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Old Jan 28, 2010, 10:25 AM   #1
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Default Hey Ted, E-500 samples ( 8300 CCD sensor)

As stated by Ted Kurkowski in an earlier post:

Meanwhile, I've been on the Net and stewing about what the heck happened to DR in Oly DSLRs. I posted a photo on page 1 of Greg's "A Bendn the Path" thread. It's not a great photo but if you could see the original jpeg you would be blown away at the DR of that unprocessed out-of-the-camera jpeg from the L1. I've never seen that DR from any of the 5 Oly DSLRs I've owned. And I assume owners of the E-300 have the same experience, since it's the same sensor and engine as far as I know. So how much DR did Oly give up in chasing after better high-ISO/higher MP images?

I love Oly DSLRs and I don't mean to keep beating the drum about the L1. But that cam has really opened my eyes about what a good DSLR can do and how much easier a DSLR with mechanical controls can be to use, rather than menu-driven controls. (When the L1 was introduced, Harj made that point but at the time I didn't appreciate his point like I do now - I'm pretty slow sometimes.) And whether Oly has slipped a lot on DR with their choice of sensors.

Some members of this forum have the Oly E300. I'd be very interested in knowing if they think the DR of newer Oly cams has slipped compared to the E-300.

TedI took a look into some of my old image files taken using the E-500 and came up with a few that I thought might be appropriate for discussion relative to your question about DR being better in some of the earlier version E-XXX series cameras as compared to the newer models i.e. E-620, E30.

After looking at many of the images I took with the E-500, I came away with the feeling that the Kodak sensor was indeed quite good. I chose these 4 images because they all have attributes that I liked in the E-500.

#1 is my wife standing outside by the car as we''re waiting to board a ferry to Long Island. I remember the day well as it was hot and the Sun was quite strong. This image is basically straight out of the camera with no pp other than toning down a bit of contrast. Taken with the 14-45mm lens. Camera was set to auto- without any other compensations.

#2 is a sunset shot. I included this shot because it is out of the camera without any color or noise adjustments. Only thing I did was to crop it.
This one surprised me, in that, there is little noise to complain about. In fact, I think the noise is well controlled here. I'm also reminded of how much I liked the colors that came out of the E-500.

#3 is a sign outside the Barking Crab Restaurant in Boston's waterfront district. Again, no PP, "no nothing"- straight out of the cam. I included it again due to how much I liked the colors that came out of the E-500.

#4 Is a photo of a Rhody flower taken with the E-500 and 50mm macro.
To me, this is a good example of the amount of detail captured in the shadows as well as the very bright areas. Cropped to size. I think I lightened this to show more detail in the shadows.

After seeing these images, I'm sorry now that I sold that camera. The colors- to me- are really quite surprisingly good.


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Old Jan 28, 2010, 12:00 PM   #2
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...........I won't even think of not having my E-300. Although I do not use it much I do like the results when I hook it up with the 14-54.

Same as with my C-7070WZ, I will always have that camera too. As for the DR range of the cameras vs the E-3, I have always liked the E-300 results better than what I make using the E-3.

Here are a couple from my E-300 with the 14-54.
____
boBB

....traffic lights













......but when I have these from the E-3 & 14-54 I am really happy I have it too.





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Old Jan 28, 2010, 12:05 PM   #3
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I have kept my E300. I have not used it much recently, but it was so inexpensive when I bought it ($350 as a refurb from the Olympus store on eBay) I've chosen to just let it sit in a bag in my closet!

I can remember fondling an L1 in Best Buy when they were for sale new and liking the old-style controls like the shutter speed dial, aperture ring and the built-in flash head that could be set to bounce. I also remember why I didn't buy one back then....they had been out for a while and were still priced at $1,995 for the body/14-50 lens combination when it should have been half that price.

