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Adagio
5th December 2008, 04:29 PM
I think that the E-520 is probably my choice for entry into the DSLR and E-System world. I would welcome members views on options.
1. 1 or 2 lens kit
2. Body plus ED 12-60 mm.

Where to buy. Although the very lowest prices are probably to be found at the likes of Warehouse Express, I am old fashioned enough to regard it as somewhat unethical to consume a good deal of a sales assistant's time while I get to handle the camera only to go home and buy online. Post sales issues are probably better dealt with locally. My options seem to be London Camera Exchange or Jessops in Southampton.

The latter does seem to have more realistic prices (a few weeks ago they wanted 60 more for a body only than a 1 lens kit :confused:) However, I would not bet on their being with us this time next year. There are 2 branches of LCE in Southampton. Has any member who has dealt with them and would be willing to share their experience? Which is the appropriate branch to visit?

What are the pros and cons of CF v. xD?

As an aside, are the 'Art Filters' on the E-30 to be taken seriously?

mike_j
5th December 2008, 05:12 PM
I have found LCE in Lincoln excellent, but you are dealing with individuals and the helpfulness of staff at one shop may be quite different in another. I have had serious issues the the local Jessops but it is unfair to generalise.

CF is probably to be preferred to XD, quicker and cheaper.

The 12-60 is a superb lens, mine is rarely off the camera, though the kit lenses are good when you want to travel light.

shenstone
5th December 2008, 05:14 PM
What are the pros and cons of CF v. xD?


You can pick up CF, just about everywhere, it's cheaper, faster and less fiddly to change

Regards
Andy

snaarman
5th December 2008, 05:37 PM
What are the pros and cons of CF v. xD?

As an aside, are the 'Art Filters' on the E-30 to be taken seriously?


Everyone seems to use CF (as I do) though I also keep a 1G XD in each camera as a backup or overflow card :-)

Art filters?? Come on, Olympus... :)

Pete

Jeremy Evans
5th December 2008, 06:05 PM
I have never tried the 1G XD which came with my E3. How does it work as an overflow card? Can you use both CF and XD together, so that if the CF is full the XD automatically provides more space? Is there any difference in quality? The XD does look worryingly tiny!
Jeremy Evans

Makonde
5th December 2008, 06:20 PM
I bought the 520 with the 2 kit lenses. They are very good - particularly the 40-150 - and are light and portable. If you went on to buy the other standard lenses, the 9-18 and the 70 - 300, you'd have a perfectly acceptable set of lenses, all light and portable for their capability, as olympus envisaged, for around 1250 all up. A good price for what you get.

Within four months, however, I had bought the 35mm macro and the 12-60mm, then the 50-200. The 12-60 lives on the camera. I love it. Need I say more?

But that is part of a strategy eventually to acquire the E3 or, hopefully, its successor. When I shall be able to sell on the 520 - with the kit lenses. And keep the weatherproof 12-60, 50-200 (and acquire a wide angle)

Ellie
5th December 2008, 11:49 PM
Has any member who has dealt with them and would be willing to share their experience? Which is the appropriate branch to visit?
Yes, I have. I've bought from both stores and have had excellent service. Neither of them will mind you going in and trying, then going away to think about what you might buy. Both carry second hand gear, including lenses, which are I think listed on their websites.

The one in High Street (south of the Bargate) has the Oly stock and they know how to use it too.

Civic Centre branch has very limited Oly stock, but has more tripods, heads, bags and so on. Sometimes the staff seem a little inexperienced, but it's easy to ask to talk to another assistant or the manager.

Both branches will willingly order in from another branch, I think the LCE in Norwich is the Oly specialist store, but I could be wrong

The stores are effectively independently managed, any discounts are at the manager's discretion reflecting the local market, rather than being done on a nationwide basis.

I bought my e-400 from the High Street branch. They were happy to match the price quoted by Argos over the road, which they said was another "local" retailer. I'm not sure if it's still policy to do this, it would be worth asking.

It's also worth checking John Lewis in West Quay, which also carries Olympus, they don't mind you looking and then going away but aren't cheap, or at least they weren't the last time I was in there.

If you can wait until after Christmas you might find Argos/John Lewis will offer reductions, or some stock will be more heavily discounted.

I've also bought from the Civic Centre branch and managed to negotiate a small discount on their quoted price. Enough to satisfy me that I'd be able to go back again and not feel unwelcome, and not too much that it made them lose out. I'd hate to see either store go.

As an aside, are the 'Art Filters' on the E-30 to be taken seriously?
I know some people who like to do all their editing in camera. I've also read that fashion or model photographers will appreciate these filters because they're instant - their models like to see whether the picture works, and this can save both time and money.

Interestingly there's a way of combining pictures too.

What are the pros and cons of CF v. xD?
For me the xd is a spare card.

I'm not sure if it's still the case but some things could only be done in Olympus Master if the picture had been taken on an xd card. If you subscribe to the Oly magazine you get an xd pen card reader for free, which makes transferring images to the computer a lot quicker.

Ellie
5th December 2008, 11:53 PM
Oops, lenses.

I don't think you'd regret getting the twin lens kit, but you might want to upgrade either one or both later. I think you'd want to add something longer, perhaps the 70-300, which is very popular.

If you get the single lens you might find it restricts your options, even though it's a "better" lens, and might need to get another one fairly soon afterwards. It would depend on the type of pictures you take most.

Adagio
6th December 2008, 03:29 PM
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to reply, especially Ellie for her comprehensive report on LCE etc.

I shall wait until after Christmas in the hope that there may be 'an offer I can't refuse' ;)

I have a couple of 1GB xD H cards + reader for my SP-550 so if there are no performance issues that may save me a few pennies.

Batman
6th December 2008, 04:23 PM
You've already had lots of good advice but here is my tuppence worth. LCE are generally a good bet and in my experience they are much more competitive with pricing than Jessops. I bought my E520 as a 2 lens kit from LCE in Taunton, who are one of I think 4 Olympus specialists around the country. Yes, you can usually do a bit of a deal, even if it is only adding some UV filters at a discount, but it's certainly worth negotiating a bit.

If you are thinking of a 70-300mm lens then it might be cheapest to get the kit with 14-42 and 70-300, as when I bought back in July this worked out to be the cheapest way of getting this lens (739 in July but probably much cheaper now, but I needed it for a holiday). I followed this up with an unboxed 40-150 from LCE which they sold me for 99.99. This was I think split from a kit when other purchasers either just wanted a body or an alternative lens option. At the time, LCE were just as cheap as any online seller in the UK. And you can go and talk to them.

It is all probably cheaper now but I don't look for just that reason.

I hope this helps

Dave

Ellie
6th December 2008, 09:17 PM
I have a couple of 1GB xD H cards + reader for my SP-550 so if there are no performance issues that may save me a few pennies.
I think the xd cards are slightly slower than the better cf cards, but it might not be the case with newer cameras than mine.

I use Sandisk Extreme III almost exclusively. The biggest I've got is 4GB. They come up on offer at places like Picstop, MyMemory and so on from time to time so it's worth keeping a lookout, or even signing up for their emails.

Good luck with your buying decision :)