View Full Version : Sony Alpha A100 to E-510

30th December 2007, 09:40 PM
Hi there,
I am from Toronto, Canada.
I was a film SLR user from 1998 to 2003. Owned a Minolta Maxxum 430 (which I still have) with 2 lenses.
So when looking to get back in DSLR world, after having used a ProSumer Canon Powershot model from 2003 till now, I went for a Sony Alpha A100 so that I could use my previous 2 lenses.
Brought that on 1st Dec 2007 and returned it today after 30 days. It's a great camera, feels solid, but I was missing my Canon's swivel LCD and Live View. I knew there are only 2 SLR's with both of these features.

This happened because of a video review of Olympus E-510 and Panasonic LumixL10 that I saw on Camara labs website.

I was not planning to buy another after returning the A100, but the store pushed and gave a good price on the E-510 with the 14-42mm lens kit. I really wanted a 2 lens kit as one lens is just not enough.

I have not used the E-510 yet, but am little worried about the image noise problem and dark view finder problem that I read in several reviews.

I want an honest opinion from forum members here, who has used other DSLR's, if E-510 is that bad.

My plan was to really wait till Dec 2008 to see if Olympus or anyone else will launch a better Live View implementation (i.e contrast based) and a swivel LCD model.
Having used these in the Canon Prosumer model, I am might convinced of the benefits of a swivel LCD in certain situations. Some professional SLR users don't care much about it, I can understand. There is nothing that beats the live view of a viewfinder, but I just needed it.

30th December 2007, 10:21 PM
Hi Navin

Greetings to you in Toronto - hope you're enjoying the Christmas season. Welcome.

Firstly I should point out that though the E-510 does indeed have Live View, it does not have a swivel head - that feature is only available on the prosumer model, the E-3.

I have owned an E-510, and will admit to considering it a brilliant camera, awesome in fact. I never had trouble with any darkness in the viewfinder, neither did I have issues with image noise. Of course, if one takes images in low light at ISO1600 then regardless of system or manufacturer one is always going to experience higher levels of noise - but this is nothing that any noise reduction app won't adequately remove. Perhaps you might like to take a look at this thread (http://www.fourthirds-user.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1143&highlight=neat+image) if you haven't seen it already where I post a before and after noise removal of a handheld (no flash) ISO1600 image I took of a band in concert.

The additional - and significant - advantage of the E-510 is of course the in-camera IS... which functions superbly and provides an additional 3 stops of light allowing ridiculously longer shutter speeds to be obtained - all handheld!

I do not know much about Canon or Nikon cameras to be honest, but remaining honest and not meaning to be disrespectful... I don't have any desire to find out as I have all I need for my photography with my E-510 and my new E-3. I even bought an E-510 for Heather, my 10yr old daughter, for Christmas - she totally loves it. We were out today taking pics with our gadgets :)

If you want to see any E-510 or E-3 images feel free to look on the gallery here where many of the images will be from either model, or have a look at my portfolio - link in sig - where there are loads of E-510 and recently some E-3 images for you to browse through.

Also, Heather put some of her own images online on her gallery today from our recent outing to Slimbridge - they are on www.reflectingheather.com (http://www.reflectingheather.com) - and are all taken by her and all on her E-510.

Hope this helps...


30th December 2007, 10:40 PM
Hi John,

Thanks for the quick reply.
I have really have only 14 days to decide whether the E-510 is a keeper, as the store gives 2 weeks time to return if you don't like.

I was aware that E-510 does not have a swivel LCD and that E-3 does. I am just an amateur and don't make money form photography, so could not justify the hefty C$2050 price tag for the E-3 with a starter lens.

I then saw that Panasonic had the Lumix L10 with same features and a better Live View implementation and the price was around C$1500. But it got beaten down heavily in reviews for it's features being similar to E-510, but price being double. Also it was described as being heavy, which defeats the purpose of having a four-thirds based camera, as they are supposed to be ligher and smaller.
So I ditched Panasnoic and after seeing E-510 complaints was going to wait an year for my dream DSLR in the under C$1000 price range.

I just got the E-510 out of the box and must say that compared to Sony A-100 it does feel...umm..not sure how to describe...but childish looking. The buttons were pretty small and it did not feel solid like the A100. But after the video tour of E-510 I was sold on it's capability to overlay a grid on the LCD screen while composing and the magnification to assist in manual focusing.

And looking at real user reviews like yourself, I will decide whether to keep this camera.

I need look deeply, but in that Gallery from fourthirds-user.com site, I did not see a way to search for just E-510 photos. I will check on this site to see if there are any.

30th December 2007, 10:44 PM
Hi again Navin

Have a look at the gallery on here as well though, as there are many E-510 users on here. I also spotted that Heather posted some ISO800 images (swans) on her www site too.

Most of the images on my site are on the E-510...

Another thing I should add is if you go the twin lens kit then you have yourself a great set of intro lenses - possibly the best kit lenses you can get with any camera.

Hope you enjoy your time with the E-510 and decide to stick with it when the trial is over. If there's anything else you wish to ask... fire away as there are many willing helpers here far more knowledgeable than I... :)

31st December 2007, 01:10 AM
Hi John,

I browsed through yours and your daughters photos. Pretty good, I liked the several photo's you have taken against white background in the ReflectingMe album.
I am amazed to see your 10 yr old daughter getting interested in photography and going straight for an SLR.

Boy, these kit lenses are so pricey if you buy them separately. I had that feeling when I was offered a good price at the store for the one kit plus camera package, as they did not sell the 2 kit price.
The store that sells 2 kit price was C$170 more after the price I paid for the 1kit package. I will have to go for that as the 40-150mm lens alone sells here for C$300.
Just the 14-42mm lens jusn't cut it for me, no point in having an SLR with just this one lens.

I just don't get it....is Olympus really selling them for these high prices to these retailers. Folks who buy SLR's are eventually going to buy more lenses, so what's the point in making them so high, but pricing them low when buying with the camera.

31st December 2007, 01:44 AM
Hi Navin - not sure about the prices sorry, but I am aware that here in the UK the price for the E-510 Twin Lens kit has dropped substantially and there are wonderful bargains to be had on this kit.

Thanks for the comments about the site.

Heather: I have to say that she just loves it. She came out with me one evening on one of my strolls, and asked if she could use my then spare E-400. I showed her the basics, and the rest is history as they say. She was pleased as punch when she got her bag, plus E-510 Twin Lens kit for Christmas. She really has an eye for it for a 10 yr old and has managed to capture some great shots. I missed the focus on this one as I rushed to take the shot, but she's poised and ready, intent on capturing some birds that caught her attention fluttering about...


31st December 2007, 10:23 PM
Hi Navin

For me the E510 is a keeper - I really like it.

Off the top of my head I can't remember which of the pictures in my gallery were on the E500 and which on the E510. I love both. The 510 is better, but both reliable and produce results that I;m happpy with.

As mentioned quite a few people run E510's - look at the members list or those who have posted in the 510 folder in the forum and you should be able to cut down those pictures you need to brows through to see E510 pictures


31st December 2007, 10:29 PM
I just don't get it....is Olympus really selling them for these high prices to these retailers. Folks who buy SLR's are eventually going to buy more lenses, so what's the point in making them so high, but pricing them low when buying with the camera.

Sorry just read further down. This isn't just about Olympus pricing it's about the whole retail business. Other suppliers do the same it's about getting people to make enough of an emotional investment to stay with a system.

There are similar deals from other suppliers here in the UK at present and I suspect are the same in the US and Canada.