Olympus Cameras and Four Thirds System Digital SLRs Forum

Olympus Cameras Forum Discuss Olympus film and digital cameras as well as Panasonic and Leica Four Thirds System digital SLRs - forum moderator is Greg McCary.
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  1. #1
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    Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    I'm considering making the jump from film to digital. I am a hobby photographer shooting a Nikon F100 right now. I'm impressed with the value that seems to be present in the Olympus 4/3 line, and it seems that in the current generation, the noise and DR issues are pretty smoothed out. I've found a reasonably price refurb E600 that comes with a few lenses and would allow me to spend a bit more on glass. Anybody had any experience with these, especially through Adorama?

  2. #2
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    I just recently bought a refurbished E-3 from a member at another site and I have had no problem at all. It is probably better than new since it was thoroughly gone through by a technician. I would not hesitate to buy refurbished again.

  3. #3
    Adorama Camera HelenOster's Avatar
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    Message from Helen at Adorama Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by drjaymez
    ........I've found a reasonably price refurb E600 that comes with a few lenses and would allow me to spend a bit more on glass. Anybody had any experience with these, especially through Adorama?
    All refurbished units sold by Adorama Camera are factory refurbished by the manufacturer, and they can have simply been pulled from the production line if something appears faulty, or if it hasn't passed the final inspection. Most of the time it is a very minor issue that needs correcting, nevertheless, once it is pulled from the normal flow of production, it gets flagged as a refurbished model, so you may get a unit straight from the factory that has never been used.

    A refurb may also be an ex-store demo, possibly used in field tests or sales displays, or it may have been ordered in error and returned to the retailer (who can't then sell it as 'new' so it has to be sent back to the manufacturer for refurbishment).

    All refurbished items will have been checked over by the manufacturer by hand, inspected very thoroughly, diagnosed, and calibrated by experienced technicians, and could therefore turn out to be more dependable than a new item - which will only have been checked by a process of systematic quality control protocol (ie by random sampling as it comes off the conveyor belt).

    In addition, Refurbs come into us with the firmware updates and latest fixes which were carried out at whatever stage it was at when we took delivery.

    Most importantly - Olympus refurbs sold by Adorama come with a 90-day return-to-manufacturer warranty.

    I hope this helps, but do contact me directly if you need anything else

  4. #4
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    I have bought a ton of stuff from Adorama in the past including a used Leica M6. They under estimated the rating. It was in better shape than what was in the listing. I get all of my developing chemicals from Adorama and just bought a new Cokin Grad kit too. I have never had to send anything back but am sure their CS is top notch too.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  5. #5
    Adorama Camera HelenOster's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    I have bought a ton of stuff from Adorama in the past including a used Leica M6. ......... I have never had to send anything back but am sure their CS is top notch too.
    ......and if you ever have any concerns about any issues in relation to ordering from Adorama, I hope you'd contact me, right away!

  6. #6
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by HelenOster
    ......and if you ever have any concerns about any issues in relation to ordering from Adorama, I hope you'd contact me, right away!
    You got a deal. When the next Olympus pro body comes out I will be going to your site first. I have been looking at the m4/3rd cameras as well but am going to have to wait until the price drops some more.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  7. #7
    Liz
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    You got a deal. When the next Olympus pro body comes out I will be going to your site first. I have been looking at the m4/3rd cameras as well but am going to have to wait until the price drops some more.
    Greg - just to "tease" you - Adorama (again) E-P1 kit - refurbs

    http://www.adorama.com/Als/ProductPa...68257315273637

    I have to recommend the E-P1/2 and/or E-PL1 - great great cameras.

    Liz

  8. #8
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    That is tempting Liz. It is making me wonder if I should sell some gear to get one. I think I prefer an EP2 though.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  9. #9
    Liz
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    That is tempting Liz. It is making me wonder if I should sell some gear to get one. I think I prefer an EP2 though.
    Greg,

    Would you ever consider the E-PL1? I've read quite a bit about it (thanks Google). The IQ has been compared to some of the best dslr's and lenses. I just love it! Even more than the E-P1. It's also only $599. If you want the EVF, it would be another $250 (not out yet, but I've heard this would be the approx price).

    Just a thought.

    This website has a "comparometer" where you can choose to compare the images from two cameras. It includes the E-PL1 and most other popular cameras to compare it with. Some of the results are surprising.

