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Old Apr 26, 2004, 11:18 AM   #1
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Default I can't decide: Olympus E-1 or Canon 10D

These two cameras are perfect for what I will use them for...they are both about the same price. There are a few differences, of course. I have tried both and the Olympus seems to focus more quickly, even in darkened environments.

If you had to choose, which one would you purchase and why?

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Old Apr 26, 2004, 1:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: I can't decide: Olympus E-1 or Canon 10D

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmount
I have tried both and the Olympus seems to focus more quickly, even in darkened environments.
Focusing speed is dependent on the lens attached to the camera... which lens did you tried? USM lenses are both super fast as well as silent.

Does Olympus even carries ultrasonic lenses (or IS)? How about wireless TTL multi-units flashes. If you don't care for theses features then it's moot... but I would also consider theses options for the longer term.
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Old Apr 26, 2004, 3:13 PM   #3
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I really like the Olympus system. However, there are a few things about it that bother me to the point where I would choose to go with Canon.

First, Olympus is very limited in terms of the number of lenses available. I know that Sigma has agreed to produce lenses for the system and that Olympus itself will also produce more. But, as it stands today, there are only a few. Also, their lenses are more expensive. I write this with the 300mm f/2.8 lens in mind. At B&H you can buy this lens for $6,495.95 for the Olympus version. You can buy the Canon version for $3,899.95. Not only is the Canon lens cheaper but you get IS and USM as well!

Second, it seems Olympus has locked themselves into the 4/3 sensor. Their lenses are specifically designed for it so the imaging sensor cannot get any bigger. In the future, when Olympus wants to increase the megapixel count on their camera, they will just have to make their sensors denser. I suppose that will okay, up to a point. It will also have the effect of lowering the picture quality due to an increase in noise at higher ISOís. Take a look at what is happening with the new 8-megapixel prosumer cameras out now. They use a more densely packed, same-sized sensor and their picture quality suffers.

Canonís lenses (and those of others) can be used on DSLRís with a full-frame sensor. Itís a pretty good bet that Canon will eventually move toward using full-frame sensors in all their DSLRís (assuming lowered costs from improved manufacturing). As such, they can maintain a higher picture quality level on their cameras, as each photosite on their sensors will be bigger and not as susceptible to noise. This also results in more growing room and better longevity.

When all the other DSLR makers move toward using a full frame sensor (a likely, eventual outcome I think) and are competing with a certain megapixel count and image quality level the Olympus system is going to start to look like a less viable option. If you decide on Olympus now you might have to face the possibility of switching brands later anyway.

Anyway, thatís my take on things.
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Old Apr 26, 2004, 5:48 PM   #4
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Another point to consider is with a smaller 4/3 sensor the DOF is also larger with their 'digital' lenses... which is fine unless you want a shallower DOF with that f/2.8!
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Old Apr 26, 2004, 10:54 PM   #5
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Default wow...and I had almost changed my mind

...to buying the Olympus. You all pointed out some very nice things about Canon's D10 that have made me reconsider. Thank you so much for the effort.

I'm open to more opinions...

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Old Apr 27, 2004, 2:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snappers
When all the other DSLR makers move toward using a full frame sensor (a likely, eventual outcome I think) and are competing with a certain megapixel count and image quality level the Olympus system is going to start to look like a less viable option.
I'm interested as to why you think that the optimum size for a sensor should be the same as the most popular film format, given that these are two completely different technologies. It seems to me that sensor technology (which is in its infancy and is still very much on the steep part of its development curve) is going to rapidly move in the direction of smaller sensors with higher pixel counts AND better S/N ratios. This will make the 4/3 approach the better one - which is not really a surprise since it was designed with digital technology in mind. The likes of Canon, Nikon and Minolta wil then be left with their clunky great 35mm look-alike cameras and massive lenses while the likes of Olympus, Fuji, Panasonic and Sigma are producing neat little new generation dSLRs. It's going to be very easy to put 10Mp on an 18mm sensor and that's as much as most people need. They can already put 8Mp on a 9mm CCD.

