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View Full Version : The Evolts are coming, The Evolts are coming !!



nickphoto123
12-04-2004, 08:04 AM
Hello All,

Friday at lunch I discovered a new camera store on Lexington Avenue and 51st Street in New York City.

I walked in and the entry was filled with Olympus merchandize. I walked around and figured this guy must be a busy Olympus dealer.

On my way out I asked one of the salesman 'Are you getting the new Olympus (E300/Evolt)?'

He replied, "Yes, we are getting 100 on the 10th (December), and we have 40 sold already."

I offered him my findings that the web samples have all been quite soft. He replied, "I printed them out and they are razor sharp."

I left telling him I will see him on the tenth. Can't wait to hold a production model.

Regards, Nicholas, www.nickphoto123.smugmug.com

Jim Last
12-06-2004, 07:45 AM
If the C-8080 was 1 and the E-1 was 10 what would the E-300 be?

nickphoto123
12-06-2004, 07:23 PM
Hi Jim,

May I suggest your question is mixing apples with oranges.

However, since you asked, IMHO,:

1) With the early web samples of E300 (Evolt) with the kit lens, the E300 would be about .4 (yes 4/10ths)

2) with the Pro 14-54 the E300 (Evolt) would be at least a 13.

All IMHO.

Regards, Nicholas

Jim Last
12-07-2004, 01:47 AM
2) with the Pro 14-54 the E300 (Evolt) would be at least a 13.

So you feel that this combination of camera and lens is superior to the E-1.

nickphoto123
12-07-2004, 04:01 AM
Hi Jim,

Yes, The E300 at 8MP, designed under current market competition pressure, (20d etc.), must be better than the E-1's sensor. The Kodak imager MUST deliver the goods.

A few highly regarded web reviewers gave a poor report on the E-1 (imaging-resource.com), and Olympus missing the mark of getting the most out of the full frame transfer 5MP sensor. (should have been lower noise than other ccd's and better dynamic range, did not deliver per these reviewers).

I don't want to offend any camera's loyal users but I am just answering your question. All IMHO.

Regards, Nicholas

www.nickphoto123.smugmug.com

Jim Last
12-07-2004, 05:11 AM
So on a scale of 1 to 10 IYHO:

E300 with Pro lens is the best at 10
E300 with standard lens would be a 4
C-8080 would be a 1
Where would you place the E-1?

nickphoto123
12-07-2004, 08:04 PM
So on a scale of 1 to 10 IYHO:

E300 with Pro lens is the best at 10
E300 with standard lens would be a 4
C-8080 would be a 1
Where would you place the E-1?

Jim,

I suggested the E300 with the kit lens as .4 (point 4), that is .6 under your stated starting point for your C-8080.
And the E300 with the pro 14-54 would be at least 13 (3 over your stated 10 for the E-1.
If, (of course please remember I think this is apples and oranges, and it is all IMveryHO)
If the E300 does not beat the E-1, The 4/3's System will slide toward oblivion (quickly).

I sure hope it fulfils its promise.

Regards, Nicholas

Jim Last
12-08-2004, 02:28 AM
Arh, got it :) So on a scale of 0 to 13

E300 with included lens is 0.4
C-8080 is 1.0
E-1 is 10.0
E300 with Pro lens is 13.0

nickphoto123
12-08-2004, 04:06 AM
Hi Jim,

That's it, a very subjective observation.

Regards, Nicholas

Jim Last
12-08-2004, 07:30 AM
Not at all Nicholas, it is exactly what I was looking for. :)

When I brought my C-8080 I was aware that the E300 was on the very near horizon and have been trying to find out what it is like in the standard package form, as the costs are not too far apart, but when you consider getting the Pro lens then it becomes a completely different ball game and cost.

KevinP
01-03-2005, 04:05 PM
Gents,
can you enlighten me on this lens please. Are you indicating that the image capture at 25mm (50mm) with E-300 would be of better quality, or is it because it has wider apeture and closer focus? I have had my E-300 for 2 weeks so far and is easier to use than the C-8080 I had.
Thank you,
Kevin P.


