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Default Sell my E500 for an E1



This is going to sound a bit silly, but I have really begun to upset myself over it.

I ordered the E-500 after christmas, and I have had it for a litte over 3 weeks now. I love this little camera. The image quality has really surprised me, and after coming from Canon I can say that I am a true 4/3 convert. I do not see myself leaving Olympus any time soon. It has been the best photography experience I have ever had. I only wish I could had found that out years ago. Still I have to wonder if I picked the right camera. As a Nature/Outdoors/Wildlife and Candid photographer I really dig the unobtrusive nature of the E-500, and 8MPs is great to have for cropping, though I don't really give mega pixels much thought. I love the HUGE, bright, contrasty screen of the E-500, though to be honest I do not trust LCDs for image reference. I am acustomed to semi-pro bodies like the Canon D60, so the loss of some controls and a V-Grip in the E-500 is a small niggle for me, but it's no killer. I have heard that the E-1 has better color rendition and over all quality, not counting resolution.

I have been thinking about selling my new E-500, and buying an E-1. Is this the thing to do? I already can tell you that I will not be able to afford the E-1's new successor, so I need to know, is having a pro body worth the loss of 3MPs and newer technology?

John Cowan (Almo) wrote on January 20:

' 2007 - 7:25 am,I have heard that the E-1 has better color rendition and over all quality, not counting resolution.'

I have never owned either of the cameras you are considering, but I do have a question. Are you satisfied with the images? If so, I suggest you keep it. Later on, the E1 will be more affordable, if you still feel you would like one.

I do own "professional cameras" as well as the amature models from the same line of cameras. I happen to like the amature model very well. It is smaller, lighter, less complicated, yet very versatile. When I consider the kinds of photography you do smaller, lighter, and less obtrusive fits the bill.

Perhaps you could rent or borrow an E1 and try yourself.

Good Luck:


Hi John,

I have an E-1 that I've been using and it's a nice camera - color is good, handling is superb, and it feels solid. I like the picture quality, and the 5MB just restricts cropping a bit compared to the 8MP. If I don't have to crop much, the E-1 images are nice for printing... I've also been very happy with my E-300 and have wanted to try the 500.

I might be interested in a trade with you - contact me off-list: marc AT attinasi DOT org and I can send you some more info on the E-1 (with batter power-grip).

- marc
> I am a long time Olympus user and OM technician and purchased an E-500 about a year ago. I love the camera but you know what made the biggest improvement in performance? Replacing the 14-45 kit lens with the 14-54mm f2.8. John www.zuiko.com
As John implies, it's the glass. I would go further and say that as good as the better ZD glass is, zoom lenses are often a hindrance to making good photos. The majority of photographers don't work hard enough with a zoom attached. Given that the number of ZD or other 4/3 primes is limited, and none are "cheap", then I would suggest acquiring a couple of OM primes, the MA-1 adapter and have fun while really working at
improvements other than the hardware. Yes, there are performance limits with OM lenses on a digital body, but they should not limit your creativity too much.

John Hermanson (Omtech1) wrote on January 20:

' 2007 - 3:48 pm,I am a long time Olympus user and OM technician and purchased an E-500 about a year ago. I love the camera but you know what made the biggest improvement in performance? Replacing the 14-45 kit lens with the 14-54mm f2.8. John www.zuiko.com'
Sorry, but this is simply not true. The only impediments to getting great photographs are lack of vision, and truly bad glass; zooms only get in the way of the lazy, and all the primes in the world won't make their photos better.

The Olympus digital zooms, are, on the whole, as good as, or superior to the Zuiko primes. If you haven't worked with the 35-70 f2 you haven't lived. The 11-22 is terrific. The 50 f2 is outstanding. The 14-54 is an excellent standard digital lens. The 50-200 is shockingly good for it's shockingly low price. Yes, there are veiling flare problems with most of these zooms when the backlight is strong. But the Nikon and Canon lenses have the same problem. In fact, the only lenses that really don't have this problem are the latest of the Leica M lenses.

Use Zuiko manual focus lenses on the E500 - for God's sake why?! The viewfinder on the E500 is, at best, sad - like looking through the wrong end of a telescope. Okay, if autofocus fails, or if you need to manually touch it up, go to manual focus. But put on manual lenses that weren't even designed for the sensor? Except for rare exceptions - such as using the 50 1.4 on the E-1 - which has at least a decent viewfinder - when you absolutely must have the fastest glass you can find, don't waste your effort.

