Olympus E410 vs. Rebel xti

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mark2288, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. mark2288 macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2006
    #1
    Hi all,
    I've been looking for a compact dSLR and have narrowed my choices down to either the e410 or rebel xti. I feel the e410 is great because of it's smaller size, but do not like the fact that the SSWF runs at every start up (not sure if that 2 sec delay is noticeable), while there is no such startup delay with the rebel xti.

    Can anyone offer their 2 cents on this? Which would you go with and why?
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #2
    I'm not a smaller is better fan, but I'd rather have the bigger sensor of the Canon, but then I'm not a 4/3rds fan. Not knowing what you're going to use the camera for, it's difficult to make a specific recommendation.
     
  3. mark2288 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2006
    #3
    Sorry - should've included that. I basically take photos of my band at gigs (basketball games/parades/trips/etc)...hope that helps a bit!

    EDIT: I'm a little confused about the "live view" option I've been reading about. The xti doesn't have it, but I presume I will still be able to take a picture using only the LCD viewer right?
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #4
    A larger sensor is going to be better at lower noise all things considered equal- I don't know how the XTi stands up to the E410 in terms of generation- if they're the same basic sensor generation then larger wins-- there's been some fair low noise stuff happening every generation, so there's a newer is better trade-off that may offset the size factor- you'd have to compare cameras to figure it out.

    Canon is the largest manufacturer, so they'll have more lenses, more accessories, more third party support, more availability, etc. Oly will offer more features because they're down the list a ways- I'm not sure the current order, but Oly, Pentax and Sony are the "more features because we don't have market share" crowd and Canon and Nikon are the "Volume gets us there" market leaders.

    Overall, you're going to spend more on lenses than bodies over time. So if there's a lens you want, or a series of lenses, price them out first. For the same resolution, the smaller sensor is going to be diffraction limited sooner, and have DoF differences that may or may not make a difference to you- overall for most people *it really doesn't make a difference* which camera they pick out of any two modern cameras, they'll produce comparable images either way. If you're not the typical photographer, then the edge-case differences may make or break it for you (APS-C is as small a sensor as I want for landscapes due to diffraction, and no manufacturer can change the laws of physics, so 4/3rds just doesn't work for me, but I'm an edge case.)

    Size may be an issue for you, and the 4/3rds system is smaller- you'll need to prioritize which features work and are important to you, as they're not even close to being likely the same for me. In the end though, you could simply pick the cheapest or the one that fits your hands the best and you'll likely be happy with it. Especially if you're just printing small prints or using the shots on the 'Net...

    No, SLRs "live view" is generally in the viewfinder, there's a mirror that has to swing up to expose the sensor. Only 3 high-end model SLRs have "live view" and basically you mostly won't want to use it.
     
  5. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #5
    Given your needs, I'd go with the Canon for the simple reason that their CMOS sensors perform better at higher ISOs than the smaller 4/3 sensors in the Oly (I'm not being bias against Oly or the 4/3 system, it's just physics).

    The live view is a nice gimmick, and is useful when you're a photojournalist (think shooting over someone's head), or if you're into macro. The downside of it, is that it makes the viewfinder that much dimmer when compared with a camera that doesn't have live view.

    That being said, you should also look into the Nikon D80 or the Pentax KD10. I, like compuwar, don't think that small size is a benefit, especially when you're looking for good results. The D80 is larger than the other two, bit if you have big hands like me, you'll appreciate the grip that much more.

    The fact is that when you get into the SLR world, you're getting a whole system, that includes higher-end bodies, lenses, flashes, accessories, and all that. To be honest, there is little difference in the lower-end models from any manufacturer. The 4/3 cameras by Oly and Panasonic use smaller CCDs, hence slightly more pixels crammed into one space. The Canons use the CMOS sensors with a 1.6 crop factor, the Nikons and Pentax use the 1.5 Crop CCDs that Sony makes. Figure out which lenses you want for the job, go to a store, handle some bodies, and get the one that feels the best in your hands.

    Edit: and all that slow typing for nothing...
     
  6. Maldini macrumors regular

    Maldini

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    #6
    I'm going to buy my first DSLR and after some research i found that the best camera for my needs is the E-510, has 3 fantastic features that most slr's dont, LV, AF, and IS, which is the most important for me because i wont use tripods,and the kit lens is nice.

    Maybe you should take a look at it too :D
     
  7. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #7
    Uh... not sure what to say other than this is largely incorrect and/or misleading.
     
  8. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #8
    And how is that...? How many other consumer DSLRs feature all the same features as the E-510?

