Why I Just Bought an Olympus Four Thirds Camera System

Started Nov 12, 2012 | Discussions
Marty4650
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Based on your needs....
In reply to kendrab, Nov 13, 2012

You made a very smart purchase.

The folks that are satisfied with FourThirds "state of art circa 2008" share your viewpoint They also include people who never shoot in low light, and never need high resolution shots.

I used to be one of them, until I felt the urge to do some night shooting. So I filled that need by adding a Sony A55 and two Sony kit lenses. But I still do most of my shooting with my E-30, E-P1 and E-PL2, because 95% of the time, because the Olympus cameras get the better results under most conditions.

For many things, FourThirds is hard to beat. For others... there are other options available.

Good luck with your new camera. You will love it.

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kendrab
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In closing
In reply to kendrab, Nov 14, 2012

It is clear this thread has struck a chord with people. There were lots of responses, and they helped me refine things a bit. I believe my general logic was on target for what I was trying to achieve. My choices would certainly have been different if I needed a higher level of performance, and had the budget to do so.

My thread may have seemed to be about the "goodness" of Olympus Four Thirds cameras and lenses, but it was really meant to highlight the general competence of many "non-current" D-SLR camera systems going back 3-4 years, and the significant savings still available when purchasing them.

The way things are going in the camera market, if we aren't careful, there will be inexpensive camera phones and integrated lens cameras at one end, and super expensive full frame cameras with replaceable lenses on the other, with nothing in the middle for the rest of us. It would be a shame if that happened. I saw a similar process occur in the audio market. It wasn't pretty.

Thanks to everyone who responded. it was greatly appreciated.

Kendra

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Andy Hewitt
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Re: In closing
In reply to kendrab, Nov 14, 2012

kendrab wrote:

It is clear this thread has struck a chord with people. There were lots of responses, and they helped me refine things a bit. I believe my general logic was on target for what I was trying to achieve. My choices would certainly have been different if I needed a higher level of performance, and had the budget to do so.

Absolutely, I think that would apply to most.

My thread may have seemed to be about the "goodness" of Olympus Four Thirds cameras and lenses, but it was really meant to highlight the general competence of many "non-current" D-SLR camera systems going back 3-4 years, and the significant savings still available when purchasing them.

For sure, or indeed further back than that. There are still many E-1 users (now nearly ten years old), and of course all of the earlier models (E-300/330/500 etc.).

Not only the savings that can be had by looking at the older models in the second hand market, by by also simply not upgrading if you have no real need to.

I'm always disgusted by the 'throwaway' society we have now, and how often I've seen such advice as 'you really need to buy the <latest model>'. All too often the hunt for the newest and supposedly 'better' features does not actually result in any better images (the E-1 is again testament to that). It's so easy to forget why you own such as device as a camera - to take photos. If those photos are equally as good when presented from the older camera, then there is no reason for the upgrade.

The way things are going in the camera market, if we aren't careful, there will be inexpensive camera phones and integrated lens cameras at one end, and super expensive full frame cameras with replaceable lenses on the other, with nothing in the middle for the rest of us. It would be a shame if that happened. I saw a similar process occur in the audio market. It wasn't pretty.

Yeah, it does seem to happen like that a lot, but the manufacturers will only try to meet the demands. If no-one is buying mid range stuff, then they'll simply stop making it. It's probably the area that's hardest to please. When times are hard, then people will simply buy cheaper, or indeed second hand.

All the best.

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Andy Hewitt
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kendrab
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Re: In closing
In reply to Andy Hewitt, Nov 14, 2012

The way things are going in the camera market, if we aren't careful, there will be inexpensive camera phones and integrated lens cameras at one end, and super expensive full frame cameras with replaceable lenses on the other, with nothing in the middle for the rest of us. It would be a shame if that happened. I saw a similar process occur in the audio market. It wasn't pretty.

Yeah, it does seem to happen like that a lot, but the manufacturers will only try to meet the demands. If no-one is buying mid range stuff, then they'll simply stop making it. It's probably the area that's hardest to please. When times are hard, then people will simply buy cheaper, or indeed second hand.

All the best.

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Andy Hewitt
Using Olympus E-420 and Apple Mac Mini '09.

I can understand manufacturers meeting demand; after all, it is in their best interest to do so. However, if the novice/first time camera buyer is left with the impression resolution is the only specification that matters, they will see no reason to shop in the mid-range where many of us want to shop.