Jim,

I suggested the E300 with the kit lens as .4 (point 4), that is .6 under your stated starting point for your C-8080.
And the E300 with the pro 14-54 would be at least 13 (3 over your stated 10 for the E-1.
If, (of course please remember I think this is apples and oranges, and it is all IMveryHO)
If the E300 does not beat the E-1, The 4/3's System will slide toward oblivion (quickly).

I sure hope it fulfils its promise.

Regards, Nicholas

KevinP
01-03-2005, 04:28 PM
Fellas,

with all the comparison of the E-300 with the lenses you are discussing, are you saying that the image quality would be better with the 14-54 lens over the 14-45. I was curios to know, or is that based on the fact the 54 lens has wider ap and closer focusing.
Thank you,
Kevin P.

tdwyatt
01-17-2005, 02:31 PM
Not to divert/hijack the thread, but does anyone know if the E300 wiill be capable of using some of the old Zuiko/Olympus lenses? Debating using the cam, still thinking about total conversionto digital, but if I have to start all over again on the camera and supportive lenses, I may just go with a Nikon D70 and a zoom for digital and keep the OM systems I have for film instead.

Any suggestions?

scalia
01-30-2005, 10:03 PM
Not to divert/hijack the thread, but does anyone know if the E300 wiill be capable of using some of the old Zuiko/Olympus lenses? Debating using the cam, still thinking about total conversionto digital, but if I have to start all over again on the camera and supportive lenses, I may just go with a Nikon D70 and a zoom for digital and keep the OM systems I have for film instead.

Any suggestions?

yes you can use OM manual lenses with E-cameras with an adapter (you can get it for free from olympus right now). You can also use lenses from Leica, Nikon, Yashica/Contax, Pentax, and Exacta... that almost every lenses :)

you can see it here (http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/oly-e/any-lens.html)

btw, about 14-45mm i heard that it's a very good lens, not much a different from 14-54mm in term of image quality. the 14-54 just brighter/faster and very good built quality/weatherproof.

speaklightly
02-23-2005, 05:18 PM
Nick-

Did you ever purchase the Olympus E-Volt 300? If so can we please see some samples. Thanks for your kind assistance.

Speaklightly

scalia
02-24-2005, 05:58 PM
Nick-

Did you ever purchase the Olympus E-Volt 300? If so can we please see some samples. Thanks for your kind assistance.


you can check here:
www.myfourthirds.com (http://www.myfourthirds.com/)

and

Lauri Sippu's Winter album (http://homepage.mac.com/lsippu/PhotoAlbum43.html)

cheers

Norm in Fujino
02-26-2005, 12:31 AM
Geez, Laura Sippi's site is almost enough to convince me to get an Evolt. Beautiful stuff there.

scalia
02-26-2005, 07:27 AM
German Foto Magazin of 2 February did a test on the ZD lenses and the competition. They use a test setup called "BAS digital" in which they test the optical qualities of the lenses. They also look at mechanical build.

The result:
Olympus 14-45 mm - super
Canon EF-S 18-55mm - very good
Nikon DX 18-70mm - very good
Konika Minolta AF 17-35 mm - very good
Pentax DA 18-55 mm - good

and the rest of ZD lenses:
11-22, 14-54, 50, 150, 50-200 got a "super" which is the best rating.
but 40-150 got a "very good".

scalia
03-10-2005, 08:37 PM
it's now available E-300 kit with 2 lenses, 14-45mm + 40-150mm, for only $999. great deals i think...

there's also rebates this month from oly USA for lenses/accesories for the E-system.

cheers

wingsley
04-09-2005, 10:00 AM
Hi Jim,

May I suggest your question is mixing apples with oranges.

However, since you asked, IMHO,:

1) With the early web samples of E300 (Evolt) with the kit lens, the E300 would be about .4 (yes 4/10ths)

2) with the Pro 14-54 the E300 (Evolt) would be at least a 13.

All IMHO.

Regards, Nicholas


If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the kit lens for the Evolt 300 isn't much to write home about and that there is another "pro" lens that one can buy for the Evolt 300. I currently own an Olympus C-3020Z and I am looking to buy a new D-SLR, money permitting. I have been looking at the Canon Digital Rebel and D-Reb XT. Because I currently use an Olympus and I like their file-naming system (works great with iPhoto) I thought I would give the Evolt 300 a look. I picked one up and held it while visiting a store recently.

