Default Sell my E500 for an E1

A

Almo

This is going to sound a bit silly, but I have really begun to upset myself over it.

I ordered the E-500 after christmas, and I have had it for a litte over 3 weeks now. I love this little camera. The image quality has really surprised me, and after coming from Canon I can say that I am a true 4/3 convert. I do not see myself leaving Olympus any time soon. It has been the best photography experience I have ever had. I only wish I could had found that out years ago. Still I have to wonder if I picked the right camera. As a Nature/Outdoors/Wildlife and Candid photographer I really dig the unobtrusive nature of the E-500, and 8MPs is great to have for cropping, though I don't really give mega pixels much thought. I love the HUGE, bright, contrasty screen of the E-500, though to be honest I do not trust LCDs for image reference. I am acustomed to semi-pro bodies like the Canon D60, so the loss of some controls and a V-Grip in the E-500 is a small niggle for me, but it's no killer. I have heard that the E-1 has better color rendition and over all quality, not counting resolution.

I have been thinking about selling my new E-500, and buying an E-1. Is this the thing to do? I already can tell you that I will not be able to afford the E-1's new successor, so I need to know, is having a pro body worth the loss of 3MPs and newer technology?
 

gjames52

Well-Known Member
John:

John Cowan (Almo) wrote on January 20:

' 2007 - 7:25 am,I have heard that the E-1 has better color rendition and over all quality, not counting resolution.'
I have never owned either of the cameras you are considering, but I do have a question. Are you satisfied with the images? If so, I suggest you keep it. Later on, the E1 will be more affordable, if you still feel you would like one.

I do own "professional cameras" as well as the amature models from the same line of cameras. I happen to like the amature model very well. It is smaller, lighter, less complicated, yet very versatile. When I consider the kinds of photography you do smaller, lighter, and less obtrusive fits the bill.

Perhaps you could rent or borrow an E1 and try yourself.

Good Luck:

Gilbert
 

mattinasi

Well-Known Member
>

Hi John,

I have an E-1 that I've been using and it's a nice camera - color is good, handling is superb, and it feels solid. I like the picture quality, and the 5MB just restricts cropping a bit compared to the 8MP. If I don't have to crop much, the E-1 images are nice for printing... I've also been very happy with my E-300 and have wanted to try the 500.

I might be interested in a trade with you - contact me off-list: marc AT attinasi DOT org and I can send you some more info on the E-1 (with batter power-grip).

- marc
 

omtech1

Well-Known Member
> I am a long time Olympus user and OM technician and purchased an E-500 about a year ago. I love the camera but you know what made the biggest improvement in performance? Replacing the 14-45 kit lens with the 14-54mm f2.8. John
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weedram

Well-Known Member
As John implies, it's the glass. I would go further and say that as good as the better ZD glass is, zoom lenses are often a hindrance to making good photos. The majority of photographers don't work hard enough with a zoom attached. Given that the number of ZD or other 4/3 primes is limited, and none are "cheap", then I would suggest acquiring a couple of OM primes, the MA-1 adapter and have fun while really working at
improvements other than the hardware. Yes, there are performance limits with OM lenses on a digital body, but they should not limit your creativity too much.

John Hermanson (Omtech1) wrote on January 20:

' 2007 - 3:48 pm,I am a long time Olympus user and OM technician and purchased an E-500 about a year ago. I love the camera but you know what made the biggest improvement in performance? Replacing the 14-45 kit lens with the 14-54mm f2.8. John
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'
 

bdcolen

Well-Known Member
Sorry, but this is simply not true. The only impediments to getting great photographs are lack of vision, and truly bad glass; zooms only get in the way of the lazy, and all the primes in the world won't make their photos better.