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM



    Liz

  10. #10
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    How is the shutter lag on the E-PL1? Better than the EP1? I read the Panasonic"s had a faster shutter lag time and the they were as fast as most DSLR's. I also was under the impression that the EVF wouldn't work on the E-PL1. but yes I have been looking at them. I also think I would prefer a prime lens if I get one.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  11. #11
    Liz
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    How is the shutter lag on the E-PL1? Better than the EP1? I read the Panasonic"s had a faster shutter lag time and the they were as fast as most DSLR's. I also was under the impression that the EVF wouldn't work on the E-PL1. but yes I have been looking at them. I also think I would prefer a prime lens if I get one.
    I don't know specifically what the shutter lag "time" is; however, I don't notice any to be honest. From my experience, and after reading some reviews as well, it depends on which lens you're using. Interestingly, when using the Olympus M4/3 lenses, it tends to be slower. However, it is faster with the Panasonic lenses. I have the Panasonic 20mm/f1.7 and it is very fast. So I think it is highly dependent on which lens is used.

    The EVF definitely works on the E-PL1 - I hope to get it if it is not too expensive. Maybe I'll wait to see if the prices drops a bit in the next few months (it isn't sold alone yet). One other "complaint" that I have read about the E-P1/2 and PL is the low mp on the LCD screens. However, whatever Oly did to the screen, it works! I have no problem viewing it in the sun, even the bright sun for the most part. With the p&s cameras, I've used with much higher mp's, you can't even see the LCD screen in the bright sun. I don't find this to be true with either the E-P1 or the E-PL1.

    The E-PL1 screen is 2.7" vs the E-P1 at 3". I thought this would make a difference to me, and almost didn't get it for this reason. To be honest, I don't even notice it is a bit smaller.

    If you were to consider it, is there any chance you can try it out in a store? If not, Amazon has a 30 day return policy with good customer service.

    Liz

  12. #12
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    Liz shutter lag is how long after you press the shutter button the picture actually takes. On some P&S cameras it can be quite bad. But coming from a DSLR to this if you don't notice it then it must be ok. The nearest store to me is 60miles away. I depend heavily on reviews to buy equipment. I am considering selling my film gear and going fully digital. I have been getting more and more frustrated with getting film developed and scanned to any quality I can live with. I had to give up medium format all together. Maybe I am just getting older and more conserned with image qualtiy than I use to be. If I sold out completly I might even swing for an ep-2. But then again I keep waiting for the next olympus pro body. I am thinking one should be coming out fairly soon. Just as sure as I invest into m4/3rd the next E series pro camera will come out.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  13. #13
    Liz
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    Liz shutter lag is how long after you press the shutter button the picture actually takes. On some P&S cameras it can be quite bad. But coming from a DSLR to this if you don't notice it then it must be ok. The nearest store to me is 60miles away. I depend heavily on reviews to buy equipment. I am considering selling my film gear and going fully digital. I have been getting more and more frustrated with getting film developed and scanned to any quality I can live with. I had to give up medium format all together. Maybe I am just getting older and more conserned with image qualtiy than I use to be. If I sold out completly I might even swing for an ep-2. But then again I keep waiting for the next olympus pro body. I am thinking one should be coming out fairly soon. Just as sure as I invest into m4/3rd the next E series pro camera will come out.
    Rumors - I've read rumors here and there that an E-P3 should be coming out soon. However, no substance - just rumors. There is a "rumor" website, but can't remember the name. However, they have a reputation for being fairly accurate.

    It took me a long time to give up film. Actually I did it in small steps. When I purchased my first digital, I kept a 35mm camera for a while with film in the refrig. Finally the film was about to expire so I gave it to a friend. Then when I got used to the digital, I never turned back. My biggest surprise was the expense is so much less. After you pay for the equipment, it pays for itself. IOW, because I spent so much time getting film developed and throwing so many prints away (I didn't do any developing myself), I realized I was saving a lot of money just being able to see the images beforehand. I loved the ability to delete and give the subjects I wasn't happy with another shot - or many other shots.

    At any rate, I can understand why it is difficult to give it up. I still love b&w film images.

    Liz

  14. #14
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    I googled that site and read a couple of rumors. I try not to put much stock in them but I really like the looks of the G2. That may be my future for street work. I like to have both. A pro body for landscape work and something small and lite for the streets. I really think a pro body will be maybe 2011 if then.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  15. #15
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    This is my first digital SLR but I was a casual shooter (very touristy) with an OM-1 since I was about seven because any time the family posed in front of a monument/cathedral/WWII tank I'd be the one to shoot.

    I bought a refurbished E-420 from Adorama for about $320 including the 14-42 lens + free shipping.

    Having bought refurbished a few times before, I was expecting the camera to be a bit rough on the outside. However, I lucked out and got what seem to be a perfectly new camera, lens, and battery. Everything seemed brand-new.

    I think Olympus just threw in a bunch of new cameras in the refurbished pile just to make way for the new E-450 model.

    There are no bad SLR cameras out there anymore--just varying degrees of awesomeness coupled with high prices. What I did was buy a $100 lens (the kit lens) for $300 with the full understanding that I'd be throwing away the body in a few years because every three years the SLR's double in capability.

