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View Full Version : HELP! E-520 any good?



gengh
9th February 2010, 06:25 PM
Hi,

I'm looking for purchase help!
I recently bought an Olympus EP-1, and I think it is great! However, one thing the pen is not good for is taking picture of kids, AF is just to slow.

I also have a Canon 40D with 17-55IS F/2.8 which I really like, but I'm thinking about selling it for a used Olympus E-520 with 14 - 54 mm f 2.8-3,5. It would be nice being able to use the same flash and some of the same lenses...

I see myself mostly using the pen, but want a camera with good autofocus and autofocus tracking for taking pictures of my kids. I also would like to use a flash with TTl without having major shutter lag (as with the EP-1).

Any E-520 users with kids who would like to share experiences about this? Should at look at another E-series camera or lens?

click-click
9th February 2010, 06:51 PM
Honestly, I didn't like my E-520. I've upgraded to E-620 which is a better camera in several aspects, including focusing. Still, for fast moving targets, i.e. running kids, it may still be too slow.

gengh
9th February 2010, 07:12 PM
Honestly, I didn't like my E-520. I've upgraded to E-620 which is a better camera in several aspects, including focusing. Still, for fast moving targets, i.e. running kids, it may still be too slow.

Thanks, maybe I need to keep my 40D.
It's very tempting selling it though. Used prices for Olympus are so low that I could by the E-520 and the lens for what I would get for my Canon 40D body...

Ian
9th February 2010, 08:55 PM
Thanks, maybe I need to keep my 40D.
It's very tempting selling it though. Used prices for Olympus are so low that I could by the E-520 and the lens for what I would get for my Canon 40D body...

The Canon 40D is OK - it's fast (6fps) and has a very good AF system, but the E-520 has a better live view system, arguably better JPEG colour, and the cheaper Olympus lenses are much better than the cheaper Canon ones.

Ian

gengh
9th February 2010, 09:13 PM
The Canon 40D is OK - it's fast (6fps) and has a very good AF system, but the E-520 has a better live view system, arguably better JPEG colour, and the cheaper Olympus lenses are much better than the cheaper Canon ones.

Ian

Thanks. I usually shoot RAW, but i really like the colors my Olympus Pen has, especially the skin tones (I'm using lightroom). I have a good canon system, the Canon 17-55IS is very good but big. I was thinking the Olympus 14-54 F2.8 would be in the same league.
Maybe my best bet is to wait for better CDAF in the Micro Four Thirds system.

Tisza
10th February 2010, 08:59 PM
Hi!

I have an E-520 and couldn't be happier with it, especially for photographing the kids in the family. Now, bear in mind that I am still fairly new at DSLR use and that up until recently I was only working with the two kit lenses (14-42mm & 40-150mm). That being said, I started getting great kid pics right out of the box and haven't looked back since.

The camera seems to "think" fast enough to get the shot and as I have learned more about it this has improved (within the limits of the lens speed of course). My hubby and I both have Oly's, he has the E-500 and an E-520 so we have the option of sharing accessories. He has an FL-36 (not the 36R with the remote flash capability :-( ) and I don't see an appreciable lag when he uses it, as long as the batteries in it are nice and fresh. I have the Olympus Ring Flash and it does have a tiny delay but usually when I am photographing the kids I am outside using natural light so the flash doesn't come into play.

By the way, the kids in question range from infant to teen with a heavy concentration on the toddler stage (1 to almost 3) and you know that none of them stay in one place for long.

One of the main things that I really appreciate with my E-520 is the size/weight since it allows me to haul it around pretty much everywhere thus giving me big camera performance with a small camera feel. And, it allows for relatively unobtrusive use so I can get in close without having to get in close if you know what I mean. The two kit lenses (14-42 & 40-150) both allow for this and give you a lot of bang for your buck.

The in-camera stabilization means that whatever eyes I give it will have benefit of this feature and the live view boost allows the camera to see and show me what it is seeing under much more extreme conditions (super bright light or when and infrared filter is attached for instance).

The E-620 which was also mentioned by someone above does have one feature that I would like and that is the multi-positionable LCD which would allow for ease of use in some very extreme angles. Of course the trade off for using the LCD versus the view finder is that you do get a bit of a delay since the camera has to do more to get things out of the way to take the shot. But it does seem to be a cool feature.

As for your Canon lenses, I have heard that there are adapter rings available for the Oly which allow for the use of other brands of lenses but I think that only applies to OM lenses and not digital. I haven't used them nor do I know anyone who has but it might be worth investigation.

And, at the risk of starting a firestorm, one of the first things I learned when preparing for my first DSLR purchase was that dollar for dollar Oly makes the best "glass". If I had chosen to go with Nikon or Canon I wouldn't be able to have half of the firepower that I do simply because the lenses for those systems are so dang pricey. The down side is that finding things for my Oly can be a tad more challenging (I do most of my shopping via the internet) because the smaller camera stores near me don't stock as much for my camera as they might for the Nikon or Canon.

One other thing to note regarding the 520 vs. the 620 is the battery difference. The 520 uses the larger BLM-1 battery which gives a really long performance life versus the 620's smaller battery BLS-1 but on the 620's side it does offer an external battery handgrip which give a couple of neat features like a shutter release allowing for portrait orientation.

There is also a difference in mp's, 10.0 for the 520 versus 12.3 for the 620. Depending upon what you are going to do with the pictures after the fact this may or may not matter much to you. One other thing to consider is the body size of the camera. Since both are smaller, lighter DSLR's that can present a problem if you have larger hands.

