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Thread: Olympus E3 vs Nikon D300

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    Default Olympus E3 vs Nikon D300

    Has anyone used both of these cameras? If you have how would you rate
    the image quality of the E3 to the Nikon . I am thinking of purchasing one
    of these cameras to use in wedding photograpy. I currently use a Canon
    20D but am very interested on one of these cameras. Would also be interested in the handling of both also . Especially how helpful you found
    the IS on the Olympus . I would probably get the 11-22 lens to start with
    if I purchased the Olympus

    Jim olson

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    I don't own either, but I would recommend buying the the DZ 14-54 or Sigma's 18-50 f/2.8 to accompany the 11-22 if you get an E-3. I'm sure you'll get some responses from E-3 users regarding image quality. I use a an E-300 and a 5 mega pixel Sony DSC-P100 P & S. The E-300 beats the sony hands down, but there are shots where the P & S IQ is more than adequate. Image quality is such a subjective thing.

    Good luck,
    JW
    Jesse

    Cameras
    Olympus: E-300
    Olympus: EPL7

    Lenses and Stuff
    Olympus: 14-45, 14-54Mk-1, 40-150Mk-1, 35, EX-25, EC-14, HLD-3, ME-1, & RM-CB1
    Fotodiox: Pro 4/3 to m4/3 adapter
    Sigma: 70-200 (m4/3) 19, 30, & 60mm f/2.8 lenses

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    Olympus: FL-50
    Altman: 650 watt Fresnel
    Smith-Victor: (2) 720SG focusing floodlights
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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    I think the consensus is that the D300 is noticeably better at high ISO but you can find lenses for the E-3 that are sharper, more versatile and more cost-effective.

    /Jörgen
    Jörgen

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Both are really good cameras, I think that either will be a good choice. But I sold all my nikon gear for the 4/3 system. And I haven't regretted the choice.

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by jim4848@fuse.net View Post
    Has anyone used both of these cameras? If you have how would you rate
    the image quality of the E3 to the Nikon . I am thinking of purchasing one
    of these cameras to use in wedding photograpy. I currently use a Canon
    20D but am very interested on one of these cameras. Would also be interested in the handling of both also . Especially how helpful you found
    the IS on the Olympus . I would probably get the 11-22 lens to start with
    if I purchased the Olympus

    Jim olson
    I've used both, but can't compare image quality. I would like to add that I liked the E-3 a lot better than the D300. The D300 just didn't work for me.

    As for the IQ, the D300 is better at higher ISOs, but not that noticable. However, the fourthirds system is optically genereally better than what you can get for the Nikon DX mount. There's more goodies for the FX mount, but generally, Olympus glass >> Nikkor glass. Generally, ofc.
    Olympus E-3 Olympus E400, Oly 14-54, Oly 50-200, PanaLeica 25, 25 Pancake, Oly 14-42, FL-36, FL-50R, Metz AF44, softbox and diffusers, OM-2, OM 28/2, OM 50/1.8, OM 100/2, Vivitar 285, Velbon VEB-3 Tripod
    If your photos aren't good enough - you're not close enough (Robert Capa, who stepped on a landmine and died getting close enough)
    Freelance photographer/journalist and columnist.

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by jim4848@fuse.net View Post
    Has anyone used both of these cameras? If you have how would you rate
    the image quality of the E3 to the Nikon . I am thinking of purchasing one
    of these cameras to use in wedding photograpy. I currently use a Canon
    20D but am very interested on one of these cameras. Would also be interested in the handling of both also . Especially how helpful you found
    the IS on the Olympus . I would probably get the 11-22 lens to start with
    if I purchased the Olympus

    Jim olson
    The review in the UK Amateur Photographer between E3 and D300 placed the Nikon well ahead, though an A3 printed image was of equal quality.The Nikon AF was superior in sporting action. I used the E1 for weddings with the FL50 and i was pleased with results. The E3 low light AF is much improved. Its a balance between cost, weight and how it handles for you etc. Does IS work? The attached image is the base of the weather vane of Norwich cathedral. Its is about 100m high. I was about 100m from the base. I used 50-200 with EC20 on my E3 handheld, IS on 1 and the image is 100% enlargement.

    http://www.fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/a...1&d=1205930481

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by tspore View Post
    Both are really good cameras, I think that either will be a good choice.
    I agree with Tony,

    With today's camera systems you can't lose IMO. I know it doesn't answer your question, but that's the state of things these days.

