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

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  #1  
Old 25th July 2009
chrism_scotland chrism_scotland is offline
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Possible Olympus Convert

Hi folks,

First post, currently I have a Sony A700 and I do love it but I have been attracted to the Olympus DSLRs.
I almost bought the e420 as my first but ultimately bought the A300 and now A700.
However I like the feel and smaller size of the Olympus bodies and I don't know why I just want one!

I have a couple of queries though before I make my mind up and I hope you guy's can help.

I have been looking mainly at the e620 or E-30 bodies, now I know the E-30 is dearer but it is cheap at Jessops right now!

I guess I am wondering if the price difference between E620 and E30 is worth it?

Also is there much difference between the E520 and E620 as the E520 can be had cheaply with a twin lens kit these days?

This leads me onto some questions about lenses.

I hear that the kit Olympus lenses are very highly regarded and I just wondered how good the 14-42mm, 40-150mm and 70-300mm lenses actually are?

I also like the look of the Olympus 25mm pancake lens, is it a good performer?

In addition what would be the recommended wide angle lens option for an Olympus fit?

Thanks

Chris
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Old 25th July 2009
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Re: Possible Olympus Convert

Hiya Chris

Good to see you over here... I wonder who recommended you to come here then..hehe

About the only lens I haven't shown you images from is the Oly70-300mm. There are many members here who have awesome shots taken with this lens so I'll just stick to a few I've managed with it.

Skomer Puffin:






The 70-300mm is a budget lens that delivers far in excess of budget performance.

You really won't regret moving to the Oly 4/3 system Chris... it really has moved on significantly in recent years.

As I said over on tp, the only people who now criticise Oly and the 4/3 format are either naive wannabe Canikon fanboys, or are totally ignorant. I mean that, honestly... the days of poor ISO performance on Oly are way gone. The lenses are quite simply the best in class, especially the kit lenses which are simply fantastic performers. Everyone on TP talks about 'L' glass or its Nikon equivalent... Zuiko glass doesn't need an 'L' - you only have to read reviews on Zuiko glass to know how it stands out from other brands. On one independant photography site I visited recently, I read that they consider the Oly 7-14mm possibly the best lens ever made.

On top of this... though this site is a lot smaller than TP, there's a fabulous group of talented folk on here who are always willing to lend a hand and offer help & advice when this is requested.

So - go on... you know you want to... go and get that E-3
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Old 25th July 2009
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Re: Possible Olympus Convert

Cannot comment on the cameras as I only have one...the E400 so my next body will probably be the E620 for the smaller size...
The kit lenses - excellent
The 25mm - if you like pancake or prime lenses its a good little performer
And with an adapter virtually any old lens can fit on a 4/3rds body...
For a wide I got the 11-22 but as with everything available funds count...the reports of the 7-14 and 9-18 are good...
so before you leap...decide on what your expectations of the Oly kit are and ask us all how easily it will do it...those that move away usually do so for very specific reasons... and it hurts them horribly
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Old 25th July 2009
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Re: Possible Olympus Convert

Chris,

Welcome. I've tried all the cameras and all the lenses and I'm sorry to have to say this, but it really is all about personal choice.

Shops are so keen to make sales at the moment, if you ask to try out different models they will go the extra mile to get the sale, so take advantage of the current climate and make them earn their commission.

As for kit lenses, I actually prefer the old kit lenses and there are some excellent ebay deals on those.

The 25mm is optically very good but has the obvious limitations... It's ideal for the 620 as a "pocket" walkabout.

SO:

Go have fun in the shops and keep in mind "commission", think how hard you have had to work to get the money to buy the thing, so make them earn their share of your money.

Do let us know how you get on:
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Old 25th July 2009
Trausti Hraunfjord
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Re: Possible Olympus Convert

John, these Puffin shots are fantastic. At what distance did you shoot the first one? As an Icelander I can assure you that these snacks ...err... birds are well known to me, but quite honestly, I have never seen such a great photographic shot of one as the first one you have there.

Absolutely fantastic!
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Old 25th July 2009
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Re: Possible Olympus Convert

The Alpha 700 is a very fine camera, but it does lack live view, and the cheaper kit lens is, frankly, poor. The 16-80 Sony Carl Zeiss branded one is good, but I'd rate the inexpensive Olympus 14-42 kit lens as not far off, and if you got the 14-54 or 12-60 you would be impressed.

Also, all E-System cameras have the AF motor in the lens, not in the camera body operated via a driveshaft. Sony is slowly moving to the in-lens AF motor, but only for the expensive lenses at the moment.

The E-30 is closest in spec to the A700. It's great value at the moment. If you really want a smaller and lighter model, the E-620 is hard to beat.

What kind of photography do you mainly do? This will help determine which model is best for you.

Ian
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Old 25th July 2009
chrism_scotland chrism_scotland is offline
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Re: Possible Olympus Convert

Thanks folks, the image quality of the shots look amazing! Only lens I've ever had that looks that good is the Beercan,
My main type of photography is architecture and landscapes, I have heard the E-30 is better in low light, is that correct?
I would perhaps get the 14-42 lens and then add either a wide angle or maybe just go for the 12-60 and use one len to start with, although those shots of the puffin from music man show how good the "kit" telephoto is too so I could be tempted by that.

Ian you say the e-620 is hard to beat is it a big step from its predecessor the e520?
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Old 26th July 2009
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Re: Possible Olympus Convert

I have an E520 and while I am not tempted to upgrade (I'm waiting for the successor to the E3) there are considerable and significant improvements in the E620 that for me would mean no hesitation in going for that rather than a new E520 now. Better sensor, dynamic range and ISO sensitivity, somewhat larger viewfinder and smaller size are the key ones.


