Why did you decide to buy Olympus ?

Started Jan 10, 2008 | Discussions
JCdeR Forum Member • Posts: 64
Why did you decide to buy Olympus ?

Once I decided to go digital (after 20 years of Leica M) I spent weeks and weeks browsing through the various DSLR internet fora’s, review sites and other Digital DSLR related media. I must of read everything about every brand available on the market today.

My first conclusion was that every current DSLR would be able to shoot a decent image. The touch and feel of the different brands would be different but seeing this would be a learning curve anyway wouldn’t make any difference what so ever, the MP race is totally irrelevant along with some of the gimmicks provided by all of the manufacturers and being marketed as the bee’s knees of current day photography.... must haves so to speak.

Not getting easier making a decision, for budget was not a real problem I eventually decided for Olympus because of the attitude of the users. Initially I though a Canon 40D would suit my needs nicely, but after reading post after post after post of the so called Canon Fan-Boys I wouldn’t want to be seen dead with such a contraption hanging over my shoulder, similar but slightly less goes for Nikon... owners that defend their sanity over 4 mp more or less, arguing about every feature their camera does-, or doesn’t have... absolute insanity.

I never noticed this attitude amongst Olympus users, they all seemed to like their cameras, admitting that it certainly isn’t the best since sliced bread but all happily making use of their equipment... this is the sort of “team” I wanted to be part of, hence the purchase of my 510 (I found the e-3 heavily overpriced) 7-14 – 15-54 – 50-200, all of which makes me a happy photographer, of course there are downsides, but overall I am generally pleased with this setup (not to forget my grey-card, best investment ever made!)

These were my main reasons to go with Olympus .... what were yours?

DLGW Senior Member • Posts: 1,211
The 14-54/50-200 combo and the weathersealing/dustbuster double whammy

That means with two lenses I can go everywhere and shoot pretty much anything in any and all conditions with a small lightweight camera bag.

Pretty much the ideal camera for travel photography.

 DLGW's gear list:DLGW's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 8mm 1:3.5 Fisheye Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm 1:4.0 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ +6 more
OM4ever Regular Member • Posts: 470
Oly gives the highest value.

Or to put it differently, I would call the E3 an undervalued
camera, similar to the E1.

Of course, we all have our own values.


OP JCdeR Forum Member • Posts: 64

yes, not a direct selection criterium for me at least, I see your issue about the weight/lens quality logic .... as I said though I only see this now, once using Oly equipement.

OP JCdeR Forum Member • Posts: 64
Re: Oly gives the highest value.

For all clarity, I am not stating that the E3 is an overpriced camera, for my needs and wishes it was to expensive

Louis_Dobson Forum Pro • Posts: 27,494
Needs change.

I bought an E500 twin lens kit to give me more fun while walking the dog. Price and size/weight were the two main factors, plus an antipathy to Canon products (I've bought loads over the years and they always disappointed) and the continuation of a schoolboy argument of a quarter of a century before, when two of us teenagers were the semi official school photographer, him with Nikon, me with Oly. At the age of fifteen or so we had even less sense than the average troll or fanboy has here, and I still find it hard to say "Nikon" without pulling a face.

He and I are still friends, although he stopped shooting many years ago. I haven't told him, and I'm not going to, that I have a bag of Nikon kit as well as a bag of Oly kit. He's the terribly posh main board director of a merchant bank now, but I still think he'd fall over laughing...

What amuses me is the agonising I did over the few hundred pounds it cost. Back then photography was not a priority, and I felt as guilty as heck spending that sort of money on a toy.

Two years later, my camera insurance value is twice my car insurance value

Enjoy your stuff - I think you've done it right getting quality lenses and a relatively cheap body: it means you can change the body when the next big thing comes out instead of being stuck with an obsolete tank you feel owes you money. I do think the E3 is worth the extra though, if one already has the lenses.

 Louis_Dobson's gear list:Louis_Dobson's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm F3.5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +7 more
OM4ever Regular Member • Posts: 470
Re: Oly gives the highest value.
acwalbur Veteran Member • Posts: 4,640
How it felt....

Tried the D40, Xti, and E-500 in person.


Xti has terrible ergonomics, kit lens was really poorly built

D40 kit lens felt better than Xti, but also pretty cheap. Viewfinder in D40 was nice, as was the body feel, but still a little to small.

E-500 felt like a rock compared to both of these. (I know E-500 is no E-300/E-1/E-3, but it is much denser plastic than either Xti or D40 body). Kit lenses felt really well built, with the 40-150 having a silky smooth zoom.