    Good luck,
    JW
    Jesse

    Cameras
    Olympus: E-300
    Olympus: EPL7

    Lenses and Stuff
    Olympus: 14-45, 14-54Mk-1, 40-150Mk-1, 35, EX-25, EC-14, HLD-3, ME-1, & RM-CB1
    Fotodiox: Pro 4/3 to m4/3 adapter
    Sigma: 70-200 (m4/3) 19, 30, & 60mm f/2.8 lenses

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    Olympus: FL-50
    Altman: 650 watt Fresnel
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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by jim4848@fuse.net View Post
    Has anyone used both of these cameras?
    I bought and have used both for wedding photography.

    There isn't an easy answer to your questions. A lot depends on how you shoot, what gear you have now, and what gear you want to buy (and how much money you are prepared to spend)

    G.

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuttaton View Post
    but you can find lenses for the E-3 that are sharper, more versatile and more cost-effective.
    I think you have to be very careful with that argument.

    At the 'low' end, the 18-70 nikon is as sharp as a 14-54 and a third of the cost.

    The 14-54 oly doesn't have any real competition in the mid range in a single lens package. An excellent wedding lens. (I don't own it but I'd imagine the 12-60 is even better range wise)

    Go higher though and the 24-70 or 28-70 nikons are a lot sharper, faster and offer better DOF control than the mid range olys. They are about twice the price though. However move up to the high end oly lenses like the 14-35 f2 and while you've recovered the sharpness and got a bit of the DOF control back, these are now only a smidge off twice the price of the high end nikons ?!?

    Its a real nightmare working out a decent system because it all depends on what you want to shoot and how much you are willing to pay. There is no one clear leader for all circumstances.

    G.

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Ga View Post
    I think you have to be very careful with that argument.

    At the 'low' end, the 18-70 nikon is as sharp as a 14-54 and a third of the cost.
    And nowhere near as bright. This can be said about Oly's 2.8-3.5 compared to Nikon and Canons constant aperture lenses, but let me adress that later.

    Further, how is the 14-54 stopped down to 3.5 at 14mm or 5.6 at 54mm? The 14-54 is sharp as hell even wide open, only at 14mm it benefits from stopping down to about f/4.

    I can't talk about the prices over then pond, but over here, the 18-70 is more than half the price. It's also just as big as the 14-54, and only 45 grams lighter.

    Go higher though and the 24-70 or 28-70 nikons are a lot sharper, faster and offer better DOF control than the mid range olys. They are about twice the price though.
    A lot sharper? I'd like to see some documentation for that. They are however twice the price, again, twice the size, twice the weight and used on full frame, they are both short. Used on crop, they're both narrow.

    The same goes for the Canon options, just to note that. If we talk about the 17-55/2.8 from both Canon and Nikon, we see the same.

    I will also note that the Nikkor 70-200/2.8 VR got the recommendation "should be stopped down" by Norwegian magazine Fotografi, see seperate thread, they eventually recommended stopping down to f/5.6-11. Best at f/11. It's again twice the price of the 50-200, which the same magazine says can be used wide open. It's also longer for the money.

    So not all Nikkor glass is perfect.

    But I won't deny they make some delightfully nice glass. The new 14-24 for instance.

    Its a real nightmare working out a decent system because it all depends on what you want to shoot and how much you are willing to pay. There is no one clear leader for all circumstances.

    G.
    That is however quite true. And anyhow, you will be more than happy with any system you choose.
    Olympus E-3 Olympus E400, Oly 14-54, Oly 50-200, PanaLeica 25, 25 Pancake, Oly 14-42, FL-36, FL-50R, Metz AF44, softbox and diffusers, OM-2, OM 28/2, OM 50/1.8, OM 100/2, Vivitar 285, Velbon VEB-3 Tripod
    If your photos aren't good enough - you're not close enough (Robert Capa, who stepped on a landmine and died getting close enough)
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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by nomix View Post
    I'd like to see some documentation for that.

    I've personally owned three 14-54 oly lenses (and still own two). I've used the 24-70 nikon, and currently own a 18-70 and 28-70.



