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Old Mar 15, 2006, 9:48 AM   #1
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On the "What Camera should I Buy" forum I recently posted the question "Olympus E-500 over Canon 30D". In researching a replacement for my three year old Nikon Coolpix 5700 I noted that my choice had come down to the Canon 30D. Time to move up to a DSLR and I want to make sure I am buying a camera I can grow with over most likely another three year period.

With the current rebate on the E-500 two lens package and the very aggressive pricing of this camera I decided to take another look at it as it was in my final three.The noise issue was a concern but in now looking at the data for the pictures I have taken with the 5700 almost all the pictures where taken at ISO100. Most of my pictures are taken outside.

The replies to my post still have me on the fence. There is a lot I like about both cameras and they both feel good in my hands.The 30D I am sure is a step above the E-500 but is their enough differences between the cameras to justify the considerable price difference. I feel very comfortable with the E-500 kit lenses. The Canon I would purchase body only and then start off with a 50 prime and a 28-135IS zoom so the price difference would be even greater.And of course I have not equaled the range of the two Olympus lenses.

There is also the question of buying into the Four Thirds standard. Is it the wave of the future, just another choice or is it destined to be the betamax of the camera world?

For those of you who made the decision to purchase the E-500 over another DSLR do you have any regrets?

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Old Mar 15, 2006, 11:06 AM   #2
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Bayside3 wrote:
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I feel very comfortable with the E-500 kit lenses. The Canon I would purchase body only and then start off with a 50 prime and a 28-135IS zoom so the price difference would be even greater.And of course I have not equaled the range of the two Olympus lenses.

There is also the question of buying into the Four Thirds standard. Is it the wave of the future, just another choice or is it destined to be the betamax of the camera world?
You're always going to find people with buyers' remorse with any camera, for one reason or another. But I think I can guarantee you that you won't be able to take any better images with the 30D than you will with the E-500, unless it's at high ISO or other very special conditions. Interesting that you should mention Betamax, since as I mentioned in your original thread, Michael Reichman of Luminous Landscape condemned the 4/3 format to "evolutionary deadend" status not too long ago, but he's changed his tune now. I think it's significant not just the Panasonic/Leica have gotten more firmly on the 4/3 wagon, but that Sigma has announced it's porting five of its top EX lenses to 4/3, a sign (IMO) they're confident in the longevity of the format.

How big are you planning on printing? You've already said you shoot mostly outdoors at ISO100. I've shot at ISO800 and 1600 with the E-300 and use Neatimage to reduce the noise without any significant problem. Of course YMMV. Here are some images from the E-300, which uses the same sensor as the E-500:


This was taken with the ED 50mm f2.0 macro.


14-54mm zoom


50mm macro, at ISO 800 (Neatimage)


Taken with ED 50-200mm

There are certainly reasons you might want to buy the 30D, but the pricing of the E-500 makes it a steal right now. With the money you save you could buy some nice glass upgrades, or the FL-50 flash, etc.


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Old Mar 15, 2006, 2:21 PM   #3
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Norm

The limit in print size would be 8x10. On a rare occasionI might have a service do a larger print although I have never done that before.

I guess my next step is to take in a CF card in to a dealer and take a few photos with the the E-500 and a Canon 20D. Who knows with the rumors that the 30D is being put out today I may be able to try that .

Spectacular photos. The dog did bring a tear though. Our 15 year afgan's health has deteriorated over the last few months. Having to nowmake the decision I have never had to make before. To make matters worse our daughter will be here this weekend for her birthday. Our first afgan hound died a week after she went to college so I do not look forward to telling her what will most likely have to be done.

Many thanksfor your very informative replies. They have been a real help.
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 4:47 PM   #4
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This is my first reply on this forum. Have been lurking around here about 5 months. I purchased a E-500 with dual lens kit 12-15-05. I am enjoying this camera and am very pleased with it. No regrets to date. I must tell you that I don't have a great deal of experience with photography so my comparison to any other camera cannot be made. What I can tell you is the E-500 is VERY EASY to use and I feel gives great results. The numerous scene modes have been a wonderful learning tool for me. I like the fact that I can get good results using the scene modes and then study the EXIF info and apply and expand this knowledge when being creative with manual settings. I have been printing 8 X 10's on an Olympus P-440 and the quality is outstanding in my opinion. The improvement of 8 X 10's at 8MP compared to my dad's 5MP shots are noticeable on the P-440.I have found the viewfinder requires a little more effort to use when doing macro shots but that is because my 49 year old body doesn't bend like it did 30 years ago when I used a Minolta SRT101. I like to shoot a lot of low light sunrise shots and originally wished the E-500 had a provision for a cable release. I purchased an Olympus RM-1 remote and that took care of that problem. Overall I have no regrets at this time but I have only 3 months and just over 1600 frames of experience with the E-500. For me the E-500 has been the right choice, now if I can just start to learn this computer stuff as easily.
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 9:33 PM   #5
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No remorse whatsoever!

