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  1. #1
    Too square to be hip. almo's Avatar
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    Decisions... please help!

    I am looking to step out of the Canon market and try a new system. My choices are as follows,

    Olympus E-500

    Pentax k10d

    Sonu A-100

    What I would like to know from you is simple. If you were in my position, which would you go with? I have several manual Pentax lenses, but no guaranty that they will function correctly with the k10d. I can get the k10d with the 18-55 kit lens for just under $1000.

    The Sony will come in just under $900 with 2 kit lenses, and the E-500 will come in at about $650 with 2 lenses aswell.

    This is a real ball buster for me. I know that many have a fondness for Sony, but I have some trust issues with them. I am worried about image quality with the Olympus, and the Pentax may just be a rather large strech for me money wise, and with only one lens and some image quality concerns there too I am just kind getting boggled...:mad2:

    Your thoughts would be great on this!

    Thanks!
    John Cowan
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  2. #2
    Poster Formerly Known as Michael Fanelli mwfanelli's Avatar
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    Re: Decisions... please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by almo
    I am looking to step out of the Canon market and try a new system. My choices are as follows,

    Olympus E-500

    Pentax k10d

    Sonu A-100

    What I would like to know from you is simple. If you were in my position, which would you go with? I have several manual Pentax lenses, but no guaranty that they will function correctly with the k10d. I can get the k10d with the 18-55 kit lens for just under $1000.

    The Sony will come in just under $900 with 2 kit lenses, and the E-500 will come in at about $650 with 2 lenses aswell.

    This is a real ball buster for me. I know that many have a fondness for Sony, but I have some trust issues with them. I am worried about image quality with the Olympus, and the Pentax may just be a rather large strech for me money wise, and with only one lens and some image quality concerns there too I am just kind getting boggled...:mad2:

    Your thoughts would be great on this!

    Thanks!
    My immediate response is Pentax. Even with the meregr with Hoya, Pentax cameras are great. Yes, they do work with all K-mount lenses going back to the original K from the 1970s. There is better lens compatability than even Nikon.

    I use Canon these days but the only reason I switched was to get the IS lenses for my trip to Antarctica back in 2000. As Pentax was late to market with digital SLRs, I went with Canon again. But Pentax cameras, IMHO, have better metering, better ergonomics, and just feel better in my hand. Besides, they are based in the great state of Colorado!

    Personally, I'd skip the Olympus. Its a fine camera but the very small 4/3 sensor severely limits the direction your equipment can go in the future.

    The Sony is nice, lots of great features, but I just didn't like the feel of of it in my hands. The direction and decisions of Sony hav been terrible. Personal choice.
    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." --Mark Twain

  3. #3
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    Re: Decisions... please help!

    I have only owned one dslr and I still own it! Since this is the case, I am obviously biased towards mine but for what it's worth, I LOVE my olympus evolt e-500! Mine came with only the one lens but I couldn't imagine trading my 500 for any other camera!

    I know the lenses and accesories can be pricey but, from all the reviews I have seen all over the internet, they are worth every penny! I have never had a problem with my camera or lens yet, mind you I've only had it a little less than a year but I am absolutely loving my camera!

    Happy hunting!

  4. #4
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Decisions... please help!

    All three of those cameras have their own benefits. But I'm with Michael on this one. I'd buy the Pentax. I tested their first digital SLR, the *ist D, and was very impressed with it. The image quality and speed weren't quite up to snuff then. But I think they've made a lot of improvements since then. And I think all of the 10-megapixel DSLRs have great image quality. Add the weatherproofing and built-in image stabilization and I think Pentax has a real winner on their hands. I am anxious to get my hands on one and see for myself.

    Although I gave the Sony a "Photo-John's Pick" Choice Award this year, it wouldn't be my first choice out of those three. For you, I think it would be my second choice. I would be concerned about the size of the Pentax for you. The older Pentax DSLRs were pretty tiny. The Sony is pretty decently sized. It's just about the same size as my old Canon EOS 10D.

    And while I like the Olympus E-System, I don't know if it's competitive against the Sony and Pentax. I actually think the Four Thirds System sensor is a plus as it makes the optics that much more powerful. I'm a fan of the system. But the sensor-level image stabilization of both the Sony and the Pentax rule out the E500 for me.
    Photo-John

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  5. #5
    Too square to be hip. almo's Avatar
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    Re: Decisions... please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    All three of those cameras have their own benefits. But I'm with Michael on this one. I'd buy the Pentax. I tested their first digital SLR, the *ist D, and was very impressed with it. The image quality and speed weren't quite up to snuff then. But I think they've made a lot of improvements since then. And I think all of the 10-megapixel DSLRs have great image quality. Add the weatherproofing and built-in image stabilization and I think Pentax has a real winner on their hands. I am anxious to get my hands on one and see for myself.

