View Full Version : Looking at an Oly upgrade

March 16th, 2010, 07:21 AM
Clearly I am beyond caring whether or not people think having an Olympus makes me a serious photographer or not. I am looking at getting a second body (and a new lens actually). My budget is $1400. For that I am looking at getting a new E-30 (dpreview entry (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse30/)), a 50mm f2 lens for it, and a 2 year warranty extension (proved well worth it on my 510). I have rolled it around in my mind quite a bit, and I think the only thing comparable in another line would be a Canon 50D. But I would need to make additional glass investments to put me where I am now with Oly glass, and I am not selling anything off (the 510 will likely go to my daughter). I might be able to get a good Canon setup on the used market for my budget amount, but I like the security of a warranty. Specs wise, the E-30 is going to do what I want. Namely boost my fps to 5 (should be good for what I need), and also gives me a 5 frame burst in varying EV levels for my HDR shooting (which I want to do more of).

OK fans of Canon and Nikon, try to talk me out of it. :D

(Hey, as a moderator I felt a responsibility to do something to spur some discussion in here.)

March 16th, 2010, 09:53 AM
Get a Nikon..............that is all. :)

March 16th, 2010, 09:58 AM
That was compelling. :P

March 16th, 2010, 03:13 PM
No no! Get a Canon! :flipoff2:

March 16th, 2010, 03:20 PM
Seriously though...for what you do, a 7D would be PERFECT. Fast FPS, low noise at higher ISOs, plus you get the entire line of Canons fantastic lenses to upgrade as needed. Ive yet to see an Oly camera(4/3 sensor...boooooo) that can come anywhere to comparing the high ISO output of even a lower end Nikon or Canon...and since thats where everyone is going these days(high ISO, with low noise capabilities), you might as well follow suit.

You can get 7D kits with a decent lens brand new for a couple hundred bucks over your 1400 dollar range...then pick up a used XT, XTi or 20 for an additional 200-300 bucks for a second body. Sell off your Oly stuff and youll be ahead of the game at that point and have a much more upgradable platform.

Dont be afraid of used gear either...almost everything i have i bought second hand(other than my 100-400L and 580EXii) and other than the broken shutter on my 1DMKii(which Canon replaced for free), ive yet to have anything fail on me. They earned a lifetime customer when i walked into their repair facility to get that shutter fixed and they not only did it for free but put it on their priority list since i had a shoot a couple days later. Their support is second to none! TONS of fantastic Canon gear at dirt cheap prices over on POTN's classifieds section.

March 16th, 2010, 03:41 PM
Not much wiggle room in the budget at the moment. Really don't think a 7D is doable at all. Well, I suppose if I were to sell everything off, maybe, but that would entail REALLY going over my budget and that doesn't feel responsible right now.

The 7D does look nice though... :drool:

March 16th, 2010, 03:54 PM
Curse you for mentioning the 7D, now I want it. And it is definitely out of the budget. You suck.

March 16th, 2010, 06:14 PM
Curse you for mentioning the 7D, now I want it. And it is definitely out of the budget. You suck.

Id save your pennies for another month or two and or sell all your Oly gear to fund the 7D kit...youd probably have enough left over for a decent prime too...Youd be gaining a larger sensor thats going to give you better image quality, more dynamic range, less noise, more than double your frames per second(AWESOME having a camera that shoots 8+FPS for sports!), a vastly superior AF system(again, awesome for action!) and a platform thats going to give you a HUGE array of lenses to suit any need.(have i sold you yet?? :flipoff2: )

Absolutely awesome camera in every way and easily the best value for your buck out there right now! A friend of mine bought one a couple months ago and after putting my hands around it, i instantly fell in love! If i wasnt saving for a 5DMKii, id buy one in a heartbeat!

March 16th, 2010, 06:23 PM
As usual I agree 100% with Jeff. You are sadly wasting money investing in the Oly when for what you do the 7D would be amazingly perfect.

March 16th, 2010, 07:40 PM
Damn you both... :P

March 16th, 2010, 07:46 PM
Damn you both... :P

Hey, i didnt try to sell you on a new 1DMK4...so... :P

Seriously though...the initial sticker shock might be a little :eek: But after you shoot your first game with that thing i guarantee youll forget all about what you paid for it!! When i sold my D80 to get the 40D, the step from 3FPS to 6.5 was incredible...when i went from 6.5 to 8.5, i couldnt wipe the stupid grin off my face. Going from 3, straight to 8 should be sensory overload... :flipoff2:

March 16th, 2010, 08:26 PM
OK, so lets say I can pick up a refurb 7D for $1400 (body only). And I can get a used XTi for $300. That is $1700, which is reasonable when you factor in selling my Oly stuff. So, what lens(es) should I get in a reasonable price range to achieve what I spoke of above?

