E3 Advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sud, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. sud macrumors regular

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    #1
    Having used the Olympus E-P1 for the last couple week, being so impressed with its image quality and ease of use, plus having already decided to purchase the 12-60mm f2.8-3.5 Olympus lens with the adapter for it.

    I'v been thinking that perhaps I should get the E3 now to replace my current Canon 50D and its 24-70 f2.8 L lens which I have been mostly using since the purchase of my E-P1.

    This way I can interchange the lenses and not have to duplicate lenses of the same focal length.
    I have also been reading some good things about Olympus that I was unaware of for example there build quality and quality of there glass is very good.

    What are your thoughts on the E3 with the 12-60mm lens vs Canon 50d with the 24-70 L lens, will I be happy with the change over, Build quality and is paramount to me obviously with ease of use and a good selection of lenses and quality images.

    Are the quality of pics coming from the Canon going to be better then the E3 with the above lens setup.

    What are your thought on my reasoning, keeping in mind that I have not spent a huge amount on Canon gear yet and will most likely recover 2 thirds of it.

    I mostly enjoy photographing architecture and nature and am getting into low light photography.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
     
  2. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    From what I understand, the E3 isn't going to be as good at high ISO as the Canon you've got. I don't think there is anyone here with an E3, so you might be best served by asking at one of the more major internet forums, or compare DPReview's image samples. Of course, it is a great camera, as are the E-30 and E-620.
     
  3. sud thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3

    Thanks for your advice, will try find another forum.
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #4
    A large sensor is going to beat the same generation smaller sensor pretty-much every single time in terms of IQ for the same number of megapixels, especially noise in low light. With Canon you have also got the chance to go to an even larger sensor in the future- where the Olympus system will always be relegated to 4/3rds sized sensors due to the lens flange->sensor plane distance.
     
  5. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    True, but, there are lens considerations - some of the olympus/panny/Leica lenses are exceptional for the money, and the sensors in the newest cameras do seem to produce very good results.
     
  6. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #6
    Yup, you are right, but as what Compuwar said, no matter how good the result from a 4/3rd camera might be and APS-C will forever beat it, just like how a FF will beat an APS-C no matter what the improvements are.

    Well I don't get why the OP wants to change to Oly just caused he bought a lens for the Pen-1. The 50D and 24-70 f/2.8 is already a GREAT lens and body combo to begin with.
     
  7. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Indeed, but my point was that if you had better lenses, the smaller sensored camera might produce better results. It's not hard to understand why someone might want one system. The PEN does look lovely...
     
  8. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #8
    yeah, but look at the lens that the OP already has, that is one dang sharp lens.

    And I yeah, the Pen is one Sexy camera
     
  9. sud thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Compuwar has summed it up perfectly for me, that's the reason for these forums, The reason I was considering changing is simply that I did not want to purchase 2 complete systems one for the Canon and then another for the Oly.

    I was hoping that the Oly body was on par with the Canon and I could share lenses with the E3 and E-P1.

    Thanks Guys, Think I need to keep the Canon and Just stick to one lens for the Oly.:)
     
  10. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #10
    It's not quite that simple. It's much simpler to build good lenses for smaller sensors. So the combo of 4/3rds sensor and good lenses rather than an APS-C-sized sensor and decent lenses.

    Certainly, in many respects, larger sensors have more head room or better IQ, but if you look at the reviews, in most respects and at standard ISO ranges, 4/3rd sensors are competing well against their larger brethren.

    In any case, the 4/3rds system definitely has some strong points over other systems. And the E-3 is a very nice camera.
     
  11. yaroldb macrumors 6502

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    #11
    The E3 is as solid as they come. Check Youtube to see people running the thing under a water hose to clean it off. Splashproof/dustproof, this thing is ready for just about anything. It is made from a magnesium-alloy so it's light and strong. Olympus lens are great for the money and cover just about all the ranges. If like to shot wide, this may not be the best solution. Wide is not a strong point due to the 4/3 system 2x crop. 7mm (14mm) is about as wide as you're gonna get but you'll pay a high price for that lens. Zoom however, that's a different story all together. I own the E-520 and my fav lens is my 50-200mm (100-400mm). This thing is super sharp and a pleasure to use. I also have the 14-54 f/2.8-3.5, the 35mm marco f/3.5, Sigma's 18-50 f/2.8, and the standard dual kit lens.

    Another thing to consider are the availablity of the lens. They do not sell very many for me locally. I have to order them online. Personally, I would like to play with them for a while. You'll also find that no one supports Oly. So flash set ups, wireless TTL will only work from Oly products.

