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Helen
03-31-2008, 05:01 PM
Can Olympus compete with the Canon's and Nikons?

Paradox
04-01-2008, 12:15 AM
That's a very ambiguous question. In what way do you mean? By image quality, user satisfaction, market share, ergonomics, prices...It could refer to basically anything! Try being a bit more specific, then someone might be able to answer. ;)

Helen
04-01-2008, 05:50 AM
Ooops!

Preferably image quality.

I am a member of a camera club and its Nikon this and Canon that blah blah and I want to shout well Olympus is just as good. I suppose there is a snob element too. There is one guy in the club and I would love to shove his Canon 40D up his youknow what!

cdifoto
04-01-2008, 06:48 AM
Canon is known for its top shelf image quality as far as digital sensors go. Nikon isn't far behind, and some say they're caught up or even ahead with the D3 and D300. Can Olympus compete? Sure...at low ISO. From what I've seen it still has that point & shoot look at higher ISOs. But, admittedly, I haven't seen a lot of Olympus files, let alone from skilled users.

For the record, I'm not bashing Olympus. I just think they have some work to do. Canon's been sitting on its ass compared to Nikon though so they're not looking super hot in my book either, and Canon is what I use.

stever06
04-01-2008, 07:22 AM
The brand stigma.
You'll never get away from it, so you just got to learn to live with it. If you're happy with the output with what you have, then that should be easy.

" It's not about the brand, but how you adapt to and use a brand"

Oly's not going anywhere anytime soon, as the latest E system offerings have increased their sales notibly.

DonSchap
04-01-2008, 07:30 AM
The market is still opening up ... every manufacturer's got a role to play. One could be ... an economic one, selling decent cameras and lenses at a reasonable price.

Man, I don't know how people are going to afford much of anything, based on the current economic downturn. Even with cheap glass, it has become a bear. Last time I looked, Olympus glass (http://shopping.yahoo.com/s:Camera%20Lenses:4168-Brand=Olympus;_ylc=X3oDMTEwMzRwMnAxBF9TAzk2NjMyOTA 3BHNlYwNmZWVkBHNsawNzc2VhcmNo) was not all that cheap!

Norm in Fujino
04-03-2008, 09:32 AM
Last time I looked, Olympus glass (http://shopping.yahoo.com/s:Camera%20Lenses:4168-Brand=Olympus;_ylc=X3oDMTEwMzRwMnAxBF9TAzk2NjMyOTA 3BHNlYwNmZWVkBHNsawNzc2VhcmNo) was not all that cheap!

Yes, but the saying still goes, "you get what you pay for." One of the complaints about FourThirds is that "there aren't enough lenses," and yet if you look at the actual lineups, it's not that clearcut. If you're talking about relatively good lenses, Olympus has more than most. None of the Oly digital lenses are "dogs," and most are above average, with some truly excellent quality. I've heard people on this very forum complain about the lack of third-party lenses for FourThirds and yet in a thread a few months ago some of those very same people admitted that a lot of the third-party lenses were crap, and that it pays to buy the best you can afford. Oly has spent most of its time since "inventing" the Fourthirds standard designing lenses, which is why so few bodies have been forthcoming since the E-1. They're now starting to take up the slack on the body side, though, and the IQ gap based on sensor performance is lessening.
In terms of IQ, the differences are really minimal among the top runners. Canon has the top slot for consecutive shot speed and high ISO, but that doesn't immediately equal "IQ." It's rather a difference in shooting conditions and needs. Put up two A-3 prints from any two leading cameras (with comparable sensor sizes) and compare them, and you'll find it very difficult to decide on such a vague concept as "IQ"; you may find differences in individual lenses, color performance, contrast, and high-ISO, but how those add up to "IQ" is in the eye of the beholder.

Ken.
04-11-2008, 07:24 PM
Having used Olympus OM's in the past and now an E-510, I'd say yes. Of course, it depends on what we're talking about. On the whole I think Olympus has come up with a digital OM. The four thirds issue is not important to me as a format, sensor size or lens mount. The bottom line is the final image. I haven't found anything to complain about (with my particular shooting style). I'm pretty impressed with the kit lenses. Overall, the camera works for me.

I think where Olympus is not competitive is getting the camera out to the public to see and try.

fotogmarc
04-12-2008, 02:40 PM
Today Oly has a very good hand in the field of quality pics. For 10mp images they're pretty much at the top of the quality range. Sure the Canonites and the Nikoners will start to thump their chests over ISO (for under $1500). However, I agree with their argument about the 4/3 sensor: It is outdated and at present this technology cannot go beyond 10mp, just as the present APS cannot go beyond 14mp.

