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Old Apr 25, 2009, 5:07 PM   #1
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Hi all,

Decided to start a new post on my 1st daywith the E30. Today was 'cleanup' day at the flyfishing club I belong to. Each year, the members volunteer their time andmaterialsto perform much needed maintenance on the buildings and grounds that comprise the club. I thought it would be the perfect place to take a bunch of pictures and see what kind of results I might get.

I thought the best way to start would be simply to use the camera inauto mode to see what the results would be like using the factory set defaults. After all, there must be a lot of very competent engineers over at Olympus who put their heads together and designed this thing. I might as well try it the way they intended it to work. By the way, I used either a 14-54mm ZD or 50-200mm ZD lens.

These aremy non-technical first thoughts and examples:

Got there around 6:30am. Someone had already tried to cut down a tree but got it hung up in between some other trees. A bad way to start. The image is a pretty good consideraing there wasn't much light yet.



The sun was harsh today. Lots of high contrast situations. I just left the camera on auto mode and snapped pics. Here is on of the worst ecountered during the day. I know I would have had truble with my E-510 capturing this without mega blowout issues.



another example of harsh lighting:



I purposely tried to place myself in the wrong spots relative to lighting to see how bad my results would be. I'm happy to say that overall, the camera gave me good images regardless of what I did.

You know me and birds, I can't walk by a birds nest without trying to take apicture of a bird. Here is the only image that I took using a 50-200mm lens. A common sparrow had built a nest in the eaves of the porch. It was quite dark and the camera just didn't or couldn't take the photo due to poor ight. This is the only photo I took in Manual mode while there.



Note: no flash used.



Rather than flood this post with a bunch of images, if anyone is interested in seeing more,here is the link to the gallery:

http://www.pbase.com/zig123/e30_images

Some observations:

I got crossed up by the 11 point AF system. I've always used the E-510 with only the single focus point in the center. In auto mode on the E30, any of the 11 points will activate depending upon which can lock in on a focus point first. It's also disconcerting, when it tries to refocus and hunts back and forth. - Gotta figure out what the best way of overcoming that is. i just might go back to single center focus point being activated.

The onetime I used the camera in manual mode, I did and ISO adjustment. I was surprised to see so many more choices. On the E-510, it's 100, 200, 400, 800, or 1600. On the 30, you ca go up to 3200 in many more increments.-

Wow, the OPV is bright and easy to see thru. This should be the standard for all of the other entry level dslrs made by Oly. I gotta think that the OPV on the E3 must be awesome since it's larger than the one fund on the E30.

Continuous burst has two settings Hi and Low. I tired both with each being faster than what I'm accustomed to. The high setting at 5fps is amazing.

The LCD info display at the bottom of the OPV is just a joy to see and use. I've never used it on the E-510 because of where it was placed. I now don't have to take my eye away from the viewfinder and check my settings on the screen to before I shoot.

The E30 may not have the same build quality as the E3 as far as weatherproofing is concerned but it sure feels like it's built like a tank compared to what I've been used to. Really does feel rugged. At times, I've felt like I needed to be cautious with the E510. Not so, with this camera.

The LCD screen can easily be seen in any sunlight no matter how harsh or bright it may be. What an improvement over the E500 or E510

Too many buttons. I realize that Olympus has given the user many different ways to access specific settings-either by way of buttons or thru the super control panel. I for one could do without many of the buttons found along various parts of the camera body. The super control panel to me is easy, intuitive and once you get the hang of it, it seems natural to me, to just go there and make a quick change. I seem to be fiddling around for buttons and when I don't find them, I then go to the super control panel. Anyways, I'm sure, once I get more familair with thebody, the button issue might just go away- we'll see.

Don't use an ME-1 eyepiece with this camera. I took the one off my E-510 and tried to use it on the E30. The outer edges seem to be out of focus. I couldn't get it to work properly. In the end, I just put the eyepiece supplied with the camera back on. It works fine.

The LCD screen on the top of the camera body is cool.I never looked at it. BUT it's cool.

It took me a few months before I really felt like I had a handle on getting the most out of the E-510. It will probably take me as long using the E30. I know I've got a lot of reading to do.

And I appreciate your suggestions about "my mode". My next task is to read everything I can find out about customizing settings and where it makes sense for me to do that.

