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Old Dec 12, 2009, 12:46 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
Actually, I doubt you're going to see much difference in noise levels and retained detail at higher ISO speeds with them. Neither are going to be great for that purpose. But, if you keep print and viewing sizes small enough, you may be OK, depending on your expectations of quality. In the Nikon lineup, the next model up (D5000) has much better image quality as ISO speeds are increased.
Agreed. I've noticed at ISO800 and higher, the quality of the shots do drop, though lesser for the D3000. With my needs of just uploading to the web and keeping prints small (4x6 etc.), I doubt the drop in image quality will be so obvious or apparent.

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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
But, also keep lenses in mind, as I don't see the equivalent of a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 (giving you roughly the same angle of view you'd have using a 53mm lens on a 35mm camera) in the Olympus lineup from a quick skim through available lenses. I'm sure Oly owners will correct me if that's not right. That lens is going to be more than twice as bright as a lens that only has f/2.8 available (allowing you to get much faster shutter speeds for the same lighting and ISO speed, or allowing you to use a lower ISO speed to get shutter speeds just as fast).
I may be wrong but for fast ISO prime, I think Olympus can use the:
- Zuiko 25mm F/2.8 pancake
- Sigma 30mm F/1.4
- Panasonic 25mm F/1.4

The pancake is affordable in a nifty package where else the Sigma sits in between with the Panasonic at the top of the price list. I guess both will do a good job similar to the Nikkor 35mm F/1.8.

Should I be concerned with such a using wide apertures? It will give me a shallow depth of field. If I wanted everything to be sharp, I would have to lower the aperture (e.g. back to say F/2.8 like that of the 25mm pancake) so I am back to square one - and with no real need for a fast prime lens?

Apologies for my lack of knowledge - getting grips with this I am pretty excited and eager to learn too. Knowledge is such a wonderful thing.

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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
You don't need a firm support for flash photos in low light to freeze subject movement. That's because the flash burst is very short (usually 1/1000 second or faster, depending on range to subject). So, because the subjects are not properly exposed (except for during the short flash burst), the flash can freeze the action.
One thing I would like to know, and should have done much earlier, when someone says low light photography, how 'low light' is low light? Are we talking cave like conditions? In dimmer conditions like restaurant with dimmed lights, yellow lighting and candles but bright enough to read the menu and to see the writings on the wall on the opposite end? Outside on the streets during the night?

I just want to get a sense that when someone says that if camera X does not perform that well in low light compared to camera Y, how low a light are they referring to?

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Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
If I might, you have to compare apples with apples, not apples with oranges. If the E-620 with the FL 36r is to be considered, then we have to compare that Olympus package against the Nikon D-3000 equipped with the SB-600. That is the only fair comparison.
Fair point. I think either will serve well for both cameras and should be part of my purchase in the future

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The built-in Guide Feature on the Nikon D-3000 I see as quite valuable to a new user making the transition from P+S to DSLR cameras as well. Do you see it that way or do you, Justin perceive the Guide feature to be something that takes up valuable space on the Nikon D-3000.
I personally think it is just a gimmick

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Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Please do not discount the value of the Nikon 35mm F 1.8 lens. As long as you either already naturally have or can add needed light via an external flash you will get the smal apertures that you need for an expanded depth of field that will keep everything in sharp focus from the foreground to the background. The only issue is keeping the light level high enough. That is another good reason that you have to consider the SB-600 flash in place of the SB-400 flash.
But in conditions of having available light only, I would not be using the widest aperture (i.e. F/1.8) if I wanted everything sharp from foreground to background right? I would require a middle or high aperture value to keep everything in focus no?

A wide aperture (F/1.8) gives a shallow depth of field, so I fail to see the need to have such a wide aperture in low light conditions if I want everything in view to be sharp ... unless, I tack on the external flash to increase the light source, stoop down the aperture, lower the ISO and increase the shutter speed for a decent low light shot?

So a 35mm F/1.8 lens or any fast lens' use in low light shooting without external flash, will yield results but with shallow depth of field. Is my understanding correct?

Pardon me as I am trying to grasp all the relationship between ISO, aperture and shutter speed. Been reading Peterson's Understanding Exposure book - good book I may add!