The question is can Oly compete with 8 1/2X11 or even 13X19 prints? With out a doubt. But when digital starts to go beyond the simple CCD or CMOS, we hope Oly can make the change with the system they're presently using.

A picture is worth a thousand words, a critic is limited to what he knows or doesn't know.

Razr
04-12-2008, 02:52 PM
Can Olympus compete with the Canon's and Nikons?

Send the naysayers here: http://fourthirdsphoto.com/special/E3review/ to let them see what 4/3rds has wrought.
Olympus has image stabilized bodies and weathersealing on lenses and bodies-etc.; when can we expect weathersealing on an under $2,000 Ca/Nikon SLR or on all their pro lenses?

As for lenses: Olympus "pro" lenses such as the 14-35 f/2.0 and 35-100 f/2.0 lenses smash Canon and Nikon pretenses at "superior" lenses, those and the Olympus 90-150 f/2.8.

Consider built-in image stabilzation on some bodies, the complete weatherproofing of bodied and pro lenes and Olympus takes a back seat to no form factor.

Consider too how 4/3rds bodies (all) make a 400mm f/2.8 "legacy" lens an 800mm f/2.8 uber lens and Canon/Nikon gets shot down by their own "legacy" product.
Tell them how a 4/3rds body (any) transforms a Canon FD 85-300mm f/5.6 "L" zoom into a 170-600mm "birding" machine and the benefits of 4/rds (all) bodies become evident, at least to those who can see the benefits.
*Note also to the naysayers how Leica and Pansonic make 4/3rds bodies while Sigma makes 4/3rds lenses.

Finally, ask the naysayers when/if CaNikon will make 28-70 and/or 70-200 (equiv.) f/2 lenses (one stop faster than any comparable Ca/Nikon PJ lenses), if ever?
Or a 180-500 f/2.8 zoom?
Or a 140-600 (equiv.) image stabilized zoom to go on an under $1,000 weathersealed body?

Then there are all those delicious Olympus Zuiko and other makers "legacy" lens 4/3rds bodies (all) can mount and shoot, 12 manufacturers in all, to inlcude Leica "R" and Pentax 42mm (screwmount) lenses and all without loss of infinity focusing.

Razr
04-12-2008, 03:05 PM
Today Oly has a very good hand in the field of quality pics. For 10mp images they're pretty much at the top of the quality range. Sure the Canonites and the Nikoners will start to thump their chests over ISO (for under $1500).
ISO is what in the larger scheme of things? A talking point?
However, I agree with their argument about the 4/3 sensor: It is outdated and at present this technology cannot go beyond 10mp, just as the present APS cannot go beyond 14mp. Whatever one might say about 4/3rds sensors: they are their own form factor and defy comparisons.
The question is can Oly compete with 8 1/2X11 or even 13X19 prints?
With out a doubt. But when digital starts to go beyond the simple CCD or CMOS, we hope Oly can make the change with the system they're presently using.
That is not a "question", but an asperison, based on other form factors.
4/3rds is its own form factor and again, defies inchoate comparisons based in large part on invidious statistics.

Ken.
04-12-2008, 06:20 PM
There's no saying that Olympus cannot increase the existing sensor capacity. In fact, that's why I bought the E-510 now. I don't want yet another camera with more megapixels than the technology can handle. We're seeing way too much of that lately with high megapixel/tiny sensor cameras. The image quality suffers. It's easy to change a sensor chip and do a bit of firmware tweaking. It's far harder to redesign a lens to use the sensor chip. If I want more megapixels I want a substantially larger sensor and that brings me to medium format.

Quality is a bit subjective when it comes to JPEG. One camera's JPEG scheme can be better/worse than others. Even RAW has to be thought of with an open mind since different programs interpret RAW differently. All these things impact quality beyond a sensor format and megapixel count.

cdifoto
04-12-2008, 06:30 PM
Ignoring IQ, fake reach, faster lenses, etc....the 4/3 aspect ratio blows, IMO. Thankfully my P&S has a 3:2 mode, which it is set to permanently, to match my dSLRs.

fotogmarc
04-12-2008, 10:50 PM
ISO is what in the larger scheme of things? A talking point? Whatever one might say about 4/3rds sensors: they are their own form factor and defy comparisons.
That is not a "question", but an asperison, based on other form factors.
4/3rds is its own form factor and again, defies inchoate comparisons based in large part on invidious statistics.

As usual::confused::confused::confused:

Ken.
04-13-2008, 06:12 AM
Interesting thread. We may be moving away from the end results. At the end of the day it's the end viewers acceptance of the final image, not what camera system produced it. Let's hope we never reach a point of "that's a good picture because it was taken with xyz".

