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  • E520 / E3

    So one of the determining factors for sticking with Olympus is: what can I upgrade to? At present I have the E520. It seems to me that I can't look forward to much more with the E3, the only step up in camera body.

    Same sensor, same processor, very similar controls and faciltiies.

    Bigger viewfinder, one step higher ISO, weatherproofing, flip-out LCD. errr... not much incentive there. Or am I missing something crucial?

  • #2
    Re: E520 / E3

    Not 100% sure as I don't use an E3 myself but I believe that the E3 has a faster focusing system with more points ?

    I have been asking myself a similar question myself but mine goes along the line of what would my limitations be with my E510

    If I wanted for example to move into a more serious photography sector such as Studio Portraits for family and friends would my E510, with the right glass of course be up to the job ? and if not in what way would an E3 perform the task better.

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    • #3
      Re: E520 / E3

      I have used both the E-3 and E-520. They are both Very Good.

      I put the new 14-35 onto my E-500 and that made a HUGE difference.

      I've always gone for the best glass I can get and used a cheap body (OM10) and it has served me very well. Optical quality is so much more important than exposure accuracy (PS will take care of that)

      Look seriously at the type of photography you do. If the majority is static subjects, do you need high speed focusing and dozens of focus sensors

      So having confused things even more Do let us know which way you go

      Graham

      We often repeat the mistakes we most enjoy...

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      • #4
        Re: E520 / E3

        It probably doesn't answer your question, but I have recently upgraded from the E-510 to the E-520, and can confirm there is a very noticable improvement in image quality. Focussing on my sole (for now) SWD lens - the 50-200 - is slightly quicker. Dynamic range is greatly improved, as is colour quality. I figured that Olympus wouldn't put out an upgraded model so soon for just a small improvement, and I was proven right.
        Stephen

        A camera takes a picture. A photographer makes a picture

        Fuji X system, + Leica and Bronica film

        My Flickr site

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        • #5
          Re: E520 / E3

          Or am I missing something crucial?
          Sounds like you have bought the idea of the E520 already.

          But the E3 has faster focusing, more focus points, a wider range of bracketing options, more control options on the body (wheels and buttons), wider ISO range, faster frame rate, bigger buffer, more customizable options, 100% viewfinder coverage, brighter viewfinder, flip out LCD, ability to use a battery grip and therefore a second shutter button, more sturdy construction, bigger body to balance better against larger lenses, faster shutter speed, longer bulb timer (4 hrs), and probably more things I can't think of at the moment.

          Oh yes, it doesn't have the 'scene modes', a definite advantage.

          Of course like the dust and weatherproofing of the E3 none of the above matter if you never go need to go outside the parameters offered by the E520. But on the weatherproofing alone I can go out and make photographs while everybody else is at home, so it is a useful thing in the UK.

          Steve

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          • #6
            Bodies: E3, E-P1
            Lenses: 8mm, 14-42mm, 12-60mm, 50-200mm

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            • #7
              Re: E520 / E3

              Well, I'm not thinking about making a move just yet, but posing the question 'what is there to look forward to
              ' and not really getting much incentive as between the E520 and the 'flagship' E3! It was a fork of the threads on four thirds and on competing with Canikon

              I have the two kit zooms and the 35mm macro but truly, two months into the E520 I have some reservations about image quality/clarity vs. fuzziness and I find the performance in lower (but still ordinary) light levels is not exciting. On the other hand, I find the camera well thought out and many things are good. The IS is good, the colours are excellent, the faithfulness of jpeg to RAW is excellent, there are plenty of features, the battery life is good etc.

              But the bottom line is the image. I am having to work hard to get clear images, to the point where I'm still driven to test things out. That's one of the reasons I got the 35mm macro, acknowledged to be a very sharp lens. In fact in comparisons I don't find the kit lenses are that much inferior to it. I find the images are fuzzier than I'd like, with all of them. Maybe I'm too demanding! Help me out: here are three test shots where I am comparing with and without IS (for the 35mm macro and the 14-42 kit), and I took the opportunity to compare the 35mm macro with the kit lens too. But are these the clearest pics I can reasonably expect with this equipment?

              kit lens

              macro lens

              kit vs macro
              Check out the large sizes and let me know. All shot RAW and identical conversion

              I'm not keen to invest in more glass before (a) I am really confident in the scope and future of the E-system bodies and (b) I see where micro 4/3 goes. All these things are linked up...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: E520 / E3

                By the way, ref my question in another thread about whether there's a cost to IS, it does seem seems that there is a slight cost in fuzziiness when the camera is otherwise stable on a tripod - if you see the side-by-side comparisons in my test shots above the same as I do. That was also the conclusion of another poster someone pointed me to on the flickr e-system forum.

