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Author Topic: Olympus E-3  (Read 111228 times)
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #160 on: January 26, 2008, 09:42:33 AM »
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Then, Ray, the only answer is to do the tests yourself, because there will always be so many variables that "invalidate" any opinion no matter how supposedly scientific the test.  However, those variables are not grounds to criticize  anyone else's conclusions.  Seems that SecondFocus is an accomplished and knowledgeable photographer whose views are worth giving some weight to.

Quentin
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Is Ray looking for anything other than the test you did here ..

[a href=\"http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=21528&view=findpost&p=161023]http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....ndpost&p=161023[/url]

only with the 5D?

How long did that take you?  (To do the shots.)
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Ray
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« Reply #161 on: January 26, 2008, 10:45:17 AM »
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Is Ray looking for anything other than the test you did here ..

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....ndpost&p=161023

only with the 5D?

How long did that take you?  (To do the shots.)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169729\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

A full camera test would have to include all the issues that you think are important with regard to your type of shooting and what you imagine are others' types of shooting..

The professional who has to earn a living from, say, weddings can be quite specific. He doesn't shoot at ISO 3200 without flash, but he might shoot at ISO 400 and doesn't want to see noise in black suits.

I'm generally not impressed with claims of good results out of the box because once you've become familiar with your equipment you can adjust hue, tonality, pop, sharpness, vibrancy, saturation etc to taste in your RAW converter of choice.

In my view, if you are testing two different formats like the E-3 and 5D, you should test them with equivlent lenses at equivalent apertures. For example, the 12-60 Zuiko lens at F4 compared with the Canon 24-105 IS at f8.

In some circumstances and lighting coinditions you might also be comparing the E-3 at ISO 200 with the 5D at ISO 800 when a fast shutter speed is crucial.

There is no such thing as 'one camera is better than the other'. That's just too simplistic. Each have their strengths and weaknesses. But in order to determine what these are, we need to do proper testing and direct comparisons.

As I've mentioned  before, I'm sure you could find certain circumstances where the G9 trumps the 5D. I've thrown out the challenge to owners of both the G9 and 5D to demonstrate this, but I guess they are too shy.
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Streetshooter
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« Reply #162 on: January 26, 2008, 11:46:05 AM »
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Ray,  the problem is you are just as "guilty".  It seems you don't like SecondFocus' opinion because it does not fit with your preconceptions.  You haven't his experience of both the 5D and E-3 but with respect it seems that brand loyalty is clouding your views, not his.

All opinions on these issues are subjective.  There is little hard evidence; its all a matter of interpretation.  Second Focus is indisputably right when he says "There's no substitute for trying the gear out over a period of time under professional conditions." - quite possibly the most sensible remark in this entire thread.

Quentin
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Quentin,

Those were my words about trying the gear out under professional conditions.

That's the only way in my opinion. Listen to the experts then try the gear for yourself. If Ray wants to question everyone on this forum then I suppose that's his choice. The ONLY way is to get the gear and use it for weeks, days, months under all conditions. Testing is not shooting a couple of frames in a dingy camera store!

Ray, if you want to test, then get the gear and test it properly. Please don't keep rubbishing everybody else's opinions and thoughts if they don't correspond with your own. Do a proper test and then post it here for all to see.

My two cents.

Pete
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jake21
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« Reply #163 on: January 26, 2008, 12:29:40 PM »
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I'm afraid I don't really know how to respond to subjective opinions unsupported by hard evidence. But I see this happening all the time, particularly on forums such as dpreview.

It's rather ironic that dpreview is one of the few sites that provides in-depth technical reviews of equipment, yet their forums seem to be full of mindless bickering on mattters obscured by ego.



[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169689\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I've been reading this thread with interest because I've been trying to decide between the 40d/17-55 or the E-3/12-60. I have a couple of comments and a couple of questions/concerns:

