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Old Mar 14, 2008, 7:45 AM   #11
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NHL wrote:
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1. The 4/3 system has a significant advantage in weight as a 2x crop camera. It considerably lower the weight of telephto lenses, so even though their lens show the same focal lenght, it actually has an effective doubling effect. Their 300 f/2.8 for example is effectively a 600 f/2.8 when mounted on an Oly body (and should cost the same as a 600mm Canon or Nikon) - The difference is Canon and Nikon do not have an f/2.8 in this range and even their 600 f/4 will require a tripod not so with an Oly... If anyone do any air travel with a longer telephoto (like I do) at all they'll appreciate right away the advantage of an Oly:

http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/4984...ympus-e-3.html


You're comparing 35mm size sensors to the 4/3 sensors The difference is not as great with an APS-C size sensor.

In a lower cost 70-300mm lens (the kind of lenses new DSLR buyers tned to look at for longer reach), the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 and Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lenses you can get for most camera mounts are both smaller and lighter than the new Zuiko 70-300mm f/4-5.6 (although they're all very close in size and weight).

Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm f/4-5.6 ED ($399 at B&H)
Length
5" (127mm)
Maximum Diameter
3.1" (80mm)
Weight
1.3 lb (620 g)

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro ($219 at B&H)
Length
4.7" (119mm)
Maximum Diameter
2.9" (74mm)
Weight
1.3 lb (584 g)

Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di Macro ($159 at B&H)
Length
4.6" (117mm)
Maximum Diameter
3" (76mm)
Weight
15.3 oz (435 g)

Of course, the Zuiko costs around twice as much. ;-) I don't know how they'd compare for image quality (I haven't read reviews of the new Zuiko yet).

The benefit of the Olympus models is that lenses will appear to be around 33% longer on an Olympus 4/3 system camera model versus a model with a Sony APS-C size sensor (like a Nikon D40x, Sony DSLR-A200, Pentax K10D, etc.).

For example, A 300mm lens on an Olympus dSLR would give you roughly the same angle of view you'd have using a 600mm lens on a 35mm camera (multiply by 2x to see what focal length on a 35mm caemera it would compare to). A 300mm lens on a model with a Sony APS-C size sensor would give you the same angle of view you'd have using a 450mm lens on a 35mm camera (multiply by 1.5x to what focal length on a 35mm camera it would compare to).

So, a 300mm lens on the Olympus will appear to be around 33% longer than the same focal length on an entry level Nikon, Sony, or Pentax model (equivalent to 600mm on the Oly versus 450mm on the models with a Sony APS-C size sensor). For example, 450mm x 1.3333 ~= 600mm

There will be slightly less difference compared to an entry level Canon model.

Of course, you could always go with a newer Sony DSLR-A350 or Pentax K20D (both 14.x Megapixel models), so you'd have a bit more room for cropping to help make up some of the differences in angle of view for a given focal length lens, too. Plus, not all of your shots are going to be zoomed in all the way.

There are pros and cons to each approach (35mm or larger sensor, APS-C size sensor, or an even smaller sensor like the Olympus DSLR models use)

As you increase pixel density for the same resolution in pixels, using smaller sensors to get a narrower angle of view for a given focal length, you tend to compromise other areas of image quality (for example noise levels and dynamic range), because the surface area for each photosite is smaller.

From tests I've seen, the E-410 and E-510 have poor dynamic range compared to competing DSLR models, and more than one reputable reviewer has pointed this out. If you expose the midtones properly, you risk losing highlight detail.

Even in the "real world" samples (tennis photos) in the article about using the E-510 for sports you posted, you can see this issue. A number of the images are underexposed to maintain highlights. Some of the images that are correctly exposed in the midtones have blown highlights.

Personally, I'd care more about improvements in Dynamic Range in my images compared to trying to squeeze an extra 1/3 more range out of my lenses by using a smaller sensor compared to the APS-C models in the market.

In fairness, the new E-3 is much better in this area. Olympus has apparently tweaked the tone curve and image processing so well to try and improve it, that you have very little improvement in highlight detail shooting in raw. That's good if you don't need it, and I applaud Olympus for the improvements. But, it's still going to lag behind some of the other new models entering the marketplace in highlight range with properly exposed midtones, especially if you shoot raw from tests I've seen so far.

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Old Mar 14, 2008, 8:37 AM   #12
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Its may not be a major newspaper but the county newspaper where I live uses a Fuji S5200 and a Fuji S9100 for most of there staff work.

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Old Mar 14, 2008, 9:14 AM   #13
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Some interesting thingsbeing suggested here.

Firstly using an Oly for getting the extra range, I would personally say this is fine for wildlife/small subjects, however as many of us are aware, a lens is less accurate/lower IQ when approaching infinity. This is why I like using my 5D more than my 30D with a long lens as it is much more accurate as to fill the frame I'm shooting closer to me. So yes small subjects good, large subjects not so IMHO.

