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soph Feb 12, 2010 8:39 AM

An affordable camera body to match my OM lenses...
Hi everyone! I've been happily photographing with my old Olympus 10/OM 10 for many years, but would really want to advance to a DSLR now as going digital would be a bit more comfortable and flexible.

As a full-time student I have a budget of 400 euros only, and I was hoping I could find a camera body to match my lenses. I have the amazing Olympus 50mm/1:1,8 and Hanimex 28mm 1:2,8. I know it's not much, but currently they are enough for me as I mostly take portraits and landscape shots.

According to my research I can buy an adapter for these OM mount lenses to match Olympus 3/4 cameras; awesome. (About ten quid from Hong Kong.) But I've also read different comments about the compatibility with e.g. Canon cameras. On ebay I see adapters that promise compatibility between Olympus OM mount lenses and Canon DSLRs but other sites outright deny this possibility. Which is it then?

I found a cheap deal on Olympus e-520 (350 euros) and it seemed good enough but then I read it doesn't take such good pics at low lighting. This is a kind of a set back as I really like doing just that. I had really liked the test images I had seen and was prepared to work with the quirks that didn't make it as good as its Nikon and Canon counterparts...

By the way, I could really save money if I bought an Olympus e-450, but I've understood I shouldn't, as it's not as good? And has the same problems with low light shooting? Any experiences?

If I really could match the lenses with Canon cameras, I have also found a 'good as new' Canon 1000d from Pixmania (370 euros). Anyone have experience with Pixmania's used products? I read reviews on this camera but my novice brain can't really crasp the differences between this and e-520. (Well, the adapters I've seen only speak of Canon EOS cameras. Haven't found an adapter that said specifically 1000d)

Also in my price range would be a Sony Alpha A230L and that would also come with a 18-55mm lense (380 euros). I can't find any adaptors for this although this blog is saying they exist for a Sony Alpha 700, but that is all I've found on the matter!

What do you think I should do? Could I order a cheaper and better camera body from the States? Do you know any cheap online stores in the UK? Bottom line is, I'd like to continue using my lenses, not use a lot of money but be able to take good pictures. Any help greatly appreciated!

mtclimber Feb 12, 2010 10:36 AM


Welcome to the Forum. We're delighted that you dropped by.

If keeping your OM lenses were a top priority, yes, your OM lenses could be used with the m4/3 Olympus camera, or with the Olympus main line of cameras by using an adapter. In most cases, it would have to be a manual operation, as AF would not be available. There was mention that OM lenses might come into a greater degree of use with the new reduced price Olympus m4/3 camera, but the details are not yet available in fine detail. I have not seen an adapter for mating OM lenses to a Canon DSLR, but I will research it for you. In any event, it once again would be a MF situation.

Yes, I would avoid the Olympus E-450 model and be aware that the E-520 only had limited dynamic range. The Olympus range is not known for it high ISO capability. If you interest really lies with a low light environment, certainly the Pentax Kx model and the Canon T-1 (500D) should be on your radar.

You will have to study and then sort through your options. Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

Sarah Joyce


soph Feb 12, 2010 11:40 AM

Thanks for that fast reply! Yeah, I understand AF would be out of the question but then again, more artistic freedom, right? I actually found a Pentax Kx juuuust in my budget, but it's used. Again, 'as good as new' from Pixmania. Warranty for one year. Reviews on it look good. Better than e-520... But I can't seem to find adapters for it to take my OM lenses. I can only find them the other way around; Old Pentax lenses for Olympus 4/3 cameras :/

mtclimber Feb 12, 2010 12:20 PM


I have not seen an adapter for mating OM lens to the Pentax mount. Have you tried

Sarah Joyce

kassandro Feb 13, 2010 2:16 AM

If you want to use your old OM-lenses, then you will not only lose the autofokus but also the automatic aperture. You also have to consider that the effective focal length changes. It has to be multiplied by the so called crop factor, which depends on the sensor size. For the FT system this is 2, for the Canon-System 1.6 and for Nikon/Pentax/Sony 1.5. Thus your 50mm OM lens will become essentially a 100mm lens on an FT-body, a 80mm lens on a Canon body and a 75mm lens on Nikon/Pentax/Sony bodies. As you have only a very limited set of OM lenses I would not recommend to use them for a DSLR in view of the above restrictions. Usually the camera manufacturers provide a kit lens at a discounted price. Thus you pay only a little bit more than for the sole body. Olympus provides even a very affordable double zoom kit, i.e. two kit lenses, of good quality for its cameras. While the FT cameras are not the low light kings and do not have the widest dynamic range, they are not too far behind, and the FT system has also its advantages over the systems with bigger sensors.

mtclimber Feb 13, 2010 5:38 PM


I found an adapter that mates OM lenses to the Canon mount. Take a look at E-Bay item # 290398238909.

Sarah Joyce

soph Feb 15, 2010 5:32 PM

Wow that item would be excellent, unless what kassandro says is really true... I don't want to part ways from my 50mm (because I can't really afford much at this moment), but then I could only use it as a 50mm on Olympus cameras?

I've come to the conclusion that if I should stick to the Olympus brand, I should get e-620 (with a basic lense) as it's a bit better overall and good in low light situations, right? And I could continue using my OM lenses.

Unfortunately it's costlier than other cameras, like a Canon EOS 1000d or numerous Sony cameras (all with basic lenses) that I would be tempted to buy, but I love my 50mm for I shoot a lot of portraits, and I have so little money...

I might as well continue saving money for the e-620 I guess if the OM lenses really aren't compatible, or rather, won't remain at their actual mm on other cameras. Shame.

Biro Feb 16, 2010 12:06 AM

The Olympus E-620 is a good camera. I think it's been generally underrated by the photographic community since it came out - possibly because of all the attention micro four-thirds has gotten. But the E-620 is a major step up from the E-520. It's only slightly larger than the E-420/E-450, has better dynamic range and high ISO performance than the earlier E's and has an articulating LCD screen. It also allows you the choice of 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratios and still has an optical viewfinder. An intelligently-designed and well-thought-out camera.

soph Feb 16, 2010 7:31 AM

Good. Now where can I get it for a good price? :D Could I order one from the States, to Europe? Many shops I've checked out won't deliver across the ocean...

soph Feb 23, 2010 5:44 AM

Thanks for everyone for your advice and especially to Sarah Joyce; I ended up getting that ebay item as I got myself a Canon EOS 450d. Not originally in my budget, but my boyfriend apparently got sick of listening to me comparing cameras so he pitched in. I shall start building a Canon system therefore, even though it will take some time. I'll most probably stick around as more questions will arise.

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