The Olympus digital zooms, are, on the whole, as good as, or superior to the Zuiko primes. If you haven't worked with the 35-70 f2 you haven't lived. The 11-22 is terrific. The 50 f2 is outstanding. The 14-54 is an excellent standard digital lens. The 50-200 is shockingly good for it's shockingly low price. Yes, there are veiling flare problems with most of these zooms when the backlight is strong. But the Nikon and Canon lenses have the same problem. In fact, the only lenses that really don't have this problem are the latest of the Leica M lenses.

Use Zuiko manual focus lenses on the E500 - for God's sake why?! The viewfinder on the E500 is, at best, sad - like looking through the wrong end of a telescope. Okay, if autofocus fails, or if you need to manually touch it up, go to manual focus. But put on manual lenses that weren't even designed for the sensor? Except for rare exceptions - such as using the 50 1.4 on the E-1 - which has at least a decent viewfinder - when you absolutely must have the fastest glass you can find, don't waste your effort.

Further - this list really begins to sound like the Leica Users Group, with this myth of the Zuikos. Sorry guys, but this former OM shooter remembers that the lenses were fine, not magical, with a handful of exceptions. And while the bodies were unquestionably innovative, they were never built to take the beating a PJ would give them. Had they been built better, Olympus would have taken over the pro market on size and weight alone. But UPI tried to go that way and the equipment all got beaten to death in no time. Quite frankly, Olympus never made a piece of SLR equipment that begins to compare to the E-1 in build quality.

I know, I know, you've carried yours up and down mountains, survived atomic blasts, and gone through six cycles of your washer drier shooting with your OM1/2/3/4. Well, one of the world's leading documentary photographers swears by the 21 f2, because he works wide, he needs speed, and it is an outstanding performer. (He doesn't use any other Olympus lens). But he has been known to complain that "the damn bodies (OM-3) keep falling apart."

B. D. Shooting with E-1s, E-330, and E-500
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weedram

Well-Known Member
Whoa, BD! I know we have differences of opinion and our perspectives are different, but what did I saw that "is simply not true"? All I said was "The majority of photographers don't work hard enough with a zoom attached." So "the majority" may be a bit of hyperbole, but that's just emphasis.

I have no quarrel with good-glass ZD zooms. What I was saying was precisely what you were saying about properly using the lenses. It's just that using primes forces one to a certain discipline. That was the entire point of my post; using inexpensive, easily available Zuiko primes as a tool, and BTW most of the OM Zuikos are no slouches.

But I made no claim for the superiority of OM Zuiko glass over all others. Sheesh, BD, you know me well enough to know that I'm not a fundamentalist about this. Yes, I love my 21/2, the 100/2.8, really like the 35/2.8, etc. But I have never claimed they were the ultimate, nor that all OM Zuiko glass was to be worshiped. Hell, I'd trade my Zuiko 50/1.4 or 1.5mIj for a Dual Range Summicron any day ... not to mention later Crons, or a Lux, or a ZM Planar, etc. And I recently acquired a Helios 44 in M42 mount which, from results others have produced, quite excites me.

Nor did I claim anything for the bodies. Mine took a beating, but then I wasn't a PJ, though I was a pro and made my living for awhile with OMs, M3, Rollei SL66 and Toyo 4x5 with Fujinons. Quite frankly, I don't discount for one second your assessment of the reliability of OM gear and if it's true, then I would wish for the SAME design and ergonomics in a better build.

BD, I think you are sometimes tilt at windmills when I or anyone else utters a good word about a piece of OM system gear. Will you next be telling John not to use his T32 flash on an E System camera because the T32 is inferior to the FL series?

Finally, I really do respect your experience, your skill as a photographer and your perspective. But man, lighten up.
 

bdcolen

Well-Known Member
Oh, come on, Earl, other than this thread, when's the last time I said something here - let alone something negative about the OM system. :) And by the way, as I noted, I used the OM system. (The Somalia stuff on my website was shot with an OM4 and, believe it or not, an IS-1. ;-) The OM4 was an amazing camera, it had what was arguably the best metering system in any camera before the Nikon F5 - and that thing was the size and weight of, what, three OM4s or more? And as I said, the 21 f2, and 90f 2, were really great lenses, and some of the others were excellent. My complaint with the system was lack of real ruggedness - which really wasn't an issue for me personally.

