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Four Thirds User
5th November 2008, 06:00 AM
Four Thirds User (Fourthirds-user.com (http://fourthirds-user.com)) is a sibling site to the e-group.

On Four Thirds User we have had a close look at what the new Olympus E-30 brings to the E-system table. The E-30 has some interesting innovations and borrows much from both the flagsip E-3 and affordable E-520 models to fill a gap in the Olympus DSLR line up.

More... (http://fourthirds-user.com/2008/11/olympus_e30_analysed.php)

Makonde
5th November 2008, 10:25 AM
Having taken a closer look today at the features of the new E30, I think it is an interesting camera. My personal 'roadmap' for Oly, in this order, was: improved noise handling, improved sensor resolution and range and improved AF (particularly in low light). They seem to have been among issues addressed.

One or two of the 'special effects' look interesting - particularly the multiple exposure where you can view the first image on Live View while composing the later image(s) to be superimposed. Sure you can do it in Photoshop - but not while you're on the spot to change things! I think that looks a very ingenious feature: well done, Oly.

Also the ability to shoot for different formats (such as widescreen) is interesting but I'd like more clarification Ian. At first sight, sensible. But on further thought, this must be cropping off a substantial part of what the sensor receives. So am I right in thinking that this is mostly an aid to composing for those formats?

For me the good news is that if this is the new #2 in the range, then the successor to the E3 as flagship will have to be that much better. Go Oly go -because that and the micro 4/3 is what I am waiting for.

PS: it seems that part of Oly's strategy is to offer in-camera facilities that for many purchasers might make the acquisition of the fearsome Photoshop irrelevant. They need to work on Olympus Master a bit but I can see that it makes sense to have software that closely approximates settings of the camera with which the user will (should!) be familiar, rather than the often arcane photoshop manipulations.

I await in-camera ND grad filters etc.... with interest.....

photo_owl
5th November 2008, 01:08 PM
"Also the ability to shoot for different formats (such as widescreen) is interesting but I'd like more clarification Ian. At first sight, sensible. But on further thought, this must be cropping off a substantial part of what the sensor receives. So am I right in thinking that this is mostly an aid to composing for those formats?"

sensible - yes
achieved by cropping - yes
aid to composing for these formats - yes

as with a number of features this one is a function of the underlying software engine which has not been designed for use soley in the E30 or E series.

I expect it to be marketed more strongly in other camera ranges, as with the artistic elements.

Ellie
5th November 2008, 03:41 PM
I'm quite pleased by this, there are more features than I'm ever likely to need, the art filters for example, but fashion photographers are likely to find them useful, perhaps some studio photographers too.

I'm intrigued by the levelling/pitch and roll sensor. I think it means the camera senses vertical as well as horizontal. If so it might mean shift lenses could become obsolete. It will be interesting to see how it works when photographing a tall building - or have I got what it does completely wrong?

Are there any views that show the top of the camera in more detail?

photo_owl
5th November 2008, 04:25 PM
I'm intrigued by the levelling/pitch and roll sensor. I think it means the camera senses vertical as well as horizontal. If so it might mean shift lenses could become obsolete. It will be interesting to see how it works when photographing a tall building - or have I got what it does completely wrong?



think of it as 'level' side to side and front to back so that if you were shooting from sea level the horizon would be both in the middle of the frame and level across the image.

this is not of course to say that horizons are best in the middle of pictures - simply an easy illustration!

PeterD
5th November 2008, 05:08 PM
Thanks for the tour Ian. A very good presentation and I see why you were so frustrated now with yesterday's early release having put a lot of effort into producing this.

I might have missed it but is the full spec, target price and release date released by Olympus yet?

Peter

Ian
5th November 2008, 06:05 PM
Thanks for the tour Ian. A very good presentation and I see why you were so frustrated now with yesterday's early release having put a lot of effort into producing this.

I might have missed it but is the full spec, target price and release date released by Olympus yet?

