Olympus E-410 or Rebel XT

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by aaronw1986, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

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    #1
    I am in the market for an entry level dSLR. I am currently deciding between the Olympus E-410 and the Rebel XT. The problem I see with the E-410 is that it only has digital image stabilization. The XT is old, but is it still ok? I don't want to spend over $550 for the camera, lens, and bag (both which are doable). What would you recommend? BTW, it's just for a hobby, nothing professional. However, possibly more professional in the future, so I want to learn.

    Note: I am leaning towards the E-410 since it comes with an extra lens for the same price, and fits better in my smaller hands.
     
  2. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #2
    Canon has a wide variety of lenses - far more than Olympus. You may also find more friends with Canon/Nikon bodies, just because the marketshare for those two companies is significantly higher than Olympus.

    Check out the Canon 50mm f/1.8 - it's $75 and takes amazingly sharp photos. Tremendous depth of field for great portrait and low-light work.

    You can score a Rebel XT for $386 - add $75 for the lens and up to $89 for the bag (spend less and get some memory cards) and you're in business for $550.
     
  3. SLC Flyfishing macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #3
    Get which ever one you want! The lens selection for the Olympus has everything that you will realistically need, with more being added all the time. I really don't buy into the "Canon and Nikon have more lens selection" argument since a large portion of those lenses are nothing special, and many are repeats in different quality grades.

    The Oly has access to Leica stabilized lenses as well so that's not as big an issue as some would have you believe. Leica makes some IS lenses and they are 4/3rds mount.

    If it were me, and I liked the feel of the Oly better, that's the camera I'd go with since that's a huge indicator of how much you will actually use the camera and enjoy it. Oly makes good cameras, I'm impressed with them!

    SLC
     
  4. aaronw1986 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #4
    I'd like to add that this is just a starter camera to test the waters more. If I really get into it, eventually I would probably pay closer to $1000 for a camera, and of course go with Nikon or Canon. I like the Oly since it fits better in my hands, and I think that would make me use it more.
     
  5. SLC Flyfishing macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #5
    Why do you feel that you'd "of course go with Nikon or Canon"? If that's really what you think you'll be better off going with the Canon now since then you can start building a lens library that you won't have to sell off when you "get really into it". But you do know that Olympus has some very very nice camera bodies too right? Worth every penny they ask for them too! There are a lot of other camera brands out there and all of them have models well suited to someone who does photography professionally or as a serious hobby. It's only if you have a very specialized need for a super fast frame rate or AF or things like that, when Nikon and Canon have an edge. But even that edge is disappearing. Olympus has some very fast Autofocus cameras as does Sony, and Sony and Olympus both make cameras with respectable frame rates as well. If you shoot sports or wildlife then Nikon and Canon should be at the top of your list at this time, otherwise there's no real reason to discount the other brands since they all have something to bring to the table! And I'm a firm believer that you'd have a very hard time discerning a well exposed photograph made by any of the DSLR models from another one of the same size. You can't tell a Nikon 10 MP image from a Sony or Pentax or Canon one and vice versa.

    SLC
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #6
    You are not so much buying a camera as the first few bits of an "SLR Sytem". Think about the system yu want to have in 5 years. Five years from now you will have a few more lenses and be thingking about replacing the body. Buy the brand that will put you were you want to be in five years. Will Olimpus have the body you want when it is time to upgrade?

    What about moving to Full Frame (26x24mm) do you want to go there eventually whaen it becomes afordable? Canon and Nikon offer a path the FF. I think the others don't. But do you care?
     
  7. aaronw1986 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Is the Rebel XT too outdated to buy? I can't afford the XTi. It just seems like very old tech. Would it perform as well as the Oly? Does it have optical image stabilization? Maybe I would stay with Oly though, if they have models which fit my grip better, maybe I shouldn't have stated of course nikin or cannon.
     
  8. SLC Flyfishing macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #8
    The XT is discontinued, the XTi will take it's slot in the lineup and the XSi takes the XTi's place. If you can find an XT, they're good cameras, as well as the Olympus and Nikon, Sony, and Pentax models.

    SLC
     
  9. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #9
    Supposedly in tests the kit lens for the Olympus setup is better but I would try to find a E-420 as its a much better camera to hold than the E-410 and with some noticeable improvements. Just trying to appeal to your sense of pleasure of holding the E-410 because I've heard a lot of complaints about it and then how the E-420 is better.

    Olympus's philosophy is to create camera kits that are supposed to be physically smaller and lighter than the Canon and Nikon equivalents as well.

    The quality of glass is also very good with Olympus if you plan on sticking with that brand 5 years down the line.
     
  10. aaronw1986 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #10
    Thanks. I just learned about the 420 yesterday. I was very focused on the 410 because costco seems to have a really good deal on it. It includes 2 lenses, the 410, 2GB card, and a bag for $550. That's the best price, but I guess I might have to spend a bit more. Maybe I will wait, or even not get a dslr, I don't know.
     
  11. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #11
    The best advice is to try out every body, then look at the lenses that you might want to buy in the future, then decide.

