Saturday, June 23, 2007

Olympus SLRs: E330, E400, E410, E500 and E510. Can pop-cams fight vs. Nikon D80 or Canon XTi?

There are a lot of surprises in the modern digital photo cameras market. New excellent SLR devices such as Nikon D80, Canon EOS400D / Rebel XTi, Pentax K10D or Samsung GX10 and Sony A100 are attracting photographer’s attention very little. SLR-like all-in-one pop-devices such as 8 MP Canon PowerShot S5 etc. are much more interesting for customers than cheap Canon EOS350D / Rebel XT with the same 8 MP. And it’s not important for buyers that 22.2 x 14.8 mm SLR’s CMOS sensor can take much better images than pop SLR-like cameras. For more look through Canon EOS400/XTi, Nikon D40x and Pentax K10 pros& cons; SLR over SLR-like triple benefits and Sony A100 vs Nikon D80 more worthy than Sony A100 vs DSC-H9/H7.
At the same time Olympus is ‘spawning’ Digital SLR cameras quicker than salmon is the caviar. Look through: 8 megapixels Evolt E300 (announced 27.09.04), 8 MP Evolt E500 (announced 26.09.05), 7.4 MP Evolt E330 (announced 26.01.06), 10 megapixels Evolt E400 (announced 14.09.06) and finally 10 MP Evolt E410 and E510 (announced 05. 03.07). But SLR camera is not like caviar, there is a little problem in selling this article of trade. What do Olympus guys owe the sale? Who are those people who are buying Olympus SLRs which are so far from Nikon’s and Canon’s (or Sony’s and Pentax’s) great SLRs?
As it is expected Olympus guys are not so stupid. There are a lot of Olympus users who are loyal to this brand. And for most of photographers an Olympus is not the first camera. They are only upgrading their old Olympus cameras. But what is so useful in those devices? They are not cheap (for example Evolt E410 costs abt. $800-900!), after all. Look at: Olympus E410 vs Nikon D40x, claim to Canon EOS400D XTi but really fight against Canon S5.
Let’s look through E410 revue: This SLR is an unusually small and light 10 Megapixel digital SLR aimed at compact or super-zoom owners who are looking to upgrade, along with enthusiasts who want a camera they can use in situations where a traditional DSLR would be too clumsy. It’s the latest model to employ the maturing 4:3 SLR standards and while priced as an entry-level product, there’s currently no 4:3 body with a higher resolution.
While Evolt E410 is the latest entry-level Olympus SLR, it follows just over six months after Olympus E400. In part Evolt E400 was announced as the World’s Smallest and Lightest Digital SLR, and by sporting a 10 Megapixel sensor, also became the highest resolution 4:3 body yet.
New E410 employs a retro look and feel, abandoning a modern grip for a flat-fronted body which resembles 35mm film SLRs of the 80s. In terms of features it is certainly old-fashioned though, sporting a new N-MOS sensor with unique Live View facilities which allow you to compose using the main color monitor as an alternative to the traditional optical viewfinder. It also features the renowned Olympus SSWF system for eliminating dust.
Announced alongside the tiny E410, new Evolt E510’s features include anti-dust, Live View, and built-in anti-shake facilities which work with any lens you attach; indeed it’s the very first 4:3 Digital SLR to feature built-in stabilization. It’s a powerful feature-set, and priced competitively against rival 10 Megapixel DSLRs.
Yes, they are great cams! They have light bodies and many cool features such as live view. They are impressive. Therefore I refer to SLR-like Canon S5. It has a lot of cool features and it impresses too. And so it’s a main thing in Olympus SLRs. It is so feature-packed that nobody thinks about their image quality. They like the images, but real quality is different. Read Olympus SLR’s users’ replies:
- "all in one " and at the same time travel light
- Camera features live view, image stabilization and an effective dust removal system. Not a camera maker offers all three in a single body. Did I mention it takes nice pictures?
- The camera is worth the upgrade from an E500. It exceeds the image quality of more expensive cameras and then has the added benefit of a very large range of useful features. Image stabilization extends the range of situations you can take a hand-held photo. Live view is indispensible for macro photos, low level or overhead shots.
- Olympus beats all comers with its anti-dust reduction system! Cannon's is a joke as is Nikon's. Go to the 4:3 sights and read some of the testimonials by professionals on Olympus' dust reduction. I plan on buying the E-510 when it hits the market with the two lens kit. If it is not what it is cracked up to be -- I will go back to the E-500. However, if it is anything like the E-410, plus having anti-shake and live preview, the photos will be spectacular! Good feel to the body, well designed buttons, and light weight. Excellent kit lens by the way, even better than the older models that were with the E-500 -- beats Cannon's kit lens!
- I would have to say that this camera is a really great buy for those interested in upgrading from a previous Olympus Evolt model. I actually prefer the E510 over this model simply because of the added Image Stabilization.
As distinct from Nikon, Canon, Sony etc. users who posting a lot of problems of their loved SLRs, there is a little information about Olympus SLR trouble in Olympus forums. You can rarely see something such as: ‘I hate the idea of only having 3 points of focus - this is a very poor design for a SLR camera and should have been made 9 or 12 point like other camera systems’.
It should be remembered that groovy features can’t shoot greatly. Only a photographer can. But all of good photographers which I know hate these features. They take pictures with ‘simple’ Canon EOS30D or Nikon D50. They even smile at my favorite Sony A100. But what wonderful pictures they take! I’m especially posting some of my own and my friends captures for your comparison. And I will be glad to see something like my Japanese (look through The Thai Tramp blog) or other photos taken with any Olympus SLR.
But I understand that a lot of Olympus features are really helpful for amateurs. It’s not easy to shoot with Canon and Nikon SLRs because these devices are for pro or advanced photographers. They need some shootings experience. And it is possible that light and feature-packed Olympus SLRs are more essential now than SLRs with big 23.6 x 15.8 mm CCD. Of course Evolt is a pop-cam. But it’s a step from SLR-likes cameras. As a result Olympus makes accessible shooting with SLR. And I only can say ‘Thanks’ to Olympus. For more information look through The summary table of Olympus SLR: E330, E500, E410 and E510 specifications and The summary table of the most interestingt 6-7-8 megapixel DSLR camera specifications.

