Screw it, I'm getting a DSLR?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by secretpact, May 26, 2009.

  1. secretpact macrumors 6502

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    May 24, 2007
    #1
    I was looking into getting a Panasonic LX3, but it can't achieve the effects of a true DSLR! So I'm considering a real DSLR. I'm looking for something that's as small as possible. The Olympus E-420 is good for me, but it doesn't have HD video. I use my P&S's video functionality alot, and video is kind of important to me. Can anyone recommend the smallest DSLR with HD video?
     
  2. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #2
    Probably a D90, but I think the video there is a bit of a gimmick.

    I think you may want to wait for the next generation of DSLRs to come along, because video is probably going to be a mainstay feature from then on. it's still being worked out right now.
     
  3. secretpact thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
  4. standardusernam macrumors newbie

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    May 26, 2009
    #4
    a 28mm lens will not be optimal for taking portraits, especially for bokeh-style pictures.

    What you want is somewhere around 75-85mm lens.
     
  5. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

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    #5
    The focal length multiplier for that camera is 2, so the 25mm lens has an EFL of 50mm. Still probably a bit less than ideal for a portrait lens (usually 70mm–135mm or so), but not too terrible.

    On the other hand, the focal length multiplier does reflect the small sensor, something the OP might want to consider.
     
  6. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #6
    That's the best package for portability.

    If you're going for Olympus, I'll recommend to lenses for you:

    For portraits and stuff you should get the Zuiko 50mm ƒ2, "the sharpest lens in the world", which are getting standing ovations in all tests I've seen (and which is on the top of my wish list).

    For diversity, see if you can get a nice deal on the old Zukio 14-54mm (perhaps used from an enthusiast who has gotten the new mark II of that lens). An awesome allround lens.

    Also, the E-420 is a nice camera (I have the E-400 myself), but look into the new E-620, which is marginally bigger and has the new 12MP sensor, built-in image stabilization and a swivel LCD. It is a bit more expensive, but if you have any way to stretch your budget, the E-620 with the two above mentioned lenses would be a very nice setup...
     
  7. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #7
    I tried that pancake lens at the store and found it a bit too small for something to hold on to. ^^^ maybe use larger lenses as recommended here.

    AFA sensor size, yes, they are smaller, but the noise in my 420 is less than in my 500, because Olympus (and the industry as a whole) has been working to make the sensors better. Yes, they won't ever match the larger ones, but within this format, you can start getting nicer pics with the newer models.

    My 420 is my "take with" camera...
     
  8. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    East Coast
    #8
    Right now, the only dSLRs with an HD video mode are the:

    Nikon D90
    Nikon D5000
    Canon 5DMkII
    Canon Rebel T1i
    Pentax K-7
    Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1

    The 5D is a pro-caliber dSLR, so that's probably out for you. The D90 and the K7 are mid-level dSLRs. The Canon T1i and the Nikon D5000 are entry-level dSLRs. And finally, the Panny is technically not a dSLR at all, but it does use interchangeable lenses.

    The Panny is likely to be the smallest, while the T1i and the D5000 are probably the smallest actual dSLRs on the list.

    ft
     
  9. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #9
    Just a correction, its known as the T1i and not TSi, also in some region its called 500D
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    If that is how you describe your photos then you might want to look closer as lenses. There are MUCH better options. Some lenses are true classics in terms of "bokeh". For example the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 (expensive) and the 105 f/2.0 AI-s ( Cheap http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/105f25.htm ) are very, good. Nikon also make some "DC" lenses that have adjustable de-focus controls. There are also some classic softfocus filters. I don't think the Olympus E-420 is the best camera for what you want. As it turns out you want the camera with a larger image sensor if you like small depth of field, the larger the sensor the better for your intended use.

    Look around at lenses from Nikon and Canon and the others then buy whatever DSLR body fits the lesn and your budget. This "bokeh" thing is something lenses have is don't. Mostly you'll be wanting a prime, zooms mostly don't have it. Although there are exceptions going both ways.

    When people ask "what camera to buy" and give no details about what they shoot then there is no way to offer meaningful advice. But you've given somthing very specific. When one talks of "bokeh" then we can talk about very noticable differences in lenses make by the same company that have similar specs. For example the Canon 50mm f/1.4 and the canon 50mm f/1.8 lenses are close in specs but have much different "bokeh". This is one of those importent lens characteristics that is not reported on the spec sheets, like "color rendition", ome have a bit more "snap", not because of sharpness but color contrast.

    To tell the truth, for your style of photography my best images were all done with 160 ISO Agfa portrait film in full frame 35mm with a mini-softbox monted to a frash frame.
     
  11. secretpact thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 24, 2007
    #11
    Thank you all for the responses!

    @Mitthrawnuruodo: The E-620 is very tempting because of the IS, but the body is $600 by itself! Out of my price range for now, but there's a chance I'll be upgrading to this when the price drops.

    @gkarris: I like having a small camera, but I have no interest in the pancake lens haha. So I'll stay away from that lens for now.

    @ftaok: You made me realise how ridiculous I sounded asking for an HD video capable DSLR :eek:

    @ChrisA: Your post gave me a lot of information, and I may consider getting a seperate lens in the future just for the shallow depth of field shots. I want a lens that I can use for depth of field as well as general shooting.

    Do you think this lens would be good?
    http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-40-15...1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1243363195&sr=8-1
    I plugged the numbers into a depth of field calculator, and it seems fine for shallow depth of field, but what about when I want a deep depth of field? I'm planning a trip to washington DC, and there are a lot of big things to take pictures in front of. So I was thinking this lens instead?
    http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-18-18...5?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1243364008&sr=1-5

    It costs 4x more than the first lens, but if it can do everything I need, then I'll be willing to pay for it.
     
