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E300 out of moth-balls...

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  • E300 out of moth-balls...

    I shot for a couple years with an E300, I guess it was like 2004-5. Then I got a Nikon D40 (and more recently a D90), and loaned the Oly to my sister who was on her way to Korea for a couple years. She just got back, and we spent Christmas together. She got a new camera while over there and doesn't use the Oly anymore, so she returned it to me! Good timing, too, as my wife has really gotten into photography recently and we've been trying to share the D90, stressfully at times...
    I used the old E300 touring around Washington DC, while my wife shot the D90. I was always pretty happy with the images I got from the E300, but now when I compare the same shot from the 2 cameras, the Oly isn't even in the same league. Especially with ISO above 400, there's no comparison.
    Also, once you get used to a 3"LCD, menus you can whiz through with 1 finger, and all the cool off-camera flash control you have on the Nikon, it's really hard to enjoy yourself with the old Oly ...
    I plan to keep it around, though, mainly because it's not worth anything on the used market (I've seen them selling all the way down to $40 on eBay). It might also be fun to use it with various lens adapters, especially M42. Also, like I said, it will be good to have a second camera for when my wife and I would both like to shoot (although a used D40 body would also fill this niche for us pretty nicely).
    To be honest, though, on a nice sunny day, shooting things that don't move around much, it's not a bad little camera to use, but really hard to go back to...

  • #2
    Re: E300 out of moth-balls...

    I use an e300 and agree with everything you've said, just wish I could afford an upgrade. It has a tiny LCD, underexposes in anything which doesn't involve sunlight, and I end up post-processing most pictures in photoshop. It still beats the hell out of any compact camera for quality though.
    Craig
    Zuiko 14-45mm f 3.5-5.6, Sigma 18-125mm f3.5-5.6 and Pentacon 50mm f1.8 with M42 to 4/3rds adapter.

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    • #3
      Re: E300 out of moth-balls...

      if shots are coming out underexposed, why not just up the EV?
      My humble Photos

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      • #4
        Re: E300 out of moth-balls...

        I have been looking at E-510 prices on eBay and they are surprisingly high (£275 for a decent used kit), so no wonder it's hard for E-300 owners to upgrade. But I suppose that's good for Olympus owners as the gear seems to hold its value quite well.

        The E-300 shouldn't under expose. There may be a setting that is causing this. It might be worth re-setting the camera and starting afresh.

        The E-300 is the only E-System camera not in my collection...

        Ian
        Founder/editor
        Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
        Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
        Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
        Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
        Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
        Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
        Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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        • #5
          Re: E300 out of moth-balls...

          I agree, too, that the E300 should not under-expose. I've never had a problem with this.
          What I seem to notice more than anything is a lack of dynamic range; i.e. hard to expose for shadows and highlights, something gets lost. sometimes highlights blown and sometimes shadows lost...
          I'm going to try and shoot more in RAW and see if maybe this is more of a JPEG conversion problem. Either way, I think it's a problem I don't notice nearly as much with my D90.

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          • #6
            Re: E300 out of moth-balls...

            Originally posted by Ian View Post

            The E-300 is the only E-System camera not in my collection...

            Ian
            So which one is your favourite, Ian?
            Regards,
            Stephen

            My website: australisimages.com

            EM-1, E-3, E-500 | ZD 12-40mm, 12-60mm, 50-200mm, 70-300mm, 60mm Macro, 35mm Macro, 20mm Pany | FL50R & Metz 48 AF-1 Flash | Manfrotto tripod & monopod, Gorillapod

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            • #7
              Re: E300 out of moth-balls...

              Originally posted by Snibbo View Post
              So which one is your favourite, Ian?
              Of course I have a soft spot for the E-1, but I'd say the E-30 is my current fave.

              Ian
              Founder/editor
              Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
              Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
              Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
              Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
              Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
              Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
              Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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              • #8
                Re: E300 out of moth-balls...

                Originally posted by Ian View Post
                Of course I have a soft spot for the E-1, but I'd say the E-30 is my current fave.

                Ian
                I am curious: Why do you prefer it over the E-3?
                enjoy

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                • #9
                  Re: E300 out of moth-balls...

                  Originally posted by joachim View Post
                  I am curious: Why do you prefer it over the E-3?
                  OK, well I do love the sheer solidity of the E-3 build quality, but the E-30 has a couple of years extra R&D in it and it shows. I do use live view a fair bit and the E-30 live view is significanly more capable than the E-3's, and I also use high ISO from time to time and especially in low key images with large areas of darkness, at high ISO the E-3 can exhibit banding where the E-30 doesn't. The E-30 also has the digital level and AF calibrator, though I use the former more than the latter. If I need to go out in poor weather, the E-3 gets the nod, of course!

