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Thread: E300 + 50-200MM birding test -Part 1

  1. #1

    Default E300 + 50-200MM birding test -Part 1

    Hi
    Went to SBWR to do some testing.. The shots here are test shots
    and not meant to be any nature photo potrait.

    All photos were taken at ISO 400 unless otherwise stated.
    ISO 800 should only be used in desperation. All shots were
    taken in RAW and a shutter speed above 1/300. Aperature
    was set by the camera.

    There is a limit to the quality of the photos it seems.. all
    photos have to be reduced by 30% to produce acceptable
    quality.. I could be doing something wrong but I dont think
    so. The 'stains' on the CCD showed up on one of the photos.

    The 2X crop factor was not too helpful as photos taken at
    full 200MM zoom has a limit, I think you need to limit the
    subject to fill 1/2 your viewfinder before it can yield anything useful.

    All photos had to be reduced 30% . USM and cropped to Clubsnap size
    before being posted. Full 200MM zoom.


    Green Pigeon at the entrance to the SBWR


    Waders flying in tight formation




    Butterfly closeup




    Painted Stork at ISO800 - not very good




    Large Bee

    End of part 1

  2. #2

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    Part 2
    ======


    White Belly about to grab fish flying in front of me. Sun was reaching
    11.15 PM so shots are getting difficult





    Today I counted over 60 or more painted storks flying
    in formation.. Too bad it was 12.30 PM and the sun was
    in the way but as you can see the Aperature happened to be
    F22 and the stains on the CCD showed up
    May not be very visible to you but it is in Oly Master
    raw mode in the original format.



    At ISO 400 there is visible noise on the kingfisher when the
    surrounding is dark. So Switch back to iso 100/200 for these
    kinds of shots.


    Conclusion

    I wish for the faster focus of the E1 and the very good
    ISO 400 on the E300 on the future E2.

    Auto focus is not very fast and the camera can get Occasionally
    'jammed' and focused is out - you need to
    force re-focus but the subject has flown away.

    Wakeup from Standby is very slow, I missed some great
    opportunities.

    When you take birds with white feathers, adjusting EV is very
    difficult as you need to press the EV and then swing the thumbwheel.

    Adjusting flash compensation is also very difficult.

    The E300 is an excellent Macro and closeup
    camera and great for taking stationary objects

    Oly master user interface is not too well designed,, no instant
    preview before applying changes.

    You need to know how the E300 performs in
    different situations before venturing out. best is
    to write down your discoveries on a small notepad
    laminate it and go use it.

    The progammed Shutter+/- mode is not useful
    at all, in fact it is confusing - you cannot set it
    back to neutral easily and if your camera goes on
    standby it reset to neutral. The reading does
    not show if it is 2 shutter + or - below what
    the firmware has selected.

    After each shot is taken you need to wait
    until it writes to the card then you press
    the play key then you can zoom in and out.
    This is downright DUMB, why not have it
    so that when the photo is written allow
    me to zoom in/out as long as the photo
    is displayed without having to press the
    play button first? This makes it very difficult
    to adjust for changing light conditions.. as
    it is very annoying to "shoot, wait, play , check."




    For what I paid for it, on a scale of 1 to 10
    I give it a 6.5.. I am not sure if I should
    even look toward an E2 because the
    50-200 is too short in range for animal photography.

    Unless Oly comes out with a cheaper non WX proof
    lens soon, its not going to be justified.

    I am not sure how it performs with a TC so
    that could be my next test.


    Regds
    Allan
    Last edited by Allan Teo; 19th December 2004 at 09:36 PM.

  3. #3

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    picx look very noisy. and the kingfisher one looks very purple. is it the fault of the cam?
    maybe if you used lower iso settings the pix will look less noisy.

    however the macro shots looks good =)

  4. #4
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    That's quite informative review Alan. ISO performance is really disappointing, cannot match the competition. These days ppl are looking at clean ISO800.

  5. #5

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    does the E300 have that noise reduction system thingy?
    Allen, did you turn that on?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Teo
    Part 2
    ======

    Wakeup from Standby is very slow, I missed some great
    opportunities.

    When you take birds with white feathers, adjusting EV is very
    difficult as you need to press the EV and then swing the thumbwheel.

    Adjusting flash compensation is also very difficult.

    Oly master user interface is not too well designed,, no instant
    preview before applying changes.

    The progammed Shutter+/- mode is not useful
    at all, in fact it is confusing - you cannot set it
    back to neutral easily and if your camera goes on
    standby it reset to neutral. The reading does
    not show if it is 2 shutter + or - below what
    the firmware has selected.

    After each shot is taken you need to wait
    until it writes to the card then you press
    the play key then you can zoom in and out.
    This is downright DUMB, why not have it
    so that when the photo is written allow
    me to zoom in/out as long as the photo
    is displayed without having to press the
    play button first? This makes it very difficult
    to adjust for changing light conditions.. as
    it is very annoying to "shoot, wait, play , check."

    I am not sure if I should even look toward an E2 because the
    50-200 is too short in range for animal photography.

    Regds
    Allan
    Have to agree with allan on these points.

