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Old Aug 24, 2004, 7:32 PM   #1
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Hey all. I have a dilemma, namely whether I should purchase an E-1 or go with the Canon 10D or Nikon D70. ALl are good cameras, but when I tried them all at a local camera store the E-1 just "felt" better. More solid and more rugged than either of the others. Plus I shoot landscapes exclusively, in all kinds of weather, so build quality and reliability is very important!

The D70 is "hot" right now and everyone is jumping on that bandwagon. Canon just announced the 20D with an 8MP resolution. I have not heard any rumors about what Olympus might have in mind for a new version of the E-1. For all I know, an 8MP version of the E-1 might be right around the corner!

So, based upon the Canon 20D at 8MP and the red hot Nikon D70, should I go ahead and purchase an E-1, knowing that it's only a 5MP camera?

Any thoughts or opinions from Olympus owners would be greatly appreciated.

To buy an E-1 or not to buy an E-1.. that is the question!

Thanks!

Dave
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Old Aug 24, 2004, 9:13 PM   #2
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MP isn't everything. Especially if you're shooting in weather the E-1 has many rubber seals (can't say about the others). I was at an E-1 seminar, and the Olympus rep (who's responsible for torturing the cameras) put his in the shower for 20 minutes, and the next day shot the F-1 race in Montreal.

I'm not an E-1 user (yet, out of my price range at the moment), but it's at the top of my list (currently I use an Olympus C-700).
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Old Aug 25, 2004, 1:18 PM   #3
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David - I've mentioned this in several posts, but I was a Canon Digital Rebel owner for 7 months but wasn't satisfied with the photos I was getting - very soft and that was even using CanonIS lenses). Sold my Canon kit on ebay and bought an E-1 and I'm very satisfied with the switch. The DRebel also had more MP, but the E-1 produces better focused, sharper, saturated photos.I don't know about the D10 or D70, I'm sure they are good cameras. I have had techies tell me in other forums that the E-1 doesn't measure-up on many of the specs to these cameras, and even Steve notes this in his review. But my interest is in the image, andI really think Olympus is on to something in designing the lenses to fit the processor - the light strike on the sensor is more direct and it show in the images. I am easily making A3 prints with my E-1 shots (whichI am selling). In addition to the weatherproofing that Mike notes, I like not thaving toworry about how dirty I'm getting the processor every timeI make a lens change, thanks to the vibrating sensor feature every time the camera is turned on. You can check my website at

http://community.webshots.com/user/johnwmitchell100


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Old Aug 26, 2004, 5:44 PM   #4
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Wow that's very impressive that an E-1 could stay in a shower for that long and still work well. Most cameras would be toast long before then! That's one reason that I like the E-1 over the others is the durability of the body itself.

As you say, MP count isn't everything. I I knew that Olympus was planning on releasing an updated E-1 camera body with a bit higher resolution, and I knew for sure that the Zuiko lenses would fit that camera, I would probably buy an E-1 now and purchase the newer body one the money was saved up.

I'm sure that Olympus will ahve to raise the MP above 5, especially since Canon announced the 8MP 20D. Should be a very interesting year coming up!

Dave
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Old Aug 26, 2004, 5:50 PM   #5
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Yes I have heard several people, including the salesperson at my local camera store, tell me that the 5MP output of an E-1 is somewhat sharper than the 6+MP output of the Canon 10D or the Nikon D70. If the camera is designed fromt he ground up as a true digital, with specially made digital lenses, then I can see where that makes sense.

I would want a camera that can make excellent 16x20 prints or smaller. I don't plan on printing my work any size larger than that, and usually it would only be 12x18 or 8x10. I would hope that the E-1 would provide nice sharp images at those sizes.

I also like the 100% viewfinder as opposed to the 92-95% viewfinders that other cameras have. Very handy feature!

I do hope that Olympus makes it easier to show a detailed histogram in the next version. From what I have read, the histogram is buried in menus and it cannot be automatically displayed after a shot is taken. Very strange for a camera aimed at the pro market.

Thanks for the feedback!

Dave
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Old Aug 27, 2004, 5:57 AM   #6
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fporch wrote:
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I was a Canon Digital Rebel owner for 7 months but wasn't satisfied with the photos I was getting - very soft and that was even using CanonIS lenses).
Fporch,I've read a lot of posts over here about the Canons (Rebel and 10d) producing soft pictures, but there's always an avalanche of replies saying that it's because of the lack of in-camera processing, When you take a RAW picture and process it in PS they say the results are fine. I don't know because I don't yet have a dSLR, but d'you reckon the E1 still takes better photos than the Rebel, even after sharpening?


