View Full Version : So what made you Choose Olympus then?

24th December 2007, 08:54 PM
I've read an awful lot of cross supplier & cross camera bashing on various forums (some from people running Olympus cameras in tests) and it made me start to wonder. So what made you Choose Olympus then?

Sorry if this reads like an essay I thought that I'd open this up as a thread for people who may be looking at that move from P&S to DSLR or one format to another. Please can I ask that this is a sense of personal views not just facts & figures on makes and models.

I can say in my own mind that this was a difficult decision having had (and been very happy with) Pentax cameras and optics for more years than I'll admit to here. If you're in that situation then potentially causing all of your glass to be put to one side because you've changed formats is a huge cost. The sense of depression was further deepened when I say a range of film kit very similar to mine went on ebay the week I ordered my Oly with “no reserve”


In my case the reasons were manyfold

1. Timing. I was a Pentax user… Back last year when I'd decided that I wanted to move from Film to Digital I scouted all the forums, bought loads of magazines and read everything I could get my hands on, and at the time I could not convince myself that there was a Pentax camera for me. That was very painful but I was time limited in when I needed to do the move. Like many amateurs a key personal event like a holiday or wedding can be a deciding factor. IMHO since then Pentax have launched a very credible and well reviewed DSLR. But I’ve made my investment now and am happy.

Key point – go with what makes sense to you – opinions are that and they differ.

2. Perceived Quality. And I mean perceived. Was it good enough for me,.for what I wanted to do? Previously I’d shot velvia and was very happy. Olympus was the 1st camera that I could afford that met the criteria I’d set for me. IM(Now very)HO I was a snob and waited for “enough” Mp I was in hindsight wrong, as I’ve wished I moved to digital earlier 6 would have been fine - I didn’t need to wait for 8.

Key point – there will always be more coming. When it’s enough for what you want it’s enough.

3. Features. The dust proofing system (I believe the only one on the market at the time) was a factor as I want to be able to take my cameras just about anywhere. I can manage waterproofing just about anywhere, but there are some things taht are hard to do. A road test on the Gadget show was the killer for me. Only the Olympus survived.

Key decision features – decide for yourself what they are & look for them

4. Futures. Where is the supplier going / Do they have a system
One of the main reasons I stopped waiting for Pentax at the time the new camera was coming out as a Samsung in Europe and I didn’t know what that meant.Yes Canon & Nikon seemed to be putting out cameras like nobodies business, but mostly aimed at upping the market and I was at the time concerned re whether their pro/am ranges would be diverging.

Key decision maker – it’s hard – you never know – I never expected Pentax to be sold off to Hoya, but has it mattered yet?

5. Market Share. Do you need everything 1st We all like having the latest. I loved my E500 when I got it and having my E510 when it was the newest thing on the block was a buzz for a few months. Point is I still do. The E-3 is great, But I’m not sure that it’s for me – weight is a criteria and I can get the pictures that I want with it.

I have sold some pictures to newspapers and magazines, but am by no means a pro. I was concerned that I “should” be buying a Canon or Nikon because that’s all the magazines seemed to talk about in Hindsight most of the things that I need our now I the range and seem to be selling well. I liked what I read about the 4/3rds system and the manufacturers involved. I had some faith in a major manufacturer and its paid off.

Key point – all of the DSLR systems are now fairly established. Yes Olympus can be said to being late in a few areas. But Is only taken me 18 months from first Oly to a system that I’m happy with (or will be in the new year when I get the last 2 things I want).

I’m sure that there are plenty of users of other systems out there that can say the same. I neither feel that I need to stand out or be overly defensive / sensitive.

24th December 2007, 11:01 PM
1. Timing.
2. Perceived Quality.
3. Features.
4. Futures.

All of the above (1..4)
6. Value

Olympus was the only system that could offer me a equivalent of a 50mm f/1.4 that could be used full open and have image stabilisation and dust filter. It needed the indoor ability to better or equal a M6 with 50mm Summilux and Fuji 800 film.

Without the E3 viewfinder improvements, I would have continued to wait (as I had done for many years) until the right combo appeared from someone else.

E-3 + 25f/1.4(US import) was significantly cheaper than any of the other similar solutions and future rumoured models ( M8/9, 5DmkII+50 f/1.2, D3+Zeiss 50f/1.4 etc.)

Now I'm with Olympus with so many revered lenses to choose from, it seems like it was a good choice. But my fingers are now crossed they add a few compact primes next year.

Rod Souter
25th December 2007, 03:17 PM
My first SLR was an OM1, followed by an OM2 and a fair selection of lenses (all of which I still have):D. My fist digital camera was an Olympus mu point and shoot. I started looking for DSLR, various friends had Nikon and Canon gear but they struck me as 'clunky', then I saw the E-510, fondled it, used one, bought it!

