PDA

View Full Version : New to DSLR photography AND new to Olympus - The Double Whammy!


Naboo32
21st November 2008, 05:59 PM
Hello all!

Having recently decided to try and break out of the cycle of taking OK pictures at home with my Canon Ixus 75, but (mostly) terrible pictures outside with it :(, I started to research the world of DSLR cameras and found that a lot had changed since I last looked, 7 years ago :eek:.

Inspired by the many feature-packed, "all-in-one kits" on the market for less than 600, I started drawing up a shortlist. The leading contender was (not surprisingly, given all the hype around it ;)), the Canon E450D. Also in the running were the Olympus E420 and E520 kits.

All was going well with my patient Internet research, until a friend told me that our local electrical superstore (think, a "German Dixons") were having a special "one day only" promotion on their old (over)stock of E410's - they were selling the twin lens kit for 299 (about 240) :eek:. So, I queued up with all the other bargain hunters and went in to have a look at one. I was immediatley impressed by the solid feel (better than the flimsier and less scratch-resistant plastic of the Canon, I thought) and decided that I should get one. But, I was too late! They had all been snapped up within the first 15 minutes :(.

Still, "good things come to those who wait" and after spending another 30 minutes looking at all of the competing models and thinking that I really should have been quicker to decide and grab an E410, I saw a shop assistant, pushing a pallet of Olympus cameras towards the (now) empty display space. My excitement was temporarily crushed when I saw that they were all E420's (the current model and therefore, probably for sale at full price). So, out of curiosity, I decided to ask how much they were going for (as there was no signage by them). The sales assistant informed me that, due to the large numbers of customers who had travelled a long way for the offer on the E410 and were being sent away disappointed, the manager had decided to sell some of their current stock of E420's at the same ridiculously low price of 299 (for the full, twin lens package), as a gesture of "good customer service". Needless to say, I pounced on one and ran off to the till with it, as fast as my trembling knees would allow :D.

So, that's my introductory story and explains how I came to be an Olympus E Series owner. Having had a few days with the camera, I now have mixed emotions over it. I'm really comfortable with the controls and am fast learning how the various variables interact, when in manual mode. I like the menus more than I expected to, being a former Canon user and the quality of the images is far above anything I've ever produced from a camera before. I'm even coming round to the "four-thirds" way of thinking (portrait orientated pictures look much fuller on the screen *yes).

The only doubts I'm having, concern the lack of Image Stabilisation on the E420 :(. When I first saw (via a You Tube video review) just how much difference that system could make, I told myself that I would have to have that feature on any DLSR camera that I bought. In my hurry to buy the E420, I just assumed that I could upgrade it later, with a lens containing IS technology - only after I'd bought the camera did I discover that nobody makes suck a lens for the Olympus E series :confused:.

So, whilst I am happy to use my E420 for indoor (tripod)/daylight photography, I'm still hankering after an E510/520 to give me the added confidence to shoot "hand-held" with the longer zoom lens in the kit.

I'm explaining all this here to help to put my first posts on the main forum into context. Sorry if it was a bit long and waffling, but I really felt the need to explain myself.

Now that I'm here, I look forward to chatting with the experts, in order to try and optimise my equipment purchasing (avoiding costly errors) and to learn some practical tips for getting the best images possible from these fine, feature-packed cameras :).

Thanks for reading.

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p279/Bluenile32/Cameras%20and%20Photography/2506b7f8.jpg
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p279/Bluenile32/Cameras%20and%20Photography/7ce0486b.jpg

Jim Ford
21st November 2008, 06:10 PM
Sorry if it was a bit long and waffling, but I really felt the need to explain myself.

Which you did very well indeed. Welcome to the forum!

Jim

Ian
21st November 2008, 06:11 PM
Hi Naboo, welcome to the e-group and to the world of the E-System :)

You may notice a lot of Brits on here as this is a UK-focused site (working in conjunction with Oly UK) - not that we want you to leave; we welcome members from anywhere, but I thought I would just mention that we have a more international site that covers the whole of the Four Thirds system, not just the (admittedly fairly large) part that is Olympus - it's Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com) - so please do pop over there when you have a minute :D

The E-420 is really good, but as you say - it doesn't have IS. Well, photographers were still taking great pictures before IS was invented :) But then again, the Olympus IS system really rocks. But get used to the E-420 and then maybe upgrade to something really cool like the forthcoming E-30 later?

I know many of us are looking forward to helping you in any way we can - so do ask if you have any questions!

Ian

StephenL
21st November 2008, 06:40 PM
Welcome! As you are new to DSLR photography, it may be a good thing that you are starting off without IS. That way you can learn the effect that shutter speed can have on a photo.

