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Old Sep 14, 2004, 4:03 AM   #1
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I currently own an E-1 with most of the fixins (14-54mm, 50-200mm, and FL-50). I have been very impressed with this camera, and I truly believe that it is superior to the Canon 10d. But now the canon 20d is coming...

It appears to me that canon has ripped off many of the bells and whistles that already came with the E-1, thrown in an 8MP sensor, and reduced the noise to create the 20d. (although the E-1 is still water tight and antidust, features found only in extreme pro cameras)

So here's my dilema - should I jump back to Canon or stick with Olympus? I'm planning on going full force into wedding photography; and through my experiences, I am not happy the focusing of the E-1 and the flash of the fl-50. (relatively speaking, when are we ever fully happy with our equipment)

The focusing is a bit slow on the E-1, relative to low light. Perhaps I have been spoiled with my EOS RT (film) which had a fixed pellicle mirror and virtually no lag time, but it seems to me the AF sytem searches for a bit too long - the action has already disappeared at that point. I don't know if the Canon 20d with a hypersonic lens would do any better in low light. Another problem is the AF tracking - sure it'll follow an object, but once you start firing away at 3fps, the AF tracking stops. I found this extremely annoying when i was at Huntington Beach's Surfing Open. The surfers would come my way, but the closer they got the more blurry it got. I had to let go of the fire button, refocus and then shoot! I know that my Canon A2 (film) will track an object while I'm firing away, hopefully the 20d will do so as well.

The flash technology of the fl-50 does not seem that advanced to me at all. The ttl auto setting frequently bleaches out photos. You would think that the camera would take into account the distance of the focus point and adjust the output accordingly - but it doesn't. I find that the fl-50 is more effective in the auto setting, in which a sensor on the flash cuts off the flash output based on the light it receives back. (Olympus documentation says that you can get 2 flashes out before charging, this is true in ttl auto mode. But in auto mode you can easily fire the flash at 3fps for about 10 frames before it needs to charge!) Another annoyance of mine is the flash distance indication. Sure the effective distance of the flash is displayed, and sure you can adjust the flash out (+/-3), but when you adjust the flash output, the effective distance of the flash is not displayed any more. It becomes guesswork at this point; who knows how close you can get up to an object or how far an object can be. I'm sure that the flash technology is better in Canons.

One of the main things that draws me towards the Canon 20d, besides the focusing and flash technology, is the 5 frames per second. In the film world, what separates a pro camera from a novice camera is the 5fps barrier. Trust me, there is a major difference between anything else less than 5fps (I don't consider the 4fps of the canon elan 7 anywhere close to 5fps.); the capture speed and the extra two frames are invaluable resources.

If I switch to Canon, I plan to get the 20d, 17-40mm f4L, 70-200 f4L, and a sigma 500 dg flash. (This equipment is based on an optimistic scenario in which I brake even with what I sell). I also plan to use my A2 as a backup film body. Sure I'll lose a stop of light, but supposedly the 20d is cleaner at higher ISO settings. (People have complained about the noise from the E-1 sensor, especially at higher ISO's. Personally this does not bug me as the noise is similar to that of film at the same ISO. To me it adds a distinct feature to low light photography.)

So what do you think? Should I stick with Olympus and duke it out with a fine built tank? Or should I follow the cattle and buy a Canon?

In no way am I insulting Olympus or supporters of Olympus as I am one myself. I have owned numerous Olympus cameras, including the E-100rs, and c-5050, and I have been very happy with them. I have listed many of the annoyances of the E-1, but it must be noted that I have been very happy with this camera and its many advanced bells and whistles. All cameras have annoyances that can be improved uopn. The reason why I am considering Canon is because I have a job to get done, and it might make the job a bit easier to do. Thanks for your time and responses.
Bob Wilkens is offline   Reply With Quote
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