I may be able to use some of my legacy glass, when I have learned what all the buttons, menus do:D:D


flying haggis
25th December 2007, 05:02 PM
are there other camera makers then?

25th December 2007, 05:08 PM
The massively favorable ratio of 'features per pound' associated with Olympus cameras when compared to other manufacturers.

This then turned into something more than a hobby... i.e. madness, the rest is history!!

25th December 2007, 06:42 PM
As john said the 'bang-per-buck' is unbeatable. Plus i didn't want to be another Canon Nikon drone!

I also prefer the 4:3 AR rather than the 3:2 of 'the comeptition'


Scapula Memory
25th December 2007, 08:26 PM
Some of the above naturally, but one big factor is reliability. My old OM10 , OM40 and OM1 were superb cameras that went on and on without any issues. My film SLRs which were Canons both failed as did my P&S canons and Fujis.

Something about the build quality and design. The Olympus brand speaks to me.


25th December 2007, 11:16 PM
When I was buying a digital SLR I looked at what was available which consisted of the Nikon D50, the Canon 350D and the Olympus E500. They were all similar of price but what struck me was that the E500 had much better build quality - the Canon flexed in my hands! Also the kit lenses were s much better. Plus, at the time, Olympus were the ony manufacturer to offer a supersonice wave filter (or equivalent).

I also like the quality of the image from Olympuscameras and the lenses seem to be second to none

26th December 2007, 01:19 AM
I didn't actually have a reason for buying my Olympus E-1. I got it three, almost four years ago now, when most photography enthusiasts - including me - were weighing up Canon 350D vs Nikon D70. £600 was my absolute, absolute limit and I just couldn't find a D70 for that money (I was a Nikon F65 user at the time). Stumbled across an E-1 on eBay from a reputable retailer, going for £600, and that included the 14-54mm which was also a £500-600 lens at the time. None of the magazine press ever mentioned the E-1: I bought one anyway...

26th December 2007, 09:58 AM
It seemed to me that the reviews for any camera make are based on original factory setting so the ability to customise setting was a major factor in buying any brand. I must say the ability to customise the white balances is most impressive with the night shooting I do. Also being on a limited budget norrowed my choice to the lower end of the market and the E500 was being phased out by the E510, but the biggest factor for me would have to be how it felt in my hands, not to big or small and the buttons well place and easy to adjust to from previous cameras.
Having moved from bridge camera, on reflection mayby should have waited and bought a liveview model, due to the number of odd angled shots I used to take. It's supprising how much this have effected my stance not being able to see into the eyepiece, but I guess this would have been the case with the competitors anyhow, and when I come to upgrade in the distant future will be my first priority.

26th December 2007, 10:09 AM
Well now, I was a big Nikon fan but when the D50 came along they downsized the memory to sd cards. I don't care for them and had a stock of compact flash. Many years since I was a Leica fiend but eventually went to an slr from an M3 to an Minolta slr. I gave up eventually for many years but had always liked my friends Olympus film cameras with the one consideration that they were rather small for my hands. When it came to looking round the E500 seemed rather good and fitted my needs especially with the 14-54 lens so I bought it from Fotosense as they were prepard to substitute the kit lens for the 14-54 without robbing me blind. i have upgraded to the 510 which is a superb camera and not too heavy to lug about.

11th January 2008, 01:43 AM
I almost stumbled into buying an Olympus when I bought my E-400 last spring.

I was looking for my first dslr and had what I thought was a good shortlist, on paper, but when I went to look at the cameras I was quite disappointed so carried on looking around - even in department stores. A sales assistant in John Lewis showed me the E-300 and I was quite impressed, but not convinced enough to buy it then and there, so I went into some other shops and saw the E-400 in a branch of LCE. It looked so completely different from the others, but when I picked it up it felt absolutely right for me to use.

Since then I've had a lot of fun with my camera, and I can happily carry it and lenses all day without getting shoulder ache and I've been delighted with what it can do, although compared with the new models it's a bit outdated.

This evening I started a night class - to learn a bit more. I'm the only person there with an Oly, the tutor hadn't seen any model of Olympus dslr before and when he handled it he was seriously impressed. I wondered what he'd have thought had I had an E-3.

art frames
11th January 2008, 08:51 AM
When I was 21 I was trying to photograph butterflies and Olympus were the ones who had everything for macro. I had little money and couldn't afford all of the stuff I wanted (bellows and auto extension rings and Oly macros) but they had such a reputation that I bought my OM2n and a tamron 90mm macro (still my favourite of all macros but just used less now). But I didn't ever get the dream system and by the time I could afford all of the stuff I could have dreamed of Olympus had moved on.

When a few years ago I decided to go to digital I looked for a digital with really good macro and found the very impressive camedia range and had a couple of them, the last being a C5050. Which has great macro capability (but a real performance of menus to get it set up).

