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-   -   OK, I know I said I'd never do this, but.... (

Greg Chappell Jan 28, 2009 11:52 AM

The last day or two I've been playing with an E520. I've pretty much decided I'm not spending the money an E3 or E30 costs, and at less than half either of those prices I wanted to see what different the E520 does compared to the E510.

It turns out, quite a lot. This is the best metering Olympus DSLR I've used since the E1. Multi-segment metering is wonderful. Highlights are under control with no dialing in of negative exposure compensation and images...dare I say, in-camera JPEG's (?),look great with the only parameter adjustment being +1 sharpening. This almost looks like a camera I could JPEG capture and be very happy with, andI'm simply not seeing the *softness* of images I have seenso many comment about with the E520.

This morning I arrived early at the office and shot a series of imagesas the sun was rising, meaning some pretty contrasty conditions with both bright areas and plenty of shade and theE520's metering system handled them all beautifully. This evening I'll posta few shots to my website and add the link here, but this is a very nice surprise.

Themetering system, both ambient light and flash,is a huge improvement compared to what I've typically had to do to get a good exposure with the E510, the wireless flash system with the FL50R is way too cool to use andI like being able to set my Auto ISO range as high as I want (ISO 800 is what I have it set to)vs. the limit of ISO 400on theE510. The LCD color quality is much better and there are too many customization options to try and remember to comment about right now, but I'll be a little more specific later when I have more time and have a link to post with some images.

zig-123 Jan 28, 2009 12:38 PM

Hi Greg,

I'm looking forward to seeing your first images taken with the E-520.

boBBrennan Jan 28, 2009 12:42 PM

................goody GOODY and congratulations for getting to the office on time this am with ICE being what it was.

What was it you said you'd never do? Looking forward to more of this; topics here seem to have been a bit slow recently.

Greg Chappell Jan 28, 2009 1:06 PM

pgmCoder wrote:

What was it you said you'd never do?
Buyan E520, figuring I'd rather have an E3 at some point.

One of the differenceswith the E520I really like in reviewing images is the shadow/highlight screen where they combined the two so you can see it all on one screen,with shadows blinking inblue and any clipped highlights blinking in red, but there's not been much of either so far. The whole review process is much slicker on the E520. Images are presented nicer and the screenjust look better.

This E520 has more things you can customize than I've ever had in a camera. I set a maximum and minimum shutter speed when using flash, and I finally figured out which setting was right to not lock the exposure when I lock focus so the multi-segment metering would continue making adjustments unless I pressed the AE lock and told it not to. I need to sit down with the camera and manual at some point and make sure I haven't missed something else I might want to fiddle with. As you toggle down through the menu, you think you've seen all the possibleoptions, then you get to oneandseeanother little arrow pointing to the right, meaning there's yetanother set of options to scroll through.

Greg Chappell Jan 28, 2009 2:48 PM

pgmCoder wrote:

................goody GOODY and congratulations for getting to the office on time this am with ICE being what it was.

I had to get up WAY too early in order to get here when I did, and I didn't was a bus-train-bus ordeal.It only takes once or twice a year to know I don't want to be dealing with it nearly as many times as I know Zig is.

boBBrennan Jan 28, 2009 3:43 PM

........and at times like this, I am tickled that my job days are over. I just went to the mailbox, because our house faces North with a turn-in driveway it is solid ice across and out for 20 feet. On top of that the mail was 'nothing worth while' so back inside for me, maybe a nap!

Greg Chappell Jan 28, 2009 9:46 PM

I posted a few snaps here..

As of now, these are all in-camera JPEG's. There are a few where I made a levels adjustment in Photoshop. Where I shot at the 12mm end of the 12-60 Zuiko, I ran the file through PTLens to correct the distortion this lens has at that setting. Other than having turned off the noise filter, setting the sharpening to +1 was the extent of image quality settings I adjusted.

No exposure compensation was used in shooting these images..I just wanted to see how the exposure system and esp meteringwould handle these on its' own. If you open the data box and look at the date taken and date modified information, if those two dates and timesmatch, the file was loaded straight from the camera with no additional work on my part.

zig-123 Jan 28, 2009 10:24 PM

Hi Greg,

Had a chance to take a quick peek at your E-520 gallery. At first glance, I can see why you may be excited about the E-520. I'm going to take another look in the morning.

The IQ you get out of the 520, at around $425 for the body, certainly makes it hard to justify spending another 875dollars for a body that has an articulating screen, weatherproofingand larger OPV. I know I'm oversimplifying, but those are the features in the E-3 that would be important to me.

Very interesting...................darn, if it could only have a larger OPV, oh well.


Greg Chappell Jan 28, 2009 11:35 PM

I was stuck in the office today over the lunch hour, but took some time to shoot some high-contrast mid day shots with the E520. Today there was not a cloud in the sky,so the brightness/shadow variance was about as high as it gets. I made a couple of changes from the earlier shots for these. I turned sharpening up to +2, and turned on Auto gradation, which works a lot like Panasonic's Intelligent Auto option where the metering system breaks the scene down into smaller areas and tries to maximize dynamic range.

I flipped the arrangement of images in my E520 folder so the more recent images are in front. As of this evening, the first nine images there were shot using the above settings. It's also mentioned in the notes below each file for reference later.

Of the nine images, the only one I touched after being loaded off the card was image #5, which I straightened in Photoshopbecause I didn't pay enough attention to the allignmentwhen I shot it. I'd like to say I had to make some fancy meteringadjustment or break this file down with Layers to get them the way they look, but these came straight off the sensor. My only contribution was the composition.

I really like the sharpening effect ofupping the setting to +2 in this next image. Enlarged bigger, the building and streetsigns are very sharp without looking oversharpened, and shadow detail, here and with all the other shots, is retained very well.

bahadir Jan 30, 2009 3:13 PM

Given the high contrast mid day lighting conditions, the shadow details are really good without causing blown highlights on the other hand! The perfectmetering you speak of seems to compensate the slightly missingdynamic range mentioned in some reviews due to sensor size.Good news for those who are looking for a truely portable camera : )Thanks for sharing, Greg:cool:

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