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 Post subject: Olympus E-500
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:44 am 
In the home page i read:
"The budget digital SLR market is booming right now, so we're launching with reviews of the four main contenders: the Nikon D50, Pentax *istDL, Konica Minolta Dynax / Maxxum 5D and the Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT"
Yes it's right but you have forgotten the Oly E-500!
In the budget digital slr market Canon is undoubtedly the leader of the pack, but, in my opinion, the Olympus cam with its unique Supersonic Wave Filter, with its really competitive price and with the astonishing quality of the Zuiko Digital lenses is the best antagonist to the Digital Rebel.
I find Camera Labs reviews really well done, extremely clear but complete and professional at the same time so i hope to see also the Oly budget Dslr reviewed on this site sooner or later.

Cheers!
Guido


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:27 am 
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Hi Guido, thanks for your comments.

The Olympus E-500 was launched quite recently and sadly not available in time to make it into our launch group test. We do have it lined-up for testing later this month though and this will also give us the opportunity to review a greater number of the lenses available for it too.

I'm looking forward to seeing how it compares to the other budget D-SLRs, not to mention how well it handles the problem of dust. I noticed your comment in the Comments and Feedback Forum section about dust, and you're right, it's a real problem for digital SLRs. It's good to see at least one company actively combatting it.

Cheers, and thanks again for visiting the site,

Gordon


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 Post subject: E500 Review?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:07 pm 
Any outlook on when we will see the E500 review appear on this site?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:29 am 
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Hello and thanks for visiting the site.

Our E-500 review should be posted in the next two weeks. We will follow this with reviews of several of the E-Series lenses.

Cheers,

Gordon


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 Post subject: E-500 Responsiveness
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:04 pm 
Is there anyone out there who actually owns an E-500 who would care to comment on its shutter lag or responsiveness? The only site where I've seen any hard data on shutter lag is www.imaging-resource.com where the E-500 gets an 'average' for shutter lag on full autofocus and a 'very fast' if pre-focussed. Just wondering what this translates to in practice. Is the shutter lag noticeable under average use? This is probably one of the main criteria I'm looking for in purchasing a DSLR (assuming all things being equal with image quaility/noise at normal ISO settings that is).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 12:33 am 
Thank for the review.

Some questions:

You critisize the focus by wire system a lot. Do you think that you can focus a Canon or Minolta kit lens better which do not even have a dedicated MF ring but are "mechanical"?
Did you ever had a problem achieving accurate focus because of the steps of the MF/AF motor?

The startup time is longer but did you ever miss a shot because of that? Are you fasther than 1,7s to grab your camera (you can switch it on with your thumb at that time), bring it to your eye, look through the finder, compose the shot and press the shutter?
(if yes, why not keeping the camera on while waiting for snap shots. If you put it back into a bag and switch it off the camera startup time will be insignificant compared to the time you need to unpack the camera)

You mentioned that bright display as a problem while shooting. I'm not sure, but is there really no option for swicthing it of when just half pressing the shutter button?

You mentioned those things as "big flaws" so I was just wondering, if they really are for you.

Btw, did you frame the "detail comparison shot" against the 350D identical? (horizontal?, vertical? diagonal?) The 350D crops show smaller coverage, so maybe the Canon was shot at more tele setting which will give more details of course?

best regards


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:13 am 
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Hi Cephalotus, thanks for your message.

I agree, the Canon 18-55mm EF-S kit lens can be hard to manually focus, but at least there's the option to fit another lens with superior mechanical manual focusing capabilities. This is a personal preference though and there may be some who'll find the focus-by-wire system perfectly acceptable, or maybe even preferrable. I just wasn't personally fond of it.

I did however find the slower startup time very annoying on more than one occassion. Again it depends on what you photograph, but for me, a camera that's ready sooner rather than later is always preferred. What really frustrated me though was the delay looked like it was mostly down to the anti-dust process, which should really be user-selectable - or at least not forced on you upon every power-up.