First, when it comes to image quality IMHO it is very subjective. You can measure certain factors such as resolution, dynamic range, colour accuracy and what have you but as to the visual effect of the final image that is a subjective quality. I'm not sure secondfocus said (or implied) that the E-3 (for example) has higher resolution. His comment was with regards to image quality which is a different quantity.
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I've looked at a lot of images (some raws; some 1:1 jpeg and some screen size). All of the images I've viewed are subject to my eyes and the non-calibration impact of the monitor I used. I generally find the E-1 images stand out the most (not sure why). I'm a bit undecided between the E-3 and 40d (the two cameras I've focused as they relate to my purchase decision).
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At 1:1 I *think* the E-3 tends to smear more. I'm not sure if it actually has less resolving power and I'm not sure if this is related to (perhaps) a strong AA filter or something to do with how the pixel are layed out on the sensor. None the less when it comes to pixel peeping the pixels (and images form by the pixel) *look* crisper with the 40d (this is not the same as has more details or higher resolution but they give that visual effect because of the crisper formation). With the E-3 details and the pixels seem to smear. This could be a by product of the sample images I've had available (some from imaging resource which has raws of similar images) and some from raw.fotosite.pl which has a lot of raw images with the E-3. This smearing could be due to poor focus, lens or motion but it might be inherent to the E-3. This smearing might make a 8x10 or 11x14 image look more pleasing or less pleasing (I'm not assigning a value to it) and I suspect it reduces total resolving power. It might also make tonal gradation smoother (or it might not). I suspect the E-3 is a better street/city camera and the 40D is a better nature camera (esp if raw details is your objective) but it is hard to tell.

Browsing dpreview forum (most of these images are web size and not pixel peeping) I think the E-3 images are a little more pleasing than the 40D; I think the 50-200 has crappy bokeh and I'm always most impressed by the E-1 images (but obviously these images have less details if enlarged). Unfortunately, a lot of the photographers (not all) take really crappy pictures or have poor PP skills (and the E-3 out of camera jpeg are very good).
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I've not mentioned the 5D (rays point of argument) in these observation because while I've looked at 10's (if not 100's) of raws from the E-3/40d I've only looked at 2 or 3 images from the 5d (side note I'm not considering the 5d because I can't think of a decent full frame lens with auto focus to use on it).
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Now to my concerns and hopefully one that someone knowledgeable can answer:
a) Does the E-3 have a focusing issue or are there simply a large (initial) number of faulty cameras. If it does have a focusing issue is it a design problem or one that can be corrected in firmware (I do not expect anyone to know the second one but perhaps they do  ). This issue is a huge concern to me (as a potential buyer). There are more than a few people who have noted various focusing issues (and worse) much inconsistencies (even amongst multiple identical images of a stationary subject).

 Does the E-3 have a very strong AA filter and does it significantly reduce resolution ? Not sure this is a huge negative but still of interest.

c) Has anyone directly compared the 40d/17-55 to the E-3/12-60 and if so any comments on IQ ?
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Thanks for any answers that might be made
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #164 on: January 26, 2008, 01:36:33 PM »
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I've been reading this thread with interest because I've been trying to decide between the 40d/17-55 or the E-3/12-60. I have a couple of comments and a couple of questions/concerns:
At the most basic level I wanted the 12-60 just for the range.  Not so much the 120 equiv but the 24mm equiv.

Would be really great if canon would put out a 15-whatever lens.  Give us a 24-70 or 24-105 equivalent in the cropped world.   28 just isn't wide enough for a standard lens.

YMMV

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*** CHOMP ***
Now to my concerns and hopefully one that someone knowledgeable can answer:
a) Does the E-3 have a focusing issue or are there simply a large (initial) number of faulty cameras. If it does have a focusing issue is it a design problem or one that can be corrected in firmware (I do not expect anyone to know the second one but perhaps they do  ). This issue is a huge concern to me (as a potential buyer). There are more than a few people who have noted various focusing issues (and worse) much inconsistencies (even amongst multiple identical images of a stationary subject).
I've seen some of the threads on that.  One of the interesting things is that the people who seem to know what they are doing have not had a focusing issue.

This usually matches what I've seen.  People that don't understand how the AF works or who are less detail oriented when looking through the viewfinder tend to have more out of focus shots.

The other thing that happens is that the AF points tend to spill over the markers.  So people can be quite surprised at what it will focus on.

The net of this is that I don't know if there is an issue.  If I wasn't going to get a camera today I'd watch the Oly forums.  (If Louis Dobson notices an issue it probably exists.)  But due to Matty's law (People are stupid.) you can often dismiss generic claims.

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Does the E-3 have a very strong AA filter and does it significantly reduce resolution ? Not sure this is a huge negative but still of interest.
Sure looks like they need a ton of sharpening.  Detail might be there but all the samples I've seen are really soft until you smack em hard with the USM stick.

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c) Has anyone directly compared the 40d/17-55 to the E-3/12-60 and if so any comments on IQ ?
Not an answer but Pop Photo (popphoto.com) has reviewed both lenses.  Their SQF results allow you to compare lenses across brands.  Over at photozone.de Klaus only has the 17-55 test now.  He is going to restart 4/3 lens testing shortly but has no tests up now.  Even if he did he claims results cannot be compared across cameras.
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Rob C
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« Reply #165 on: January 26, 2008, 03:16:00 PM »
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Iīve never looked at the Oly in the flesh, but have a question: could there be something flawed with the anti-dust thing that, as I understand it, sits in front of the sensor and vibrates like a wet dog in order to cast off dust? I mean, does this thing sit there all the time, adding another layer between lens and sensor? I canīt quite see how that, if the case, can help definition.

