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 Post subject: Olympus E-30
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 7:21 am 
Hello everyone,

I have my new Olympus E-30 for about two weeks and I must say, I'm in love with the camera. I upgraded from my older E-510 and must say, that the E-30 does all the things I did not like from the E-510 better. Which does not mean that the E-510 is not a good camera and will it certainly will see more use in the future, but the E-30 is just what you expect when upgrading from entry level DSLR to semi-pro DSLR.

So, what's new?

The first (and I think most impressive) thing is the new sensor. While noise is not much better compared to the E-510 (especially, since you should use ISO 200 as default with the E-30), the improved dynamic range is.

The E-510 had a tendency to clip highlights at outdoor shots, which I personally found to be very annoying. Yes, with correct metering and exposure you could prevent that, but it distracted from what you really wanted to do: Taking pictures.

The E-30 is just soo much better. You can shoot away without fear that you did not follow some esoteric formula to save the highlights. You see something worth capturing, you compose the image, you shoot. That's the way it should be and the E-30 really makes it a pleasure.

This process is added by the enhanced liveview mode compared to the E-510. The new hybrid focus mode that works with every lens without flapping the mirror makes liveview really usable, especially in combination the the turnable LCD screen. It makes composing shots from special angles so much easier and I found that the portraits I did with the E-30 are just so much more creative than the ones I did with the E-510.

Last, but not least, the Jpegs ooc are great. I switched from using RAW (which I always used with the E-510) to Jpeg. From time to time I make minor adjustments of sharpness, contrast or white balance, but most of the time the image is just good as it is.

The new Viewfinder is bigger than the one in the E-510. However, I never thought about that viewfinder as being too small, so while the increase in size is nice, it does not carry much weight for me. Due to the increased amount of AF-Points, more of the viewfinder is covered with markings, which actually distract from the image behind.

Speaking about the AF, I don't think that it's particularly faster or more sure than the one in the E-510. Here I expected more. The additional AF-Points, on the other hand, are nice to have. They give you greater freedom in composing your shots, especially for portraits where you turn the camera (don't know the proper english term, sorry) for 90 degree. With the E-510, you could ony choose to fokus on the upper and lower parts in this picture. Now, with the E-30, it allows you to fokus on the sides of the picture too, making it easier to follow the golden rule of composing.


All in all, I'm pretty fond of the camera. It's a bit bigger than the E-510 but in a pleasant way. The E-510 suited my hands the best of all entry level cameras, but the E-30 seems to have been made for my hands.

The only reason not to get this camera would be if you mainly focused on high ISO photography - in that case, the D90 might be a better purchase.

A portrait taken with the 14-54mm I at ISO 3200 ( mistake on my part). It's postprocessed, but you can still see the noise in the darker part of the image

Image

Taken with the 14-54mm and the EX-25. No postprocessing:

Image

Taken with the 14-54mm I: Lot's of dark and light areas in this photo, no problem for the E-30. This one uses one of the E-30 Art Filters.

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 9:26 am 
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Location: UK
Hi PrinzMegahertz,

Thanks for taking the time and effort to compose your review. 8)

Your remarks about the viewfinder struck a chord with me. For some reason progressing to a bigger and/or brighter viewfinder has never been a "wow" factor for me, possibly because I spend my thinking time getting my head around other new features, but going back to a smaller viewfinder after a few months familiarity with a big one can be quite a shock!

Good to hear you are so pleased with your E-30.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 7:45 pm 
Very nice Tobias. I am impressed by the second photo given that it was taken with ISO400. Did the image also look noise free when pixel peeping at 100%? What was your setting for NF, sharpness, and contrast for that second photo?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 12:42 am 
Thanks for the review. Those are some nice shots!

Try going back to the viewfinder of the E-510 and see if you still find it sufficient. :wink: I don't think I would be able to go back to anything smaller after using a bigger and brighter one.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 6:48 am 
Armanius wrote:
Very nice Tobias. I am impressed by the second photo given that it was taken with ISO400. Did the image also look noise free when pixel peeping at 100%? What was your setting for NF, sharpness, and contrast for that second photo?


If I remember correctly, the settings were color mode = vivid, sharpness + 2. I was playing a bit with in camera sharpening, because JPEGs with sharpness 0 were a bit too blurred for my taste.

This image shows no noise when pixel peeping. Noise only becomes an issue with ISO 800.

grahamnp wrote:
Thanks for the review. Those are some nice shots!

Try going back to the viewfinder of the E-510 and see if you still find it sufficient. :wink: I don't think I would be able to go back to anything smaller after using a bigger and brighter one.


As you see on the first picture, my girlfriend has inherited the E-510 and we plan to often take pictures together, so we will propably switch the cameras very often instead of switching lenses. I'll tell you whether I'll find the E-510 viewfinder to be lacking or not.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 7:03 am 
it looks like you'll definitely be enjoying your e-30! looks like a great camera!


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