Olympus E-500?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by baby duck monge, Apr 12, 2007.

?

Which camera would you get?

  1. Olympus E-500

    7 vote(s)
    46.7%
  2. Nikon D-50 (for $50-$60 more and with fewer accessories)

    8 vote(s)
    53.3%
  1. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #1
    Hey photo guys and gals. I will be headed to China in August, and the wife thought it would be a great idea if I got back into photography a bit so I could grab some decent shots on our trip. I am currently using a Canon Powershot S410, but in a previous life used a Nikon SLR. I have been trying to decide between a sub-DSLR compact (like a Canon S3 IS) and a full-blown SLR. My main concerns at this point are size (for travel), quality, lifespan, and price. Not knowing how much I am going to get back into the whole photography thing has be a bit hesitant to jump into anything too nice right from the get-go, but I also don't want to get something that's going to leave me wanting immediately if I end up enjoying myself again.

    That leads me to my current dilemma. I have found some pretty decent deals on an Olympus E-500 on the eBay from someone who looks to be a reputable seller. They all involve:

    Olympus USA Factory Demo
    Mint Condition
    Olympus EVOLT E-500 Digital SLR Camera
    Olympus Zuiko 14-45mm f3.5-5.6 EZ Digital Zoom Lens

    With BRAND NEW BONUS Extras:
    Transcend 2GB 120x High Speed CompactFlash™ Card (there is also one with a 1GB card and another with a 4GB card)
    USB 2.0 High Speed CompactFlash™ Card Reader
    Digital Image Recovery Software
    Spare Rechargeable BLM-1 Li-ion Battery
    Deluxe SLR Pro Camera Case
    Memory Card Storage Wallet
    Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
    1-Year Subscription to PCPhoto Magazine
    30 Free High Quality Prints and Enlargements
    1 Year Full Warranty

    This is available for around $500 inc. shipping. Having been checking out prices for all sorts of things, this seems to be a really good deal (especially with a rating of "highly recommended" from dpreview). Does anyone have any opinions about this deal? This camera? A different camera (either DSLR or compact)? Anything else?

    I would love to be able to make up my mind a bit before my trip so I can get used to whatever camera I choose before I'm out in the field with it, so don't be shy with your comments or suggestions.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
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    #2
    Wow, sounds like a great deal!

    Olympus does make cameras that do quite well. The problem isn't with the technology now. The photos from your Olympus will turn out great. The problem is with the future, IMO. If I had to pick a lower priced camera company to go with, I'd pick Pentax. If cost weren't a concern, I'd change my answer to Fuji (who use Nikon lenses) or Sigma.

    Olympus is releasing digital-only lenses mean that they've dedicated themselves to using their 4/3rds sensor. They're the smallest DSLR sensors in use right now, and the lenses they have released don't lend themselves to increasing the size of their sensor if people finally conclude that the only way to increase the pixel count and to improve image quality is to use a "full frame" sensor (equivalent in size to 35 mm film) like Canon has with their high end cameras.

    If you don't really plan on really getting into photography, the E500 will give you good results. My friend has one and he can get photos as nice as the ones I get from my Nikon. The photographer is the biggest difference.
     
  3. IscariotJ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Myself and a colleague of mine have just started getting into photography; I went for a D40, he for a E500. The pictures from both are superb, however, the issue that has risen now, is the lack of affordable lenses for the E500.

    I currently have the 18-135 attached to the D40, and a 70-300VR to go with it. The E500 is "stuck" with the 2 lens kit. There is nothing in Olympus' range to compare ( there is an 18-180, but apparently it doesn't review so good ).

    The Olympus is nice ( the forthcoming E510 with IS looks *very* nice ), but the lack of affordable lens is worrying.

    Choice? A D40, or K100D.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    The only good think about being "stuck" with Olympus' kit lenses is that they're supposed to be outstanding lenses.
     
  5. baby duck monge thread starter macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #5
    So I'm getting the impression that this would be a really nice camera to have now, but I might be a bit sad with its upgrade path later. That's something I might be willing to deal with for the price, but I will definitely have to check out some of the cameras that have been recommended.

    You both said that you have friends with the E-500. I know that the viewfinder is supposedly quite tiny. Do your friends have any problems with that? Have you tried their cameras? Did you have problems with the viewfinder? I also know that the camera doesn't have a dedicated status LCD. Have your friends complained about poor battery life due to drain from the rear LCD? If so, would having the extra battery that comes with these cameras make up for it?

    And then does anyone have any input about the Canon S3 IS I mentioned? It doesn't have all the flexibility of a DSLR, but it can be had new for about $300, is smaller, and might be a good idea if I am unsure about my upgrade path.

    Thanks for your comments so far!
     
  6. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #6
    s3's image quality is not as good as dslrs!
     
  7. baby duck monge thread starter macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    Feb 16, 2003
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    #7
    Obviously not. But it is half the price, and I wouldn't have to fumble with lenses (something I haven't done in about 6 years). I suspect the images would be nice enough for my upcoming trip, though, and it would be less painful for me to pay to upgrade a $300 camera than it would be for me to upgrade a $600 camera. Of course, if I end up getting back into photography I might have to upgrade sooner than with one of these other cameras... Thus my dilemma. For the record, I do think I will end up with a DSLR, but I want to be sure to give the compacts a fair shake.
     