You know, and I know that there is more to good camera performance than the sensor resolution, or the high ISO performance, or the lens. Each part adds to the performance of the whole. But if new camera buyers aren't made aware about this, they will see little or no value in spending the extra money for better quality parts that "don't matter."

Kendra

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Andy Hewitt
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Re: In closing
In reply to kendrab, Nov 14, 2012

kendrab wrote:

I can understand manufacturers meeting demand; after all, it is in their best interest to do so. However, if the novice/first time camera buyer is left with the impression resolution is the only specification that matters, they will see no reason to shop in the mid-range where many of us want to shop.

You know, and I know that there is more to good camera performance than the sensor resolution, or the high ISO performance, or the lens. Each part adds to the performance of the whole. But if new camera buyers aren't made aware about this, they will see little or no value in spending the extra money for better quality parts that "don't matter."

It's not just new camera buyers though. People buy all kinds on things based on what they see in the glossy brochure, and don't have any real idea what it is they're buying.

Be it cars with lots of BHP, computer processor speeds, or camera sensor resolution. The punter very often has no idea what it is they really should be looking for.

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Andy Hewitt
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Marty4650
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In reply to kendrab, Nov 14, 2012

There are lots of things that can contribute to good picture taking results:

  • composition skill
  • artistic talent
  • good luck
  • good light
  • hard work
  • persistence
  • good subject matter
  • good timing
  • patience
  • better gear

And the only one you can buy is the last one. And even if you buy it, you still can fail if you lack most of the other ones.

So you're correct. But that still isn't a compelling reason NOT to want better gear.

In every single human endeavor people seek the best gear. Fishermen want the best rods and reels. Cyclists want the best bikes. Surgeons want the best scalpels. Soldiers want the best weapons.

What is so different about photography that makes some people think the that tools don't matter?

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kendrab
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Re: You're right
In reply to Marty4650, Nov 15, 2012

My intent of starting this thread was to illustrate why a camera system that some people have moved away from as a higher performance option can become very attractive to others who just want a decent camera with enough functionality to learn photography at a reasonable price.

I put forward my own system as an example of an adequate tool set to learn the main aspects of photography with, and pointed out "non-current" D-SLR cameras from other manufacturers were also suitable. I also mentioned that prices were heavily discounted when avaialble (some systems sell out fast in the clearance aisles).

There are some really great cameras and lenses out there; some of my friends have systems that cost 10x what mine does. I am not "against" any of the higher end systems, I just question their value to a person just wants to learn the fundamentals ofphotography, and has limited funds to do so. In fact, if I could afford it, I would probably have gotten a Nikon D3s that a friend had for sale (he got upgrade fever too, and now has a new Nikon D800E).

If a person decides to take up the photography habit, wants to learn how to do it right, and has a limited budget to do so, we should be able to recommend something better than camera phones or point and shoot cameras, but less expensive than the 20+ MP full frame cameras the salespersons are steering them towards. If we don't make the suggestion as fellow photography enthusiasts, who will?

I made a number of mistakes with my own system, even though I had a pretty clear idea of what was necessary:

1) I could have gotten a used 14-54mm lens instead of the 12-60mm lens I did get. It would have meant shopping on eBay, but doing so would have saved money.

2) I never actually intended to get the FL-50R flash. I was thinking more about the FL-36R version, but when the used FL-50R flash became available, I used the excuse the "price was too good" to turn down.

3) I should have never bothered with the TC-14 tele-convertor, but it was "brand new". Never mind the seller said he never found a use for it. I could have picked up a used 50mm Macro lens for similar money, and would have gotten a lot more use from it.

4) I blew my budget that was for a camera setup, printer and computer upgrade on just the camera setup. Net result? I am going to be eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese until Christmas, and will have to suffer with my 15" LCD monitor until my birthday in March. But at least I can't say I didn't know better.

Kendra

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John King
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The Principle of Mutuality (Reciprocity) ...
In reply to kendrab, Nov 15, 2012

Very well said, Kendra.

We can afford to spend whatever we like on our individual interests. The primary reason why we can do this is precisely because we have both always been frugal, but not mean to the point of being lousy.

As these habits of a lifetime are still there, we tend to splash on books and the like, but otherwise live pretty simply.

My wife has taken over my E-510 kit. Her diploma in ceramics course required a unit of photography, and it has rekindled her interest in it.