13 comments:

David said...

Canon EOS350 cannot compare with the Olympus E400! Only EOS400 can!

fototramp said...

This is your own opinion but I think that Canon Rebel XTi is much more interesting and rich in features than all Olympus SLRs. But it's only my opinion.

gabsriel said...

Oh oh oh.
Sorry. I HAVE to post a message.
What I think :
EVERY SLR is good...no...excellent.
And there is no "absolutely perfect" SLR. Everybody has something to say for every slr.
Even with the pros : Mark III, D3... they are heavy ! Or expensive ! (...)
Well...I just wanted to say that I tested Canons, Nikons, Minoltas (Sonys) and Fujis, Pentaxs and they all have great features that the others don't have...

I've got an Olympus E-1 and a E-400. I find the E-1 very "pro" and the E-400 very light. But the important thing for me with Olympus is...THE LENSES !

My dream : full frame sensor (5D, D3), perfect body (E-1, E-3, oops this is my own point of view...), anti shake for super tele (Sony), just a 7,5 mpix sensor, great dynamic range (fuji, nikon), great colors (sigma), cheap (pentax) and compatible with all the super good lenses (olympus, carl zeiss, leica, canon, nikon, pentax...lol).
I forgot many things...but I swear that you understood my point of view.
;-)
Please ! No comparisons except for, oups I don't know the word in english...manners ? experience ? type of use ?

fototramp said...

Thanks for your point of view, Gabsriel. I am completely agreeable with you comment. Nothing is perfect, but our favorite toys – digital SLR cameras are excellent for each. Moreover, some lucky photographer can shoot a masterpiece even with cheap compact.
As for me, I’m very interested in any Olympus SLR’s shoots and any suggestions about E-series cameras, because I have a great many images from Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Fujifilm, KM and Sony and just a little from 35mm Olympus SLRs. Can you give me some your photos with your comments?

gabsriel said...

Well yes I can post some photos...but the problème is that I've got a complete workflow...the final photo don't really match with the initial one.

The best thing for me withe the E-1 (and E-3) with image quality is the colors. The color reproduction is perfect and I have not to change it, unlike from the photos from the other manufacturers.

The bad thing with Olympus Digital is not the noise (because I shoot at iso 100, 200 and 400 AND olympus lenses are very fast) but the dynamic range. You can count 2 stop less than Nikons... It can be very difficult to handle with high contrast scenes.

And that's all for image quality !

All the other things are gadgets... ;-)

For some photos you can go here :
http://www.gabrielmichel.com/best-of.html
http://www.gabrielmichel.com/portrait.html
or
http://gabsriel.deviantart.com/gallery/

Anonymous said...

In any case Olympus SLR is a poor choice, because the lens system is a total dead end and the 4/3 sensor is noisy noisy noisy.

fototramp said...

To Anonymous
After visiting Gabsriel's sites I can't say that the Olympus SLR is a poor choice.

fototramp said...

To Gabsriel
Thank you for your links. There are many great photos. Can you send me some pictures and your, as an Olympus camera user opinion about shooting with E-1 and E400? I will post it into this article with links to your sites.
Regards, Alex

fototramp said...

For a new article about Olympus SLR camera's advantages and some Gabriel's photos look through: http://fototramp.blogspot.com/2007/12/compare-digital-slr-cameras-olympus-e-1.html

Anonymous said...

My good fototramp your a total ass! There are many professionals who shoot with olympus (john isaac for example) Search google for Lauri Sippu a fotografer from my country (finland). Its completely stupid to claim that you cant take amazing pictures with a modern DSLR. though looking at your pictures it's hard to believe that.. Ass!

Mikko Hörkkö

fototramp said...

To hot Finnish guy Mikko
Your predilection for ass is a little leerily. I do not know who Lauri Sippu is; however, you can see a link as indicated above to Gabriel’s photos. He is a good photographer and he shoots with Olympus SLRs. Be attentive and don't take a great interest in asses.

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