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Old Apr 18, 2010, 9:38 AM   #1
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Default A new system for Yellowstone

I'm planning a week photo trip the last week of May and I gave my only backup camera to my niece and nephew a year ago. I have been on pins and needles, and while I never had a problem with Oly digital equipment, I don't want to bet the whole trip on it either. I started shopping.

Its a great time to shop. I had an E-30 in the cart. Decent viewfinder, updated sensor and engine, and the price is quite attractive with $100 rebate. The downside is I'm likely to be a late adopter of the successor to an E-x and my current camera would be resigned to backup status. It may be too nice of a camera, as I really don't want three full sized bodies. I removed it from the cart .

Next I thought a cheaper intro body. E-520's are still available and a song. I added one to the cart. Then I thought better of it. It would be a step backward in sensor technology, and the finder would be challenging for my macro, which I really love. I deleted it from the cart too .

E-3's are really a great deal right now too with the $100 kickback. I really like my E-3. The viewfinder is sweet, the weather sealing is great, its solid and dependable, but it would lock me into the statis quo for several years. It never made it into the cart.

Hmmm. That leaves the E620 as the only Oly soldier standing. I added it to the cart!!! It has a newer sensor and allows better handling of highlights. It does support radio controlled flash so my macro wouldn't suffer the loss of the Metz ringflash. I've seen the output of the camera, and I am a fan. In the end, while the viewfinder is better, Itís still a fairly big step backwards and I use manual focus more than average with the macro and all. You guessed it. I removed it from my cart .

No more Oly DSLRs left. Do I switch systems? EXPENSIVE!!!! I really don't want to be without backup. Rent??? Borrow????? What to do, what to do????

I added the E-PL1 to the cart. Am I nuts??? (Don't answer that ) A camera dedicated to live view should do ok with macro and the finder issue would be fine as its 2.7 inches. It would make use of all the glass I own with an adapter, and would allow video to boot. That could be interesting. It has an updated sensor and processing engine. Cool enough. It would look odd as hell on the 300 f2.8, but I only use it on a gimbal so the stress should never be an issue. Sure, it uses a different battery and I lose phase detect autofocus, but it is only a backup. Hmmmm, could this work .

Ok, new system. As all you know, I like good glass. What do I want do do here. The 17mm f2.8 is compact and is $50 off. I considered it as it would fit in a pocket and go anywhere. The kit 14-42 is more versatile, but it loses some pocketability. I chose to go body only and added the Panny 20mm f1.7 as that adds speed I never had with the system I have now, both ISO and lens speed. I had the Panny adapter added to the kit as it was cheaper, but then came across the Oly adapter and 40-150 kit lens for $199. That lens is compact and is designed for contrast detect AF. Bought it!

My plan is to leave the 20mm on almost all the time, and pack the 35 macro, the 50 macro, the EC-14 and the 40-150 as a light kit I can carry anywhere . It does backup the E-3 in an emergency with the heavier glass. I hope I'll be as pleased as I think I'll be.
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Last edited by fldspringer; Apr 18, 2010 at 9:59 AM.
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 10:17 AM   #2
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Congrats Greg, on getting the E-PL1. You're going to have a lot of fun with it at Yellowstone-for sure!

And as far as I'm concerned you've bought it for all the right reasons. Ever since the m43 system was released, I thought that it was the perfect answer to use as a travel camera. Something small, light......well you know what I mean.

Anyways, don't know if you've been there before. But if you haven't, you'll be in for a real treat. Lots of fantastic scenery, wildlife, foliage. My wife and I took the kids out there on what you'd call the 'Griswold All-American vacation'
1850 miles in 8 days. We loved it. Even our kids , who were teenagers at the time, loved it.

I can't wait to see your results.

Zig
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 11:17 AM   #3
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Greg,
............I'm with Zig, you will love the photo ops and I'm anxious to see the results too.

I wish I could rationalize as well as you, seems I begin thinking, then wishing, then wanting, then SPENDING, then figuring out ... what was it I just done
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 2:02 PM   #4
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Looking forward to seeing your macro results with the Pen. I've thought about getting one for the same reasons, live view and I'd think the small size could be really handy getting awkward shots.

John
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 9:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
Congrats Greg, on getting the E-PL1. You're going to have a lot of fun with it at Yellowstone-for sure!

And as far as I'm concerned you've bought it for all the right reasons. Ever since the m43 system was released, I thought that it was the perfect answer to use as a travel camera. Something small, light......well you know what I mean.

