Monday, September 3, 2007

Digital SLR - Olympus E510

Hi - I bought Olympus E510 last month, and I almost forget to update this Ubuntu site :D

This camera is amazing. It's small, affordable, but the picture quality is very sharp (sharper than my colleague's non-Olympus DSLR camera).

Some useful feature of this camera (also applicable to other brand/type of camera) :
  1. Save to JPG and RAW format (2 format) at once. It's very useful when we save it to computer, the file manager will only display the JPG ones. The RAW format (.ORF) can not be displayed automatically. So selecting photo is very convenience when we keep the JPG formats.
  2. Ability to take some picture in one shot. It's very useful when we are taking moving pictures. We could select the best picture from certain time frame.
  3. Live View - this feature allow us to see the picture, live, during the composing. Don't forget to change the "autofocus" button to other button (other than the shutter button). Otherwise we have to focus it manually. Usually this feature is found on either non DSLR camera or the top end DSLR camera (could be 10 times more expensive). Frankly I dont use this feature very often, but sometime it could be very useful.
Some key advantages of this camera :
  1. Very compact & small - I think it's the smallest & lightest compared to the two main DSLR player
  2. The body is very intelligent, body support IS (Image Stabilization) and ultrasonic dust cleaning - which (based on my experiences) is very effective. I shoot using 150 mm (equivalent to 300 mm telephoto) using stock lens during Ironsmith music show in Las Vegas (from distance), and the picture quality is amazing. No movement distorsion, even though the light was not very bright.
  3. Camera body & lens are designed from scratch for Digital purpose only, so the body is compact, the lest is small, and light from lens will all covers the picture sensor, meaning that the sensor get 100% of light. Compared to DSLR with non-digital lens : the sensor will receive about 50% of light because the sensor is smaller (about 50%) than a normal negative film. When I took some comparison with my colleague's DSLR, my picture were always brighter, as if my lens has better/faster specs.....
Important accessories :
  1. Good Tripod (I bought Manfrotto 725B - small, light, strong, and very quick to setup)
  2. Flash Light, I bought Olympus FL-36. This flash light is small but quite powerful. However, I think I should bought FL-50 instead (the largest Olympus flash, but twice as expensive)
  3. Battery Charger for Flash, I bought Maha Powerex MH-C9000. This charger is very intelligent, it could charge 1 to 4 battery, and can analyze/charge/discharge/break/etc. individually between 1 to 4 battery. Downside : charger is relative large....
  4. Battery for Flash, I bought Maha 2700mAH (this is the largest capacity available in the market when I bought it)
  5. Backup battery for camera body
  6. Lens filter : UV for lens protection (Hoya IR filter also good if you want to experiment with near Infra Red photo !)
  7. Remote control, required to take BULB photo, very convenient (however I don't have it, I couldn't find it everywhere in my town)
  8. Gary Fong Diffuser. This thing looks weird when attached to the Flash, but it take a very good close up photo with flash. The picture result is natural, and very sharp.
  9. Additional Memory. I bought 2GB Olympus xD Picture card, it's cheap, and you could experiment with Panorama photo on Olympus E510 (Panorama will activate the Live View, and you will be guided with several lines & boxes to take good photos to be stitched to form one wide panorama photo).
Below are some pictures taken with this camera (using JPEG 1/8 compression from the camera, without any editing) :

Biasa at Bali

The photo above was taken in Bali last month, with "Auto" setting from my camera. While the photo below was taken last week with Gary Fong diffuser attached to my flash. You can see, that even though I took the picture below in less than 50 cm, the baby's face still look very natural, and no red eye ! (I didn't use any red eye reduction on the camera - well..., I can't remember if there is one, because I never use it).

Ghia - my nephew