E-volt E-500 or D40?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by emaja, May 28, 2007.

  1. emaja macrumors 68000

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    #1
    I know these questions are asked a billion times here, but here's one more...

    I have never owned an SLR (film or digital). I want to have a larger zoom than is possible in a typical digital camera so I can take photos of sporting events and venues that my son and I travel to (we go on an annual baseball road trip - this year to Boston and NYC).

    I found a good price on the E-500 with the two lens kit for $599. I was also looking at the D40, but it comes with one lens for the same price. The Olympus comes with a 35mm equivalent 28-90mm (with included 14-45mm lens) or 80mm-300mm (with included 40-150mm lens). I think that will be enough for me for now.

    I know most will say, "Look at the lenses and not the camera as you will buy lenses once and several bodies," but I am not really looking to buy a ton of glass. In any case, whatever lenses I see myself buying are available from Olympus or Sigma. I may get a Sigma 135-400 f/4.5-5.6 later.

    I guess what I want to know is if there is any significan disadvantage to buying a four-thirds camera or the Evolt in particular. I know little about them, but do not want to make a $600 mistake. I like the feel of the Evolt and think the included lenses - which I understand are very nice quality kit lenses - will work well for me and provide a possible upgrade path with available lenses.

    Opinions?
     
  2. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    #2
    I had to make almost the exact same decision within the past 1.5 months. I was choosing between those two cameras, but each only had 1 lens. I chose the Olympus and don't regret it one bit. It takes great pictures and is amazingly easy to use.

    You're going to have more upgrade and lens options if you go with the Nikon, but there are some nice lenses out there for the Olympus, and the two it comes with should hold you for a while, anyway.

    I'll go ahead and vote for the Olympus, but I doubt too many other people will. You can check out my Flickr page to see some of the shots I have gotten with the Olympus. They're not professional pictures or anything, but they may give you a clue what someone who has been away from SLRs for a while can do with that camera and the 14-45 that comes with it.
     
  3. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #3
    Might be worthwhile to look at DPreview's Olympus SLR forum to see what's been said on this topic (if anything), and/or ask existing Olympus dSLR owners if there are drawbacks they've run into after choosing that route.
     
  4. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    #4
    Along those lines, I consulted DPReview heavily when narrowing down my search to those cameras. Check out their full reviews to see what some of the major pluses and minuses of each system are. Both cameras are highly recommended, but each for different reasons.
     
  5. emaja thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    I did browse through the forums there and found a bunch of info on the 510, but not much on the 500. It seems that the biggest drawback to a four-thirds system was the lack of lenses, but not so much anymore as there are more and more lenses available.

    It seems like a great camera and has a good feel in my hands along with nice kit lenses, so I think I will pick one up here shortly. DP Review and Steve's Digicams both like it, mentioning a small viewfinder, USB 1.1 transfer speeds, and slow startup times (1.7 seconds) as the biggest drawbacks - which I think I can live with due to the quality of the included lenses and that I will use a card reader to save on batteries anyway.

    They were saying it was a good camera and a great value at the $900 price with one lens at launch, but for $600 it is almost a steal with the two lenses.

    Thanks for the input. Any others?
     
  6. cube macrumors G4

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  7. emaja thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #7
    I did and coming from my 3.3MP Fuji A330 both were a great improvement which is why I said I could live with it. I am not coming at this from the perspective of an experienced SLR user, so the "smallness" of the viewfinder is not an issue for me.
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #8
    Part of it depends on what you plan to do with the photos. If they're just going to stay on the computer or be printed at 4x5", then it really won't matter too much what you choose. If you want to be able to print larger pictures- say 8x10-11x14 easily, and a little larger with some uprezing, then the D40 is the right answer.
     
  9. emaja thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Is that a shortcoming of the four-thirds? The E-500 is an 8MP camera while the D40 is only 6. Pardon me if I don't understand why fewer megapixels would make for a worse picture if blown up. I also have read that the lenses included with the E-500 are better than the D40, which along with more MPs is why I think the Evolt is a better camera for me.

    I plan on mostly viewing them on my Mac, but a few will likely be printed out, but probably nothing larger than 8x10.
     