Anyways, don't know if you've been there before. But if you haven't, you'll be in for a real treat. Lots of fantastic scenery, wildlife, foliage. My wife and I took the kids out there on what you'd call the 'Griswold All-American vacation'
1850 miles in 8 days. We loved it. Even our kids , who were teenagers at the time, loved it.

I can't wait to see your results.

Zig
Hi Zig,

This will be my first trip to Yellowstone. I'm looking forward to putting the 300mm to use.

I hope to spend a day in the badlands on the way out or the way back. May try to swing by Devil's tower too. I'd like a day in Grand Teton, and a couple in Yellowstone. If Yellowstone has too much hustle and bustle, I may spend a couple days at Red Rock Lakes in Montana. This is my first time off in a year and a half. I'm looking forward to it and hope the weather plays to my advantage.

I'm thinking this will be a trip for the E-3 and the big glass. I'm thinking the bookends, the 7-14 and the 300mm will get alot of use. The rest I'm interested to find out.

My thoughts on the E-PL1 is that it will stay in the car in the passenger seat, so that those "I wish I had my camera" times are fewer. It will be easy to pack on hikes too. I just won't have an excuse to leave all the equipment behind.

Thanks for the reply, and is you have any words of wisdom about Yellowstone, my ears are open.
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 9:33 PM   #6
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Greg,
............I'm with Zig, you will love the photo ops and I'm anxious to see the results too.

I wish I could rationalize as well as you, seems I begin thinking, then wishing, then wanting, then SPENDING, then figuring out ... what was it I just done
Some rationalize to a fault. I speak from experience here. There were several times I was only a click away from a different choice. To some degree all the choices made some sense and all had a drawback or two. I hope I made a good choice, but this gives me some things I didn't have before. Time will tell if its a good rationilization of if I stepped in it... Again.

One thing seems certain. The E-Pen cameras seem to be a hit. Voightlander M-mount glass is selling out everywhere and B&H is sold out of the batteries, as are some other suppliers. Good for Olympus!
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 9:49 PM   #7
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Looking forward to seeing your macro results with the Pen. I've thought about getting one for the same reasons, live view and I'd think the small size could be really handy getting awkward shots.

John
I REALLY like the E-3 for macro. I use that ring flash for almost all my shots. The size of the flash ring is the limiting factor as far as handling is concerned.

Where I see the E-PL1 being a macro-factor (sounds like some obscure mathematic dicipline) is that it will fit in a small pack and will be with me much more of the time.

I'll let you know how I get along.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 6:25 AM   #8
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Hi Zig,

This will be my first trip to Yellowstone. I'm looking forward to putting the 300mm to use.

I hope to spend a day in the badlands on the way out or the way back. May try to swing by Devil's tower too. I'd like a day in Grand Teton, and a couple in Yellowstone. If Yellowstone has too much hustle and bustle, I may spend a couple days at Red Rock Lakes in Montana. This is my first time off in a year and a half. I'm looking forward to it and hope the weather plays to my advantage.

I'm thinking this will be a trip for the E-3 and the big glass. I'm thinking the bookends, the 7-14 and the 300mm will get alot of use. The rest I'm interested to find out.

Thanks for the reply, and is you have any words of wisdom about Yellowstone, my ears are open.

Hi Greg,

The only words of wisdom I really have about Yellowstone is to take it all in and enjoy yourself.

The area is much larger than you realize though. We spent 2 days in the Park and should have spent a week. We came in through the northern entrance at Mammoth having gone through the Shoshone National Forest and Beartooth Pass. In May, that area is probably closed off due to snow- elevation 10,899ft.

The areas we very much enjoyed in the Park was staying at the Old Faithful Inn, the sulpher beds, the Firehole River and a myriad of other beautiful areas.

You're right. I see you using the 7-14 a lot as well as a 12-60mm. The vistas are just awe inspiring.

The Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole are also spectacular.


They don't call that part of the world Big Sky Country for nothing.

Zig
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 7:23 AM   #9
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if you have any words of wisdom about Yellowstone, my ears are open.
It's a spectacular place and some of the hot springs have amazing colors from the minerals in the water. What's difficult to visualize (because it's so large) is that the park is a giant caldera - must have been a heck of a volcano...

Humorous note: Grand Teton is a French phrase - you should look up what it means.

Ted
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