Naboo32
21st November 2008, 06:56 PM
Hi Naboo, welcome to the e-group and to the world of the E-System :)

You may notice a lot of Brits on here as this is a UK-focused site (working in conjunction with Oly UK) - not that we want you to leave; we welcome members from anywhere, but I thought I would just mention that we have a more international site that covers the whole of the Four Thirds system, not just the (admittedly fairly large) part that is Olympus - it's Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com) - so please do pop over there when you have a minute :D

The E-420 is really good, but as you say - it doesn't have IS. Well, photographers were still taking great pictures before IS was invented :) But then again, the Olympus IS system really rocks. But get used to the E-420 and then maybe upgrade to something really cool like the forthcoming E-30 later?

I know many of us are looking forward to helping you in any way we can - so do ask if you have any questions!

Ian

Thanks Ian, I've already had some of my questions answered by reading through other parts of this forum, so I'm getting "my moneys' worth" already :D!

Regarding the "international aspect" - despite having lived in Germany for the past 6 years, I was formerly a resident of a certain town about 15 miles up the M1 from where you are (think, "high crime rate, beginning with the letter L"), so I feel quite at home here and tend to do a lot of my shopping online too, so hearing about UK offers is still pretty relevant to me.

As for the (lack of) IS issue; I have just discovered the Leica manufacture a 14-150mm lens with IS, which would not only solve that problem, but would arguabley improve upon the image quality and portability of my E420 DZ kit :).

It's nice to have options, don't you think?

PeterD
21st November 2008, 07:49 PM
Welcome Naboo. Although I have an E3, I also have an E500 which I use for most of my short focal length work. I have had no problem with the E500 even without IS. My reason for upgrading was because I use telephoto lenses (currently the Bigma 50-500mm lens) and my preference is wildlife shooting. With the E420 you will soon learn the relationship between minimum shutter speed and focal length.
Looking forward to seeing some of your images on here.
Peter

Makonde
21st November 2008, 08:10 PM
Welcome, Naboo. I used to use an OM1 in film days but like you, went a decade using point and shoots until DSLRs matured a bit.

You got a great bargain with your E420. Check out the flickr E-system community and you'll see hosts of fabulous pictures with the 410 and 420, which people like for its portability. They tend to keep it as a second body (and for travel) when they upgrade.

Yes the IS is good and well worth having (I have the E520 but with the two kit lenses, I paid twice what you're paying), but don't worry. You've got a cracking camera and two outstanding kit lenses, and - what they don't tell you - by far the best DSLR user community online, both here and at flickr (http://www.flickr.com/groups/olympusesystem/).

Barr1e
21st November 2008, 09:26 PM
Hi Naboo -

Welcome.

I like the sound of your hash cakes but as life has almost past me by without floating off to an island full of fair maidens - I'll pass this time. Ouch!! Anne there was no need for that. :D

Regards. Barr1e

Ellie
21st November 2008, 09:36 PM
Hi Naboo :)

I'm sure you'll enjoy using your E-420 as much as I've enjoyed using my E-400

Naboo32
24th November 2008, 04:33 PM
Welcome Naboo. Although I have an E3, I also have an E500 which I use for most of my short focal length work. I have had no problem with the E500 even without IS. My reason for upgrading was because I use telephoto lenses (currently the Bigma 50-500mm lens) and my preference is wildlife shooting. With the E420 you will soon learn the relationship between minimum shutter speed and focal length.
Looking forward to seeing some of your images on here.
Peter

Thanks Pete :)! You can see my very first (literally) attempts at using the E420 outdoors, in my "Gallery". These winter woodland shots were taken on Saturday (in our local forest). As you can see, I was completely lacking in interesting subject matter and had to content myself with trying to use the right exosure settings to bring out a stronger depth of field (something which my pocket camera could never do). Feel free to add any constructive (or otherwise :D) critiscism.

*yes

Hi Naboo -

Welcome.

I like the sound of your hash cakes but as life has almost past me by without floating off to an island full of fair maidens - I'll pass this time. Ouch!! Anne there was no need for that. :D

Regards. Barr1e

Hi Barrie!

You know, I should explain; the "hash cakes tip" is actually a direct quote from the TV character, "Naboo the Enigma" (after whom I'm named), rather than my own doing :D. Much as I would like to add to my credibilty rating by professing to be a "dope fiend", it's simply not the case (any more :rolleyes:).

