Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:16 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 37 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:36 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Ant1 wrote:
Azuretower:
I actually don't have loads of money to burn - that's exactly why I'm posting my experiences. In the hope to help others consider the subjective aspects of buying a new camera, so that money spent is money well spent. Plus, I like this forum...:)

A.


thanks for that, I was considering the exact same camera when I bought mine, I did not, but often thought about "those features I'll maybe miss in the future"...I certainly won't consider it in the near future, the point you made is clear to me, but hey, those features kept me reading reviews ;)

_________________
Digital SLR (40D and various lenses) and some rangefinder film cameras.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:00 pm 
sheygetz wrote:
@Ant1: Have you ever tried the viewfinder magnifier on the Oly? I'd be interested to know how you like it.


I presume you mean that eyepiece attachment that replaces the standard rubber piece on the viewfinder?... No, I haven't tried it, although I was very interested in it, so I did some search online about it. Verdict: yes, it magnifies, but I wear glasses, and in that case it doesn't work very well. Even without glasses you have to really put your eye hard against it to work. Good idea, but, unfortunately, not for me...

Of course the Canon 450D and - even better - the Nikon D300 have much, much better viewfinders. And better high-ISO capabilities. And more focus-points. Or faster shooting frame-rate. Or...etc...If those things mattered to me, I would have kept the D300. Three things have emerged, though:

1. D300 is too big for me. Same with the E3 or Canon 40D, etc... At this stage, I prefer them small. So the E-520 suits me.

2. I really don't like the ergonomics of the Canon 450D - the other "small" alternative. That grip is too thin. And, as I said in another post, the auto-focusing in single-point auto-focus does not work for me, and I ended-up with a high rate of unfocused shots when I had the 450D for a while.

3. I really believe now that the best way to choose a new camera is to first look at what lenses are available for a particular brand. I don't care if Canon or Nikon make "2 million" lenses if none would be the one I want/afford (the Nikkor 18-200 being the exception - great lens, but average construction). Your choice of new camera should be guided by the lenses first. Many people have said that, so I'm only emphasizing this point - nothing new here...

A.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:07 pm 
pumraw:

I see you have the Canon 450D. If it works for you, that's fantastic. It's definitely a great camera and I found the kit lens to be very sharp. However, I think that the pictures tend to be a little too neutral for my taste, so a bit of sharpening and saturation did make a difference - if you like more punchier pictures, that is.

A.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:15 pm 
grahamnp wrote:
Thanks for sharing Ant1. I think you've covered an often overlooked aspect of purchasing a camera.

How about the D90? It seems to me, the closest camera to the D300 only without the bulk.

Good luck with your E520 though, may you finally find what you are looking for in that camera.


Thanks grahamnp, glad to share my...journey :)

You're absolutely right about the D90, it's very close to the D300 - same sensor, I believe?...Still, for me it was still too close size-wise.

I just bought the 12-60mm. It's big, but what a lens!...Still feels quite compact though with the E520 attached to it. It certainly doesn't feel as big as the D300. And if I need smaller, I can always throw the 14-42mm on it.

A.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:31 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:14 am
Posts: 599
Location: Netherlands
thanks for your story. You make some valid points about things often overlooked: a more expensive camera system might not always be the one you're most comfortable with at the moment. However, it also strikes me that you seem to always think the grass is greener on the other side. In two months, will you be annoyed by the high ISO performance of the olympus E20 and change is for a sony A300? only to then trade that one in for a canon 5DmarkII?

_________________
flickr
Canon 5D + 17-40 F4L + 50 F1.4 + 70-200 F2.8L
Velbon Sherpa 200R


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:46 am 
I thought I'd come back and report after a while following my switch from Nikon D300 to the Olympus E520. Please bear in mind that my comments are purely subjective. For an objective review, read Gordon Laing's excellent reports on this site.

First off, I tried also the Nikon D90 during that time - that is, I took it home for about one week, not just at the shop. So I'll start with a very quick report on the D90, although my feedback will be mainly about the E520.

D90: Impressive at first: supposedly same sensor as my old D300, same great hi-def LCD, movie...

