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  1. #1
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    Arrow rebel xsi or evolt 500?

    I'm getting into portrait photography and i'm wanting to get a good midrange dslr until i can save up 2 get a top of the line camera. I've looked into both the canon rebel xsi and olympus evolt 500. Any opinions?

  2. #2
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    As portraits are normally shot at 100ISO, the fast ISO gripes about the Olympus don't apply. My personal choice would be the Olympus on the basis that the 4:3 format fits most paper sizes better than the 2:3 format. Also, they Olympus is a nice compact camera. I saw one in use a few days ago and it looked really good. I liked the feel of the 500 when I was in Sam's club.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2005
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    Livin in a redneck paradise
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    What is your budget? That will help with recommendations.

    First, be aware that the E-500 is an old camera, around three years old now, whereas the XSi is the most recent version of Canon's rebel line. You might consider the E-520 or even the newly announced E-620 instead. The E-500 is not a bad camera (it is quite old, though apparently many people like it's colors at ISO 100), but also be aware that it is worth at most $300.

    I suggest looking at sample portraits from any camera you intend to buy on flickr or a similar website before you buy, to see if tone, color rendering etc. is acceptable to you. You should also try the cameras out in person and take a few test shots if possible (I can't answer that for you)

    Lastly, lenses are more important than cameras (because you will have more, they are more expensive, and they affect all your pictures). This reason would suggest Olympus, the Olympus 50mm f/2 portrait/macro lens for $450 is better than any similar Canon lens under $1200.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Outdoor portraits are my favorite, in addition, fast primes and external flashes are a must.
    I don't see Olympus being strong in any of those fields, whereas canon has a huge following and used market.
    US Navy--Hooyah!

    Nikon D700/D300|17-35 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8, Sigmalux, 80-200 f/2.8, 16 f/2.8 fisheye,

    Lots of flashes and Honl gear.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheObiJuan View Post
    Outdoor portraits are my favorite, in addition, fast primes and external flashes are a must.
    I don't see Olympus being strong in any of those fields, whereas canon has a huge following and used market.
    Yeah right, follow the pack or do your own research....

    With the release of this years models, a low shutter count E-510 or 520 can be had for ~$300 US.

    A good used ZD 50mm ~$350 US.

    Cheers, Don
    Don Kondra - Furniture Designer/Maker
    Product Photography

    Olympus E-3 ~ E-30
    ZD 50 ~ 7-14 ~ 14-35 ~ 14-54 ~ 12-60 ~ 35-100 ~ 50-200 ~ EC 20
    Velbon tripod/ball head
    Slik tripod/Jobu Jr 2 Gimbal

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
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    Ummm, one lens? That's quite a lineup.
    For me, a portrait photographer, I use the 85 f/1.2L and 135L extensively.
    I borrow the 200 f/2L IS for long sessions.
    Shallow DOF makes the big difference between amateur portraits and great looking ones.
    The 4:3rd's system can struggle to get nice bokeh without going to a super tele.
    This has been my experience. I did try the system out because of the potential for super long and light weight photography.

    And Don, drop the fuck!ng attitude with your first line in your response.
    It's just gear, not your children we are talking about.
    US Navy--Hooyah!

    Nikon D700/D300|17-35 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8, Sigmalux, 80-200 f/2.8, 16 f/2.8 fisheye,

    Lots of flashes and Honl gear.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Livin in a redneck paradise
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    Certainly, the 85mm f/1.2 and 135mm f/whatever are great portrait primes, and they are the >$1200 lenses I was referring to. True, 4/3's doesn't have much in the way of fast primes, excepting the Panasonic/Leica 25mm f/1.4 (very good and expensive at ~$900), 50mm f/2 (very good at around ~$450) , and 150mm f/2 (extraordinary at ~$2000). Depends on your needs and budget.

    Regarding flash, the newer Oly's can control up to three groups of wireless flashes (FL36R and FL50R), a feature Canon as crippled on the XSi to encourage an upgrade to the D40/D50. Other than that I can't speculate on flash systems because I don't have any experience.

    I'll wait for a reply from the original poster before saying more.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
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    Quite right, it's just gear.

    Not sorry for the attitude, it pisses me off when I keep hearing "read it on the net" regurgitated shortcomings of Any system.

    The ZD 50mm is the equivalent of your 85. A ZD 14-54 or 12-60 will cover the rest.

    Would you care to share your experience with Oly? Camera model and lens...

    Back to the OP.

    Just about any current camera model and a decent lens will produce acceptable results.

    I would be shoppping more for the camera's features, lens line up and cost.

    Everyone has followed Oly's lead with live view and sensor cleaning but not with in body lens stabilization.

    Take your time and do your research, all will become clear

    Cheers, Don
    Don Kondra - Furniture Designer/Maker
    Product Photography

    Olympus E-3 ~ E-30
    ZD 50 ~ 7-14 ~ 14-35 ~ 14-54 ~ 12-60 ~ 35-100 ~ 50-200 ~ EC 20
    Velbon tripod/ball head
    Slik tripod/Jobu Jr 2 Gimbal

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    south ga
    Posts
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    thanks... my budget for body alone is about $800. I plan on getting 50mm and 85mm lens to start out. i do want something with nice bokeh because i'm mostly gonna be doing on-location and outdoor portraits.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
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    Don... I agree - too many people regurgitate what they have read elsewhere. I find that with questions about business. It's all regurgitated from some book that somebody bought 20 years ago in an antique shop. I, on the other hand, have experimented with different things until I found what actually works.

    Similarly with camera systems, they're all so darned good that it's hard to slip a razorblade between them. As I see it at the moment...

    Olympus has it for size - they have the smallest most portable, packable system.
    Canon/Nikon - both have more extensive line-ups of gear and historical gear that fits.
    Pentax - runs on AA batteries, which is handier than batteries designed for one camera model only - example - any AA battery will run the Pentax. The Canon models all have different batteries - you can't run a 1D from a battery for a 20D or an XT. I presume Nikon is the same.
    Sony - took over Minolta and is making great strides toward a really good system.
    Leica - several choices from the S1 (really high megapixels) to the digital M and the digital R. Horribly expensive but all hand built. I doubt many get out of the collectors cases into the real world for real photography.

    In terms of image quality, there's little to choose between them all.

    In terms of image size, beyond 8 megapixels there's really not much point. 8 megapixels will give you a nice 20x30 print. You can even go bigger and still won't see a difference due to the fact you have to stand so far back to see the whole image. The biggest print I have ever heard of being commercially produced for digital images is 30"x45". Ruke of thumb - at that size 100dpi should be adequate and that means 3000x4500 pixels or about a 12mp image.

    For home printing, the biggest commonly available printer will print a 17" wide print. Most people will print to A3 or 8.5x11 only however. It's much cheaper to order large prints (which is what I do) than to buy a large printer.

    For the Olympus you'd need a 25mm and a 50mm lens to do portraits. I'd suggest the 50mm f2.0 and the 25mm f2.8.

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