View Full Version : Body upgrade?

17th September 2010, 06:20 AM
Hi folks, I'm new here - (recently retired and determined to learn how to use my camera properly after all these years).
Have done a bit of airshow work with spectacularly poor results. The 70-300 seems cumbersome and slow, and I have now lashed out on a 50-200 which is winging its way to me as we speak. Hopefully quite a bit quicker (and lighter).

My worry is, will I get the best out of this lens with my E-510 body ? I can't afford an E-3, or, heaven forbid, an E-5, and in any case am probably not strong enough to lug one of those brutes around...also I really don't want to have to buy a bigger car.....

Would the 620 give me a noticeable edge ? Would I notice any difference, or should I stick to the 510 ? I would be very grateful for some advice here, and don't pull the punches !

17th September 2010, 06:31 AM
Hi Lefty and welcome, I'm sure you will like it here.:)

As to the 50-200mm I'm sure you will find it faster but your hope it is lighter will be not be realised, the 70-300mm is 620grams and the 50-299mm is 995 grams.

I have the 70-300mm and have found it great for what I do, but having said that I've never used it at a air show.:)

17th September 2010, 06:59 AM
I have the E-510 and both lenses you are talking about and my thoughts so far are

At short focal lengths both CAN be used handlheld wide open. The 50-200 is a delight in that case, the 70-300 OK.

At longer lengths you will need a tripod for most uses, although I've used both handlheld in bright conditions.

As has already been said the 50-200 is heavier, but IMO very worth the carry.

As to body. If I was to compare the 510 + 70-300 with the e-30 +50-200 there is a world apart in terms of what you can see in the viewfinder the latter combination gives you a bigger viewfinder image and much brighter so you can be much more confident on what you see. It's the one thing I really notice when I use my 510 now. in terms of final image quality unless you pixel peep or are in extreme conditions it's often hard to tell which camera it came from as I think the 510 was a sweet spot in the range.

So... yes I think you would like what you see with a body with bigger viewfinder. Whether the 620 will help I don't know as I don't have it.


17th September 2010, 07:18 AM
I use the E-600 (620 without art filters and lights in the buttons) and I use it for sports. Indoors and outdoors. I find the 50-200SWD fast and reliable for this.The only thing I would like is a larger viewfinder. I don't know how the 510 performs but I'm quite happy with the performance of the 600.

The Saint
17th September 2010, 07:26 AM
Hi Lefty, what was the issues with your photos on the E-510 and 70-300?

I'm just wondering if the problems are due to technical issues, such as not sufficent light to enable a fast enough shutter speed to get a crisp image, or it's more to do with technique.

The E-510 is a prefectly respectible body that can achieve outstanding results (I have one as my backup body), the 70-300 at the long end does lose quality and the smaller aperture (compared with the 50-200mm) does mean that in less then idea conditions it can be difficult to achieve the shutter speeds you might want to obtain a crisp image without increasing the ISO too much.

Maybe if we could understand your issues slightly more then it would be possible to determine if a E-620 / E-30 would help (if your cropping the images PP significant the extra resolution of the E-620/E-30 might help).



17th September 2010, 08:06 AM
Thanks for all the replies, everyone. Most helpful.

My main problem appeared to be the autofocus - by the time it had sorted itself out, the aircraft was usually over the horizon. Now, before anyone else says it, I agree the operator probably has a lot to do with it, and you will all tell me I should be on manual anyway. I have to learn, though!

Saint, the question I was really trying to ask was whether the superior focusing speeds of the 50-200 would not be fully achieved with the E-510, or whether I needed a body with more sophisticated processing.

The Saint
17th September 2010, 08:31 AM

The 70-300 has never been the fastest of focusing lenses, so hopefully you should find a significant improvement on the focusing with the 50-200 SWD even on the E-510, I personally did.

I would try the 50-200 with the E-510 first (doesn't need to be at an airshow, cars on the local A road is likely to be sufficient) to gauge how the set up performs, before splashing more cash out.

I assume that you use CAF at the airshows and track planes across your field of view. I don't know if there have been any significant improvements with the CAF since the E-510, I believe there has been but someone else maybe more definative.

Pre-focusing in manual is always an option, I assume the distance you would be from the planes you are always going to be at or near infinity, which might make it easier than close up moving objects.

You'll never get a 100% success rate but with the E-510 and the 50-200 and a good technique I'm sure you be able to get quite a few successful images.


17th September 2010, 08:55 AM
I agree with Simon. Pre-focus in manual mode or set to infinity and select an aperture that gives a good depth of field, say f/8 to f/11, if the light isn't too good then select auto ISO.

If you decide to use CAF then make sure you select just the single centre AF point.