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Thread: 40D or E510

  1. #1
    Color me obvious dumpy's Avatar
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    40D or E510

    Ok so I've narrowed my search down to 2 cameras, Canon 40D and Olympus E510. Please help me decide.
    I like to shoot landscapes, outdoor sports (skiing/mtbing/skateboarding), wildlife, macro, architecture, pretty much anything, but not many portraits.
    I like the idea of having live view which is why these two jumped out at me, plus I hear they both have excellent image quality.

    Here are my pros and cons so far (of one camera vs the other):


    Canon Pros: Wicked fast burst rate, less noise at higher ISO, large selection of lenses/accessories available, less crop factor=I can get wider for less $$

    Canon cons: price is higher than Olympus, the body may not be as weather proof as I'd like

    Olympus pros:Price, price, price, in camera IS means glass will be cheaper, more compact (most of my shooting is done walking in the woods or on a bike), less money on a body means more $$ on glass, more crop factor=I can get telephoto for less$$

    Olympus cons: slower, but not horrible burst rate, bulb mode only takes me to I believe 6 minutes (I'd like to explore long exposure star photography), noisy at higher ISOs

    I've been able to use the 40D, I like the overall feel of it. I haven't yet been able to use the E-510. When I am able to handle both bodies side by side maybe this will be an easier choice.

    I haven't been this torn on a purchase in a long time.

    Thanks for the help.

    -Jeff

  2. #2
    Color me obvious dumpy's Avatar
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    Re: 40D or E510

    I forgot a few things:

    This is my first digital SLR and the lens off my old Minolta film SLR is not worth considering

    My current camera is a Canon S2IS, but have no real brand preference other than Sony is sometimes known (in non photo circles) to have really really bad customer service, I mean bad

    I do like to occasionally make prints, when I do I usually go right for 8x10, with my new purchase i may even go larger

    I do manipulate a bit in both PS and Gimp

    To say I'm tech savvy is an understatement, I'll figure any camera out rather quickly (sorry if that comes across as arrogant or egotistical, it's not meant to be, I'm just being honest)

    Thanks again for the help!!

  3. #3
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    Re: 40D or E510

    I use an e510 these days. You should probably know that while I have good experience with Nikon, but not much with Canon... so I can't make a direct comparison between the two. As far as I know, both are great cameras - it will probably boil down to a feature or two, and price. but here are some of my random thoughts:

    The bulb mode on the e510 is actually 8 minutes. Still not that great, and definitely unusable for good star swipe photography. However, I use a different camera for that and my interest in that area is minimal, so a good bulb mode wasn't a big deal to me.

    Like you said, the burst mode in the e510 is a little sluggish. I personally find that 3 fps is on the border of not being useful, since when i really need burst, the action lasts for maybe a full second if i'm lucky. I find myself relying on my ability to anticipate more than the burst mode sometimes. Not a huge deal, but important.

    Depending on what you need, those two things really could be the deal breakers, and would have been for me had I needed the camera for other purposes.

    what else? the 4/3 sensor is smaller. to me, the resolution quality/difference was negligible since my prints are never too big. the 2x crop factor is very nice. although there is greater dof, it really isn't that much of a difference, so not too much of an advantage/disadvantage there.

    The e510 does have slightly more noise than others in it's class, but i don't find it objectionable at all. It is under control and i have no qualms going up to iso 400 if i need to. I usually never go past that, even on other cameras, usually figuring something else out to help get the picture.

    I really like the light weight of the e510. Compared to the 40d, even they are very close in size and shape, the e510 is almost half the weight. The lenses are lighter and smaller too, and this was important to me since I lug the thing around a lot: mountain biking, kayaking, backpacking, travelling, etc., and just plain walking around.

    Although there is a smaller lens collection which you might want to consider. However, I find that the 4/3 lineup is very well rounded and provides a good amount of options. The optics themselves are excellent, and the build is very good. The higher grade lenses are splash/dust proof, but note that the e510 isn't. That said, I've used mine in a wide variety of pretty harsh conditions, haven't had a problem at all (although i've been relatively careful).

    And of course the e510 is a lot cheaper.

  4. #4
    Color me obvious dumpy's Avatar
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    Re: 40D or E510

    Quote Originally Posted by albot976

    Although there is a smaller lens collection which you might want to consider. However, I find that the 4/3 lineup is very well rounded and provides a good amount of options. The optics themselves are excellent, and the build is very good.

    .
    When I first started really considering the E510, I was a little nervous that lenses for 4/3 would be limited, but after some reassurances on here (Thanks PhotoJohn), I looked deeper and really found that there are enough lenses for me.

    Looking at the lenses available for 4/3, I couldn't find anything missing, if that makes sense. There seemed to be at least one lens available that would fill a specific need.

    One thing I did notice missing was macro tubes, there only seems to be one size available.