And if I am looking at used lenses, what should I be looking for? EF or EF-S? What works with the AF motors on a DSLR?

March 16th, 2010, 08:44 PM
Welp...depends on what you need really but ill give you a few recommendations. Buy used glass for sure...if its clean and not beat up, it will work just as well as a brand new one for hundreds less. Again, POTN is a fantastic resource for well kept, clean and sharp glass. Ive bought half a dozen or so lenses from the guys over there and have been pleased with every purchase.

If your looking for a versatile, fairly inexpensive, general purpose lens, a 17-40L is TOUGH to beat(about 500-600 used). Its wide enough on a 1.6 crop body that you'll still have a nice, wide angle but long enough that it will get you somewhat close for general shooting.

Sports lenses can get pricey quick. A 70-200L F2.8 is gonna run you 800-1000 used. If you can do without the 2.8, you can get it in the F4 version for roughly half the price. They also make IS versions of both the 2.8 and 4 but you will pay a bit more for them. For sports, in fair to good light, a 70-200L F4 will serve you well and is arguably one of Canons sharpest and best valued telephoto zoom.

If you need more reach, 100-400L IS is again, tough to beat....they will run you about 1200 used. I LOVE mine...ive used it from everything from portraits, races, sporting events, nature shots, etc. Very versatile lens but it comes at a price...its HEAVY and isnt exactly cheap.

Mind you, the above is pro grade glass...and while you pay more for it, its easily the single and best thing you can do to improve your pictures.

If you want something cheap, you can get a 28-135 IS kit lens(about 250-300 used) and its actually a pretty good lens. Its not really that wide on a crop body but it has a great range and takes some nice pictures. They have a new 18-135 lens that supposed to be a slight bit better, gives you a wider angle but it will cost you a little more.

If you want fast and cheap, theres always the ever popular "nifty 50"...50mm 1.8. Its a cheap lens...it feels cheap, it looks cheap but it takes some amazing photos and on a crop body, they work fantastic for indoor sports work! They run 50-75 used.

March 16th, 2010, 08:46 PM
EF lenses can be used on any current Canon body...35mm, full frame or crop. All the "L" lenses(pro grade) are EF.

EF-S lenses can only be used on crop bodies(The complete Rebel series, 20-50D's, 7D). With the 7D, you can use both EF and EF-S.

Canon has built in AF motors on all their current lenses....theres no direct drive(in body motor) focusing like on some of the Nikon stuff(thats where it gets complicated).

Confused yet?? :P

March 16th, 2010, 09:55 PM

March 17th, 2010, 06:13 AM
Nah, that helps. But the budget is still worrying to me. Need to research if a move to a 50D with a grip makes sense. That'll get my to 6.5fps. Not 8.5, but closer.

March 17th, 2010, 06:22 AM
Why not a used E3?

March 17th, 2010, 07:06 AM
E3 doesn't really give me what I am looking for.

March 17th, 2010, 07:48 AM
That was compelling. :P

Well....you asked?? :D Seriously though, the advice Jeff is giving is sound...from the Canon camp anyway. I wouldn't even begin to give you advice on Nikon stuff other than I've used Nikon equipment all my life and like how it feels in my big hands......and the older stuff is still usable for my D300. I've actually shot a lot with my old manual focus 50mm f1.4 prime and the 100-300mm manual barrel focus zoom, so I can't imagine switching from Nikon.

March 17th, 2010, 07:57 AM
I keep rolling it around in my head and right now it just doesn't make sense to jump brands. Yes, the 7D is a beauty, but for my budget, which is my primary concern right now, I think staying in Oly makes the most sense. I don't want to break the bank to do this.

tc - an E-3 might actually make sense too, I am trying to get a workable comparison between the E-3 and E-30 right now to see what it would really mean.

March 17th, 2010, 11:17 AM
Try here...not a perfect side by side representation, but it will give you some ideas...it also shows a comparison to the 50D on some aspects...


