anything photography related off the internet. I just like going to the store, looking at the merchandise and trying it out.

I love it's low light ability, and I take it whenever I don't want to carry the P880. But I get frustrated with no Image Stabilization. I'm not big on tripods, and even the F20 can't get good shots if there isn't enough light hand held. It was a big step getting the F20, though, because it was my first non-Kodak. I felt kind of traitorous.

They don't make anything better than the P880 and probably never will. So it's bye-bye Kodak. Not exactly sure why they want to lose people just as we become more into photography. Kind of weird marketing. The people who are finally ready to spend some money and buy lots of camera gear, and Kodak doesn't have anything for us.

In them meantime, I inherited a Minolta Maxxum 8000I with 5 lenses. I used it enough times to know I loved having the ability to change lenses, and enough to know I couldn't really go back to film. I love the immediacy of digital. I can take photos, race home, then see them and manipulate them. Blows film out of the water. I've also reached the point where I want a more professional system, where I can continually add new items as the budget allows.



And let me tell you, this decision is killing me. At this point I'm frozen. I have researched every camera on every review site I can find. I have gone to every store, numerous times, using all DSLR's. And no matter what I do I can't make a decision. There are pros and cons to each camera and I just can't get past them.

Oh, and before I start I'll just say my budget it 700 and below for the camera and kit lens..

1. Sony. This was the most obvious choice. I have 5 Minolta A-mount lenses that would fit on the Sony. But there is one problem. I hate the Sony.

But nope, just won't happen. (Well, not completely. I love the A700. But it is way beyond my budget and it is big. Even though it's terrific in my hand, I think the weight would get to me over time and I wouldn't use it).

Yes, the 300 has live view, and a movable screen. But the grip on the A-200 is better in my hand and the viewfinder is better. But regardless of these gripes, I just hate the Sony. It feels clunky to me, does not have any rubber for my thumb on the back, and it feels Fat. That's a weird description, but it's how it feels.

Like it's blown up. I keep wanting to squeeze the air out of it so it's not bloated anymore. If that doesn't turn you off of a camera, I don't know what will. So I figured I'd better move on. I tried to sell the lenses at a used camera store, but they would only give me $79.

I'd just keep them and use them with the Maxxum from time to time. Okay on to number 2..

2. Next camera I looked at was the Nikon D40/40X/60. I loved the interface. Best one of all the cameras. I know it's petty, but I loved using the blue sky with clouds background. And the who menu system looks the most professional, easiest to read, and just all around winner.

But then I discovered no live view. (not a deal breaker, but I do like it). No Image Stabilization except in some lenses. (again, not a deal breaker, but kind of frustrating). And no autofocus in camera.

I like the feel in my hand okay, but it's not the best. So it gets lower marks for this as well. So then I moved on to Cannon..

(end of round 1)..

Comment #55

(Round 2).

3. The Cannon XSi. Okay, why that model, when I could get the XTi cheaper? Because the XTi has way too small a grip for my hand. It feels so bad that I can't consider the XTi no matter what else it has going for it. So on to the XSi which does feel pretty good in my hand. Not as good as the cameras coming up, but not bad.

Which works for it and against it. I generally route for the underdog so I hate buying the Cannon just on that principle. But on the other hand, it does have some killer features. Such as the big 3 inch screen. Live View.

It tends to get the best reviews. But. And it's a big but. It's too expensive. $200 more than the other cameras, generally or even more depending.

So next up is Pentax..

4. Okay, the Pentax K200 is currently tying for 1st place for me. It feels the absolute best in the hand. Kind of fits like a glove to me. I guess my hand is the right size for it or something. When I pick it up, it's like it was designed for my hand.

The closest camera to it is the Sony A700. These are the only 2 cameras I feel won't fall out of my hand, if I hold them with just my right. I love the pics straight out of the cam from the Pentax. I love the image stabilization built in. I love the menu system.

It is big, and while it fits like a glove, it can still get heavy. Would I use it all the time? Like the A700 I worry. And there is no live view, which I would miss. But I think the positives outweight the negatives to me with this one. It just feels so good to hold.

5. Ah the Olympus E-520. This one ties for 1st with the Pentax, and it flirts with winning out. It's second best in the hand. It has image stabilization, the best anti-dust feature and it's blue. (another weird thing, but I love the blue color used on the Olympus.

It has live view, and you can put grid lines on it, unlike the Sony. I use those grid lines to keep my horizon's straight. And I love having the scene modes. I know it's best to use manual, but it's just nice to have them in a pinch. There are so many.

It's just one more fun little thing that pushes the Olympus ahead of the others. BUT. Here were go again. At first it seemed the Olympus was the winner, but not so fast. It's got a smaller sensor than the others.

It doesn't have as many lenses, and what it does have tend to be more expensive. And the worst of all? Olympus had to go and make 2 models. One that is lighter, cheaper and feels better in my hand, but without image stabilization. Oh boy, I want to pay less, I like it being lighter, but it doesn't have IS, and I worry the grip might be too small. Ugh.

Why Olympus, why? Couldn't you have just put them together and split the difference and made one?.

So there you have it. My dilemma. I waffle between the Pentax and the Olympus, not able to pick one. Then I go back to thinking I should get the Sony so I can use my lenses. Then I think about the beautiful interface in the Nikon and the great screen on the Canon. And I'm stuck..

