Olympus EVOLT - 8 MP Consumer DSLR (four thirds)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Richard Cockburn, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. Want to bet that you can get one for Christmas?
     
    J?n Ragnarsson, Oct 4, 2004
    #41
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  2. Richard Cockburn

    Lourens Smak Guest

    Which has more to do with very strong noise-reduction than with
    sensor-size. In the Kodak 14n NR can't even be switched off, and Canon
    decided to build it into the CMOS itself, for a large part.
    You're being very narrow-minded here. Increasing a chips size also
    increases noise. (don't confuse this with increasing pixel size). At the
    moment I am in fact preparing iso 400 shots from my E1 for submission to
    my stock-agency, and there's nothing wrong with them noise-wise, I don't
    even bother to clean them up using a noise-filter. In fact I sometimes
    ADD noise to images. (very little, after upscaling) I have used many
    DSLR's: D1x, 1Ds, 14n, S2, E1 (not all mine, but I freelance too for
    commercial studios) and the E1 is a professional-quality tool without
    doubt.

    The image-quality of the E-300 remains to be seen of course but if it's
    anything like the E-1, it will be king of the $1000 class by a safe
    margin.

    Lourens
     
    Lourens Smak, Oct 4, 2004
    #42
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  3. Richard Cockburn

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Do they take 5MP images ? I thought the lower limit is 6-8 MP.
     
    Alfred Molon, Oct 4, 2004
    #43
  4. And going above 35mm is nearly impossible since costs skyrocket, lens choice
    plummets. (However, build quality skyrokets. The best built AF 35mm lens is
    [email protected] compared to the worst MF lens. I was really shocked, moving from MF
    medium format to Canon.)
    If all you shoot is landscapes, the 4/3 system's inability to provide higher
    pixel counts is a show-stopper.
    Exactly. That's why this landscape wannabe has a 300D + 50/1.4. The E-1's
    lack of fast primes (and surfeit of noise) makes it a poor excuse for a
    dSLR.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Oct 5, 2004
    #44
  5. No, it has everything to do with sensor size. Larger sensor, larger
    photosites = more sensitive photosites, less noise.

    The Kodak 14/n isn't a good example of a low noise dSLR. Any of Canon
    or Nikon's dSLRs offer much better signal to noise ratios.

    I doubt it. The E-1 isn't king of its class, it doesn't even belong to
    a class. It's sandwiched in some strange void between consumer digicam
    noisebox, digital SLR and pro SLR.
     
    Brian C. Baird, Oct 5, 2004
    #45
  6. Brian C. Baird wrote:
    []
    35mm is /a/ starting point, but I would like to see evolution /beyond/
    "legacy", and applaud the move to a half-size "4/3" sensor (18 x 13.5mm)
    with potential size and weight reductions of associated kit.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Oct 5, 2004
    #46
  7. But there isn't any weight reduction. The higher noise in the E-1 means that
    you have to shoot one f stop wider for the same shutter speed and same image
    quality.

    From the standpoint of the 10D/20D, you can use a lens that's one stop
    slower and 1.25x longer on a 10D vs. E1 or on a 20D vs. EVOLT for exactly
    the same image. (4/3 is a 1.25x crop from APS-C.)

    This means that the E1/EVOLT simply doesn't provide _any_ advantage in
    weight. The extra stop of speed needed by the E1/EVOLT adds more weight to a
    lens than the extra 1.25x length required by the 10D/20D.

    And there aren't any fast lenses for the 4/3 system, so there are simply a
    lot of shots that you can't take.

    And since 16.7MP is twice the resolution of the EVOLT, they're simply not
    comparable systems. More resolution always costs in weight.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Oct 5, 2004
    #47
  8. David J. Littleboy wrote:
    []
    If there's a one stop difference, then you could be comparing a 150mm
    f/2.8 with a 300mm f/4 and a full frame SLR. I would expect the smaller
    focal-length lens to be considerably lighter and smaller.

    It's your choice where you draw the line on image "quality", and I welcome
    efforts to provide an alternative to last century's 35mm format, just as
    35mm provides an alternative to MF.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Oct 5, 2004
    #48
  9. Richard Cockburn

    Clyde Guest

    David J. Littleboy wrote:
    <snip>

    If all you shoot is landscapes, why don't you stick with sheet film like
    you should? It is absolutely the only possible solution! You shouldn't
    even think of anything else. If you do, you are absolutely, totally
    wrong and an idiot for even thinking otherwise.