First the movie: I got quickly tired of it and realised that I would not probably use this function that often - I have my Panasonic Lumix TZ15 for that. Second, the big "hoopla" about being able to use normal SLR lenses to film (and thus achieving bokeh and the like), is overated. What you end up is out of focus images as you zoom in or out, followed by having to manually focus. Not that good. Might be different if you use a tripod and both hands - one zooming, the other focusing - but I was using one hand, the same way as you shoot. Is one to assume that everyone will use a tripod when filming?...

A second observation is that I ended up with a disconcerting amount of blown highlights in my pictures. At the standard setting, the pictures looked washed out to me, and, as I said, the metering seemed to overexpose, even with ADR switched on.

A third observation is that the colours in Vivid mode - the way I like it when shooting scenery - looked...blown, I guess is the best way to describe them. Yes, the colours were vivid, but they had thos almost neon look to them. To me, it was not that pleasing. In short, the results didn't "pull me into the picture", if that makes sense. It left me cold.

On a more positive note - and to finish off wit the D90 - the ISO performance at 1600-3200 ISO was great, no doubt about it. That's it. I returned the D90 and got back to the Oly E520.

So what do I have to say about the Olympus E520 after a while, after switching from the Nikon D300/D90? The summary can be encapsulated into two aspects that attract me to Olympus and, in this case, the E520:

1. The colours and tonality of the pictures; and
2. The Zuiko lenses.

1. The colours. I absolutely love the colours I get straight out of the camera with the E520. They're rich and warm, vibrant and velvety. I also find the metering to be exceptional and - yes, better than what I got with the D300/D90. Especially with the new SAT mode that reigns highlights in and adjusts shadows, I have yet to get over - underexposed images. It just works. Caveat: Using SAT also boosts noise in underexposed parts of the picture - an inherent downside of underexposure, no matter the camera. But even without SAT enabled, I really appreciate the tonality and richness of the pictures I get. And to me, that's what really matters in the end: the picture.

2. The lenses. I don't particularly care if one manufacturer has a "million" lenses if none of them is the one I want. I got the Zuiko 12-60 F2.8 -f4.0 and it's a gem as a walkabout lens. Not only is it tack sharp, it also reproduces colours beautifully and is very nicely built - and weatherproof. I don't like having too many lenses, preferring to have a main lens plus a couple of more specialised ones (i.e. wide-angle, macro, etc...) and that's it. As much as I liked the range of the Nikon 18-200, I disliked its creeping and average build. If Nikon had a Gold Ring version of the 18-200mm, it might have been different. I just didn't enjoy using the 18-200 that much. The images were good, but it didn't feel tactile, it didn't invite you to shoot, or carry it as it would creep. Bear in mind, though, that these are highly-subjective comments. These are my preferences/nigglings, and I each one will feel differently, ok?

In contrast. I feel Olympus-Zuiko has a range of lenses that appeal to me in the future: in addtion to my 12-60mm, there's (in the future) the 50mmf2.0 macro, the 7-14mm and the 150mm f2.0. Besides being probably some of the best optics available from any manufacturer, they're also smaller and lighter :), comparatively, if not cheaper, alas... :(

Ok, so far, so good. What about the E520's downsides?...

- Noisier at high ISO. No question, if you shoot a lot of high-ISO shots (i.e. at night, etc...) the E520 might not be your best choice. I don't, so that doesn't bother me. And when I do, the 1600 ISO shots (which are not that bad, just not as good as Nikon or Canon) can be cleaned up with Neatimage or Noiseninja. Good enough for me. The E-3 is better, but as I said, if high-ISO is your thing, then look elsewhere than the E520.

- 3-point focus system. Not an issue for me, as I tend to use single-point, middle auto-focus to nail exactly the subject I want. I found that I was only using the 51-points of the D300 when shooting birds/pidgeons and passing cars, and it was more to "test" the system than by necessity (it works! :)). But that's me, I prefer to shoot, in general, still objects. Plus, I don't like the choice of focus points any camera makes when framing a subject. Once again, if you shoot action, there are better choices than the E520.

- Frames-per-second (fps). Not an issue for me either. 3.5 fps is enough. See above comment about focus points, it's related, and same argument.

- Anything "painful"?...yes, the flash does not clear the 12-60mm if used too close to subject. :(

I will finish by pointing out a couple of features I really like about the E520:

- The way you can adjust settings via the screen. Brilliant. In addition to the ISO/WB/AF/ Metering that can be selected via the 4-way wheel, it adds up to a very fast and intuitive way to navigate the settings.

