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Thread: D300 v 50D v D90, which to buy? From an Olympus E-1 User.

  1. #1
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    D300 v 50D v D90, which to buy? From an Olympus E-1 User.

    I am (was) an Olympus E-1 shooter (w/ battery grip). Well, my E-1 died and cannot be fixed. For the price of a new E-3 + $200 I can get into a D90 w/ 2 lenses and battery grip, for another $150 on top of D90 I can get into a 50D w/ 2 lenses and battery grip, and for another $150 on top of 50D I can get into a D300 w/ 2 lenses and battery grip. I would love the 5D Mark II but out of my $ range with 2 lenses and grip.

    I had the 14-54 f/2.8 - 3.5 and 50-200 f/2.8 - 3.5 and no image stabilization.

    Assume the above 3 packages come with a 18-55 f/3.5 - 5.6 and 55-200(or 250) f/3.5 - 5.6 and image stabilization.

    I shoot landscapes, wildlife, kids indoors, and sports indoors/outdoors as an avid amateur. Movie mode is not a big deal, but cool to have. Weatherproofness is a big plus, as I could shoot in pouring rain with my E-1.

    What would you do?

    PS...I will most likely pick up a used E-1 for backup, not primary, no matter what I do.
    Ben (the tall one)

  2. #2
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    OK, so I just got back from picking up a used E-1 across town (in great shape, only 12,232 shutter counts, for $200). So, I have a decent camera again, have my weatherproofing, and can still use all of my glass. Good or bad I am still in the 4/3rds world, still at 5mp (but an awesome 5mps) and still do not have any form of image stabilization.

    I think I have decided to change brands, and for one of the packages noted above. I will use my Oly gear for skiing and other activites where I stand the greatest chances of really screwing up my gear. The new gear, would be for everything else.

    I want to change because of: the lack of variety in 4/3rds lenses as compared to the N and C cameras. I want to increase my MPs (please don't debate the need or lack of need for more MPs in this thread). I want to increase my low light shooting capabilities. I want to increase my FPS from 3 to something greater. In my circle of friends who are into photography I am the only Oly user so I can't borrow their lenses and vice versa.

    I think the largest determining factor for me, would be low light shooting capability. Weatherproofness is a plus, but should not be the largest determining factor. All other factors fall somewhere in between.
    Last edited by fishrising; June 20th, 2009 at 07:27 AM.
    Ben (the tall one)

  3. #3
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    personally I'm a Nikon guy and I really like the D90, it fits my needs better.
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    I think the problem you're going to run into is the lenses you're looking at are not going to compliment your low light needs. I believe the D90 and D300 are the same chip, so the low light capabilities will be very comparable on those two bodies, but f3.5 to 5.6 isn't going to cut it unless you strobe a gym. I know very little about canon, but can assure you that you'll be frustrated and dissapointed with either the d90 or d300 with the kit lenses in low light. F2.8 is doable on a d300, but you need a fairly well lit gym and the images will have some noise.
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  5. #5
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    Weatherproof and sports means D300, which is sealed and has best AF-system from mentioned cameras. Quite good in low light (though D90 is tad better) as well, though you have to take care with settings and exposure otherwise noise could be visible even in ISO 200.
    I'm not sure that battery grip is needed with D300: it's 6fps without and 8fps with it (but then it needs another type of battery and charger), and adds considerable size and weight. Of course shooting with large lenses is little bit easier as well as in portrait orientation but still... I used D300 ca. 15 months and never missed battery grip (power kit set with grip + battery + charger cost here ca. 700 USD 8( , so this was also one reason not to buy it) .
    Just trying to master potential energy conversion to kinetic...

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    OK, so here are my current thoughts (I think, they could all change tomorrow).

    I've decided I would like to get HD video at 30fps on a DSLR with good high ISO (low light) still capability out of a f/2.8 lens and shoot 6fps, similar to the Canon 5D Mark II (but at a lower body price point).