I have no idea how this camera compares to any of the Canons or Nikons that it is designed to compete with. I'll leave that to the professional reviewers out there that get paid to do that. All I know is that this is one heck of an improvement over any of the other Eseries cameras that I've owned.

I'm reallyimpressed withthis camera. And am happy that I decided to get it.

Zig






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Old Apr 25, 2009, 6:14 PM   #2
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Hey Zig!

Nice series of pics with the new E30 and also good to read your first thoughts on the cam, which on first read seems very similar to what the E3 does. From those pics - it looks as if the new cam's going to handle some difficult lighting situations well.

Regards the AF - I gave up on the other modes shortly after I got the E3 as you just don;t know which AF point is going to get used and just stick with Single point and move it to one of the 11 AF points in the VF. Now i think if your shooting BIF's or sports that the diamond AF setting might be useful esp when used with CAF.

OVF - completely agree with you on this. Oly should make the E30's size OVF the standard across all of the entry to mid level cam's, well at least the E30 and E5XX series cams.

Buttons - you'll find that once you set the camera up like you want you'll hardly ever touch the buttons. The command screen is one seriously useful screen that you'll use a lot and only use the ISO or AF point buttons.

Cheers

Harj

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Old Apr 25, 2009, 6:51 PM   #3
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........thanks for the post Zig, these are some good out of the box..er' camera photos.

Great looking place y'all have, it reminds me of a time I lived and worked on a lake for a year when I was a young guy.
____
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Old Apr 25, 2009, 7:51 PM   #4
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HarjTT wrote:
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Regards the AF - I gave up on the other modes shortly after I got the E3 as you just don;t know which AF point is going to get used and just stick with Single point and move it to one of the 11 AF points in the VF. Now i think if your shooting BIF's or sports that the diamond AF setting might be useful esp when used with CAF.

Agree completely. earlier today I decided to try using the three AF auto point selection of my E520 at the horse track. That lasted for all ofone race and I was back to usingsingle, centerAF point shooting.

Very nice-looking start, Zig. I am jealous.
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 6:12 AM   #5
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Hi Harj,Bob,Greg,

Thanks for your input and response. I'm glad to hear you reinforce the use of the single point AF. It seemed to me, after using the default 11 point AF, that that setting just wasn't going to cut it and that single point was the answer. I do like the ability to choose which of the 11 points I want to use. That feature will definitely be an advantage when shooting birds.

Harj, I do have to delve into the diamond patterned AF setting a bit more. And, you're right about the buttons. I very rarely ever used the buttons on the E510- other than the FN button, which I set up forWB adjustment. Making changes on the screen was my preferred method.

Bob, you're right about the Club. It's always been a special place to me. It s comprised of 3 man made ponds and sits on 100 acres of woodland adjacent to a river. It's about 30 minutes away fromBoston, yet when you driveonto the property, you''d swear you were in a fishing camp deep inMaine.I don't get much of a chance to go there these days as we've moved an hour and a half away. But it'sa place where I saw my kids grow up and after 28 years of being a member, have a lot of fond memories. I just go back in time as soon as I set foot on the property. And the flyfishing can be spectacular this time of year. Especially when one of the midge hatches take place on a warm Spring evening.

The property abuts a pheasanthunting club which also has about 100 acres of property. We lease out our woodlands to the hunt club so that they have a greater area to hunt. In the Fall, when the birds are put out each morning and the hunters arrive with their springers all charged up and ready to go, and the Fall colors on the trees, it's quite magical. Greg (the northern one) would have a field day here with his E3.

Geez, just writing about the place makes me want to jump in the car and drive there this morning.




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Old Apr 26, 2009, 7:08 AM   #6
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zig-123 wrote:
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i just might go back to single center focus point being activated.

And I appreciate your suggestions about "my mode". My next task is to read everything I can find out about customizing settings and where it makes sense for me to do that.
Hi, Zig

Almost all settings on the camera can be stored in My Mode. Since I do a lot of indoor available light imaging I have one of them set for that (e.g. ISO 800, incandescent WB) and the other for outdoor daylight photography. That way I don't end up forgetting and shooting outdoors with the wrong WB.

Like Harj, I gave up on the 11-point autofocus - it drove me nuts. I settled on the diamond pattern and it has worked really well for me.

Glad you are enjoying the camera!

Ted
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 9:46 AM   #7
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Well Zig, its nice to see your off and running.