    And of course the e510 is a lot cheaper
    Thats a major selling point for me.

  5. #5
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: 40D or E510

    I have no experience with the Oly line so I don't know if I will be of much help. I do have the 40D and I love it though.

    As far as the 8 minute burst mode goes, you can still use that for star trails. This image was created using a series of 6 minute exposures on the 40D.

    http://gallery.photographyreview.com...&ppuser=237118

    I think you hit on one of the most important things to consider in your original post. Get your hands on both bodies, and see what feels best. I was always under the impression the the Oly DSLR's were quite a bit smaller than the Nikons and Canons, but maybe I'm wrong.
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  6. #6
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: 40D or E510

    Now that I own the 510 I don't think I will ever own another DSLR without image stabilization. Something to think about. I can shoot 1/10 sec while drinking coffee.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

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  7. #7
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Size

    Quote Originally Posted by albot976
    I really like the light weight of the e510. Compared to the 40d, even they are very close in size and shape, the e510 is almost half the weight. The lenses are lighter and smaller too, and this was important to me since I lug the thing around a lot: mountain biking, kayaking, backpacking, travelling, etc., and just plain walking around.
    Just wanted to say that the E-510 is waayyyyy smaller and lighter than the EOS 40D. That's what I like most about the E-510. And the smaller lenses make the overall package even smaller and lighter. A comparable kit with the EOS 40D is going to weigh at least twice as much.
    Photo-John

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  8. #8
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Olympus E-3?

    For me, this particular choice comes down to size vs image quality. The Canon will have better image quality. But if you're gonna ride with a DSLR, you can't beat the E-510. I own a 40D and I've used an E-510 plenty. And I don't really want to ride with the 40D cause it's too big and heavy. That's why I have an XTi. If you find the 40D is too big to take with you all the time, you lose.

    Have you looked at the Olympus E-3? The image quality is much better than the E-510. And it's about the same size and weight as the EOS 40D. But it still has all the benefits of the Olympus E-System - built-in image stabilization and small lenses with lots of reach. The E-3 is my favorite skiing and hiking camera right now. The 40D just gets used in the studio. I would call the E-3 the best all-around compromise. And as far as image quality goes, the 40D is still better. But does it matter? Probably not. It doesn't matter to me.
    Photo-John

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  9. #9
    Color me obvious dumpy's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus E-3?

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    For me, this particular choice comes down to size vs image quality. The Canon will have better image quality. But if you're gonna ride with a DSLR, you can't beat the E-510.
    Im hopefully going to make it to the LCS today to handle both of them and see how the sizes/fit/feel compare.
    Have you looked at the Olympus E-3? The image quality is much better than the E-510. And it's about the same size and weight as the EOS 40D.
    Unfortunately this one is a bit out of my price range at this point, but I have read into it a bit.

    Does anyone know anything about the new Canon Rebel coming out soon? I think its called the XSI, I believe I heard that it has live view and the same sensor as the 40D. That body might save me some cash to keep for lenses,

  10. #10
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    Re: 40D or E510

    Or, Olympus should be releasing the replacements for the e-410 and e-510 soon. The e-420 has already been announced. Both of these cameras should have improved image quality over the 410/510, along with some other improvements.

    This has already forced some places like best buy to mark down the E-510. I've seen it as low as $259 with the two lens package - that's less than $20 for the camera, assuming the lenses go at normal retail price. Yes, I wrote that correctly. Check your best buys.
    Erik Williams

    Olympus E3, E510
    12-60 SWD, 50-200 SWD, 50 f/2 macro, EX25, FL36's and an FL50r.

  11. #11
    I shoot kids and I like it...
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    Re: 40D or E510

    I LOVE MY 40D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I upgraded from my 20D and still keep it as a second body, but man, this 40D is a dream. I shoot everything I can get in my viewfinder....mostly sports but this baby is so versitile and easy to handle. I highly recommend it and also recommend grabbing a grip too....never used one before on my 20D and now I will never go back to one battery. Two thumbs up for me!

    Good luck and cant wait to hear what you pick up!

  12. #12
    I shoot kids and I like it...
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    Re: Olympus E-3?

    Quote Originally Posted by dumpy
    Does anyone know anything about the new Canon Rebel coming out soon? I think its called the XSI, I believe I heard that it has live view and the same sensor as the 40D. That body might save me some cash to keep for lenses,
    Prior to my purchasing the 20D, I used the xt and also loved it. Then the 30D came out and almost bought one but held off because I knew the xti was coming....Then the 40D came out and I snatched it up!

    I dont know much about the xsi but if its an improvement on the xti, I would recommend it. The xti is a great camera (i have used a friends) and it does just about everything you would need it too, plus is in a great price range....I still vote for the 40D first but if cost is an issue I doubt you would be dissapointed with the xti or xsi....

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