    Although I gave the Sony a "Photo-John's Pick" Choice Award this year, it wouldn't be my first choice out of those three. For you, I think it would be my second choice. I would be concerned about the size of the Pentax for you. The older Pentax DSLRs were pretty tiny. The Sony is pretty decently sized. It's just about the same size as my old Canon EOS 10D.

    And while I like the Olympus E-System, I don't know if it's competitive against the Sony and Pentax. I actually think the Four Thirds System sensor is a plus as it makes the optics that much more powerful. I'm a fan of the system. But the sensor-level image stabilization of both the Sony and the Pentax rule out the E500 for me.
    The pentax has been the front runner for me from the get go. I have manual K mounts that I would love to give a go on it, but monetary concerns are pushing me towards the Oly.

    Please keep the opinons coming, I really appreciate the the thoughts, no matter how insignificant they may seem to you, they will be huge for me... :thumbsup:
    John Cowan
    Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
    ~Ernest Hemingway~

  6. #6
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Decisions... please help!

    Hey John,

    I don't have anything to add to the discussion because I have never used any of the camera's you're interested in. I'm curious to know why you want to switch systems tho. Can you give us some insite into what you're looking for that your current gear isn't giving you?
    Mike

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    "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
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  7. #7
    Too square to be hip. almo's Avatar
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    Re: Decisions... please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by mjs1973
    Hey John,

    I don't have anything to add to the discussion because I have never used any of the camera's you're interested in. I'm curious to know why you want to switch systems tho. Can you give us some insite into what you're looking for that your current gear isn't giving you?
    Well Mike, I am glad, and not so glad, that you asked that. I tend to be an intensely private person, not liking to show all of my cards, so to speak. But yours is a fair question and one worthy of a good answer.

    Basically, My camera is getting up there. It's going on 5 years now. Granted the D60 is a wonderful camera that takes stunning images, but it's time for a change. I have never had a new DSLR, and I would really like to have something current. I bought my D60 when it was already 3 years old. Like anyone my first instinct was to "go with what you know", but the only Canon I can afford is the XT, and that just is not going to happen.

    Money is the biggest concern, after image quality, and before it too really. I have never been able to afford nice lenses for my canon, I shoot with crap glass and work hard to get every scrap of quality I can from it.

    If I were to get a new Canon I would be in the same spot, glass I can't afford. Pentax, well I have some legacy glass, but no guaranty it will work. Sony, drop that, it was pretty much out of the running from the get go.

    I can get the Oly E-500 with two lenses that people have been raving about for $623. I have no real intention to go further than a macro lens and a flash for the system, so my total investment would be around a grand. This is why the Oly is such a draw for me. I am not really worried about expanding the system or upgrading it. Eventually, when I get out of school, I am going to make a substantial investment in either Canon or Nikon. For now though, Oly is looking like my best chance for a real system, something I have never really had.

    I hope this clears things up a bit.

    Please keep the thoughts coming.
    Last edited by almo; 12-22-2006 at 02:46 AM.
    John Cowan
    Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
    ~Ernest Hemingway~

  8. #8
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Decisions... please help!

    Thanks for the insite John! When you state it that way, it really seems to make a lot of sence. I wish I knew more about the camera's you're looking at so I could give you my thoughts on them, but I have never so much as even picked any of them up. I wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide, and I'm sure you will make the right choice to meet your needs.
    Mike

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    "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
    Aldo Leopold

  9. #9
    Too square to be hip. almo's Avatar
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    Re: Decisions... please help!

    Hey guys, here is a little update.

    Yesterday morning I put my Canon EOS D60 up for auction on ebay with the battery grip, 2 lenses, memory and the list goes on.

    I priced it at $800 thinking that it'd be a wee bit more than anyone would wish to pay at this time for a 5 year old DSLR, but I was wrong. It sold today and after shipping, paypal, and ebay fees I will be looking at roughly $750.

    This is more than enough to buy the Oly E-500 kit. It's also enough, I believe for the pentax body. So, I am really over the rack now. It's not an easy thing for me to be without a camera, and I have kinda wedged myself into a funny position. I can go with the Oly and pray life is peachey, or I can wait til' after christmas and see if I get some extra money. I still believe the Oly to be my best shot at a real system, but I want to make the right choice.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by almo; 12-22-2006 at 03:01 PM.
    John Cowan
    Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
    ~Ernest Hemingway~

  10. #10
    Too square to be hip. almo's Avatar
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    Re: Update...