  8. juze macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    #8
    Try looking for a used Olympus E-1 with the 14-54 lens (not the 45!)
    Yes, it's an old camera and it doesn't do all that well in low light compared to modern DSLRs, but it has excellent build quality including dust and moisture seals, and the 5 MP sensor is good enough for up to A3 prints (13 x 19 "), plus the viewfinder is very good.
    And the 14-54 is just about the best wide-ish to tele-ish zoom ever made.

    You'll end up with something reasonably small, reasonably light and incredibly well made that'll provide you with gorgeous prints.
     
  9. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #9
    Pentax K110D w/ 18-55mm lens is now $395 after rebate from Adorama. You will have to buy the batteries and memory card separately, but still an amazing deal. No I haven't been paid by Adorama, but I should be.
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #10
    The viewfinder isn't the best, but I'm not sure if it's any worse than the one in my Nikon D50. :eek:

    My friend hasn't said any negative things about the camera so far. I used it and found it a bit difficult to use, but mostly because it's so different from Nikon and Canon DSLRs, which I have used most often (I'm a Nikon owner). Since you're on a budget, I honestly wish that the E-410 or E-510 were released today at this $600-700 price point for your sake, but I doubt it. They're probably going to be great cameras. :)

    But again, if you're going for the best value DSLR to build on, get a Pentax DSLR. Some of their lenses are flat out sharper than Nikon and Canon's equivalents, and they're very feature rich. The K100D is incredible value for what you're getting, as is the K10D (although the K10D is more expensive). The K110D is even better value, but the K100D has identical photo quality and anti-shake/image stabalization for just $100 more.
     
  11. Mr. G4 macrumors 6502

    Mr. G4

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Location:
    Rohnert Park, CA
    #11
    The E-500 is a great choice to pick for the price right now. I have it for more than a year and after 20,000+ shots I can assure you that the image quality is great and the dust buster is the best.

    Like Abstract said the lens kits are excellent, especially the 40-150 f3.5-4-5.

    Here is a sample from a ZD 35 macro lens and it can be also an excellent landscape lens for less than $200.

    [​IMG]

    And more here
     
  12. baby duck monge thread starter macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #12
    Nice shots! I definitely like the idea of the lens cleaner on the E-500; it's one of the main reasons I have rated it so highly. It's also nice to hear from someone who's actually been using the camera regularly. I will ask you the same question I asked the folks above: how's the battery life? I am a bit worried about what the lack of a dedicated status LCD could do to uptime.

    Also, I think I have narrowed it down to either the E-500 or a D-50. The D-50 would end up costing about $50-$60 more and wouldn't come with as much stuff, but I can't shake the notion that it's a bit better a camera and would give me more options in the future.

    Any last-minute votes? I even added a poll so we can make it all official and whatnot.
     
  13. Mr. G4 macrumors 6502

    Mr. G4

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Location:
    Rohnert Park, CA
    #13
    Isn't the D-50 is a 6 Megapixel camera while the E-500 is an 8 Megapixel.
    As for batterie life for one complete charge I can shoot for about 450 to 500 shots. The back LCD of the E-500 is 2.5" not 2" compare to the D-50 which is a nice feature to review pictures.
     
  14. baby duck monge thread starter macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #14
    You are correct with the MP. However, I don't intend to do much/any printing above 12x16 or any drastic cropping, so I don't think that's a huge deal. And normally I would make an argument about noise, but the noise on both cameras is supposed to be fairly low.

    I am glad to hear some numbers on battery life! If I had a spare battery I think I could manage my entire week in China without having to charge up again. I also had not thought about having extra room on the back for reviewing my shots.
     
  15. Mr. G4 macrumors 6502

    Mr. G4

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    Rohnert Park, CA
    #15
  16. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #16
    As a (relatively) fresh E-400 owner, I say go for the E-500, it's a very nice camera and, even if there are fewer lenses available, Zuiko's (Olympus') regular and pro are extremely nice lenses at affordable prices (while the top pro and Panasonic/Leica are excellent lenses at somewhat higher cost, i really, really want this one), and even Sigma's cheaper lenses do get good reviews. All in all there might not be as many lenses available as it is for Nikon or Canon, yet, but you should find some that suits you.

    The 4/3s standard is here to stay...
     
  17. baby duck monge thread starter macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #17
    Well I bit the bullet and got the Olympus a few minutes ago. It came with everything from my OP (1GB memory card) and was $470 shipped. I'm fairly pleased with myself, and can't wait for it to get here so I can start taking pictures with it! Thanks to everyone who made suggestions (both for and against the camera). I'll check back in after I've had it for a while and let you know how it's all worked out for me.

    Thanks again.
     
  18. Mr. G4 macrumors 6502

    Mr. G4

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Location:
    Rohnert Park, CA
    #18
    Congratulations.

    One advise. Shoot in RAW for more flexible post processing. If you choose to shoot in jpg pick SHQ instead of the default HQ. Also update the firmware for the camera and lens.
     
  19. 2pac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    #19
    I use olympus for two years and the quality of the product is really awensome :)
     
  20. WOTTO macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    #20
    Evolt 500

    Hey there,
    I have the EVOLT 500 and love it. Bought the 2 lens kit from Amazon.
    I would be careful about buying on ebay. Better to deal with a reputable dealer.
    Also, dont buy Sandisk cf cards on ebay, there are alot of counterfiet cards!!
     
  21. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #21
    Congrats on the plunge! Sorry for being late. ;)

    My sister in law has that camera and she's quite the performer!
     

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