So it was between the D40 and E-500. Then online research lead me to believe that dust was a fairly big problem with the D40 (I don't know, as I never bought one). After seeing what a dusty photo looked like, I went for the Oly.

Mind you, I knew nothing about Oly glass, or the 2.0 EFL, or the noise. The E-500 was simply a better built camera than the other two in my price range at the time.

Hey - there are weirder things to base a camera selection on.

-- hide signature --

Good shooting.

  • Adam

Equipment in plan

OP JCdeR Forum Member • Posts: 64
Beautiful images

Very nice set of Flickr photos Louis.... what a beautiful country Portugal must be. Although I gather that being British and residing in Portugal can't be all that easy nowadays......

mujana Veteran Member • Posts: 6,056
Re: Oly gives the highest value.

Sorry, but you did state that. Which is your good right ofcourse. When comparing specs (with other cams in it's price range), I consider the 510 UNDERpriced.

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OP JCdeR Forum Member • Posts: 64
Re: Oly gives the highest value.

Glass half full, or half empty .... of course this can be a correct assumption as well. Actually I do find the 510 "cheap" for what you get ....

Private Custard
Private Custard Senior Member • Posts: 1,802
Re: Why did you decide to buy Olympus ?

A friend of mine has a 400D and it's his fault I now have my 510! I was really impressed with image quality from the 400D, but I wasn't impressed with the kit lens and lack of IS. The E-510 offered serious value for money. It has its flaws, but what doesn't?

My main wants were a minimum of 10mp, decent IQ, IS, good kit lenses, decent build quality and a more compact size so I could go wandering without ever feeling overladen with kit. The 510 met all those criterea.

Plus, when I'm out and about with my 400D-owning friend we can swap for a bit to mess about with each others cameras..............and I can be really smug about the fact that I have IS all the time, whereas he paid about £300 for ONE LENS with IS!!

 Private Custard's gear list:Private Custard's gear list
Canon EOS 80D
zephyr16 Forum Member • Posts: 63
Re: Why did you decide to buy Olympus ?

Addendum to all the positive points noted below...I think the aspects of reliability , compact form (My e3 is compact compared to the gargantuan 40d / nikon D3 :P) and ergonomics were what attracted me to my C8080 WZ in the first place.

the competitors then S1 IS and the 8700 were no where near the build and finish of the c8080 WZ...not to mention the exhorbitant price nikon was asking.

the same holds true for my E3- the ergonomics are just fine for me...the value offered and not to mention the reliability- its just eons apart from canikons ...and thats why i chose olympus

Darrin Behm Senior Member • Posts: 2,510

I bought the E-410 and 2 lens combo as I loved the feel and look
of the camera. Perfect for a small bag for my travels.


TheoC Contributing Member • Posts: 819
Re: Why did you decide to buy Olympus ?

I think Olympus make excellent cameras, my first slr was the e-20 with all its accessories, a wonderful machine, slow, one needed to take one's time with it and the camera delivered. Now it belongs to a friend of mine who gave me his c-8080. Now this is another gem. Then I bought the e-500 and the om manual adapter (MF1) to use some of my om glass. Again a wonderful camera. I also got the e-410 and the 35mm macro. I have several om cameras (om 10, om 1n and om 2sp) and the om-1 viewfinder is the best ever. I also have a Canon dslr body and I must admit the old om 55/1.2 wide open performs on it way better than with the e-500. And owners of Canon 5d are absolutely besotted with the OM 21mm. It wouldn't work with the 4/3 (2x and all) but with the 5d it is an excellent performer. Brand loyalty is royally stupid, all of the major manufacturers of cameras and lenses make superb products, we may as well enjoy them. Theo

CollBaxter Forum Pro • Posts: 12,724
The E-500 fitted in my hand (n/t)
-- hide signature --


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Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Olympus E-500 Olympus E-30 Olympus E-620 Olympus E-5 +15 more
Iskender Senior Member • Posts: 1,328
Re: Why did you decide to buy Olympus ?

JCdeR wrote:

These were my main reasons to go with Olympus .... what were yours?

The main reason was the 410 (and the 400 more specifically, which first grabbed my attention).