Pay particular attention to the noise comparison sections...the smaller 4/3 sensor shows its obvious disadvantages. No idea why they still use them... :shrug:

While its(E-30) a fine camera, even the cheaper 50D outperforms it everywhere...and the 7D outperforms the 50D everywhere. If your going to spend the coin, might as well do it once, do it right from the get go....heres your chance to swap to a better performing, more expandable and supported platform...id snag it with both hands and run like you stole it! Your already going to be 10 steps ahead of the game as far as expansion and overall performance goes by going with either the 50D or 7D. A 50D is going to be much more cost friendly than the 7D but your losing a couple FPS, the superior auto focus, better noise handling, higher MP count, video capabilities, etc and the huge amount of jealousy your gonna cause... :flipoff2:

Although a gripped 50D, an XTi and a couple cheaper pro grade lenses could easily be had within your budget(assuming you sold your Oly stuff) with a potential to have money left over. I was pretty happy with my 40D all things considered and the 50 is an ever so slightly better camera.

If you need any more kicking in the butt, lemme know... :P

March 17th, 2010, 11:25 AM
If you need any more kicking in the butt, lemme know... :P

No, just need more $$ in the budget. :flipoff2:

March 17th, 2010, 11:36 AM
Look seriously into the 50D then...still a very good camera.

The nice thing about Canons prosumer bodies is that they arent very expensive and very easily upgradable. Generally, once a new body rolls around, you can sell your old one, toss a few hundred bucks into the pot and buy their next prosumer line. I really liked my 40D and the only real reason i sold it was to fund my 1DMKii which was just a deal that was too good to pass up and since i was big into sports during that period, it was like crem de la crem of affordable used pro grade sports cameras at the time.

So if money is a big issue right now, buy a middle of the road body(50D) and blow the rest on REALLY good glass. The L lenses, while they wont make you walk on water or part the red sea or anything, will give you better images with better color, contrast, sharpness and will do it with faster and more accurate focusing. Once you shoot with your first L lens, youll never go back to anything less.

March 17th, 2010, 06:44 PM
In your original post, the only thing you mention is FPS - are there other things you are looking for? Higher ISO can be nice, but ISO never exists alone - if you can run an open enough aperture or long enough shutter speed, you don't necessarily need higher ISO ... however if you want a deep depth of field in low light for fast moving subjects, then you're probably going to need noise-free high ISO performance... and then you might want to consider upgrading beyond APS-C to full frame ...

IMHO, going from what you have to a 50D is kinda like upgrading your D30 to a D44, knowing that you'll eventually need 60's anyway, whereas going with the E30 or E3 is kinda like upgrading to cromoly shafts to hold off while you save up the $ for the 60's.

March 17th, 2010, 07:04 PM
IMHO, going from what you have to a 50D is kinda like upgrading your D30 to a D44, knowing that you'll eventually need 60's anyway, whereas going with the E30 or E3 is kinda like upgrading to cromoly shafts to hold off while you save up the $ for the 60's.

Cute analogy but its apples to oranges in the digital photography world. Even the top of the line Olympus, which will cost you a good bit more than the 50D, doesnt really comes close to the overall performance and image quality that the 50D offers. Even some of the Canon or Nikon entry level cameras perform better in some aspects, compared to the top of the line Olys.

Plus, if he goes with the 50D, its going to allow him to afford L(pro) glass which is going to be better than Olys offerings, especially from a price standpoint.. The image quality, focusing speed\accuracy, high ISO noise handing, FPS rate and lens selection is going to be night and day difference between what hes using now. The 50D body is cheap but the glass is where you should look more at your investment...and the long term investment cards stack considerably higher with Canon or Nikon. If he buys a decent body but fantastic glass from the get go, hes going ahead of the game in the long term scheme of things. Most start with a decent body and crap glass and then find themselves lusting after the good(expensive) glass that everyone told them they should have bought from the get go...just trying to save him the trouble and money since hes gonna have the money to do it right from the start.

Ive been there, done that several times after flip flopping between platforms multiple times...ive shot with a multitude of cameras from HP, Oly, Kodak, Canon, Nikon, Sony and just about everything in between and can tell you the following without any hesitation...stick with the big two and you'll never go wrong. There is a reason why you see 99% of professionals carrying around a Canon or a Nikon...and its not just because they are a status symbol. Not trying to sound like a brand whore or anything but Canon and Nikon make clearly superior cameras and lenses than pretty much the rest of the competition(ultra high end companies excluded).

And none of this is to say a Canon or Nikon is going to make your pictures better(but in many cases, they will)...but ill take EVERY advantage i can get my grubby hands on!

March 18th, 2010, 08:58 PM
Skip the 50D and go with a 40D. Take it from one who has had both, now has a 50D and would really like to have my 40D back...

The 50D is nice, but the 40D is much better bang for your buck. Had I not got the smoking deal on the 50D (and all the goodies with it) that I did I would be rocking a 40D while I save the pennies to move to a 7D.

