Olympus Cameras and Four Thirds System Digital SLRs Forum

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  1. #1
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    Advice needed on e30

    Im looking to buy a dslr and i am really interested in the e30. I have read alot of reviews on it and it seems like a really good camera. I was considering this against the canon 40d but im still swayed towards the e30. The thing i was wondering was with a 4 thirds camera, how does that look when the image is enlarged? Does if affect the proportion of the photo? Im looking to go freelance after my course and mainly shoot weddings, wildlife and landscape. I also want to do my own prints and frame them and maybe even print onto canvas. Will the e30 allow me to do this? Hope i make sense! Many thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Advice needed on e30

    As I said in the other thread, the Image Quality you'll see in the Olympus system is great - not a problem at all, even for large blowups. But if you are serious about wildlife photography, there is another, much more significant issue you need to consider: Unless Olympus actually gets around to making an SWD lens longer than 200mm, you're going to find that they don't offer the lens you need for wildlife work, unless you don't mind getting one of the Sigma long zooms that are available. Because Olympus themselves don't make the lens you'll need - the 50-200 is too short for most wildlife shooting, (you need to be looking at 400-500mm at the top end) and if you use a teleconverter, the quality, the brightness of the viewfinder, and especially the autofocus performance degrades.

    I left the Olympus system because they don't offer the lenses needed for shooting birds and wildlife. As far as the rest of what you want, the Olympus is great. But they have that one gaping hole in their offering - a reasonably priced fast focusing long telephoto. There is not any problem with the image quality - just that lack of support for a proper lens for shooting wildlife.

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    Re: Advice needed on e30

    Thanks for your reply. That gives me something to think about. Do you think it applies to landscape to or just the wildlife? I think it is because i have always bought Olympus that it feels funny to buy anything else! What do you use now? Do you rate the canon 40d?

  4. #4
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    Re: Advice needed on e30

    While it's true that olympus doesn't have the specific really long lens that Doug refers to, they do have a number of good, long lenses. The 50-200 (either version) is a lot of lens, and the bargain priced 70-300 is a good deal for the money. The 300/2.8 is still in the $5k range so it's a bit out of reach for most of us, but it's a killer lens.

    I think the lens that Doug and I would like to see is a mid-grade lens in the 400mm range, either prime or zoom, at a modest f/4-5.6ish aperture...really a workhorse birding lens with the bells and whistles of the great Zuiko mid-grade lenses at a price that won't require a second mortgage. Zuiko, are you listening?

    And to say that the lenses aren't long enough for wildlife is only a half-truth. They may not be the workhorse birding lens, but the other lenses available are super - the zuiko 50/2 macro is widely regarded as one of the sharpest lenses ever made. Dpreview goes as far as to call it the closest to "optically perfect" as they have ever tested. You'd have to pry mine from my cold, dead fingers. Zuiko lenses cover the 35mm equivalent of 24-400mm very effectively. You can shoot wide-open with ANY of the zuiko lenses and still get sharp results, with sharp edges and negligible vignetting. Even the kit lenses. The Zuiko glass is probably the best part of the 4/3 system. Just as an aside, I pretty much ONLY shoot wildlife and I haven't had the need for a lens longer than 200mm except for when shooting birds - everything else is pretty well covered in the (=) 24-120mm range.

    The potential for printing from a 4/3 camera is the same as any other system. You'll get good results from any of the current models in any of the systems - it's pretty tough to find a bad camera today. For me, Olympus made sense for the smaller size and weight, the weathersealing, the dust-buster, and the in-body stabilization. You may have different considerations.
    Erik Williams

    Olympus E3, E510
    12-60 SWD, 50-200 SWD, 50 f/2 macro, EX25, FL36's and an FL50r.

  5. #5
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    Re: Advice needed on e30

    14-54@14mm, Oly E510



    50mm f/2 macro, Oly E510



    Landscapes and wildlife...
    Erik Williams

    Olympus E3, E510
    12-60 SWD, 50-200 SWD, 50 f/2 macro, EX25, FL36's and an FL50r.

  6. #6
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed on e30

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougjgreen
    As I said in the other thread, the Image Quality you'll see in the Olympus system is great - not a problem at all, even for large blowups. But if you are serious about wildlife photography, there is another, much more significant issue you need to consider: Unless Olympus actually gets around to making an SWD lens longer than 200mm, you're going to find that they don't offer the lens you need for wildlife work, unless you don't mind getting one of the Sigma long zooms that are available. Because Olympus themselves don't make the lens you'll need - the 50-200 is too short for most wildlife shooting, (you need to be looking at 400-500mm at the top end) and if you use a teleconverter, the quality, the brightness of the viewfinder, and especially the autofocus performance degrades.