So when I realised camera companies weren't going to do digital backs to their old cameras I looked at DSLRs and tried a Canon 5D. It was lovely but a bit heavy and the lenses were expensive. Jessops nearly sold it but I was worried about dust. They had stopped selling Olympus (a bit of a tiff) and rubbished the E500 a bit.

I looked for a shop that sold both! Travelled the 60 miles and said I'd like to try the Canon 5D, 30D against the E500 and E1. Thank goodness for me the shop was a good one. He said if I wanted I could try anything but what did I want to do? They all take pictures.

Out came the above story and I ended up staying with Olympus (shop assistant was an Oly film user and showed me an 30x20 photo print from an E1) and being very happy with the E500 and then a bargain E1 two months later (justified on the basis of the cost of buying a faster charger, spare battery and free camera bag alone!).

I just wish for two things.

1. Olympus would get more lenses/equipment for macro and close-up fans

2. They'd work harder at getting smaller local shops to sell them and the big lenses.

long answer!


11th January 2008, 09:31 AM
I've had film SLRs from Olympus, Canon, Nikon, Minolta and Contax. With the exception of the Contax they have all been good. The Contax was one of those nightmare experiences, broke down within a few weeks replaced, broke down within a few weeks replaced, broke down within a few weeks replaced and swapped for a Minolta. The shop I worked in at the time stocked Contax and I know they were good cameras but it just appeared that someone up there didn't want me to have one. At the time I wanted to move to digital SLR I was using a Nikon F801 film SLR and had just had to throw out a Nikon Coolpix 5000 digital compact due to water damage. I was manager of a photographic retailer so I got the chance to try all the cameras in my price range, under £2000 inc. lens. I found the quality of image from the bodies were much of a muchness but the Olympus 14-54mm was much better than the competition. Canon and Nikon did have lenses of the same sort of quality but they were over £1000 for just the lens taking the package well out of my price range. The final thing that swung it for me was the weather proofing of the E1 and lenses. I do a lot of backpacking in the Scottish Highlands often camping for four or five nights in a row. In those sort of conditions when things get wet they stay wet. As I said earlier I had to throw out my Nikon Coolpix 5000 due to water damage and I didn't fancy having to do the same thing with my new SLR. After four years with the E1 and few weeks with the E3 I'm positive I made the right decision.

To continue Art Frames wish list mine would be an ultra wide prime say a 7mm non fisheye.

Ian C.

11th January 2008, 06:08 PM
I used to own a Canon setup when I was younger with very little spare money I managed to purchase a nice collection of glass. Then Canon pulled a dirty trick and changed the lens mount so overnight I had obsolete lens. Canon have recently done the same with my scanner in not releasing a driver for Windows Vista.

I had a choice of Nikon or Olympus. Nikon have a good record of making their lens compatible across the generations of cameras. I went with Olympus because:

1) the four thirds system is designed for digital from the ground up
2) the long-focal length lens are a more managable size
3) the four thirds dimensions are a much more natural print size to the eye

11th January 2008, 07:08 PM
My 35mm were Minolta 7 series and very good they were too. I'd probably have stuck with the brand if they'd been quicker off the mark into digital.

I spotted a second hand C3040 in Jessops about six years ago at a price that made digital experimentation worthwhile. Shortly after I had to write up an event for a magazine and asked the editor whether he wanted digital or 35mm. He said 35mm but I took both and in the event he only used the digital, after which I hardly took a trannie.

I then paid what seemed like a fortune for an E20. It was almost the ideal camera. The 35-140 equivalent lens covered most of the range in which my photographic sins are committed and it had enough knobs and switches to keep me happy. The only drawbacks were the NiMh batteries which are more hassle than Li-on and the snail like speed of the electronics. With the TCon14 converter it took some lovely wildlife shots at fixed 200mm equivalent on a trip to game parks in SA. If there was an E30 I'd be tempted not to bother with 4/3rds.

A friend then showed me an E300 which overcame most of the shortcomings of the E20 so I bought an E500 kit. Subsequently I added an E1 and upgraded to the better quality lenses. The remaining Minolta stuff, the C3040, E20 and E1 went late last year to fund the E3, with which I am well pleased. The E500 remains as a backup. As you'll know from my other postings I'm less than happy with the way the E3 promotion has been handled.

I have to confess that I was also influenced in the 4/3rds direction by Patrick Litchfield who I had the pleasure of meeting on some non photographic occasions. Unsurprisingly he was very much in favour and you couldn't resist an old smoothie like him. It's sad he is no longer around and that David Bailey is not the photographic force he once was. Olympus could do with another couple of high profile photographers to boost its image.