    The E-510 is an excellent camera, and should not be disregarded because the Canon (or closely related Nikon) cult says so. Remember: Think Different™
     
  9. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    #9
    By the way, the startup delay can be greatly reduced by turning off the SSWF animation. I did that on my E-500, and startup is very quick. But as much as I love my Oly, I would have to recommend the XTi for you for the low noise performance at high ISO for the shots you are intending to take.
     
  10. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #10
    The claim was that the Olympus "has 3 fantastic features that most slr's dont, LV, AF, and IS". The only part of that statement that's reasonably accurate is that Olympus puts Live View on its lower-end dSLRs, which the big two currently don't. One point for Olympus, although I'd argue how beneficial it is (and I hope people aren't using their dSLR's live view the way they do a point-and-shoot's live view - that's a recipe for sub-par photos).

    C'mon. Most dSLRs don't have auto-focus? What are you guys smoking (and why aren't you sharing it with the rest of us)? And to claim that most dSLRs don't have image stabilization? Both Canon and Nikon put their stabilization tech into the lens, rather than the body, because it just plain works better. I'm not saying there's not value to in-body IS; but if that's the actual statement you want to make, MAKE IT. Don't make stuff up.

    Let's get back to the 4/3 sensor - it's significantly smaller than the typical DX format sensor. For the same generation of technology, smaller sensors = smaller photosites = more noise at higher ISO. That's simple physics. There's one point against the Olympus in the context of what the thread starter intends to shoot. BTW those smaller photosites also mean diffraction kicks in earlier (although in this context I would argue that's not particularly relevant).

    So really, if you want to recommend the Olympus go ahead. I'm sure it is a nice camera, and a person can get wonderful shots out of it. But recommend it based on its real merits; and let's try to stay away from statements that have only a tenuous connection with reality.

    Addendum: You know what'd make live view really useful? A pivoting screen. I've had to shoot over the heads of groups of people before, and a plain old live view LCD wouldn't be particularly helpful for that. But if you could pivot the LCD like some of the point-and-shoots let you do... do any of the Olympus cameras (or other brands w/ live view) do that?
     
  11. Maldini macrumors regular

    Maldini

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    #11
    let me put it this way, the E-510 is the ONLY camera in its class to include ALL three features plus dust control.

    [​IMG]


    I'm not sure if the built in stabilization is better than the lens IS, but it gives you the option to buy cheaper lenses without IS.
     
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #12
    Yes, but for many of us, those aren't anywhere near the top of the list of necessary features. Add to that a fairly limited lens line, lack of ability to rent lenses in any major city in the western world, and the smaller sensor size, and you're left with very little in the way of upgrade path or the wide selections out of Canon, Nikon or even Pentax. Fine for a hobbyist, not so good if you might want to move up from there. You get more features from the "also rans" but that's because they don't have the same breadth as the major players.

    I'm sure, it most certainly isn't in every real-world test that's happened so far. Again though, if you really care about IQ, then shoot off a tripod. IS only takes care of camera/photographer movement, not subject movement- so it's only of limited value many shooting situations. It also varies from lens to lens and body to body. Personally, I think learning to shoot well beats IS. Some folks only shoot in situations were it's an advantage- or they've convinced themselves it's necessary- funnily enough though we got along making great images without it for quite a while.

    Olympus cameras are good hobbyist cameras, but even Olympus brands its camera line as "consumer," so if you're never going to shoot professionally it's not a bad choice, but if you're buying into a system with the option of shooting professionally IMO there are better choices- especially if you want to shoot for anywhere that has specific camera requirements.

    Now, as I said, I'm not a 4/3rds fan because of diffraction limitation and depth of field restrictions that the smaller sensor size brings to the table. But I shoot many different things, and I need the flexibility.
     
  13. Maldini macrumors regular

    Maldini

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    #13
    You are absolutely right, even if you had all the extras it wont help if you're not a good photographer, I only mentioned the E510 because the thread starter asked about the E410, so i thought he should take a look at this, and i'm not a fan of the 4\3ds either and its the biggest reason i didnt buy the Oly yet, its keeping me away from it, i think Oly are making all their cameras feature packed because they have a little market share. As you said its really good for hobbyist who dont want to upgrade.
    But in your opinion which dSLR is good for begginers -'I'm upgrading from a compact digital camera'- that is also Future Proof? Is it true that lower end Nikons are better built that the Canons?
    There is a good offer at my local dealer for the Nikon D80 with the AF-S DX 18-135mm f\3.5-5.6g IF-ED lens. I know its not entry level but the dealer said its a great combo and its not hard to operate, what do you think?
     
  14. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #14
    Truly, though the plastic is a bit harder on the Nikons, it's really not much of an issue for anyone who's not a complete clutz. Nikon was putting much better "kit" lenses out than Canon, but I understand Canon's changing that.

