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Olympus DSLR Appreciation Thread - Page 5

post #61 of 157
Thread Starter 
I guess I like the versatility of the Olympus. I can acheive what I'm looking for by utilizing the features of the camera.

Here is a challenging situation, taking a shot inside the Dexter Grist Mill. As you can see it is rather dark inside.



http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3205/...a1775bbc_b.jpg

Here is my daughter inside the mill.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/erikzen...n/photostream/

I was able to shoot this at ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/50 by adding 1/8 power flash. I got a little extra light directly from the pop-up flash without the harsh light usually associated with a flash. This is with the cheapest kit lens Olympus makes. I could possibly have shot this with a slower shutter speed and no flash because of the image stabilization but that would require a five year old to sit still. If I had a faster lens, I could definitely have shot this without a flash.
post #62 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by erikzen View Post
I guess I like the versatility of the Olympus. I can acheive what I'm looking for by utilizing the features of the camera.

Here is a challenging situation, taking a shot inside the Dexter Grist Mill. As you can see it is rather dark inside.
It's not unique to the Olympus though. A canon, Nikon, or Fuji on auto with their fancy metering can achieve these results too.
No need for changing fancy settings or buying fancy lenses. Just put it on auto, charge the battery, and this is what to expect.
(The pentax look horrible right out of the box though. The pentax needs lots of changes to the settings to look halfway as good as the pictures you posted.... who knows why)

Which is saying a lot about even the budget DSLR's. Most of the older SLR film cameras couldn't even hope to match the simplicity we get here. It's cool!

That's the biggest reason people upgrade from a P&S to a budget DSLR I've found. Without needing to know anything more about photography you get much better pictures right out of the box.
post #63 of 157
Erikzen, that is a rather cute picture. I won't repeat what Towert has already said, but I agree with him.

I reckon the room wasn't as dark as your first picture indicated as the exposure was obviously adjusted for the exterior of the building. Anyway, that's not important. What that photo proves is the stunning image quality achievable at base ISO levels. What it doesn't demonstrate is higher ISO performance in situations that actually call for it, eg no strong sunlight coming through the window. The room itself was dark, but the subjects were well-illumated to the point where a little flash was sufficient to brighten up the surrounding. If there was an overcast on the day, or if you instead took the shot when the sun was setting, I doubt you would've been able to use the same settings. Anyway, I feel like I'm beating a dead horse now. Just go out and take more nice pictures, preferably with some music playing in your ears.
post #64 of 157
Would not take offence, just not sure how the Olympus appreciation thread ended up with Canon and Nikon users 'demonstrating' how good their admittedly (on screen) ISO performance rates in comparison with Oly 4/3rds.

For hobbyist/enthusiast level gear the Oly glass is well priced to achieve f2.8 on 12-60, 14-54 and 50-200 mm for the lenses already mentioned. With the x1.4 telecon I am only losing a stop or so to reach 640mm as a result of the x2 crop factor. Furthermore I am not cropping as much for standard print sizes as a result of the sensor 4:3 format.

I only joined the thread to appreciate Oly but would praise Nikon for it's wonderful D3 et al. If I had three times the budget than what I paid for my e3 then perhaps I would be in the Nikon thread?

I did not buy into the 4/3rds for ISO performance specifically. You can shoot in low light with any camera, whether everyone will like the result, objectively or not is another matter.

Erikzen, I like the images you have made.
post #65 of 157
For Oly users out there:

MyFourThirds.com

Erikzen, you already mentioned: (excellent for customizing setup)

wrotniak.net: The Olympus E-System

And the dpreview Oly forum:

Olympus SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
post #66 of 157
Err... the E-3 is $1,500. That's D300 territory.

If I was an avid nature photographer on a reasonable budget, the E-3 (and Olympus system on the whole) would certainly be a wonderful choice. And this has not turned into a Nikon/Canon appreciation thread. Even though I haven't used the E-3 myself, there is a lot on that spec sheet that will make any D300 owner quiver.

Here's some (vs Nikon):
Weather-proofed camera - The fact that dust is collecting behind my D300 LCD (seeps in from the multi-selector) does not inspire much confidence.

Dust/splash-proof lenses starting from the semi-pro "High Grade" range - Nikon don't even make zooms covering the equivalent focal ranges which even claim to be dust or splash-proof.

2x crop factor - excellent for those who cannot really afford or lug around the huge Nikon/Canon primes

Large maximum aperture, even on midrange "High Grade" zooms - Something Nikon can't boast, eg Olympus 12-60mm f/2.8-4 (equiv. 24-120mm) vs Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 (equiv. 24-127.5mm)

list probably goes on...
post #67 of 157
Just wanted to avoid a brand discussion, which for the Canon and Nikon threads seem to be quite disciplined respectively.

Milkpowder, you have hit the nail on the head for why I chose Oly/E3; the x2 crop and the weather proofing for Nature/Landscape photography.
post #68 of 157
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Towert7 View Post
It's not unique to the Olympus though. A canon, Nikon, or Fuji on auto with their fancy metering can achieve these results too.
No need for changing fancy settings or buying fancy lenses.
True, and we make our choice based on user preference, ergonomics, and perceived value. For me, after holding the Nikon, Canon and Olympus cameras, the Olympus E-510 felt best in my hand (the E-420 was too small). On top of that I knew I was getting image stabilization and live view, while sacrificing some low light performance. This fit my needs better.

If I were a professional seance photographer or avid night safarist, then maybe higher ISOs with lower noise would have made more of a difference for me. It seems to me that with the image stabilization I can shoot without a tripod at slower shutter speeds giving me a pretty good camera to work in available light. Money I saved buying lenses without image stabilization was spent on a decent flash that I can bounce and diffuse if necessary. True, I may be able to get better stop motion or deeper depth of field with another camera, but by knowing how to use all of the cameras features and available tools there are multiple options for capturing a great image.