R MacE
11th January 2008, 07:42 PM
I never owned a 35mm SLR that wasn't an OM, starting with an new OM10 which still works, added a few other bodies, all 2nd hand until my last purchase, an OM4ti (about 6 months ago) I always fancied a Nikon F80 but it didn't really offer me anything that I needed. Bought my 1st DSLR which was a Nikon D70, liked it and may well have stayed with Nikon but I couldn't use my OM lenses. Heard lots of user reports about the E-1 and eventually bought one when Digital Depot was selling them at £499 inc grip and 14-45. I sold the D70 on ebay about a month later. I promised myself I'd get an E-3 which I did.

Dream purchase? 90-250mm f/2.8 or 300mm f/2.8

( not a hope though :cool:)

Ray Shotter
11th January 2008, 09:58 PM
Many of the reasons for choosing Olympus which have been quoted by others apply to me. However, my transfer from film to digital was very cautious. I had a very fine Nikon FM2n with some superb lenses and initially wanted to find an efficient method whereby I could stay with film, manual split-image focusing and through the lens exposure measurement and then digitise the film photographs as required. However, the cost of an efficient film scanner and the poor resolution of the films I had scanned convinced me that I ought to consider a Digital Camera. So, before selling my film SLR and lenses (in order to fund a DSLR) I bought a second hand bridge camera (an Olympus Camedia 8080 Wide Zoom - 8MP). Its main features which appealed to me were - it had a superb ED lens f2.4-3.5, a 35mm equivalent focal length of 28-140mm and a battery grip holding two BLM-1s (needed because "zooming" is battery driven) plus the camera body is made of magnesium alloy. (I am prejudiced against plastic bodies since I normally expect my cameras to last for many years).

I was very impressed with the resulting photographs produced by the C8080WZ. So used it to advertise my Nikon Camera and lenses on e-bay in order to fund an E-1 some two and a half years ago. My main reasons for ignoring Nikon and Canon was partially cost, the fact that my Nikon lenses could not use the exposure meter in the Nikon Digital cameras and (you may smile at this) but those within my price range were all made of plastic. In addition my research over a period of two years or so, before purchasing a digital camera, had demonstrated beyond doubt that the Olympus 4/3rds system had attempted to make the transition from film to digital cameras using proven design principles - unlike either Nikon or Canon. Also the prices of quality Nikon and Canon lenses were exorbitant and no provision at that time had been made to deal with the problem of dust on the sensor.

However, ultimately, apart from the photographer's skill in selecting a suitable subject, the resulting photographs are heavily dependent on the quality of the lens. The Olympus 4/3rds lenses are not only designed for digital but are smaller, lighter and, consequently, less expensive than their Nikon and Canon counterparts. The excellent quality of Olympus 4/3rds lenses is now recognised by all - especially, their ED lenses. The development of effective image stabilisation in the camera body rather than the lens has put Olympus 4/3rds lenses well ahead of the competition at least in regards to price.

My final comments, are - if the E-510 had been made with a magnesium alloy body and a fully articulating LCD screen plus a larger viewfinder (I had to buy the ME-1 magnifying viewfinder for my E-510 as my old eyes found the standard E-510 viewfinder a little difficult to use effectively) - I doubt if I would have bought the E-3. I have said it before but I consider the E-510 is the best value for money on the market and its 14-42mm ED kit lens is excellent. However, I am very glad that I now have an E-3 since it has many more very useful features including an excellent viewfinder and the camera body (or most of it) is made of magnesium alloy.

Glyn R
11th January 2008, 10:05 PM
I had a Minolta 700si SLR and got tired of scanning slides. There was no Minolta DSLR at the time. After trying a Minolta bridge camera I needed a DSLR. I kept reading about the dust problems with Canikon etc and then came Olympus with a solution. I bought an E-300 kit. I was delighted and never had a dust problem ever. I have thought about buying Canon because they are very good and all the 3rd party stuff is available. Now I have an E-330 ,Live view, dust reduction, Oly colour I will only change now for IS. Canon show no signs of introducing on board IS so I wait for the E-520.

11th January 2008, 10:45 PM
Well to be honest, it was the fact that my sister was a student and Olympus were giving a 50% discount on E1's at the end of 2004 and early 2005 so kinda had to have one :)

Eventually got caught in the megapixel chase and sold it for a Nikon D70s then went through some other Nikon and Canon bodies in a short period until I nearly gave up waiting on a replacement for the E1 and had ordered a Canon 40D when the E3 started arriving in the US, well send the 40D back and only had to wait 2 weeks for the E3 to arrive. I know it is subjective but the Oly colours are just a step above the rest to my eye.

11th January 2008, 10:50 PM
I bought a oly 3mp digital camera for Susan's 23rd Birthday (5 years ago), it was a 3mp compact and cost me £300 from argos.....


Now we own, 1 3mp Compact, 1 4mp compact, a E500 and a E510!