    Seriously, my most frequent advice is to buy the lowest end body you can. Good lenses make a difference, but almost any of the Canon/Nikon/Pentax/Sony/Olympus DSLRs will take better pictures than most beginners are capable of. If you're going Nikon, get the D40 or a used D70s, if you're going Canon, find a 350D or 400D and shoot with it for a year or two. Once you've done that, you'll either be perfectly happy to upgrade to the next low-end body once technology makes it attractive, or you'll know for sure that you want a particular feature set and which body will offer that feature set. Keep the low-end body to keep a wide angle lens on, or as a backup, or gift it to someone who'll appreciate it after that- but trying to buy and shoot a high-end camera really doesn't help most people- even the ones who take it off of point-and-shoot mode. If you're not shooting specific assignments, it's all about learning about exposure and composition and the body won't matter much at all in that. Put the money difference in a savings account and contribute to the second body- which is where you'll know and appreciate the differences.
     
  15. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    Bergen, Norway
    #15
    The Norwegian magazine Lyd og Bilde (Sound and Image), just ran a large test of the entry level DSLRs today, and I figured the result was kind of relevant for this thread.

    Basically there's not much difference, at all, between the five cameras tested (and you should basically be happy with any of them):

    Olympus E-410
    Nikon D40x
    Samsung GX-10L
    Canon EOS 400D
    Pentax K100D Super
    (Branding might be slightly different in USA)

    However, they did manage to declare a "best in test" and a "best buy":

    The build quality and built-in IS of the Samsung put that a head of the rest as "best in test", but the Olympus, with excellent quality/price ratio did get the "best buy"-badge.

    It's also worth noticing that they, in the article, do recommend you get the E-510 over the E-410, to get the built-in IS, even if that camera wasn't really tested here... ;)

    If someone, not reading Norwegian, want some of the details of the test translated, like details of the the evaluation forms at the end, let me know and I'll do my best (and with only a slight favouritism towards the Oly :p):

    144+kamera+samlet+vurdering.png 146+kamera+samlet+vurdering_2.png
     
  16. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #16
    With the Panasonic L1 which is also a 4/3 camera, live view is really cumbersome and pretty useless in most situations for my needs, only the articulating screen of the E3 would redeem this as others have said. The dust reduction is a huge plus for me with my needs and it works extremely well, I think. (been shooting at the beach, in the woods, in the rain, in my house filled with pet dander, etc. for seven months with three different lenses and still no dust spots on a single image, over 15,000 clicks.) Vibration reduction will not replace your need for a tripod if the shot requires a tripod. period. The Olympus lenses are very cheap considering that they will hold up to the best or even beat what Canon has to offer in image quality, plus they are smaller and lighter, specifically designed for digital sensors. IQ is not an investment of thousands of dollars with Olympus lenses, it is built into every lens including the kit lenses. There is a sufficient range of lenses available to cover whatever your photography needs are, just not a surplus of budget and knock-off brands. If it were me, I would choose the 410 or the 510 over Canon's lowest offering, as you will not need to upgrade your camera body once you outgrow the 'basics only' features of the Rebel xti, and you will have two excellent kit lenses right out of the box.;)
     
  17. Maldini macrumors regular

    Maldini

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    #17
    I really cant thank you enough for your great post, not only this one but i just read your famous post here,which is fantastic and easy to read.You should write a book REALLY :D. I will follow your advice and go for the D40x... this way i can get the all so talked about 18-200 vr lens in a couple of months..also i think i'm going to use auto mode in the beginning and i've heard you must tweak the sittings manually on the d80 to get great shots where in the D40 its more user friendly.

    I really love the E-510 and all its features but sadly the Oly and Canon retailer here is really bad, they are not friendly at all and they have terrible reputation, but the Nikon store was fantastic, they have better warranty and the salesperson was very kind and he let me play with the cameras and he knew what he's talking about. thats one of the reasons i'm going for Nikon.. can you please translate the pros and cons of the D40x, the cons list looks big:confused: . Thank you

    PS: I never thought i'm going to learn that much about Digital Photography in a MAC forum :D you are all great.
     
  18. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

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    #18
    Start up on my E410 takes less than a second. Little blue light flashes and that's it. You're ready to go. It is nothing worth weighing as a negative. I love my E410!
     
  19. uberfoto macrumors member

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    Apr 24, 2006
    #19
    You guys are talking about diffraction like it is a big issue with smaller format sensors.

    Yes, it comes into play at sooner and larger apertures but a smaller format has an inherently larger DOF anyway. Diffraction is overhyped. If you really need the DOF, you shoot at the highest aperture you can anyway.

