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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 2:55 am 

I have a friend who wants to upgrade to either the Oly e620 or the Canon 500d from his Panasonic fz18.

He is very happy with the Olympus. He doesn't care about the video or the 3 extra megapixels. He loves the articulating screen and the extra reach of the Olympus due to the 2x field of view crop. However, there is only one problem. Noise. There are double comments on this one, he says. It is known that it is one of the noisier cameras. Given the smaller sensor, this is acceptable. But, reviews also state that it handles noise respectably well compared to APS-C sized rivals. Then, I saw Gordon's results page for high iso noise. I was shocked to see noise started to creep in right from iso200! Though very, very little, but it was present. Canon 500d gave very good results even at iso800, and though its sensor is little bigger, it does offer 3 extra megapixels.

But, that was the studio environment. Given that he is interested in shooting landscapes and wildlife, such as birds, what is the max iso that would give clean results?

For landscapes, he is happy to use iso200, even though it may be with a tripod. But, for birds and other wildlife, which he plans to shoot at the long end of the 70-300mm lens, giving a 600mm equivalent, high iso can be needed.

Is this camera up to the challenge there? One other reason why he is after the Oly is the 600mm reach, which will be cut short to 480mm on the Canon. In head to head comparison of both cameras, does Oly lose more than one stop of iso to give similar results in terms of noise? I have read that under-exposure leads to more noise in 4/3 system dslrs. Is that true? Also, some say that the E620 needs about +0.7ev compensation. Are noise levels more competitive with that?

Sorry for the very long post. Thanks in advance,

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 6:26 am 
Two things:

Noise is not a photo killing property. Programs like photoshop are getting very good at filtering out the noise and still leaving the image quite crisp in the end. I have not used the E-620 but I've owned the E-510 and the E-3 and can tell you that ISO800 is still plenty good. If you really must venture higher than that, the photos MAY need to be run through a noise filter [END OF THE WORLD!] or resized for display [which is most often done anyway]
Just because you can see noise at 100% does not mean it ruins the picture. However it does mean that you have less freedom when cropping the image.

Next, saying that there is a 2x field of view crop does not mean that you have more telephoto.
This may sound confusing but let me explain.
Take for instance two sensors with the same pixel density. Lets say in fact the sensors are COMPLETELY IDENTICAL in every aspect, except one sensor is 1.4x as big [meaning there is a 2x crop for the smaller one, 1.4 squared = 2]
Attach a 50mm lens to BOTH lenses and take a picture of the same subject. The image will look more zoomed in on the smaller sensor but in reality, the same image of the smaller sensor will be present in the image from the larger one, only the larger image will also have more of the scene on the outside of the first image.

So a smaller sensor does not in fact mean the lenses you attach are more powerful, or even act more powerful. It just means that ALL of the camera's megapixels are being used for the middle portion of the lens. I'm not entirely sure which camera has a higher pixel density, the E-620 or the Rebel, but a 300mm lens on the rebel means a 300mm image, but cut down to size. A 300mm lens on the E-620 means a 300mm image, but cut EVEN MORE.

Assuming the same pixel density, if you cut the image of the Rebel such that it resembles the same field of view as the Olympus, the images SHOULD be identical in quality [barring differences in processing and and such which happens in the body]

So despite what Olympus may say, a bigger field of view reduction is not necessarily a good thing. Its just a thing. It really doesn't play much of a role though considering Oly kit lenses are wider to account for this.

What I personally like about Olympus is the lenses. Im currently debating on whether or not to buy a Nikon D700, and the only thing holding me back is my 12-60mm lens. There is just nothing even close to matching what I get from this lens on mounted on an E-3 for the Nikon FX format. the only thing that comes CLOSE is the 24-120mm VR F3-5-5.6 which matches the zoom range, but is a slower aperture, not weather sealed, and more importantly, NO WHERE NEAR AS SHARP as my Olympus glass. Yet it costs almost as much. Such a disappointment.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 8:16 am 
Hi Atomic,

Thanks for the very detailed response. It helped a lot. I will definitely keep your advice in mind.

Thanks again,

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 2:44 pm 
..about E-620 noisy control / night shoots:

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 2:36 pm 
Hi Rutrem,

Thanks for the links. They are some fantastic samples of night photos! Especially the second link has a fantastically detailed shot. The noise in the sky area in the last one also seems very respectable. Even with some very bright sources of light and in an otherwise dark scene, the exposure seems very good.

Thanks again. This seems a very good one!


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 4:07 pm 
Yeah, very good pictures. After i seen those samples i made my decision to go with the E-620.
My dilema was E-620 or Nikon D5000, but after taking booth in my hands and a after a billion of reviews i picked E-620.
Canon was never on my list, on this price range Canon cameras are not so reliable... tons of firmware problems.

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