Olympus E-10 and E-20

Started Apr 6, 2014 | Discussions thread
Ben Herrmann
Ben Herrmann Forum Pro • Posts: 19,098
Points to keep in mind...

I still have both the E-10 and E-20 and with regards to both performance and speed, they are very dated compared to the E-1 (yes, the old E-1 smokes them both big time, IMO).  No, they don't have the same sensor as is in the E-1 - not by a long shot.  The noise in those older E-10 and E-20 sensors are much higher when compared to the E-1.  The E-1, by comparison, has a much richer color tonality and better (cleaner) IQ.  And keep in mind that the high ISO capabilities of the E-10 goes up to whopping 320 !

What makes the E-10 and E-20 so unique is their superb ergonomics, build quality, and overall looks.  They just look (and feel) like a camera is supposed to look.  Their design eventually led to the E-1, but I just wish Olympus would have stuck with this camera body style.  The glass in the E-10/20 are exceptional (both are fixed lenses).  Whatever you do, do NOT use regular AA batteries (not even rechargeable ones) because the cameras eat these up in droves.  I use the rechargeable CR-3V batteries which last for a few hundred shots.  But keep in mind, if your E-10 or E-20 dies, there is nobody who can (or will) fix these.

The articulating LCD's on the E-10 and E-20 are both small and very, very low resolution.  The IQ, while nice for their time period, really pales in comparison to what you get with the E-1.  Other than getting an E-10 and E-20 for nostalgia sake, it's not worth the effort at this stage, IMO.  Now keep in mind, the E-20 has virtually the same look as the earlier E-10, but gives you 5 MP's.  Don't even try to shoot in RAW mode with the E-20, because it takes some 10-14 seconds to write that RAW file - it's that slow.  The buffers in those old cameras were really small to say the least.

In addition, the E-10 and E-20 can only take Compact Flash cards up to 2 Gig - no more.  Large cards are not recognized in those cameras.

Now if you are a collector, then getting an E-10 and E-20 is a no-brainer.  Finding some that are in mint condition, may be a tall task.  When you look at the photos of those for sale on eBay, and you zoom in on the photos, you will see that many are truly worn.  Awhile back I was fortunate to get two mint (virtually like new) E-10 and E-20 models off of eBay for less than $125 each!

Here is one photo that I particularly enjoyed with my E-10 - yes, it's the typical obligatory cat shot, but using the E-10 and FL-40 flash in bounce mode, I came up with this rich image of one of my cats.

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Have a great one....
Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
North Carolina, USA

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