This led to me buying her a decent monitor for her computer, as the existing one was old, and could no longer accept reasonable calibration done to the video card - it actually looked better uncalibrated than calibrated! So she ended up with what I have, an ASUS PA246Q that supports about 98% of the aRGB colour space - IPS panel, 24.6", 12 bit colour LUT, HDMI/DVI-I/d-sub 15 inputs. The panel itself is 10 bit. Someone took it apart and it is apparently made by Samsung (surprise, surprise), and is probably the same guts as the 24.6" Eizo that has the same specs, and is very, very similar in looks and depth. The Eizo costs $2,145 here, and the latest ASUS cost me $539 ...

She is over the moon. I could have replaced the entire guts of her PC tower with a new MoBo, CPU, RAM and Video card for about the same. She can put up with the somewhat slow PC, She couldn't have used that old monitor for what she needs to do.

So, as you have stated so well, and clearly, these things often require us to make choices as to what is more important to us, individually.

When I "upgraded" to the E-30, I was very specific in what I was looking for. I also looked very hard at the Nikon D300 (also a very fine camera, IMNSHO), but decided that the E-30 provided me with better balance as a whole for what I wanted to do. Other people can and do make other choices. Hopefully they do that carefully and thoughtfully, and end up being happy with their choices that they have made for them.

What irritates me is when some other people wish to be highly critical of the choices made by others. We have several examples of just such behaviour in this thread alone. If this were to occur in a normal social situation, the offenders would be seen off in a fairly blunt manner. They also have a tendency to becoming extremely offended if anyone is even slightly critical of their choices ... Seems to breach the ethical principle of mutuality , if you ask me ...

That reference states at the end:

"So for example, in the friendship context, reciprocation means to give or take mutually but not necessarily equally. It means to care for each other, to be responsive and supportive and in tune with each other as friends. Reciprocation can be responsive or initiative. Without reciprocation the imbalance will destine the friendship to fail."

I wholeheartedly agree.

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Regards, john from Melbourne, Australia.
(see profile for current gear)
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Perhaps being kind to cats, dogs & children does ...
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.
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Marty4650
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In reply to kendrab, Nov 15, 2012

As I stated in an earlier post, based on your needs and budget, I think you made a very smart purchase.

And I don't think you made any mistakes at all.

The 12-60mm is in many ways a better lens than the 14-54mm. Yes, it costs more, but it has a greater range on both ends, delivers outstanding sharpness, and it eliminates the need for a wide angle lens. I spent a lot more than what you paid for your lens by buying my 14-54mm plus 11-22mm lenses (and note... I already had the 9-18mm lens)!

So it really depends on how often you shoot wide angle, and how wide you need to go. For someone who wants an occasional 12mm shot for landscape and architecture, the 12-60mm is the ideal lens to own.

The teleconverter is another story. This works best with long lenses, especially the 50-200mm, 150mm, 300mm and 90-250mm lenses, and is almost a must have accessory for anyone with those lenses. Since you don't have those lenses you probably won't use it much... BUT if you got it for a good enough price you can always sell it off and come out ahead. So what you think was a mistake might turn out to be a good investment.

The FL50R is a similar case. It really is much better than the FL36. It's more powerful, and it can be triggered by remote. If you are into flash photography, you will be glad you got that strobe. If you aren't, you can always sell it. So it just depends on how good of a bargain you got. You could end up ahead on that too.

Using strobes is a entire hobby unto itself. Some folks are really good at it. I'm not, and I don't even own a strobe. But they are nice to have for indoor event photography.

I really think you will love that camera and lens combination.

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kendrab
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Re: The Principle of Mutuality (Reciprocity) ...
In reply to John King, Nov 15, 2012

John King wrote:

Very well said, Kendra.

We can afford to spend whatever we like on our individual interests. The primary reason why we can do this is precisely because we have both always been frugal, but not mean to the point of being lousy.

As these habits of a lifetime are still there, we tend to splash on books and the like, but otherwise live pretty simply.

My wife has taken over my E-510 kit. Her diploma in ceramics course required a unit of photography, and it has rekindled her interest in it.

This led to me buying her a decent monitor for her computer, as the existing one was old, and could no longer accept reasonable calibration done to the video card - it actually looked better uncalibrated than calibrated! So she ended up with what I have, an ASUS PA246Q that supports about 98% of the aRGB colour space - IPS panel, 24.6", 12 bit colour LUT, HDMI/DVI-I/d-sub 15 inputs. The panel itself is 10 bit. Someone took it apart and it is apparently made by Samsung (surprise, surprise), and is probably the same guts as the 24.6" Eizo that has the same specs, and is very, very similar in looks and depth. The Eizo costs $2,145 here, and the latest ASUS cost me $539 ...