    It's worth saving up for something that you really like. If you need to spend $700 instead of $550 -- it could be worth the wait.
     
  12. aaronw1986 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Very true, it was just a little easier in my mind to think of 550 rather than 700 which makes the jump to "almost" 1k.
     
  13. tony-in-japan macrumors regular

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    #13
    I just traded my Canon Rebel XT and am looking at an Olympus

    I just traded my Canon cameras (a DSLR Rebel XT and a P&S Powershot SD700 IS) to fund for a new system. The DSLR was too heavy to lug around and the quality of the P&S was getting worse, so I just wanted something in-between -- the quality of DSLR but with more portability like the P&S.

    Hence, I am switching brands and am very interested in the Olympus E-420 with Pancake lens which has just been released over here in Japan. It seems like the perfect thing for me. Doesn’t seem too expensive as an entry level DSLR but has the benefit of being very light, with some excellent features (that the Rebel XT didn’t have) such as Live View, Dust Reduction system and bigger LCD screen. Also, I have been doing research on Olympus Zuiko Lenses which I have heard nothing but good things about. And I always hear how important quality lenses are for a DSLR and to spend more in this area. In the future, once I have more money, I am thinking of getting a more expensive Zuiko Zoom Lens for my E-420, something like the recently released 12-60mm which I heard is superb.

    The other day, I had a play around with the interface of the E-420 and it seemed very intuitive and easy to use (especially in different shooting modes) compared to the Rebel XT. All options are on view and can be selected very quickly.

    I think the clearer your priorities are, the better your choice would be. If you wanted the highest image quality, then go for a Canon or Nikon as they are leaders because of this (but you do pay more for it). But if you wanted value and compactness with some great lenses, then I think Olympus is great in this department.
     
  14. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #14
    I had a play with the E-420 and the E3 yesterday, some people on Dpreview were complaining about the view finder on the E-420 so I went to my local camera shop and checked them out. There isn't anything wrong with the e-420 when it comes to using the viewfinder, its just like the G9's. The E3 when its in your hand is a beautiful camera to hold, it has a better feel than even the 5D.

    I'm getting one of those cameras very soon. Another bonus is the local camera shop (Olympus franchised) for some reason is selling the E-420 with kit lens for £350. The E3 is also only £899 for the body, these prices are lower than they are online.
     
  15. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #15
    I have the "old" E-400 and even with it's shortcomings that was "fixed" with the E-410 and E-420 (no live-view and somewhat poor focusing in low light), it's a very handy little camera. The over-all performance is very good, and I like the ergonomics of the camera.

    Up until recently I've only used the very light but quite capable 14-42mm ƒ3.5-5.6 kit lens that came with it, but when I got a job taking some shots inside an old boathouse (or something) converted into a restaurant, I grabbed the "excuse" and got myself a faster "kit" lens. I really, really wanted the new 12-60mm ƒ2.8-4, I couldn't justify paying more than twice what I could get the good, old 14-54mm ƒ2.8-3.5 for. (And I have to say this: I love my new lens.)

    I'm currently considering replacing my camera, letting my girlfriend have the E-400 and upgrading to a newer body. At the moment I cannot quite justify it, financially, but when and if the rumoured E-520 comes out to replace the E-510, or - if that just is a rumour - a slight price drop on the E-510, it's gonna be hard to resist. That built-in image stabilisation in the E-510 has impressed most people I've talked to. (I guess the E-3 will stay out of reach, financially, for quite a while still, and even if a rep from Olympus Norway hinted strongly that a new body, between the E-510 and E-3, was in the works, the E-510/520 seems most likely to be my next camera.)

    Don't listen to that "not enough lenses" bull....pooh, that's the same argument as PC users use against Macs (not enough applications). There are plenty of excellent quality glass out there for the four thirds system, and Zuiko/Olympus, Leica/Panasonic and Sigma are adding new ones regularly. The only thing I'm missing at the moment is a fast (ƒ1.4-1.8), normal mid priced 25mm prime from Olympus, right now you "only" have the pricey (but supposedly EXCELLENT) 25 ƒ1.4 Panasonic, 24mm ƒ1.8 Sigma, 30mm ƒ1.4 Sigma or the new cheap, but IMO not fast enough 25mm ƒ2.8 "pancake" from Zuiko to choose from.

    PS! Check out the relatively cheap 50mm ƒ2 macro, it is generally reviewed as one of the best lenses, ever (I might be stretching it a bit, but not that much), for macro and portraits and such, and is often mentioned as the favourite lens of those who own it. That, along with the cheap 70-300mm ƒ4-5.6 (I bought the one lens kit), whenever I can actually get my hands on one, they're constantly sold out, is probably my next purchases.
     
  16. cube macrumors G4

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    #16
    From what I read, there is very little difference between the E-410 and the E-420. Your E-410 deal looks great.

    Or maybe you can find a similar deal for the E-510, which has IS.
     
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #17
    How is the E-420 better to hold? They're essentially the same size. I know the E-420 is a bit heavier, but only by around 10 or 20 grams (ie: nothing).