- Ergonomics. Yes, ergonomics...For my hand-size, the E520 feels much better than the D300, and, especially, the Canon 450D, which was really annoying me in this respect.

- Shutter sound. Heavy...love it...:)

- The way I can assign the Fn button to obtain a custom WB setting. I just press it with my thumb and shoot at a target. Quick and easy.

- The way in which the top-side wheel can be assigned to exposure compensation when in Program Mode. It's always there, and it's very intuitive to use.

- The way that you can zoom picture using the same top-side wheel. Quick.

- The way you can compare two pics side-by-side. Useful.

Overall conclusion and observations:

After many change-overs and try-outs, I think that:
1. The lenses available should dictate your choice of camera manufacturer.
2. The way pictures look to you - not the high-tech used - should dictate which camera you should buy. That, and knowing what you will be mostly shooting.
3. Choose a camera that you love handling, carrying with you, that feels great, whose shutter sound appeals to you. Not as "airy-fairy" as this sounds...


That's it for the moment. I'll be back with more later. Hope this helps. :)

A.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:43 am 
Thanks Ant1 for your story! I think there are very few people who have the rich cross-brand experience like yours. (Of course, Gordon has, too.)

I wish I had read your story several days ago, if so, I would not spend so much time hesitating to place the order online... But it doesn't matter, my E520 is already on its way! This will be my first DSLR. I will not have the chance to try other brands. But as you said, I have checked many sample photos, the color from Canon and Nikon are not so vibrant as Olympus.

Just several days ago I came across this Chinese photographer's blog. I think it's worth sharing here
http://blog.pchome.net/article/view/6855/
http://blog.pchome.net/article/view/6953/
http://blog.pchome.net/article/view/7272/
http://blog.pchome.net/article/view/7507/
They are 4-day trip of photos taken from Xi Shuang Ban Na, a beautiful town of minority people in the mid-west of China. Most of the photos were taken with E520 with 12-62mm. The environment is great to demonstrate the color capability of Olympus. I am so persuaded. (Sorry it's a Chinese blog but you can understand the photos without translation, right?)


Top
  
 
 Post subject: D90
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:12 am 
@Ant1

Done properly the D90 videos can get great results.

http://www.vimeo.com/1951343
http://www.vimeo.com/1934954
http://www.vimeo.com/1902141

I thought to myself, I could learn this. I'd love to do this with my family. As a dslr the D90 is not a slouch either. Thanks for sharing. I had to constantly reconsider my decision to save for the D90 after reading your post. But after holding it at the store and constant self debate, I think I'm still going for it. I initially was bent on buying the Olympus E520 or the Sony A300.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: D90
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:43 am 
docrjay wrote:

I had to constantly reconsider my decision to save for the D90 after reading your post. But after holding it at the store and constant self debate, I think I'm still going for it.


Hi docrjay

Congratulations on your purchase. My own preference for the E520 is certainly not a reflection on the D90's ability as a camera, and I'm sure you'll love it. Have you considered the lenses as part of the system? Make sure Nikon has the kind of lens you need (consider size, image quality, weight, image stabilisation, focal range and, of course, price). I really believe that lenses should be the overriding factor when buying into a camera system. Next year will be other newer camera bodies, but the lenses will stay. Having said that, Nikon is certainly one of the finest lens manufacturers in the world, so there shouldn't be much of a problem.

Just watch those highlights in sunny conditions and see if adjusting the eV (say, -1/3 eV) doesn't suit you better. I also suggest to boost sharpening by a notch or two and maybe saturation by one notch (or shoot Vivid mode). Enjoy! :)

A.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:45 pm 
Thank you. I'm glad reading your encouragement and recommendation. I only thought of getting the kit lens and a sigma 24mm 1.8 for my lenses as of now. The kit lens is just enough for me for general purpose photography. The sigma was also multipurpose. Low aperture for low light videos and photos, wide angle, and can do macro.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:21 am 
donalone wrote:
... my E520 is already on its way! This will be my first DSLR. I will not have the chance to try other brands. But as you said, I have checked many sample photos, the color from Canon and Nikon are not so vibrant as Olympus.


