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Old Oct 22, 2006, 4:36 PM   #1
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After spending several months researching DSLRs I've decided it's between the E-500 or waiting for/hoping that a new generation is released early next year. I haven't heard any news to that effect so despite some of the shortcomings I have read about here, in the next couple of weeks I will most likely be purchasing the E-500 package with the two kit lenses included. I've looked at prices from several stores, with most of them pricing it at $799 with no memory included. The lowest price I've found is at Sam's Club for $668. Even B&H was selling them for $799.

If I go with the package purchase, how should I fill it out:

Which macro lenses would you recommend for the E-500? I'm looking for something that will let me get as close as possible to the subject while maintaining good focus.

Should I get the biggest memory stick available, and which brand?

I have a bracketed flash I use with my OM-1, but in looking at the E-500 I didn't see a coonnection to connect the flash to the camera. The flash can't be attached via the hot shoe. Should I buy another flash, or is the built in flash good enough?

What other accessories will I wish I had bought at time of purchase?

Thanks.

BTW, in looking at the B&H site I fell in love with the Hasselblad H2D-39 (39 megapixels!!!) that's about to hit the market. But I don't have $30k to drop on a camera, and I knew I would drop the camera on the floor within a week of purchase.
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 5:11 PM   #2
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RE: Hasselblad
If you really want that big an image, look into large format.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/

RE: Macro
The best pure macro lens so far for Olympus may be the 35mm f3.5 for obnly about $200. Some of the "macro" lenses may be more like real good primes with some macro ability added. Check the specs and reviews. I think some of the Sigmas that have been announced are supposd to be good, but most aren't really available yet. The 105mm f2.8 sounds good though (but be aware that it's minimum apperture is only f/22 in the four thirds mount, rather than f/32 or f/45 in other mounts):

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...uct/221/cat/30


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Old Oct 22, 2006, 8:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Which macro lenses would you recommend for the E-500? I'm looking for something that will let me get as close as possible to the subject while maintaining good focus.
There are a few ZD macro lenses on the market, and some Sigma...take a look at this page for a list of lenses including macro lenses:
http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/oly-e/lenses.html


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Should I get the biggest memory stick available, and which brand?
Don't call them memory sticks, it's an insult to us since that's a Sony product. We know 4gig cards work, 8gig cards probably works as well. The fastest card for the E-500 is the Sandisk Extreme III.


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I have a bracketed flash I use with my OM-1, but in looking at the E-500 I didn't see a coonnection to connect the flash to the camera. The flash can't be attached via the hot shoe. Should I buy another flash, or is the built in flash good enough?
For macro there are specialized ring and twin flashes designed for closeup photography. For standard photography there's the FL-36 and FL-50. If you still want to use your old flash you can get a hotshoe to PC (Pin Circle) adapter, BUT you should check the trigger voltage of your flash so you don't damage the camera...even a flash that operates on two AAs can have a trigger voltage of 250v!!!


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What other accessories will I wish I had bought at time of purchase?
If you're doing closeup photography on a tripod you may wish for a remote control...the only one the E-500 can use is the Oly RM-1 infrared remote.

Suggest you read through the messages that have been posted here...for instance there was one just posted on TTL flash technology.
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 8:02 PM   #4
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jimkurta wrote:
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If I go with the package purchase, how should I fill it out:

Which macro lenses would you recommend for the E-500? I'm looking for something that will let me get as close as possible to the subject while maintaining good focus."
The optically best lens is the ZD 50mm f2.0, but the 35mm is an excellent buy as was said.


Quote:
Should I get the biggest memory stick available, and which brand?
How big a CF card (not memory stick) is up to you and the amount/type of shooting you do. I use a couple of 2GB cards and since I shoot only RAW, each one allows about 144 shots (317 on SHQ). I would buy only Sandisk Extreme III cards, especially if you want to shoot quickly or are shooting RAW. The Extreme III are the fastest (I'm not sure whether the most recent firmware update allows the E-500 to support the speed of the newest Extreme IV cards).

Quote:
I have a bracketed flash I use with my OM-1, but in looking at the E-500 I didn't see a coonnection to connect the flash to the camera. The flash can't be attached via the hot shoe. Should I buy another flash, or is the built in flash good enough?
The built-in flash is basically an emergency device for short distances or fill. If you're serious about using flash get the FL-50. I've heard about a lot of people who have gotten the FL-36 only to turn it in later when they realized they really needed the extra power and better recycle time of the FL-50. Depends on your needs, obviously.

Quote:
What other accessories will I wish I had bought at time of purchase?
If you shoot much at all, I recommend getting an extra battery, so you can cycle between them. There's nothing like running out of battery power in the middle of a shoot.