The difference between the 40D and 50D is negligible and the money you save on the body can go to buying good glass. I really like my 70-200 f4 ($500 from Craigslist), Tamron 17-50 2.8 (my main lens...love it!!!) and my 50 1.8. I have thought about going for another ultra wide 12-24 or 11-16, but my use for those was pretty limited.

Like I finally figured out, bodies come and go but glass last forever. I want to invest in the best glass I can...and in my eyes that is Canon glass.

March 18th, 2010, 09:44 PM
The biggest problem ive seen is that most dont look far down the road when buying gear. Like you said Tiffany, bodies come and go all the time...im on my...ohh, 5th Canon body in the last couple\few years(make that the 6th if you count the ol ladies XSi)...but ive still got the good lenses.

All brand wars aside, you need to take a good look at where you are and where you want to be a year from now...5 years from now. Are you going to be shooting sports where you need a 10FPS camera with the highest grade of auto focus? Both Canon and Nikon have that...Oly doesnt. Will you need a full frame, ultra low light camera possibly for weddings or portraits that will take the cleanest of images at insanely high ISO? Canon and Nikon both have that....Oly doesnt. Considering how slowly they move with their DSLR technology, whos to say they ever will have either of these...or even be around at all a couple, few years down the road. Canon and Nikon, i can tell you without any doubt, will be around as long as pictures are being taken.

What about used lenses(which id highly recommend over new) and overall cost? The market is flooded with absolutely smoking deals on Canon and Nikon stuff which is good for us buyers...how many times have you scanned through CL or insert your favorite photography forum here and saw a ton of Oly stuff? Probably not too often. A pro grade 70-200 F2.8 from Canon or Nikon can be had for 1000 bucks give or take...the professional grade Oly equivalent is close to twice that. A 24-70 F2.8 from Canon costs about 1000 bucks...again, an Oly equivalent is nearly twice that. Zuiko pro grade glass, while its good stuff, costs considerably more than the Nikon or Canon equivalents...most are one and a half to two times the cost...and thats going to force you to be stuck with lower quality(cheaper) glass which is going to hold you back in the long run.

I guess whats its going to boil down to is buy whatever suits your needs...not just currently, but also where your going in the future. Ive always been big into DSLR technology and have always spent days, weeks, months studying, comparing and finding the differences between the new stuff so i can keep up with the technology and stay better informed for my next purchases. I never considered Oly for the following reasons...

Glass selection and cost...pretty much nobody rents Zuiko glass and its rare to even find a shop that sells or supports it. While they have the bare essentials, they dont have the huge array like Canon or Nikon does. Not to mention, it costs more and gives you nothing for the extra you pay.

Body construction(this was the biggest turn off for me)....all the Olys, except for the E3 i believe, are plastic...or fiberglass...whatever it is, to me, it feels cheap. All the prosumer and pro grade Canons and Nikons are magnesium cased...IE, a much more stout, sturdy feeling camera. While it would make me sick to have a big accident with an expensive camera, id put my money on the magnesium bodied camera surviving it better. Can honestly say they(Oly) just feels odd in my hands and feels like a toy.

4/3 sensors...looking through the view finder reminds me of those old periscope toys or old P&S film cameras. Tunnel vision is the best way i can describe it...its an odd sensation IMO when looked at side by side to the larger sensor cameras. Pick up some of Canon or Nikons latest offerings and compare the view through the finder side by side...its like analog TV compared to HD TV. The sensors are also considerably noisier once you start upping the ISO and in alot of cases, lack the dynamic range of the big twos equivalents.

It might not make a whole lot of sense now to switch, but honestly, i think you would highly benefit, long term going with a Canon or Nikon. Again, just more rambling...ill shut up and let you make your decision...but like the old dude at the end of Indiana Jones and the last Crusade said, "Choose wisely" :P

March 18th, 2010, 10:56 PM
I vote 7D with lots of L-glass! :D

March 18th, 2010, 11:32 PM
Don't switch to Nikon! ;) Being oly impaired.... is there oly stuff that compares with canon's? When and if you switch do once!

Do you have as much budgeted or less invested in oly glass? Cause there are lenses in canon/nikon more than 10K

March 19th, 2010, 09:23 AM
Long term I agree, it does make sense to move to Canon. Short term, not so much I don't think. I need to stay in the financial parameters I have right now. If things go according to plan, I will be able to make the jump in the future with no reservations, but right now it just isn't possible, dollar wise, to come out of a switch with the setup I am looking for. An E-3 or E-30, with 2 good lenses to boot, is easy to do within the budget I have right now. I'll do the switch when it makes the most sense from a money standpoint, which just isn't right now.