When a brand gives you performance and NEVER lets you down, you don't go elsewhere :D

I think when you buy an Olympus it's very difficult to go to anything else, I can't fault my Olympus purchases in anyway at all so I'm loyal to the brand and will always promote to others :)


12th January 2008, 01:57 PM
Prior to getting the E-1 I forgot to say I had had the C-5060 and C-8080, before lower light issues sent me the DSLR route.

30th January 2008, 07:02 PM
I choose Olympus for the following reasons:

1) Timing: I was fed up with not taking photos. My last system was 35mm and it just got too cost prohibitive to develop and with everyone starting to run around with these fantastic digital slr's the choice was obvious.

2) I walked into a store and the guy handed me an Olympus. It felt right.

3) My main concern is with lens quality as a good camera with crappy lenses indeed shows. Olympus makes superb lenses and even good camera bodies.

4) I didn't want to follow the herd toward the pastures of Nikon or Canon. Being on a budget I didn't want to pay for a name (not saying these other two don't make good products, but I believe there is some extra $$ spent on being able to carry the name).

5) I thoroughly researched the different options of cost vs quality and found Olympus to be the best bang for the buck.

I haven't looked back or thought twice since getting into Oly.

Solar :cool:

30th January 2008, 08:30 PM
I have been using digital cameras for nearly a decade. My first digital camera was a Kodak DC210.

I have had multiple cameras, and my last non DSLR camera was the Fuji S9500. It was not too bad when I purchased it.

The more I got into photography, the more I wanted a proper grown up camera. A DSLR.

Why did I choose Olympus. I saw that Dixons/curry’s were having a sale on the Olympus E-400. I went to the store to have a look at it. Not too bad. I then went to several local camera shops, to look at the other camera vendors. Both the wife and I did not like the then current Canon, but we both liked the E-400.

The Canon did not feel comfortable in my hands. I did not like the standard JPG quality. Please note that I am not Canon bashing. One of my best P&S cameras was the Powershot G5. In fact my father still uses it.

Anyway, I then went back to a camera dealer and discussed my requirements. I ended up paying another £150 more that the Dixons/curry’s offer, but I managed to get the dual lens kit. Overall I have been very happy with the E-400.

After the E-510 was released, I decided that I needed the IS. So the wife was upgraded to the E-400. I always try to justify my purchases, by saying that she will be getting upgraded to new lenses, cameras, computers etc...


Glyn R
30th January 2008, 09:01 PM
I love my E-330, but the new Pentax/ Samsung DSLR though???????????:confused:

E-P1 fan
30th January 2008, 09:17 PM
My E-1 is my first 'real' DSLR. I chose Oly having used Olympus film cameras for most of my adult life and always loved them. It was a good choice. I love my E-1 to bits :)

30th January 2008, 09:29 PM
Just under two years ago I was staying with my (soon to be) brother-in-law and got to play with his Canon 350D ... it was the first time I'd handled an SLR and I loved it. So over the few days of our holiday travelling across to France and staying at various travel lodges up and down the country I found out as much as I could about D-SLRs looking at the Canon 350D, Nikon D50 and Olympus E-500.

I liked what I read about the E-500:

Weight: at the time the lightest D-SLR about
Supersonic Wave Filter: I'd read lots of worrying tales of dust on sensors and expensive cleaning ... one of the reasons I hadn't looked at SLRs in the past is the expense of films and developing ... Digital means I can take as many photos as I like with near zero cost after the initial outlay
The four thirds system: I love technology and loved the idea of a system being built from the ground up to be digital instead of converted and compromised
The features: Almost all the reviews I read criticised the E-500 for having too many configurable options making it too complicated to use for the amateur ... perfect for me I love to be in control of my gadgets/equipment

I did however very nearly buy a Nikon D50 from France as the weight and ergonomics felt really good ... the 350D on the other hand felt too small. I managed to restrain myself and ended up finding an E-500 with a 17.5-45mm lens, a 40-150mm lens, a Lowepro case, a 1gb Compact Flash card and an Olympus photo printer (still got unopened!) all for £650 from Currys of all places (not somewhere I often spend money as IMO they are usually over priced and the sales assistants are good (sometimes) in selling and not much else (ie little product knowledge). The downside was it didn't include a rechargeable battery or charger so I found a library and did a bit of research on the internet, found I could buy compatible products for < £30 and that was that! :D

I had loads of fun with my E-500 and have some really good pictures from it however as time went by little things started to frustrate me:

View Finder: Quite small and now and again pictures don't turn out how they look through the finder ... I also find the info panel at the right of the finder useless for me ... I never used to find it natural to look at
Focusing: I never noticed that much until my friend showed me how fast his new Canon 400d focused, after that I really started to notice how much the E-500 seemed to struggle now and again
Outdoor use: Not frustrating as such but I always felt it a real limitation I couldn't confidently use my E-500 in the rain

Then came the Olympus E-mail for the E-3 and Wow I thought, this looks fantastic ... should solve all my frustrations and also gives me IS allowing more hand held photo ops but also WOW is it expensive! Anyway a couple of months and a 15 month interest free credit card later and I now have an E-3 and I am really, really, really glad I was lucky enough to be able to buy it ... it is such a different camera to the E-500 and better in so many ways. I'm now waiting for Kerso to get the 12-60mm lenses in stock and then I can head out and get some rainy pics too which I'm really looking forward too!

