Nikon D40, D60, Olympus E510? PLEASE help me choose a DSLR.

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras & Equipment' started by WDWfreak07, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    Hi everyone!

    I am new here, just joined and wanted to open this up to all of you in hopes of getting a quick response because my parents need to know what I want soon. Anyway, I am 15 into graphic design and just recently even more with photography. I looked at DSLR and I really like the Nikon D40, D60, and the Olympus E510.

    I have read many, many reviews on all three and I have held all three in the store. This, one of them, will be a Christmas gift but I need to decide fairly soon for my parents.

    I know that with the Nikons that the autofocus must be built into the lens to have it, and they dont have some of the features the Olympus has. I can get the Olympus with two lenses for the price of the Nikon with one I believe. Also, the Olympus has the image stabilization while the Nikons have it in some lenses, is the VR, as Nikon calls it, worth it?

    I really cant afford all these extra lenses and things, at least at the moment, so I would have to stick with what kits I can get online.

    So please put in your $.02 and help me out as to if I should get the D40, D60, or Olympus E510. Thanks everyone!
  2. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    I am a Canon guy, so I can't help you there, but... WELCOME!
  3. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    What do you use? Any option that you can add to my list? I am open to ideas, I know Canon is very good too, so let me know. Thanks!
  4. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    i have a canon 5d, soon to be 5d mark 2 (EXPENSIVE) but for a starter you can't beat the rebel xsi. not too expensive with plenty of room to grow into.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  5. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    OK. I will consider that. Wonderful another option added to my list, nah its ok. Thanks for that option. I know that the Canon should work with any Canon lens I believe, either way, more options than the Nikon. OK, is the lens that it comes with good? Its a EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens, but I do not know anything about it and I doubt I will be able to buy another lens IF I went with this, just because of money. I also have held the others but not this, is it fairly light?

    Will it seem, or be, very heavy carrying around WDW?

    THanks ALOT!
  6. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    it will be the lightest d/slr you can carry methinks. the lens is not bad for a starter lens and the IS will give you a little margin for error with slower shutter speeds. save your pennies and get the 28-135 IS/USM when you can (down the road) and keep the 18-55 for wider angle stuff. once you get the 28-135, you won't remove it very often.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  7. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    OK. I just looked at it on Amazon and it seems VERY nice. I just havent held it in person and may not be able to before I decide which goes into my decision because I need it to be comfortable in my hand.

    Hopefully, others can still chime in about the D40 and the Olympus E510. Thanks for your help!

    I may just end up giving the options to my parents and having them decide, because I feel all the options are good but each in their own way. I will see, in the meantime, thanks for your very fast and very thorough help!
  8. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    go to best buy or circuit city, etc. and handle each one you are considering. each has their plusses and minuses but you need to feel comfortable with the feel and controls to make a complete decision. good luck!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  9. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    My advice is to go out and try all of them in the store like Tim said and pick the one you like the best taking into account how the camera fits in your hand, how well you can reach all of the controls, etc. I don't know anything about the Olympus cameras, so I can't give an opinion on them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  10. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    Do you have any opinion on the d40 or d60?

    Or an opinion on the canon dslrs?

  11. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    I shoot Nikon, but I've never really looked at the d40 or d60. I just bought the d700 and I shot the d2xs before that. I quickly scanned the specs for the d40 and d60 and it doesn't look like there is much difference between the them. The d60 has more megapixels which may or may not be better. Keep in mind that more megapixels on the same size sensor typically causes more noise at high iso. But, the d6o is newer so it may have a slightly better high iso performance, but without seeing shots taken with the two, you would have no way of knowing that for sure.

    If you have the right type of flash card for the cameras you are looking at, go to the store and shoot a couple of pictures with each and bring the pictures home and look at them. Shoot each of them at 3 or 4 iso settings, 200, 400, 800 and 1600 for example.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  12. Roger

    Roger Member Staff Member

    The D40 is an excellent starting camera. Because of what is probably an ideal mix of pixels v sensor size, it does produce some amazing images.

    With that in mind, the Olympus isn't going to be half-bad either. Have you looked at the new Micro 4/3rds System yet? Now if you are going to be into low-light photography, a larger sensor in the future would be the best. Which Olympus/Panasonic won't be able to match.

    But if you are into telephoto stuff, mostly during the day, the 4/3 system may be a better fit. Because they can make smaller lenses with IS in the body, you can get faster glass. Such as an 150 f/2, which is the same as a 300mm f/2 lens on 35mm (ignore DoF).

    Try a local photo store (not a big box) to see the other options.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  13. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    Thanks for all the advice guys!

    I think I am going to eliminate the D60 from my list of options because it is a little more expensive and we are tight on money, but I do really like the features it offers. I like the orientation sensor, the dust sensor thing (sorry dont know the technical name) and that the viewfinder turns off when you put your eye up to it.

    The Olympus has these feature, most of them I believe so I think I will have to remove the D60 off my list, plus it is the highest price wise.

    Now stupid question here, but is it better to get the D40 something many entry DSLR people or something like the Olympus E510 more feature wise, and something I have never seen other people have.

    These are the types of pictures I would want, even if a little post processing is necessary.

    First taken with the Olympus found this on Disboards.

    Second taken with the D40, by WDWFigment.


    Just want some really good vacations pictures without having to carry around many lenses so the lens I get with the camera that I choose will be it for now that is why I am looking towards a good lens on each.

    So I really cant decide right now they both feel good in my hands and Olympus has more features. I will not ever be buying many lenses or anything but is it better to go with Nikon because alot of people have it and it is well known in the DSLR world or go with Olympus who has good reviews too but less known in the DSLR world?