Further - this list really begins to sound like the Leica Users Group, with this myth of the Zuikos. Sorry guys, but this former OM shooter remembers that the lenses were fine, not magical, with a handful of exceptions. And while the bodies were unquestionably innovative, they were never built to take the beating a PJ would give them. Had they been built better, Olympus would have taken over the pro market on size and weight alone. But UPI tried to go that way and the equipment all got beaten to death in no time. Quite frankly, Olympus never made a piece of SLR equipment that begins to compare to the E-1 in build quality.

I know, I know, you've carried yours up and down mountains, survived atomic blasts, and gone through six cycles of your washer drier shooting with your OM1/2/3/4. Well, one of the world's leading documentary photographers swears by the 21 f2, because he works wide, he needs speed, and it is an outstanding performer. (He doesn't use any other Olympus lens). But he has been known to complain that "the damn bodies (OM-3) keep falling apart."

B. D. Shooting with E-1s, E-330, and E-500 www.bdcolephoto.com
Whoa, BD! I know we have differences of opinion and our perspectives are different, but what did I saw that "is simply not true"? All I said was "The majority of photographers don't work hard enough with a zoom attached." So "the majority" may be a bit of hyperbole, but that's just emphasis.

I have no quarrel with good-glass ZD zooms. What I was saying was precisely what you were saying about properly using the lenses. It's just that using primes forces one to a certain discipline. That was the entire point of my post; using inexpensive, easily available Zuiko primes as a tool, and BTW most of the OM Zuikos are no slouches.

But I made no claim for the superiority of OM Zuiko glass over all others. Sheesh, BD, you know me well enough to know that I'm not a fundamentalist about this. Yes, I love my 21/2, the 100/2.8, really like the 35/2.8, etc. But I have never claimed they were the ultimate, nor that all OM Zuiko glass was to be worshiped. Hell, I'd trade my Zuiko 50/1.4 or 1.5mIj for a Dual Range Summicron any day ... not to mention later Crons, or a Lux, or a ZM Planar, etc. And I recently acquired a Helios 44 in M42 mount which, from results others have produced, quite excites me.

Nor did I claim anything for the bodies. Mine took a beating, but then I wasn't a PJ, though I was a pro and made my living for awhile with OMs, M3, Rollei SL66 and Toyo 4x5 with Fujinons. Quite frankly, I don't discount for one second your assessment of the reliability of OM gear and if it's true, then I would wish for the SAME design and ergonomics in a better build.

BD, I think you are sometimes tilt at windmills when I or anyone else utters a good word about a piece of OM system gear. Will you next be telling John not to use his T32 flash on an E System camera because the T32 is inferior to the FL series?

Finally, I really do respect your experience, your skill as a photographer and your perspective. But man, lighten up.
Oh, come on, Earl, other than this thread, when's the last time I said something here - let alone something negative about the OM system. :) And by the way, as I noted, I used the OM system. (The Somalia stuff on my website was shot with an OM4 and, believe it or not, an IS-1. ;-) The OM4 was an amazing camera, it had what was arguably the best metering system in any camera before the Nikon F5 - and that thing was the size and weight of, what, three OM4s or more? And as I said, the 21 f2, and 90f 2, were really great lenses, and some of the others were excellent. My complaint with the system was lack of real ruggedness - which really wasn't an issue for me personally.

Forgive me if I came on too strong. I just think we tend to wax a tad too nostalgic for the days of primes, blaming, as I said, the laziness of photographers on zooms. There have probably been many, many more crappy photos taken with primes than zooms.

Anyway, apologies for any offense.

B. D.
Well, with the proliferation of zooms I'd say the # of crappy photos is equal, when equalized for time. I mean, there were many more years when only primes were available (not counting Cooke and other convertibles); zooms have been around for what, 40 years vs. 100+?

So yeah, I'm not blaming ZOOMs themselves for a photographer's laziness, it's just that they are a siren song ...

But be honest, wouldn't you rather have Maitani design the next E-x and some good primes instead of the current Oly crew?

BTW, if a E-1 and the 7-14 fell in my lap I wouldn't reject it.
To be honest, I think a very good designer designed the E-1, and hope that someone equally good designs its successor - not that I'm convinced there will ever be one. I fear that Olympus walked itself into a tar pit with the 4/3 sensor size, and may find - have found - that they cannot produce a 4/3 sensor with the currently acceptable mgp count which has currently acceptable noise levels. And if they can't do that, it doesn't matter what primes they produce. But, if I'm wrong, and they can produce a new pro body that can really compete with the Canon 5D and EOS mkII in image quality and file size, certainly hope the produce the long-promised fast primes, and equally long promised 17-35 f2 zoom. Now that's a lens I really want.