Quote:
That's the biggest reason people upgrade from a P&S to a budget DSLR I've found. Without needing to know anything more about photography you get much better pictures right out of the box.
And on top of that, if you really enjoy the hobby and want to keep learning the photos just keep getting better.
post #69 of 157
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder View Post
2x crop factor - excellent for those who cannot really afford or lug around the huge Nikon/Canon primes
I recently bought the 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6. This gives me the equivalent of a 600mm lens in a form factor that is fairly easily hand held.

Here is a shot of a whale from a recent boat trip.



This was taken at about 100 yards away, 300mm, f/8, 1/160, iso 400. There is no way I could have taken this with a camera on a tripod. The boat was crowded and there were about 4-5 foot swells. That white line on the whale's back is actually a scar caused by a boat or cable.

I'm sure this lens could also perform better if a) the seas were not so rough and b) I had some time to practice with it. I literally had spent about an hour with this lens before taking it on the boat trip.
post #70 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by erikzen View Post
And on top of that, if you really enjoy the hobby and want to keep learning the photos just keep getting better.
So true!
post #71 of 157
erikzen:

What can I say? I am very impressed! 600mm equiv. focal length photo at 1/160 on a boat with nothing more than a little bit of blur. Is the in-camera anti-shake actually that good?
post #72 of 157
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder View Post
Is the in-camera anti-shake actually that good?
It's not supposed to be. That is to say that most of what I've read about image stabilization systems claim that in lens stabilization is far superior to in body stabilization. On the other hand in lens stabilization means 1) a more expensive lens 2) a heavier lens. This lens is surprisingly small and light. I was able to hold it for close to an hour waiting for whales to surface and my arm was not tired in the slightest.

In theory I could see how in lens could be better. In practice in body works very well.

I don't want to sound bitter but I wonder how many of the people who claim lens based stabilization is better than in body have actually tried both systems, and how many are just trying to justify the price they paid for their very expensive image stabilized copy of a lens they already owned.

Cameras are like headphones. You can't fully understand how they work and how well they suit you strictly by looking at the numbers.
post #73 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by erikzen View Post
I wonder how many of the people who claim lens based stabilization is better than in body have actually tried both systems,
I have tried in lens shake reduction, and have not had any first hand experience with in body stabilization. Despite this, I know in lens stabalization is better. "How?" you ask?
Easy. With in lens shake reduction, you are actually seeing what is going on, and what you can expect from the shake reduction. with in the body, you can not see what is going on when looking through the viewfinder.

In lens shake reduction:
a) gives me more confidence in my shake reduction and what it can do. You don't have to 'guess'.
b) It helps you compose the shot. If you're at 200mm, you want to compose your shot with the help of the sake reduction. It makes it easier to frame because it actually cuts down on the shake while you are viewing through the lens. You'll hear a big majority of the 4/3 olympus system go on about how you can get a 2x crop factor, and how you'll be getting 140-600mm range. The longer the range, the MORE you want in lens shake reduction. I would shudder at the thought of shooting at 200-600mm without VR or IS.

So you see, I don't claim it's better. I know it's better (well, for me at least). These 2 things alone are enough to make it more effective in the absolute sense. It helps me get a better picture in the end, which is what I got the DSLR for.

Granted, in body shake reduction works on all lenses, which is cool. But VR is not expensive. The Nikon Nikkor 55-200 VR is like, 200$ brand new. I claim VR does not add a lot of money. And, if you follow lens progression and the prices they fetch, you'll see that VR hasn't really added to the price at all.

There are a few people who review cameras for a living that I like to keep informed by, and all of them share the same experience that you'll get better shake reduction with in lens than in body. I trust these people.
post #74 of 157
Towert, the Nikon VR system is amazing. I have the 70-300VR and my dad the 18-200VR, both of which utilise the second generation system. On the 70-300VR, I've gone down to single digit denominators @ 300mm with a bit of practice. That said, I wasn't shooting on a boat
post #75 of 157
Am I the only one who thinks all this debate about IS methods & ISO performance is rather silly? Maybe I'm a bit of a luddite, or just getting old, but it seems some people are looking for technology to take the place of the deliberate planning that goes into good old-fashioned photography. When I am taking pictures in low-light or with a long lens, then ideally a tripod, time exposure, or flash is used. Otherwise, if I'm shooting from the hip, it's very nice having something to help me take more decent frames.

Different engineering approaches to IS can be justified either way. Having a laundry list of features & benefits can make either side sound better. There are those who think that any IS is bad for picture quality. My Konica/Minolta (pre-Sony) gives me in-camera stabilization with anything I can attach to the body. There are in-viewfinder indicators telling me how much stabilization is going on so I can adjust, if possible.

In the end, it's simply a tool to help me take better pics in extreme situations, which usually includes a time component where futzing with camera settings is virtually impossible, or would completely lose the shot doing so. I mean, what are you going to do - not take the frame? Towert, would you have not taken that picture of that pretty girl, despite the fact that it came out a bit blurry?

High ISO's? Who shoots @3200? Please. That's like pushing ASA400 film to 800 or higher. Yes, you can do it, but it's definitely not ideal.

I thought the main basis for this thread is the value that Olympus cameras, their unique feature-set, and associated lenses offer for the money, even compared to the more typical brand choices out there. Good pictures can be obtained many ways. Knowing what your camera can do, and making it do it when it's required, is how more good pics get taken than not. Those are the photographers I respect. It seems that Erik is well on his way in that regard. Nice pics man.
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