Newbie to Olympus DSLR looking for general advice

Started Feb 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
Entropius Veteran Member • Posts: 4,260
Re: Newbie to Olympus DSLR looking for general advice

Here's my short summary of the bodies you might consider:

E-510: First of the Olympus "modern" bodies. Small but bright and clear viewfinder. Very sharp images from the 10MP sensor; good image quality up to ISO 400, good at 800 with careful exposure and processing. Autofocus is a somewhat primitive three-point system. It's awful in low light, but stubbornly accurate if sometimes cantankerous in good light. Low dynamic range; shadows band at ISO 1600. My first DSLR, and really a great little camera.

E-520: Same as the E-510 (mostly), but not as sharp. Oh, and they retuned the Noise Filter/Sharpness settings, so you can leave NF on Low.

E-410/E-420: Same as 510/520 except smaller bodies, fewer buttons, and no IS. I'd give these a pass.

E-3: Large viewfinder; weathersealed, professional-grade tank-like body. Marginally better at high ISO than the E-510. More sophisticated autofocus, with 11 cross-type points that actually work in low light. Has the same 10MP sensor as the E-510, but with better amplifiers that have a bit less noise. Flip screen.

E-620: Body smaller than E-510, but somewhat bigger viewfinder. New 12MP sensor that has no banding, but can have issues with shadow noise. Default JPEG settings have more dynamic range, but with more noise in shadows. IS system not as good as other bodies mentioned here, which have excellent in-body IS. Has AF Fine Tune. Flip screen.

E-30: Same imaging as the E-620, but with a larger body. Viewfinder in between E-620 and E-3 size. Same autofocus as E-3 (basically), but with AF Fine Tune. Good ergonomics (in my opinion); well built, but not weatherproof like the E-3. Flip screen.

E-5: Same 12MP sensor as the E-30 and E-620, but with a weak lowpass filter that allows more fine detail retention. Same excellent build quality as the E-3; same viewfinder and same AF sensor, although some report better continuous AF (what Canon calls AI Servo). Sharper native images mean less sharpening is required, leading to overall lower fine-grain noise levels in print. Only one of these to have a movie mode. High-resolution flip screen.

I have the E-510 and E-30; both are pretty good at what they do (and the E-510, for the price you can get one for these days, is a steal).

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Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Nikon 35mm F1.8G ED +1 more
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