    I have great Olympus Zuiko glass, both older OM glass and Zuiko Digital. Not ready to reinvest in all new glass at this time for a new system.

    I am going to wait and see what Olympus (or other 4/3rds manufacturer) bring out in the next 6-12 months (hopefully an E-3 w/ HD @ 30fps and better high ISO). I am also going to wait and see what the successor of the Canon 50D, Nikon D300 and D90 have.

    So, in the mean time I think I am going to upgrade my pocketable point and shoot. I am thinking the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3. It has a 25-300 eqivalent zoom, 10.1 effective megapixels, and HD at 30fps. This would replace my old Canon point and shot 6mp with SD video at 30fps camera. All pocketable point and shoots in my mind are not great in low light so that's not a determining factor here.

    Thoughts?
    Ben (the tall one)

  7. #7
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    OK, so now I am thinking of getting a used or refurb Olympus E-3 so I can use all of my glass, get better high ISO capability (not the best, but better) and image stabilization. Then picking up one of those small hand held camcorders that record HD to removable memory. The saga continues...
    Ben (the tall one)

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    I suggest you keep your 4/3 lenses or sell them to me for super cheap

    Olympus will be releasing their Digital Pen in micro 4/3 format soon and I'm giving it serious consideration. I'll still have my Canon 5d2 but when I go hiking or backpacking, or even snowboarding, it's just too much weight to mule with me. I think the Pen is perfect for those activities.

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0906/09...olympusep1.asp
    "The mountains are calling and I must go." ~ John Muir

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishrising View Post
    Then picking up one of those small hand held camcorders that record HD to removable memory. The saga continues...
    For HD video and snapshots I just picked up a Panasonic TS1. It's submersible to 10 feet and shockproof to a 5 foot drop. Brought it on vaca to Jamaica and it was great for a p&s.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_UntK30uX6p...h/P1000305.JPG

    Quote Originally Posted by fishrising View Post
    I've decided I would like to get HD video at 30fps on a DSLR with good high ISO (low light) still capability out of a f/2.8 lens and shoot 6fps, similar to the Canon 5D Mark II (but at a lower body price point).
    The only cameras that come close to that description are the D90 at 4.5fps and the Pentax K7 at 5.2fps. Keep in mind there is no AF in video mode on the D90. I agree the D300 has the best sports AF of your selections. Before you buy anything, you should evaluate the lens system you're getting into. Canon's lens lineup is the largest and has the fewest gaps as far as I can tell. I have the 17-55/2.8IS, 70-200/4LIS, and I want the 100-400LIS. There are no Nikkor equivalents to those lenses. Someday I will get a 70-200/2.8LIS for indoor sports/theater, which of course Nikkor has one of those. The Nikkor 17-55/2.8, 24-70/2.8, and 70-200/2.8VR are excellent, but cost more than their Canon counterparts, if that matters. The Nikkor 14-24 is outstanding, Canon can't touch this lens.

    Choosing between Nikon and Canon is frustrating, because they seem to have agreed not to compete directly against each other's camera bodies. The offerings are quite staggered in spec and price.

    The Pentax K7 is weather-sealed (but not weatherproof ) and has in-body IS. Pentax is interesting as they have some neat prime lenses, but they are a small step behind Canon and Nikon at high ISO.

    Or if you decide you're not really concerned about HD video in a DSLR and you want to save a few bucks, the Canon 40D is a wonderful camera that can be had for a relative song. I used it and my 70-200 f/4 L IS to take this:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_UntK30uX6p...0916082303.jpg

    And for snowboarding, the first 137 images in this album were taken with my old Canon 30D and that lens:
    http://jmphotocraft.smugmug.com/gall...63836588_WZpJu
    Last edited by Jack Michaud; June 30th, 2009 at 11:51 AM.
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  10. #10
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    If I were you, and this is a plan of mine sometime soon, I would splurge on the 5D mark II.