The display can be switched off by cycling through the Info button settings, but generally speaking you don't think to turn the screen off before you take a picture. So when you have your eye up to the viewfinder, the screen still being on can be distracting. So if you're going to use the main screen to show shooting information, I believe there should be some means for the camera to shut it off automatically when you compose - like the Konica Minolta 5D and 7D.

I also found the camera didn't always register all the increments of the wheels when you turned them, say when adjusting the aperture or EV.

These are all small points, but added together made me feel the E-500 wasn't ultimately as responsive as many of its rivals. Again, different people have different priorities though, and many may find the plus points of the E-500 easily outweigh the bad ones.

Gordon

PS - the 350D versus E-500 outdoor shot was matched vertically.


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 Post subject: e500 help !
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:23 pm 
:? help ! Im finally in the market for a dslr.... budget constraints have led me to the e500 .... great review but i have one question.... will this camera produce quality large prints eg 24" ,i want to take pictures that i can frame and hang, but am concerned about image quality...any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:42 pm 
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Hello Dave, welcome to the Cameralabs forums!

To answer your question you have to ask yourself at what distance the prints will normally be viewed and what quality you'll be satisfied with. Obviously the further away you are when viewing, the more forgiving you'll be.

So-called 'photo' quality prints, such as those you get from labs which are designed to be looked at from very close range, are typically printed at 300 dpi. This means you'll need 300 colour pixels per inch.

To work out how big a print you can make from a camera at 300 dpi, just look-up it's maximum horizontal and vertical pixels from our Cameras menu, and divide each by 300.

So for example, the Olympus E500 has 3264 x 2448 pixels, which when divided by 300 would make a print measuring about 11x8in.

That may not sound that big, but remember it's printed at 300 dpi which means it's designed to be studied from only a few inches away. Stand back a couple of feet and a print would look great at 200 dpi, where the E500 for example would allow you to produce something measuring about 16x12in.

Obviously there's also higher resolution cameras than the E500 now, including many 10 Megapixel models which will give you an extra inch or two.

Ultimately it all depends on your expectations - and the printing process used, as some are quite forgiving with lower resolution images. It's just personal, but I find inkjet prints can look great even at quite close range when printed at 200 dpi. I've also made several A3 sized prints from 10 Megapixel images which I reckon look pretty good.

I'd advise getting hold of a 10 Megapixel image from a friend or perhaps a shop which will let you fire one off in the store, then try printing it at different sizes to see how well it holds up. You may find it's absolutely fine printed at 24in, or maybe intolerable. Only you (and your clients / or application) can decide.

If it makes you feel better, a good 35mm film scan would only contain about 10-13 Megapixels worth of usable detail - at best - so, the current crop of DSLRs are very very close to what that can achieve, and the better models already exceed it. So if you've seen 35mm blown up to 24in and think it looks ok, then a modern DSLR should be able to match it.

(and if you've seen those massive 'Earth from the Air' exhibition prints by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, remember they're mostly made from 35mm film and look pretty damn good!)

Note I have specified a DSLR though. While many compacts now offer 10 Megapixels, the images from a DSLR are much cleaner and better suited to bigger prints. There's some great 10 Megapixel DSLRs available right now, including a new Olympus model if you're loyal to this particular brand, so I'd say your first step is to make a large print from a 10 Megapixel file to see if it measures up. I'd also recommend using a quality lens, as large prints will show-up any problems on cheaper models.

If it look ok, then great! If not, you'll need to spend considerably more on a higher resolution DSLR such as the 12.8 Mpixel Canon 5D, or maybe even the 16.7 Mpixel 1Ds Mark II (although be aware this is likely to be updated in the next few months).

Or if these aren't good enough and you want 300 dpi quality on a very large print, then a significant investment in medium format equipment may have to be the way forward. But to be honest, I think most people would be very impressed with what you can do with a typcial 10 Mpixel DSLR file, especially if the lens quality was also good.

Let us know how you get on,

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 9:52 am 
thanks for the reply, looks like im gonna have to save for a 10 meg.... dave.


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