PeterD
24th November 2008, 07:05 PM
Thanks Pete :)! You can see my very first (literally) attempts at using the E420 outdoors, in my "Gallery". These winter woodland shots were taken on Saturday (in our local forest). As you can see, I was completely lacking in interesting subject matter and had to content myself with trying to use the right exosure settings to bring out a stronger depth of field (something which my pocket camera could never do). Feel free to add any constructive (or otherwise :D) critiscism.

*yes
:).

Naboo

I have gone through your album and commented on some of your photos. They are my opinion and the comments were designed to help. Others will no doubt have there own opinions which may well differ. I liked very much the bench scene.
Have you seen the Wrotniak website http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/ ? It is well worth visiting and has setting info which I have found more useful than the instruction books. I meant to mention this on my welcome but forgot:o

All the best

Peter

blu-by-u
25th November 2008, 06:08 AM
Hi Naboo32. Welcome to the family.

The 4/3 mount do have lenses with IS.. all 4 lenses by Panasonic comes with OIS. the more assessable you you would be the 14-50.

But then as the masters here have mentioned, It's good to learn without the IS support first. Then IS later to add creativity. I am still using the E-330 which does not have the IS but there is a hidden gem there.. Similar to your E-420, (and E-410) We have Digital Image Stabilization. (DIS) What this DIS does is it bumps up the ISO to increase the shutter speed. It also turns the Noise filter on in the process. You can use this and later use manual ISO setting to improve you shots in low light.

Cheers and happy shooting.

Naboo32
25th November 2008, 09:05 AM
Naboo

I have gone through your album and commented on some of your photos. They are my opinion and the comments were designed to help. Others will no doubt have there own opinions which may well differ. I liked very much the bench scene.
Have you seen the Wrotniak website http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/ ? It is well worth visiting and has setting info which I have found more useful than the instruction books. I meant to mention this on my welcome but forgot:o

All the best

Peter

Thanks Peter :). It seems pretty rare for anyone to get any comments in their Galleries, so I feel quite privilaged :D. To be honest, the "bench scene" was the only thing that I saw that afternoon, which was worthy of photographing, as it amused me to picture what had gone on there the night before :D. The rest of the "subjects" were just target practice.

I take your point about the d.o.f. on (more than) one of those pics. I was so amazed by the fact that I could actually take pics with a (deliberatley) blurred background, that I kind of overdid it and shot everything with the aperture set at F3.5 :o. Once that novelty wears off, I'll try using a more balanced approach.

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out when I have a spare half hour.

All the best,

Andy

Hi Naboo32. Welcome to the family.

The 4/3 mount do have lenses with IS.. all 4 lenses by Panasonic comes with OIS. the more assessable you you would be the 14-50.

But then as the masters here have mentioned, It's good to learn without the IS support first. Then IS later to add creativity. I am still using the E-330 which does not have the IS but there is a hidden gem there.. Similar to your E-420, (and E-410) We have Digital Image Stabilization. (DIS) What this DIS does is it bumps up the ISO to increase the shutter speed. It also turns the Noise filter on in the process. You can use this and later use manual ISO setting to improve you shots in low light.

Cheers and happy shooting.

Thanks for the info, blu-by-u! I didn't know that Panasonic lenses were compatible, so that's good to know. Since I got outside and spent some time with the E 420, I realised that IS is not necessary for the vast majority of the stuff that I was doing, although I still feel that it's a must for long lenses without tripods, if a longer exposre is preferred.

I haven't tried the DIS mode, as I was rather trying to avoid all of the preset "scene modes" and learn about the individual camera functions, instead. Still, maybe I should go and give it a try :).

Andy

PeterD
25th November 2008, 10:28 AM
Andy,

Thanks for your reply. I try to make a habit of going through the new submissions to the gallery and commenting on the ones that appeal. Its always worthwhile as it gives people feedback which is very important to our hobby. This is particularly so when first starting out.

The Wrotniak articles are good because you will end with a set of settings which will give you good images and you will modify these to suit your own personal tastes. He explains the settings very well and you are able to make informed choices.

The control of dof is very interesting. Try using your longest focal length and shortest shooting distance. Change the aperture between shots and compare the results. If you do this on a single subject it will tell you a lot as the difference in backgrounds is quite obvious. Try the same on a far off subject and you will see little difference between each aperture setting.

The ideal aperture size for my E3 and E500 is about F8 unless I want any special background effects or achieve a shallower or deeper dof. I would recommend you set to this and experiment.

One last thing. In your gallery, enable 'receive e-mail updates'. Doing this will ensure you are aware when someone has left a comment without having to look for it.