    Go to a site like smugmug where they will host your photos and make them available for purchase to the parents or athletes you are shooting. These websites sometimes handle all the printing and shipping as well, so you don't have to worry about all that.

    With any luck the site will pay for the new camera and then some.



    http://www.smugmug.com/photos/profes...g-sell-photos/

  11. #11
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    OK, so I ended up getting an E-3 w/grip, and actually absolutely love it! It's got IS in the body, better high ISO capability, still weather-sealed and faster frames per second. And I can still use my Olympus Zuiko Digital lenses:

    Zuiko Digital 14mm-54mm f/2.8-3.5 (28mm-108mm 35mm equiv.)
    Zuiko Digital 50mm-200mm f/2.8-3.5 (100mm-400mm 35mm equiv.)
    Zuiko Digital 50mm f/2.0 (100mm 35mm equiv.)
    Zuiko Digital EX-25 Extension Tube
    Zuiko Digital EC-14 1.4x Teleconverter

    and my old OM mount lenses:

    Olympus MF-1 Adapter
    Zuiko OM 100mm f/2.8 (200mm 35mm equiv.)
    Zuiko OM 200mm f/4.0 (400mm 35mm equiv.)
    Zuiko OM 50mm f/1.8 (100mm 35mm equiv.)
    Tokina OM 60mm-300mm f/4.0-5.8 (120mm-600mm 35mm equiv.)
    Tokina OM 2x Doubler

    And now I have some backup bodies to use these lenses as well:

    Olympus E-1
    Olympus E-500

    Now I just need to upgrade my pocket point and shoot to something with half way decent HD movie capability.
    Last edited by fishrising; July 1st, 2009 at 05:56 AM.
    Ben (the tall one)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Ace* View Post
    If I were you, and this is a plan of mine sometime soon, I would splurge on the 5D mark II.

    Go to a site like smugmug where they will host your photos and make them available for purchase to the parents or athletes you are shooting. These websites sometimes handle all the printing and shipping as well, so you don't have to worry about all that.

    With any luck the site will pay for the new camera and then some.



    http://www.smugmug.com/photos/profes...g-sell-photos/
    Don't bank on it. My smugmug sales cover the cost of professional hosting plus a little extra each year. people do not go to a web site to purchase photos after an event. The only way to make money is to sell during the event. You'll find more sports photogs complaining about how impossible it is to make a living in that field these days.
    Sean Martin - president/founder
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donek View Post
    Don't bank on it. My smugmug sales cover the cost of professional hosting plus a little extra each year. people do not go to a web site to purchase photos after an event. The only way to make money is to sell during the event. You'll find more sports photogs complaining about how impossible it is to make a living in that field these days.
    It can work if you market yourself enough, and it helps big time if you are the exclusive source for professional photos of the event. I just finished shooting my town's little league baseball and softball. 50 teams. I've netted about $5000 so far. $2000 of that was through smugmug - people going to my galleries and buying prints after the fact. The other $3000 was from pre-paid and satisfaction guaranteed photo packages, e.g. an 8x10, a 5x7, 4 wallets and a refrigerator magnet for $24 which is a discount compared to buying those things a la carte. Smugmug does not provide packages yet, but they tell me they are aggressively working on them. I had to do all the order taking, money handling, and fulfillment for the packages. That was a nightmare, I won't do that again. When smugmug provides packages, it will be a relative breeze.

    I agree on-site selling will generate more sales due to impulse buyers, but that is a more complex model with more overhead, especially if printing on-site. That would require personnel and equipment. The smugmug model allows a solo shooter to cover and sell an event, but it depends on customers taking the initiative to go online and buy something. And then a lot of people, once they see the proof online (limited size, obtrusive watermark and all) their curiosity is satisfied, they email a link to the proof around, and then they don't need to buy prints.

