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
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    New Orleans, LA

    Upgrade Body or Lens?

    New here...my first post:
    Olympus Evolt E-3 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera
    Olympus Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 Digital ED SWD Lens?

    I have three events to photograph, all indoors, low lighting. One is a concert in a bowling alley, one is a Taekwondo tournament in a school gym, and the other is a pageant in a hotel conference room / auditorium. I am shooting with an Olympus E-510 with a Olympus Zuiko 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD Lens. In these settings I have the usual trouble of having either under exposed photos, blurred, or too much noise (grain). If I canít solve this problem with the equipment I have, should I buy up?

    I have saved enough money to purchase either an Olympus Evolt E-3 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera body and use the lens I have, or buy the Olympus Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 Digital ED SWD Lens and use the E-510 I have. Which would be the better choice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Herndon VA USA

    Re: Upgrade Body or Lens?

    i think, E3 is a good option but then reading thru different forums, i heard that E3 replacement is on the horizon and might be in market early next year, 12-60mm lens is great lens and if you are going to spend money might want to look at 70-200mm 2.8 from Sigma

  3. #3
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Rome Ga.

    Re: Upgrade Body or Lens?

    Well I had an E510 before going with the E3. There is a noticeable difference in IQ at the higher ISO's. If you are going to shoot higher than ISO 400 I would go with the E3. But I would check noise levels also with the 620 ect. The E3 is a very heavy camera. If that is an issue?
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  4. #4
    Member Atomic2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Chicago Il

    Re: Upgrade Body or Lens?

    Faced the same decision, went with an E-3. Don't regret it.
    E-3, E-510
    12-60 2.8-4.0
    40-150 3.5-4.5
    Sigma 30 1.4
    Zenit 58 F2 [with M42 adapter]
    Metz 48

  5. #5
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States


    Normally I'd say buy a new lens. But with older Four Thirds cameras I usually recommend a new body - if low light shooting is an issue. However, you didn't mention flash. Sometimes it's the best solution. The light quality is definitely different. But it's good for freezing action and isolating your subject against the background - if you use it right. It's also a good long-term investment.

    I have the E-3 and the E-620 available and I prefer the E-620 for it's small size and I think the image quality is better. I don't miss any of the extra features the E-3 has, either. I just shot a whole indoor tradeshow in Vegas with the E-620 and it worked great. Most of my photos were shot handheld at ISO 400 or 800 and I think the image quality was perfectly acceptable. I wasn't shooting action, though. I would have had to go to ISO 1600 or higher to get acceptable shutter speeds for that. And that would have resulted in a noticeable reduction in image quality. I'm including a couple of samples from the tradeshow below.

    If you want to compare the image quality between the E-510, E-3, E-30 and E-620, there are high-res studio samples at all ISO settings here:

    Digital Camera Studio Sample Photos >>
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Upgrade Body or Lens?-lupinebooth.jpg   Upgrade Body or Lens?-stab-deluxe_n-supreme.jpg   Upgrade Body or Lens?-_9231016.jpg  

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: Upgrade Body or Lens?

    I agree, you need a flash, and a tripod.

    Olympus has never been the best at low light levels, due to usable ISO levels IMO, but with other brands and low light you gotta pay to play as well!

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