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View Full Version : taking the plunge... a few questions remain



bspeed
04-17-2006, 12:55 AM
Howdy, from Texas :eek:

I have spent this past week, staying up late at night.... reading all I can find about the E500 and its competitors.

Since I cant seem to find a local store with one of these that I can play with, please allow me to pose a scenraio of the most important aspect for me at this time.

I will be calling Coyotes and Bobcats. When these Animals come in to a game call, the action can be rather fast. This means I may have only a few seconds in which to get a well focused picture.
In these few seconds, ok perhaps 4-5 seconds, the animal is 99% likely to be moving , towards , across or... AWAY at mach 3.12! (go figure)
:D

Would anyone care to venture, as to the likely success of getting a decently focused picture in that scenario, with this camera ?


********

Well, I guess I should go ahead and ramble and babble at ya some..by way of a intro...

Currently am having fun with a Oly SP500, which will end up as my Daughters camera soon. This little puppy is quite slow for the above work it seems!
And dont ya know, hidden away in the closet is an Ae1 and 3 lenses from when it was first introduced... unfortunatly it needs work of some kind, as the shutter "sticks" , producing neat "half-pictures" :rolleyes: Still if it were fixed, would be fun to use again.

Lot of memories in that camera bag.....there is a $15 strobe from "JC Penney"...that year we were so broke, at my first "real" job, out of school...it was all we could afford so it was our Christmas present to each other. :D
And also in the bag are "Sears and Roebuck" Macro Lenses still in the case !!
Ya know an AE1 back then, when was that..78, 79? that was a HIGH dollar deal to a Teenager.
Before that, I had a Topcon SLR, and a Ricoh viewfinder 35mm.
Nonetheless, I am still pretty dumb about photography ;)
BTW, I am leaning to the E500 , cause its different....if thats a good enough excuse :D that, and being unemployed, its kinda hard to make the plunge for something in the 1500 bucks range...

kgosden
04-17-2006, 08:10 PM
An important question; what type of light? Daytime, twilight, nighttime? How far away? Are you hoping to use a long telephoto?

While I am quite happy with my E500 I don't believe it is the fastest focusing DSLR. It certainly beats my older C5050Z, but the lighting is key. Of course the better choice for your use is probably not to rely on autofocus at all, rather you should go for decent depth of field and prefocus at you best guess for the distance of the sighting.

kezs
04-17-2006, 08:39 PM
nonetheless, the e500 bundle does offer a relatively bright lens for its focal lenght and price range - 4.5 for a 300mm (35mm eq. focal distance). it's also a pretty sharp lens from the tests I've seen, so, within that limited price range (around 700 bucks I'm guessing) you can't find a sharper, longer, brighter lens than the oly 40-150 3.5-4.5. even though your considerations are relevant, kgosden, and your tip of guessing a focus distance is useful... bspeed won't find a "cheap" kit that's better suited to his needs imho.

and bspeed... you keep that vintage stuff of yours. it's good stuff, and you get more or less the price of a mcmeal if you sell that stuff online. :D

bspeed
04-17-2006, 09:28 PM
thanks for the replies. I got to handle and try the E500 today. Yes it was slower af,than the canon and nikons that were also tried out. but not to dramatic.
but still I think quite fast enough. I will give myself some more tme to make a decison :)

it would be the closer pics....25 to 50 yards to the subect that would likely need more reaction time. And well heck, with the filmy cam, I would prefocus quite often ! :D

eduardofrances
04-18-2006, 10:27 PM
the only con about the E-500 that I would tell you is the viewfinder it is smaller than the competition that could be a problem in dim light and the AF performance

bspeed
04-19-2006, 02:35 PM
:D :D
Today, with memory cards in hand, I went back to bustbuy and tried the e500 and XT. took some 30+ pics with each. all manual mode, various settings of iso 400 and up.

firstly, I saw no problem (for me)with focus speed of the e500. it is fast, and more than fast enough. fast with a capital F. Why some places equate it with the initial turn on, i dont know. leave the camera on! LOL.

I decided to use only the center spot focus area on the E500 and two modes on the XT. I see quite a few posts - put-down posts - about 3 vs 7, etc focus areas.....it seems quite strange...only one is needed.... if you think about it.. its going to focus or its not...I see some redundancy in what people say about the subject's focus.. move off subject move back on subject, do this, do that....it really seems like overkill in a way. My AE1 had only one way to focus.... hehehe.

SO, I was quite suprised when I got home and downloaded the pics on the memory cards.

ONLY A half-dozen XT pics were in focus!! that's well....interesting....
when one considers..when one is just a "pleasure hobbiest", that the pics exposure is the thing to get right.....lo and behold the (demo) XT adds a new dimension.... ;)

One thing I have noticed in the camera reviews....these reviews seem to love cropping a tiny little section of a complete pic subject...and then say "OH HOW NOISY OR NOT NOISY" and then I read how some of you print big pics some print little pics, and some dont print at all. but how many print just 1" of a huge pic? LOL

I guess I am just saying that after several weeks of reading and re-reading every review....the actual pics I just took look GREAT.

so now I just printed a few 8x11 sized "photos" on my wifes epson r320, and well now, look how pretty those E500 pics are.:D :D

I totally understand how some are into this big time... and how some like me, see a 2 lens kit camera as exactly perfect :D Trust me I am a consumate _spender_ of $$
And If I had a _job_ !!! I sure would go and spend twice the bucks and never look back. - heck, if i looked back, my wife would be after me with a baseball bat - LOL.

so I am going to get an E500, the 2 lenses for the price is really nice, and it is a better camera than I am a picture taker.

penz
04-19-2006, 03:49 PM
I love the pictures my E-500 takes. My only problem was with night shots. Today I tried to fix it a little bit. I picked up the FL-36 from Media Markt (German version of Best Buy) for 200 euro. I wanted the FL-50 but the camera shop I drove over an hour to buy stuff didn't have any in stock. :mad: The FL-36 only takes about 4-6 seconds to refresh. Thats not so bad. I only wish they would have had more Oly stuff. Media Markt was also selling the lenes that come with the 2 lens kit (the one I didn't buy) for 300 euro. That would have been nice to know a month ago when I was looking for lenses. Now I'm just waiting until next month so I can buy the Sigma 30 f1.4.

