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Old Nov 7, 2010, 9:42 AM   #31
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This is OT but this series has been going around the Internet and if you haven't seen it take a look - very funny:



























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Old Nov 7, 2010, 9:48 AM   #32
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hehehe ....pretty well covers it!
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 5:26 AM   #33
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the cat and the laser pointer is on the money!
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 6:58 AM   #34
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the cat and the laser pointer is on the money!
Hah! That's exactly what every one of my friends who have cats, all said!
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 8:21 AM   #35
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hehehe ....pretty well covers it!
Those are great Ted. Hey Bob, let me offer some more:





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Old Nov 8, 2010, 9:34 AM   #36
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A little while ago, Zig and others asked that I post my perceptions of the nikon d7000 (my new camera) in comparison to my experience with olympus (the e-xxx series). Since I didn't find that thread again, and since I don't think this needs a new thread, I decided to post it here, on the chit chat/off topic thread (since nikon cameras are off topic for a 4/3s forum).

Before I go in depth about the nikon system, let me just say that I will say as little as possible about the body itself, since it wouldn't be fair to compare the entry level cameras on olympus to a $1200 camera. But since lenses, sensors, and accessories are shared between entry level and mid level cameras on both systems, I will talk about those.

Also, before anyone gets the wrong idea that I am bragging or just being the typical canikon troll, let me just say and reiterate that if olympus had announced a new e-xx or e-xxx, or given any indication at all that they are fully committed to those formats in dslr form, I would have never switched.

So after all that, here are my impressions of the two systems:

sensor:
There is no doubt about it, the d7000 sensor is a very nice sensor. I think people used to exaggerate the importance of test results (i.e., the d40x might outperform the e-510 on tests, but in reality the differences were imperceptible). But with the d7000, the differences are noticeable if compared to olympus' sensors. it remains to be seen whether the e-5 can get more out of that sensor through the new engine and other things, so I am not comparing it to the e-5, but to the e-30 and so on (though I've yet to see an engine have any significant impact on raw images). The difference in noise is noticeable at large print sizes and pixel peeping (especially when you control for the difference in mp), but since I don't print large photos often, and I don't look at ultra magnified images on the screen often, I think that the difference there isn't that big of a deal, and not enough to change systems (unless you do print large images, Im guessing its the same for most people).

Where the sensor makes a difference in every size and viewing form is DR. DR in the d7000 is incredible (and it is one area where olympus is not promising any gains on the e-5). The only times I've had blown highlights were when I was using my fisheye lenses in situations where there were lots of shadows and highlights, and even then it wasn't that bad. Usable DR is much better in the d7000 than in anything Ive ever seen from olympus, so that might be a reason to switch if you want more DR.

Lenses

One thing that olympus does have an advantage, though, is the crop factor. If there is one thing I miss from olympus, is the fact that with 2 relatively light lenses I could cover 28-600 (or 24 for those with the 12-60) with good quality lenses. Lightness is certainly a noticeable issue. The sigma 17-70, for example, which covers essentially the same range as the 14-54, weighs 100grams more, and the difference only increases as you try to match the same effective focus distances.

Another thing that also makes a difference is IBIS. It was more of a challenge deciding which lenses to get for my nikon because it is a lot harder to find a perfect match if you value IS (which I do). For example, I considered getting one of the fast tele zooms available (max aperture 2.8), but all the sub 1000 ones lack IS. To get IS on a fast tele zoom you have to spend some $1600 to get a sigma, so having something like the zuiko 50-200, with all its quality, relatively low price and IBIS is certainly a big plus for olympus.

Now, if IBIS makes a significant difference in deciding which lenses to get and how much to spend, there is one significant advantage to having IS in lens that I hadn't really thought about before: stabilized image on the viewfinder. It is simply a lot easier to focus, and to keep something focused, when the view in the viewfinder is stabilized. Especially at 300mm. I got the tamron 70-300 vc, which is a nice lens and actually sharper than the zuiko 70-300 at the long end, and it's been very easy focusing on things at 300mm handheld (I do miss the macro capabilities of the zuiko, though). I know you can see a stabilized view through live view holding the IS button on olympus' bodies, but having to hold out the camera to use live view can do more harm than good at the long end.

One thing that is specific to the lens I got (the sigma 17-70), but that I understand happens in many other lenses, though, is that overriding AF can be a hassle. On the olympus, I could set the AF on m+af and override or fine tune AF using the ring. This sigma (and others) doesn't allow you to adjust focus manually if the lens is set to AF, so if you want to override AF you have to turn a switch both in the body and on the lens.

So the bottom line is that you have to spend more (if you want IS), get heavier and get more lenses (to cover the same focusing distance range) but at least in my choice of lenses, the 14-54 was sharper than my new 17-70, but my new 70-300 is sharper than my old zuiko 70-300. I pretty much knew that olympus would have an edge in terms of lenses, and that I would have to spend a bit more to get comparable quality, but that difference in price got a lot less significant when the d7000 was announced $500 cheaper than the e-5 (and the e-xx and e-xxx are nowhere in sight).

