Decisions decisions

Started Feb 20, 2008 | Discussions thread
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WGArts2
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Decisions decisions
Feb 20, 2008

So the E-3 has been reviewed now here and elsewhere and the results are pretty similar. Basically I would summarize as follows: E-3 is chock full of features for the price it beats many hands down. Where it falls back a little is on IQ and (arguably) DR and in some cases AF. IQ is at the top of my requirement list and so the E-3 could be a hard sell. However, there's also the system and lens lineup to consider. And this is one other area I think the E-3 excels.

Yesterday there was a thread comparing the E-3 to the D-3. So I finally did some research on all the DSLRs out there right now which I would consider stepping up to from my E-1. These would include the D3, D300, 1D(s)Mk whatever, 40D, Pentax 10D or 20D and the Sony A700.

What I first confirmed is that you can't compare the D3 or the 1Dmkwhatever to the E-3 just based on price alone. It would be like comparing a Ford to a Ferrari. Well, maybe an Audi to a Ferrari. They're just not in the same league pricewise or performance wise. I cant afford either so they're out.

As for the rest, what I found is that the lens selection for the Olympus is just so much broader and the lenses are (usually) better, though they can be pricier.

For the Canons and the Nikons I'll support this by saying there just arent many 'good' lenses that have been designed for digital. Sure there are full-frame lenses in great supply, but there you're paying for and carrying what u dont really need unless you get a FF DSLR. And again, too expensive (and too big). Also, the IQ with wide angles is still an issue with old lenses and new FF DSLRs.
Here's a little comparo I did based on mostly B&H data:

Nikon D300 $1799 925grams
12 mp, Live view, dust cleaner, APS-C size (1.5 lens factor)
17-55 (25-85) $1199 754grams
70-200 (105-300) VR $1699 1500grams

Nikon D3 $4999 1300grams
12 mp, Live view, Full-Frame,

Olympus E3 $1699 800grams

10 mp, Live view - rotating, dust cleaner, 4:3 size (2.0 lens factor), In-body IS.
12-60 (24-120) $ 949 575grams
50-200 (100-400) $1199 995grams

Pentax K10 $649 800grams
10 mp, dust cleaner, APS-C size (1.5 lens factor), In-body IS
16-50 (24-76) $699 565grams
50-135 (75-200) $799 685grams

Canon 40D $1199 822grams
10mp, Live view, dust cleaner, APS size (1.3 lens factor)
17-55(27-88) IS $ 999 645grams
70-200(105-300) IS $1699 3.2 lbs

Canon 1D Mk III 1335grams

Sony A700 $1399 768grams
12mp, dust cleaner, APS size (1.5 crop), In-body IS
16-80(24-120) $ 699 440grams
70-200(105-300) $1999 1340grams

Clearly the price leader is Pentax. And they're the lightest too. And they have in-body IS. Sony too though a few more $$$s. Both Canon lenses have IS, but of course nothing else will unless I buy IS lenses. Both of the longish zooms for C and N are FF size and F/2.8 so are heavy. The Pentax system here is the lightest and cheapest, but the E-3 setup is just a bit behind in each area. The Oly FL range is the longest.

To try to sum, I think the E-3 just might be the best deal of the bunch. With IQ the real stumbling block but I must point out that if one uses the Pro-Grade Oly lenses, that advantage will be nearly wiped out. As well as the IQ for wide angles is superb on the 4:3 cameras, plus the lens factor makes the IQ for wildlife and other long-lens situations fairly moot since you'd need to crop the bigger sensor to see the same.

I'm beginning to think I've made my decision on which camera to upgrade to. Now, to find the $$$s. Thanks for listening.

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