    Smugmug also says they are aggressively working on coupons/credits. You will be able to pre-sell the coupons so people will have an incentive to go buy prints. For example, sell a $30 coupon for $20, and only sell those AT the event. That will be a great way for a solo shooter to easily make on-site sales and capitalize on impulse buying without the overhead of a staff, printers, and viewing kiosks.

    It's not exactly easy money, but if you love photography it's a fun way to support the hobby and earn some petty cash. This job nearly covered our recent family trip to Jamaica, and now I can take a tax write-off on new camera gear. But I agree with Sean, it would take a lot of hustle to make this a career.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishrising View Post
    OK, so I ended up getting an E-3 w/grip, and actually absolutely love it! It's got IS in the body, better high ISO capability, still weather-sealed and faster frames per second. And I can still use my Olympus Zuiko Digital lenses:

    Zuiko Digital 14mm-54mm f/2.8-3.5 (28mm-108mm 35mm equiv.)
    Zuiko Digital 50mm-200mm f/2.8-3.5 (100mm-400mm 35mm equiv.)
    Zuiko Digital 50mm f/2.0 (100mm 35mm equiv.)
    Zuiko Digital EX-25 Extension Tube
    Zuiko Digital EC-14 1.4x Teleconverter

    and my old OM mount lenses:

    Olympus MF-1 Adapter
    Zuiko OM 100mm f/2.8 (200mm 35mm equiv.)
    Zuiko OM 200mm f/4.0 (400mm 35mm equiv.)
    Zuiko OM 50mm f/1.8 (100mm 35mm equiv.)
    Tokina OM 60mm-300mm f/4.0-5.8 (120mm-600mm 35mm equiv.)
    Tokina OM 2x Doubler

    And now I have some backup bodies to use these lenses as well:

    Olympus E-1
    Olympus E-500

    Now I just need to upgrade my pocket point and shoot to something with half way decent HD movie capability.
    Nice! Those sound like some decent and versatile lenses. Being able to use those saves you a ton of coin.

    As for a p&s with HD movies, the Panasonic TS1 is a great solution if you need a submersible camera. It was great on our vacation. 12mp, 28-128mm lens, optical image stabilization, nice package.
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  15. #15
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    Thanks Jack, I'll check out that Panny you mentioned. Now I can't wait for the next New England gathering of a few or more riders on the slopes and hopefully get some good shots!
    Ben (the tall one)

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    I would pay you for some good shots...

    You have to come to "The BEast" sometimes...
    Last edited by *Ace*; July 2nd, 2009 at 07:09 AM.

  17. #17
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    Smile Same Boat

    I shoot inexpensive weddings ($400.) and was looking to get a backup for my E-1 also. The only gripe with E-1 is they seem so crappy in low lite conditions.I just upgraded the firmware to 1.5 and will be testing the AF Illuminator.It seems a little better. I was looking at the Nicon d-80 which isnt that much more expensive .I really like Nicon color and skintones.Although I hadnt thought of Image Stabilizing lenses...A good used E-1 body with low(2000+) exposure count is still going to cost me $350.Maybe I need to look aat the E-3.What are the Pros and cons on that body?
    "ANY SNOW IS GOOD SNOW"

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastcoasticerider View Post
    Maybe I need to look aat the E-3.What are the Pros and cons on that body?
    Tough question, as I am still getting used to it. It does take better low light, higher ISO shots than the E-1 does, and it does it better than I expected. But I suspect that you would need to go Canikon to get better low light. But for my needs it works. Plus, with all of my lenses I didn't have to re-invest in them. As long as you have faster lenses you might be quite suprised. Thats about all you can tell you. Oh and the feel of the E-3 is exactly what I would have hoped to find when compared to the E-1. I love the feel of them both with the battery grips on them.
    Ben (the tall one)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastcoasticerider View Post
    I shoot inexpensive weddings ($400.)
    You might consider a used Canon 5D (the original, not Mk 2) if you can save up a grand. Full Frame, usable ISO 3200, major DOF control... would be a perfect wedding tool.
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