More specific reasons:

-The 410 is light and small, the closest one gets to a large sensors compact until the Sigma DP1 is released (and most likely still cheaper after)

-The 410 looks good, something which can't be said about 95% of other dSLRs (yes, that's just my opinion)
-the 410 is refreshingly different - my brain likes this (see below)

The following things I discovered when I had already decided on Olympus:
-The dual kit lenses are very good, and just as light as the 410
-the JPG options are by far the best (colour, noise filter, compression)

-Olympus is "the Saab of camera makers", always coming up with quirky new things. I liked how different the 400 was when I first saw it, and the more I look at Oly stuff the more I see how refreshingly non-mainstream it is - there's just no getting away from me not feeling comfortable with completely normal stuff.

Note, I haven't bought an Oly yet. Still, I have made my decision long ago already.

Michael Meissner
Michael Meissner Forum Pro • Posts: 26,584
Re: Why did you decide to buy Olympus ?

Lets see. My original Olympus was the D-510 in December 2001. I was looking for my first digital p&s, and it fit my needs and budget.

In April 2002, we had a little extra money and my wife allowed me to pick out my birthday present. I wanted a camera with more zoom than the D-510Z, more controls, and the ability to use an external flash. This was the time of the great UZI firesale, and after much hemming and hawing, I went with the C-2100UZ (UZI) over the Minolta Dimage 5. Image stabalization was one of the big features I was looking for. The ability to re-use my smartmedia cards was a minor feature, but not a deciding factor. Another deciding factor was the Olympus Talk Forum, which was a friendly, welcoming place.

In December 2004, I got a finder's fee from a headhunter, and had the means to upgrade to a DSLR. I went back and forth between Olympus E-1 and Konica-Minolta 7D, with occasional forays to the Nikon mid-level body of the time. The build quality of the E-1 is what sold me even if I had to do without IS, since at that time the Olympus SLR talk forum had few user complaints while the K-M forums were filled with people on their 3rd body trying to get one that worked, and the Nikon forums were the venomous snake pits. Canon really was not on the radar due to numerous issues of front focus, back focus, and flash exposure.

In May of 2007, we had some money from a tax refund, and the E-510 was a no-brainer to finally give me IS once again. I figured, that while the then forthcoming E-3 was probably more my style, I doubted I would be able to keep the money untouched until Olympus actually got around to releasing the E-3.


I had been intrigued by the loyality of the C-8080WZ owners (similar to the UZI owners), so in the fall I scrounged up the money to buy a used C-8080WZ. I can see why people are passionate about it, but now that I've crossed into DSLRs, I suspect it won't get that much use. Because it uses the same batteries, memory cards, and filter size, it does fit in with my E- dslrs.

I also bought a SP-550UZ for a carry around camera as Olympus was phasing it out and prices were reduced. For most things, it has replaced the C-2100UZ, but I do get a little sentimental about the old girl, and will probably take her out for some spins to get back to the joy of those years.

 Michael Meissner's gear list:Michael Meissner's gear list
Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus E-5 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 Olympus 14-150 F4-5.6 II +20 more
timhughes666 Senior Member • Posts: 1,723
Re: Why did you decide to buy Olympus ?

I used to have an slr many years ago,and I always loved art and photography . I had lots of simple point and shoot film cameras after i sold my slr because I was skint. My first digital camera was a 2Mp Fuji which I dropped and broke on holiday!! I didn't get another digital until my Pentax Optio WP , I only kept that for a while and then really got properly back into photography . I got a Sony DSC - H1(liked ) then a Sony H5 (HATED!) but realised I had outgrown then very quickly , rubbish over iso 100 and very limited features . Only up to f8??!! So I looked around for ages , I really fancied a Nikon D80 but couldnt really afford it . I had seen very good reviews for the Oly E500 and the two kit lenses were very highly rated. I liked the features and dust buster and the fact I could use old lenses and gain from the 2x Crop factor. As my budget was limited it was either the Oly E500 , Canon 350D or Pentax 100, or Nikon F40. Actually I could have just about got the D80 but preferred two decent lenses with money left over to get other bits !

I now have E500 14 - 45 , 40 - 150, 50 om macro, 28 mm 2.8 sigma, 100 - 300 f4 atx tokina, 400mm 5.6 tokina , Om 50 1.4 , 2 x om teleconverter, 1.5 Om teleconverter!

I am looking to get an fl36 flash , 90mm macro lens, E1 + 14 - 54 , 1.4 teleconverter !


Tim Hughes

Imboden Regular Member • Posts: 473
E-510's compact body, plus...
  • Relatively small lenses

  • IS

  • Dust-control system

I might have been tempted by Nikon's D40 or D40x if they'd offered IS, dust control, and an autofocusing fisheye, but they didn't (and don't).

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