Olympus EVOLT E-300

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by leo, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. []

    Well, as the aspect ratio is 4:3 rather than 3:2, do you define equivalent
    as the diagonal, horizontal or vertical measurement?
    Yes, there's a simple equivalence, quite agreed, which will probably help

    David J Taylor, Dec 12, 2004
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  2. leo

    Basic Wedge Guest

    Well I've never been an Olympus user, but I am interested in their digital
    system. There are several aspects I like:

    - Terrific image quality.
    - Freedom from dust accumulating on the sensor.
    - Superb quality optics in compact and lightweight lenses.
    - Excellent ergonomics.
    - Competitive system costs.

    Much gets made of the 4/3rds sensor size. In reality, it's quite similar to
    a CMOS sensor with a millimeter trimmed from each side. Hardly worth all the
    crowing one hears from Olympus critics. The results speak for themselves,
    and images from an E-1 can nicely hold their own against those from a 20D or
    a D70. I'm sure we'll soon see great results from the E-300, as well.

    Basic Wedge, Dec 12, 2004
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  3. Of course there is. The 4/3 is a different format, a smaller format. That's
    what "focal length multiplier" means: the same focal length _functions_ as a
    different lens on a different format.
    Lens design isn't rocket science. The Zeiss Planar (one of the best lenses
    around) was designed in the 19th century. Since they hadn't figured out lens
    coatings, it didn't fly and the Tessar (a later design) was used instead
    until after WWII.
    The claimed size and weight saving largely comes from the different format,
    where different focal lengths function differently. And that difference is
    given by the ratio of the sizes of the format.

    (The only new designs you need for a smaller sensor is for the superwide end
    of things, and those are now (finally) available for the APS-C cameras, both
    from the manufacturer and from third parties as well.)

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Dec 12, 2004
  4. Well I've never been an Olympus user, but I am interested in their digital
    That's true provided you're using the E-1 in an optimal situation, but if
    you need a higher effective ISO, the D20 is going to blow it away. I've seen
    what people can do with a D20 at ISO 1600... the images are amazing! Compare
    those images to an E-1 at ISO 400, and the D20 still comes out the winner.
    What am I missing?

    I *really* want to like the Olympus. I own a boatload of their P&S digital
    cameras, and have been very pleased with them. But in the DSLR arena, I
    don't yet see them getting my excessively-loyal dollars.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    Mike Jacoubowsky, Dec 13, 2004
  5. Just to be sure we are the same page, image stabalization doesn't help in
    Unless you're shooting head-on, which is fairly common with a long lens at a
    track & field event. Or, for that matter, if I'm shooting the Tour de France
    on a mountain stage... some of the most dramatic shots will be shot from the
    front on a big climb. You need a long lens because you'll get run over by
    them otherwise (which has happened), and it may not be bright enough for a
    high speed. Conditions in the Alps & Pyrenees are not always ideal...

    Of course, I can only dream of having such problems, with my Oly 5050
    rendering such discussions irrelevant with a 100mm lens... (but one day,
    someday, there just might be a 20D in my future)

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    Mike Jacoubowsky, Dec 13, 2004
  6. leo

    Basic Wedge Guest

    It's fitting that you mentioned the Canon 20D Mike. That's the other camera
    I'm considering.

    What are you missing? I don't know that you're missing anything at all. I
    don't know what your requirements are. I do know I have no need to shoot at
    ISO 1600, and I also know I place a very high premium on the results I get
    at low ISO settings. When shooting under low light, I'll take fast glass
    over a high ISO setting every time.
    I'm the opposite. I never had any intention of wanting to like the Olympus
    system. I've been using Canon FD gear for decades. My appreciation for
    Olympus catches me by surprise. I think that may be the salient point here -
    many of the people who speak out against Olympus probably haven't really
    even given it a fair look (all the nonsense about the 4/3rds sensor size
    proves that).