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Old Oct 22, 2006, 10:17 PM   #5
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I have the 35mm macro and for the price it's a steal. I also have the FL-36 flash which is a good general purpose unit. For real power you'll need the FL-50 but I couldn't justify the price. Rather, I use an old Sunpak 544 handle mount which has no TTL but works fins in AUTO mode with lots of power. They're @ $60-$70 on ebay (and $130 new at B&H). Other accessories you may want are a tripod, a polarizing filter and a good case to carry it all in.
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Old Nov 1, 2006, 4:19 PM   #6
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The optically best lens is the ZD 50mm f2.0, but the 35mm is an excellent buy as was said.
Yeah. I want to do macro, yet I want a good prime too. I may end up getting the 50mm when the time comes.

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I would buy only Sandisk Extreme III cards, especially if you want to shoot quickly or are shooting RAW. The Extreme III are the fastest (I'm not sure whether the most recent firmware update allows the E-500 to support the speed of the newest Extreme IV cards).
I got a Kingston 1GB card with my camera, but I also bought two 2GB Ultra II cards later. It's okay for now. I bought a used 30GB portable device off a friend to offload any shots, to re-use the cards. If I do get more cards though, I'll be getting the Extreme III.

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I've heard about a lot of people who have gotten the FL-36 only to turn it in later when they realized they really needed the extra power and better recycle time of the FL-50. Depends on your needs, obviously.
Yeah, I've heard this before too. This was my concern, not wanting to return stuff because of needing more. I know I'll be getting more serious about Flash photography eventually, and I'd rather make the one purchase, so I added the FL-50 to my wish list. Here in Canada, I'm still seeing the price at around $599CAD! I've seen B&H selling it for $374US. After conversion (and shipping) it's still far cheaper than over here.

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Old Nov 14, 2006, 10:08 PM   #7
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Thanks for the responses. I've read many of the threads here along with reviews for several DSLRs and the accessories. I've asked the questions because I prefer to hear about the experiences of real users who use them under a wider range of conditions and for a longer period than is usually found in a review.

As it turns out, I purchased the E-500 with the kit lenses the other day. I got a friend with a Sam's Club membership to get me in the door. Unfortunately, the price I thought I would be paying was an Internet purchase price. On the bright side, it was still $100 cheaper than anywhere else I could find. Sam's Club didn't carry any of the other accessories I was looking for--extra battery, macro lens and Sandisk Extreme III so I guess I will be contacting B&H for those. I ended up with the 1GB Fujifilm card, and so far I have no complaints.

The only downside has been trouble updating the firmware. I installed Olympus Master, which itself was a few versions behind, and tried to upgrade the firmware from 1.0 to 1.2. Though the update seemed to be taking place on the computer monitor, the LCD on the camera was dark the whole time. When the update finished I got an error message that stated "an error occurred at communicating with camera". I talked to Olympus support and was told I would probably have to send the camera to them for it to be updated. The tech didn't know if I would have to pay for shipping. I wasn't really hip to that idea, having a new electonic gadget and all, and being that I bought it the other day I think I will try to exchange it at the place of purchase first.

Thanks for all the help I have received here in deciding on and making this purchase. I really appreciate it. If anyone has an idea as to why the firmware update isn't working I'd love to hear it.

Thanks.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 6:21 PM   #8
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I had the same error message last night with my new purchase. Connected to my Windows XP machine with the cable, the computer even beeped recognizing the USB connection, and the camera came up with a menu of four or so choices.

I was trying to select "Control", but that wouldn't work and gave me the error you had. Finally, I chose the counter-intuitive "USB Storage" option on the camera and then tried the update from Olympus Master and it worked.

Not sure if it's the same steps you tried, but throw it out as my experience.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 8:54 PM   #9
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Ignacio wrote:
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I had the same error message last night with my new purchase. Connected to my Windows XP machine with the cable, the computer even beeped recognizing the USB connection, and the camera came up with a menu of four or so choices.

I was trying to select "Control", but that wouldn't work and gave me the error you had. Finally, I chose the counter-intuitive "USB Storage" option on the camera and then tried the update from Olympus Master and it worked.

Not sure if it's the same steps you tried, but throw it out as my experience.
I took the camera back today and switched it out for another one. Got it home and tried the update but the results were the same. The instructions on the website do say to use the USB Storage/Auto option:

http://www.olympusamerica.com/e1/sup...areupdates.asp
E-500: Go into Tools Menu 2 and set "USB Mode" to "Auto."

Auto was the default setting on my camera.

I called the tech support line and went through the process with them and they assured me that I was doing it properly. The tech asked which version of Windows XP I was using and I told him that it was the Media Center version. He said that might be the reason because Media Center has a lot stripped out of it. I'm going to try it on a friend's computer and see if it works that way. The tech told me that after the download completes the LCD on the camera should light up and display the process of the update as it's transferred to the camera. That never happened so the theory is that there is no communication with the camera during that part of the process.
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 3:01 PM   #10
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If you have Win XP,go to Device manager and Universal serial bus controllers,double click on each Usb root hub and the last heading on the top Power Management,untick Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.Do that on each Usb root hub,it might solve the download problem,cheers Alan
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