As for staff shooters usinga Fuji S5200 and Fuji S9100 I find this very strange. I know quitea few local staff shooters for our city's paper and they are all using Nikon D2H, D2X and the sports shooters have just been supplied with D3's (it's alright for some). If I was shooting as a pro staff shooter I would just laugh if they offered me a point and shoot as there is no creative control available to me. Not the kind of staff shooting position I would like, but guess if keeps the costs down.
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 9:42 AM   #14
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I could see using an E-3, depending on what you want to shoot more often. This model does seem to have some improvements in IQ compared to the E-410 and E-510 (especially it's Dynamic Range shooting JPEG). It's also nice in a number of other areas, and it's on Steve's Best Cameras List.

I'm hoping that the new E-420 and future Olympus DSLR models follow the same trend.

Of course, the type of subjects you're shooting and conditions you're shooting them in have a big influence on what camera works best for what you want in your images (and that kind of thing is very subjective). There are pros and cons to any of them.
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 10:17 AM   #15
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How many of us here are Pro and work for a newspaper or shoot sport? :-)

90% or is it much less?

-> I can agree that 99% of theses Sport/News shooters use Nikon or Canon but what about the rest of us (i.e. the larger group) who are not engage in theses activities or in this hobby just for fun and not for work?

I also enlarge prints and share with my friends and you know what? The Oly format looks more optimize as well... Unless I use custom framing the crop on either size of a 3:2 print just waste away the camera resolution IMO

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Old Mar 14, 2008, 10:28 AM   #16
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NHL, I've been trying to work out if I can reply or not but honestly not sure what you are saying in relation to the other things...... I think I'm missing something.
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 10:53 AM   #17
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What I think he's pointing out, is that some of common print sizes used here (5x7, 8x10, 11x14) require less cropping using a 4:3 Aspect Ratio, compared to a 3:2 Aspect ratio. So, you retain more of the original resolution if you use some of these print sizes larger than a 4x6" print.

Here is a chart that you may find useful. Although a 3:2 Aspect Ratio (ratio of width to height) is perfect for 4"x6" prints, it does not work as well as a 4:3 Aspect Ratio for some of the commonly used larger print sizes:

http://home.earthlink.net/~terryleedawson/dcnotes/tables.htm#frameutil


Edit. Oops -- the link to that chart is no longer valid. lol But, that's what I think NHL is trying to say about another benefit of 4/3, depending on your perspective about the print sizes you'll use.


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Old Mar 14, 2008, 10:55 AM   #18
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When I posted the final paragraph wasn't there so was questioning the first section.
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 11:52 AM   #19
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Yeap - What I meant was you need something like a 16Mp equivalent dSLR to crop down to the size of a 10Mp equivalent 4:3 print size...
-> So in reality my 12Mp D300 when enlarged to most popular paper sizes has less data on it
( than a lower res 10Mp Oly!)

We can discuss this all day until someone actually goes out and shoot with a 500mm f/4L, which I do all the time (or travel with one), and then realize how practical this OLY solution is... This is all the more important especially if you're considering something longer like a 600mm or 300-800mm which absolutely required a tripod that will have to travel with you as well (adding further to the weight).

I'm all for the Canon's newsmen who get paid for their freight and work
-> but it's crazy to torture yourself and family while enjoying a vacation or a stroll in the wood!

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Old Mar 14, 2008, 11:54 AM   #20
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NHL,

I stated Oly had no camera body to compete with the upper level cameras - i.e Canon 1 seres Nikon Dx series.

You disagreed.

Who are the users of pro bodies if not pros?

You seem to be arguing there is no benefit to pro series bodies. And yet you, Mark and I all own pro series bodies.

I can state with 100% certainty there are definite benefits to the xD series over the XXD series in Canon's lineup.

Furthermore I have not seen anything in the Oly lineup that has similar benefits. Now, anyone reading this thread could say: "gee, i dont want a pro level camere ever" and that's OK. But it doesn't change the fact that if someone DOES want pro level - Oly can't offer it. And again, 4 photogs in this discussion - none of which are full time professional but 3 have pro level cameras. So clearly there was some perceived benefit on our part to having an advanced camera.

You'll note - at no point did I say no one should buy Oly. Only that, as you move up the camera chain Oly competes less favorably:
  • No full frame[/*]
  • No advanced focus system[/*]
  • No 8 or 10fps camera[/*]
  • worse dynamic range
[/*]
People buying pro level gear actually care about that stuff. And Oly can't compete right now at the pro level. And for action they can't compete at the semi-pro level either.

Even with wildlife - if 'reach' were the only issue then all the best wildlife shooters would be using Oly. But are they? Oly gives the most 'reach' but for some reason all the wildlife photogs haven't switched there. When Wacky Roger wanted a better tool for his wildlife shots, for some odd reason he didn't choose Oly. Perhaps there are other things just as important or even more important than a small sensor changing FOV?
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