    Basic Wedge, Dec 13, 2004
  7. David J. Littleboy wrote:
    No, there is /no/ crop! There may be a 35mm equivalent focal length, of
    course, but using words like crop implies that you are using lenses
    desgined for another format, and it is this I feel is misleading.
    Fortunately, computers have allowed lens design to progress somewhat since
    the 19th century!
    Agreed. With half the sensor diagonal compared to the 35mm format you
    could expect, in the limiting case, to have lenses of half the focal
    length, half the diameter and an eighth of the weight and bulk.
    Alternatively, more innovative or higher performance designs in the same
    space. Less cost because of materials, perhaps more cost because of
    tighter tolerances.

    I don't know if the 4/3 system yet lives up to my expectations.

    David J Taylor, Dec 13, 2004
  8. Cameras heavier and bigger than the Pentax DSLRs, lenses heavier, bigger
    and more expensive as well as not having any fast lenses (f1.4). I'd wanted
    Olympus to really take advantage of the smaller format, they haven't. And
    they suffer all the noise disadvantages of the smaller format. And they've
    nowhere to go since the lenses can't handle a bigger imager when
    semiconductor technology makes that possible (and they aren't making
    cheaper cameras now: the imager is substantially cheaper than the APS sized
    imagers in 300D, *ist DS, but the camera isn't).

    Yes, it lives up to *my* expectations.

    --Sophie (a Pentax user who had wanted a smaller system)
    Sophie Wilson, Dec 13, 2004
  9. leo

    Tony Guest

    Actually the Olympus - even the new one is pretty damn expensive compared to
    other systems. It also is not significantly smaller than other dSLRS in the
    'competetive' price range and is larger than at least one -- the *ist - a
    camera I would recommend over the Olympus any day of the week.
    Then there is the Olympus game. They got tired of keeping up with the
    market in SLRS when AF came in and started making AF point and soot stuff.
    Essentially they abandoned the SLR market for 12 -15 years but left their
    dead system out there like a fallen tree trunk. Now they are trying to hop
    back into the market with zero credability. They are out on a limb with an
    unrelated system and if it doesn't sell well they could very well abandone
    it, and their customers, just like they did with the OM.
    Since the camera doesn't apparently exist I question your "terriffic
    image quality" statement too. I've seen images from the older (more
    expensive) model and they don't strike me as anything you can't get with a
    much cheaper DRebel or *ist.

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    A sample chapter from "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    Tony, Dec 13, 2004
  10. leo

    Basic Wedge Guest

    I'm having trouble following you here. You seem to believe Olympus' sensors
    are "substantially" smaller than APS sized sensors. I believe they are, in
    fact, only slightly smaller, not so much smaller as to justify the use of
    the term "substantially".

    You also seem to believe that actual sensor size will increase in the
    future. I'm not aware of any electronic component (save, possibly, for
    monitors) that actually increased in size as the technology matured. The
    trend has always been toward miniaturization - that will not likely change
    in the foreseeable future. Other camera manufacturers seem to see it that
    way too, and are introducing lines of lenses incapable of being used with
    larger than APS sized sensors.

    BTW, congratulations on the purchase of your new Pentax.

    Basic Wedge, Dec 13, 2004
  11. leo

    Basic Wedge Guest

    When I calculated a total system cost (to suite my needs) I found the Nikon
    D70 system to be most affordable. The Olympus E-300 was next, followed by
    the E-1. A Canon 20D system came in $400 higher than an E-1 based system,
    and there was a signifigant gap in Canon's lens coverage. Interestingly, the
    Minolta 7D system was, by far, the most expensive, and their lens coverage
    gap is even greater than Canon's. I think it's sensless to pick a system
    based on the camera body alone. Regardless of which camera I choose, I don't
    expect it to still be providing front-line service after even just a few
    Why would you have expected it to be?
    Yes our local trauma wards are also full of suffering Olympus OM survivors.
    It seems to be a global pandemic.

