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Old Dec 26, 2007, 1:10 PM   #11
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devsam2 wrote:
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I'm in the market for the E-510 and have been looking on Ebay. Can U tell me if those sellers that offer these bundles that have everything but the kitchen sink R legit and if so how can they offer such a large package @ such a good price. Any help would be appreciated!

Johnnie
As other's have said, be an informed consumer first. Make sure the body and lenses are Olympus/Zuiko. Estimate the value of the other parts of the kit to ensure you ARE getting value for your dollar.

I've bought catch-all kits before but replaced 1/3 to 1/2of the stuff with better components. The question with kits is "WillI buy/Do I needexactly ALL those things". If the answer is yes, then get a kit knowing that you'll be getting some pretty cheap stuff in it.
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Old Dec 29, 2007, 1:35 AM   #12
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I bought the E510 2-lens kit from Amazon right before Xmas for $650. In terms of $$$, it's a great deal considering the quality of the Zuiko lenses. However, so far I've been very disappointed with the camera's inability to handle highlights and contrast in general (although this is my fault for not listening to what many reviewers had already pointed out). The camera over exposes badly and there is very little one can do to obtain decent images in high contrast situations or when the sun is shinning on white or any other subject that reflects a lot of light (i.e. rocks, foliage, etc.). I've done nothing but playing with different camera settings since day 1. From exposure compensation to various metering modes and pict adjustments. The camera itself is very nice, well built, smooth to operate and it has excellent resolution andcolor reproduction but it is not a good camera for the novice. Use the camera's default settings and over 75% of your pictures will go to trash. So, as long as you don't rely on AUTO modeand you take your time to understand and setup the various parameters that can affect the end result of your picture-taking, you'll be OK with this one. But, if you want an easy camera that can handle most conditions with minimum effort in messing with camera settings, I'd consider the Nikon D40x (not the D40, which has the same exact issues as the E410/510 in terms of handling highlights). It's very good right out of the box.
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Old Dec 29, 2007, 3:47 AM   #13
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The camera over exposes badly and there is very little one can do y probelms with the.....
Of course using RAW files is the main answer, where much more information and DRis available than inthe somewhat aggressive processing that is done to the JPEG in the E510.

But the main problem with poor exposures is the default ESP metering which is linked to the Auto Focus point (ESP+AF). This can act like a spot meter if the central area that is focused on is much darker than the overall scene. So with dark leaves on a tree against the sky and it will give an overall exposure based on the scene but biased to much towards the tree, and thus blowing the sky. So try changing the metering to ESP only, and not linked to the AF point. Aside from this it seems that many people, and myself included, simply give -0.7 stop exposure compensation when using the E510.

The E510 has its quirks, but no more so than any camera. It does work perfectly well in Auto mode, but like any DSLR it still requires the operator to choose the correct metering modesand other parameters in the first place.
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Old Dec 29, 2007, 6:36 AM   #14
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Tullio wrote:
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there is very little one can do to obtain decent images in high contrast situations or when the sun is shinning on white or any other subject that reflects a lot of light (i.e. rocks, foliage, etc.).
Have you reducedthe default contrast setting? I don't have the 510 but I run all my Oly digicams at contrast -1 and dial in the contrast I want in PShop. The luminance range in most sunlit scenes is usually greater than the sensorcan capture at the default contrast setting (and of course, way greater than can be captured on most films).

Ted
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Old Dec 29, 2007, 12:42 PM   #15
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Last night I spent a good hour reading the E510 manual and researching the internet trying to figure out how to set the ESPmetering separate from AF. I don't believe this is an option with the E510 (it was on the E500). There are different ways to get to the metering choices:via control panel, menu or dedicated left button on the 4-way control dial.Irregardless howyou get to it, the choices are ESP, CW, spot, spot high and spot low.I've been using CW (in fact, that's my preferred choice with any camera I use for I always find it to be more accurate). Can any onepost the steps needed to either set ESP+AF or ESP w/o AF linkon the E510? That'd be greatly appreciated.