She is over the moon. I could have replaced the entire guts of her PC tower with a new MoBo, CPU, RAM and Video card for about the same. She can put up with the somewhat slow PC, She couldn't have used that old monitor for what she needs to do.

So, as you have stated so well, and clearly, these things often require us to make choices as to what is more important to us, individually.

When I "upgraded" to the E-30, I was very specific in what I was looking for. I also looked very hard at the Nikon D300 (also a very fine camera, IMNSHO), but decided that the E-30 provided me with better balance as a whole for what I wanted to do. Other people can and do make other choices. Hopefully they do that carefully and thoughtfully, and end up being happy with their choices that they have made for them.

What irritates me is when some other people wish to be highly critical of the choices made by others. We have several examples of just such behaviour in this thread alone. If this were to occur in a normal social situation, the offenders would be seen off in a fairly blunt manner. They also have a tendency to becoming extremely offended if anyone is even slightly critical of their choices ... Seems to breach the ethical principle of mutuality , if you ask me ...

That reference states at the end:

"So for example, in the friendship context, reciprocation means to give or take mutually but not necessarily equally. It means to care for each other, to be responsive and supportive and in tune with each other as friends. Reciprocation can be responsive or initiative. Without reciprocation the imbalance will destine the friendship to fail."

I wholeheartedly agree.

-- hide signature --

Regards, john from Melbourne, Australia.
(see profile for current gear)
Please do not embed images from my web site without prior permission
I consider this to be a breach of my copyright.
-- -- --
.
The Camera doth not make the Man (nor Woman) ...
Perhaps being kind to cats, dogs & children does ...
.
I am a Photography Aficionado ... and ...
"I don't have any problems with John. He is a crotchety old Aussie. He will smack you if you behave like a d**k. Goes with the territory." boggis the cat
.
Gallery: http://canopuscomputing.com.au/gallery2/v/main-page/

Bird Control Officers on active service.

Many people get quite passionate about their hobbies. photography is no different. The trick is not to let the passion we have for our setup take away from the pleasure someone else has for their setup.

Some may have missed this: I am using photography as a way to enjoy life and challenge my brain after having two strokes about a year ago. Given the odds, I am just glad to be able to engage in photography at all.

By the way, thanks again for all the replies, it really challenged my brain to respond to some of them.

Kendra

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Andy Hewitt
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Re: The Principle of Mutuality (Reciprocity) ...
In reply to kendrab, Nov 15, 2012

kendrab wrote:

Many people get quite passionate about their hobbies. photography is no different. The trick is not to let the passion we have for our setup take away from the pleasure someone else has for their setup.

Even with this being very clear, at least to me, from the start, people still get the wrong end of the stick.

I agree, likewise for me, I have to choose equipment based on my budget, which is to all intents and purposes very limited - to the point where other photographers simply don't get it. I have a passion for the hobby, but also realise that life does have other priorities - I have other people in my family and household to consider whenever I spend money. Putting food on the table and paying energy bills simply has to come first.

Of course we have to have life's little pleasures, it's all about 'living', but not at the expense of the basics. I'll spend all I can on my hobby, if it improves the enjoyment of it.

However, like you say, I have no objection whatsoever if others want to spend their money in a different fashion, that's their choice (or maybe it isn't, they might not be able to kerb those impulses to buy).

My own gripe has always been that assumption that we can all choose to buy the latest gear. How often have I been told I have the wrong flash unit? I got an FL36 because that's all I can afford to buy, I know I 'needed' an FL50, but they're 3x the cost. Besides, I only need a full size flash about two or three times a year, and for me the FL36 works sufficiently well for those purposes. Even so, I got a lot of criticism for owning it.

Some may have missed this: I am using photography as a way to enjoy life and challenge my brain after having two strokes about a year ago. Given the odds, I am just glad to be able to engage in photography at all.

Indeed so, well done on that.

By the way, thanks again for all the replies, it really challenged my brain to respond to some of them.

It's been a challenge if you haven't had a stroke!!!

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Andy Hewitt
Using Olympus E-420 and Apple Mac Mini '09.

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