Forgive me if I came on too strong. I just think we tend to wax a tad too nostalgic for the days of primes, blaming, as I said, the laziness of photographers on zooms. There have probably been many, many more crappy photos taken with primes than zooms.

Anyway, apologies for any offense.

B. D.
 

weedram

Well-Known Member
Well, with the proliferation of zooms I'd say the # of crappy photos is equal, when equalized for time. I mean, there were many more years when only primes were available (not counting Cooke and other convertibles); zooms have been around for what, 40 years vs. 100+?

So yeah, I'm not blaming ZOOMs themselves for a photographer's laziness, it's just that they are a siren song ...

But be honest, wouldn't you rather have Maitani design the next E-x and some good primes instead of the current Oly crew?

BTW, if a E-1 and the 7-14 fell in my lap I wouldn't reject it.
 

bdcolen

Well-Known Member
To be honest, I think a very good designer designed the E-1, and hope that someone equally good designs its successor - not that I'm convinced there will ever be one. I fear that Olympus walked itself into a tar pit with the 4/3 sensor size, and may find - have found - that they cannot produce a 4/3 sensor with the currently acceptable mgp count which has currently acceptable noise levels. And if they can't do that, it doesn't matter what primes they produce. But, if I'm wrong, and they can produce a new pro body that can really compete with the Canon 5D and EOS mkII in image quality and file size, certainly hope the produce the long-promised fast primes, and equally long promised 17-35 f2 zoom. Now that's a lens I really want.
 

mattinasi

Well-Known Member
> > [snip] I fear that Olympus walked itself > into a tar pit with the 4/3 sensor size, and may find - have found - > that they cannot produce a 4/3 sensor with the currently acceptable > mgp count which has currently acceptable noise levels. And if they > can't do that, it doesn't matter what primes they produce.

It's an interesting situation that Olympus is in with the DSLR line, for sure. Personally, I think the photos from my E-300 (with 14-54, or 30 f1.4 (sigma), or 50 f2) look better than the ones I got with my Canon (with L-series zooms and prime macro of similar focal lengths). Noise is not a big problem for me - I recognize that it is for some, those who need high ISO settings. The bigger problems - the primary problems - are the Canon / Nikon marketing machines! It's hard to imagine how Olympus wil ever compete with Canon or Nikon as a pro line - they had trouble years ago with the OM's and the market is even more concentrated now. I just hope there are seme people who do not care to have the same sterilized technical Canon-polished look to their images that everyone else has. People who will buy Olympus Digital for what it is. Thre have to be enough of these people to sustain the line, or it will become a much more consumer-focused line. I'm amazed at the quality of lenses that Olympus has gambled on producing, given the difficulty of getting pros to use a non-Canon / non-Nikon system, no matter how good.

Regarding zooms and primes, by the way... I just wanted to mention that they do make a difference. I like putting a prime on simply as a way to influence my photographic state of mind. Put a fast prime on and go for a walk, looking for interesting photographic content. With a Zoom you will see things a little differently, cause you just twist the ring and everything changes, instead of having to walk across the street, or hop the fence, or talk to somebody.

Finally, to get back on the topic of this thread, I'd say the E-1 is a great handling camera but it is not capable of making any better pictures than an E-300 (or, I presume, an E-330 or E-500). With the grip it handles exceedingly well, and runs all day too, but the 5MP images do not allow for much if any cropping, and the focus seems less reliable compared to the E-300.

