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Old Jan 13, 2003, 12:45 PM   #1
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Default Oly E20 v Minolta 7Hi

I'm looking to upgrade my current camera and was looking for any recomendations please


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Old Jan 28, 2003, 7:31 PM   #2
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Default Handle them both...

I just went through the same decision myself, and my number one recommendation would be to find a store that carries both and check them out - for me it was absolutely no contest from the minute I picked up the E-20, as the overall feel of the camera is head and shoulders above the Minolta. My only regret is that I didn't buy an E-20 last spring instead of my Sony F707...

Specifically, the main things I love about the E-20 are:
A real, honest to goodness TTL viewfinder. EVFs are improving, but still don't even come close.
Fast, accurate autofocus. It isn't perfect, since it appears to occasionally report focus lock even when it obviously can't get focus - like when the lens cap is on. The good news is that the only times I've had this happen are times when I didn't expect the autofocus to work anyway - like when the lens cap was on. Other than that the autofocus totally blows away any of the point-and-shoot type, so called 'prosumer' digicams.
Build quality. This thing feels just like a quality SLR, handles like a quality SLR, and although it doesn't have the ruggedness of something like a Nikon F5, it is still WAY beyond any other digicam in its price range.
Usable ISO settings above the minimum. Every other digital camera I've owned has been worthless at anything more than one setting above the minimum ISO due to extremely high noise. While the E-20 can't compete with other DSLRs, it does produce acceptable photos right up to the maximum ISO 320 setting. (and while some people knock the E-xx cameras for not having higher ratings, I'd rather have a usable range of 80-320 than a camera that reaches all the way to ISO 800 but is worthless past ISO 100!)

The only thing I would caution is that if you plan to do any high-speed shooting, the E-20 may not be the best choice due to the slow write times. For my needs the 4 shot buffer is an occasional minor annoyance, but I could see it being a real problem for others (30-40 seconds for the buffer to clear can feel like an eternity when you're standing there waiting to get off another shot.) This is one area where the D7hi definitely wins out over the E-20.

Hope this helps somewhat, and good luck with your decision.
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Old Jan 28, 2003, 8:04 PM   #3
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dzack sums it all up nicely. The E-20 build quality as well as its handling are definetly top-notch and all of us would have it as our first choice if it wasn't for the almost 2x price (although much less now).

The other thing to consider is also the limited zoom range, ie not as wide(28mm) and not as long. If one was to add an adapter to it, it would make an already heavy camera all the more so, but heft can also equate to quality for some people.

IMO the E20 (although a very good camera) is in a bad spot, caught between the low-end by EVF cameras, and for slighly more by very good dSLR at the high-end! Either way I think you'll can't lose since they are all excellent cameras...
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Old Feb 6, 2003, 8:44 PM   #4
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I went through it to. Unfornately my local camera shops had neither. I did meet a new friend that had a E-20 and he let me use it for a few days. I feel that digital cameras are being critiqued harder that even the semi-pro SLR film cameras. Here's how I addressed some of the negatives I've read of the e-20.
IMO the buffer speed was a non issue. The e-20 will write a RAW image faster than I can get film developed.
It focused well in low light, however it did take some technique and you do have to make sure the focus was on. Yes it could be better but it was'nt bad.
As far as weight. I don't know what the reviewers carried before picking up this camera maybe Canon Rebels or Point& Shoots. This is not a heavy camera. It feels solid and is sized just right.
I navigated through the controls very quickly. I used quite a few cameras film and digital and this camera was pretty easy I thought.
I too considered the 7Hi and will probly wonder what if for just a little while. I have no regrets on ordering the E-20n and I should have it Monday.
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Old Feb 9, 2003, 10:40 PM   #5
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I bought an E20 a few months ago. I didn't shop the Minolta. My final two choices were the E20 and the Nikon CP 5700. I liked the 8x zoom on the 5700, but I wanted a TTL viewfinder, and the EVF on the Nikon was a disappointment. As everybody else says, the E20 just feels good in the hand! I was fortunate to find a friend who had a 1-year-old E20 that he wanted to sell, so I got it for a great price. I'm usually not that lucky. So far, I've taken about 500 pix with it. It was a very easy camera to get comfortable with. I don't know anything about the Minolta, but I can sure recommend the E20. The only weakness, as others have pointed out, is the slow write time to memory. With the buffer, that has never been a problem for me.
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