It's just a pity that, as with any new system, there's not much choice at the moment and it's expensive for what it is.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 5:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technophile
The likes of Canon, Nikon and Minolta wil then be left with their clunky great 35mm look-alike cameras and massive lenses while the likes of Olympus, Fuji, Panasonic and Sigma are producing neat little new generation dSLRs...
Highly speculative IMO:
- 300D/Digital Rebel: 5.6x3.9x2.9in/142x99x72.4mm (W x H x D) @ 19.7oz/560g
- Olympus E1: 5.6x4.1x 3.2in/141x104x81mm (W x H x D) @ 23 oz/660g
BTW the Pentax *ist is the smallest dSLR @ 5.1x3.7x2.4in which is also not a 4/3.

Both Canon/Nikon make 'digital' lenses for their camera as well such as the EF-S 18-55mm that would only fit non full-frame cameras... (check out this tiny lens as well). The point is you can have it both way by staying with current dSLR technology, ie going larger or smaller sensors/lenses... With 4/3 you are limited from the get go to only smaller sizes for future development.

... Plus don't forget the DOF of smaller 'digital' sensors/lenses combination as well as its "squarish" format vs the more popular rectangular 3/2 aspect ratio of regular dSLR!
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 6:21 AM   #8
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The size of the camera body is more down to design than any other factors. Olympus could make the E1 smaller than the Pentax if they wanted to. But the limiting factor in how small and light you can get is the sensor size, because it's the lenses that are the main culprit - especially the telephoto ones. A lens for an 18mm sensor can be made significantly smaller than one for a 24mm sensor - and very much smaller than one for 35mm film. That's why it's a pity that dSLRs are saddled with borrowed 35mm lenses. Obviously it's a good short term measure and allows people who have 35mm equipment to utilise their existing lenses. Indeed I imagine there would some dissatisfaction if that were not the case.

But my point is that, in the long run, it's a bit of a pity because the digital technology will allow smaller and lighter equipment. I'm sure the companies embracing the 4/3 system have thought long and hard about what future technological advances will allow and have made the decision about the sensor size taking this into account. I also suspect that the limiting factor for how small the sensor could go was not noise problems (that'll be a non-issue in the fairly near future). It was probably the question of how small a glass lens can be and still retain the required resolution. Maybe depth of field was also an issue, but that can be rectified to some extent with larger aperture.

4/3 is the way to go - eventually. I wouldn't buy an E1 though. Let's see what Panasonic, Sigma and Fuji come up with in the near future.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 8:07 PM   #9
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4/3's may be the better technical solution, certainly the argument can be made that a smaller sensor can support a smaller lens for a given perspective. 35mm lenses are smaller than medium format and the camera's are built to take advantage of this, you could extend this line of reasoning to 4/3's.

But - SLR's are systems; bodies and lenses (and flashes). At this point Canon and Nikon are way ahead in the depth of their systems. Buying into 4/3s means that you are hoping that eventually 4/3's will catch up. At this point you're buying into the bleeding edge, it may catch on, it may not. This written from a guy who has an Apple Newton and an ISDN terminal adapter.

I can buy a ton of different lenses to allow me to shoot at 300mm, ranging in price from $250 for a Sigma 70-300 to $5000 for a Canon 300f2.8 (Canadian dollars). In the 4/3's format there is not as many options - today.

As far as my/your/their technology being better - it doesn't matter. Windows wasn't better than Mac OS in 1990. Beta vs. VHS; ATM vs. IP; CDMA vs. GSM...the list continues. While the 4/3's consortium has ensured interoperability between lenses and bodies at the present only the Olympus has made it to market. It's pretty easy to be interoperable with yourself.

I don't think that 36 by 24mm is the 'best' sensor size, nor is 6 by 6 cm the best film size. But at the present time it seems that larger size sensors are giving photographers more and better pixels. While noise may be eliminated 'soon' the question is what to buy today.

In the end a 4/3's camera is going to have to be much better than a Canon EF mount or Nikon mount SLR to get pro's to switch. And us amateurs will follow the pro's because we're a) sheep and b) we'll use the last year's chip in our cheaper non-pro cameras.

Being better is how 35mm displaced 120 roll film, and how 120 roll film displaced large format in the general population. So it can be done.
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 2:02 AM   #10
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Agreed, Ursa.

If the 4/3 system is to take off they need more aggressive pricing - even if it means losing money to begin with. Trying to sell a 5Mp dSLR for £1500 (in UK) with limited accessories doesn't show much marketing nous.
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