Scorpion
04-20-2006, 01:48 PM
I love the pictures my E-500 takes. My only problem was with night shots. Today I tried to fix it a little bit. I picked up the FL-36 from Media Markt (German version of Best Buy) for 200 euro. I wanted the FL-50 but the camera shop I drove over an hour to buy stuff didn't have any in stock. :mad: The FL-36 only takes about 4-6 seconds to refresh. Thats not so bad. I only wish they would have had more Oly stuff. Media Markt was also selling the lenes that come with the 2 lens kit (the one I didn't buy) for 300 euro. That would have been nice to know a month ago when I was looking for lenses. Now I'm just waiting until next month so I can buy the Sigma 30 f1.4.

So how is the flash working out for you? I've been eyeballing the FL36 and FL50 myself. Looking to hear some real user comments on each before I make the plunge considering the price tag difference.

NuBee
04-20-2006, 11:29 PM
Hey folks:

I've never had any experience in photography at all but I've always been interested in the art. Finally, just yesterday I bought the Evolt 500 kit with two lenses. I couldn't pass up on the price. I got the kit with with two lenses for $709 at Circuit City (with mail in rebate). I went to the store in person after seeing the camera on sale in thier website for $709 and found that the instore sale price was actually $799. However, the nice salesman informed me that I could buy the same camera via the internet and get the internet special of 709. I jumped on it.

I tried shooting my kids baseball game tonight under park lighting and couldn't figure out the proper settings to get sports photos. Can anyone give me some advice on what settings to use for night baseball games in the park?

Scorpion
04-21-2006, 04:25 AM
I'm not an expert but I would suggest a flash, and if its outside then most likely the more powerful of the 2 oly flashes, the FL50. Seems to run around 450 usd. You could also try raising the film speed (ISO) to a higher setting but the higher you go the lower the pic quality. I haven't noticed a drop in quality at speeds of 800 or less. Once you start going over 800 the pics seem to get noisy.

Just my 2 cents.

penz
04-21-2006, 10:57 AM
I still haven't given the flash a full test drive but indoors it works great. The FL-50 would be better but it is over twice the price. Metz also have a few flashes out now made for the Oly cameras. The Metz mecablitz 44 AF-4/O (169 euro) and the mecablitz 54 MZ-4i/O (359 euro) with the SCA 3202 (44 euro). These were recomended to me but it was after I bought the FL-36. They both seem to offer a lot for the price. I found them here. (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.fotokoch.org/index.shtml&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dfoto%2Bshop%2Bd%25C3%25BCsseldorf%26h l%3Den%26lr%3D%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DG)

Here is some info from the Metz website. (http://www.metz.de/en/photo_electronics/empfehlung.142.html)

Norm in Fujino
04-23-2006, 03:15 AM
Hey folks:

I've never had any experience in photography at all but I've always been interested in the art. Finally, just yesterday I bought the Evolt 500 kit with two lenses. . . .
I tried shooting my kids baseball game tonight under park lighting and couldn't figure out the proper settings to get sports photos. Can anyone give me some advice on what settings to use for night baseball games in the park?

Don't want to discourage you, but if you've never done much photography before, you've got a lot of learning ahead of you, especially with a dSLR, since it gives you so much control over all aspects from setup to developing. It's all about capturing light, and if you're under light-starved conditions (nighttime), plus trying to stop movement at the same time (sports), plus using a telephoto lens, you've got the odds stacked against you.

To begin, forget the "sports mode" on any camera unless you have the light equivalent of bright daylight. Second, get a tripod. Nothing can so quickly help improve the quality of your shots like good stability. Next, for testing purposes, try putting on the 40-150 lens and sit in the bleachers and set the camera for ISO 800, "A" mode (aperture priority), and set the aperture for as wide open as it will go (that value varies depending on what zoom setting you have the lens set for).
Point the camera at the pitcher's mound and half press the shutter. Look at the shutter speed numbers that appear. The shutter speed will likely be very slow, which means you need to hold the camera very still (where the tripod comes in) and try to catch the athletes when they're not moving (you're not going to freeze any movement with low shutter speeds).

Try shooting at different ISO sensitivities and see what happens to the shutter and aperture values. ISO 1600 is definitely usable, depending on what you plan on doing with the shots, but you will probably want to use a noise reduction program like Neatimage, Noiseware, or Noise Ninja if you want to make large prints from anything shot at high ISO. For small prints or reduced size for website use, you can get away without any NR (I uploaded some recent concert examples of ISO1600 shots handheld with the 50-200mm lens HERE (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19192).

If you're serious about getting good shots, just remember: the idea that "photography is easy" is a half-truth. Sure, anybody can point the camera and pull the trigger on a sunny day, but under harsh conditions like the ones you're attempting, it's hard for anybody. Don't blame your equipment. Learn how to use your camera properly under optimum daylight conditions before you become dissatisfied with what you can do in a nighttime park. And PRACTICE! ;)