    So are YOU speaking from experience? or are you just reading reviews??

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Ga View Post
    I've personally owned three 14-54 oly lenses (and still own two). I've used the 24-70 nikon, and currently own a 18-70 and 28-70.



    So are YOU speaking from experience? or are you just reading reviews??
    I've tried almost every dSLR on the marker right now, with a variaty of lenses. But not so much I really can make up my mind.

    But I do trust renovned magazines like Fotografi, I have to admit that, so the answer is the latter. I talk about reviews. And when the reviews come from a serious source, they are good argumentation. No denying the 18-70 is a great lens, sharp and not bigger than the 14-54. I've used an 18-70 a bit on a D70 at a paper. It's absolutely great stuff. But I still prefer the 14-54.

    But I have no MTF charts ready to compare. So I will take your word for it. I am however one of those who think photography is more about how you feel about the pictures that are taken, that you like them, rather than some chart.

    But trashing Oly glass for anything else than lacking fixed apertures is just wrong.
    Olympus E-3 Olympus E400, Oly 14-54, Oly 50-200, PanaLeica 25, 25 Pancake, Oly 14-42, FL-36, FL-50R, Metz AF44, softbox and diffusers, OM-2, OM 28/2, OM 50/1.8, OM 100/2, Vivitar 285, Velbon VEB-3 Tripod
    If your photos aren't good enough - you're not close enough (Robert Capa, who stepped on a landmine and died getting close enough)
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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by nomix View Post
    But trashing Oly glass for anything else than lacking fixed apertures is just wrong.
    Eh? who's 'trashing oly glass' ?? Certainly not me.

    However if you want to be critical and throw an 'anything else' into the mix, then I think there is a very strong argument for 'price' with some of their offerings.

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Good shooting,
    English Bob

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Ga View Post
    Eh? who's 'trashing oly glass' ?? Certainly not me.

    However if you want to be critical and throw an 'anything else' into the mix, then I think there is a very strong argument for 'price' with some of their offerings.
    My bad entirely. I did not mean to be critical or grumpy, sometimes I just appear that way. And I do oversimplify things by using exagerations.

    Appart from that, I have to agree fully. The best example, I think, is the 50/2. It's a great lens, simply great. It's surtanly on my shopping list in the next couple of months, and that's that. But heck, it's expensive as h*ll! If you're just after a bright lens, at least here in Norway, a Canon 50/1.4 is 2/3 of the price while being twice as fast. It's not equal to the Oly 50, I've tried both, and the 50/2 is generally recognized for being "optically perfect", even DPR called it one of the sharpest pieces of glass they've ever tested.

    But I would still like to have a bright, fast lens for the price of a sandwish. And you can get that with both Canon and Nikon, and for most of the other brands too, at least to some extent.

    It just irritates me a bit, that if I used Canon, I could get just over four 50/1.8 for the price of one Oly 50. That's tempting..

    But then, when you look at it another way.. the 50/2 is one of the best lenses in the world. So 424 USD isn't that much for such and outstanding piece of glass.

    If only it was brighter, I would be even more happy.

    Which does bring me on to a stones hits. You can't always get what you want.

    Olympus E-3 Olympus E400, Oly 14-54, Oly 50-200, PanaLeica 25, 25 Pancake, Oly 14-42, FL-36, FL-50R, Metz AF44, softbox and diffusers, OM-2, OM 28/2, OM 50/1.8, OM 100/2, Vivitar 285, Velbon VEB-3 Tripod
    If your photos aren't good enough - you're not close enough (Robert Capa, who stepped on a landmine and died getting close enough)
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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Thanks to everyone for all their replies. I do have one more question.

    The studio I shoot weddings for uses Canon and Nikon and when I shoot a wedding it is all jpg.
    Would they need special software to download the jpg's from an Olympus or
    is jpg and universal format and is it just the raw format where you need
    special software to processl

    thanks again

    Jim Olson

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by jim4848@fuse.net View Post
    Thanks to everyone for all their replies. I do have one more question.

    The studio I shoot weddings for uses Canon and Nikon and when I shoot a wedding it is all jpg.
    Would they need special software to download the jpg's from an Olympus or
    is jpg and universal format and is it just the raw format where you need
    special software to processl

    thanks again

    Jim Olson
    Jpeg is an universal standard, Oly JPEGs are nothing more than a compressed version of the RAW file. Anyhow, the RAW files from an E-3 will be just as easy to edit in for instance Adobe Camera Raw as a NEF or a Canon Raw file.