    The last thing is the dreaded ISO. Oly is not great at high ISO. Anything over 800 for my E-520 and I'm dead in the water. I've been using Oly since I started with the E-500 and am waiting for the next (E4 maybe?) to come out.

    Good luck, oh and that Pen is incredible. The 17mm lens on that bad boy is perfect.
     
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #12
    The problem is that you have to enlarge the resulting image more, so the lenses need to be better, not just equal to give equal IQ.

    If you look at the output from consumer-grade lenses, in most respects and at standard apertures they compete well with their larger brethren- it's the edge cases that cost (low light, shallow DoF, fast subjects, far subjects) that cost you the most in terms of equipment, money and capabilites.

    It also has some weak points, not just in what's been previously mentioned, but in terms of depth of field for subject isolation. While there are some Oly lenses faster than 2.8 (f/2.0 on 4 lenses I think,) I haven't done the math to see if it makes up for the DoF added by the magnification. Certainly, shooting with a 300mm f/2.8 is going to be a disadvantage compared to the APS-C 2.8 alternatives.
     
  13. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I am fairly sure that it is possible to make higher resolution lenses with smaller image circles. Compact cameras with small sensors must have lenses with much higher resolutions per mm on the sensor, possible only because of the smaller image circle, so I am unsure if the enlargement is actually a disadvantage. Isolation might be a problem, but equally some people fight to maximise DOF. Olympus make a 35-100mm f/2 and 90-250mm f/2.8 so I don't know how much of a problem this really is.
     
  14. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #14
    Absolutely it is- I'm just saying that the IQ argument about lens sweet spots can't simply assume an equal lens (up to eyesight or output resolution limits.)

    Compare the output from a compact camera with one from a larger one- it's obvious enlargements are a disadvantage, otherwise we'd all be cropping like crazy all the time.

    Typically only landscape shooters want depths of field that go beyond diffraction territory where the larger sensor has a disadvantage, but they also find the enlargement to be a problem with detail, hence most of them shooting larger format cameras, and preferring FX over APS-*. I can go out to 500mm of actual magnification on APS-* and FX sensors at f/2.8- where i get the isolation I need for subjects that superteles work well for, that's definately not a 4/3rds advantage (less far-end magnification, less subject isolation.)
     
  15. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Oh yes, the output of compacts is undeniably worse, but it's surprising how much detail the cheap little lenses must put onto a really small area. I would expect that olympus match lens resolution in the captured area (i.e. they have comparable total resolution, higher per area) and so the only problem we are left with is the photosites being smaller with associated higher noise.

    I can't argue with you here, I have almost no experience with telephoto photography, and you do. I would have thought that the isolation on the Olympus lenses would have been sufficient at the longer lengths, but certainly give you that it has the potential to be a problem.
     
  16. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #16
    Olympus makes excellent lenses, and I'd expect them to be up to resolving extremely fine detail, I'm just pointing out that Nikon and Canon (who also make excellent lenses) don't necessarily have to put out as good a lens to get comparable IQ. The smaller the sensor for a given number of megapixels, the more resolution you need your lenses to have- because of the enlargement as well as the sensor's abilty to resolve details. The pixel pitch of the E-3 is smaller than that of the D2x/D300, which needs lenses to go up to 90lp/mm for optimal sharpness. I think you also hit diffraction sooner on the smaller sensor and though you're in the sweet spot of a larger lens the 4/3rds lenses are scaled down, so while in theory you'd need less in the way of microlenses I'm not sure if it plays out or not- when I get some time I'll probably look up all the image circles and see what the real differences are.

    Depth of field depends not only on aperture, but also subject distance- so good isolation is always better if you have more latitude rather than less- but it's situationally dependent as to how much more you'll get at what aperture because you're not always shooting at the same distance.
     
  17. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #17
    Good lenses are also easier to construct if the chip surface area is smaller: one of the biggest problems in constructing lenses for digital sensors is to keep the incident light rays as parallel as possible. This is more difficult if the sensor is larger. 4/3rds cameras have, in a way, a larger sweet spot. According to the tests, they perform well enough to resolve the 10~12 megapixels modern sensors have.
    In my experiences, pictures (even at similar apertures) of more expensive lenses `look' and `feel' better than taken with cheaper (or even more expensive) kit lenses.
    I agree. That's one of the reasons I'm not really trying to switch to Olympus (that and the fact that their kit costs ~2000 €). I would also add the viewfinder to the list of things (although the viewfinder of the E-3 is comparable of the one I currently use).
    I wouldn't use that as an example: the 300 mm lens corresponds to 600 mm on full frame or 400 mm on APS-C. In any case, the DOF is so razor thin that you'll have problems keeping things in focus ;)

    IMO the difference is most-felt if you take portraits and stuff.
     
