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[OM] Re: Digital cameras - OT?

Subject: [OM] Re: Digital cameras - OT?
From: Chuck Norcutt <chucknorcutt@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2005 09:43:50 -0400
Hi, Brian.  Send her to dpreview.com for in depth reviews of the 
competing cameras.

As a sometimes wedding and event photographer I would recommend the 
Canon 20D as the best picture taking machine available in the $1500 
range.  It has high resolution (8 MP), very low noise (ISO 1600 and even 
3200 are quite usable) and exceptional low light autofocus ability.  For 
an OM user it can also be adapted to OM lenses.  However, any of the 
Nikons will probably better it in accuracy of TTL metering (not a Canon 
strongpoint) and the Minolta 7D will beat both of them in ergonomics. 
Despite many happy E-1 users on the Olympus list I can't recommend it 
for wedding and event photography because I consider it non-competitive 
in noise and low light autofocus.  It's technologically dated at this 
point and hopefully the "E-2" will be better.

But all of the major brand DSLR's have their good points and she may 
find that particular features or performance in some area is more 
important to her than to me.

For example, since I'm often shooting in the near dark of a reception 
hall dinner party where I can't see to focus well I depend on the 
camera's ability to do it better than me.  I think Canon leads here as 
well as in extremely low noise sensors.  The Canon 20D can probably 
shoot at ISO 1600 and produce results as good as the E-1 at ISO 400, a 2 
stop improvement.  However, the E-1 is the only camera under $2000 that 
has a user replaceable, gridded focusing screen, something I highly 
value for architectural shots.  The Minolta 7D has an interchangeable, 
gridded screen but it must be installed at a service center.  The Nikons 
have 1/500th second flash sync which should be great for daylight fill 
flash compared to the Canon's maximum 1/250th or the E-1's 1/180th. 
However, the Nikons lose their advantage when you realize that the 
minimum ISO setting is 200 whereas the other cameras go down to 100. 
That too high minimum sensitivity also affects depth of field as you may 
have to close the aperture down another stop.  Another point against the 
E-1 is that, since this is Olympus's first entry into an autofocus DSLR 
there are no large quantities of used autofocus lenses available as 
there are for Nikon, Canon and Minolta.  In favor of the E-1 are many 
user's reports that it produces the best color straight out of the 
camera with no futzing about in PhotoShop.  Against it are that Olympus 
has no form of image stabilization whereas Nikon and Canon have image 
stabilized lens technology and Minolta builds it into the camera body so 
that all lenses benefit from image stabilization.

It's not a simple choice.  She needs to evaluate what's important to 
her.  Every one of these cameras has strong and weak points.

Chuck Norcutt

Brian Swale wrote:

> Hi all,
> I have had another person ask me about choice of digital cameras and I'd like 
> the option of giving a very concise answer.
> I wonder if those of you who use DSLRs can tell me the make and model (off-
> list if you prefer, to bj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) of the model you prefer for 
> whatever 
> reason. 
> If you want to add the reason(s), even better (but not too long).
> I know some of the Olympus models you use, but my memory of the non-
> Olympus makes and models is very hazy simply because I haven't been 
> interested in them enough to bother to try and remember. Until now.
> There has recently been some discussion of relationships during eBay 
> trades.
> For what it's worth, this is to satisfy an eBay seller (who sold to me) and 
> with 
> whom I have entered a dialogue. She (yes, a Mrs) was an OM user for many 
> years as a medical photographer, has just sold her OM2SP with Zuiko 
> 50/3.5 (not to me, although I bid), and wants to upgrade her digital. She is 
> using an Olympus Camedia C-3000 at present, and I think she gets very 
> good results.
> Here's an example of her work.
> http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=4766&item=7318100561&rd=1
>  Her husband thinks she should get a Nikon D70 (which she describes as 
> going all the way with digital - I have no idea on this) 
> She also has a wedding to shoot this summer and wants to avoid being 
> embarrassed through having a camera that is too small.
> Some eBay transactions can be better than harmonious !!.  
> It was not photo gear I bought.
> bj
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