This provoked some questions:

1: How readily available are lenses for Evolt 300? I tried search for "Four Thirds lens" on PriceGrabber and only found a few Olympus-branded lenses.

2: Does anyone have any feedback on the "Four Thirds" family of lenses?

3: I do some indoor shooting (personal/portrait, family gatherings, meeting halls) and alot of outdoor shooting (vistas/panoramas, wildlife, sled dog races, landmarks/construction projects) and have way exceeded the capabilities of the C-3020Z. Is there a sufficient offering of lenses for a camera like this to pick out a small lens collection to go with the camera?

4: How easy is it to change the lens on the Evolt 300 "on the fly"?

5: Is it possible to buy the Evolt 300 camera without a lens?

Norm in Fujino
04-09-2005, 12:23 PM
If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the kit lens for the Evolt 300 isn't much to write home about and that there is another "pro" lens that one can buy for the Evolt 300.

According to the reviews I've read, performance-wise, the kit lens (14-45) is almost as good as the more expensive 14-54. The only criticisms have been a tiny amount of corner darkening (aka vignetting) at the telephoto side. The more expensive lens is built better and also has a brighter f2.8 open aperture. If you can afford it, I would say go with the more expensive lens, but the kit lens will also give you good performance.


1: How readily available are lenses for Evolt 300?

The four-thirds family of lenses has been pretty well thought out, in terms of coverage. To see what's available at present, you can see This Site (http://www.fourthirdsfaq.com/#Digital%20Zuiko%20Lenses) and also this site (http://www.molon.de/E300/index.html#Lenses), and also HERE (http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/oly-e/lenses.html) and Sigma's site (http://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english/lens/digital/index.htm). There are more planned for this next year.


2: Does anyone have any feedback on the "Four Thirds" family of lenses?

The Zuiko lenses have had gotten very high marks; for one (the main 14-54), see myfourthirds (http://forums.myfourthirds.com/viewtopic.php?t=33).
Another site, four-thirds information (http://www.4-3system.com/) has some more news about lenses.
The Zuiko lenses are top quality, unfortunately with prices to match. Sigma has some more inexpensive lenses available now and is scheduled to bring out more later this year.


3: I do some indoor shooting (personal/portrait, family gatherings, meeting halls) and alot of outdoor shooting (vistas/panoramas, wildlife, sled dog races, landmarks/construction projects) and have way exceeded the capabilities of the C-3020Z. Is there a sufficient offering of lenses for a camera like this to pick out a small lens collection to go with the camera?

The selection of lenses is pretty logical. From the Zuiko line, start from the standard/kit zoom of 14-45 or 14-54. That will give you sufficient breadth to use in most indoor situations up through portrature; for a moderate zoom you could go to the 40-150 (inexpensive) or 50-200 (expensive) lens, and if you were using a tripod, you could couple one of them onto the 1.4x converter to give you more reach; and there are the Sigmas in similar ranges. Olympus also has the fixed focal-length 150mm f2 and 300mm f2.8 lenses that are fabulous, but priced accordingly.


4: How easy is it to change the lens on the Evolt 300 "on the fly"?
If you've never used an SLR before, you may have some misgivings at first, but it's no more difficult on the EVOLT than on any other SLR. Which means, you do have to be be careful to avoid water and dirt, and dropping it.


5: Is it possible to buy the Evolt 300 camera without a lens?
Yes, at least I did. The bodies will probably become more easily available in the next few months after the initial kit sales pass their deadlines. Here in Japan, it's almost as cheap right now to buy the body with kit lens as it is to buy the body alone--at least at many stores; many people buy the kit and then sell the kit lens on e-bay, or turn it back into the store for a trade-in on the more expensive 14-54.

wingsley
04-09-2005, 07:06 PM
Do any of the 4/3-compatible lenses offer features like Image Stabilization or ultra-sonic motors?

How well do aftermarket (Sigma) lenses work on Olympus D-SLRs?