I bought my E-500 (2 lens kit) last Oct 05. I had been looking at DSLRs for a number of months; read all I could and man-handled those that were available. IMHO, the E-500 was, and continues to be, "best bang for the buck." Picture quality is great, kit lenses excellent, ergonomics superb, "dust buster" is unique to Olympus, and so on. Supplemental lens selection is excellent also.

Is Four Thirds destined to be the BetaMax of the 21st century? Not likely but that's just my opinion. Other manufacturers have recently adopted the Four Thirds format.
Almost any DSLR can take good pictures but it's the photographer who makes them great.

Our thoughts are with you and your family as you struggle with your dog. It's notan easy decision.

Paul in NoVA
Olympus E- 500 C- 730
http://www.flickr.com/photos/stoney_g/sets/
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 10:58 AM   #6
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Bayside-

I really love my Olympus E-500. It is easy to use and produces great photos. I began with an E-300 and was very pleased with it, so when the E-500 came out I got that cameras well.

I honestly think that Norm's photos tell the sory very well. The E-500 is a really fun camera to use and the kit lenses are great.

MT
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Old Mar 17, 2006, 6:59 AM   #7
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Hi,

I've had my E-500 a couple of weeks only. I've movedup from a Pentax Optio 750, but years ago have had all manner of film SLRs. The things that sold it were the value for money, and the dust thing. I was petrified of dust after reading all the stuff about it, but the dust shaker makes me feel a bit easier. Also, I had no old lenses to use, so the 4:3 didn't bother me. People say the start up is slow, by the time you've turned it on, and raised it to your eye, it's ready, so I dunno what they're on about. :-) Only problem is the viewfinder image seems a bit small, and manual focus is very hard, why couldn't they do a split screen or something? I'm hoping to get an ME-1 if there are any available in the world, which there don't seem to be. Overall, I'm very happy with the camera.

Buy a Lowepro slingshot too, they are excellent!!

Best of luck,

Stephen

Bayside, sorry about the dog. One of our cats had to be put down in November, my daughter is still distraught.
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Old Mar 17, 2006, 8:54 PM   #8
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Took a ride Wednesday to take a better look at the Canon and the Olympus. One of the salespeople has the Oympus E-300 and is saving up for the E-500 and another salesperson has the Canon 20D. Throw in the mix another salesperson who loves his Nikon D50 and we had a good discussion on DSLR's.

Took a series of shots in the store of a wall area near the back of the storethat had a good mix of display items with the the E-500 using both kit lensesand the 20D. They have not received a shipment of 30D's yet. Expecting them at the end of the month.

Each series consisted of shots at ISO levels 100,200,400,800 and 1600. I loaded them on the computer last night and printed them off as 4x6 prints . I did not see any noise on the monitor or the prints in any of the shots.

The real surprise though was in looking at the histograms the exposures with the Olympus were close to perfect. All of the Canon shots were quite underexposed. I needed to correct the exposures before printing them out. The Canon shots were very soft and the Olympus shots were very sharp. Color accuracy was the biggest surprise . In the shots is a display divider that is carpeted. In the Canon shots it is grey and in the Olympus shots it is a wedgwood blue. I called the store today to confirm what I had remmebered and yes the color was blue. By the way all shots were taken on the auto settings.

When I sat down at the computer my expectation was OK both are good cameras but how much better are the20D shots going to be over the E-500 and am I going to be able to justify the difference considering the considerably lower cost of the E-500. Well! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder with the Olmypus shotsbeing muchmore pleasing to my eye.

The results of this little test was also a real relief as I left the store Wednesday evening with the E-500 two lens setup. Holding the two cameras in my hands taking the shots I felt the20D to be a bit more comfortable. My right thumb just seemed to find the perfect resting point. The E-500 was OK, very similar to how my Nikon Coolpix 5700 feels so I knowI will get used to it. The real selling point for me with the E500 was how intuitive it's operation was . I hardly needed any help from the salespeople. Not the case with the Canon. This is going to be a huge difference for me as I have never used the Coolpix to it's fullest as I have found digging through the menus to take too long and to be confusing.

I guess the real lesson here is it's great to read the specs , read as many reviews as possible , follow the forums and ask for advice but in the end use the camera's you are thinking about ,print offsome shots and then let your eye be the final decision maker.


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Old Mar 18, 2006, 8:19 AM   #9
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Bayside -

I think that you're are going to be very happy with your E-500. It's an excellent camera.

Your approach to buying the camera was spot on. Read, listen, and test but as you note at the end, you made the decision. That makes all the difference.

Enjoy your new E-500! Now go take some pictures!!!

Paul in NoVA
Olympus E- 500 C- 730
www.flickr.com/photos/stoney_g/sets/
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