Good shooting

Peter

Naboo32
25th November 2008, 06:56 PM
Andy,

Thanks for your reply. I try to make a habit of going through the new submissions to the gallery and commenting on the ones that appeal. Its always worthwhile as it gives people feedback which is very important to our hobby. This is particularly so when first starting out.

The Wrotniak articles are good because you will end with a set of settings which will give you good images and you will modify these to suit your own personal tastes. He explains the settings very well and you are able to make informed choices...(edited)

Peter

Indeed! Some really thought provoking articles there :). Thanks again.

Seems that he's more than convinced about the merits of Image Stabilisation (my pet "wanna have" feature), too ;) ... Link ... (http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/e510-is.html)

Ian
25th November 2008, 07:44 PM
Hi Naboo32. Welcome to the family.

The 4/3 mount do have lenses with IS.. all 4 lenses by Panasonic comes with OIS. the more assessable you you would be the 14-50.

But then as the masters here have mentioned, It's good to learn without the IS support first. Then IS later to add creativity. I am still using the E-330 which does not have the IS but there is a hidden gem there.. Similar to your E-420, (and E-410) We have Digital Image Stabilization. (DIS) What this DIS does is it bumps up the ISO to increase the shutter speed. It also turns the Noise filter on in the process. You can use this and later use manual ISO setting to improve you shots in low light.

Cheers and happy shooting.

The Panasonic Leica D Summilux 25mm f/1.4 Asph doesn't have IS...

Ian

blu-by-u
26th November 2008, 01:30 AM
The Panasonic Leica D Summilux 25mm f/1.4 Asph doesn't have IS...

Ian

Yikes..My bad for not checking fully. Sorry. So far, I love the 14-50 (mk1) and the 14-150. Both comes with OIS.

theMusicMan
26th November 2008, 07:56 AM
Yikes..My bad for not checking fully. Sorry. So far, I love the 14-50 (mk1) and the 14-150. Both comes with OIS.
Hi blu-by-u - what is OIS...?

PeterD
26th November 2008, 08:23 AM
Hi blu-by-u - what is OIS...?

Blu is off-line at the moment John. I believe it means Optical Image Stabalisation. Unlike the IS applied in-camera, this moves an optic in the lens itself.

Peter

blu-by-u
27th November 2008, 01:34 AM
Correct PeterD. Optical Image Stabilizer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_stabilization). In Nikon, it's called VR but I think it's the same thing. I am wondering why Sigma do not release any IS based lenses for the 4/3. The do OEM many of those lenses for the other camera companies and they do have IS lenses.

theMusicMan
27th November 2008, 07:51 AM
But why would they need to as IS is in the camera for 4/3 bodies, thus rendering it unnecessary to include it in the lens as well. I am sure I read a test at one point on cameralabs about the only 4/3 lens that has IS in it, when mounted on a 4/3 body and I am sure they worked against each other when both turned on.

PeterD
27th November 2008, 08:15 AM
But why would they need to as IS is in the camera for 4/3 bodies, thus rendering it unnecessary to include it in the lens as well. I am sure I read a test at one point on cameralabs about the only 4/3 lens that has IS in it, when mounted on a 4/3 body and I am sure they worked against each other when both turned on.

Blu, John,

Adding OIS to a lens would push the price up significantly and as you say recent Olympus bodies have built-in IS. Is this universally so for the 4/3 system from other manufacurers?
Sigma see no demand for OIS. There are plenty of Bigmas sold for instance to fit a variety of cameras (Canon, Nikon, 4/3 etc) most not having in-body IS.
If using an OIS lens with say the E3, you have to switch one system off as they will cause interaction.

Peter

Naboo32
28th November 2008, 11:13 PM
Hi Naboo :)

I'm sure you'll enjoy using your E-420 as much as I've enjoyed using my E-400

Yeah, possibly even 5% more, if the model numbers are to be believed :D.

But why would they need to as IS is in the camera for 4/3 bodies, thus rendering it unnecessary to include it in the lens as well. I am sure I read a test at one point on cameralabs about the only 4/3 lens that has IS in it, when mounted on a 4/3 body and I am sure they worked against each other when both turned on.

That's just it; my E 420 doesn't have IS in the body, although most of the other 4/3 cameras do. You're right about them working against each other, BTW - I saw that YouTube test too ;).

I can think of several other similes for this "double-the-shake" effect, but they'd all get me banned from the forum :rolleyes:, so let's stick with ... it's like shaking a cocktail on a rodeo horse!

blu-by-u
29th November 2008, 02:57 AM
IS is also not on my E-330. :o

I think there are many "Kodak Color" fans of the 4/3 would welcome that IS with open arms.

A bit off track, I never knew I have a gallery space here.