I had been looking at SLRs from Canon (Digital Rebel, Digital Rebel XT, EOS 20D). How does the Evolt 300 stack up against these competitors?

It seems, when looking at the reviews, that Olympus digital cameras shooting in RAW mode consistently have larger file sizes (megapixel for megapixel) than Canon digital cameras shooting in RAW mode. This observation isn't just limited to SLRs. It holds true for fixed-lens digicams as well (compare the PowerShot G6 to the C-7070WZ) and this baffles me. Am I mistaken about this? Why is it this way?

Does Olympus offer a cigarette lighter adaptor for recharging an Olympus D-SLR's battery on-the-road?

Does anyone here have experience using D-SLR cameras in winter (snow, wind, cold) conditions? How do lenses hold up? How do camera batteries hold up?

Norm in Fujino
04-09-2005, 07:56 PM
Do any of the 4/3-compatible lenses offer features like Image Stabilization or ultra-sonic motors?

No image stabilization at present, although it's supposedly in the works. When Matsushita/Panasonic comes out with a 4/3 SLR body later this year (supposedly), it may be incorporated in the body (rumor). I dunno about ultrasonic motors, although the motors in my lenses operate smoothly.


How well do aftermarket (Sigma) lenses work on Olympus D-SLRs?
From what I've read, as well as on any other SLR, which is to say, not as well as genuine Olympus glass (you get what you pay for).


I had been looking at SLRs from Canon (Digital Rebel, Digital Rebel XT, EOS 20D). How does the Evolt 300 stack up against these competitors?
Now you're asking for more than a brief answer here can give, not to mention delving into the realm of preferences as well as sheer performance. I'd strongly recommend you read lots of reviews, those found both on this site and others like Steve's Digicams and Imaging Resource.


It seems, when looking at the reviews, that Olympus digital cameras shooting in RAW mode consistently have larger file sizes (megapixel for megapixel) than Canon digital cameras shooting in RAW mode.

I'm not yet into shooting in RAW mode, though I plan to as soon as I get the basics of this camera down. Perhaps someone else can answer.


Does Olympus offer a cigarette lighter adaptor for recharging an Olympus D-SLR's battery on-the-road?
Not that I know of.


Does anyone here have experience using D-SLR cameras in winter (snow, wind, cold) conditions? How do lenses hold up? How do camera batteries hold up?

Not yet, just got mine!

speaklightly
04-15-2005, 09:45 PM
Hello Everyone-

I really need a bit of your personal input. I have always been a very enthusiastic Olympus user. I want to purchase either the Olympus E-1 or the E-300. Now obviously, the E-300 is the newer of this Olympus family line.

Is it the better choice to go for the E-1, which is weather protected, or to go for the E-300, the newer model? They are very close to the same size. However, the E-1 is just 5mp while the E-300 is 8mp but with a different kind of imager??

How about it Norm?

Sarah Joyce

Rhys
04-16-2005, 10:26 AM
Hello Everyone-

I really need a bit of your personal input. I have always been a very enthusiastic Olympus user. I want to purchase either the Olympus E-1 or the E-300. Now obviously, the E-300 is the newer of this Olympus family line.

Is it the better choice to go for the E-1, which is weather protected, or to go for the E-300, the newer model? They are very close to the same size. However, the E-1 is just 5mp while the E-300 is 8mp but with a different kind of imager??

How about it Norm?

Sarah Joyce

That's something I've been wondering, myself. I'm tempted by weatherproofing because digitals are so much more susceptible to water damage than film cameras. Having said that, I can't remember getting more than the odd few drips on my 35mm cameras. Plus, photography in the rain is something I always tried to avoid due to the low light and contrast levels although black and white images in the rain with grainy film can be quite appealing.

I'm very tempted by the E-300 but am concerned about the apparent softness of the images. How big has anybody enlarged an image from the e-300 with success?

speaklightly
04-16-2005, 11:55 AM
Rhys-

If amble around the web, data can be found on the E-1. It has more than a few pluses, that also include excellent edge to edge sharpness, weatherproofing, the SSWF (super sonic wave filter) which knocks the dust off the imager, plus it is a bit smaller and quieter.