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Old Aug 27, 2004, 2:12 PM   #7
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Hi Tech - Yeah, I think the E-1 just generally produces a better image, even post PS. I shot RAW with both cameras, and I found that I tended to oversharpen with the DRebel files trying to get the crispness I wanted. I tried changing the DRebel in-camera settings, but didn't really improve the output. I want to add that I got some really nice photos from the DRebel - it's not a dog by any means. But, FOR THE TYPE OF SHOOTING I DO (that's the key phrase), I was often frustrated. If you look at my web page in the link above, you'll note I favor close-up, leading line type shots that make the image appear 3D. Last night I attended a rodeo, and the shotsI like best weren't in the arena of the bucking horses and bulls, but behind thescenes with the cowboys working the horses. I get much better images, sellable images Iguess I should say, with the Olympus. Even when I was shooting with the DRebel, I was still getting most of fine art prints for sale out of my Olympus C-730. As I have noted before, I don't quite understand why this was the case, so I just assume I have a bond with an Olympus camera - something about its make-up suits my style of shooting, I suppose. I think you'll find aficiendos of evey type of camera who feel this way about their chosen brand. In fact, I just read an article about a well-known photographer who favors a $16 Chinese, fixed-lens plastic camerawith two aperature settings!:shock: In the end, most of the output is based on the users vision, patience and skill - but I sure like not having to fight my equipment to get what I'm seeing! THX - I hope this helps.
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Old Aug 27, 2004, 4:54 PM   #8
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What's one thinks and what is real sometime doesn't correlate (it's not just Steve's Review):
1. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse1/page19.asp
"The E-1 exhibits some Bayer interpolation artifacts (including moiré), especially along diagonal pixel-wide lines, the 10D delivering a far cleaner image with almost no visible artifacts."

2. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse1/page15.asp
"Up to ISO 800 noise levels from the E-1, EOS-10D and D2H are relatively similar. Of these three cameras the EOS-10D has the cleanest images at ISO 100 and 200 followed by the D2H and then the E-1. At ISO 1600 the E-1's noise levels leap notably (and visibly) higher than the EOS-10D and D2H which both maintain similar levels."

3. You had a 10:1 zoom (Tamron 28-300) on the DRebel at the time which is also not known to be deserving of the 300D, but you wanted it for the convenience factor... A better lens would have make better pictures (just like the E1)!

I do agree however that it's the photographer who makes the pictures better and not the camera... It all has to do with one's skill and the bonding with our "tool".
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Old Aug 27, 2004, 9:11 PM   #9
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Hi Fporch. I was wondering how much, if at all, that you refer to the histogram of the E-1 when taking images. Do you check it after each shot or don't you use it? I know some people absolutely live and die with the shape of the histograms while others could care less and never look at them.

I was wondering if there was a way to make the histogram appear each time I take an image, just to check my exposure to avoid blowing out whites or underexposing shadows with the E-1. I believe most other manufacturers have them easy available as overlays once a photo has been taken. Just wondering if thats an option with the E-1.

Thanks!

Dave
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Old Aug 27, 2004, 10:57 PM   #10
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David - I don't rely on histograms, so its not an issue for me. I've never looked at one on the E-1. I do recall the DRebel software would display a histogram in the RAW read mode, but again, it was a curiosity. I know how to read histograms, but I rely on what I see. I generally can always spot my best photos in review on the viewfinder and I have about a 90% accuracy rate on these judgments.

NHL - I would never challenge you on your technical observations - your insights are always well thought out. I did use two Canon IS lenses over a long weekend ordered from B&H (which I returned - very good vendor) and took test shots with these lenses, the Tamron 28-300 and my Oly C-730. I saw little difference in the images until I got to 200 - 300 percent magnification on the SLR shots ( and then very slight) and 100-200 on the fixed lens (with the exception of some fringing in backlit areas, which can be reduced or eliminated in PSE). I shot landscapes, hummingbirds and my dogs running around.

Again, I think it depends on what kind of photography each of us engages and what we're trading off from one make of camera to another. While I don't disagree about the technical specs NHL cites, I get rich, beautiful A3 size images from the E-1 and it is a real pleasure to use. The moisture & dust protection and vibrating processor feature also were strong determining factors in my decision and worth the trade off on some other tech specs. It might not be a good trade off for another photographer.

Let me offer a parable - Early in my career I worked public relations for a company that manufactured aluminum cans, at a time when aluminum had taken almost 100% of market share from steel can makers. Steel can maker where trying to regain some market and were lobbying trade journals with the theme that steel cans were stronger than aluminum. During an interview with a trade magazine the reporter noted that steel was stronger than aluminum (implying this was a better choice for beverage containers, despite the fact aluminum was over running the market). I'll always remember what the CEO, a tough old Irish engineer said "Yeah, but aluminum is strong enough." He turned out to be right, as steel beverage cans have pretty much gone the way of the rotary phone, even though steel is stronger. The Oly E-1 may not be technically the most superior camera on the market, but its good enough -and it will only get better. And when you factor in the ground up digital design, the results of which I have noted myself, I think its a good trade-off - but time will tell. In the mean time, I am getting excellent images. :idea:
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