All the Zuiko lenses seem very good indeed with the weakest of those I have being the kit 14-45, while the kit 40-150 is an outstanding lens in good light conditions. You get what it says - other makes may bill a lens as F2 but by many accounts they are soft until you close down to F3.5 - that sort of thing - but with the ZD lenses if it says F2.8 it means fully sharp at F2.8. If you have the money, there is an ample range of fantastic lenses although Oly's enthusiasts are always wanting more...

The in-body Image Stabilisation as in the 520 and 620 works with all lenses and that and the dust-busting are truly effective.

I'd go for the 620 rather than the E 30 or 520 right now - the E30 seems like an anomaly already in the series and maybe that's why it's starting to be on offer, while the new EP-1 is evidently in short supply!

Like many another, I hummed and hawed about full frame Nikons but once you take the decision not to go for the bulk and expense of full frame the logic and the likely future gives Olympus a clear edge over other makes IMO. They are going in the right direction.
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Old 26th July 2009
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Re: Possible Olympus Convert

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trausti Hraunfjord View Post
John, these Puffin shots are fantastic. At what distance did you shoot the first one? As an Icelander I can assure you that these snacks ...err... birds are well known to me, but quite honestly, I have never seen such a great photographic shot of one as the first one you have there.

Absolutely fantastic!
Hi Trausti - thanks for those comments, its lovely to ready comments like this, thank you so much. For the first one I was only several feet away from the bird - it's not a cropped image either

When I visited Skomer for that trip, having already taken many typical images of these snacks... errrm... Puffins ( ) on previous trips to Skomer - I challenged myself for this trip to get some alternate Puffin images and specifically the shot you see there i.e. absolutely straight on, and with eye contact.

Glad you like it.
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Old 26th July 2009
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Re: Possible Olympus Convert

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trausti Hraunfjord View Post
... As an Icelander I can assure you that these snacks ...err... birds are well known to me, ...
Would that be the Faroese variant where they are buried for many months before being hung up outside the cabin of fishing boat to provide a chewy snack at any time of the day?

Chris -my funds have limited me to the old 11-22mm...amazing lens...kept level it is difficult to see much distortion at 11mm and a 90 deg view.
Go play with as much as you can get your hands on and hopefully you will convert
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Old 26th July 2009
chrism_scotland chrism_scotland is offline
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Re: Possible Olympus Convert

Thanks folks, I had been attracted to the E-30 partly by the current offer in Jessops but also the widely favourable reviews it seems to have had in the photographic press, yet noone seems to use it!
I'm not too bothered but I did feel the E-30 would be more of an equivalent to my A700.
A cheaper twin lens kit E-620 would leave me cash to go toward a wide angle lens though so I may well go down that route.
I take it the E-30 is not significantly better than the E-620?
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Old 26th July 2009
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Re: Possible Olympus Convert

Chris - the only person I know who has an E-30 is John Baker - he's on here, perhaps drop John a PM and ask. I know he loves it.
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Old 26th July 2009
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Re: Possible Olympus Convert

I can't comment on the E520 / E620 / E30 as I'm stuck on old technology (E410 + E510) but as for the kit lenses I don't think you have anything at all to worry about. I've not used other brand kit lenses myself but I have seen alot of pictures from them now both on the net and more importantly at our club meetings and each time felt a bit smug at just how sharp the Olympus photos are in comparison. There are now 3 Olympus users in our realtively small club of 20ish members and 9 times out of 10 you can quite easily pick out the Olympus photos based on just how sharp the photos are. Granted those with the Canikons + 1 Pentax could apply a hell of alot of unsharp mask in PP to get to the same result but the amount that would be required, would I'm certain, result in some really funky looking artifacts / halos.

Anyway here are a few more examples of what the kit lenses (and a couple of other standard grade lenses) are capable of:

14-42mm 1:3.5 - 4 (Standard grade kit lens)
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showph.../size/big/cat/

40-150mm 1:4 - 5.6 (Standard grade Kit lens)
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showph...1/size/big/cat

70-300mm 1:4 - 5.6 (Standard grade)
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/783
All but the landscape shot this gallery taken with the 70-300.

35mm Macro 1:3.5 (Standard grade macro)
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/766
All Buterflies taken in this gallery taken with this lens
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Old 26th July 2009
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Re: Possible Olympus Convert

WOW Paul... that 1st shot with the 14-42 is exceptional. Stunning image, really top class.

Chris - these are with either the Oly kit lenses, or with 'budget' level lenses. Goes to show you really do have nothing to worry about.
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Old 26th July 2009
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Re: Possible Olympus Convert

Chris,

I have E520 and E620 pictures on my flickr account for you to view.

I decided to upgrade because 1) I am a bit of a techno head, but 2) I was very very impressed with the E620. I particularly like the size and the articulating screen

I have also owned:

E300, E500, E510, and a Canon 450D

I still have the E520 which my daughter uses and my Son uses an E420. We are an Olympus family!

Check my signature for the rest of my kit, but I also have the three kit lenses.

As I mentioned I have also purchased a Canon 450D which is a great camera but sold it to stick with Olympus.

I have used an E30 before going with the E620. This was at an Olympus UK Photo Safari Group 'meet'. I would advise you to join this group and I can put you in touch if interested. Through this group I have been able to meet other Olympus users who (like this forum) have given me much practical advice and been able to try all of the new kit I have been interested-in.

Personally I preferred the feel of the E620 but it is a personal choice.

I wouldn’t buy a E520 new unless you cannot stretch to a new E620 (£498 body only) The E520 would be my choice, however, over the E420 because of image stabilisation and wireless flash built-in.

I seem to roll-out the same words when anyone asks for advice on converting to Olympus, but then again I went through the same questions and doubts (nearly being turned to the ‘Dark-side’ with the 450D) so I hope all the above helps

Kind regards

Graydon
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