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Olympus e420

Guest Broadsfreak

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Thinking of buying this, I've got a Mju compact digital and used to use an Olympus OM1 and Minolta film slr's. I'm a crap photographer really but always liked messing about with apatures and film speeds etc. Anyone got an opinion in this camera ?

Don't know much at all about digital but it comes with a 55-150mm zoom, would this be ok for bird photography ? I understand that you can crop pictures in the camera, is this a good way to enlarge images without buying a stupid big lens? what size film lens is this equivalent to ? no idea !

Hope for some answers !



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Hi Stefan

I have an Olympus E410 & E510 bodies with a number of lenses, I have been very pleased the olympus e-series using the four thirds system. The main advantage of the four thirds is the size of the sensor allowing very compact bodies and of course the focal length of the lenses are double the equivalent 35mm, i.e. the 40-150mm is equivalent to a 80-300mm on a 35mm camera.

The lens you mention supplied with the camera I believe is the Zuiko ED 40-150mm f4.0-5.6 telephoto Zoom. This an olympus standard lense and will give you reasonable results. this will be fine as a starting lens for bird photography. I would also suggest looking into a Standard zoom Zuiko ED 14-42mm f3.5-f5,6 as a lens for general purpose photography. Olympus produce a good range of lenses from standard kit lenses to top pro lenses to suit all budgets.

I have been very pleased with the results from both my cameras and would personally recommend them. I know Simon (Plesbit) will be cringing as he reads this reply, as I know he does not favour the four thirds system. In my view it is down to personal choice.


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Stephan wrote,

I'm a crap photographer really but always liked messing about with apatures and film speeds etc.

Hi Stephan,

Sorry I can't help with the Olympus details, but you shouldn't feel alone in the world of C**p photographers...I'm here with you!lol :roll:


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Ah, minority system users.... suddenly I feel all at home again. :lol:

If you had Minolta film SLR's and you have any of the Minolta lenses left they will mount on the current line of Sony Alpha SLR cameras because they use the same lens mount as Minolta did. If not, and you like the Oly's go for it. I'm not aware of having given the idea that I dislike Oly particularly. The industry is going through an interesting time. Oly has picked up on a niche and is throwing all, or most, of its eggs into that basket. The system has advantages as Colin has outlined, mostly regarding size. I imagine the sensor based IS on the bodies is quite effective with a relatively small sensor and the Zuiko lenses have a good reputation.

My only doubts about 4/3 is really whether the push by Canon, Nikon and Sony to go to 35mm sized sensors eventually kills the market for 4/3 which won't be able to compete on out and out image quality. But with FF comes other drawbacks; bigger and heavier bodies and lenses being the main two. So Oly may well still find a place for itself.

Amateur Photographer magazine this month has a shoot out between "the best compact", the Canon G10, and a 4/3's or maybe micro 4/3's (same sensor) camera and the 4/3's camera wipes the floor with it. Unless you're aiming to print massive posters all the time I can't see the image quality letting you down.

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  • 4 months later...

Hi Gang,

Well, I've ended up with an Olympus E520 twin lens kit, I've got a couple of skylight filters to protect the lenses and a remote control. The camera has remained in its box for a couple of days while I try desperately to understand how the thing works !

One thing that baffles me is understanding the optimum pixel sizes and compression, I anticipate just printing 5 x 7 pictures for a while and e mailing a few pics. Can anyone please advise me what set up is best ?

Does more compression mean less or more picture quality ? Do more pixels mean I can't mail pictures ?

Help Help any advice much appreciated !

Regards to all you Broads lovers ! cheers


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Hi Stefan

I agree with Jonzo regarding image size. Shoot at the highest quality you can, and then you have scope to be able to crop smaller areas from a photo without loosing detail. To start with I probably wouldn;t worry about shooting RAW, as you need software to convert the images to jpg to enable friends & family to view them.

To make the images smaller, for emailing for example, I use Microsoft Office Picture Manager which easily resizes images, but there is plenty of other software that does this too.

More compression means less quality, as you are squishing the pictures into a smaller file, and therefore discaring information.

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