Feedback on E 1 wanted

redwood

Active Member
Despite being a Contax and Canon user it is likely that my first digital camera will be the E 1. Images will be used in stock photography for an online picture library. Before i take the plunge i would be gratefull of any feedback on the reality of the E 1 as a performer. What are the best cards to use for the digital files. Any information gratefully rceived
 

andy_radcliffe

Active Member
Hi David,

The E-1 is an extremely nice handling camera, and is exceptionally well built too.Since I got mine a couple of months ago I have been very impressed by both the image quality and ergonomics. I use Fuji cards and find no problems. In my opinion using a couple of 256 or 512 Mb cards in conjunction with a portable CD writer (as I do) makes more sense economically and is a lot safer than putting all your eggs in one basket with a 2 or 4 Gb card (or microdrive).
I have a couple of reservations however - one is that if you regularly need to use ISO settings above 400 you may find the E-1's noise levels too high - certainly higher than the Canon 10D for ex&le. The other is whether the libraries that you submit to will accept the file sizes that the E-1 produces. Some will only accept a non-interpolated file size of at least 30Mb,for ex&le.A 16 bit TIFF file from the E-1 is about 21Mb, and of course at 8 bit you are only looking at just over 10Mb.Having said that, in my opinion the files from the E-1 can stand quite considerable size increases (especially with Genuine Fractals for ex&le)and it all depends on the end use of course.If you need a system that is compact,robust and easy to travel with then it has lots going for it. Once the promised 7mm -17mm (or whatever) zoom is released later this year, three light but reasonably fast (f2.8-f3.5) lenses will cover the range from 7mm to 200mm (or 14-400mm in 35mm terms)
Perfect for travel work - which was a major reason for me buying it.
Bottom line? I really don't think you'd be dissappointed!

Regards,

Andy.
 

redwood

Active Member
Hi Andy,

Thank you for your response. The picture library i use already accepts images from Canon 10D users. They suggest using genuine fractals to increase the image in the range 48mb to 70mb. I understand that the E1 give a TIFF file size of around 15mb and so should in theory be able to cope with the requirements considering its image quality. Finally what is the diference between compact flash and micro drive?

David
 

andy_radcliffe

Active Member
HI David,

The difference between compact flash and microdrive storage media is that compact flash is "solid state" memory -(think of RAM in a computer?), whereas the microdrive is, as the name suggests, a very small hard disc drive. They are much more prone to mechanical damage (through being dropped for instance) than the compact flash cards. They also consume more battery power.
Compact flash is the better option, in my opinion.

Regards,

Andy.
 

andy_radcliffe

Active Member
David,

Just a quick correction to my earlier posting concerning the size of an 8 bit RGB TIFF from the E-1.
It is typically just over 14Mb, not 10Mb as I told you in error. I was working on a cropped image at the time and must have had that figure in my head.
Blame it on old age (or something!)

Cheers,

Andy.
 

redwood

Active Member
I bought a E1 last week and it was supplied with a Magicstor 2.2 compact flash disk drive as part of a 'deal' with the shop, an official Olympus dealer. I was suprised to find after charging batteries that the camera didn't recognise the card. When i returned the camera and card to the shop the card didn't work in the demo body either. I am a bit disappointed that these issues aren't resolved pre sale but i am suspicious of their motives. The deal was £1900 for E1 kit with a 2.2 compact flash. I have been told that if the card remains incompatible i will have to pay for any increase in costs for a similar but more expensive card. In effect i am paying for the incompetance of the staff. My point of view is that i made a legal contract with the shop for the afore mentioned deal and it is there job to provide with the kit at the mutually agreed price and one that works. The fact that they offered a kit that didn't work is their responsibility and duty to honour.

I would appreciate any feedback as regards card issues or points raised on my purchase problems.

David.
 
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Edwin907

First the Magicstor 2.2 compact flash disk drive is junk and I would never use one in any digital device, much less an Olympus E-1 DSLR.
Second, if they can't supply you with a Magicstor 2.2 compact flash disk drive that works in the E-1, and if you're lucky they won't be able to, get them to discount a 1 Gig Lexar 40X card by the price of the Magicstor, pay the difference, and forget about it.
The E-1 works so dang well with the fast CF cards, that you have no business using slow microdrives in it anyway. So be glad that you have an opportunity to upgrade to a decent flash card, hopefully at an additional discount (be a tough negotiator, nice but tough).
I have a Lexar 1G 40x and a Transcend 1G 45X and they both work beautifully. The microdrives impose such a speed penalty (I've tried them but won't buy them) that they aren't worth the trouble.

Edwin
 

redwood

Active Member
Hi Edwin,

Thanks for the comments. I am a complete novice to digital and appreciate the feedback. What annoys me also is that throughout i was told that the magicstor was pro spec and was worth over £300. I have since seen it for £130 and i paid £120 on top of the kit on the strength of there valuation of the card. I do feel a bit cheated. I feel as if im dealing with some dodgy car dealer or market stall holder. I think i will raise the matter with Trading Standards and Sales at Olympus.UK. I am not a happy bunny at Easter time. Its a bit like buying a new car without an engine.
 

andy_radcliffe

Active Member
Hi David,

Just to say that I agree with Edwin entirely regarding the CF versus microdrive issue.Just don't bother with Microdrive.
By the way,were you able to take advantage of the offer currently operating ,where if you trade in any working SLR body and lens you can claim either a £200 cashback, the FL50 flashgun, the 50mm f2.0 macro lens or a CF memory card (2Gb ,I think)?Unfortunately I bought mine about a month too early to qualify (typical!).A real shame, as either the FL50 or the 50/f2.0 retail at £300+ each and both are on my list of future system purchases.
I believe that the offer runs until the end of April so anyone considering the E-1 should start looking for an old Praktica Nova or something to trade in - it just has to work after a fashion, that's all.