The early models right after the E500 and E330, so I'm talking the E510/410 and, to a less extent, the E520, were probably a slight step back, but I also think the E620 and E30 are the best Olympus bodies I have owned in every way. The one regret I have regards to selling something too soon was an E330 I bought new and did not keep very long at all. I had bought it for my second trip to Europe in 2007 before I went through a short-lived fling with a Panasonic FZ50 and sold my original Olympus DSLR outfit.

In 2009 I went back to the E1 for several months and really enjoyed using it. The colors are really nice, it's the most quiet shutter in any DSLR I've ever owned, the finder is huge and the handling is magnificent, but I see no real advantage to the sensor in terms of dynamic range, certain factors about that camera (LCD size, writing speed) make it "feel" quite archaic today and features like wireless flash, built-in image stabilization, marginally faster flash sync speeds, much faster burst speeds, a much more customizable noise filter (with the E1 your options are on or off), auto ISO customizeable options, bigger, nicer back LCD's that zoom to 14x (The E1 topped out at 4x, E300 to 8x) leave the early Olympus DSLR's behind.

Using normal gradation, I also think the dynamic range of the E30 and E620 both are better than anything Olympus has made to date that I have owned. No idea what made Olympus abandon Kodak for Panasonic-made sensors other than possibly the collaboration between the two with the 4/3rd's system. The bad high ISO issue in early models was a combination of both the Kodak sensor only being rated up to ISO 800 and Olympus' less-than-stellar internal JPEG processing. RAW files from the E1 and E300 up to ISO 800 work very well when processed in current RAW programs. Still, given the option, the E30 or E620 is what I would choose to shoot with given the equipment at-hand to choose from, sunshine or not.
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Old Jan 28, 2010, 3:43 PM   #4
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Hi Bob,

Your images are far better examples of what Ted was trying to say.
The examples that I posted are more a matter of what I liked about the E-500 and it's Kodak CCD sensor.



Greg said,


Still, given the option, the E30 or E620 is what I would choose to shoot with given the equipment at-hand to choose from, sunshine or not.[/QUOTE]


Hi Greg,

I agree. As much as I liked the colors that the Kodak CCD sensor produced
in the E-500, The E-500 is no match as far as the design, features set, and capabilities are concerned for either the E-620 or E-30.

What I failed to mention in my post is that the E-500 lacked IBIS, had a very small OVF, no articulating LCD screen, utilized a basic 3 point AF focus system, the ability to better control ISO settings, leveling feature. Frankly, it was a much less robust camera.

The E-30 is the best Olympus dslr camera that I've ever owned. And, I don't plan on replacing it anytime soon, regardless of what improvements there are in the next iteration.

Zig
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Old Jan 28, 2010, 5:08 PM   #5
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Kinda crunched right now at work. Thanks for the response - I'll digest this and reply tomorrow.

Ted
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Old Jan 28, 2010, 8:55 PM   #6
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Some really great shots, excellent examples.

Interesting thread guys. When the E-330 came out in 2006, it was priced at about $1,100 and was more expensive than the E-1 and the E-500. That hurt the total sales of the E330.

I was attracted to it because when I handled one, it instantly seemed familiar, because it felt and handled like by C-8080. (a tough, well built cameras with great colors.)

Anyway, I liked the articulated LCD screen, the live view, and the "feel" when I use it. I have had no problem with the images from the "Live MOS" sensor that was introduced with the camera, even though it was just under 8 MP. I'm sure when I add to my Oly stable with my next purchase, I will still keep the E330 along with my C-8080.
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 8:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
As stated by Ted Kurkowski in an earlier post:
Ted
I took a look into some of my old image files taken using the E-500 and came up with a few that I thought might be appropriate for discussion relative to your question about DR being better in some of the earlier version E-XXX series cameras as compared to the newer models i.e. E-620, E30.

After looking at many of the images I took with the E-500, I came away with the feeling that the Kodak sensor was indeed quite good. I chose these 4 images because they all have attributes that I liked in the E-500.