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Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
Up to 800iso the olympus and the d3000 are pretty much even, at 1600 the d3000 has a sight lead, and at the e3200 this not where these camera perform.
Cool, thanks for the info. Been comparing pictures from reviews at different ISO and it seems to be the case that the D3000 performs slightly better at 1600 and 3200.

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Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
On the low light question here is a review of the e620, and even with the 4/3 disadvantage, it was quite good at 1600iso.
http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/d...w=olympus+e620
Thank you. Am reading it now

Phew. So many questions so little time. And I just rung up the store and they are out of stock for the E-620 twin kit til January! Argh!

Justin.
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Old Dec 12, 2009, 12:56 PM   #22
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f1.8 is great for photos that you want to blur out the background. But you can get very good results with f2.8 also.

Also if you are at a indoor wedding dinner, you pretty much need a flash to get good shots. With really low light shooting like a night shot of the a city skyline, you should be using a tripod, with a long exposure time at 400 or 800 iso will give good results.

PS adorama has it for 650 bucks with the 2 lens kit.

Last edited by shoturtle; Dec 12, 2009 at 1:02 PM.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 1:55 AM   #23
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What do you think of the E-520 as compared to the E-620? The price of the E-520 with the twin kit is significantly less than the E-620 (the E-520 with twin kit costs about 4/5 the price of a E-620 with twin kit).

Would the price difference justify the purchase? The only plus points I see in the E-620 over the E-520 are:
+ 3 vs 7 AF points (though I was told to just use the center AF point only)
+ better sensor, better low light, less noise
+ better DR range on the E-620
- E-520's viewfinder seems to be better than the E-620 with the information display on the right hand side of the display instead at the bottom like the E-620 (I find I can see both the info display and the composed picture simultaneously better with the 520 than the 620, which I find a bit small and hard to read)
+ the exposure compensation button of the E-520 is not as conveniently placed as the E-620
+ the E-620 has a sleeker profile
+ I am comfortable holding both
+ E-520 shares the same battery as the E-30 (possible future upgrade maybe?)

I would like to hear your thoughts on the E-620 vs E-520. In the mean time, I am trying to borrow a friend's D60 (I think) for a week, as I will be going for a trip and the Olympus are all sold out. I will see how using a Nikon turns out too.

Justin-in-dilemma.

Last edited by JustinY; Dec 14, 2009 at 4:47 AM. Reason: E-520 price is 4/5 of E-620.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 5:50 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinY View Post
What do you think of the E-520 as compared to the E-620? The price of the E-520 with the twin kit is significantly less than the E-620 (the E-520 with twin kit costs about 4/5 the price of a E-620 with twin kit).

Would the price difference justify the purchase? The only plus points I see in the E-620 over the E-520 are:
+ 3 vs 7 AF points (though I was told to just use the center AF point only)
+ better sensor, better low light, less noise
+ better DR range on the E-620
- E-520's viewfinder seems to be better than the E-620 with the information display on the right hand side of the display instead at the bottom like the E-620 (I find I can see both the info display and the composed picture simultaneously better with the 520 than the 620, which I find a bit small and hard to read)
+ the exposure compensation button of the E-520 is not as conveniently placed as the E-620
+ the E-620 has a sleeker profile
+ I am comfortable holding both
+ E-520 shares the same battery as the E-30 (possible future upgrade maybe?)
620 has:
  • Articulating LCD - making it just that much more versatile
  • 12 vs 10 MP - increase in cropping ability
  • Higher ISO
  • Faster FPS rate
  • Ability to use wireless flash - not sure if the 520 has that or not.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 6:12 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by JustinY View Post
I may be wrong but for fast ISO prime, I think Olympus can use the:
- Zuiko 25mm F/2.8 pancake
- Sigma 30mm F/1.4
- Panasonic 25mm F/1.4
Yep. You're right. But, the 25mm f/1.4 is listed at $899 at reputable dealers right now (and some are out of stock). It would give you the same angle of view you'd have using a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera (multiply by 2x to compare with an Olympus dSLR model, since these have smaller sensors compared to Nikon or Canon models).

Quote:
The pancake is affordable in a nifty package where else the Sigma sits in between with the Panasonic at the top of the price list. I guess both will do a good job similar to the Nikkor 35mm F/1.8.
The Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 is more than twice as bright as the Zuiko 25mm f/2.8. So, you'd get much faster shutter speeds using it wide open for a given lighting and ISO speed.

