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Olympus E300


peterhorner 16 64
20 Apr 2005 9:03AM
Hi All

I'm currently looking at buying an Olympus E300. I was wondering if anyone else here was using this camera, and how it compares to others such as the Nikon D70 and Canon EOS 350D

Thanks

P
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2005 9:11AM
Nikon and Canon have a bigger lens range. The 4/3 lens range is not too well supported. They tend to be expensive and no second hand options. At least with all the others you can use existing film SLR lenses.

Have a look at [link=http://www.dpreview.com]www.dpreview.com [/link] for a review. I would think about the Canon, Nikon, and Pentax offerings first myself.
bradleysmith 17 157 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2005 9:14AM
I've got an E-300. Delighted with it.

How does it compare with the Canon and the Nikon? Not sure as I haven't used either of them in anger.
I can tell you this though:

The kit lens with the E-300 is great. I'm not sure the same can be said for what Canon and Nikon give you.
The Canon and - to a lesser extent - the Nikon have less noise at high ISO settings. Might be important to you, might not.
The Canon and Nikon both have anti-shake lenses available for them, Olympus do not.
The Olympus has an anti-dust system that really works i.e. no need to clean your sensor.
Olympus have a 28-70mm (35mm film equiv field of view) constant f/2.0 zoom coming out. That's the fastest standard zoom ever made.
Olympus has the widest range of dedicated digital lenses available.
Olympus has less lenses available in total (including film lenses) than both Canon and Nikon.
The E-300 is an absolutely brilliant price, especially the 2 lens kit if you hunt around.

P.S. You can get adapters that allow you to use Olympus OM, Nikon and Canon manual focus lenses on the E-300.
Lens support is getting better all the time. Sigma are part of the 4/3rds consortium and are already producing 4/3 lenses.
Panasonic are brining out a 4/3 DSLR next year.
i.e. Support for 4/3rds is getting better all the time.
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2005 9:25AM
Just a note. The sigma 4/3 lenses are the APS ones with an olympus mount, so it will be more likely to run into CA and resolution issues on the Olympus system. The non Ex ones are probably going to run into that issue 1st.

Also it is true that the Canon kit lens gets panned, but the Nikon one is generaly well received. And on prices, I can pick up a f2.8 70-210mm (11-336mm eff) for 300 second hand. I would try one next to a D70 or a 350D before you jump. I think the D70 with its kit lens and 100 cash back would be hard to resist.
bradleysmith 17 157 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2005 11:14AM
Best thing is to try them out Peter. Think about what lenses you need too and pick a system that has the focal lengths and features you are after.

If you have any E-300 specific questions I'd be happy to answer them.
peterhorner 16 64
20 Apr 2005 11:33AM
Thanks for your replies ...

I went to my local camera store today but they never had any instock.

I will do some shopping around over the weekend, try it and other models out, and get the best price.

I take mostly landscapes, and would like to do more wildlife photography ... so a wide angle lense, and fairly long zoom are a must ...

As I also run a large format printing company I need something with very low noise, to create massive prints.

The other factor for me is that i am used to using olympus cameras, so this would be an easy transition for me ...
bradleysmith 17 157 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2005 1:43PM
Wide angle? How does a 7mm sound? Grin

For a fairly long zoom you have the Sigma 55-200mm giving you a 35mm equiv of 110-400mm at the budget end, through to a 300mm f/2.8 at a very expensive 4k+, with a 50-200mm Olympus on the way. Check ot the lens prices on WarehouseExpress.

Noise is not an issue on the E-300 until you go past iso 400, plus you'll get all those lovely Olympus colours you're used to with those digital Zuiko lenses.
bppowell 19 2.2k 2 England
20 Apr 2005 2:05PM
I have the E300 and I am very happy with it.

Just bought the Sigma 55-200mm and getting to know it, I would like a 300mm but there is not one available in my price range, but Sigma may have one soon.

I have not had much success outdoors yet because the lighting has been so poor but I have had some very good shots indoors. The Sigma lens cost 109 from Warehouse express and fits straight on to the E300 no adaptor is needed, it is less than have the size and weight of my Olympus 54-200mm.

Using the Olympus 1.4 Teleconverter and the Olympus 54-200mm I have taken some very good outdoor shots (check my portfolio).

