After a week with the E-300 and a year with a digital Rebel.

Started Nov 30, 2005 | Discussions thread
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Larry Lynch
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After a week with the E-300 and a year with a digital Rebel.
Nov 30, 2005

I've had the Evolt 300 (two lens kit) for a week today. I bought it as a back-up for my Digital Rebel.

I wasnt concerned about the "lens incompatibility" because I havent invested a wad of money in lenses for the Canon mount. I have been using the Canon "kit" lens along with a Tamron 28-90 and a few old, fast lenses from My Contax days that adapted easily to the Canon mount.

The first difference I saw when I unpacked the camera and looked through the view finder was that I actually could SEE through the view finder. It seems larger and brighter than the Rebel VF, and its just "easier" on my eyes.

This makes manual focus MUCH easier with the Evolt than it is with the Canon. I would prefer real manual focus over the "focus by wire" control of the OLY lenses, but its not a big deal. Since with the Oly view finder I can actually SEE what Im doing I'll live with that slight trade off. Also the Canon "kit" lens is much too loose and floppy for manual focus in my hands.

The second difference I noticed when I started shooting with the Evolt is the way it handles. It feels more "substantial" in my hands, and it just FEELS better after carrying it for an hour or so (this is important because at the events I shoot, I may be standing in the horse show ring for as much as 2 to 3 hours at a stretch without a break.}

I havent had the oportunity to shoot much outdoors with the "E" yet as we have had only about 2 hours of "sunny" weather since I got the thing. From October 1 'till April 15, the weater conditions hre in Southern New England are NORMAL if you need ISO 200 to ISO 400 to shoot outdoors at high noon.

Since the 2 lens kit covers more than enough range for my event shooting I'm not too concerned about the fact that the available lenses are fewer for the Oly.

The only lens I see myself wanting is a good fast (f2 or f1.8) 50 or 55mm, and I'll probaby find the one I need before spring.

The third thing: (a BIG deal here)

In actual shooting conditions the Evolt seems faster, more precise, and quicker to focus than the Canon.

There is no argument that the color is better "out of camera" and needs less "tweaking" than the shots I get with the Canon. (I shoot RAW only at events, so the so called "WB" problem is not an issue)

The only adjustment I need to make with the Oly RAW files (so far) in Adobe ACR is white balance, from there to the final "SAVE" in Adobe CS 2 I havent found the need to tweak the colors in any photo Ive taken. This has NOT been true of the Canon shots Ive taken over the last year.. Most (not all, but most) of the Canon photos need the color "punched up" or fixed in some way during post work.This one thing alone shortens my work load by about 25% when doing post work.

The first week of use has convinced me that the Olympus Evolt 300 will be my PRIMARY camera for event shooting, and The Canon will be the "backup" camera, for use when the light is so bad I need to shoot at ISO 800 to ISO 1600 (the one and only thing I have found that the Digital Rebel does better.)

The difference in pixel count is not really an issue that impresses me, the gain of going from 6mp to 8mp isnt big enough, but the shape (4:3) of the Oly picture loans itself to cropping to 8x10 much better than the shape of the Canon pictures, so I can "Fill the frame" more with the Oly as I need to trim less off the picture to get the shape I need for 8x10. 8x10 is the size most of my customers want. In the US (at least in my part of the country) 8x10 is popular because frames are readily available for only a dollar or two (some with matting included).

The little "shopping trip" I made on-line when I bought the E-300 was actually made originally looking for some better glass for the Rebel. What I found was amazing to me.. To by a pair of lenses that covered the same range as the OLY "kit" lenses, and get good rugged "Quality" lenses would have cost me more than the cost of the entire Two lens kit.

Add that to the Oly color, and the (for the most part) "Self Cleaning" feature (dust is a MAJOR problem at a horse show, it gets into EVERYTHING), and I think the Evolt 300 is a true bargain.

It had got to the point where I was carrying a bag of cleaning gear as big as the bag that holds all my flash equipment.

I will still be carrying the cleaning gear, as I dont like to leave much to "Chance", but I look forward to not needing it nearly as much. I dont expect the "vibrator" to take care of all the dirt that might get into the camera, but I'm sure it will cut back on the cleaning chores (I primarily use a small brush that I "charge up" with a stream of compressed air to clean the sensor on the Canon, and only revert to a "wet" system when all else fails, as it sometimes does).

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L.L.
Mystic, Ct.

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