So next steps for me ...

- Get to know the E-3 and have lots of fun taking photos of everything!
- Get my 12-60 lens and get outdoors with my camera
- Investigate selling photos and hopefully take some that are good enough to be sold to try and re-coupe some of the cost of the camera and save up for some more camera kit :)
- Look into buying some home studio kit

Sorry that was a bit of an essay but hopefully I've described my journey from P&S into the wonderful world of Olympus D-SLR photography! :D

Dave :)

30th January 2008, 09:52 PM
I was a Canon 35mm user for 25 years then my interest in photography fizzled out until a couple of years ago when I decided to buy a DSLR, why Olympus?? honestly it was the best value for money 550 quid for camera, 2 lenses, a 1gb card, printer and gadget bag from Currys, unfortunately until recently there were no camera shops here only Currys, Comet or PC world, Jessops opened about 12months ago, at the time the nearest camera shops were 35miles away and I didn' tlike the idea of having to travel if anything went wrong and didn't like the idea of spending that much money on the internet.

Glyn R
31st January 2008, 09:51 PM
To be fair Currys can be good value if you time it right. I bought my E-300 from them about 4 years ago, it was the best deal for miles at the time. I bought a 14-42 from Park Camera a while ago I have never seen it at the same price again. I think you just have to decide and then shop around. don't worry if its cheaper a month later.

5th February 2008, 07:53 PM
I was a SLR user many moons ago with my first camera being the Zenith E, after 12 month I upgraded to a Praktica PLC3, mainly snapping B&W it was handy for me to do my own developing. a couple of years later I went over to the Minolta Dynax. Then I just fell out with photography mainly because I had to give up my Dark room.

Then in 2001 I bought a Kodak DC3400 well I aquired it from a friend who ended up with 2. Later on I bought the Canon S50 which I find very useful but the pictures are just missing something.

After feeling I need to upgrade I thought I would go down the Digital SLR route,but my quest had only just started. My eyes were firmly on a Canon but after reading review after review and users problems with the poor build of the 400D then I started to look elseware. Another camera I looked carefully at was the the Nikon D40X with more consideration I felt the camera was lacking in something that I could do with the Image Stabilisation. "My Hands Shake :)" So I was left with 2 cameras in my list The Pentax K10D and the Olympus E-510 and after carefull consideration and the cost of the camera with Kit Lenses the Olympus E-510 took the prize.

I feel buying a camera is a hard process and takes a lot of research, especially coming back into photography after a long break. Not only does the camera take alot of research so does the software to process the images.

5th February 2008, 09:03 PM
I had been a a Canon user for way back starting with a lovely rangefinder (Canonet 1.7G3QL) and going through to a Powershot G2, a total of five bodies in all. I still have them all and some are very well used. I never quite forgave Canon for dropping the FD mount without even an appropriate adaptor, so I hung onto the FD system as long as possible and never invested in EF glass.

Believe it or not it was an AP comparative test that convinced me that Oly was the way to go. In particular it told me that the Canon kit lens was awful, and I realised that while both Canon and Nikon could provide at least as good systems I would need to spend twice the cost of an E500 for equal results.

Now that E500 has been given away and I use an E510. I believe that the overall package of dust reduction, portability, IS and liveview are unavailable in any other system at any price, so I am sticking with the E510 and have no plans to get an E3 in the foreseeble future. I will probably miss out the E520 but I might upgrade when the E530 comes out!

5th February 2008, 09:59 PM
I've used Olympus camera's for over 20years now. The only other camera other than Olympus I've owned is a Fuji STX1 My Olympus camera's started with OM20 then OM4 x2 aslo OM2n, 2sp, 40, 10, 101 & 707. My 1st digital was E-20P which I still own followed by a E-500, then E-410 & E-510. The 500 & 410 have gone to be replaced by a E-3. I also have a C350 compact great little 3mp camera. Yes I suppose I've had brand loyalty, I went through the days of people saying you don't want an Olympus the batteries go flat all the time! Have you got spares with you! I can say in over 20 years using Olympus none of my camera's have let me down. I let myself down forgetting to take the correct film or enough, yes and forgetting to take batteries for the winder or flash. When changing to digital it was no competition I knew it would be Olympus. I'm getting out and about more with the E-3 and really enjoying my photography and with out a doubt this site is a great help.
Regards Derek C