After seeing these images, I'm sorry now that I sold that camera. The colors- to me- are really quite surprisingly good.

Zig
Hi, Zig

To put this back in perspective, my original issue had to do with whether or not the later 4/3 cams had given up DR based on my initial experience with the L1. Discussion on the 43User L1 Forum notes that the L1 sensor does indeed not have better DR than later sensors, so I'm guessing that either my perception is off or that the L1 jpeg processor is better, since I'm only comparing out-of-the-cam jpegs. I suspect that to resolve this for myself I need to shoot side by side RAW files with the L1 and the E3 (which should be interesting since I haven't done much work with RAW files. Don't tell Greg C or anyone else on this forum but I rarely have had the time to play with RAW files.)

Ted

PS: nice images!

PPS: I don't use the E500 anymore and don't miss it - I really don't think it does better than the E3 and it's way less comfortable to use, for me.
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 8:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
I have kept my E300. I have not used it much recently, but it was so inexpensive when I bought it ($350 as a refurb from the Olympus store on eBay) I've chosen to just let it sit in a bag in my closet!

I can remember fondling an L1 in Best Buy when they were for sale new and liking the old-style controls like the shutter speed dial, aperture ring and the built-in flash head that could be set to bounce. I also remember why I didn't buy one back then....they had been out for a while and were still priced at $1,995 for the body/14-50 lens combination when it should have been half that price.

The early models right after the E500 and E330, so I'm talking the E510/410 and, to a less extent, the E520, were probably a slight step back, but I also think the E620 and E30 are the best Olympus bodies I have owned in every way. The one regret I have regards to selling something too soon was an E330 I bought new and did not keep very long at all. I had bought it for my second trip to Europe in 2007 before I went through a short-lived fling with a Panasonic FZ50 and sold my original Olympus DSLR outfit.

Using normal gradation, I also think the dynamic range of the E30 and E620 both are better than anything Olympus has made to date that I have owned. No idea what made Olympus abandon Kodak for Panasonic-made sensors other than possibly the collaboration between the two with the 4/3rd's system. The bad high ISO issue in early models was a combination of both the Kodak sensor only being rated up to ISO 800 and Olympus' less-than-stellar internal JPEG processing. RAW files from the E1 and E300 up to ISO 800 work very well when processed in current RAW programs. Still, given the option, the E30 or E620 is what I would choose to shoot with given the equipment at-hand to choose from, sunshine or not.
Hi, Greg

The old-style controls of the L1 indeed are fun. The high price of the L1 kit had a lot to do with the Leica lens but that lens is really exemplary. When PopPhoto reviewed it they said it was the best lens in that zoom range they ever tested. Ironically, when they tested the ZD 12-60 they said it was the only lens they had tested that was a bit better than that Leica.

I think you're right that the Oly jpeg engine isn't as good as it should be - I think that's the reason I was so impressed with the L1 jpeg images. So I figure I'm needing to get as involved as you have been with processing Oly RAW images. Let me know if Kelby's class is good!

Ted
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 5:37 PM   #9
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Default Kodak chip has a place

I have a soft spot for its image quality. At base ISO the colors and total lack of noise make it a favorite of mine.

E500 w/ a variety of lenses.











The E500 has been handed down to my neice and nephew as they seem interested in photography. Its getting more use than I'd give it, and the E500/14-45/40-150 kit lenses are a great way to start.

Thanks for making me look into the archives.

Greg

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Old Feb 1, 2010, 4:17 AM   #10
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Hi Greg,

Great series of images.

Like you, I'm thankful that Ted asked the question as it prompted me to look into my photo library. As a result, I've been purging files I've no idea as to why I saved and, in the process, rediscovering some photos that I'd forgotten.

Since it's been so cold out, that I haven't had the desire to go out and shoot anything. Instead, I've been taking a lot of the old files and having fun running them through Adobe's ACR 5.6. That program continues to surprise me as to how much detail can be recaptured in a jpeg file.

Zig
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