Cheers! - marc
 

weedram

Well-Known Member
B. D. Colen (Bdcolen) wrote on January 21:

' 2007 - 4:03 am,To be honest, I think a very good designer designed the E-1, and hope that someone equally good designs its successor - not that I'm convinced there will ever be one.'
I agree. I don't real experience with an E-1, but I do trust your opinion and the opinion of guys like Ken Norton, Moose, etc. I actually preferred the feel of the E-300, but the lack of weather-proofing put me off. At the risk of casting myself as a myth-purveyor, neither of them feel and handle like an OM, at least to me. When, on the OM list, Ken began saying very positive things about the E-1 in terms of handling and shooting, my interest was piqued. Aside from financial considerations (yes, I know the cost of an E-1 is now ridiculously low, but acquiring a good scanner for my film work takes precedence,) my hands seem molded to the shape of an OM. On the RF side, my 35SP is like a pair of comfortable jeans. In both cases, the viewfinders.... you get my drift. (Oh, and another film SLR viewfinder that is excellent and I could live with is the Cosina Bessaflex. I was surprised and pleased when put the camera to my eye.)

Marc Attinasi (Mattinasi) wrote on January 21:

' 2007 - 6:33 am,Regarding zooms and primes, by the way... I just wanted to mention that they do make a difference. I like putting a prime on simply as a way to influence my photographic state of mind.'
Thanks ... you said it better than I did.

B. D. Colen (Bdcolen) wrote on January 21:

' 2007 - 4:03 am,I fear that Olympus walked itself into a tar pit with the 4/3 sensor size, and may find - have found - that they cannot produce a 4/3 sensor with the currently acceptable mgp count which has currently acceptable noise levels.'
Totally agreed. The whole "acceptable level" thing is a whole other discussion that is fraught with danger and I don't want to jump into that can of worms. Marketing is what it is.


Marc, your comments about the E-300 are very interesting. Since the E-300 can probably be had quite cheaply used, I'd be interested in hearing what you don't like about it. IOW, I'm looking for a compelling argument to not spend the money and thus keep my minister of finance calm.
 

weedram

Well-Known Member
One more thing about the 4/3s size and the constraints ... I haven't totally given up yet. I think Kodak could be very innovative with the technology. Is it a challenge? Yes, for sure. Was miniature film (35mm) a challenge in terms of quality when it first entered the still photo market? Absolutely. But when I see the quality of current films, and what is possible with top-level glass, I have to be open to advances in sensor technology that make a smaller size sensor a viable professional tool. I certainly hope it comes from Rochester; we can use some good financial news here.
 

bdcolen

Well-Known Member
The problem here has nothing to do with good glass producing good images on a small piece of film. The problem has to do with the engineering problem relating to how many pixels one can crowd into a particular area without increasing the noise beyond the acceptable level. Consider, for a moment, the fact that the higher the pixel count has gotten on the point and shoots - with their tiny sensors - the noisier they have gotten - to the point where many are useless at even 800 iso. I agree completely with Marc that the images produced by the E-1 are far more 'real' than those produced by the latest generation of Canon DSLRs - I am not a fan of the oh-so-smooth way they've eliminated noise. Yes, the E-1 - and for that matter - E330, produces much more film-like images, whatever that is;-). And whatever it is, I prefer it. However, clients generally don't want noisy images. And I don't either, beyond a certain point. Under most circumstances, the images the E1 and E330 produce at 800 is very similar to Tri-X at 800, and as I convert most of what I shoot to BW - and used to do 95% of my film shooting on Tri-X at 800 - I'm happy with that. But if I have to go to 1200 or 1600 because of the relatively slow Oly zooms - the 35-100 f2 being an obvious exception - I am screwed. So screwed that I am generally forced to use flash, which I don't like doing. Yes, the sensor in the E-330 is markedly better than that in the E-1. But I suspect they may have hit the wall on what they can cram onto a 4/3 sensor in terms of megapixels; and, given pro standards today, the noise levels of even that sensor are going to be unacceptable to most pros and allot of ams.

As for the genius of Kodak - Kodak has always had problems with its sensors, and I haven't seen anything lately to suggest that that's going to change; certainly the Leica M8 is a disaster.

