Dilemma over upgrading camera body and or equipment
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21-07-11, 08:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Originally Posted by
I'm not trying to denigrate the E5 or Olympus brand. Indeed I really enjoyed using the E-510 and loved the fact that I could use so many old glass lenses from pretty much all manufacturers with adapters. It was a fun camera and I learned a lot using it. I got a bit addicted to the old glasses lenses and had a ridiculous amount of them lol.
I think you've hit the nail on the head though Ian with the "good lighting conditions". Any DSLR is going to perform well in good light, whether its an old D40 or king of ISO - the D3s. If every photo opportunity presented itself in a decent amount of light, we need only buy entry level cameras as ISO sensitivity and noise wouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately, they don't and its when you step into the realms of lowlight/high ISO that a cameras sensor can become all important. The Olympus cameras definitely fall short in that department.
To give you some idea, Dx0Mark gives the E5 a score of 519 for lowlight ISO. My D90 achieves 977. D7000 scored 1167, with D700 topping up at 2303. The entry level D5100 scores 1183! Considering the £1500 price tag of the E5 and it being the flagship model for the Olympus E-volt range, you can see why its not a popular choice with the vast majority of photographers, when cameras with superior sensors can be had for half that price. For £200 more you can get yourself a full frame Canon 5D MKII, which is the absolute mutts nutts of a camera!
Personally, I think Olympus have resolved themselves to the fact that the E-Volt range aren't able to match the performance of the bigger manufactures like Canon, Nikon and Pentax etc, and is why they have focused their efforts on the PEN system, as its a niche they are probably better suited to.
Although the D5100 is marketed as an entry level DSLR, I think you'd be very surprised by its performance. Sensor wise its as good as its bigger brother the D7000 and is actually a step up over the E620, in both its ISO performance and EV range. Don't forget its a 2 year old camera now and the technology has moved on greatly in that short time period. I wouldn't write it off, just because it is marketed as an entry level DSLR. In some respects its better than my D90. If it had a focus motor, i'd actually consider it myself, as I use a few D-type lenses. If I were to upgrade from the D90, the D7000 would be in the runnings, although I'd love the d700 for the full frame and low noise that goes with it. A small lottery win and I'd sporting a new D3s lol.
I wasn't suggesting that anyone was denigrating Olympus E-volt cameras and the reviews I've read about the E5 mention that it's sensor and new picture processing engine produce image quality on a par with other cameras with much higher resolution sensors in both lowlight and good lighting conditions. It is only when you have to turn the ISO up above 500 that noise becomes apparent, though above 800 ISO is when the image quality really is poor compared with either the D7000 or 7D.
The reason I am ruling out the D5100 is because it isn't a big enough step up from what I already have. As I've previously mentioned, I am after a semi pro level camera and no matter how much you big the D5100 up, it still falls someway short of this marker. I also want my new camera to have a bright 100% viewfinder and having handled a D5100 at the Focus on Imaging show this year, I know it doesn't meet my criteria.
Anyway, I think I need to narrow down the choice of cameras I am going to consider. On my list already are:
Canon 5D MkII
I wonder which one offers the best value for money?
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