I've shot technically perfect but lousy pictures with pro gear and hit/miss but great pictures with a pocket camera. I learned the hard way to optimize what's in your hand. Nobody wins an award for the picture they didn't take.

Olympus compares well in published reviews but that's the technical side of things. I think they need to get the cameras into more peoples hands for them to try.

Ken.
04-13-2008, 06:22 AM
I think it all comes down to the final image and does the viewer accept it. They're not seeing the technology. They see the subject, composition, artistry, not the chips and format. Let's hope it never reaches a day where good images are judged solely by the camera system. Nobody wins an award or gets paid for the shot they didn't take.

Razr
04-14-2008, 01:59 AM
The OP question does not seem to take into account the legions of OLY shooters with shelves creaking under the weight of old Zuiko lenses.
Nor does it seem the OP takes in account the number of peple who are not so jaded by CaNikon fluff they won't give Olympus a look-see.

Most new Oly 4/3rds users like the smaller 4/3rds bodies and their ergonomics, the smaller-lighter lenses which at the same time, do not give away much in speed and nothing at all in build quality.

My EOS 1n & EOS3 feel like what they are: heavy but mannerly "Robocameras" compared to my E510 or even my E3 w/battery grip.
As for lenses? What's not to like: most of them one full stop faster than any other pro gear and weathersealed to boot?

What's not to like? Like shooting Leica "R" lenses on any 4/3rds body or getting 900mm out of a 450mm f/4.5 lens?

As of this moment, Olympus is only "competing" with other 4/3rds makers and are more than holding their own in that regard.

Ken.
04-14-2008, 04:41 AM
I'd imagine Olympus left some leeway in their design so that it can grow. It's an interesting group: Olympus, Panasonic and Leica. I wonder how much tech sharing goes on between them?

Personally, I'd like to see an end to the megapixels=sharpness myth. A sensor can only record what a lens projects. More megapixels won't help a soft lens nor will a larger sensor. The same held true in film days and hasn't changed now. A large print relies on so many factors other than sensor size.

Razr
04-14-2008, 08:45 AM
I'd imagine Olympus left some leeway in their design so that it can grow. It's an interesting group: Olympus, Panasonic and Leica. I wonder how much tech sharing goes on between them? They share nearly everything within the form factor excepting glass of course.
Personally, I'd like to see an end to the megapixels=sharpness myth. A sensor can only record what a lens projects.
The shot here is of the Manhattan Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge, made with my Panasonic DMC-FZ20, a mere 5 mpxl Lieca glassed “superzoom” @ approximately 340mm.
You can count the separate cables and nearly read the stones.
Shot from opposite the Brooklyn Tower, Brooklyn Bridge, Brpoklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn. Says a lot more about the glass than it does the sensor.
More megapixels won't help a soft lens nor will a larger sensor. The same held true in film days and hasn't changed now. A large print relies on so many factors other than sensor size. Agreed: that shot went 11 X 14 with ease.

acs
04-15-2008, 03:45 AM
"Can Olympus compete on image quality?"

Sure, with other similar sized sensors. An excellent photographer will get excellent shots with any of today's crop of DSLRs. There are pros using Oly cameras.

There's probably a step change if you went to full frame (Canon 5D, Nikon E3) but even then not in all circumstances.

If you're using an Oly (or Pentax, Fuji, Sony etc.) you're always going to collect some uninformed flak from canikon owners, and canikon reviews in print media will always extoll them (who do you think pays for the big advertising features in those same mags?).

I'd walk away from boring brand arguments, unless they actually know what they're talking about (and few do). Real photographers know its the person that makes the picture. Let your pictures do the talking.

Ken.
04-15-2008, 03:47 AM
I went to a few galleries not long ago. One was at ICP and the other at the Leica Gallery. There were some absolutely incredible film based images there of all sizes. A few things stood out that reminded me of older technology and techniques. The first was film grain, the second was inky black areas and finally not all shots were razor sharp, particularly across the entire frame. Yet all shots were brilliant as a whole concept.

Now, while I have some studio experience I also have some photojournalism experience. That's two completely different styles. One you have complete control, the other not so much. The point is use the technology at hand to your advantage and make sure the shot works. Without the composition you just have a bunch of recorded pixels.

We're in interesting times. Almost everyone has a camera/recording device now starting with a cell phone up to a full rig. It would be a shame to get beat on a photo op because granny took a snap with her cell phone and it made the papers while you diddled for the right lens, perfect histogram levels, pressed endless buttons, zoomed for precise framing or trashed the shot since it wasn't technical perfection. Sometimes bad is good.

Bringing it back to the topic, no one camera is better than the other without a good photographer.