EVOLT E300 or Used E1

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by terry_bowen, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. I want a digital camera to use for landscapes, architecture/ruins, and people--sometimes.
    35mm stuff is Olympus. I have been considering the Olympus Evolt E300 because it seems
    more affordable than Canon or Nikon, and the kit offers two lenses. When I am not
    though, the camera will be (sadly) on the floor of my closet. Should I buy a new E300 or a
    Will the 8 megapixels in the E300 give me better resolution or more clarity than the 5 in
    E1? I want architectural detail in ruins and monuments, and in landscapes. Also, what lens
    for the E1? Most of my photos will be done in daylight. Will these cameras work for this
    type of photography?


  2. I really like my E-300. It has tons of detail. I skipped the kit lenses, took out a second mortgage, and bought the 7-14 zoom. What a marvelous lens! It took me an hour or so to get used to it, but now people look at my shots and go WOW! It's great for candid group shots, using the "grab shot" technique -- I just hold it up in the air, point it toward the center of action, click, and it looks like you're standing on a ladder or suspended over the crowd.
  3. May I point you to a recent thread on the two. Todd Frederick, a community member, owns both:
  4. Link strangely won't work. Go to Olympus forum recent threads, and scroll down a little. It is accessible there. Good shopping.
  5. jtk


    Watch for the new $700 Sony with 10MP APS chip ...far bigger chip than either Oly or D70 or 20D therefore far better in low light and inherently far smoother. 24-120 equiv *Zeiss* lens...


    No crappyneoviewfinder, but you probably don't want a squinty one anyway, if your main interest is really landscapes and architecture/ruins.
  6. I've seen excellent photos from both cameras, but a word of caution: You mention that the Olympus cameras seem "more affordable than Canon or Nikon." I'm just not sure that's the case, unless you plan to limit yourself to the two kit lenses you've mentioned.

    The selection of Olympus digital lenses at the moment is limited, and the prices, once you get past the kit lenses, are not cheap. For instance, the 7 - 14mm f/4.0 lens that Jan mentions above (and in fairness, that post mentions cost) is $1650 at B & H.

    If you'll at some point want a wide high quality Olympus lens for your landscape/architectural photos, or perhaps a faster telephoto, you might want to take a careful look at those price$.
  7. jtk


    Bob, yes, LIST price perhaps $1000. And yes, Sony dealers are good at holding the line...but...
  8. Watch for the new $700 Sony with 10MP APS chip ...far bigger chip than either Oly or D70 or 20D therefore far better in low light
    The chip dimensions are bigger than those on the Oly, but slightly smaller than those on the D70 and 20D. Except for the Olympus, the differences in size should not make a difference in low-light performance.
  9. "Also, what lens for the E1? Most of my photos will be done in daylight. Will these cameras work for this type of photography?" You will not be disappointed with the E-1. If you go that route,get the 14-54 lens. For architectural detail in ruins and monuments a good solid tripod and a quality head with a quick release system as you must know... For storing a camera, the E-1 has seals which should help with dust and moisture. Good luck. Sony is no Baloney, but I think you have narrowed to two very decent choices available right now. And the solid quality of the E-1 should make used ones a fairly reliable item if you are careful shopper. It is underpriced for its quality for a variety of reasons. Selling now at almost half original price. No onboard flash, but you likely are not concerned about flash as you say. A very nice camera that still tickles my fancy.:) Gerry
  10. I think you're correct. The Olympus camera and lenses are more affordable than some other brands, when comparing like-to-like. The sole exception I can see is the 300mm Digital Zuiko lens, which IS more expensive than the comparable other brand products. If you don't care about ultra-telephoto lenses (which are quite specialized in application, but are "high profile" optics), then some examples: 11-22 Olympus current B&H price = $675, Canon 17-40L (on an APS-C camera) = $699, but the Olympus lens is at least a stop faster and a bit wider. Olympus 14-54 = $430, Canon has no real comparable lens of similar focal length and speed, but the 17-85 IS is considerably slower, costs $600, and is inferior optically. Or consider the Nikon 17-55 is a half-stop faster at the long end, and costs $1200 (and is an excellent lens, from what I've read). The 14-54 really makes the Olympus system in my opinion, there is no comparable lens from other manufacturers that has the combination of quality, speed, weight and volume. The Oly 50-200 runs $850, is excellent optically, but there is no directly comparable Canon lens. It's bracketed by the 70-200/f4L which is >$1100, and the 75-300 IS which runs $420. The first of these is a match optically, but is slower, and the second which is inferior optically and is considerably slower. The Oly 50 Macro is a tremedously good lens which runs $450, compared to the Canon 60mm macro which costs the same and is a stop slower. Another tip is that for the past two years, Oly USA has run rebates in the March time frame which are significant ($100 on the 50-200, for example), so if they run the same offer this coming year, that's the time to buy. So, no, the Oly lenses are not cheap, but are very well priced when compared to appropriate similar optics.