  12. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #12
    Hmm, well I'm not too familiar with Oly dSLR stuffs but if you want bokeh, the aperture usually starts at f/2.8, f/4 is just okay.

    But the lens you suggested wont cut it, cuz at the long end, its aperture is at f/5.6 or 6.3 which will make it a very slow lens indoors.

    Why don't you look at Oly primes? 50mm is always like a must have in a photographer pocket who brings a dSLR around.

    Here is a rough approximate, for portraits or people it is usually f/4 or f/2.8, for landscape its +- f/10
     
  13. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #13
    Personally, I don't think it's ridiculous to be looking for HD video capabilities on a dSLR. Here's my reasoning. When I want to preserve memories (kids, vacation, events, etc), I typically want to shoot photos. However, there are some moments that still photos can't quite capture (e.g. baby's first steps, singing recital, America's Funniest Videos, etc). For those times, a video capable device is needed.

    I can't tell you how many times I've been frustrated trying to use my SLR and camcorder at the same time. It's not easy to shoot photos right handed and video left-handed. I'm always looking for a place to put the camcorder. It's a losing situation.

    So that's where the video capable SLRs come in. Since I value photos above video, I'll compromise on the quality of the video (if I valued video over photos, I'd get a camcorder with decent still photo capabilities).

    For me, based on what I've read, the video modes of these SLRs aren't quite there for me yet. I'll have to decide whether to get a nice HD camcorder or wait for an SLR with a good enough video mode. The issues for me right now are AF and sound recording. Maybe when the successor to the Canon 50D comes out, it'll be just right. Hope my miniDV camcorder can hold out until then.

    ft
     
  14. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #14
    what you're talking about is selective focus. "bokeh" is a lens quality, specifically the quality of background blur.

    the lens on an LX3 is fast enough for selective focus at the telephoto end (~12mm, or 60mm equivalent). this is long enough for half-body shots without distorting the face.

    if you're set on an SLR, Olympus makes the most portable ones. forget video, at this point it's just a half-baked gimmick.
     
  15. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #15
    Yes, I love my E-420. Especially with a lens adapter... ;)

    Yes, the Bokeh is really dependent on the quality of the lens, I remember a website somewhere that actually tested lens Bokeh...

    I rented the Nikon 80-400 ED a couple weekends ago and it had really nice Bokeh. Used it on my Canon 20D, though, the E-420 was way too small... :eek:
     
  16. secretpact thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
  17. duncanapple macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2008
    #17
    Do you mean the XS is too big? B/c the XS is about as small as a DSLR gets... Just sort of the nature of an SLR (which I kinda like :) ) I have one and love it - cant beat the image quality for the price. There has been a lot of discussion on this camera (all of them really) if you look around here. Good luck whichever way you go (and btw, i also recommend the 50mm prime as a start, though the upgrade to the 1.4 vs 1.8 is worth considering - I had a 1.8 and it wasn't the best in focusing in low light - I returned it and ordered the 1.4... my .02)
     
  18. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #18
    That is comparing apples and oranges because of the different sensor sizes.

    The Olympus is 100mm equiv.
    The Canon is 80mm equiv.
     
  19. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 29, 2007
    #19
    Canon Rebel T1i is the smallest true DSLR w/720p video. Be careful what you wish for, though. DSLR video is NOT digicam video. Depth of field is narrower, things are more likely to be out of focus, and you have to manually zoom and also many times manually focus.

    I was in the same boat as you, and I currently have an XTi for my DSLR and the Canon SX200 for my movies.

    Good luck.
     
  20. yaroldb macrumors 6502

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    Feb 21, 2007
    #20
    Olympus does not make a 50mm f/1.8. They do make a 50mm f/2.0, and let me tell you, it is one of the sharpest 50mm on the market, it is also a macro lens. With the 2x crop, it's 100mm. If you're looking for an affordable lens in the 50mm range look a the 28mm pancake or the sigma 24mm f/1.8. They even make a sigma 30 f./1.4. Olympus glass is great and you really have to spend a lot more to get good glass with other makers. The 14-54 f/28-f/3.5 is an incredible lens and can be had for less than $400. You'd have to spend a lot more to get something that good in the Canon or Nikon world (no, I am by no means knocking Canon or Nikon). The downside to Olympus is noise, lens sizes and accessories.

    The bottom line is, how serious are you going to get about photography? If you see yourself really investing into this long term, maybe a larger maker is the answer for you.
     
  21. secretpact thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 24, 2007
    #21
    Yes, after doing some more research I was almost set on getting the Canon Rebel XS. But it doesn't have Image Stabilization in the body. This is *kind of* important for me? Not really sure... Anyone know the smallest/lightest Canon body with Image Stabilization?

    Edit: I know the lens of the XS has image stabilization, but I plan on using a different lens.
     
  22. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

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    #22
    That's an easy one, there are none. No Nikon bodies have image stabilization either. Both Nikon and Canon keep stabilization in the lens.
     
  23. yaroldb macrumors 6502

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    Feb 21, 2007
    #23
    I have an Olympus E-520. It has image stabilization in the body. It's not that much bigger than the E-420. I have not played with the E-620, but the IS really helps in lower light and higer zoom.
     
  24. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

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    #24
    To the OP, if you want stabilization in the body, check out Pentax. Their cameras are great value for the money. K-M is one of the smallest DSLR cameras out there, K200D is a bit bigger but has weather sealing. On both cameras you can use any lens ever made for Pentax K-mount cameras and some old lenses are still superb optically and are built like tanks ...
     
  25. secretpact thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 24, 2007
    #25
    I just tried out the Canon Rebel XS today. I didn't like how you need to push a button to go into live view every time you turn it on. Which dslr's (any brands) turn on into live view? (Canon X1i maybe? Nikon D5000)
     

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