Accessories:

If lenses are more expensive, one area where nikon has a large advantage is on the availability of third party accessories. And even nikon's own stuff is cheaper. Compare flashes, for example: the sb-600 has a comparable recycle time and GN to the fl-50r but costs half as much. You can buy a set of extension tubes that still allow for AF and lens recognition for less than 80 bucks.

Other random thoughts that are not exactly comparable between the cameras that I've used:

The nikon auto focus system on the d7000 is much better than anything I've ever used on an olympus body. This is especially so when comparing tracking focus systems, even in live view. I put this on this section because I've never handled the e-X systems, which is supposed to have the better AF for olympus. But the nikon equivalent of c-af is truly remarkable. As an example, my wife ran a 5k this weekend and I was on the finish line waiting to snap a few pictures of her. I spotted her at a distance, and with the stabilized view on the viewfinder and nikon's version of c-af, I was able to track her face in a sea of heads all the way from 300mm to the finish line, and the camera didn't get "distracted" by any other faces or anything like that, and all pictures were sharp and in focus.



The bottom line is that for me if it wasn't for the e-5's price and the mystery surrounding the e-xxx and e-xx I probably would not have switched, but I am very happy with the d7000 and there are some areas where it really shines and is better than anything from olympus I've ever used. The lightness and IBIS of olympus are things that I do miss, though.

Ps: As I said, I posted this on the off topic thread since its about nikon as much as it is about olympus, but if the mods feel this might end up being flame bait or if they feel this should go elsewhere, just let me know and I'll save this to share via PM with those who asked.

Last edited by dlpin; Nov 8, 2010 at 9:39 AM.
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 10:47 AM   #37
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Hi Dlpin,

I and a couple of other forum members specifically asked you to post your thoughts on the D7000 etc. after you've had a chance to use it. So, if someone is not happy with your post, they can blame me if they so choose.

I for one, am glad that you took the time to come back and respond. As someone who has had a chance to use both, your comments are valuable for future reference and comparison when it comes time to upgrade. Be it camera body or entire system- lenses and all.

Olympus is not making it any easier for their current DSLR customer base to continue to stay with their product line. And I understand their predicament. As a company, they have to do what's right for the long term success. I on the other hand have to do what I feel is right. Which is evaluate competitive products as they apply to my style of photography, compare that to what I have now and make a rational judgement as to what my needs will be in the future.


It is with this in mind, that I value your assessment.

Thank you,
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 12:54 PM   #38
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I also appreciate the D7000 vs. Oly analysis. One thing you didn't mention was the colors. Oly has really great colors and has the reputation of having better colors than the Canons and Nikons. How do you see this, regarding the D7000?

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Old Nov 8, 2010, 1:20 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by tkurkowski View Post
I also appreciate the D7000 vs. Oly analysis. One thing you didn't mention was the colors. Oly has really great colors and has the reputation of having better colors than the Canons and Nikons. How do you see this, regarding the D7000?

Ted
Honestly, as a raw shooter I don't see a significant difference. The olympus colors come from the way olympus software, both in camera and otherwise, handle the raw information. Using adobe's camera raw, both will yield the similar colors. You can, of course, download one of the multiple profiles available that replicate olympus' colors on ACR, but that could also be done for the nikons.

And me not seeing differences in color is something that makes sense. Both Olympus and Nikon use the same type of bayer filter (rggb - 1/4 red 1/4 blue 1/2 green), so the raw file will contain the basic light intensity from the same color filter, and any differences then are mostly in software processing. Being software, even if olympus' image engine does something more to raw files than we'd expect, in the end you could still get those results via PP elsewhere.

That is, just like folks like fujicoly, andyelliottand that old huelight website made dng profiles to make raw images processed through acr look like those processed through olympus studio in terms of color, the same could be done with nikon's cameras if you so chose.

The only camera you'd have a harder time matching the colors is the e-1, but it is hard to match those colors even with the new olympus cameras. That is because the old kodak sensors used a rgbe filter (1/4 red, 1/4 blue, 1/4 green and 1/4 emerald).
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 2:46 PM   #40
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Came across a very relevant and interesting comment by professional photographer Ned Yeung out of Canada. As a working pro I thought his comments on why he shoots Olympus was insightful. It was on a pro model forum:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?th...1#post13905748

(It was also interesting to hear the reasons as a pro that he usually avoids RAW, based on the clients needs.)

Here is what he said:

"I shoot Olympus, and have many reasons for choosing it.

First and foremost of course, are the glass and the colors. The Zuiko and Leica glass for the Four-Thirds standard is the sharpest and highest resolving, and the colors produced are the richest and most natural.