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                • #9
                  Re: E520 / E3

                  Hi Makonde,
                  I think this all comes down to what you want to photograph and when. I have an E510 and until recently I used kit lenses and 35mm macro, I produced my LRPS panel all at A3 size using these lenses, I acquired the E510 just before Christmas and before that I was using the E400.
                  The images were very acceptable in terms of sharpness, indeed I would not have been successful with my 'L' if they weren't.
                  I decided that I wanted to invest in glass rather than upgrading body so I have recently purchsed a 12-60 and a 70-300, I also exchanged my 35mm for 50mm macro (although I am wondering if that was a good move thats another story) I am particularly pleased with the 12-60 which is rapidly becoming my only walk around lens.
                  I rarely use the scene modes and of course there are occasions when I would like an articulating screen etc etc but for the time being I am very happy with my set up and have decided just to concentrate on improving my own skills rather than worrying about whether I could get more features by upgrading.
                  It seems to me that quite a lot of shops will let you shoot some shots in the shop and one suggestion I heard was to take a CF card into the shop, shoot a variety of shots using your desired combination/s and then take them home and have a look at the results. That might help you decide which way to go.
                  I hope this is helpful.
                  Shirley
                  Shirley
                  www.shirleyhollisenterprises.co.uk
                  www.photographsbyshirley.co.uk

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: E520 / E3

                    Now that's some great advise! Thanks!

                    Dennis G

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: E520 / E3

                      Originally posted by Makonde View Post
                      So one of the determining factors for sticking with Olympus is: what can I upgrade to? At present I have the E520. It seems to me that I can't look forward to much more with the E3, the only step up in camera body.

                      Same sensor, same processor, very similar controls and faciltiies.

                      Bigger viewfinder, one step higher ISO, weatherproofing, flip-out LCD. errr... not much incentive there. Or am I missing something crucial?
                      Ian posted an interesting article over on the four-thirds web site comparing the Four Thirds sensor resolution across several different cameras:

                      http://fourthirds-user.com/2008/07/f...ons_tested.php

                      The weather proofing and robustness of the E-3 are important for me. I am not a professional tog by any means but not having to worry about rain showers is very handy for the outdoor photos I normally take.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: E520 / E3

                        Originally posted by Invicta View Post
                        Ian posted an interesting article over on the four-thirds web site comparing the Four Thirds sensor resolution across several different cameras:

                        http://fourthirds-user.com/2008/07/f...ons_tested.php
                        Thanks - all much the same: if anything the E-3 is a shade worse than the others, unless that's a typo!

                        Nobody has yet commented on whether the clarity of my test shots (large size) on tripod - links above - is the best that can be expected. If I should be getting better results, should I worry that I have a maverick example in my new E520? Or what? Grateful if you could take a look.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: E520 / E3

                          Originally posted by Makonde View Post
                          Thanks - all much the same: if anything the E-3 is a shade worse than the others, unless that's a typo!

                          Nobody has yet commented on whether the clarity of my test shots (large size) on tripod - links above - is the best that can be expected. If I should be getting better results, should I worry that I have a maverick example in my new E520? Or what? Grateful if you could take a look.
                          Don't think it is a typo. The E-3 is a little older then the E-420 and E-520 so I would not be surprised if Oly had made a few tweaks.

                          I can only see one size of photo on the flickr site, maybe worth uploading them on these forums for a larger picture?

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                          • #14
                            Re: E520 / E3

                            Originally posted by Invicta View Post
                            Don't think it is a typo. The E-3 is a little older then the E-420 and E-520 so I would not be surprised if Oly had made a few tweaks.
                            But the 400, the 410 and the 510 come out the same as the 420 and 520 in the figures, so the E3 is a tad worse than those.
                            I can only see one size of photo on the flickr site, maybe worth uploading them on these forums for a larger picture?
                            Ah - I never know when these larger sizes are available on flickr and to whom. So I've uploaded them here.

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                            • #15
                              Re: E520 / E3

                              two months into the E520 I have some reservations about image quality/clarity vs. fuzziness and I find the performance in lower (but still ordinary) light levels is not exciting.
                              Don't know how you have the camera set up but when users complain of 'fuzziness' it is often because they have in camera 'Noise Filter' set on, and also in camera sharpness on, and other things such as 'Saturation' set high. All degrade the image before it comes out of the camera. The main culprit is 'noise filter', the higher you set it the more sharpness is automatically added to the picture to compensate for the effects of removing noise. This is bad enough but if you also have sharpness set higher than '0' you start to degrade the image further.

                              So I would suggest the best settings would be Noise Filter 'Off', Sharpness '0', Saturation '0'/Normal. You hardly need any noise filter up to 400iso if you make proper exposures, and noise filtering and sharpening are far better done as post processing functions than in camera. Also make sure you have IS switched 'Off' for tripod use.

                              Use an aftermarket image processing like Photoshop, and try if possible to use RAW. Photoshop is far more sophisticated at removing noise and sharpening an image than the small processor inside the camera.

                              Additionally the kit lenses are fine if you use them in the middle zones, so you will find the image getting much softer at the widest apertures or from f11 upwards, and at the longest end of the zoom ranges.

                              Do not underexpose the image, this again causes softness and noise.

                              Taking note of all these things will lead to sharper and more refined images.

                              Steve

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