BTW - off topic. I finally had a chance to handle one, on loan to the photographers in the Harvard News Office - though I haven't shot with it yet. It is completely "M-like:" Feels like an M, has a gorgeous, bright, M viewfinder. But, despite what people on the Leica list are saying, it's markedly louder than an M. In fact, it is louder than an Oly E-1. But then an Oly E-1 produces just about the same level noise as an M. ;-)
 

bdcolen

Well-Known Member
Look around for a used E-1 - even new ones can be found for less than $500, and at that price you're being paid to take it. I think you'll find that your hands mate with it the same way they did with those OMs. Seriously, over the years I used Nikons, Canons, and Oms, and Leica Ms on the rangefinder side, and I can honestly say that the E-1 fits my hands better than any camera I previously used. (Not to say that I didn't love my M6s, because I did. But the E-1 just rests in my hands better.) Granted, the E1 is bigger than an OM, but then so is virtually anything other than a Minox or Leica screw-mount. ;-)

You're right about the E330 in terms of its, uh, openness to the elements - and did you know that the $4800 Leica M8 digital doesn't have a gnats hair's worth of weather or dust sealing either? (Imagine taking your laptop to the beach for the day, and you really get the ugly picture there. :) ) On the other hand, the E330, in terms of its sensor and the swiveling live-view LCD, makes the risk more acceptable. I never thought I'd get used to shooting using an LCD as a viewfinder, but the E-330 has cured me of that idea. In terms of the live view LCD, it is as close to an ideal street camera as you'll ever find.

Oh - and I am no longer part of the Olympus Visionary program, so anything I am saying isn't tainted by any commercial connections - not that that effected what I said anyway. ;-)
 

weedram

Well-Known Member
BD: I didn't mean to imply that the sensor size and good glass were linked; sorry I wasn't clear. In general, I know the technical issues with small sensor size, noise, etc. What I was intending to say was that, when you look at what good glass can mean when using current, SOTA films, then it is interesting to speculate what could be done with that good glass on a 4/3 sensor that had lower noise. An important value proposition of the 4/3 "standard" is to enable smaller bodies and lenses that are "designed for digital" from the ground up.

Yes, Kodak has problems with noise, but they seem to have good dynamic range and colour. Whether or not they (and any other Olympus OEMs) have hit the wall with respect to resolution is the big question. The launch of the M8 has been a disaster, IMO, but I'm not yet willing to call the camera itself a disaster. All the issues are ones that can likely be worked out. The technological piece that I am most impressed with is the sensor microlens technology that produces such good results with legacy M glass, including wide-ish focal lengths. Maybe I'm easily impressed. When the M8 is operating at its current optimum (no IR shift, no banding, green blobs, etc.,) it produces very good files. To have that in a real M body with the gorgeous VF is a big advance, IMO. But then again, maybe I'm easily impressed.


As far as picking up an E-1 at fire sale prices and getting some "hand time" with it, that has certainly crossed my mind many times. As I said, when you, AGSchnozz, Moose and others I respect unanimously state how much they like it in the hand, I take notice.

The thing is, while the E-330 isn't sealed (and yes, I AM shocked that the M8 is not, either), the "Live View"/LCD capabilities are a real attraction for me. I am prone to do very low level work (pun intended), and that swivel would be a real boon, especially as my body ages. I do see an E-330 price of $549 (new) on Amazon with Adorama as the seller, but when I go to Adorama's site it's $699. Don't know what's up with that, but I suspect either it's gray market or Adorama would try the hard upsell.

BTW, do you have any experience with the 21/2 on the E system body? I've heard it isn't that great on the 4/3s sensor, but I would love it if that were just a rumour. Translating to 42mm FOV, it would be a perfect standard lens for me. I love the 42mm and its perspective on the 35SP.

