E300 + 50-200MM birding test -Part 1


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Allan Teo

Senior Member
Jun 3, 2004
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#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
 

Allan Teo

Senior Member
Jun 3, 2004
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#2
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 :thumbsd:
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
 

uginz

New Member
Feb 4, 2004
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#3
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 =)
 

Caussway

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Dec 8, 2003
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#4
That's quite informative review Alan. ISO performance is really disappointing, cannot match the competition. These days ppl are looking at clean ISO800.
 

uginz

New Member
Feb 4, 2004
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#5
does the E300 have that noise reduction system thingy?
Allen, did you turn that on?
 

chii

New Member
Nov 30, 2004
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chiong.smugmug.com
#6
Allan Teo said:
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 .
:thumbsd:

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. :cry:
 

Allan Teo

Senior Member
Jun 3, 2004
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#7
chii said:
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 .
:thumbsd:

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. :cry:
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
 

Allan Teo

Senior Member
Jun 3, 2004
560
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#8
uginz said:
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
 

Allan Teo

Senior Member
Jun 3, 2004
560
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#9
uginz said:
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
 

chii

New Member
Nov 30, 2004
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chiong.smugmug.com
#11
Allan Teo said:
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. :dunno:

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

Allan Teo

Senior Member
Jun 3, 2004
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#13
sehsuan said:
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
 

Allan Teo

Senior Member
Jun 3, 2004
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#14
xmen2003 said:
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
 

Jul 26, 2002
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Woodlands
#15
The FZ10 is a nice PnS camera but its menu system is totally crap. Its so hard just to change anything.
 

Zenten

Deregistered
Jun 13, 2004
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#16
Evilmerlin said:
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. :thumbsup:
 

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