Hi donalone

A warm welcome into the Olympus family! I have also the 14-42mm kit lens, and I got to tell you, it's so sharp! A really good lens, especially if you consider that it's a kit lens. Initially I was thinking about selling my two kit lenses (14-42 and 40-150) because I bought other lenses, but I definitely am keeping them now. I might not always have the luxury or inclination to carry the bigger and heavier 12-60 or 50-200. The kit lenses not only are great, but they're so light and compact.

I see that you're planning on the 70-300mm on your wishlist? I had one for a while, and it's a really good lens too. My copy was tack sharp, and almost macro-capable too! But, I have to warn you, you'll have to learn it, it's not like the 14-42mm where you put it on and you start shooting and you get great results. It's got its idiosyncrocies, but once you get used to them and work with them, you end up with really nice shots. Check out this link for a well-known Olympian, for his test on the 70-300mm: http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/zd-070-300.html. He also has some useful info on the E520 as well - just surf his site.

A.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:49 pm 
Quote:
I see that you're planning on the 70-300mm on your wishlist? I had one for a while, and it's a really good lens too. My copy was tack sharp, and almost macro-capable too! But, I have to warn you, you'll have to learn it, it's not like the 14-42mm where you put it on and you start shooting and you get great results. It's got its idiosyncrocies, but once you get used to them and work with them, you end up with really nice shots. Check out this link for a well-known Olympian, for his test on the 70-300mm: http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/zd-070-300.html. He also has some useful info on the E520 as well - just surf his site.


Thanks for your warm welcome. Yes you have warned me for the 70-300mm in another thread, too. I am waiting for my new camera with 14-42mm. I think I will play with it first and get 70-300mm in the holiday season. Anyway, according to the reviews, 70-300mm is not only good for longer focal lenth and macro, but also price-competitive.

As for the 12-60, it sounds like a must-have lens, receiving very few compaints except its size. I am not sure if I can handle it well and make full use of it as I am new to DSLR.

Ps. The link to the well-known Olympian is not working. Could you give me the name so that I can search for him?


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:32 am 
donalone wrote:
Thanks for your warm welcome. Yes you have warned me for the 70-300mm in another thread, too. I am waiting for my new camera with 14-42mm. I think I will play with it first and get 70-300mm in the holiday season. Anyway, according to the reviews, 70-300mm is not only good for longer focal lenth and macro, but also price-competitive.

As for the 12-60, it sounds like a must-have lens, receiving very few compaints except its size. I am not sure if I can handle it well and make full use of it as I am new to DSLR.

Ps. The link to the well-known Olympian is not working. Could you give me the name so that I can search for him?


I find the 14-42mm a great lens - sharp and lightweight. The 70-300mm is also a great lens and very sharp. it's just that they're both more suited to daylight shooting conditions rather than high-ISO, low-light conditions, where they might 'hunt' for focus more than other DSLRs might. But the colors you get in daylight...:)

I don't know why the link I gave you to Wrotniak's website doesn't work. It works from my bookmarks... Oh well... let's do it this way then:

The link to Wrotniak's site is as follows: http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/index.html

Then click on "The Olympus E-System" link at the top-right of the page. Once there, scroll down and you'll see the lenses section.

A.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:48 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8022
Location: UK
The original link didn't work as the forum put the following full stop into the URL, breaking it. So copy and paste the original link and remove the full stop to get it working.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: D90
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:54 am 
docrjay wrote:
@Ant1

Done properly the D90 videos can get great results.

http://www.vimeo.com/1951343
http://www.vimeo.com/1934954
http://www.vimeo.com/1902141

I thought to myself, I could learn this. I'd love to do this with my family. As a dslr the D90 is not a slouch either. Thanks for sharing. I had to constantly reconsider my decision to save for the D90 after reading your post. But after holding it at the store and constant self debate, I think I'm still going for it. I initially was bent on buying the Olympus E520 or the Sony A300.


Very nicely made videos, but if these are "done properly" then it highlights the flaws "ant1" pointed out.

Blown Highlights (1st part of 1st video)
Very hard to focus (you always see him pass the focus point and back track)

On the positive side, you just cant get some of those images in any consumer lvl camcorder.
If you want to make a movie, and dont mind taking and retaking video if needed. Do lots of editing, you could end up with something that will win you a award. BTW does exp comp work to correct the highlights? or does it underexpose the main subject?

very cute little girl in the video btw, something that will become priceless as she gets older.


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 37 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group