I have tried the Sigma lens with the 1.4 tele but the results were poor, I may have to invest in a Sigma tele if ones becomes available.

Barry
itinerario 17 42 Netherlands
20 Apr 2005 11:39PM
Ive been contemplating the E-300 too, so Ive read a lot of reviews. There are a few issues that worry me. (1) The noise at higher ISO-levels (since I like to photograph church interiors). (2) Exposure problems, particularly with highlights close to the centre of the image. (3) It takes five (!) hours to charge the battery and spare batteries are very expensive. Interestingly, while pro reviews invariably rate the E-300 below Nikon and Canon (even the 300D), user reviews (at least in Holland) do exactly the opposite. I had almost decided to buy the Olympus (because of the anti-dust function) when the Canon 350D came out and now there are also new cameras with a lot of exiting features announced by Nikon (D50 and D70s), so I think Ill wait a couple of months before making a choice.
conrad 16 10.9k 116
21 Apr 2005 1:30AM
What I read here about those exposure problems you mention, would be enough to keep me from being interested in this camera (if I didnt already have a nice one), but I have to say that I like the way it handles dust.

Conrad

(Just thought Id add a non-Dutch review to what youve already read...)
bradleysmith 17 157 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2005 1:33AM
Olympus batteries are expensive yes but I just use a spare 3rd party one from Hahnel. About twenty quid IIRC.

The Sigma 55-200 is a pretty good lens but it does get soft at the long end. Up to 150mm it's pretty good though, especially for 109!

To get the best out of an E-300 does require you spend some time with it.

There have been 2 firmware updates for the E-300 since the online reviews at dpreview etc. were done. Since then the following has been fixed / enhanced:

1. Erratic white balance fixed
2. Erratic exposure in ESP mode fixed (Oly kept quiet about this one mind!)
3. High Speed Support for the new LExar Extreme 3 cards
4. Mirror Lock-up feature added

When it comes to high iso performance Canon is king, no doubt about that so if you think you'll be shooting at iso 1600 a lot of the time then the Olympus would disappoint you compared to a Canon 350D.

I'd go visit the various Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Pentax and Olympus user forums over at dpReview. By spending some time looking at the conversations going on you might be able to gauge what real users of each system think about them. In my opinion that's more vaulable than one reviewer's opinion who may or may not be biased for or against a particular system.

Good luck in your hunt guys!

P.S. Check the review Conrad posted to see if they tested it with firmware 1.0 : if they did then it's likely that any exposure issues they found are no longer a problem. *everyone* over at the dpreview forums (myself included) was moaning about the metering on the E-300 when it came out but since firmware 1.1 I bet you won't find a single complain.
conrad 16 10.9k 116
21 Apr 2005 2:05AM

Quote:Check the review Conrad posted to see if they tested it with firmware 1.0


It doesnt mention the firmware version, but its dated February 2005. Would that mean they had the first firmware version?

Conrad
bradleysmith 17 157 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2005 2:57AM
Conrad,

Hard to tell. The definitely didn;t have the latest firmware because that was released March 29th. 1.1. may have been out in feb but I can't find the details. I would imagine they were using the original firmware.

Olympus made a serious error of judgement in releasing the E-300 before the firmware was ready IMO and they've had a bunch of bad reviews as a result of it.
peterhorner 16 64
21 Apr 2005 1:27PM
Thanks for all the help!

Today I brought the Olympus E300 from my local camera store and I love it. I got a great deal. I obviously have the kit lense (14-45mm) and a telephoto (40-150mm) as well!

I think I was meant to have this one. They had just got it in, it was the only one there. And also the Olympus Rep happened to be there, which was great as I got to quiz him about the camera and pick his brains. He also happened to use an E300 as his personal camera.

Hopefully the sun will be shining tomorrow so I can put it through its paces.

By the way ... I did also look at the Canon EOS 350D ... but didn't like the feel of it ... it didn;t feel comfy in my hand ... maybe my large hands, but the E300 feels very comfy.

P
bppowell 19 2.2k 2 England
21 Apr 2005 1:35PM
So the first thing you need to do is install the software that came with it, make sure the camera is in storage mode (via menu) (opposite to E1)connect to PC and update the camera and lens to the lastest firmware versions, I would be surprised if the camera came with the latest version.

Barry

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