                  Ian
                  Founder/editor
                  Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                  Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                  Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                  Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
                  Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                  Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                  Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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                  • #10
                    Re: E300 out of moth-balls...

                    Originally posted by Ian View Post
                    OK, well I do love the sheer solidity of the E-3 build quality, but the E-30 has a couple of years extra R&D in it and it shows. I do use live view a fair bit and the E-30 live view is significanly more capable than the E-3's, and I also use high ISO from time to time and especially in low key images with large areas of darkness, at high ISO the E-3 can exhibit banding where the E-30 doesn't. The E-30 also has the digital level and AF calibrator, though I use the former more than the latter. If I need to go out in poor weather, the E-3 gets the nod, of course!

                    Ian
                    Thanks, makes all sense to me.
                    enjoy

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                    • #11
                      Re: E300 out of moth-balls...

                      Originally posted by TetonTom View Post
                      What I seem to notice more than anything is a lack of dynamic range; i.e. hard to expose for shadows and highlights, something gets lost. sometimes highlights blown and sometimes shadows lost...
                      That actually describes my problem better than I did. Generally the camera will underexpose, except when used in bright daylight or within flash range. If I up the Ev the highlights will be blownout, so I generally leave it darker as that is easier to remedy post-processing. I do find it extremely irritating though. My previous camera was a Minolta Dimage 5, it ate batteries and had plenty of limitations, but it took great pics for its 3.2 megapixels and I never had problems with exposure.

                      I may try shooting in raw too, and see if it helps, but I really want to get away from the computer end of things as much as possible... I have enough of that at work (in a photo lab). Processing is how I earn a living, taking photos is what i do to live...
                      Craig
                      Zuiko 14-45mm f 3.5-5.6, Sigma 18-125mm f3.5-5.6 and Pentacon 50mm f1.8 with M42 to 4/3rds adapter.

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                      • #12
                        Re: E300 out of moth-balls...

                        Well I have done a bit of shooting in Raw now, and quality is much improved. The larger file takes longer to write, so fast action will still have to be jpeg and hope for the best.

                        I'm not too impressed with the time spent on processing , but at least the photos are getting better.
                        Craig
                        Zuiko 14-45mm f 3.5-5.6, Sigma 18-125mm f3.5-5.6 and Pentacon 50mm f1.8 with M42 to 4/3rds adapter.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Tune your E-300

                          Originally posted by sigmata View Post
                          Well I have done a bit of shooting in Raw now, and quality is much improved. The larger file takes longer to write, so fast action will still have to be jpeg and hope for the best.

                          I'm not too impressed with the time spent on processing , but at least the photos are getting better.
                          The E-300 has a very fast memory architecture for its age. At the time it was new, it was only beaten by the top pro modells of Canon and Nikon. You need an Sandisk Extreme card (133x or faster) and it will write give you an average write time for a RAW file of about 1.3 sec, see http://olypedia.de/Geschwindigkeit_von_Speicherkarten for reference (all in German, but you will be able to read the numbers in the table). A 100x card is definitely half as fast, I measured that myself. A 4GB Sandisk Extreme CF card isn't very expensive these days if you know where to look.

                          Concerning the processing time, Olympus Master can be set up to convert an entire directory at default settings (what you dialed in at the camera) without any human intervention. Might take hours for several 100 files, but you can leave it over night. It is sort of proofing. You can assess quickly from the proofs which pictures are interesting and which are not. The ones which are not are not worth spending any more time on, appart from a proper treatment with the "DEL" key

                          Hope this helps.
                          enjoy

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                          • #14
                            Re: Tune your E-300

                            I checked the upgrade button on Olympus Master, and found that there is a version 2.3 free to download. I now have that and find that downloading and processing does seem to be much quicker than I had on Version 1 which came with the camera. There's also a good few new features too.

                            I am impressed with the better quality of the Raw files, but I'm still unsure as to why the Camera is so far out with it's jpeg conversions. I have tried upgrading the firmware but it doesn't go beyond version 1.5 which I already have.
                            Craig
                            Zuiko 14-45mm f 3.5-5.6, Sigma 18-125mm f3.5-5.6 and Pentacon 50mm f1.8 with M42 to 4/3rds adapter.

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                            • #15
                              Re: E300 out of moth-balls...

                              I took out my e300 the other day and I just love the sooc colour rendition, and with Retro manual lenses it is just a really enjoyable camera to shoot with.
                              I actually quite like the tiny LCD, as it keeps me from messing about with the settings too much, so I just set the ISO, match the speed and sunny sixteen all the way.
                              (Check the first couple for exposure)
                              I agree with the comments tho, it isn't easy in lower light…

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