    If it were me, I would not hesitate to buy the E-1, which is a rock-solid camera whose build quality can only be compared to Nikon and Canon equivalents that currently cost 4x as much. The E-300 or the (apparently) soon-to-be announced E-500 with 8 Mpixels will give you more raw resolution, but the E-1 produces better image quality in every other respect. The E-1's 5 MPixels can produce dead-sharp 8"x10" prints without a problem. If you print larger, then you will see a difference with higher resolution with some subjects, including some of the ones you mention (landscape, ruins). For people, unless you're starting a personality cult, an 8x10 print ought to be big enough, but the E-1 will do fine even at larger enlargements for this type of subject.

    If you want to travel light, an E-1 or E-300 and the 14-54 are a great choice. If you're at all concerned about build quality and weather sealing, then the E-1 is the obvious choice. The other lenses you might consider are the 50-200 (a bit big and heavy to carry around all the time) or the 11-22, which is not as useful a general purpose lens as the 14-54.
  11. I cannot comment upon the E300; I have the E1 which is a very good camera. Whatever body you purchase be sure to outfit the camera with the excellent 14-54mm f2.8-3.5.
  12. Better yet, and a whole lot cheaper, get yourself one of the many still-mint Olympus E20's. It ain't for shooting sports (slow startup and limited buffer), but otherwise this is the almost perfect camera.
  13. The E-1's 5 MPixels can produce dead-sharp 8"x10" prints without a problem
    How did Olympus fit the 8x10 printer inside the camera?
    I have an 8x10 portrait of myself and my GF sitting on my mantle shot with an E-1 - Local studio did it for some church thing (think it was Olan Mills, but not sure).
    The image is roughly equivelant to my 10D at ISO 400 and medium resolution judging from the visible aliasing, hard highlights, and goofy Olympus image processing that tends to mimmick circa 80's Agfa Portrait film. I see this *all the time* with E-series images while the photog stands there ranting some delusional tangent about Nikon and Canon {WTF}.
    The E-series cameras can hold their own with wide angle performance against the APS dSLRs, I'll give you that. When it comes to anything else, I'll put $500 in crisp bills on the table against *any* loudmouth E-series shooter and let my prints prove the point. If the E-series were actually that good, you clowns woulnd't be trying so hard to push it.
  14. Scott, a Cashier's Check will be fine -- crisp bills not required. You may contact me offline for payment details. Yours truly, Loudmouth E20 user.
  15. "you clowns woulnd't be trying so hard to push it."

    Scott, the guy asked for advice on a choice of camera. In the context of the question he asked (Evolt E300 or used E1) I'm not convinced any answer given so far has tried to push the benefits of the E-system over Nikon or Canon.

    What I can say happens is every time somebody asks a question about the E-system cameras the same old suspects chip in with their own slant on why we're all benighted fools who should know better. It's a matter of taste, sure, but the results I've seen from the E1 have been great (and so have results from Nikons and Canons). I'm not convinced anybody here is a clown except you for constantly slagging off a camera system you don't use.
  16. Richard, right on. Tis amazing how many people get their testosterone into these discussions, even when they neglect the context into which they leap.

    I'm an Evolt user (as well as a user of many other Oly cameras) and went through the same difficult decision, and often wonder if it was the right one. At the end of the day I chose the Evolt primarily on the basis of price performance. And have few regets, particularly as I get to know it.