5th February 2008, 10:10 PM
I've used Olympus camera's for over 20years now. The only other camera other than Olympus I've owned is a Fuji STX1 My Olympus camera's started with OM20 then OM4 x2 aslo OM2n, 2sp, 40, 10, 101 & 707. My 1st digital was E-20P which I still own followed by a E-500, then E-410 & E-510. The 500 & 410 have gone to be replaced by a E-3. I also have a C350 compact great little 3mp camera. Yes I suppose I've had brand loyalty, I went through the days of people saying you don't want an Olympus the batteries go flat all the time! Have you got spares with you! I can say in over 20 years using Olympus none of my camera's have let me down. I let myself down forgetting to take the correct film or enough, yes and forgetting to take batteries for the winder or flash. When changing to digital it was no competition I knew it would be Olympus. I'm getting out and about more with the E-3 and really enjoying my photography and with out a doubt this site is a great help.
Regards Derek C

Ah the Olympus 707 not one of the Olympus design teams proudest moments.

Ian C.

5th February 2008, 10:12 PM
Like most, I have owned a number of makes and used even more. My first serious camera was the Olympus 35RD, followed by an OM10, OM2 and finally an OM4Ti. When it came to choosing a digital, my first thoughts were to go for Nikon lenses on a Fuji body as this was the tried and tested setup at work and it produced excellent results. But a C-8080 came my way and it too produced very good results. As soon as 4/3rds came along and I saw the reasoning behind it, along with the almost upresedented collaboration of manufacturers, my mind was made up and I bought into the E-Series.

With the OM adaptor it allowed the use of all my Bellows, Macro and Microscope lenses so really there was little reason to look elsewhere.

I've tried other makes from time to time (at work and friends kit) and they are all very good. I can't give a definitive best reason for sticking with Olympus, I simply like them better than the rest, in much the same way as I get my Indian takeaway from the same place...:)

29th February 2008, 11:17 AM
In a nutshell:

1. Quality of lenses - Zuiko lenses have always been top quality. There are a lot of rubbishy kit lenses out there!

2. The whole system was designed from the ground up, not a forced adaptation of a 35mm film system. In retrospect Olympus were lucky not to have produced a successful 35mm autofocus system!

3. Weatherproof and dustproof.

4. Generally high level of innovation from Olympus. The new features get rubbished by the other makers, and sneak into their cameras a year or two later.


19th June 2009, 07:12 PM
First up for me was that Olympus represented a "challenger brand" in that it needed to try harder than the Canikon establishment. Then, looking into it a little further I discovered the 4/3rds story which is fantastic, a "standard" being driven and innovated by more than one company. Olympus, Panasonic/Lumix, Leica and Kodak are pretty cool brands to be associated with.

When different brands get together, innovation happens as the companies compete to have products that are the best implementation of a standard they share, I like that as a business model. I will happily commit to that, I will happily only buy Olympus, Panasonic or Leica cameras. In fact right now I think a "small" camera of a Leica D-Lux 4, a "medium" Panasonic G1 and a "large" Olympus E-3 is a pretty powerful line-up and each one of them is near the top of their own class and but they have a conection to each other too. I like that.

Finally, the Olympus products simply provide more bang for your bucks. I wanted a weather-resistant, fast, relatively compact kit that could lend itself to make high quality images in pretty much any situation. The Olympus set up of an E-3, 12-60 SWD and 50-200 SWD to satisfy that was way smaller and cheaper than anything else on the market, the proof was in the pudding.

20th June 2009, 09:22 AM
I had the Olympus OM1 with several lenses for years and realy liked the camera.
When I came to Brazil with my IS 10 I very soon realized that analogue in this country is unusable, everything is digital here.
I looked around on the internet a bit an decided I wanted to have the 7-14mm.
As soon as I got back in Holland I bought my E410 and never looked back.
It was all I could afford at that time and don't regret it.

Since Christmas 2008 I have the E520 aswell together with that 7-14mm.
The E520 will be replaced some day, the E410 is a true keeper.


20th June 2009, 10:47 AM
After dabbling with various Point and shoots and deciding I wanted to get more serious about photography. I did a lot of research and the overwhelming message I got was that lenses were more important than the camera itself. Zuiko lenses always received good user feedback and the E-500 was selling with the 14-45mm and 40-150mm. I bought this camera and enjoyed it very much before upgrading to the E-510 and subsequently buying the E-330, E-1 and now the E-30. Since being an Olympus user I have grown to love the build quality, reliability (none have ever let me down) and glass. I'm now an avid Olympus fan and user and can't see me ever changing brands. I accept the limitations of the four thirds format ( high ISO mainly ) because I think you win more than you lose. I also love the innovative approach of Olympus as again demonstrated by the introduction of the EP-1. I don't buy all the Canon and Nikon hype (although they do have some good models undoubtedly) because Olympus is the only company to design their Digital system from scratch. I think we are now starting to see their philosophy come to fruition and high ISO performance is getting better with each iteration.
I have never regretted my decision.