    I too find the metering hopeless..as it cuts sensing after a short period of time & to initialise it is a PAIN .


    As for shooting wildlife eps birds in flight, a 200mm lens is not enough to get real close. I suppose a 500mm~ 600mm would be more suited, but they are costly & difficult to handle due to weight issues.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by chii
    Have to agree with allan on these points.

    I too find the metering hopeless..as it cuts sensing after a short period of time & to initialise it is a PAIN .


    As for shooting wildlife eps birds in flight, a 200mm lens is not enough to get real close. I suppose a 500mm~ 600mm would be more suited, but they are costly & difficult to handle due to weight issues.
    Yes, I think the 200MM is actually a 400 MM end result ..but I am very shocked at the LACK OF DETAIL, my D70 at 6 MP shows great detail when
    it was displayed 1:1, the Green Pigeon was in focus but blurry and
    it was only on a branch overhanging the road! 1 storey high.. I
    had to shrink the image to get some detail back...

    I am beginning to SUSPECT that this camera's CCD is actually
    4MP but extrapolated to 8MP, According the DPreview forum
    people say that the 8800 is also 4MP extrapolated to 8. and they
    ask people to shoot at 3MP.. to get more detail.

    Anyway I need to do more test.. I will be testing to C-AF as according
    to my E1 owner friend the camera will track the subject.

    C-AF on the D70+80-400 lens is hopeless as the lens is too slow. But
    the 50-200 should be fast enough.. Will post the updates later.

    Allan

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by uginz
    does the E300 have that noise reduction system thingy?
    Allen, did you turn that on?
    At ISo 400 the Kingfisher photo show that there is
    noise reduction being done in the camera , EVEN when
    photos are taken in RAW. However the software goes
    NUTS, when it encounters a bird in a dark spot..

    You notice that all the 'outdoor' closeup ,ISO400 photos are
    very good..

    Noise reduction on the camera is only for 'long exposure' these
    shot were taken in 1/500 -- 1/1250 speed.

    Allan

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by uginz
    picx look very noisy. and the kingfisher one looks very purple. is it the fault of the cam?
    maybe if you used lower iso settings the pix will look less noisy.

    however the macro shots looks good =)
    Yes these are test shots to know the camera..
    ISO 400 are fantastic at CLOSE SUNLIT objects
    but horrible when subject is hidden in dark areas.

    If you use ISO < 400 it is very DIFFICULT to photograph
    flying birds since the shutter is at least 1/500 and the
    ISO 200 ? It will come out dark unless the sun is SUPER
    BRIGHT.. it was dark cloudly today.

    Allan

  10. #10
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    um, did you buy the camera just to testdrive it?

    how come you ended up with f/22 shooting birds in daylight?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Teo
    Yes, I think the 200MM is actually a 400 MM end result ..but I am very shocked at the LACK OF DETAIL, my D70 at 6 MP shows great detail when
    it was displayed 1:1, the Green Pigeon was in focus but blurry and
    it was only on a branch overhanging the road! 1 storey high.. I
    had to shrink the image to get some detail back...

    I am beginning to SUSPECT that this camera's CCD is actually
    4MP but extrapolated to 8MP, According the DPreview forum
    people say that the 8800 is also 4MP extrapolated to 8. and they
    ask people to shoot at 3MP.. to get more detail.

    Allan
    lets hope it is not the case of extrapolated sensors. Cos it seems my 5050z can shoot sharper images den the E-300.

    I will run a more indept test when I have the time.

  12. #12
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    Looking at the photos, I think it is better off getting a Pansonic FZ10/FZ20.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by sehsuan
    um, did you buy the camera just to testdrive it?

    how come you ended up with f/22 shooting birds in daylight?
    I BOUGHT the camera because I wanted to have a DUST FREE
    sensor.

    If you read my initial note all aperature is set by the CAMERA
    not by me. I control the shutter speed..

    When the shutter speed is set at say 1/800 and the sun suddenly
    comes out, the aperature must MAX out if the photo is not
    to be overexposed..

    Allan

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by xmen2003
    Looking at the photos, I think it is better off getting a Pansonic FZ10/FZ20.
    I have an FZ10 and I would not really say that.. To shoot fast
    objects, the MENU system on the panasonic is no where near
    what you need.. it would be a hindrance.

    To shoot stationary objects or slow moving ones, I think you
    can still cope but the noise on the FZ10 sensor is not what
    I like to see.

    There are two kinds of 'noise' in digital camera , Noise that
    can be CANNOT be seen on printed photos and noise that
    can be seen on electronic screens.. Since I rarely print my
    photos, almost all noise annoys me.

    Allan

  15. #15
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    The FZ10 is a nice PnS camera but its menu system is totally crap. Its so hard just to change anything.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evilmerlin
    The FZ10 is a nice PnS camera but its menu system is totally crap. Its so hard just to change anything.
    It takes some getting-use-to to take charge of the FZ10/20. In the end, we are able to cope, just like DSLR users when they first started off on their cameras. The FZs are pretty sharp at full zoom with the F2.8 constant Leica lens, it has been proven time and again.

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