Need help with E510 please

Started Jul 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Need help with E510 please
Jul 20, 2012

Hello everyone. I'm having some frustration with my camera. I got my first DSLR, an Olympus E510, a few months ago. In general, I'm pleased that it can take pretty good pics. But I'm having trouble getting that "wow" factor in my pics. Honestly, I find my old Sony DSC-W50 takes nearly as good of pics (and better macro pics) half the time. I have the two kit lenses (14-42mm and 40-150mm), but I decided to order the 70-300mm so that I could have more versatility (telephoto and macro in one lens).

The new lens certainly allowed for some closer shots, but again, no "wow." I'm having several problems, some of which may be related.

First, regardless of which lens I use, I feel like I'm noticing a haze in many of my pics when using the full range of the lens. It doesn't seem apparent in all the pics, but I feel like it's noticeable in more than a few - but this could be in my head, or a part of a different problem.

My second problem is that when I use my 70-300mm at full 300mm (or even as short as 200mm), I cannot seem to get a crisp, clear photo. I've seen some absolutely beautiful bird photos from user Digirame, but mine won't come close. And that leads to my next problem.

Thinking that my settings are off, and that's why I can't match the quality of photos like Digirame's swallows, I tried to set the settings just like some of those bird photos where lighting seemed similar. However, when I put my camera on manual mode, and set the parameters - for instance, ISO400, 1/1000, f8 - my camera does horrible. Using those settings, my shutter opened for nearly two seconds, and produced an almost black image. In fact, any time that I have ever tried to use the manual settings, the shutter (regardless of set speed) is painfully slow and the photo comes out nearly black. I don't understand what's going on, and this happens regardless of lens used. In all seriousness, the only decent pictures I've ever taken with this camera have been with the mode on either Auto or Portrait. And even using the Auto mode with my 70-300mm lens, I'm still getting blurred photos, even when the camera is securely braced. I photo'd an Osprey's nest and the lens allowed me to get right on top of the birds, but every photo was hazy and blurred, regardless of what EV I used.

Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong? Or is my camera not functioning properly? Could it be a firmware issue? Or something mechanical, like a smudgy mirror?

I hope someone can help! I have this great equipment, but feel like I'm using it as little more than an over-sized, expensive PNS. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

~ Jason

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