I remember the first outings with my E-3, and lets just say you are doing better than I did. The first day I found out that IS isn't good for everything. I also found that multi-point AF wasn't well suited for my application. The second day I discovered that it would toast highlights beyond recovery methods with no exposure bias. Your E-30 looks like it is MUCH better in that area!My results were disappointing at first, but I found that post processing was simply different than what I was used to. For me, it took awhile.

The setup of the camera is a very personal thing. With mine, I control exposure bias with the front wheel, and the aperture with the rear. My "my modes" are different than Ted's because we do different things with our cameras. I have one set for action (C-AF, High speed FPS, Center weighted metering, -.3ev bias) and the other is set for more deliberate use (S-AF, Single shot, spot metering). What it allows is a known starting point that can be tweaked as needed.

Your comments about the top LCD is interesting. I rely heavily on mine. When I pick up the E500, what do I notice most? Small viewfinder?, no. No IS, No. Speed? Maybe. Truth be told, when I do pick up the E500, its the thing I miss most.My LCD on the E-3 spends most of its time flipped in. I use the top LCD for the settings and it is easiier toread in sunlight.

What you have now is a diamond in the rough. As the next few months go by and as you discover what works for you and tweak the settings, the camera will become a tool adjusted specifically to your style. I'm confident you WILL love it.

AND I love shooting bird work during the fall when the leaves are changing. Magical sums it up very well, and the bokeh is great.

Greg (the northern one)


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Old Apr 26, 2009, 11:05 AM   #8
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Looking good, zig. Now we are all envious of your new toy, (and probably more envious of the good times you'll have playing with it!).

However, being the independent, non-conforming type that I am, may I simply state that I disagree with everyone fully about the buttons. I love the buttons!! So much quicker and easier than going thru menu trees. What's not to like?Conditions and subjects change so quickly, andthe buttons are definitely faster than menus. (Maybe I'm more impatient then you guys, or you are photographing static situations!!)

:-)

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Old Apr 26, 2009, 11:23 AM   #9
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fldspringer wrote:
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The setup of the camera is a very personal thing. With mine, I control exposure bias with the front wheel, and the aperture with the rear. My "my modes" are different than Ted's because we do different things with our cameras. I have one set for action (C-AF, High speed FPS, Center weighted metering, -.3ev bias) and the other is set for more deliberate use (S-AF, Single shot, spot metering). What it allows is a known starting point that can be tweaked as needed.

Your comments about the top LCD is interesting. I rely heavily on mine. When I pick up the E500, what do I notice most? Small viewfinder?, no. No IS, No. Speed? Maybe. Truth be told, when I do pick up the E500, its the thing I miss most.My LCD on the E-3 spends most of its time flipped in. I use the top LCD for the settings and it is easiier toread in sunlight.

AND I love shooting bird work during the fall when the leaves are changing. Magical sums it up very well, and the bokeh is great.

Greg (the northern one)


Hi Ted//Greg,

Yes Ted, I'm really enjoying this new toy. Ihave a lot of funlearning and experimenting withnew gadgets and such so this one should keep me busy for quite some time.

Greg,

Your comments on the front and rear adjusting wheels are spot on. The default settings for the E30 are that therear wheel adjusts the shutter speed while the front adjusts the aperture. I quickly caught on yesterday, that in manual mode, I could make those adjustments without taking my eye from the OPV since the information display at the bottom of the OPV was clear and really easy to see. This is a revelation to me as it's something that I couldn't do with the E-510. By the way, it's probably the reason that I haven't yet looked at the top LCD display.

I feel like a conscious incompetent right now, I know that there's a lot I DON'T know about this camera. Ikeep saying that I've got to the read the manual. And, that's the simple truth. Lot's of stuff to learn about this camera.

Zig





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Old Apr 26, 2009, 3:50 PM   #10
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fldspringer wrote:
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My "my modes" are different than Ted's because we do different things with our cameras. I have one set for action (C-AF, High speed FPS, Center weighted metering, -.3ev bias) and the other is set for more deliberate use (S-AF, Single shot, spot metering). What it allows is a known starting point that can be tweaked as needed.
Hi, Dairyland Greg

I was figuring Zig would be more inclined to set up his My Modes the way you did rather than how I did, given that he's imaging birds. But we've given him some good examples to think about...

Ted


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