A&P Digital SLR Comparrison ~ Canon Rebel XT vs. Olympus E300

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by Demon Of Dreams, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. Demon Of Dreams

    Demon Of Dreams Feed me with lies and hate, and from that, I will

    Dec 27, 2001
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    Cruisin' Mos Espa
    After the papparazzi for the Houston OT Meat, I've started looking around at more digital cameras. SLR to be more to the point, and yes, I am new to them all together, and I want something to play with and something new to learn (and when I make a decision, I will also be taking some photography classes at the end of the summer).

    Right now its really down to the ever popular Canon EOS 350d (Rebel XT) or the Olympus E-300

    Olympus E-300 with 14-45mm Lense ~ $709
    Olympus E-300 with 14-45mm and 40-150 Lense ~ $848 (or $889 on NewEgg, or $1150 on DBuys with 2gb CF card, extra battery, charger, card reader, etc)
    Canon E-300 Rebel XT with 18-55mm Lense - $836 (or $925 on NewEgg)

    E300 has a slightly larger aspect ration of 4:3, and 8mp
    However, I have read that anything about ISO800 isn't worth using due to noise and moire, whereas on the Rebel XT, thats not really an issue
    the E300 also has a dust filter, which the majority of other DSLR's do not

    But I have never known anyone with firsthand experience with this camera, nor do I have any experience with it either.

    Anyone here have it?
    I know the D70 and the XT are the two more popular of digital cameras, and I'm just debating between the olympus and the canon, I know the canon offers more since its a bit newer, but as far as image quality, truer colors, etc, I'm curious as to how happy people are with it.

    the XT is a bit smaller as well, whether or not that is a good thing remains to be seen.

    I've always been a supporter of Olympus products, I've liked them for some reason when others do not, but when it comes down to it, I want the best image quality I can get, and something that will be fun to learn with and get a lot of use.
  2. sony

    sony Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2004
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    Los Angeles
    The e-300 is a decent camera. One thing to note is that it uses a 4/3 mount and the sensors on the cameras are a bit smaller than 1.5x/1.6x crop cameras. Basically what this means is that the E-300 has a 2x crop factor.

    When buying an entry level dSLR, you really have to look past the camera. I'll jump back to comparing the bodies in a bit, but you have to realize that you're not going to have the body forever, granted you could keep it for a long time, but it isn't a constant. What you spend today becomes relatively irrelevant compared to what you're going to spend later down the road. You might save 300 now, but spend 2,000 more later, etc.

    Whether or not the Canon system or Olympus system will be better for you in the future isn't really for me to decide. In my opinion, Canon's system is more well established than the 4/3rds. Using a new mount means new lenses and new lenses mean expensive. There is a used market for 4/3 mount lenses, but it is very weak. There is a third party avenue for 4/3rd, but it is also weak. Basically as a whole, there aren't too many options. Sigma jumped on the four-thirds wagon and decided to make some 4/3 lenses but just a few. But you still don't get gems like the 30mm f/1.4, 20mm f/1.8, etc. So if you're a photographer on a budget, you almost have to rule out third party lenses completely...

    The 4/3 system looks more intriguing for film photographers jumping over to digital. They're releasing lenses like the 35-100mm which is a 70-200 equivalent whereas with a 1.6x crop a 70-200 is really a 112-320mm equiv. So you can see where it becomes difficult to compare a 35-100mm f/2 lens to a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.. and while some of the Olympus' newer scheduled to release lenses look very nice, are you willing to pay 1,700 dollars for a 14-28mm f/4 equiv?

    Third party support (well I guess I wouldn't call it support, but presense), more selection, similar/lower prices, used market are all in favor of Canon at this point.

    What about the cameras?

    Rebel XT
    instant start-up (cruicial)
    better iso performance (1600 usable)
    faster image review (almost instant)
    larger buffer
    faster write times (buffer clears a lot faster)
    great portability/size
    very full featured for entry level dslr, lots of room for growth

    size, might be small for some people, the grip addresses this very well
    price, slightly higher but not considerably higher than e-300
    no dust filter, although cleaning the sensor is not that bad

    Olympus E-300
    cheaper than the rebel xt
    dust filter
    pretty small for a dslr
    good low iso performance
    better kit lens

    iso performance, high iso isn't as good as the XT and it is blotchy not grainy
    onboard flash isn't above the lens, it's off to the side
    grip available but looks goofy imo (as does the camera)
    slow operational times; start-up, buffer, etc.

    Which is better?
    It's up to you to decide. Olympus is headed in the right direction, maybe. Their lenses are a stop faster than full frame measured equivalents (35-100 vs 70-200 on ful l frame), but then ISO 1600 is unusable unless you want blotches and ISO 800 is pushing it. The third party support, used market is weak so you're likely to be buying Olympus glass at, well, full price. Both cameras are pretty small and have grips to beefen them up. The XT feels great with a grip on it. Both of them have small viewfinders compared to other SLRS in their range (20D, D70, ETC) but when your eye is in the viewfinder, you probably won't notice even if you switch from 20d/xt and back. Switching between a FF and the XT/E100 should be pretty noticably though.

    If you're shooting a lot of lowlight photography, the choice seems almost clear cut. Canon has a lot of fast primes as well as third party primes available that are way faster than the Olympus 4/3rd lenses available (the only primes they have are the 50, 150, 300) These are 100mm 300mm and 600mm equivalents. You can get a Sigma 20mm f/1.8, Canon/Sigma 28mm f/1.8, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, Canon 35mm f/1.4L, Canon 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4, Canon 85mm f/1.8, Tamron 90mm f/2.8 MACRO, Canon 135mm f/2L, Canon 200mm f/2.8L, etc. etc. If your'e shooting low light, these lenses + high iso performance will save you where the Olympus zooms can't.

    To their credit, they are releasing a lot of new lenses (or at least announcing them) but new lenses mean premium MSRP prices for at least a year. :dunno:

    If it were me, I'd get the XT over the E-300, if not for the camera, for the system. The choice is yours though. I would look into what kind of photography I'm getting into, evaluate what kind of expenses you'll be incurring in the future and feel out both cameras before making the decision. The E-300 might cost you 100 dollars less now, but not being able to buy a 150mm MACRO lens in the future if that's what you're getting into, or wide/mid range primes in the future, etc. will come back to haunt you once you find yourself deep in the 4/3 mount. So you have to factor in the future more than the present when making a purchase like this. :)
  3. MonkMonk

    MonkMonk New Member

    Nov 13, 2004
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    that was baeutiful 48 :) . if I were you personally I would go with the rebel. canon > olympus. but that's just me, it may be 100 dollars more, but worth it

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