Moving right along - Olympus E410, the first half-decent 4/3 - too late?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by mark.thomas.7, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. The dpreview take on this camera is quite interesting:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse410/

    Its performance in low light is actually rather good - ISO 800 looks
    very comparable to the Canon EOS400D. Slips behind a little at 1600
    but looks very similar to the Nikon D40x, which doesn't get much
    criticism for noise... Adjustable NR levels is a welcome addition to
    SLR's..

    And like it or not, Oly do make some very fine lenses, even if
    overpriced and a little large given the promises made for the 4/3
    format.

    One can't help wondering if 4/3 might have been quite healthy had they
    managed this camera about 2 years ago. But now, is it too late?

    I hope not. I've always been mighty fond of the Olympus cameras, even
    if they went a bit off course with some (most?) of their cameras over
    the last few years. (The marvellous C5050, C5060 and C8080 stand out
    as very good prosumers, but they seemed to lose it again with that 550
    thing).


    Anyway, I apologise for this Rich-ish post, but you'll note I haven't
    referred to plastic...
     
    mark.thomas.7, Jun 19, 2007
    #1
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  2. mark.thomas.7

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    Nope. As either a primary system or a travel system, that's a damned nice
    piece of hardware. What Oly needs to introduce is a pro-quality body capable
    of keeping up with what sportsshooters and journalists want. If they can
    make a 10MP sports/action cam that's smaller and lighter than the
    competition, they'll have something.
     
    Kinon O'Cann, Jun 19, 2007
    #2
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  3. mark.thomas.7

    Doug Jewell Guest

    I had a bit of a play with one - too small for me, I can't hold the thing
    properly. Yet to see the E510, but it should be identical to the E410 but in
    a more traditional sized body - I think that would be better for me. But for
    me the real killer on this camera is the 1-2 second shutter lag when in live
    view mode. Makes live view a complete waste of time. I know someone who
    traded in an E330 on an E410, and after a couple of days went back to where
    he bought it, and undid the deal. He has fairly small hands and prefered the
    feel of the E410, but overall he preferred the image quality and response
    time of the E330. I thought the E330 did the live view fairly well (except
    for the fact the viewfinder was always a bit darker than it should have
    been), and was disappointed to find the 410 so bad at live view.
    Interesting to note on dpreview, that although noise is comparable to
    400D/D40X at low ISO it is only because of the aggressive noise filtering,
    which comes at the expense of detail.
    Although those new lenses are small, I don't think the full benefits of 4/3
    have been achieved yet. I would expect that the lenses would be faster for
    their size. Especially given the small sensor which gives increased DOF. If
    the camera had a larger viewfinder image, with a 2.8 kit lens to give extra
    light to fill that smaller image, and also 2.8 to allow smaller shallower
    dof, I think it would be a much more flexible/usable camera. With the small
    sensor, a 14-42/2.8 lens should still be fairly small and compact. Given the
    negatives of 4/3 (small viewfinder, increased DOF, more noise), I think the
    lenses need to be such that the full benefit of the small frame can be
    achieved - ie, small fast lenses.
     
    Doug Jewell, Jun 19, 2007
    #3
  4. mark.thomas.7

    Ryadia Guest

    Olympus cameras have had a bit of a bashing they really never deserved. I
    still have some E300s from when I used them at Santa shoots. You are right
    100% about the lenses, Doug. The basic "kit" lenses leave a lot of Canon and
    Nikon lenses looking decidely junky.

    Until recently I had a 600mm OM lens I used on one of them via an adaptor
    ring. Amazing 1200mm equivlant range and crystal clear images. Sure they
    have a highlight issue but shooting up to1 stop under and lifting the
    picture post shoot usually cures that. When they eventually release a new
    "E" series Pro camera, I'll look closely at them again. The Panasonic
    sensors Olympus are starting to use instead of the Kodak ones are a big step
    forward. My FZ Panasonic produces some startlingly good images with
    definition equal to a 20D.

    I can't see the "live view" being much good to traditional photographers.
    They might do better concentrating on brighter viewfinders. But Oly lenses
    are on their own for quality at the lower end of the scale and most
    definitely at least as good as the best German glass at the top end.

    Douglas
     
    Ryadia, Jun 20, 2007
    #4
  5. mark.thomas.7

    Annika1980 Guest

    Interesting. In a previous post you wrote this:
    "All mirror lenses I've used (Minolta, Sigma and Nikon) produce
    absolutely crap images with poor definition and washed out colours."

    Google is bullying you, D-Mac.
     
    Annika1980, Jun 20, 2007
    #5
  6. mark.thomas.7

    Doug Jewell Guest

    Uhm... where did D-Mac say the 600mm lens was a mirror lens?
     
    Doug Jewell, Jun 20, 2007
    #6
  7. mark.thomas.7

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    The 600 isn't a mirror lens, is it?

    Best to check before you dump and run.
     
    Kinon O'Cann, Jun 20, 2007
    #7
  8. mark.thomas.7

    JD Guest

    The only mirror lens that Olympus produced in the OM mount was a 500mm
    F8 lens. The 400, 600 and 1000 were "normal" lenses.

    JD
     
    JD, Jun 21, 2007
    #8
  9. mark.thomas.7

    Alan Browne Guest

    It's good that they've improved on noise (I'll accept the stipulation)
    but as I've said in the past, as sensor pixel densities continue to
    climb then they will hit the noise wall soonest. As you say, they've
    not met the compactness promise (OTOH they seem to have not compromised
    at all on optical quality either).

    4/3 seems to me to be a dead end technology.

    BTW: "Adjustable NR levels" really means how much fidelity you're
    willing to give up for the _perception_ of less noise.

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Jun 23, 2007
    #9
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