Peter

No problem Peter - I think I should have moderated myself a bit! :)

The specs are here:

http://fourthirds-user.com/2008/11/olympus_announces_new_olympus_e30_digital_slr.php/a

The UK price is still not known to me, but the US body only guide price is $1299 and the 14-54 II lens is $599.

Ian

Nick Temple-Fry
5th November 2008, 06:48 PM
Must admit I'm confused by the inclusion of the 'art filters' in what otherwise appears to be a fairly high end camera. I can't help but regard them as a 'bit of' a gimmick and I'm not really convinced by the images to be found here

http://www.olympus-global.com/en/news/2008b/nr081105e30e.cfm

Maybe Ian has a link to some better examples.

Still it looks like an interesting beast, I wonder how long before we get a hands-on review?

Nick

Zuiko
5th November 2008, 08:25 PM
Must admit I'm confused by the inclusion of the 'art filters' in what otherwise appears to be a fairly high end camera. I can't help but regard them as a 'bit of' a gimmick and I'm not really convinced by the images to be found here

http://www.olympus-global.com/en/news/2008b/nr081105e30e.cfm

Maybe Ian has a link to some better examples.

Still it looks like an interesting beast, I wonder how long before we get a hands-on review?

Nick

If Ian could bring a prototype to Epping on Sunday.....now that really would be a coup! *laugh

PeterD
5th November 2008, 08:39 PM
Now that I have had a chance to read the specs and also follow the link that Nick has provided It appears that it not only has features which are present in the E3 but it would seem to have gone further with the new image processor and AF performance.

Dynamic range - Improvements in the highlight areas. This probably is the the area that I have found to be difficult with the E3. Its so easy to get the whites to burn out when photographing a subject that has white and very dark areas. Not enough information is retained to process these effectively in PP applications.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/506/Brent_Goose_-_304416-.jpg
Example of a difficult shot. My solution was to underexpose by 2/3v then carefully adjust in Lightroom/Photoplus X2. If the lightness step levels at the top end have been increased then I think that this would give a significant improvement.

AF Performance - I quote "In addition, proprietary Olympus pixel addition technology enables rangefinding at light levels from 19 EV down to -2EV, ensuring high-precision autofocusing even in low light." This would be a real boon for wildlife photography when shooting with a telephoto lens. Even the E3 can struggle here.

I do not use Live View (Have never found the way to master it - yet) but can appreciate the improvements here and especially the low power requirements. With the E3 you cannot use this continually as the temperature rises and with it, the noise levels.

Just a couple of points that interested me. there are plenty more that I could comment on but shall leave it for others.

If the price is right - I might just go for this camera to replace my trusty E500. It would sadden me to do so on the one hand but there are now sufficient improvements for me to consider it.

Peter

shenstone
5th November 2008, 08:46 PM
"Also the ability to shoot for different formats (such as widescreen) is interesting but I'd like more clarification Ian. At first sight, sensible. But on further thought, this must be cropping off a substantial part of what the sensor receives. So am I right in thinking that this is mostly an aid to composing for those formats?"

sensible - yes
achieved by cropping - yes
aid to composing for these formats - yes

as with a number of features this one is a function of the underlying software engine which has not been designed for use soley in the E30 or E series.

I expect it to be marketed more strongly in other camera ranges, as with the artistic elements.

I used to have the panorama function on my Old Pentax Film SLR's and it did pretty much the same - shutting off part of the picture. Back then it was really useful in that I could shoot slides and show them OOTB without needing to mask part off with silver foil (a very laborious task!)

Not sure in digital though - why not just crop afterwards it's so easy.

I can get that many P&S users don't want to spend time doing such, but DSLR users surely want to have a level of control - dont they ?

Regards
Andy

Henk
6th November 2008, 08:04 AM
"Also the ability to shoot for different formats (such as widescreen) is interesting but I'd like more clarification Ian. At first sight, sensible. But on further thought, this must be cropping off a substantial part of what the sensor receives.

