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Saturday, 20 December 2008

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Mike, I wonder if you put up phrases like "And I know most of our readers are interested in higher-level cameras than this" just to get comments ;-))

However I think this is an interesting question and should be "polled" perhaps.

Personally I think nobody could hinder you from taking high quality photos with a d60 and kit zoom. And I think almost nobody who thinks (s)he needs a higher level camera would see the difference.

"I wonder if you put up phrases like "And I know most of our readers are interested in higher-level cameras than this" just to get comments ;-))"

Andreas,
No, no--it's true. I did a poll, and found that our readers most commonly have cameras at the 50D/D90/K20D/E-30/A700 level.

4,630 readers participated. You can see the results here (either vote or click on "Show me the results"):

http://www.vizu.com/vot/Grab-bag/Hobbies/cameras/poll-vote.html?n=116260

Mike J.

Back in the spring I saw a clearance sale in an electronics store on the Olympus E410 with a 14-42 zoom for 279 Euros (around US$400 at the time) I bought it right away, even though I'm a "Nikon user" most of the time. So why the Olympus? Because I wasn't thinking in terms of compatibility with my "real" camera and lenses, currently a D200.

Instead I was thinking in terms of: I don't want to carry a big heavy camera around all the time, but I've never personally got the hang of getting decent pictures with pocket digicams (I'm perfectly aware that other people can do it). I wanted a small, light camera with which I can get decent pictures. The Olympus is fitting the bill pretty nicely so far. I guess I would be the target market for the Micro 4/3 system, except that the new Panasonic ain't cheap (yet), whereas at the price the Oly 410 was going at, it would have been a crime not to buy it.

One minor pain in the ass is, yes, that the version of ACR that I have (CS2) can't read the Oly raw files, and Olympus' converter produces decent results but is slow, has an ugly user interface and is not what I'm used to using.

Unless one really needs super-speedy autofocus or top-notch low-light capabilities, a camera like this is really the bee's knees. Light, compact, and a great deal.

How about a D90 for around $830 from B&H, or $770 from J&R after Live.com cashback? Or a D300 plus 8GB CF card for $1200? I can only shake my head in amazement what a bad economy will do to desparate manufacturers. Back in September someone asked if the D90 will be selling under $850 by the end of the year. My answer was "when hell freezes over". It sure is cold up here in the Pacific Northwest, but not quite cold enough for hell to freeze over.

Mike,

I must say I've used these cameras myself. The D40 in Venice last year and the D60 more recently in Cornwall. They were a lot of fun, the pictures were great. I really enjoyed the experience. Don't know if the pictures would be better or worse that from some other camera but that hardly matters. They're all pretty good. And at these prices it's just plain amazing what you can get.

Saw Adorama selling the K20D with 18-55 zoom for $699. 14 Mpix APS-C camera with weather resistance and in-camera anti-shake. Now, that's a deal....

I currently am using D200, 120 format TLR's, and for "traveling light", A d60.

Very nice little machine. You can customize it in the menus, and pretty much turn off all the fluff features. In fact you can actually even decide what you want to have in the menus you see. So most of the "consumer" features can be surpressed.

IQ is good. With the D200, I do RAW. Usually with the D60, depending on my mood (B&W or punched up for cartoon color), but in JPEG.
A fun, light, unit. The Kit lense (18-55 VR) is surprisingly good, optics-wise.

You sometimes wonder how such a camera can be produced and distributed at such a price. My D60 is a marvelous little camera, lightweight, compact and very versatile with the 16-85 lens. And this at some 200€ more than a canon G10.

And it will also slip into your jacket pocket, if you buy an oversized Barbour Durham .... :-)

Just a heads up
Look at Ritz Camera for a dealon a Nikon D40
Nikon D40 Digital SLR w/
18-55mm AF Zoom Lens
6.1MP, 2.5" LCD. Regularly $499.99 - Save $50 instantly! Plus, free $50 gift coupon & free printer offer
And they don't charge tax!

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