    Ok, now on to the review:

    The first thing I noticed was the crummy viewfinder. You could stick this thing in the white plaster wall of the girl's locker room and it wouldn't get noticed for years, it is that small. It has no split focuser and it halves whatever you're seeing. So that means 50mm equivalency looks half size. Bummer but after the first week I didn't notice it so much.

    The autofocus is fast. 1/2 second to setup in any condition, then the shutter goes off instantly. If that's not fast enough for you then use the continuous focus option. Still not fast enough? Need it to go off right now like a completely manual camera? No problem...just set everything to manual focus and go paparazzi with this camera. This is not a slow camera but it can sometimes puke on you if you ask it to shoot indoors with ISO 100 and 1/250th shutter speed.

    Navigating the menu is like trying to navigate Bangkok city traffic; slow, convulated, painful, but with a weird sense of logic. Once you get it set up just the way you want it (do try to read the manual) then save those settings. The only change it did was to disable flash pop-up. If I want to send epileptics into seizure then I'd want the enjoyment of doing so rather than have the camera decide for me.

    Live-view is for tripod-use. I wouldn't recommend trying to use this camera like an arms-length point and shoot because the LCD updates rather slowly. Seriously, it's like driving drunk (not that I would know).

    The kit lens is good enough for 95% of us bumpkins. Sure, you'd want to get a longer lens if you wanted to take photos of animals eating something or for spying on your neighbor but its quality is something that could only be dreamed of 30 years ago.

    When I take indoor pictures of family and friends the camera usually defaults to ISO 1600. It's cheerfully noisy but it gets the job done. I printed a 12 by 16 picture with ISO 1600 and it came out looking just fine.

    White balance is a objective setting but it ends up being one of the things I fiddle a lot with. Basically I like things a bit more neutral and blueish/white, and so the stock WB are off. However, by pressing the exposure compensation button and spinning the dial you can quickly go across Kelvin settings. Stock WB settings for fluorescent look very yellow.

    Manual exposure is tricky with this camera since it is so easy to get pure white or pure black. I'm used to going 3 stops up or down in film but this little guy will happily give you pure snow or ebony if you don't meter just right. Since I don't usually review my shots right after taking them I just accept this drawback.

    Weight and heft: despite Olympus's advertisement to the contrary this is no point and shoot. It's a big camera for those used to compacts. That being said it is smaller than any other dSLR out there and people are surprised when I pull this out of my coat pocket or swimsuit. That's right...I am happy to see you. The total weight, with the kit lens, is about 600 grams. It's small enough that I just put a wrist-strap instead of the neck strap.

    I never use a lens cap with the full understanding that I'd prefer to get a shot while risking a scratch on the glass. I usually just leave the camera on all day long but it hibernates...if you just yank the camera out and fire it won't take a picture. You have to hit the shutter button twice so from hibernate to shot takes a bit over a second. Might be a problem for some people.

    Summary: I love this camera. It allows me to take pictures and doesn't usually get in my way. It also has a strong tactile feeling which makes it a pleasure to use. I especially like the sound the mirror makes during picture taking--it's a sharp professional sound.

    Did I mention it only cost $320? That's cheaper than some compacts. Since it's so cheap it's not really competing with other SLR's...it's competing with the P&S crowd that wants a responsive indoor camera. If you buy this camera with the 25mm lens then it really does become a compact camera but then the lens costs 2/3's of the camera.

  16. #16
    Adorama Camera HelenOster's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan916
    I bought a refurbished E-420 from Adorama for about $320 including the 14-42 lens + free shipping.

    Having bought refurbished a few times before, I was expecting the camera to be a bit rough on the outside. However, I lucked out and got what seem to be a perfectly new camera, lens, and battery. Everything seemed brand-new.
    Great feedback for buyng refurbs - thanks so much!

  17. #17
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    Reviving an old thread.

    I just bought my E-600, refurb, from Adorama as well. The camera is immaculate, and the customer service was great. Excellent value as well. I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them again, refurb or not.

    Yaniv

  18. #18
    Liz
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by guzziknight
    Reviving an old thread.

    I just bought my E-600, refurb, from Adorama as well. The camera is immaculate, and the customer service was great. Excellent value as well. I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them again, refurb or not.

    Yaniv
    Congratulations! I hope you enjoy your new Oly - and post some pics when you can. Which lenses do you have?

    Liz

  19. #19
    Member guzziknight's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    Right now, the only lenses I have are the 2 kit lenses that came with the camera.

    I want to get the 9-18, but can't afford it yet.

    I saw this, anyone have any experience with it?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

  20. #20
    Member guzziknight's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with Olympus refurbished cameras?

    Here's a couple of pics:

    Atlanta Skyline:



    Oakland Cemetery, HDR:



    I'm really liking this camera so far!

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