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Camera conference General and model-specific E-System camera chat.

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  #1  
Old 24th December 2007
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shenstone shenstone is offline
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So what made you Choose Olympus then?

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”

Regards
Andy

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.
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My Kit (OK I'm a hoarder...)
4/3 E500, E510, E30 + 35macro, 50macro, 7-14, 11-22, 14-45 (x2), 14-54, 40-150 (both types), 50-200, 70-300, 50-500,
m 4/3 EM1MkII + 60 macro, 12-100 Pro
FL20, FL36 x2 , FL50, cactus slaves etc.
The Boss (Mrs Shenstone) E620, EM10-II, 14-41Ez, 40-150R, 9 cap and whatever she can nick from me when she wants it

My places
http://www.shenstone.me.uk
http://landroverkaty.blogspot.com/
https://vimeo.com/shenstone
http://cardiffnaturalists.org.uk/
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Old 24th December 2007
TakeToTheHills
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Re: So what made you Choose Olympus then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shenstone View Post
1. Timing.
2. Perceived Quality.
3. Features.
4. Futures.
All of the above (1..4)
plus
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.
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Old 25th December 2007
Rod Souter
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Re: So what made you Choose Olympus then?

My first SLR was an OM1, followed by an OM2 and a fair selection of lenses (all of which I still have). 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

Rod
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Old 25th December 2007
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Re: So what made you Choose Olympus then?

are there other camera makers then?
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Old 25th December 2007
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theMusicMan theMusicMan is offline
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Re: So what made you Choose Olympus then?

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!!
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  #6  
Old 25th December 2007
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Re: So what made you Choose Olympus then?

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'

Chris
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Old 25th December 2007
Scapula Memory
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Re: So what made you Choose Olympus then?

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.

John.
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  #8  
Old 25th December 2007
brob108
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Re: So what made you Choose Olympus then?

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
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Old 26th December 2007
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Re: So what made you Choose Olympus then?

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...
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Old 26th December 2007
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Re: So what made you Choose Olympus then?

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.
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  #11  
Old 26th December 2007
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yorky yorky is offline
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Re: So what made you Choose Olympus then?

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.
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Old 11th January 2008
Ellie Ellie is offline
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Re: So what made you Choose Olympus then?

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.
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Old 11th January 2008
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Re: So what made you Choose Olympus then?

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!

Peter
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Old 11th January 2008
ianc ianc is offline
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Thumbs up Re: So what made you Choose Olympus then?

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.
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  #15  
Old 11th January 2008
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Invicta Invicta is offline
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Re: So what made you Choose Olympus then?

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
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