I do have one other question: Do the FL series flash cables work with the T series flashes? Like you, I rarely use flash, but do have a T20 and have contemplated picking up a T32 at a good price, but if they don't work in TTL mode with the E system, then I wouldn't get any more T series gear. And on the flip side, do the T series auto connectors and cords work with E System cameras?
 

bdcolen

Well-Known Member
I wish I could help you on the 'legacy' questions, but I have no knowledge of the older flashes - who needed flash on the OM :)? As to the 21 f2 - I should be ashamed, but I sold mine - along with a bunch of other OM lenses - on *bay - the 21 and 90 f2 macro went for very pretty pennies. However, before sending them to new owners I tried both on my E-1, and both seemed to function reasonably well; in fact, I took a pretty interesting self-portrait with the 21 - 42 f 2 with depth of field, and perspective, of a 21. It was, as I say, interesting, but I really didn't want to fiddle with manual focus lenses that didn't get me a whole lot. I have hung onto the 50 1.2, and keep it in my bag with the E1 adapter attached. If you go to my website -
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, and under Weddings, you'll find 50 1.2 shots in Scenes from A Wedding - 26,32,38,39,40,41 &42, and in Greek Wedding, 63,64,76 and 77. There are times when soft is good - and there are certainly times when fast is good.

As to the M8 - while they may manage to eliminate the green blobs and banding, the magenta cast/IR problem is another thing. Leica's "solution" to that one is to give two IR cut filters to each camera buyer. That's a solution?!? Nope - that's a sick joke. If you want to waste a week some time, and laugh yourself silly, go to the archives of the Leica Users Group and do a search on UV filter - you'll find hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of posts, with most of the Leica owners trashing the very idea of putting a filter in front of the exquisite Leica glass and degrading it. And now those same people are drooling all over themselves to line up for a $4800 body that REQUIRES the use of IR filters in front of those same lenses - and even that doesn't completely eliminate the problem.

And I do know what you were saying about the 4/3 - I just think it's going to prove to be an insoluble problem - but I hope I'm wrong.
 

weedram

Well-Known Member
Keeping the 50/1.2 ... you're a wise man. I'm still amazed it has a 49mm filter thread. Nice photos in the galleries ... #42 in the first gallery is especially wonderful.

As to the LUG, no thanks, I ain't going to waste my time. I've followed the M8 saga on RFF. The folks there are a lot more civilized, with very few exceptions, and actually use cameras ... to good effect. Ducking and running...

I am less upset (as if I owned an M8!) with the IR/filter issue. There was a trade-off to be made. Thicker glass and more IR filtration or preserve other characteristics deemed important. I look at it this way ... the extended IR sensitivity makes it a great b&w digital camera!

Ducking and running again,

Earl
 

mattinasi

Well-Known Member
> [snip] Marc, your comments about the E-300 are very interesting. > Since the >> E-300 can probably be had quite cheaply used, I'd be interested in >> hearing what you don't like about it. IOW, I'm looking for a >> compelling argument to not spend the money and thus keep my minister >> of finance cal

What I don't like about the E-300: well, it's all quibbling stuff, nothing major because the camera is awesome. I don't like the way the spot-meter works on backlit portraits - too much bleed and I have to over-compensate by at least a stop. I wish it was as tight and reliable as the OM-4 spot meter. I don't like having to twirl dials so much in Manual Mode - I'd prefer at least the f-stops on the lens, better yet both speed and f-stop on dials like the Panasonic L1 (or better still, shutter on the bayonet mount like and OM!) I use Aperture almost exclusively on the E-300 because it's too fiddly to use Manual Mode. It's a tad louder than the E-1, but I don't mind too much - it's a pleasant kind of sound anyway. Above ISO 400 can get ugly, but I don't go there much.

I think the E-300 is a real bargain, but so is the E-1. I was going to get another E-300 but decided on the E-1 as a second body. Either are great, but I find the E-300 is my 'primary' and the E-1 is the secondary body... Unlike most other people, I think the E-300 looks cool - but then I have two Olympus Pen-F cameras too ;-)

- marc
 
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