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olympus nikon or cannon?please help!

sean doucette , Aug 13, 2006; 08:06 a.m.

I'am going to be going digital soon,and am wondering what are everyones thought are.Can I get some opinions on the three brands I have mentioned in the subject line and why you would suggest the brand you did. Thanks Sean


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.[. Z , Aug 13, 2006; 10:53 a.m.

Let's see: you ask for a brand comparison without offering any indication what you shoot, what your budget is, or what your level of expertise is.

And you ask in the Olympus Forum, expecting purely dispassionate answers.

And you misspell 'Canon.'

How lovely.

Anupam Basu , Aug 13, 2006; 11:32 a.m.

Sean, to get help from other people you need to read up a bit yourself and help them help you. The companies in question make cameras form a hundred bucks to several thousand dollars - so this question as it stands is meaningless.

Also, you are not allowed to crosspost - read the forum rules. On the other forum you didn't even bother to verify whether you've typed the brand names.


Jorgen Udvang , Aug 13, 2006; 12:34 p.m.

Here's a few points of view: If you are an amateur, Olympus E-500 is great value, and so are the lenses. The "dust-buster" mostly takes away the problem with dust on the sensor. If you have old OM lenses, they can be used with an adapter. The lens selection is limited, but well planned. Most people come a long way with just two zooms and a macro.

The upgrade path is limited, at least so far, but that shouldn't be much of a problem for an amateur anyway. Low light/high ISO is not the strongest side of Olympus DSLR's, but you have to consider how much available light photography you do.

Nikon has som great cameras, the D50 and the new D80 are particularly suited for amateurs, and lots of great lenses. It's a bit more complicated to put together a complete range with only two or three lenses, but the "all-in-one" 18-200 VR can be a good starting point. The quality of that lens is surprising. D50 is great at high ISO as well.

Canon: I don't like the ergonomics. Ask someone else.

A note on megapixels: Anything above 6MP is more than good enough unless you are going to print large posters.

Skip Williams , Aug 15, 2006; 03:50 p.m.

This is way too broad a topic to answer in any unbiased way. If you're thinking about buying an entry-level camera, then the UK's Amatuer Photographer had a great insert a couple of weeks ago where they did a very extensive test and review of the E-500, Sony Alpha, Nikon d70s, and the Canon 350XT. The bottom line was that they all scored between 89 and 91%, which is really a dead heat. It's a very well written article and well worth finding.


Iain Myrans , Aug 16, 2006; 07:01 p.m.

Olympus has long been known for a unique (very high!) quality of colour reproduction from its lenses. It used to be a favourite I gather amongst National-Geographic types. Longer setup times, but supurb pictures.

J DC , Aug 16, 2006; 08:10 p.m.

As a long time user (25+ years) of the OM film system I opted not to follow them into the Digital arena. Unlike film cameras where you can run any roll of film through the body, choosing a digital system can be a lot more involved due to the sensor design.

My impression of the industry is Canon is on the leading bleeding edge, Nikon is the best designed with great ergonomics and Olympus show great promise but haven't had great DSLR market penetration to date.

As far as using old lenses go, IMHO there's far too many compromises using older lenses with any recent DSLR camera line. I opted to keep my OM system and start a Nikon DSLR system. If you're going to change technologies then in for a penny in for a pound.

Nikon and Canon have lots of bodies and lenses to suite most every need and pocket book with some excellent third party bodies that share their lens mounts (Fuji, Sigma etc).

That said, the OM ultrasonic sensor cleaner is a really great idea that I wish Nikon would introduce!


A. Christopher Earle , Aug 19, 2006; 11:42 p.m.

I shoot Nikon, but am exploring options due to the impossibility of having the sensor cleaned in a particular backwater country in Asia, which may not be an issue for you. I've seen incredible results from Canon, Nikon, and Olympus. Its the musician, not the fiddle, that's important ;-).

I'm seriously considering Olympus, but have some concerns for how I work (hopefully those will be answered, and I'll know if its time to jump off the Nikon ship, or to add another body to the bag so I can pretty much constantly have one in transit to the U.S. or Japan for cleaning).

Canon is what I said a year ago I should have gone with when I switched to modern DSLR from Pentax screw mount way back when. I don't like their ergonomics as much, but the reality is that I didn't like Nikon's either until I got used to it. Any totally new control/ergonimics layout takes a while to get used to (errm, some of us longer than others, it was about a year before I stopped reaching for the lens to change aperture, hehe).

BUT, if you live in a place where you CAN have sensors cleaned, you honestly can't go wrong with any of the three systems. I must admit that I'm often jealous of the smaller bags that my buddies shooting Oly seem to be able to carry, seems that the body and lenses are a tad smaller :-), and as my joints start to creak and crack under the strain, errrm....hehe, but you probably aren't slogging around hot, humid Asian countries for days on end with a monstrous camera bag strapped on....

Ruben Bittermann , Aug 21, 2006; 03:51 p.m.

I second J DC and want to add my own, of course without implicating J DC may think as me.

What is the difference between Olympus on one hand, and Canon & Nikon on the other ? A very basic one.

While Canon & Nikon have stood on their feet while offering a magnificent continuity to their clients, Olympus is much smaller company, whose commitment to their clients was put under the most serious doubt after their killing of the OM line.

Once an innovative company under the technical leadership of Maitani, Olympus today is something you buy without any confidence in its continuity.

Cheers, Ruben (also a 25+ user of the OM line)

Douglas Green , Aug 22, 2006; 12:45 p.m.

My thoughts are that all 3 brands are good. Their particular strengths are different, so you need to give us some idea what you're looking for, in order to know which will suit you best. I would also add that Pentax and Sony also make good DSLRs, and one of those might also suit your needs well.

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