    Though the camera has some quirks (eg. a sometimes confused exposure system when a bright light appears), 95% of my photos are just fine, even with the kit lens, and I get good money from my customers. From what I've read about Nikon and Canon users, the ability of the camera to keep my sensor clean is worth a heck of a lot, and I have surely put it through its paces in that regard.
  17. Thanks for the responses. I saw both the E1 ($1200 new, body only) and E300 ($900 new, kit)
    morning, and only put the battery in and focused. The E1 seemed slow to focus, while the
    E300 focused faster. Neither display was very bright though. I also tried a Nikon D50. It
    focused faster and the scene was brighter and clearer than either of the Olympuses. Does
    this brightness (and faster focus) difference in the display mean that photo results will be
    clearer and brighter also? Just curious. I imagine also that the D70S ($900 new, body only)
    would be clearer and faster than the D50. Cost is important, but I will pay the extra $ for
    clear, detailed 16x20's.
  18. A word of caution: The E-1 has had a firmware update which affects focussing speed (the latest version 1.4). If the camera you tried was version 1.0, then it will have focussed slower than the same hardware will with the updated firmware. As far as brighter viewfinder: what you were probably seeing was a design choice - more finely ground "ground glass" focus screens will appear to be brighter, but are more difficult to manually focus, since they tend to lack contrast. The E-1 viewfinder (in my opinion, having tried both) is easier to manual focus, but you may have found it less bright. This is no indication of anything in particular other than the choice made by the design of the focus screen. I find the D70 virtually impossible to manually focus. An SLR will stop down the lens to working aperture just before opening the shutter, so the view through the finder is no indication of the pictoral results. A lower number F-stop on the lens means that it is capable of transmitting more light to sensor, so is called a "faster" lens and should allow hand-holding the camera in lower light, everything else being equal. If you're really interested in "clear" 16" x 20" prints (you didn't say if 16x20 was expressed in cm or inches - or feet or meters for that matter), then I would strongly urge you to consider a medium format film camera, or the most expensive pro Nikon or Canon bodies that are currently on the market. But how often do you print at that size vs. the money you'll spend?
  19. Daniel,

    I prefer MF, and bought a Fuji 670 last year, though I've not done a lot with it yet. The MF
    is for landscapes, ruins, monuments, etc., my principal interest. I want to get into the
    digital world, and just want a good camera that will get good results. The results don't
    have to match MF resolution--and maybe cannot--I don't know. I enlarge prints for
    framing--largest (decent) thus far 16x20 inches, shot with 35mm. I cannot invest in MF
    digital now, since I will only shoot my MF subjects on trips and vacations. But I want
    something digital to complement the MF, and to play with on weekends and miscellaneous
    days. It would be a plus if that digital complement could also produce a large quality print.
    I looked at Olympus because my 35mm stuff is Olympus, and the E300 is very affordable.
    But I will invest in any camera for good results.
  20. I recently acquired an E-Volt 300. Actually it was a gift from my boys. I'm very happy with it. Are there better cameras out there...probably. But at what cost? Sometimes, "better" is the enemy of "good enough." It's interesting sometimes to see how folks can stake out positions on equipment and preach as gospel how one piece of equipment is the best and all else aren't worth owning. I'm a bit of a motor-head...so to me...it's analogous to two guys arguing the merits of a Chevy truck vs. a Ford. Whichever one you can drive and maintain best is the right one for you. If you love it...you'll take care of it...and learn how to drive it properly.

    I'm not an expert photographer by any means...but in viewing much of the work presented on this site...I thinks it's fair to say the photographer makes the picture more than the equipment. I've seen stellar work done with point and shoot cameras...Polaroid types...as well as pro-grade stuff.

    It's really quite amazing how we've all succumbed to the marketing/sales notion we can't be whole or competenet without the latest whiz-bang technology.

    So, unless you are a "pro" and have lots of money to spend...I'd recommend the Chevy...just learn how to drive and maintain it properly! ;-) Save yourself some $$. Maybe you can use the savings to take a trip to use your new camera. ;-)
  21. What is the OM adapter that will allow me to use 35mm lenses with the digital E1 and E3000?
  22. Terry,

    I think it's:
    MF-1 OM Adapter (OM to 4/3 Lens Adapter)

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