    In the end, you usually end up with a similar DOF on most formats before running into diffraction.

    Try shooting 4x5. You can get super shallow DOF anytime you want but in order to get a broad DOF I find myself stopping down to f/32 and up. At f/64, I am seeing quite a bit of softening due to diffraction. I would compare it to shooting at f/22 - f/32 on 35mm.

    It is all relative.

    What DOES come into play are the lens apertures required to achieve a shallow DOF on a given format. A lens with an f/0.xx (whatever) aperture is going to be quite difficult and expensive to make. Not to mention, there aren't many 35mm camera mounts that would support a lens with an aperture larger than f/1.0. Canon had an f/0.95 lens at one point a while back (IIRC) and more recently a 50mm f/1.0 before they replaced it with the 50 f/1.2.


    Stepping back...

    All I am trying to say is, diffraction is relative to pixel pitch and in effect, sensor size but DOF is also relative to sensor size. So in the end, just keep in mind at which apertures diffraction starts to affect your images and work around it. It's a good thing to consider when shooting at smaller apertures. A good photographer knows the limits and abilities/strengths of his/her equipment.

    The average consumer doesn't even know what diffraction is (let alone be able to recognize it in any of their photos) so it doesn't really matter anyway.


    To the OP:
    I am sorry for so much geek speak!

    I DO want to say that all this techno babble about sensor size does matter. For a given sensor technology, a larger sensor will always be superior to a smaller one.

    You are collecting light first and foremost. A larger area collects more light and so will larger pixels produce a stronger signal to noise ratio = cleaner, more efficient pixels = more leeway to brighten your photos up and still retain a clean image if you screw up your exposure. It also means, that in lower light situations, (such as a gymnasium) your larger pixels are capturing more light and producing a better, cleaner image than that of smaller pixels. Most of these cameras have equal MP counts which means the sensor size determines how packed in they are (or how spread out. Half full, half empty...)

    Of course, there are more benefits than that but these are things that might matter to you.

    And YES. PLEASE look at lens selection before buying a camera. The kits might look great but picking up any other lens could prove to be difficult and/or limited. Check the used market.

    Also, the 18-200VR lens that Nikon makes is NOT that great. It has ok build quality and a reasonably fast AF motor. Think of it this way... It is hard to manufacture a lens to be good at all of the focal lengths from 18-200mm. For what the range it covers, it is one of the best out there. BUT, it does a whole bunch of things at a mediocre level that a few individual lenses could do really well. The aperture is slow which will hamper your indoor shooting. An f/2.8 zoom might be better suited or you could look for a fast prime such as the 85 f/1.8. BUT keep in mind. If you go with Nikon, you will have to buy a D70 (incl. D50) or higher model for the lens to AF. The D40/x does not have the old "screw" drive AF motor in the body. A Canon Digital Rebel might be better for this scenario. Canon makes a very fast focusing 85 f/1.8 that can be had for ~$370 + or - depending on where you look.

    Just so you know, the word on the street is Nikon is going to release an updated AF-S (means it will focus on the D40/x) 85 f/1.4 but nobody knows when. Might announce it around Jan/Feb along with some other lenses and maybe a body. Availability is usually a 2-3 months after announcement. I wouldn't recommend putting off shooting for that long while waiting for vaporware.


    My opinion?

    Nikon is awesome. Canon is awesome. Pentax is alright. All the others aren't worth looking at yet.

    ...but that is just my opinion. ;)

    Sorry for being so long winded.


    -EDIT-
    *BTW, for those that have knocked Live View. I absolutely LOVE it for studio and macro work on my D3. The ability to zoom in on the area you are focusing on and be able to see EXACTLY where the focus plane is falling before you take the shot is AWESOME. I'm not sure if this capability to zoom in during live view exists on the Oly cameras though.
     
  20. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

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    #20
    Yup, it sure does. It works great ;)
     
  21. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #21
    Yes live view on 4/3 does zoom in for focus, 4x or 10x. I wasn't knocking it in my post; I have an FZ 50 with articulating screen which makes live view incredibly useful especially for macros and over-head shots. I just find it rather useless for my needs as a stationery screen fixed to the back of the camera. Just as easy to look in the viewfinder. I'm getting the Olympus E3 later on, and looking forward to having this feature be useful again and not just a novelty on dslr. Another thing the E system offers which sells for me is the 2x crop factor on the 4/3 sensor. My super tele zoom (ZD 70-300mm) is small and light, yet gives me a reach equivalent to 140-600mm at f/4 - 5.6, with outstanding sharpness and no vignetting. I can use it hand held... Unless you like hauling around that extra ten pounds of glass.:p
     

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