    I thought long and hard and came to the decision that I really do want to give Olympus E-system a shot. For more reasons than just money concerns. Ever since the E-1 was intrduced I have been intrigued by them, and well, this E-500 is the first one of them that has really made me want to cross that line. So I placed my order with beach camera to get one of my very own. When it gets here I will make a post of my initial reactions to the camera, and maybe share some images.

    I have also been checking out the E-400, and I have to say I am quite impressed. It's design harkens back to the era of the classic OM, FM, and ME cameras of the 60s and 70s. I have always felt more comfortable with my old manual camera, so this may actually be a step in the right direction for me.

    Thanks for all the opinions and thoughts, they helped more than you guys know! :thumbsup:
    John Cowan
    Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
    ~Ernest Hemingway~

  11. #11
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Four Thirds

    I have been thinking about your dilemma and I think you made a good decision. I think the Pentax K10D or K100D would also have been good. But there are some benefits to the Four Thirds format that you may really appreciate. The Olympus lenses are very nice and have a lot of reach for their size. If I remember correctly, they're about double their 35mm equivalents. So a Four Thirds 150mm lens is comparable to a 300mm lens in the 35mm format. That gives the Four Thirds System a lot of potential as a wildlife camera.

    I am looking forward to reading your first impressions of the camera. We need more Olympus users on the site. Maybe you can rally the Olympus troops and convince me to add an Olympus forum. I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I did recently add a dedicated Olympus camera resource page.

    Congratulations on buying your very first brand new digital SLR. You're moving up in the world!
    Photo-John

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  12. #12
    Too square to be hip. almo's Avatar
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    Re: Four Thirds

    Hey John!

    Thanks a ton for the heads up on that resource page, I was not aware of it. I can not wait to get this camera in my hands. I really do feel it was the right choice for me at this time. And hey, if it's not the best fit for me, well then there is always next time around, eh?

    Thanks again!
    John Cowan
    Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
    ~Ernest Hemingway~

  13. #13
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    Re: Decisions... please help!

    Cool, I'm new here and a fellow oly dslr owner, I'm definitly going to check out the oly page. I LOVE the e500! I am stuck on Oly for life probably!

  14. #14
    More eagerness than skills.. rzozaya1969's Avatar
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    Re: Four Thirds

    Sorry for the thread hijack and noobie Q, What's four thirds? I thought that was how you were supposed to frame subjects, but I don't see where it would affect in a camera system?

  15. #15
    Too square to be hip. almo's Avatar
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    Re: Four Thirds

    Quote Originally Posted by rzozaya1969
    Sorry for the thread hijack and noobie Q, What's four thirds? I thought that was how you were supposed to frame subjects, but I don't see where it would affect in a camera system?
    4/3's refers to the size of the image sensor and the smaller, digital specific, lenses and mounts made for it.
    John Cowan
    Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
    ~Ernest Hemingway~

  16. #16
    More eagerness than skills.. rzozaya1969's Avatar
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    Re: Four Thirds

    Quote Originally Posted by almo
    4/3's refers to the size of the image sensor and the smaller, digital specific, lenses and mounts made for it.
    Okay, thanks

    So, a bigger number is better, right?

    And also, is there like a standard size of the image sensor?

  17. #17
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Four Thirds

    Quote Originally Posted by rzozaya1969
    Okay, thanks

    So, a bigger number is better, right?

    And also, is there like a standard size of the image sensor?
    A bigger number doesn't apply in this case. Four Thirds refers to the sensor proportions which are 3:4. Other digital SLRs and 35mm film cameras have 2:3 aspect ratio. And compact digital cameras have a 3:5 aspect ratio. The deal with the Four Thirds cameras made by Panasonic, Olympus, and Leica is that the sensor is smaller than Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Pentax sensors. Because it's smaller they can make smaller lenses that have more reach. Some people say that the smaller sensor will mean lesser image quality. But camera manufacturers keep improving image quality without increasing the size of the pixels. So I don't think it matters that much. Bigger pixels are always better. But the image quality of the Four Thirds cameras is excellent. So I don't think it makes any difference for most photographers. What does make a difference is the smaller, more powerful cameras. They really are nice - especially for backpackers, travelers, or people with small hands.
    Photo-John

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  18. #18
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by dinor2
    Cool, I'm new here and a fellow oly dslr owner, I'm definitly going to check out the oly page. I LOVE the e500! I am stuck on Oly for life probably!
    Welcome to PhotographyREVIEW.com, dinor2! I am noticing a growing Olympus contingent here. I think it may be about time to add an Olympus and Four Thirds forum. I don't know if you noticed, but PhotographyREVIEW.com was built on user reviews. We can really use more reviews for the Olympus digital SLR equipment. I would appreciate it if you would post reviews for your camera, lens, and any other equipment you own:

    Read and write Olympus E-500 digital SLR reviews >>

    Welcome, again - thanks for joining us
    Photo-John

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