I've also reduced contrast to -2 in NATURAL and MUTE modes (looking at the histogram from images taken of the same subject under the same exact light conditions, I found very little difference between the two modes. So, MUTE is not what will help recover blown highlights).

I understand the difficulties of any digital camera in dealing with a high contrast scene. Even the most expensive cameras will have trouble compensating for brightness w/o either under expose the shaded areas or over expose the bright spots. However, the problem with the E510 goes way beyond these conditions. For example, you take a landscape picture on a cloudy day (hardly any shadows). The sky is greyBUT it has different tones of grey. Some dark clouds mixed with white fluffy ones. The scene has a lakewith some white geese swimming on it and trees in the background. Apartment buildings can be seen across the lake. Here's what the E510 will do (the camera is set to CW metering, NATURAL, SH=-2, CT=-2, ST=0, NF=OFF):

Ev=0> sky is an absolute white wall above the horizon. No clouds can be distinguished from each other. The geese are white dots on the water and the buildings have no definition whatsoever.

Ev=-0.3 >the silhouetteof afew clouds can be seen but the trees are now forming a dark row. Ah, I can now see that the white dots on the water are actual birds. Some sort of birds. I can also see a few details on the buildings.

Ev=-0.7 > The sky has a lot more definition. I see the geese eyes and some feather details. The trees are now in total darkness and the buildings have more details on the walls but all the dark areashave nodetails

This behavior is hard to accept. I can't win. I need to pick what I want to see the moston the scene and ignore the rest of it. Now, to be fair, I can recover some highlight/shadow inPS but the more I try to recover, the worse the image is in termes of tone, color saturation and sharpness.

Shooting RAW is certainly an option, which I haven't tried (well, I tried but have to means to convert since Adobe hasn't provided camera raw support for the E510 forPSE4 (and I don't want to take anything outof the box in case I decide to return the camera).Is there any free software out there that will allow me to manipulate the ORF file that comes out of the E510? I could not find one.
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Old Dec 29, 2007, 1:24 PM   #16
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It's an overcast day today. I just went outside and took some pictures of subjects that contain some white areas changing the Ev only. I'm not going to flood this topic w/ images so I'll pick the most drastic scenario just so you all can see what I'm talking about (and perhaps tell me how stupid I am by setting the camera incorrectly.

This is a shot of my side backyard. I started with Ev 0 and went down from there. This exercise attempts to show what happens when the camera deals with contrast of any kind (the sun is not even out, so no real hot spots). The change in Ev value in 1/3 steps was so insignificant that I won't bother posting every single shot of the scale.

So, with that said, here we go. Remember, I'll sky 0.3 Ev between pictures, going from 0 to -0.7 to -1.3, etc.

Ev 0 ==> how do you like that sky? It's almost a white wall, isn't it?
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Old Dec 29, 2007, 1:28 PM   #17
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Ev -0.7 ==> Even though I decresed the Ev by 0.7, the sky is still very over exposed. However, the rest of the image is quite a bit darker. A lot of detail by the water fountain, the patio floor andalong the garage door wall where the bench is, have been lost already. Still recoverable in PS, though.
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Old Dec 29, 2007, 1:32 PM   #18
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Ev -1.3 ==> Oh look, it appears that the sky is not completely white. There are a few patches of blue. However, these patches come at the expense of the entire image being completely under exposed. Details at the far back are mostly gone.
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Old Dec 29, 2007, 1:35 PM   #19
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Ev -2.0 ==> The sky is looking much better. Lots of blue spots can be seen between the clouds. However, the patio is now very under exposed. How can this possibly be acceptable???
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Old Dec 29, 2007, 1:40 PM   #20
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And last, Ev=-2.7. At this setting, the camera is no longer showing the highlight flashing. The sky looks good. The blue is just right, not too light, not too strong. But, the patio is now in total darkness. Can some detail be recovered in PS? Sure but I dowbt the image will look very good.

So, there you have it. If this is not a good test, I'd appreciate the comments and suggestions. I can post other test images I took this morning showing the inability of the E510 of handling any contrast at all.
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