Second is telecentric design, meaning little to no vignetting and reduced chromatic aberrations. Clean, edge-to-edge crispness, and even exposure throughout the entire image, making the whole frame usable.

Third is aspect ratio. The 4:3 aspect means that I use most of what I shoot, rather than cropping off a huge chunk of it like on a 3:2 aspect sensor (APS-C or Full Frame).

Fourth is dust reduction. Olympus and Panasonic are the only ones who use the SSWF dust reduction system which is the only one which actually works to a usable degree. You can just ask any camera store employee how many Olympus DSLRs they see come back for sensor cleaning, even though every brand claims to have a dust reduction system.

Fifth is In-Body Image Stabilization. That's right, I don't have to carry or pay for the extra weight on every lens. They're all stabilized for me.

Sixth is the best JPG processing engine, keeping the best image quality, detail, and properly balanced colors. I know many of you proudly state that you shoot "RAW only", but I'm sorry... my clients simply don't have the newest RAW engine to handle -MY- camera. I shoot primarily for commercial clients and not consumer, meaning that I want to shoot and go, sending my out-of-camera images to their graphics department to handle and edit them. I need a polished, cross-compatible format, not a proprietary, unfinished format.

Seventh is weather sealing. All High Grade and Super High Grade Zuiko lenses are fully weather sealed to go with the pro Olympus bodies (the E-1, E-3, and E-5) which are also fully weather sealed. The teleconverters as well are fully weather sealed. Olympus weather sealing is matched only by Pentax, which also has an incredible weather sealing system. These are camera systems you can use in any torrential downpour, and can even drop underwater for a short time, as long as you pull it up from the drink right away (it's weather-proof, not waterproof). You can also shoot on sandy beaches and in blowing desert sands without fear. The rugged metal body is also second to none, making it the most durable all-round system you can get in a DSLR. When you have many thousands of dollars sitting in your hands or in the camera bag on your shoulder, this is a huge comfort to know that big investment can't be easily lost to a flash rainstorm, an accidental drop, or what have you.

Eighth is is the crop factor. The Zuiko 35-100mm f/2.0 lens is a 70-200mm f/2.0 equivalent. Incredibly sharp and fast lens. The Zuiko 90-250mm f/2.8 lens is a 180-500mm equivalent. Damn fast lens for a 500mm equivalent! Our 300mm f/2.8 gives the same view as a 600mm f/2.8 for other formats. Does that affect wide angle though? No, because we have the widest lenses. Your full frame wide angle lens may be 16mm but ours is 7mm, giving you a 14 equivalent. For APS-C you can get a 10mm lens, but that's also a 16mm equivalent.

Ninth is size. Even the heavy, weather sealed E-3 is still lighter than the average pro Nikon or Canon body, which are nowhere near as durable. The huge advantage in size though is with the consumer level bodies, which provide all the features and image quality of the pro-level cameras, but without the bulk. And although the lower-tier bodies are nowhere near as durable as the pro bodies, they're very solidly built and feel great in your hands. And of course, the lenses are much smaller and lighter, part of the reason why being addressed in the last paragraph.

Tenth is innovation. Olympus is constantly making new innovations to create the most unique product which fills a specific need and niche. The Ultra-Compact Olympus PEN with image quality like their DSLRs but without a mirror, and can mount the same lenses with full compatibility, is a prime example. That gives me a compact camera which I can actually trust to take usable photos, which doubles as a second body I can always have with me, which can exhibit similar performance as my pro DSLR with the same lenses attached.

Eleventh is speed. Not only does Zuiko provide the fastest zoom lenses (ie, like the 14-35mm f/2.0, 35-100mm f/2.0, 150mm f/2.0, 90-250mm f/2.8, etc), but the broader DOF also means that you don't need to stop them down to get everything in focus. Plus, Zuiko lenses are optimized for shooting wide open, meaning that you get a very sharp image wide open and it's not necessary to stop down to your "sweet spot".

Twelth is cost. Nobody else offers better value. All Olympus and Zuiko products are of the highest quality, but that isn't reflected in the cost. The Super High Grade lenses all took first place for the Top-Pro lens category by EISA when they were released, and all the lower-tier lenses exhibit similarly high image quality, though you would never know it by looking at the price tag. Olympus always puts the best technology they have into every body they make, whatever level it may be (entry level, prosumer, pro level), unlike other makers who only give you full features "if you pay for it", leaving their smaller bodies crippled and limited. With Olympus, the difference in body builds and cost are all quantifiable qualities like build quality, shutter life, size, and weather sealing.

Every brand makes a good product if you buy from their professional line, but I find that Canon and Nikon shooters normally need to spend at least 2x as much to match the quality and performance I get with my system.

And those are just the Top 12 reasons that come to mind. I have more reasons than that. I tried to keep it to the Top 10, but I just couldn't. xD"
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