    [See, I too can be absolutist, uncompromising, intolerant, and a royal
    pain-in-the-ass.]

    Clyde
     
    Clyde, Oct 5, 2004
    #49
  10. That was careless writing. Something along the lines of "If landscape work
    is an important part of your mix, the 4/3 system's inability to provide
    higher pixel counts is a show-stopper." would have been better.
    Really. Except for the minor problem that it's hard for amateurs to get the
    information off sheet film. High res drum scans are expensive, and flatbeds
    only get about half the information off. That makes medium format a good
    choice. (For me, for now. Until Canon releases an affordable/liftable camera
    with the 1DsM2 sensor, that is.)
    Yes, but I actually had a point (that some people would like an upgrade
    path).

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Oct 5, 2004
    #50
  11. And when you can actually get decent resolution and noise performance
    out of a half size sensor and a lighter kit, I'd be all for it to.
    However, 4/3rds hasn't managed any of those things yet. It's a standard
    as arbitrary as 35mm and certainly less flexible.
     
    Brian C. Baird, Oct 5, 2004
    #51
  12. David, have you looking into getting a pano head and a copy of
    Panotools? You can make some really, really outstanding landscapes
    using multiple digital images. Doesn't work in every situation, but
    when it does - boy howdy!
     
    Brian C. Baird, Oct 5, 2004
    #52
  13. Agreed, but it works fine with film images, too.

    http://www.pbase.com/davidjl/image/33533884/large

    That's something like 3300 x 6600 clean pixels. (It would be more like 5000
    x 10,000 pixels if I liked raw scan pixels as much as Roger Clark does, but
    I prefer my images without the noise and with higher contrast in the higher
    frequencies so I noise-reduce and downsample to 2400 or so dpi.)

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Oct 5, 2004
    #53
  14. Richard Cockburn

    Clyde Guest

    Ah, I had a point too. That being...

    There are many types of photography, many types of photographers, and
    many tools that can be used to get there. Your closed-minded, intolerant
    rantings that the E-1 is NOT the tool for ANY type of photography or
    photographer is stupid and a PITA.

    So, get off of it! You don't have absolute Truth. Allow some other
    opinions to exist in the world - if not your own mind. You might learn
    something instead of pissing off the world.

    Clyde


    PS - View cameras have much better upgrade paths than any digital camera.
     
    Clyde, Oct 6, 2004
    #54
  15. Richard Cockburn

    Mike Henley Guest


    My first impression was "that looks like a solidly built camera".

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0409/olympus/e300back.jpg
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0409/olympus/e300press.jpg

    Its design actually appeals to my taste. It looks rugged, high build
    quality, and very usable in the hand. I guess there's something retro
    and no-nonsense about its looks. It would be there with a VW, a Vespa,
    a Stabilo Boss, a Bic 4-color pen... you know, that mid-20th-Century
    European-influenced Design.

    Actually the more I look at it the more I like its looks. It looks
    more like a rangefinder than an SLR. I feel this would be a great
    travel camera.

    I really like Olympus cameras. If the image quality is good I would
    highly consider it in a year from now. But I would totally understand
    why someone with an existing investment in 35mm lenses or someone who
    feels a need to buy many lenses in the future would not be
    enthausiastic about the 4/3rds system.

    Here's a prediction if history proves faithful to its trends :
    considering that 8mp is generally good enough resolution for most
    uses, I predict that in 5 or 10 years time this same quircky-looking
    camera is likely to still have a passionate community/cult of
    collectors long after the current crop of canon/nikon (... etc) dSLRs
    made their way to the trash heaps.
     
    Mike Henley, Oct 7, 2004
    #55
  16. Richard Cockburn

    dj_nme Guest

    Mike Henley wrote:

    The only barrier I can see for older digital cameras (ok, I realy mean
    today's, but in the future) is how well the sensor and other electronics
    can withstand the ravages of time.
    There are 35mm film based cameras from before WWII that are still
    perfectly useable (until 135 film becomes un-available).
    How collectable (eg, in 50 years time) would a digicam be if the sensor
    is kaput?
     
    dj_nme, Oct 7, 2004
    #56
  17. Richard Cockburn

    Mike Henley Guest


    That's why I think this Olympus may have a better chance of
    withstanding the ravages of time than other SLRs. Also, Olympus
    generally builds high quality cameras, and they seem to particularly
    emphasize it as a feature in this one.