    That's no problem at all.
    Olympus E-3 Olympus E400, Oly 14-54, Oly 50-200, PanaLeica 25, 25 Pancake, Oly 14-42, FL-36, FL-50R, Metz AF44, softbox and diffusers, OM-2, OM 28/2, OM 50/1.8, OM 100/2, Vivitar 285, Velbon VEB-3 Tripod
    If your photos aren't good enough - you're not close enough (Robert Capa, who stepped on a landmine and died getting close enough)
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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Ga View Post
    Its a real nightmare working out a decent system because it all depends on what you want to shoot and how much you are willing to pay. There is no one clear leader for all circumstances.
    Right. If you go the Nikon route, you can have lenses that are sharp, affordable and versatile. However, you can only get two of these traits in one lens – it's your pick which two.
    With some of Olympus lenses (the 14-54, 12-60 and 50-200 comes to mind) you can have all three.

    /Jörgen
    Jörgen

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuttaton View Post
    Right. If you go the Nikon route, you can have lenses that are sharp, affordable and versatile. However, you can only get two of these traits in one lens – it's your pick which two.
    With some of Olympus lenses (the 14-54, 12-60 and 50-200 comes to mind) you can have all three.

    /Jörgen
    A few nikon lenses do buck the trend, however for a lot of them, I'd would certainly agree with you.

    However you've been conservative with the truth with the olympus statement, because its ONLY those three that really fit your bill. The cheaper kit lenses are great value for money, but are slow themselves (as you would expect) and the high end stuff is more often than not certainly not what one would consider 'affordable'.

    Which is why I said in the original post, it really depends on how much you want to spend. I think Oly has found a great niche in quality, flexible mid range lenses, but stray outside that and all of a sudden a whole new bunch of factors come into play.

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Ga View Post
    However you've been conservative with the truth with the olympus statement, because its ONLY those three that really fit your bill.
    Well, you're right about that. However, the 14-54/12-60 and 50-200 cover a lot of ground for a lot of subject types and users. If you need someting more, then I'm sure Nikon has at least as much to offer as Oly and in both cases you will have to pay for quality.
    For me, the 14-54 was the reason for choosing Oly (E-1). And with the addition of the 12-60, Oly still is in a class of it's own when it comes to high quality, super versatile and reasonably affordable standard zooms.

    /Jörgen
    Jörgen

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuttaton View Post
    Well, you're right about that. However, the 14-54/12-60 and 50-200 cover a lot of ground for a lot of subject types and users. If you need someting more, then I'm sure Nikon has at least as much to offer as Oly and in both cases you will have to pay for quality.
    For me, the 14-54 was the reason for choosing Oly (E-1). And with the addition of the 12-60, Oly still is in a class of it's own when it comes to high quality, super versatile and reasonably affordable standard zooms.

    /Jörgen
    E-3, 7-14, 12-60 and 50-200. Then we're talking an EFL of 14-400mm. The only other way of getting that EFL is getting a D3 with 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200. And then we're getting an EFL of 14-200mm.

    Which is just one of the reasons I love 4/3.
    Olympus E-3 Olympus E400, Oly 14-54, Oly 50-200, PanaLeica 25, 25 Pancake, Oly 14-42, FL-36, FL-50R, Metz AF44, softbox and diffusers, OM-2, OM 28/2, OM 50/1.8, OM 100/2, Vivitar 285, Velbon VEB-3 Tripod
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    Default Consider what you give up with either system

    I have been thinking about these two cameras, and I have concluded that for most purposes, one is as good as the other. However, by selecting one over the other, you give up certain features and capabilities. The lists below summarize those differences (at least the ones that I have come up wth). What you are willing to give up should be a consideration in choosing one over the other.