Perhaps it moves out of the way like a second mirror, I have no idea, Perhaps if my theory, part-formed as it is, is accurate it might explain why there is no anti-dust device in the D3 but there is in the D300; not good enough for pro usage?

Perhaps that idea is totally flawed - I canīt say, Iīm just wondering out loud.

Rob C
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micek
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« Reply #166 on: January 26, 2008, 04:25:33 PM »
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Iīve never looked at the Oly in the flesh, but have a question: could there be something flawed with the anti-dust thing that, as I understand it, sits in front of the sensor and vibrates like a wet dog in order to cast off dust? I mean, does this thing sit there all the time, adding another layer between lens and sensor? I canīt quite see how that, if the case, can help definition.

Perhaps it moves out of the way like a second mirror, I have no idea, Perhaps if my theory, part-formed as it is, is accurate it might explain why there is no anti-dust device in the D3 but there is in the D300; not good enough for pro usage?

Perhaps that idea is totally flawed - I canīt say, Iīm just wondering out loud.

Rob C
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169817\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If the idea is totally flawed I'd like a few more flaws in the design: I have been using a humble E-500 for two years now, changing lenses whatever the surrounding conditions, often on windy beaches, without any precautions, and I still have not had to remove a single speck of dust off its sensor.
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Quentin
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« Reply #167 on: January 26, 2008, 05:03:14 PM »
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Is Ray looking for anything other than the test you did here ..

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....ndpost&p=161023

only with the 5D?

How long did that take you?  (To do the shots.)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169729\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I took and processed the shots in an hour or two - pretty simple.  But I rarely engage in such tests except for the fun of it.  Hopefully I have enough experience to know if a camera / lens is performing the way I want it to and I think trying to be scientific about comparisons is really a waste of time and effort.  

Quentin
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BJL
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« Reply #168 on: January 26, 2008, 06:30:16 PM »
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... the anti-dust thing that, as I understand it, sits in front of the sensor and vibrates like a wet dog in order to cast off dust? I mean, does this thing sit there all the time, adding another layer between lens and sensor?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169817\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
As far as I know, nothing is added in front of the sensor for the sake of the anti-dust system: the system just shakes the stuff that would be there anyway, and gathers dust with a sticky strip below the sensor.

Edit: I take it back (I was confusing the various different "dust-buster" options now in use). Olympus does have  a glass screen in front of the sensor that is the dust shield and get shaken. Then again every DSLR has a piece of glass in from of the sensor, in the form of the infra-red filter, so it is not clear how much effect one piece of flat optical glass has.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 10:36:47 PM by BJL » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #169 on: January 26, 2008, 11:14:14 PM »
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I took and processed the shots in an hour or two - pretty simple.  But I rarely engage in such tests except for the fun of it.  Hopefully I have enough experience to know if a camera / lens is performing the way I want it to and I think trying to be scientific about comparisons is really a waste of time and effort. 

Quentin
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169838\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Quentin,
I have to disagree. In order to learn what the strengths and weaknesses of different types and models of cameras are, you have to be scientific about it (even if you think you are not being scientific). I'm using the word scientific here in a very broad sense  (one might even say a loose sense, as opposed to lose sense) which includes all technical and practical comparisons and observations.

For example, if your main requirement is that the camera be light because you are going mountaineering and you decide to pop into a store before your trip with the intention of buying a lightweight camera, the unscientific approach would be, "Gee! That camera up there on the second shelf looks really light. I'll take that."

A more scientific approach, and therefore a much more reliable method, would be to peruse the specification sheets of various models of cameras that you think would be suitable. You might find the lightest camera available has too few pixels or lacks a good zoom range, and take the next lightest instead.

Another scientific approach would be to compare the weight of different cameras in the hand, using your two hands as a scale. Not as accurate as actually having a balance scale, but perhaps sufficiently accurate for the purpose.

Of course, you could always just ask the salesman in the shop, another unscientific method. You might be lucky. He might know the exact camera that suits your purposes.

I find it difficult to understand how anyone can make a meaningful assessment of the qualities of a camera without this sort of scientific comparison. Lens A is sharp in relation to lens B which is not sharp. But if lens C is sharper than lens A, then the owner of lens C is quite likely to view lens A as not being sharp.