The 520 has a slightly larger body than the 620 and fits comfortably in both my and my hubby's hands.

Bottom line for me would be which features appeal most, how do the cameras feel in my hands and what do the pictures look like without doctoring.

I don't think you would go wrong with either of these especially for capturing "life's little moments" to steal a phrase :-)

Hope I helped and sorry for being so long-winded. Take care and have a wonderful day!

Tisza

gengh
10th February 2010, 09:33 PM
Thank you, a very nice user report! I'm 90% certain my Canon gear will be up for sale pretty soon. I won't be able to use my Canon lenses or flash, but they hold value pretty good so it's ot a big loss.

John Perriment
10th February 2010, 09:39 PM
That's an excellent first post on the forum, Tisza. Why not introduce yourself in a seperate thread so taht we can welcome you properly. A big welcome from me, anyhow! :)

John Perriment
10th February 2010, 09:52 PM
Thank you, a very nice user report! I'm 90% certain my Canon gear will be up for sale pretty soon. I won't be able to use my Canon lenses or flash, but they hold value pretty good so it's ot a big loss.

I'm just wondering if the E-520 will deliver all you need in comparison to the 40D. In some respects it is better, and in terms of glass it is certainly better, but my gut feeling (without ever having used a 40D) is that the Canon holds advantage in terms of your key reuirements of autofocus and frame rate.

Might I suggest looking at the E-30? Sure, it's more expensive than the E-520 but there are some excelent deals around at the moment and you get a hell of a camera for the money. It's a newer, higher ranking model, meaning you're less likely to be tempted down the upgrade path too soon and in my view it is a definite upgrade from the Canon rather than a sideways move - with the benefit of better glass as well. :)

click-click
10th February 2010, 09:53 PM
/.../
The 520 has a slightly larger body than the 620 and fits comfortably in both my and my hubby's hands.


Agree on this - 520 has a better grip, no doubt. I missed that. My biggest discontent with 520 was when it couldn't find focus in dimly lit interiors.

gengh
11th February 2010, 07:29 AM
Thanks for the advice, it's a tough decision. My key requirements are good AF and no shutter lag using flash, so maybe the E30/E3 will be the way to go. Looking at the E-520 it only has 3 focus points, and I often use the 9 different points on my 40D. I don't really need better high ISO performance than the 40D or E-P1 has.

I would really like to be able to have just one system built on 4/3 or M4/3, having good Canon gear as well is expensive.

ghartog
29th April 2010, 06:21 PM
I am the happy owner of an e520. For the money there is no better deal available than the e520 and the 2 lens kit. That being said, given your requirements I would recommend an e30 with a 14-54 MK II, or the 50-200 SWD. This combo should more than meet your needs. For a flash I would recommend the Metz 48 AF-1. It will interface with your e30 and will provide 100% of the capabilities of the FL-36R but it has a higher guide number (48 vs 36). New you are looking at about $1500 for this rig, however you should be able to get the price down if you do a little shopping and go for used and/or refurb.

gengh
30th April 2010, 06:57 AM
Thanks for all your replies. I have sold all my Canon gear now, and bought a used E-620 w twin kit lens/FL-36R, a 70-300 and 14-54 II as well as some lighting gear.
There are some very good deals on used olympus gear now, and the 70-300 cost me only 219$ new :)

So far I'm very satisfied with this gear, it's smaller and the 14-54 II is really good. Pictures look good straight out of camera, and I really like the colors and sharpness!

Ross
30th April 2010, 12:09 PM
Good to hear you ended up with a nice Oly. I enjoyed using my E520, but it was a little slow to focus in some situations, such as kids & dogs (& they can be gone before you even raise your camera) & not as capable in lower light as the E620/E30. I used the 14-54 II lens on my E520 (which is a lovely lens & it helped in focusing in lower light with a larger aperture) for a year, then I got a used E30 earlier this year which has been a pleasure to use & your E620, being a lighter similar camera to the E30, should be great too.

Hope you enjoy your new outfit & produce a lot of lovely images (& capture a lot of lovely memories).

Ross

PS you will love the reach of the 70-300 lens & its quality for price, but be a little patient with it's focussing speed.

Ned
30th April 2010, 04:22 PM
Thanks for all your replies. I have sold all my Canon gear now, and bought a used E-620 w twin kit lens/FL-36R, a 70-300 and 14-54 II as well as some lighting gear.
There are some very good deals on used olympus gear now, and the 70-300 cost me only 219$ new :)

So far I'm very satisfied with this gear, it's smaller and the 14-54 II is really good. Pictures look good straight out of camera, and I really like the colors and sharpness!


Good kit you picked up. :) You should get a Four-Thirds to Micro Four-Thirds mount adapter (The Panasonic one is about $50 cheaper than the Olympus one, but they are the same except for color), and try out the Zuiko 14-54mm II on your E-P1 Pen. They are a sweet match...

gengh
30th April 2010, 05:36 PM
Good kit you picked up. :) You should get a Four-Thirds to Micro Four-Thirds mount adapter (The Panasonic one is about $50 cheaper than the Olympus one, but they are the same except for color), and try out the Zuiko 14-54mm II on your E-P1 Pen. They are a sweet match...
Thanks for the tip about the panasonic adapter, will put it my shopping list after my wife has recovered from my shopping spree...!

Ned
1st May 2010, 04:32 PM
Get it in now before the shock settles and she sits down with the numbers. ;)