    If you buy a D300 instead of an E-3, you don't get
    • Proven dust removal
    • In-body IS
    • A set of relatively compact high-quality zooms (7-14, 14-54 or 12-60, 50-200), with good range and aperture that are sharp wide open
    • A good UWA option (7-14)
    • An articulating live view LCD with live histogram
    • Somewhat better build and weather proofing
    • More reliable matrix metering and auto WB (not sure about these)
    • Smaller overall system size (unless you go with the high-end Zuiko glass)
    If you buy an E-3 instead of a D300, you don't get
    • Larger, very high resolution LCD
    • Contrast AF in live view
    • Inexpensive, legacy AF fast primes, e.g., 50 f/1.4; 85 f/1.8
    • Better high ISO IQ (.5 stops good light; 1 stop poor light; but how much does it matter in actual prints or on screen?)
    • Better shadow and highlight recovery (not sure about this)
    • More sophisticated tracking AF
    • Better low-light AF
    • Better flash system (by reputation)
    • Better user interface (personal opinion)
    • Longer battery life
    • Support for Eneloops in grip (does the E-3 support these now?)
    • Max FPS of 8 with grip vs 5
    • Faster focus point selection (8-way; don’t need to push button first)
    These are lists that I came up with for myself, so they are subjective and may contain errors or omissions.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by nomix View Post
    E-3, 7-14, 12-60 and 50-200. Then we're talking an EFL of 14-400mm. The only other way of getting that EFL is getting a D3 with 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200. And then we're getting an EFL of 14-200mm.
    So add the 200-400/f4 to the list and hire a team of Sherpas to carry it all

    Quote Originally Posted by nomix View Post
    Which is just one of the reasons I love 4/3.
    Me too. Other systems may have an advantage in some very specific cases but in 99% of cases I think 4/3rds gives equal results, is often cheaper and is more portable.
    Best wishes

    Paul

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by HAISBRO View Post
    The review in the UK Amateur Photographer between E3 and D300 placed the Nikon well ahead, though an A3 printed image was of equal quality.
    This statements says it all.

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    Default Re: E3 vs Nikon D300

    Quote Originally Posted by ptuk View Post
    So add the 200-400/f4 to the list and hire a team of Sherpas to carry it all
    I took the bother to actually work out the price and weight of those two packs.

    Prices are in NOK:

    Olympus

    E-3 12495 800g
    7-14 13500 780g
    12-60 7598 575g
    50-200 7000 1070g

    41 593 3225g

    Nikon

    D3 38300 1390g
    14-24 13900 1000g
    24-70 14200 900g
    70-200 14500 1470g
    200-400 51750 3275g

    132 000 8035g


    You can get a cheaper kit with a D300, but it won't have the WA capability (neither will anything else other than the 7-14). Counting in at three times the price, the D3 will offer less DOF for those who wish that, it will also offer better high ISO performance, more DR and not to mention faster shooting. But all I've just mentioned doesn't change the fact that the Nikon pack costs on third of a years wage for, let's say a journalist.

    So the conclusion? The fourthirds standard should by theory at the least give the best options when it comes to tele capability, but compared to APS-C, it's ironicly also the best option at the wide end. Compared to full frame, Nikon can offer the same WA capability, but nowhere near the same tele capability at anywhere close to the price. It will also weigh in at well over twice the weight of the Nikon system.

    The price issue might change when Nikon eventually get out a 5D type full frame in their system. Until then, there's still a big price issue. Even with a 'cheap' full frame, it won't be less than the E-3, which means we're probably talkinig about 20000 NOK. Then the Nikon pack is still nearly three times as expensive as the Olympus pack. Another issue is that it will still be twice as heavy and some of the advantages the D3 has (high FPS and perhaps weather sealing) probably won't feature on a D3 'lite'.

    (On a sidenote. Why aren't Canon and Nikon making something with an APS-C sensor that's got the build, weather sealing and battery life of a D3 or Mk3? I'm very sure there's a lot of journalists who don't feel the need for full frame who would love to have one. 40D inside, mk3 on the outside. After all, they've done the oposite to the 5D. APS-C on the outside, full frame on the inside.)
    Olympus E-3 Olympus E400, Oly 14-54, Oly 50-200, PanaLeica 25, 25 Pancake, Oly 14-42, FL-36, FL-50R, Metz AF44, softbox and diffusers, OM-2, OM 28/2, OM 50/1.8, OM 100/2, Vivitar 285, Velbon VEB-3 Tripod
    If your photos aren't good enough - you're not close enough (Robert Capa, who stepped on a landmine and died getting close enough)
    Freelance photographer/journalist and columnist.

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