Correct. see http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/E30/Zmulti_aspect_-LG.JPG

E-30 is the wrong track for me, I want small and light and no bells and whistles. Why not put all these Artsy things in a rewritten version of Studio?
That would make more sense and save a huge amount of in-camera resources which can be used for better DR.

I also do not understand why Oly is introducing a new standard zoom with every new camera model. If upgrading to a new camera model means that you have to invest in a complete new range of lenses then it might be more attractive to buy into another brand.

PeterD
6th November 2008, 08:14 AM
Correct. see http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/E30/Zmulti_aspect_-LG.JPG

E-30 is the wrong track for me, I want small and light and no bells and whistles. Why not put all these Artsy things in a rewritten version of Studio?
That would make more sense and save a huge amount of in-camera resources which can be used for better DR.

I also do not understand why Oly is introducing a new standard zoom with every new camera model. If upgrading to a new camera model means that you have to invest in a complete new range of lenses then it might be more attractive to buy into another brand.

The new lens is a Pro standard lens, weather sealed etc. The older lens is in the consumer range. The body will be available without the new lens. Also note that the E30 body is not weather sealed. I think it is a coincidence that both were launched together.
As for the frills in the E30 - these are of little interest to me and therefore agree. I have mentioned the attractions as far as I am concerned.
Peter

Wreckdiver
6th November 2008, 09:04 AM
The new lens is a Pro standard lens, weather sealed etc. The older lens is in the consumer range.

The old 14-54mm lens is in the pro range.

Steve

PeterD
6th November 2008, 09:14 AM
The old 14-54mm lens is in the pro range.

Steve

I might have missed a trick here but I thought the original 14-54 was just a consumer lens e.g not splash proof. Sorry if I am wrong.

Peter

Wreckdiver
6th November 2008, 09:36 AM
I might have missed a trick here but I thought the original 14-54 was just a consumer lens e.g not splash proof. Sorry if I am wrong.

Peter

Yes, it is a Pro lens and is splashproof: http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/dslr_13092.htm

Steve

Wreckdiver
6th November 2008, 09:49 AM
At first look I thought the new 14-54mm lens would be a SWD lens, on closer look it would appear not. I would have thought that if Olympus were upgrading lenses they would make them SWD. An opportunity lost perhaps, or maybe it would be too close in spec to the 12-60mm (?). The 12-60mm widest apperture is f/2.8 - f/4.0 whilst the new 12-54mm lens is slightly wider at f/2.8 - f/3.5.

Just noticed, the link I gave above shows the new lens - that was quick Olympus.

Steve

Henk
6th November 2008, 10:06 AM
The new lens is a Pro standard lens, weather sealed etc. The older lens is in the consumer range.

Like Steve already wrote it's Pro. The 12-60SWD which was launched with the E-3 is Pro too. Check this site: http://asia.olympus-imaging.com/products/dslr/lenses/#hg

I think it is a coincidence that both were launched together.

I don't think so, the new lens is equipped for use with contrast detection autofocus with the E-30, the "old" model 14-54 is not.

For the same reasons the new 14-42 standard grade lens was launched with the E420/E520.

HughofBardfield
6th November 2008, 10:43 AM
I'm intrigued by the levelling/pitch and roll sensor. I think it means the camera senses vertical as well as horizontal. If so it might mean shift lenses could become obsolete. It will be interesting to see how it works when photographing a tall building - or have I got what it does completely wrong?


I don't think it would make shift lenses obsolete (not that there are any designed for 4/3rds anyway - the legacy OM ones don't count: not wide enough). Telling you the camera isn't level is one thing, adjusting the lens to fit in the top of the building while keeping the verticals vertical is quite another. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilt_shift_lens

I was hoping for a degree of perspective control when I bought a Lensbaby, but of course it simply tilts rather than shifts. :o At 50mm, it's not wide enough anyway. Sold it quite quickly... Still waiting for Olympus to make a 14mm (or even 17.5mm) shift lens for 4/3rds.... I don't know why they can't simply recycle the 18mm OM design with movements - the image circle should be large enough, and it would have to be MF anyway???