    Thanks for all the help everyone! We have eliminated the D60, two left.
  14. ColleenMarie

    ColleenMarie Member

    I can interject re: the D40

    I love it! I have had mine for a year now and really like what I've been able to get out of it. The only reason I would regret the purchase is because now I want the Nikon with built in HD movie. Instead of having both the 18 - 55 and 55 -200 lenses I would have gotten a single 18 - 200. It leaves lots of room for improvement as a beginner, i.e., manual settings vs automatic, upgrading to a real flash vs using the manual settings of the built in flash and eventually havign to get yourself a tripod for clearer night shots.

    I am very happy with the clarity of my shots, the ability to take 3000 x 1800 shots to 800 x 600, the ability to shoot raw (something else you can improve on as you learn) and the weight - or rather lack of it. I've carried a D80 and then a D40 thru theme parks. The D40 is smaller in stature and lighter in weight with the same quality as the higher end camera. The comfort factor was huge for me in choosing the D40.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  15. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    Going back to what Roger said about the ratio of pixels to sensor size, the D40 will produce better high iso image quality than the E-510 because of the pixel density. The D40 has a density of 1.6MP/cm2 and the E-510 has a density of 4.1MP/cm2. Here's an example illustrating the difference. I took this picture in the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg last Christmas with my D2Xs (3.3MP/cm2) at 100ISO:


    Here's a crop of the back corner of the room:

    Here's the same shot taken last month with my D700 (1.4MP/cm2) at 400ISO:



    The lower pixel density of the D700 gives it better high ISO image quality. If I had shot the D2Xs at 400ISO, the image quality would be ugly.

    Outside on a sunny day, it won't make a difference, but when you start trying to take action shots on overcast days or interior shots it matters a lot. I take a lot of interior shots, so it makes a huge difference to me.

    I just checked and B&H has the D40 with the 18-55 and the 55-200VR for about $40 less than the E-510 with the 14-42 and the 40-150

    [This attachment has been purged. Older attachments are purged from time to time to conserve disk space. Please feel free to repost your image.]
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  16. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    Thanks for your help!

    I will be taking shots mostly outisde and in low light conditions, especially at WDW.

    I understand that the Nikon D40 will do better but I also have seen great pictures with the Olympus from WDW. I could always do post procesing to change things a bit.

    Do you think there will be a noticeable difference between the two cameras picture wise?

    I do not know I reallllllllly like th features that the Olympus has to offer.

    Anymore advice? Thanks alot!
  17. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    Without shooting with both cameras its impossible to say if there will be a difference or not. That's why I suggested shooting with both and bringing the images home and looking at them on the computer.

    I prefer to avoid extra post processing every chance I can. I went to Yellowstone last January for 5 days and came back with 10,000 images. The less time I spend post processing, the more time I can spend behind the camera.

    Anyway, the bottom line is that you have to be happy with the camera you choose. The best thing for you to do is to go shoot with both at a variety of ISO settings and compare the results. Then weigh any differences in image quality against the extra features that one has over the other and make a decision.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  18. Roger

    Roger Member Staff Member

    Kiki here uses the Olympus system, and from her pics, the results are fantastic. However I haven't seen a fast standard/wide angle prime (it would have to be a 25/1.4) for the Olympus system yet, but the daytime images have been incredible.

    It's hard to compare web images however, so like what Mike said about looking at the images at home and seeing what looks best to you. That's what matters the most.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  19. WDWfreak07

    WDWfreak07 Member

    Hi everyone again!
    I went to Ritz Camera and fell in love with the Canon Rebel XS and XSI. I am leaning towards he XS because of the lower price. I really like the Canon over the Nikon now because of some extra features but I have a HUGE problem now.

    I found a Casio EX-Z750 and EX-Z850 yesterday which has AMAZING reviews and on top of that it has a full manual mode which would be very helpful.

    My parents are willing to get me the Rebel but think I am only buying a camera I will use at WDW and since I hate lugging around bags in WDW that having a big DSLR is something I would get very tired of.

    At the moment I am looking at compact point and shoots that have full manual modes, anyone know of some?

    Ultimately, I want to take GREAT pictures at WDW like the ones I see on here and other WDW forums and I REALLLLY cannot decide now if I should go with a DSLR or a point and shoot with manual modes.

    I like compact cameras as it will be easier to take literally everywhere and I really cannot see myself taking the Rebel everywhere to take photos. And unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of buying both, and if I did my parents would not buy both as they think one or the other, not two.

    So PLEASE everyone help me, what do you think is right for me based on what I have said: a compact with manual or a DSLR for taking great pictures at Disney?

    Thanks everyone!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  20. gary

    gary Member

    i'm going to step up here and ask, what is your body build, tall, stocky, well muscled ??
    one of the things you need to look at is that the type of strap goes a long ways towards making a dslr comfortable all day, especially a smaller sized body such as the xti
    i have the xsi, and it's a body that i hauled all over europe on a 14 day trip, 11 of it on a cruise ship last year, never felt like it was a burden
    the strap system i use is by a company called optech
    link here
    i use the pro strap system on my 5d,and xsi, and have been a user of their gear for about 5 years now, best and most comfortable as far as i can see, and i've tried a few things, including a self modified guitar strap
    the reason i bring this all up, is this, i feel strongly that if you are looking to develop as a serious photographer, whether as a future career or just a lifelong hobbyist, looking to learn and improve, a dslr has huge advantages, i don't know of any current compact/point n shoot, which is what we are looking at here as the other option, that has the versatility of an entry level dslr
    it's something you can grow into, with a lot of potential for really understanding the art and craft of taking good photos, you will have a lot more time before you outgrow a good dslr starter body, not so much a compact, there is just so much more flexibility with that type of body
    ymmv, as they say, but i would urge you to consider my words as well meaning and an experienced voice

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