Is surely (like the E-300) is not a fabulous existing light digital camera, as noise becomes a problem above ISO 400, according to most users.

Sarah Joyce

Rhys
04-16-2005, 12:31 PM
Rhys-

If amble around the web, data can be found on the E-1. It has more than a few pluses, that also include excellent edge to edge sharpness, weatherproofing, the SSWF (super sonic wave filter) which knocks the dust off the imager, plus it is a bit smaller and quieter.

Is surely (like the E-300) is not a fabulous existing light digital camera, as noise becomes a problem above ISO 400, according to most users.

Sarah Joyce

I must admit I am very attracted by the dust filter, the size and quietness. I've always been a Nikon man until recently (when I got my Canon S1). If Olympus makes an E-300 with an image stabiliser then that would be very interesting indeed.

Looking at the E-300, I detect a little magenta fringing on the edges of the shots of Jeff's house. The raw to jpeg image quality improves marginally over the straight jpeg images but to my mind, not sufficiently as to merit getting bigger memory cards to handle it.

when it's possible, i might just get the e-300 or its successor.

Norm in Fujino
04-16-2005, 08:36 PM
How about it Norm?Sarah Joyce

The two cameras have a lot of "oly" features in common, including color rendition, not to mention the sensor cleaning and pixel mapping functions. Otherwise, and unless you're going to be making large prints, I'd say the E-1 is the better buy right now, since prices are dropping in the face of 8MP competition from the rebel xt, and due to rumors that Olympus will likely announce an 8-10MP successor within the next year. So much depends on your own use and needs that it's hard to make a firm recommendation (not to mention the fact that I've never used the E-1), but the weatherproofing and somewhat better low-light performance of the E-1 are personally attractive. I actually chose the E-300 for the following reasons: physical size/weight (marginally less, but still important to me), more pixels (the "gee-whiz" factor), and definitely price (I was pretty much on a fixed budget).

Contrary to what some reviewers seem to assume, both of these cameras will give good results at high ISOs if you're not shooting for volume or on a quick deadline turnaround. For better or worse Oly has decided to omit noise processing from the in-camera events and leave it to the photographer to do.. Interpreted charitably, this could be taken to mean that Oly wants to let the photographer decide how far to go with preferencing high ISO over color and depth. The Canon's have been criticized (I won't get into a war over whether the criticism is just or not) for somewhat "plastic"-looking images at high ISOs, something that characterizes any photo subjected to much NR. But the same could be said for high-ISO images out of the E-300.

If you have a good system set up for running your photos through a NR program as part of your workflow, you can get good results from the E-1/E-300 at ISO 1600/3200 (3200 available on the E-1 only), but if you need a quick photo to throw into the morning newspaper, you probably want something ready out of camera, in which case the Canons/Nikons are the safest bet.

I don't recall if I posted this before, but you ought to take a look at the ISO 3200 results produced with the E-1 by Tony Finnerty in his series "photography on the edge" (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1022&message=12949968). That's pretty impressive for a camera everybody says can't shoot over Iso 400.

Here is an offhand shot I made last night at an impromtu after-concert concert, under miserable lighting conditions. First is the original at ISO 1600, 1/40s at f3.5 (14-54mm lens); it was a quick shot at 54mm (full telephoto), so it may show a tiny bit of camera shake as well (in-camera quality is high JPEG SHQ):

http://www2.gol.com/users/nhavens/resource/05041750a.jpg

This has been resized, of course, and adjusted for values. Particularly due to the low exposure and lighting color, the noise is pretty apparent. How objectionable noise appears to your eyes depends subjective conditions such as subject matter and your own expressive intentions, not to mention objective physical factors such as low-exposure, color temperature of the lighting, and so on; anyway, the original here is definitely noisy.

Here is the same photo after running through Neatimage, followed by the same other processing steps as before:

http://www2.gol.com/users/nhavens/resource/05041750_fa.jpg

The noise certainly is reduced, and I don't think any "plastic" appearance is visible. As always, your mileage may vary.

Norm in Fujino
04-16-2005, 08:45 PM
TI'm very tempted by the E-300 but am concerned about the apparent softness of the images. How big has anybody enlarged an image from the e-300 with success?