    Get the E-410.
    Excellent choice. Sometimes, it's better to know when to bail, than hold on to a system you don't like using. Maybe you'll shoot more with your new small camera. :)

    Ever since using an E-410 myself in December, I've become quite a fan of the E-4XY series from Olympus. I never knew it was so small. On paper, it looks like the D40/D40X is just a bit bigger than the E-420, but in use, the Olympus feels a LOT smaller. They don't compare, really. I think I may even pick up an E-420 after I graduate from uni, but I'll probably have other things to get sorted before buying one. Maybe I'll get an E-430 or E-440. :p It's not to replace my Nikon D300. No way. I'm in love with that camera! It's a supplement. Just because I get an Olympus doesn't mean I'm going to really invest in it. Just the E-420 plus 1 or 2 small lenses, and that's it.

    The quality of their lenses is likely due to the very recent design of these zooms, as Olympus started using a new mount and had to design all new lenses. Many of the Canikon lenses, while "good", are not all that great, and it's really due to the age of the design rather than any fault of Canon or Nikon. When they update a lens, they tend to have the special lens elements used in modern designs. If you look at the famous 50 mm f1.4 and f/1.8 lenses that everyone gets, their design is ancient! The good thing about them is their price, but probably because they know they're selling you an ancient product.

    Olympus lenses seem to test well in every camera test. Sharpness also seems quite consistent at both the centre of the lens, and at the corners.
     
  18. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #18
    Well from all accounts, the E-410 is a little annoying to hold because of the placement of the strap mount, with the E-420 they moved it slightly so that the grip was easier on the fingers and I never had a problem with it when I held it yesterday. The damn thing is so light as well that I doubt weight difference is noticeable either.
     
  19. aaronw1986 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #19
    I tried out some cameras over the weekend. The Rebel XTi kind of cramped my hand, I think it was a little big. Maybe I would adjust? The Nikon D40 felt better. I am still undecided of what to do. The E-410 is probaly the best feeling. What will I do in the future though? Are the 4/3 system good enough to keep going with? Does Olympus have good enough cameras I could upgrade and be happy in the future?
     
  20. SLC Flyfishing macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #20
    Yes they do have an excellent upgrade path, you can go into the pro-level E3 (or E4 or 5 by then) series of weather resistant cameras. Also, Leica is using 4/3rds so you will have Leica glass available to you as well as Leica bodies that will work with what Olympus lenses you have then should you decide you like the Leica stuff better. I don't think there's anything at all to worry about as far as upgradability is concerned.

    SLC
     
  21. cube macrumors G4

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    #21
    Browse the used stuff at places like Keh, Adorama, and B&H for another thing to consider.
     
  22. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #22
    The 4/3rds system is quite new so I would expect so. But your question is kinda pointless because it's asking a lot. You could direct that question at Canon or Nikon, besides its not the cameras its the glass, you would be keeping them for longer.
     
  23. SLC Flyfishing macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #23
    Oly digital is quite new, and from what I can see, people are very pleased with it, so if you're trying to imply that there's no used stuff on the market it's probably got a lot to do with people being satisfied with their stuff and not wishing to get rid of it.

    SLC
     
  24. cube macrumors G4

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    #24
    Well, the point was not if people are happy but to consider the access to cheap stuff (and where BTW, the D40 does not fare so well).
     
  25. tony-in-japan macrumors regular

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    #25
    Any more advice on Zuiko Lenses?

    Can you tell me the difference in IQ between the Zuiko 14-42mm Kit Lens and the 14-54mm. I know the 14-54mm is higher grade, but I am just wondering how much better it is than the kit lens. I have just ordered the E-420 body kit only with a view to getting a high-quality lens for all-purpose use. Also, what is the IQ comparison between the Zuiko 14-54mm and new 12-60mm (fastest AF lens in the world?)? I heard the 12-60mm is more heavier and bigger, so I am concerned with using that lens with a E-420 which is very light (since the E-420 does not have IS). Any recommendations would be much appreciated. :)

    You know, I am least interested in brand-loyalty and more interested in getting a product I am going to use on a frequent basis with the confidence it does its job as intended. My Rebel was collecting dust and my Powershot was used frequently because of its portability but 60-70% of my shots were not up to standard (e.g. blurred or noisy). I definitely know I will be enjoying photography more with the E-420 from the combination of DSLR image quality, compactness and lightness.

    If you already like the feel of the E-410, the future is only going to get better. What I like about Olympus is their philosophy of maintaining good image quality while keeping their products compact and light. They are also good at innovating with being the first to introduce the Live View (on DSLR) and Dust Reduction technologies to name a few. My plan is to get a camera that I can use for the next 4 years (minimum) and I know that any high standard Zuiko Lenses that I buy will maintain their value for years to come, so if I wish to sell then I would most likely get most of my money back (or even make a profit on rarer lenses). I am happy to begin a new venture with Olympus for the next few years. I had an Olympus Mju (film) before the digital age and was very impressed. Since then I have stuck to Canon, but now it is time to explore another brand.
     

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