As for the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, keep in mind that you'll have a narrower angle of view using one on an Olympus model. So, keep focal length in mind. With an Olympus dSLR, it would give you roughly the same angle of view you'd have using a 60mm lens on a 35mm camera. With a Nikon dSLR using an APS-C size sensor, that Sigma would have roughly the same angle of view you'd have using a 45mm lens on a 35mm camera (making it easier to get more in the frame if you don't have room to back up as far).

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Should I be concerned with such a using wide apertures? It will give me a shallow depth of field. If I wanted everything to be sharp, I would have to lower the aperture (e.g. back to say F/2.8 like that of the 25mm pancake) so I am back to square one - and with no real need for a fast prime lens?
Yes, which is one reason it's often easier to use a flash, depending on what you're shooting. But, the wider your framing (subjects occupy a smaller percentage of the frame), the less likely you'll run into Depth of Field issues (so a wider lens is usually much better in that area). I sometimes use a Minolta 28mm f/2 AF lens with my KM 5D and Sony A700 indoors, which isn't too bad in that area if you're careful what you're focusing on.

The Olympus will have a little more Depth of Field for a given subject framing and aperture compared to the other models (since it's got the smaller sensor). It should work out to around 1 stop more. IOW, you should get around the same depth of field with the Olympus at f/2 as you would from a Nikon at f/2.8, if your subject was occupying the same percentage of the frame.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 9:58 AM   #26
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Justin-

Returning to your initial question today of the E-520 versus the E-620: There is a very measurable difference between these two cameras, as they use different imagers and processors, I believe. The E-520 has a shortened high dynamic range, producing clipped highlights.

Let me put it this way, Justin: the visual difference is large enough that you can actually see it in prints and on large viewing screens. I am not maligning the E-520, handled with care, it is capable of excellent images. However, the E-620 has more dynamic range and therefore can more easily and consistently produce excellent images.

I own an E-420, an E-520, and an E-620 cameras. If I were to take the very same image with each camera, you could actually see the difference. Take a look at Gary's photos taken at his bird feeder in the Olympus DSLR Folder, and you can see what Gary, his E-620, and his Olympus 70-300mm lens can do. It is really a pleasure to go over and see those wonderful images.

The choice is always yours. If it were up to me, I would, without hesitation, choose the E-620.

Have a great day and a Merry Christmas.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 11:24 AM   #27
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Just to throw a spanner into the mix, and to make my life difficult, I can get a 3 (around there) month old used Panasonic DMC-G1 with single kit lens for about USD$600 - which averages out to be almost the price of an E-520 with twin kit lens.

Should I consider the DMC-G1 for my type of photography (i.e. portraits, landscape, travel, photo taking during dinners etc.) ?

Justin.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 11:33 AM   #28
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Quote:
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I own an E-420, an E-520, and an E-620 cameras.
Hi Sarah, it is always good to hear from someone who has owned multiple cameras - thank you for the reassuring advice on the E-620.

Thank you and Merry Christmas to you too.

Justin.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 11:36 AM   #29
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There is not a large amount of difference in resolution between the E520 and the E620, despite the nominal pixel increase.

The difference as Sarah mentioned is in the dynamic range. In its JPEG output, the E620 offers about 1 stop more dynamic range than the E520. When going to RAW, the E520 doesn't offer much additional information (a tribute to its JPEG engine partly), but the E620 will gain around another 1 stop of dynamic range using RAW.

So really the decision rests in your hand. Clearly the E620 outperforms the E520 measurably, but one would expect that for the price difference. But that said, the E520 is a great camera in its own right, and a good place to jump into the 4/3 system and pick up a few lenses.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 11:40 AM   #30
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The Panasonic G1 is a very small, capable camera. Keep in mind that you will lose the optical viewfinder and gain an electronic viewfinder (a good one though). For some this is an advantage as it offers 100% coverage, but some people are put off by the slight delay and upgaining.

Its a great travel companion and landscape camera. And for any where size is a concern it can output DSLR level images at its lower ISO's. And if you size is of a major concern, it could be worth looking into.

However, it really can't compete at ISO 1600, even with the e520 and especially e620.
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