Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Nikon from D50 to D40, Panasonic DMC-L1 vs. Olympus E330 – which is great?

Once I was asked why I wrote only about 10 megapixel SLR cameras. I like to take pictures with Canon EOS 350D from time to time. I preferred Nikon 8700 with 8 megapixel sensor before. As I don’t need to print posters why do I want a bigger sensor size? When I happen to test a new Nikon D40 with 6 megapixel sensor a little later I examined it rather seriously. Of course, as for technical features it concerns Nikon D40 is a step backwards because some less important features are trimmed and a range of new ones is squeezed in the camera. They’ve invented new mode sensitivity up to ISQ with boost, enlarged LCD monitor, supported new memory cards SDHC. It follows on from D50 but it doesn't have an internal focus drive motor and hence no mechanical focus drive pin, instead it only has CPU contacts which means it can only Auto Focus with AF-S and AF-I lenses (those with built-in focus motors). So the camera is compact and much lighter than all its predecessors. Nikon D40 also has a small body with a comfortable hand grip. This new low-end Nikon draws down the prices (not the ergonomic) for DSLR cameras.
Next device is the first Panasonic’s SLR camera - DMC-L1 can’t swagger about good ergonomic! The body’s shape is quite inconvenient (not for Leica fans). There is a small lug for right hand fingers and the location of the buttons makes it difficult to change the ISO rating. As Matsushita 7.5 mega pixel 'LiveMOS' sensor is interesting for me most of all I decide to check the sensor noise with various ISO ratings. There are no improvements I’ve expected. You can work well with ISO 100, 200 and 400, but with 800 it has loud noise and ISO 1600 is only for people who like to take a picture at night without flash. By the way let’s have a look at the flash! DMC-L1 has a good innovation: two flash positions. When you first push the button it opens and stays in angle of 75 degree. When you secondly push the button it stops horizontally. It’s a good idea because now a built-in flash doesn’t shine into your eyes. Another innovation is the new Live View mode with which you can take a picture with LCD monitor view. We can argue about this ability because the double usage of the sensor enlarges the noise. Camera has two steady shot modes. Although Panasonic DMC-L1 has many similarities with Olympus E330 there are some differences in specifications.For handy comparison I made The summary table of the most interesting 6-7-8 mega pixel DSLR camera specifications. It includes everything about characteristics but nothing about anybody's preferences. Everyone gives preference to different devices: some have a lot of lenses for Canon, others have a lot of gadgets for Pentax cams and the rest like Nikon for useful interface. I can only give you my opinion. Here it is: Nikon D40 is vastly “cut” Nikon for not “cut” price. Olympus wants to put into the small sensor so much pixels (E330 and E500 has only 18 x 13, 5 sensor size) and don’t want to think about sensor noise. What about the new Olympus E410 look through Olympus E410 vs Nikon D40x, claim to Canon EOS400D XTi but really fight against Canon S5. For more than $1500 I can buy something better than Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1. Canon Digital Rebel XT (EOS 350D) can be a great camera. I took many pictures with it and enjoyed it. But there is Canon EOS 400 (Digital rebel Xti) and it’s so interesting! Anyway this camera can be a winner but the price is unjustified . I think that Pentax K100D or K110D and Samsung GX-1S or GX-1L are the most interesting. But it’s only my opinion.

1 comment:

James said...

Olympus E330 is a very strong camera and light years ahead of other camera companies. The anti dust filter is awesome and will save your cameras CCD/CMOS sensor from premature death! Image quality: very good but not outstanding: why? The sensor gets noisy after 400 ISO or during long exposure times in comparison to other digital SLR from Canon, but not nearly as bad as Nikon's D50 or D70. That pretty good if you ask most people. As for new E410 and E510 – I want to buy one!