So here is why us newbies write to all you pros on this site. And it's a big reason. And it's the reason I just typed out a book. (please forgive me):).

I don't know a single other soul who likes cameras like I do. There is no one I can bounce all these thoughts off of. I go shopping alone, and there is no one to hear what I'm thinking, to give me their opinion, or just to share the experience with. So I'm bearing all here just to talk this over with others of like mind. Perhaps that's why so many other newbies keep asking "Which camera should I buy"? They don't really want you to tell them what to buy. They just want someone else to share in the experience with them, to be able to bounce all their thoughts off someone.



There you have it. I hope my LONG story didn't bore anyone. Perhaps it entertained. Perhaps some camera manufacturer people will read it and get some insight into consumer behavior. Perhaps all of you nice people will have some advice I can use in my decision making. Thanks...

Comment #56

It sucks to have so much choice doesn't it? I don't think even the highest end DSLR owners a mere 3 years ago would take any pity LOL!.

Thanks for the post; it illustrates what some of us have been writing. You can probably take the same quality image with all of those choices. Depending on the type of shot, some of the features will help, some won't. If you do a lot of close up work, live view is nice to have. No in-body AF for the Nikon? That one has me scratching my head - I've been using Canon and Nikon way too long - I thought all DSLRs used AF lenses these days..

Next, you said:.

"So with these three cameras I discovered what kind of photographer I am.

If you re-read your own post, you really didnt clue us in to the secret. You did however fix on features and characteristics and have set some parameters such as cost, general type (DSLR), low light and so on. If that is your starting point, you can answer the riddle yourself rather quickly. Here's one method:.

Make list of all of the features and characteristics and then assign them each an importance rating High, Medium or Low. THINK HARD ABOUT WHAT YOU MAKE A HIGH ITEM  they should be those things that you would need and use most for the type of pictures youll do most often. Include other factors in the list such as overall ergonomics, menu system, cost, and anything else you think important..

Next, split them into three separate lists. Along the top row of each set, list the cameras and in each column rate each feature for that camera (score 1-5 with 5 being the best). Do the same for the medium items and the same for the low items  use separate tables. Total each table and look at the results  which did you score highest for the most important features? Its there a clear winner? No, OK, now look at the results of the medium list and so on. Still too close to call? Total up the sums from just High and Medium and check the result. Still no clear winner? Total all three tables for each camera  should take you about 15-20 minutes to do all this after all the research youve already done - the end..

Mike.

-.

Polaroid Swinger; Kodak Instamatic 126 Ricoh 500G; Canon FTb; Nikon F2AS; Nikon F3HP; Hasselblad 501CM; Pentax 67II, Nikon 990; Nikon D1x; Nikon D300; PhaseOne P65+ (in my dreams ..

Comment #57

For genuine minolta AF lenses on ebay you'll get good money now. 50mm f/1.7 goes around $100, Beercan for $200, $400 for 100mm f/2.8..

I don't sell my minolta glass, because I don't care about brand name, but optics quality..

Your Minolta lenses may be worth of Canon 5D now....

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #58

Acoolerclimate wrote:.

The Sony A200 - you don't like the grip. Give up on it. If you don't like the grip, you don't like the grip. Finito..

The Sony A300, A350 - I don't like the handling (left to right balance). Forgedabout it..

The Sony A700 - that's way over budget. Forgedabout it..

The Nikon D40 - Ken Rockwell thinks it's a great cam. I think it's nice. You say it's purposely missing features - I agree. If you want more buttons to push for growing your skills, then this is out. And it is getting old..

The Canon XSi - you gotta use one N in Canon. The other spelling is for bedsheets, you can't shoot pictures with bedsheets. It is good from what I hear. But you don't like the price. With Canon, it will get worse. Good Canon lenses are not cheap.



Pentax K200 - all good news about it. Except that in the exciting entry level cameras, it's not grabbing headlines..

Olympus 520 - you like the grip. It has nice stuff also..

Olympus 420 - it's small. It's good as a second camera for Canon and Nikon huge camera owners. For you, only DSLR, nah, it's too small and there is no grip..

So there you have it. My dilemma. I waffle between the Pentax and theOlympus, not able to pick one. Then I go back to thinking I shouldget the Sony so I can use my lenses. Then I think about the beautifulinterface in the Nikon and the great screen on the Canon. And I'mstuck..

Pentax is a good cam but it's not very small. It has no LiveView..

Oly 520 is a small cam and if you don't go crazy on expensive glass, the kit lenses, 75-300mm, forthcoming 9-18mm are small. You like the blue body colour, you like the grip. You are ok with the LiveView. What more can I say?.

Buy"? They don't really want you to tell them what to buy. They justwant someone else to share in the experience with them, to be able tobounce all their thoughts off someone. If you tell me which camera tobuy, I know it's still my decision, it's just nice to talk to someoneabout it..

Sell your Minolta AF lenses as the other poster says. They fetch good money in Melbourne, Australia..

Yes. you got that in one. Takes us a lot to get to that point..

Anandahttp://anandasim.blogspot.com/http://olympuse510.wikispaces.com/http://picasaweb.google.com/AnandaSim/http://www.flickr.com/photos/32554587@N00/..

Comment #59

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