Andy
 

redwood

Active Member
Thanks Andy,

I was aware of the offer and if the deal was a workable one i would have gone for the flash but i think i might find myself going for the compact flash card instead. When testing the camera and lens before purchase i was suprised at the quality of image of the 50-200 sigma dc lens. The test images were taken with an eos fit lens and body and if the blurb given out by Olympus is correct the performance with the E1 should be better. Has any one else handled or used the lens on the E1 or is it about to go on general sale.
 
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Edwin907

I'm only familiar with the 50, 50-200, 14-54, and the 11-22 Zuikos.
All the Olympus lens are great, but the 11-22 must be the best wide angle zoom in the business.
If you get an E-1, you have got to check out this lens.

Edwin
 

avantgear

Member
When you say, "best wide angle in the business" about the 11-22 Zuiko, you mean the best wide angle ZOOM, right? And even that claim wuld be disputed by the Carl Zeiss 17-35mm/f2.8 wide angle zoom for the Contax N/ND, which really set new standards for wide angle zooms (even if it it is twice as expensive as the Zuiko). The 11-22mm Zuiko might have to settle for second and take comfort in the fact that it is significantly less expensive.
 

andy_radcliffe

Active Member
Well, I was tempted by the 11-22mm wideangle but I feel that for use in conjunction with the 14-54mm there is a bit more "overlap" of focal lengths than I need. I think that maybe I'll wait for the 7-17mm (or whatever it actually is) that is announced for release later this year.

Andy
 
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Edwin907

The 11-22 does have overlap with the 14-54, but the difference between 11 and 14mm is pretty dramatic. Plus the ability to seamlessly zoom over this focal range is very convenient. And the performance is better than the 14-54.
I haven't used every wide zoom on the market, but I'll take the Zuiko over the Nikon or Canon offerings I've used any day.
 

bdcolen

Well-Known Member
A couple of observations - including noting that Olympus has supplied me with equipment:
1. The 11-22 is a shockingly good lens; I have a Leica M 21 2.8 ASPH, a Nikon 17-35 2.8 ED Silent Wave, and a Sigma 20 1.8 AF - And at 11, the Olympus outperforms the Nikon in terms of vertical distortion, blows the Sigma out of the water, and while I haven't done any formal "testing," seems to be giving me images the equal of those I get the with Leica - granted, we're talking digital v film, etc. etc. But the images are sharp edge-to-edge, there is no color fringing or other obvious distortion, and the vertical distorion, present with any super wide, is minimal.

2. I am absolutely convinced that the firmware upgrade for the E-1 that Olympus put out late last year definitely reduced the noise at 800-3200. Is it noiseless at those isos? Absolutely not. But where I was having problems shooting at 800 -which I routinely do for conversion to b&w (I almost always shot - shoot - tri-x at 800) I now have no problems. Yes, I sometimes use software to clean up the noise in underexposed areas, but the work required is minimal. 800 is now good, 1600 is acceptable, 3200 is desperation time - but it is with film and every other digital as well.
3. The ergonomics of the E-1, the build, the menues, the overall performance, are terrific. There are some problems, but they don't outweigh the advantages the camera offers.
4. The performance of the standard zoom - 22-44 is fine; not outstanding - but fine. The performance of the 11-22, the 50 f2, and the 50-200 are all outstanding.
If you go to
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
-
you will find E-1 images in the folders labled
Olympus E-1, Baby Boy H, Digital In Low Light, and T Scenes.

B. D.
 
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Edwin907

I also noticed fair improvement in the noise at 800 (can't say I tried 1600 or 3200) after the firmware upgrade, as well as 400 being cleaner, all this without any added propensity to blow the highlights.
The 14-54 zoom is a great lens, just not up to the performance of the 11-22.
 

redwood

Active Member
Hi,

Its a week since i bought the E1 and im looking for further feedback. I have read in a detailed report on the E 1 that the image quality is better if the image is taken in RAW and then converted. One of the reasons i bought the camera was that the end user required TIFF files and this is what the E 1 produced. For what its worth the images i am getting using TIFF are better than my scanned images using transparency. I obtained a free trial copy of Genuine Fractals from DCP Systems Limited (0114 257 3640)and i have used this on some images with good effect. Compared file size to file size with scanned transparency the E1 images are noticably better.Would they improve further if the images were taken in RAW?

I have found the transition to digital smoother than expected and its unfamiliarity with controls that are causing some problems. I am trying to set the AEL to lock on exposure but whilst i can find it in the menu i am at a loss to alter the setting to my requirements. Help would be appreciated on either point.

Regards

David
 

avantgear

Member
David- What are you using to scan the transparencies? With a good film scanner and proper software, that should NOT be thecase.
 

redwood

Active Member
Hi

For the last six months i have been using a Minolta 5400 with either Velvia or Sensia 100 depending on useage. I used Contax with Carl Zeiss lenses and Elements 2.0. I was aiming for file size 50-70 mbs

Before i bought the camera i tested images taken with the E 1 to my own set up and was impressed so i bought in. Sounds improbable but true.
 

bdcolen

Well-Known Member
Doesn't sound improbable at all. Prior to getting my E-1, I was shooting with Leica Ms, primarilly with three of the latest ASPH lenses, and Nikon F-100s, using several of the better lenses. Not only have I found that the E-1 holds its own against my film equipment - keeping in mind that I was almost exclusively shooting Tri-X at 800 asa (but then what else would you do with Leica Ms :) )and has yet to let me down. My one real complaint is that the glass for the E-1 isn't fast enough - but hopefully that will be rectified over time.

B. D.
 
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