21st June 2009, 12:02 AM
Only one thing made me choose Olympus.

The competition! :p

22nd June 2009, 12:36 PM
In 1979ish replaced my Spotmatic with a Pentax MX, wanted an OM but they were 30-40% more expensive. Stayed with Pentaxes until 2006 when I decided to go digital. Pentax *istD range was underwhelming so started to look around. Three things led me to the E-500:

1) SSWF - I was scaredof dust and tend to swap lenses reasonably often
2) Kit lens quality
3) I like telephoto shots so a 2x factor was a boon.

Actually there was a fourth the two lens kit got me off to a good start.

Three years later the e-500 is still my main camera and upgrading/ expanding my glass comes above body envy. My only gripe is the viewfinder.


12th October 2009, 08:15 PM
But it's only taken me 18 months from first Oly to a system that I’m happy with (or will be in the new year when I get the last 2 things I want).

I came across this really old thread I started in a search I did this evening

What a Silly thing I said back in 2007. :o

I have since then bought the 2 things I was thinking of.. and more including my shiny E-30 *yes

I currently only have 3 more things I'm wanting before I have the system I really want (all expensive glass upgrades :eek: ) and then of course there will be the three more in Flash and acessory systems :rolleyes:, but I'm taking pictures and enjoying it for the last few years so why worry ...


13th October 2009, 12:55 PM
But Is only taken me 18 months from first Oly to a system that I’m happy with (or will be in the new year when I get the last 2 things I want).

What a Silly thing I said back in 2007. :o

No, I don't think it was silly.

When I first got my E-400 I was delighted with it, it was the best camera on the market for me at the time - and it was streets ahead of similarly priced other brands. I think it still is, and I'm sure current models are - depending on individual needs and money supply. Not everybody wants/needs full frame.

But, what I hadn't bargained with was me, and that what I want to get out of my camera would change and evolve with time, and in the end you can't take some sorts of pictures if your gear won't let you.

That said, one reason I think Olympus outclasses other brands is that the kit lenses are really quite affordable and are also very good - and they don't need IS, because it's in the newer camera bodies.

I can't count the number of times I've watched a thread on a site where somebody's asked "what camera should I buy", and this isn't just photography sites either. No matter how varied their "advice", and no matter how many people mention Olympus/Panasonic/Sony/Pentax etc and tell them to try them all before they part with their cash, almost every single one will end up in a local super-big-shop and then get a CanNikon, because those are the only brands these places stock - and that's when their problems start.

They get the camera home and realise the camera/lens combination they've bought won't do what they want and so they ask what they should do next.

Out roll the same old replies - get this all-singing-all-dancing costs-hundreds-of-pounds lens, which not many people can afford when they've just parted with around £500 or more of their hard-earned, hard-saved, cash to buy a camera body and one zoom lens.

Then, of course, within a couple of weeks they're asking about dust on the sensor! *yes

I don't think I've never had to be defensive about my choice of camera, I've never really had to feel I had to justify how much it cost whilst thinking I might have made a mistake, even though I still wish Oly would offer updates for the E-400!

But, as I said, my demands have changed, and that's why I jumped at the chance of getting an E-30. But, I won't be getting rid of the E-400, and will get a pancake lens for it so I can carry it in my coat pocket. I might even look for one of those fancy little cases for it.

13th October 2009, 02:15 PM
Totally agree, there are many excellent attributes to an Olympus body, but the optics, the lens engineering and the optimization for the four-thirds sensor still end up being the key in my view.

As with the Nikon D300 before it, the spec of the new Canon 7D made me weak at the knees with all that speed, weatherproofing and what looks to be one hell of a focusing system, processing engine and sensor.

I did what I've done so often, imagined myself with a 7D/L-series lens set up instead of my E-3/SWD gear and then got real and calculated how much it would cost to migrate to a system with similar focal coverage and aperture speed. It returns you to earth with a bump and re-inforces just how good the Oly system is.

The 7D/L-series lenses is great kit and I would understand anybody who went in that direction, but the E-3/SWD is not that far off it, costs half as much and is far more compact overall. For many, many people it would provide best bang for their buck if they ever got past the vast marketing budgets and distribution channels of the bigger players.

Needing and being able to exploit the ultimate in system performance plus preferences for the way a system works and feels is all very personal of course, as is brand loyalty, but the undeniable benefits the optimization of the digital-only 4/3rds format provides to the E-System proves Olympus had a point and keeps me in the fold every time. That said, I'm looking forward to a faster, lower noise E-3 replacement though.*yes