    I left the Olympus system because they don't offer the lenses needed for shooting birds and wildlife. As far as the rest of what you want, the Olympus is great. But they have that one gaping hole in their offering - a reasonably priced fast focusing long telephoto. There is not any problem with the image quality - just that lack of support for a proper lens for shooting wildlife.
    I appreciate your knowledge and your willingness to help us on this site, but I think when it comes to advising the new user you need to define 'need'. There are those on this site that make their living shooting wildlife with 200mm. Telling someone that doesn't even have their camera yet that they will 'need' multi-$1000 lenses is a bit over the top. TF
    -----------------
    I am no better than you. I critique to teach myself to see.
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    Feel free to edit my photos or do anything else that will help me learn.
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    Sony/Minolta - way more gear than talent.

  7. #7
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    Re: Advice needed on e30

    Sorry another question regarding enlarging with 4 thirds! Does the photo stay in proportion. I read that 4 thirds is limited but to be honest i dont really understand how. I think with all cameras there is going to be pros and cons with all models but would just like some info regarding how the 4 thirds works, thanks

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    Re: Advice needed on e30

    Quote Originally Posted by OldClicker
    I appreciate your knowledge and your willingness to help us on this site, but I think when it comes to advising the new user you need to define 'need'. There are those on this site that make their living shooting wildlife with 200mm. Telling someone that doesn't even have their camera yet that they will 'need' multi-$1000 lenses is a bit over the top. – TF
    I didn't say what you claim that I said. The fact is, there are perfectly useful $600-$900 lenses that are useful for shooting wildlife. Unfortunately, only a couple of them, the Sigma 135-400 and the Sigma 50-500 will mount on an Olympus camera and provide autofocus - and they're not my favorites. I simply said that OLYMPUS doesn't make such a lens. What I did say is that, if she was SERIOUS about shooting wildlife, she'd probably need to get comfortable buying one of those Sigma lenses - I personally wasn't, so I left the Olympus system as a result. You can shoot SOME wildlife with a 200mm lens - but if you were serious about doing it, you'd want something longer, and that's currently a gaping hole in the Olympus system.

    I'd refer you to Sushigaijin's post, where he suggests that what I'd really like to see from Olympus is for them to come out with a moderately priced 400mm lens. That's exactly correct, except that he goes on to say that Olympus 200mm lens covers the 35mm equivalent of 400mm. I'm not looking for the 35mm equivalent of 400mm. I'm looking for the 35mm equivalent of 800mm for serious birds and wildlife.

  9. #9
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    Re: Advice needed on e30

    Quote Originally Posted by sarah1979
    Sorry another question regarding enlarging with 4 thirds! Does the photo stay in proportion. I read that 4 thirds is limited but to be honest i dont really understand how. I think with all cameras there is going to be pros and cons with all models but would just like some info regarding how the 4 thirds works, thanks
    It works the same way all other Digital SLR cameras work. They all have lots of pixels on a small sensor. Some sensors are smaller than others. And they all blow up the image to get to a viewing size. What you read involves someone's biases. But the fact is, the only limit that 4/3 has, is that the sensor is slightly less sensitive in very low light levels. But the format also allows lenses with wider apertures for the same field of view, that compensates for this. At the end of the day - if you are going to shoot things like rock concerts in dim light without flash, Canon is slightly better. But for well lit subjects, there is no advantage for larger sensors, and there are some disadvantages compared to 4/3 - such as the size of the lenses you need.

  10. #10
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    Smile Re: Advice needed on e30

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougjgreen
    It works the same way all other Digital SLR cameras work. They all have lots of pixels on a small sensor. Some sensors are smaller than others. And they all blow up the image to get to a viewing size. What you read involves someone's biases. But the fact is, the only limit that 4/3 has, is that the sensor is slightly less sensitive in very low light levels. But the format also allows lenses with wider apertures for the same field of view, that compensates for this. At the end of the day - if you are going to shoot things like rock concerts in dim light without flash, Canon is slightly better. But for well lit subjects, there is no advantage for larger sensors, and there are some disadvantages compared to 4/3 - such as the size of the lenses you need.
    Thanks for that advice!

  11. #11
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    Re: Advice needed on e30

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougjgreen
    I'm looking for the 35mm equivalent of 800mm for serious birds and wildlife.
    So am I. The olympus options are covered, just not super well. To get out above 200mm (400=) you do have a few options but none are as compelling as a long prime or zoom. It would be nice to see a 200-400 or a 400/5.6. Sigma offers a 50-500, but it isn't the same lens a Zuiko in the same range would be.

    Still, there is a zuiko 70-300, 50-200, 90-250, 300, and two very high quality teleconverters at 1.4x and 2x. With the 300, that brings you out to 600 (1200= ) and still FAST with good IQ. So it isn't that the range isn't covered, it just isn't covered with a lens that birders use in other systems (that they can afford!). The 50-200 and 1.4x is a venerable option too, I think it's the option of choice for a lot of serious Olympus birders.

    So if you shoot a lot of birds, it can get expensive but it is doable. For most of the other stuff most people shoot, Olympus has the bases covered.
    Erik Williams

    Olympus E3, E510
    12-60 SWD, 50-200 SWD, 50 f/2 macro, EX25, FL36's and an FL50r.