Without a scientific approach, we then get pointless arguments about whether lens A is really a sharp lens. One person claims it is because he's never seen lens C, but the owner of lens C, who also owns lens A, know that lens A just doesn't pass muster.
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toddbee
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« Reply #170 on: January 26, 2008, 11:34:45 PM »
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another advantage the E3 system seems to have is sharpness at the corners.  my 5d would be less sharp at the edges with all but the best glass.  with the e3 and zuiko lenses the sharpness seems uniform from center to edge.  this is of course due to the fact the the sensor is half the size.  also i have noticed that the wide angle lenses from olympus seem to be better then the wide angle lenses i had with the 5d.  again this is from my experience.
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Ray
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« Reply #171 on: January 26, 2008, 11:44:31 PM »
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That's the only way in my opinion. Listen to the experts then try the gear for yourself.

That's exactly what I do. What gave you the impression that I don't listen to the experts?

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If Ray wants to question everyone on this forum...

Ray doesn't want to question everyone on this forum. Questions only arise when credulity is stretched, when something doesn't seem quite right, when one gets a feeling that there might be an another cause why something appears to be the way it looks.

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The ONLY way is to get the gear and use it for weeks, days, months under all conditions. Testing is not shooting a couple of frames in a dingy camera store!

That might not be enough if you don't know what you are doing. But you are right that taking a couple of shots in a dingy camera store would not necessarily be sufficient to assess the full potential of a camera. Has anyone you know produced a review based on two such shots?

However, if you were assessing and comparing just the noise performance of 2 cameras at high ISO, would you say that a couple of hundred shots of a dingy corner at various F stops, apertures and high ISO settings would be sufficient in order to assess that one characteristic, or do you think I've not been sufficiently thorough in my comparison of this aspect of the 5D and D3?

I did actually try to rent out the D3 for a day in Bangkok but none was available for hire or loan.
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Ray
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« Reply #172 on: January 27, 2008, 12:26:21 AM »
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another advantage the E3 system seems to have is sharpness at the corners.  my 5d would be less sharp at the edges with all but the best glass.  with the e3 and zuiko lenses the sharpness seems uniform from center to edge.  this is of course due to the fact the the sensor is half the size.  also i have noticed that the wide angle lenses from olympus seem to be better then the wide angle lenses i had with the 5d.  again this is from my experience.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169899\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Once again, you have to provide more information here. All lenses, almost without exception, suffer from some degree of vignetting and resolution fall-off in the extreme corners and edges. The advantage of the Canon cropped formats is this fall-off is much less when using lenses designed for the bigger format, ie 35mm lenses, but is still a problem when using EF-S lenses.

The E-3 and FF 35mm are both similar in the sense that they use lenses specifically designed for the format.

However, it might well be the case that some Zuiko lenses suffer less from this problem. It might even be the case that all Zuiko lenses suffer less from this problem compared with their 35mm equivalents. I would like to see some comparisons.

If you do show some comparisons, you should use the apertures which you would normally use with each camera. For example, when you want a fairly shallow DoF for portraiture, you would probably use f2 with the E-3. Whereas, with the 5D you would use F4 for the same artistic effect. On the other hand, for a landscape you might choose f5.6 with a Zuiko lens, which is probably the aperture at which the lens is sharpest and which would give you a DoF equivalent to the 5D at F11.

Now without seeing the test results I'm going to predict what the results might be, if you were to shoot the above examples.

The portrait shot at f2 would probably not be as sharp as the 5D shot at f4 because lenses usually aren't their sharpest at full aperture. Likewise, vignetting is generally worse at full aperture. If the 5D lens has been stopped down to reach F4 and it's a good lens, it will likely have less vignetting and will be considerably sharper in the corners. On the other hand, when shallow DoF is sought, usually the corners don't matter. But the 5D image should have slightly more... je ne sais quoi.... 3D effect   .

Comparing the landscape shots, the 35mm lens is beginning to be limited by diffraction at F11, but at F11 vignetting should not be noticeable unless it's a very wide angle lens. One might expect the E-3 shot to have an appearance of slightly greater accutance despite having slightly fewer pixels. Whether or not the 5D shot could be sharpened appropriately to get the same effect would be interesting to find out.
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toddbee
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« Reply #173 on: January 27, 2008, 12:42:26 AM »
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i really don't have that much time to do any testing, but this is from my experience with both cameras.  i have had the 5d since it came out and the e3 for almost 2 months.  one thing the zuikos and extremely sharp wide open and are great at 5.6.  i am very familiar with diffraction limits and lens performance.  i have a nice selection of canon glass and am preparing to purchase some more olympus glass.
cheers
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Quentin
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« Reply #174 on: January 27, 2008, 10:31:19 AM »
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Ray,

there is a difference between being unscientific and being a fool     Looking at a camera and saying "gee that looks light" and basing a decision to buy on that is being a fool.  Holding the camera yourself and judging whether its too heavy is completely unscientific - you don't know its actual weight - but useful, because you know from your own experience that the camera is the right weight - in fact it is a lot more useful than checking the published weight data.

