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.
Olympus E-System Digital SLR Reviews >>
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  1. #1
    Member pyxel's Avatar
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    New to the community!

    Hello everyone! I tried to look for the introduction forum but did not find it, so I decided to do my introduction here.

    I am a 20year old student entering my first year of college in "digital media arts". I've been doing graphic design for the past 4years now as on and off hobby, but have recently rediscovered how fun it really. I've also had a high interest in photography for a good amount of years.

    My current computer is the latest Intel Duo Core iMac computer to do my photo editing, school work, graphic design and various other functions.

    Now for the photography part, I am a pretty clueless about it, but I've done a lot of reading lately and have read a lot of reviews, and one particular camera has caught my interest. It has great positive feedback and it is within my budget, even lower then expected.

    The camera model is the Olympus E-VOLT 500(2lens kit). I intend to use it not only for school work, but for various shooting. I don't have a particular preference yet, I just want to have life in picture using different ways.

    If anyone could give some input and opinion if it is a relatively good camera to get for my needs and will it be good for a good amount of years? I am a beginner, but I know my interest will just keep on growing so I just it as a good mid-term investment.

    Thanks to anyone who will take the time to response and I look forward to being part of this community!

    -pyxel

  2. #2
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: New to the community!

    Welcome to the Forum pyxel. I'm not an Olympus shooter so I can't give you any info about it, but I'm sure others here can help you out.

    Glad to have you here!
    Mike

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  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Olympus and Four Thirds Cameras

    Welcome to the site, pyxel! I like the username you chose. It's fun and creative.

    The Olympus digital SLRs are interesting. They aren't the most popular. Nikon and Canon are the most popular cameras in the digital SLR category. However, there are some very real benefits to the Olympus digital SLRs and other cameras using the Four Thirds format.

    The Four Thirds format uses a 3:4 ratio sensor that's smaller than the 2:3 ratio sensor other digital SLRs use. The Four Thirds format comes from a group of camera manufacturers that wanted to think outside the box and do something other SLRs than copy the 35mm format. The sensors are made by Kodak's sensor division, who have made sensors for Kodak's high-end digital SLRs, digital backs for medium format cameras, and I believe they're being used in the Hasselblad digital and the Leica digital SLR back. So the sensor pedigree is excellent.

    Since the Four Thirds sensor is smaller than those in other cameras, Olympus has been able to make their E-Series cameras and lenses smaller. Both Canon and Pentax make very small digital SLRs too. The real strength of the Four Thirds system is in the lens size. Four Thirds format lenses are about twice as powerful at about half the size of 35mm lenses. Dedicated digital SLR lenses for other makers are smaller, too. But not as small as the Four Thirds lenses.

    I have used the Olympus E-1 extensively. I really like the small size of the body and the zoom lenses are awesome! I do a lot of mountain biking photography and I ride with a camera a lot. I love the E-1 when I'm on the bike. And I love the power of the lenses. I carry a lot less weight and size and get a much better range than with my Canon EOS 10D.

    Panasonic also has a Four Thirds digital SLR coming out. It will ship with a Leica zoom lens. And that lens will be compatible with the Olympus E500. I think Leica and Panasonic are planning more lenses, too. Sigma is also making Four Thirds format lenses. The interchangeability of the system is another compelling factor. I would guess Leica might also be planning to make their own Four Thirds camera. It wouldn't surprise me if Sigma decided to make one too.

    I got to use the E-1 pretty shortly after it came out and I was impressed. Even though it's only a 5-megapixel camera, the build, features, and image quality are excellent. I think Olympus cameras may have the best out-of-the-camera color and contrast. I know I do the least adjustment on photosI take with Olympus cameras. I was skeptical of the whole Four Thirds concept, though. One company going off on its own didn't seem like such a good idea. And at first, that's what it looked like. But with Panasonic, Leica, Sigma, and Olympus all involved, the Four Thirds system is gathering some momentum and starting to get a lot more interesting.

    And yeah - the prices are good, too.

    Am I telling you to buy it? Not necessarily. But don't worry about the naysayers, if there are any. Consider all of your options and if you still like the EVOLT 500, do it. Plus, we need more Olympus digital SLR users on this site. There are way too many Canon and Nikon users. Someone needs to remind us that Nikon and Canon aren't the only choices

    Hope that helps. Let us know if you have more questions. And here's a link to Olympus digital SLR reviews, if you haven't seen them yet: http://www.photographyreview.com/sf-...dnatrs=olympus
    Photo-John

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  4. #4
    Member pyxel's Avatar
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    Re: New to the community!

    Thanks for the great welcoming!

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    Am I telling you to buy it? Not necessarily. But don't worry about the naysayers, if there are any. Consider all of your options and if you still like the EVOLT 500, do it. Plus, we need more Olympus digital SLR users on this site. There are way too many Canon and Nikon users. Someone needs to remind us that Nikon and Canon aren't the only choices
    I'll admit that it is a feature that attracts me about this camera!

  5. #5
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Rebel!