    From Olympus E-300 page : "You cannot achieve high-performance without
    a highly-durable camera. The EVOLT-E-300 is built to keep you and your
    images at an optimum level no matter where or when you use it due its
    sturdy and reliable design.

    An aluminum top cover provides added protection for the camera while
    giving it a sophisticated feel. The die-cast aluminum chassis provides
    a strong foundation for a camera that can be used in all kinds of
    conditions. The metallic lens mount supplies further evidence as to
    the ruggedness of the camera while also supporting the use of
    interchangeable lenses up to the largest telephoto lenses in the
    E-System family. It boasts a durable shutter for long-lasting use. And
    its exclusive Supersonic Wave Filterâ„¢ repels dust and debris from the
    EVOLT E-300's 8 megapixel CCD so each and every image you capture is
    crystal clear and aberration free, just as you saw it through the
    lens. "

    Indeed, it does look solidly built. It does sound to me from this that
    the camera may be weatherproof, if i am correctly understanding the
    phrase that it "can be used in all kinds of conditions". I also like
    this self-cleaning filter and the deliberately "durable" shutter. I
    also like how this camera is designed for a fully digital image, from
    the 4/3 system lenses to the quircky side-slr thingie.

    The more I look at this camera the more I like it. A look and feel
    reminiscent of rangefinders, and a rugged and durable "all conditions"
    construction; this, indeed, would probably be a great everyday or
    travel camera. The only thing that bothers me about it is that it uses
    proprietary rather than AA batteries. I really would like to hear
    about its image quality from reviewers. In fact, I'll tentatively add
    it to my next summer's wishlist (or even spring if i put enough things
    on ebay to feel okay about it).

    Those WWII you mention probably didn't need any batteries. Also, the
    thing that ensured the longevity of the film format was its
    simplicity. It didn't matter what innovation went into film media, for
    as long as it was the same size it was backward compatible.
     
    Mike Henley, Oct 7, 2004
    #57
  18. Richard Cockburn

    Mike Henley Guest

    I'm not sure what that means but it says one of the features of this
    pop-up flash is that you don't get that lens shadow in the close-up
    shots.

    Here are images with one of them of the flash (it does seem to reach
    up higher than usual pop-up flashes)

    http://www.dcresource.com/news/newsitem.php?id=2878

    here's the official olympus e-300 page
    http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_product_blue.asp?l=1&p=&bc=&product=1140&fl=43
     
    Mike Henley, Oct 7, 2004
    #58
  19. Richard Cockburn

    dj_nme Guest

    While I must agree on the apparent mechanical ruggedness of the Oly
    E-300, it is not realy directly related to degredation of the sensor.
    The sensor technology that I think of from the pre-WWII that has not
    withstood the rigours of normal use over an extended time is selenium
    light-meters.
    I hope that the ccd sensor is more durable than a selenium lightmeter
    sensor and gives the cameras of today value in the future as a usable
    "retro" photography experience.
    Perhaps true DSLRs, like the E-300, with their focal plane shutters
    covering the sensor until the shutter is fired have a greater chance of
    surviving than a DSLevf (like Minolta Dimage 5/7/A1/A2 or Oly C-8080)
    that have the sensor always exposed to give the live preview.

    The propriety batteries are a concern, but not a real show-stopper, as
    packs can be rebuilt or the camera run off an external battery pack.
    I am thinking of a distant future, not next week.
     
    dj_nme, Oct 7, 2004
    #59
  20. Richard Cockburn

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    Yes, that looks quite good. It's unusual because the SLR mirror
    swings to the side, so I suppose this is why there isn't the normal
    SLR mirror hump in the middle, on which popup flash is usually set.

    I wonder how bright the viewfinder will be, with side-swing mirror?
    Personally I don't like photographing via LCD.
     
    Bill Tuthill, Oct 7, 2004
    #60
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