The sharpness of an image is a function not only of in-camera hardware/software, but post-process unsharp masking, and the optics of the lens used, so I'd look into all three areas. You might also check the print quality assessment in the Imaging Resource Review (http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/E300/E30A13.HTM). In the end, you have to let your eyes be the judge. "Different strokes" and all that. The only way to be sure is to take two identical subjects under identical conditions using two test cameras, then process them as desired and decide which you like best.

speaklightly
04-16-2005, 08:53 PM
Thanks a lot, Norm-

You have done a lot to ease my qualms. I was especially impressed by the ISO 3200 photos from the E-1. Truly the E-1 may seem a bit of "old technology" to some readers. However, to me it represents a lot of potential. I will keep you posted. Thanks also for the wonderful photos at the concert. They affirm that I am headed in the correct direction.

Sarah Joyce

Norm in Fujino
04-17-2005, 03:24 AM
I'm very tempted by the E-300 but am concerned about the apparent softness of the images.


One additional note, Rhys. If you take a look at the pictures on www.myfourthirds.com you'll see a range of sharpness in E-300 images. Some of it is the camera, but a lot more is the result of the respective photographer's skills. My jaw dropped today when I saw the following image posted there. It was taken with the E-300 and the "budget" 40-150mm zoom lens. Incredible clarity for that class of lens, IMO--worlds ahead of my Sigma 55-200.

http://www.myfourthirds.com/files/1023/Robin.jpg
NOTE: this photograph was originally posted at <http://www.myfourthirds.com/files/1023/Robin.jpg>. All rights reserved by the original owner.

speaklightly
04-17-2005, 08:59 AM
Norm-

I am amazed at the output of that relatively inexpensive 150mm telephoto. I did not expect that lens to do as well with either sharpness or contrast. Wow!

Sarah Joyce

Balrog
04-17-2005, 10:22 AM
:) if you want another opinion -- megapixel.net just reviewed the E-300 .. here (http://www.megapixel.net/reviews/oly-e300/e300-gen.php)'s the link.

Norm in Fujino
04-17-2005, 10:40 AM
I saw the review several days ago, not a bad one, though it doesn't mean much to me since I've already got mine. :D Apparently the worst thing they found was an overly complex white balance system, which seems a bit strange to me, since AUTO works very well if you don't have time for more thought about it--in the last few days I've found that keeping a white card in my camera case and taking on-site custom white balance settings is also extremely easy.

gary_hendricks
04-17-2005, 10:58 AM
:) if you want another opinion -- megapixel.net just reviewed the E-300 .. here (http://www.megapixel.net/reviews/oly-e300/e300-gen.php)'s the link.

Hello, I've put up a review of the Oly E300 (http://www.basic-digital-photography.com/olympus-evolt-300-review.html) on my web site as well. :)

Rhys
04-17-2005, 08:05 PM
I'd love to see more full-size, uncompressed JPEGs from the e-300. It looks to be just the camera I'm after.

Norm in Fujino
04-17-2005, 09:05 PM
I'd love to see more full-size, uncompressed JPEGs from the e-300.

Um, isn't that an oxymoron? JPEGS are compressed by definition ;) .

I should also note that I've read the first version of the E-300 firmware apparently has a faulty jpeg algorithm that caused strange pink fringing on some images. That issue was fixed (together with white balance and support for high-speed CF cards) with one of the first two firmware revisions; firmware is currently at version 1.2. I don't know how the basic version worked, since updating the firmware was the first thing I did after getting the camera.

Rhys
04-18-2005, 07:04 AM
Um, isn't that an oxymoron? JPEGS are compressed by definition ;) .

I should also note that I've read the first version of the E-300 firmware apparently has a faulty jpeg algorithm that caused strange pink fringing on some images. That issue was fixed (together with white balance and support for high-speed CF cards) with one of the first two firmware revisions; firmware is currently at version 1.2. I don't know how the basic version worked, since updating the firmware was the first thing I did after getting the camera.

Ok. Highest possible quality JPEG. I'm not that bothered about RAW.

It looks a very desirable camera, even though it has a funky battery. Incidentally, is there an AA battery grip for it?