    Quote Originally Posted by pyxel
    I'll admit that it is a feature that attracts me about this camera!
    I'm not talking about the Canon Rebel, either. Free thinkers are welcome here :thumbsup:

    I am planning to build a Four Thirds resource page soon. I think Nikon and Canon get most of the attention, and for good reason. But the Four Thirds system doesn't get enough coverage and I don't think people are really aware of the differences and benefits. I want to write something and put it in a permanent place so it's easy to find. If I could afford it, I'd probably have my Canon system for races and studio work, and an Olympus system for mountain bike backcountry photography. I'm also really interested in the new E330 since it has the flip-up LCD. Whenever I do product photos in the studio I spend way too much time bent over or crouched down, looking through a viewfinder. I really like the idea of being able to stand up straight and look down on the LCD.

    Let us know what you decide and make sure to ask more questions as they come up. Remember - the only stupid question is the one you don't ask.
    Photo-John

    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

  6. #6
    Member pyxel's Avatar
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    Re: New to the community!

    I don't mean to bump this thread up, but I just thought I'd inform everyone that I have purchased the E-500 3days ago and I am in love. :thumbsup:

    I've been wanting a camera for 2years now; ever since my old one got stolen. I got the 2 lenses kit. I am such a noob and I love it This is a completely new field that I haven't explored before and I really am looking forward to the journey that the E-500 has paved.

    I actually went at a store a few weeks ago to check out some Canon cameras and the man was clueless or he just didn't see me as a potential customer to bother to answer my questions properly. Though he did say that Olympus wasn't as popular and that the products/lenses weren't as widely available; which seemed to be his only argument but I quickly told him that the internet ables us to easily get the tools we need.

    I will post pictures, most likely tomorrow. I know I can learn a lot from the people around; and so the fun begins
    Last edited by pyxel; 08-14-2006 at 06:55 AM.

  7. #7
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Congratuations!

    Quote Originally Posted by pyxel
    I will post pictures, most likely tomorrow. I know I can learn a lot from the people around; and so the fun begins
    No problem, giving this thread a bump. Thanks for sharing the news about your new camera. I hope it's all you hoped for and then some. And I'm looking forward to seeing some photos!

    Once you've had it long enough to get a feel for it, please post a review:

    Read and write Olympus E-500 reviews >>
    Photo-John

    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

  8. #8
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: New to the community!

    Hi and welcome. We do have a welcome thread over in the Viewfinder Forum, check it out when you have a chance.

    Getting back to your first post in this thread, I'm not sure that any of us can tell you about what's going to happen long term. A lot of us were pretty heavily invested in film gear and then moved over to digital. In comparison to film cameras, it seems like a new digital camera is coming out every time you flip on the computer. It's really settled down a lot from a couple of years though. Use what you're comfortable with. You've got a good camera, so go out and use it! :thumbsup:

  9. #9
    Member Marc2B4's Avatar
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    Re: New to the community!

    Your enthusiasm is cool. What you have to do is decide what works best for you. I decided to go with the Olympus E-1s after my last deployment to Iraq and with three months left in the military, I bought my first E-1 body and a couple of lenses. My reasoning for doing so was: A, I like the way the E-1 body with the HLD-2 grip/battery felt in my hands. There's a certain "feel" that goes with each camera you pick up through the years. B, I couldn't be accused of lifting any of my military equipment upon my retirement. You'll come to understand what pixel myth is after you've been in the field for a while. Anybody who tries to tell you that you can't make a "sellable" image with a 5MP camera body isn't working in the field. I've taken images from my military D1X's out to 44"x100", had them custom matted and framed and they look wonderful. Part of my legacy in the military is on display throughout the wing buildings on Grand Forks AFB. Literally hundreds of posters on the walls. Anyway, I've been shooting with Olympus E-1s for about 18 months now and I love the Olympus system. I've recomended the E-500 to a number of people and they like the camera and what they're able to do with it. Is it a professional camera? What is a professional camera? Is it built to take the beating I give a body? No. Will it work for what you propose to do with it? Yes. The best thing that you can do while in college is take advantage of the knowledge and really learn Photoshop and Illustrator. Learn what the Mac or PC will do for you. Let the camera and the computer become an extension of your imagination. Don't limit yourself into thinking that the technology is the cure-all. It's still all about the person behind the shutter release who mentally constructs the image. My old mentor and professor was a retired Navy shooter who always used to tell me that the older he got, the more convinced he became that the camera is nothing more than a light tight box. Get out and shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. That's the best advise I can give you. Pyxel eh? Do you know what a dye-coupler is? Or how the degree of agitation in the color developer will directly impact the overall warmth of a chrome image? No of course you don't, because you don't need to. The technology of today doesn't require you to. But when I was a youngster freshly assigned to the combat documentation unit responsible for the entire European Theater of Operations back in 1982, When we'd shoot 5 gallon buckets full of Ektachrome, I had to learn that to compensate for the cool blue cast prevelent in Ektachrome during the European winters, I'd cut my agitation of my rolls of Ektachrome in the E-6 color developer to increase the warmth in the slides. It was a trade off, I'd lose some detail in my highlight areas, but the imagery and skin tones weren't cold and muddy. The reason for that is because of the overall construction of E-6 based slide film and the 4 emulsion layers in the film. Blue being the lowest layer in the film construction, I discovered through trial and error how to artificially warm the images up. I share this with you because my trainer at the time encouraged me to experiment, to try new things, to learn the technology. Who'd have thought or knew at the time that within 20 years slide films and E-6 would become obsolete? I haven't talked this much or shared this much in a long time since I retired, enough out of me. Good luck and keep shootin'!

    Mark

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