  10. cube macrumors G4

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    #10
    FourThirds uses a smaller sensor. All other things being equal, there's more noise in the pictures coming from a smaller sensor. If in addition, it has more mpix, you are just making the photosites even smaller.

    Anyway, the E-400 looked like a very attractive camera at the time, but now that the D40 is out, the bulk advantage has vanished.

    I would more look at what any additional lenses would cost.

    Also, Nikon has the 18-200 VR which is quite unparalleled for travel.
     
  11. emaja thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #11
    I am looking at the E-500, not the E-400.

    I understand that the Evolt uses a smaller sensor, but since I will not be making enlargements I don't think that will matter too much to me.
     
  12. cube macrumors G4

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    #12
    I know you're looking at the E-400. I meant that the E-400 caught my attention, while the others didn't.

    When I looked at the lenses they seemed very expensive at the wide end, plus there's no ultrasonic ones.

    But it looks like a good deal.
     
  13. cube macrumors G4

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    May 10, 2004
    #13
    K100D 1 lens kit for $480 minus rebates:

    http://www.beachcamera.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=PKK100D1855

    That way you get image stabilization plus a bigger sensor.
     
  14. emaja thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #14
  15. cube macrumors G4

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    #15
    I wouldn't give up so easily on the E-500 just for every detail we consider here. It seems to be a good camera, so if it fits you future plans, why not going for it if it happens to be the best deal?
     
  16. emaja thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #16
    I did say "almost"...

    You are right of course, but I am making this is so much harder than it needs to be due to my desire to get it right the first time. Since I am new to SLRs, I do not have any investment in lenses, but this decision will certainly be a step towards locking me into one system - as would buying <I>any</I> dSLR.
     
  17. cube macrumors G4

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    #17
    That wording is a bit misleading. If you look at the rebate form you will see:

    - $50 rebate for body/kit
    - $100 rebate for body/kit if bought TOGETHER with 50-200 OR AF360FGZ flash
    - 50-200 gets an additional $50 rebate
    - flash gets an additional $25 rebate

    So you get at most $175 on that stuff
     
  18. cube macrumors G4

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    #18
    The E-500 body weighs 479g, while the K100D body weighs 660g

    The FourThird lenses are theoretically smaller than those of APS-C brands.
     
  19. cube macrumors G4

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    #19
    When combining these Pentax things it's a bit cheaper at Abe's.
     
  20. IscariotJ macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I was in the same position a while ago, as was a friend of mine. I went the D40 route, he the E-500. Even though he is very happy with his camera, he does envy my VR lens. If he wants something like VR, he would have to upgrade to the E-510 ( though it is rumoured Sigma is producing an Olympus fit version of their 18-200 OS ). Is VR an issue for you?

    As has been mentioned, look to the lenses, then buy the body.

    I know it doesn't make it any easier, but both produce superb shots :)
     
  21. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #21
    Note that in-body VR does not work nearly as well as in-lens VR.
     
  22. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #22
    The number of pixels isn't the only factor. Sensor size changes how much an image must be maginified to be printed, which changes how much noise will be in an image (this is also true of film, not just digital.) My minimum print size is 8x10 unless I'm just proofing to see how an image looks. I'd pay the extra money for a 4MP D2HS over any of the 4/3rds bodies, and I'd probably get that over the 6MP D40 given the choice despite having 33% fewer pixels.

    There are a few reasons that sales of 4/3rds bodies are relatively flat- the D40 is one of them (while the 4/3rds bodies are likely the pricing thing that had the focus motor pulled from the D40- hey- it's a market.)

    If you're looking on a computer, you're not likely to appreciate the difference, and ultimately it's up to you to get the camera you like the best.
     
  23. emaja thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #23
    Thanks for all the input guys. I thought that the E-500 was a good value, but if I want any upgrade path my options are much more limited than if I went with either Nikon or Canon.

    It looks like I will be choosing between the D40x and the Rebel XTi to guarantee a future for any lenses that I will buy.
     
  24. cube macrumors G4

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    #24
    Now you're going all the way to the D40x instead of the D40?
    6 mpix is OK. I would consider a used D70s (not D70 because of BGLOD fear) for about $500 for more lens options (specially used). It also has some valuable features over the D40(x), like DOF preview, commander mode, top lighted status display, more buttons).
     
  25. beingme macrumors member

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    #25

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