  18. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #18
    This depends a lot on the size of the lens mount- as well as the image circle of the lens- if you simply scale down, then it's no easier or more difficult... To know for sure if/how much of an advantage, we'd have to first know the different ratios of the lens mount to sensor size, then the well depths and how it affects photon loss how far from the center, and then finally how much efficiency is lost due to enlargement, since we could always produce a larger than 4/3rds crop out of any larger sensor and still be in that camera/lens combination's sweet spot.

    (A) I've shot for years at 400mm on an f/2.8 lens very often at f/2.8 on APS-C- DoF is only razor thin at certain subject distances- many of them outside my MFD, and I've got lots of in-focus shots to prove it. For instance at 50 feet you get about six inches of DoF on an APS-C body at 400mm f/2.8. This is a fairly usual distance for birds in areas where they are used to people. At 150', it goes to almost 5'- both of those are very good for subject isolation- I'm having to rework my mental sightline distances for FX because of the difference as well as the crop/magnfiication issues.

    (B) No, it corresponds to 300mm cropped tighter on a denser sensor body- you don't get more magnification. When you need a super-telephoto magnification becomes important, and I'd happily do a 300mm on 4/3rds vs 400mm on APS-C shoot-out side-by-side with someone for 11x14 prints using my D2x- because even that old sensor would ultimately win. Now that I'm printing at 13x19 it wouldn't even be close.
     
  19. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #19
    All the reviews of pro-Olympus glass I've seen attested that they were excellent. Extremely sharp, low vignetting, etc. This does not take anything away from other manufacturer's lenses. But in terms of lenses, I think Olympus can compete easily with the big guys.
    I don't have any experience shooting with such lenses, I usually do portraits and the shallowest dof I get is with my 80-200 Nikkor.
    I don't have either of the lenses (in fact, I'm a Nikon guy myself), so this is an entirely theoretical argument for me. However, I do disagree when you say that Oly's 300 mm lens should be compared with another 300 mm lens: you compose via choosing a viewing angle and not a focal length.
     
  20. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #20
    The problem is that you don't have lots of f/2.8 options on the long end, so your choices become 300mm, 400mm or if you've got the cash and a Sherpa, the Sigma 300-500mm. If you're shooting wildlife or birds, and you're out in the field for first/last light, you're going to want that speed for up to 45 minutes at each end of the day when wildlife is most active, and you're going to want that isolation for most of the day and you can couple that with a 1.4x TC and lose 40mm to a 600/4 for more flexibility- so you shoot as long/fast as you can/have and if the lens crops the view, then you don't have to approach as closely, and finally I said I'd happily shoot a 400mm on my D2x vs 300 on an Oly for comparison- 400mm is the fastest manufacturer-produced supertele at f/2.8 for Nikon while 300 is the similar lens for Olympus.

    I'm relatively mobile on the Eastern US, so the offer is serious. I'd even consider renting a 600/4 for the D3x, but that's such an unfair comparison sensor-wise that it's not funny. I'm sure I could DX crop the 400 on the D3x and still beat the Oly, but I haven't run DX print tests yet for the D3x, so it's conjecture.

    Not everyone wants 11x14 and larger prints, but that's my target output, so this is a valid comparison for what I shoot and how I use the shots. For things like studio work and portraits where you control the subject and the distance you may also find it useful to choose a particular magnification and frame appropriately for the lens, but for birds and wildlife you typically bring what you can in terms of magnification and adjust to shooting that.
     
  21. joelypolly macrumors 6502

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    #21
    4/3 have quite a few benefits

    Personally I am looking to switch to 4/3 from APS-C over the next 6 months due to the wider lens selection due to more adapters being available. Just picked up a few vintage m42 lenses on eBay for cheap. Also as others have mentioned Olympus and Panasonic/Leica makes some very nice glass.

    I am also looking at picking up a secondhand 5D for FF. DOF will be the primary reason for using FF over 4/3 as the latest high ISO from 4/3 are in my option "good enough".
     
  22. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #22
    Really? You can adapt at least Nikon, Rollei 35mm, Voigtlander DKL, M42, Exacta, Hasselblad, Leica R, Contax/Yashica, and Pentax 645 to the Canon EOS mount- not that many old lenses do as well on digital as modern designs/materials- but it seems odd to get a whole new system to support lenses you don't already have- which mount adapters would you want, and would you really want to spend hundreds on adapters rather than sticking with just one or two lens lines? What's missing and compelling?
     

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