  12. #12
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    Re: Advice needed on e30

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougjgreen
    I didn't say what you claim that I said. The fact is, there are perfectly useful $600-$900 lenses that are useful for shooting wildlife. Unfortunately, only a couple of them, the Sigma 135-400 and the Sigma 50-500 will mount on an Olympus camera and provide autofocus - and they're not my favorites. I simply said that OLYMPUS doesn't make such a lens. What I did say is that, if she was SERIOUS about shooting wildlife, she'd probably need to get comfortable buying one of those Sigma lenses - I personally wasn't, so I left the Olympus system as a result. You can shoot SOME wildlife with a 200mm lens - but if you were serious about doing it, you'd want something longer, and that's currently a gaping hole in the Olympus system.

    I'd refer you to Sushigaijin's post, where he suggests that what I'd really like to see from Olympus is for them to come out with a moderately priced 400mm lens. That's exactly correct, except that he goes on to say that Olympus 200mm lens covers the 35mm equivalent of 400mm. I'm not looking for the 35mm equivalent of 400mm. I'm looking for the 35mm equivalent of 800mm for serious birds and wildlife.
    I don't see how you can get any more "SERIOUS" than making your living at it. - TF
    -----------------
    I am no better than you. I critique to teach myself to see.
    -----------------
    Feel free to edit my photos or do anything else that will help me learn.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Advice needed on e30

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougjgreen
    As I said in the other thread, the Image Quality you'll see in the Olympus system is great - not a problem at all, even for large blowups. But if you are serious about wildlife photography, there is another, much more significant issue you need to consider: Unless Olympus actually gets around to making an SWD lens longer than 200mm, you're going to find that they don't offer the lens you need for wildlife work, unless you don't mind getting one of the Sigma long zooms that are available. Because Olympus themselves don't make the lens you'll need - the 50-200 is too short for most wildlife shooting, (you need to be looking at 400-500mm at the top end) and if you use a teleconverter, the quality, the brightness of the viewfinder, and especially the autofocus performance degrades.

    I left the Olympus system because they don't offer the lenses needed for shooting birds and wildlife. As far as the rest of what you want, the Olympus is great. But they have that one gaping hole in their offering - a reasonably priced fast focusing long telephoto. There is not any problem with the image quality - just that lack of support for a proper lens for shooting wildlife.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldClicker
    I appreciate your knowledge and your willingness to help us on this site, but I think when it comes to advising the new user you need to define 'need'. There are those on this site that make their living shooting wildlife with 200mm. Telling someone that doesn't even have their camera yet that they will 'need' multi-$1000 lenses is a bit over the top. – TF

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougjgreen
    I didn't say what you claim that I said. The fact is, there are perfectly useful $600-$900 lenses that are useful for shooting wildlife. Unfortunately, only a couple of them, the Sigma 135-400 and the Sigma 50-500 will mount on an Olympus camera and provide autofocus - and they're not my favorites. I simply said that OLYMPUS doesn't make such a lens. What I did say is that, if she was SERIOUS about shooting wildlife, she'd probably need to get comfortable buying one of those Sigma lenses - I personally wasn't, so I left the Olympus system as a result. You can shoot SOME wildlife with a 200mm lens - but if you were serious about doing it, you'd want something longer, and that's currently a gaping hole in the Olympus system.

    I'd refer you to Sushigaijin's post, where he suggests that what I'd really like to see from Olympus is for them to come out with a moderately priced 400mm lens. That's exactly correct, except that he goes on to say that Olympus 200mm lens covers the 35mm equivalent of 400mm. I'm not looking for the 35mm equivalent of 400mm. I'm looking for the 35mm equivalent of 800mm for serious birds and wildlife.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldClicker
    I don't see how you can get any more "SERIOUS" than making your living at it. - TF

    I think I'm with OldClicker. While I agree having a super-long focal length lens, with hyper-fast maximum apertures, weather seals, $1000+, might make shooting birds/wildlife easier (for some people), it isn't absolutely necessary. You know, why not get a 70-300mm (140-600mm four-thirds equivalent) and use your feet to "add" the extra 200mm? Plus, a 70-300mm will be MUCH lighter than a heavy 300mm F2.8 or 50-200mm. I doubt anyone new to photography will want to be lugging a ton of weight around, and end up missing shots due to trying to find the bird in the frame or scrambling to set up a tripod. And then with expensive gear you may feel uneasy because someone might want to steal it... ending up paying attention to other people instead of the nature-photo-subjects! Also, a shorter focal length lens could be applicable to a wider variety of subjects, such as indoor sports, portraits, etc.

    I myself shoot mostly with a 20+ year old 300mm F4-lens (450mm K-mount equivalent), and not only that, but it doesn't even auto-focus! My current DSLR body could be called "obsolete" several times over... yet I "somehow" manage to get frame-filling bird shots. How? Get closer!!! If you think a certain bird is too shy, it is very likely that you can still be able to get quite close to it.

    Given the choice, I would take a quality lens in the 200-300mm range over an equal-quality lens in the 400mm+ range. I would simply not bear having to deal with the weight and the constant fear of theft.

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