    You must have overlooked my earlier mention that I'm free to choose any
    brand of system I wish, because I have, up to now, been using Canon FD
    equipment. I do take your point, but, by way of illustration, I will also
    tell you I recovered about 50-60% of what I paid for my FD gear by selling
    it on eBay. If anyone ever becomes disatisfied with their choice of
    equipment, they always have the option of starting over.
    The Olympus E-1 has existed for over a year, and the E-300 has been
    rolling-out in various world markets for the past several weeks. There's a
    good chance it is available at your local camera shop right now, you should
    run down there and verify it's existence : )

    Basic Wedge, Dec 14, 2004
  12. leo

    Skip M Guest

    Where did you find a gap in Canon's lens coverage for the 20D? There are
    overlaps from 10mm-22mm, 17-55, 18-75mm IS, 28-105, 28-135 IS, 70-200L IS,
    70-300, 75-300 IS, 100-300, 100-400L IS. Not much of a gap, there, now. Or
    were you talking about fixed focal length, no one goes below 14mm, as far as
    I know.
    Skip M, Dec 14, 2004
  13. leo

    Skip M Guest

    I'm not sure if 22.5x15mm (Canon) vs. 18.0x13.5mm (Oly) is a significant
    difference or not.
    Skip M, Dec 14, 2004
  14. It is when you consider imaging area and not linear dimensions.

    The APS-C sized sensors are about 340 sq mm. The 4/3rds sensors have an
    area of 243 sq mm.

    It's easier to shove larger, lower noise photosites into the APS-C sized
    sensors. That's why I'm pretty sure the E-VOLT will turn into RE-
    VOLTing at any ISO over 400.
    Brian C. Baird, Dec 14, 2004
  15. The 4/3

    35mm film SLR
    24 x 36 mm

    Nikon D70
    23.7 x 15.6 mm

    Pentax *ist DS
    23.5 x 15.7 mm

    Canon 20D
    22.5 x 15.0 mm

    Canon 300D (Digital Rebel)
    22.7 x 15.1 mm

    Minolta 7D
    23.5 x 15.7 mm

    Olympus E-300
    17.3 x 13.0 mm active area

    Point & Shoot

    Canon Pro1
    8.80 x 6.60 mm

    Canon A85
    5.27 x 3.96 mm

    Do the math. 4/3 is 224.9 sq.mm, versus 369.72 sq.mm or 40% smaller. That is
    more than a little bit smaller
    Darrell Larose, Dec 14, 2004
  16. leo

    Dave Guest

    Oh no, a logical argument!!!

    The Spaz can't stand (or respond to) those.
    Just wait - Tony's gonna have to killfile you as a troll.
    Dave, Dec 14, 2004
  17. leo

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    What lenses would you recommend with the *ist, Tony?
    Nice tree metaphor! Which continues with the "limb" below.
    This is rather likely to happen. But unlike OM owners, 4/3 owners will be
    stuck with proprietary batteries, proprietary charger, proprietary lenses,
    proprietary flash equipment, and high repair cost, if repair is even possible.
    Fortunately the memory cards are standard!!!
    Bill Tuthill, Dec 14, 2004
  18. leo

    Tony Guest

    There are very few lenses for the Olympus - none of them have IS and the
    only 300mm is $8,000 dollars. This is as ompared to say a Canon for $3,000
    with IS!
    Of course nothing in the world is more expensive than a dead end camera
    system, which I strongly think the Olympus will be in a year or two.

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    A sample chapter from "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    Tony, Dec 14, 2004
  19. leo

    Tony Guest

    Tony, Dec 14, 2004
  20. leo

    Tony Guest

    The sensor is very much like a monitor and they have been getting larger -
    which is why no one but Olympus is stubborn enough to run a sensor as small
    as that in ANY SLR.
    Olympus multiplication factor from 35mm = 2.0
    Canon's smallest sensor = 1.6
    Nikon's only sensor = 1.5
    Canon's largest sensor = 1.0
    Kodak also has a full 35mm frame sensor
    I'm not too sure of Minolta or Pentax multiplication factors but they
    are in the same neighbourhood as Canon and Nikon.

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    A sample chapter from "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    Tony, Dec 14, 2004
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