And this is precisely my point (thanks for making it for me so well...).  The unscientific, personal experience is simply way ahead in the usefulness stakes compared with some possibly flawed and meaningless "scientific" test.

Now, take the E-3.  I own one.  There are no tests anyone can do that will "prove" my likes and dislikes are "wrong".  Of course I'm interested in a general sense in published reports, but when it comes to the crunch, you just have to get your hands on the damned thing and work it out for yourself.  

Quentin
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 10:32:23 AM by Quentin » Logged

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Ray
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« Reply #175 on: January 27, 2008, 02:48:36 PM »
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Of course I'm interested in a general sense in published reports, but when it comes to the crunch, you just have to get your hands on the damned thing and work it out for yourself. 

Quentin
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169959\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Get your hands on a hundred different models of cameras and work it out for yourself? C'mon now, Quentin. Be reasonable. I haven't got the time to do that.

I rely upon thorough reviews by groups like dpreview to do most of the work. If the reviews are sufficiently comprehensive and in-depth, I could probably confidently buy a camera through the internet without ever having laid hands on one.

In fact, I've never gone out to buy a particular camera that I'm interested in and then, when fondling it in the shop, decided, 'No, this is not the camera for me".

Nor have I ever, after buying a camera and taken a few shots over a few days decided, 'No, this is not the camera for me. It doesn't do what I want it to. It's not the right tool for the job."

If you do your research properly and read all the reliable reviews, you should know what the camera can do before you've even set eyes upon it.

Some reviewers are more technical, like dpreview, and some reviewers like Michael are more 'in the field'. Both approaches taken together should be sufficient for anyone to make an informed decision.
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« Reply #176 on: January 27, 2008, 05:33:10 PM »
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Ray,

Actually as I'm sure you'd agree, the camera is just one consideration.  I don't start by looking at all systems equally, because I have already bought in to certain systems.  Only if the new system offers something significantly different and useful do I consider switching or adding.  I have Nikon, Olympus and Mamiya lenses.  Leaf might be great, but I'll stick with Mamiya MF and my ZD partly in view of the new Phase One link up but also because I have a set of Mamiya MF lenses.  I bought an E-3 almost on a whim because I was intrigued by the system and what it might offer - an unusual step for me.  I read some E-3 reviews, but my own experience makes up 90% of my understanding of it, as with the rest of my kit.  I really don't trust most reviews, they seem to be a rehash of the PR in some cases.  Michael's are much better than most because he approaches equipment in a similar way to me, as a user not a lab technician.

Quentin
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 05:35:15 PM by Quentin » Logged

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« Reply #177 on: January 27, 2008, 09:00:27 PM »
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I just returned home from the ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) Strictly Business 2, three day conference http://www.asmp.org/sb2/ which was excellent by the way.

I had met a very respected photographer from a well known community college who had also tried out the Olympus E-3 and 12-60 lens and subsequently purchased it. He sat down and showed us his photos from his recent trip across Spain with it and I can only say they were wonderful, if not breathtaking. I was especially impressed with the way the camera handled shadows in alley ways and in architectural details. And he is very pleased with the system.

Sorry I am not going to ask him to post here or to go back and do a comparative tests with a 5D. It seems to me that actually shooting beautiful photographs is a better test and I was impressed.

Quentin, I saw your remark about the ZD. I have been doing some shooting with the new 645ZD and found it superb. I even managed a magazine cover with it. I'll get to doing a story of my experience with it on blog this week.
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Ian L. Sitren
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #178 on: January 27, 2008, 09:40:00 PM »
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I had met a very respected photographer from a well known community college who had also tried out the Olympus E-3 and 12-60 lens and subsequently purchased it. He sat down and showed us his photos from his recent trip across Spain with it and I can only say they were wonderful, if not breathtaking. I was especially impressed with the way the camera handled shadows in alley ways and in architectural details. And he is very pleased with the system.

The stories of pattern noise is shadows are just stories?
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« Reply #179 on: January 27, 2008, 11:26:36 PM »
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The stories of pattern noise is shadows are just stories?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=170135\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I haven't seen those reports but I really don't go looking for them. I can only tell you about my experience with it and what I just saw.
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Ian L. Sitren
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