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Thread: Olympus E-420 in my hands

  1. #26
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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    Correct--at least on the E-3 the default position is "Normal," which as I understand it is as good as off. On the "Normal" setting, noise in the shadows is greatly reduced compared to "Auto," esp. at higher ISOs, regardless of in-camera NR settings.

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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclone13 View Post
    The E-420 vs. E3 picture is great lol
    I think that it was funny too. Even the 25mm on the E-3 is a sight to see.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclone13 View Post
    I don't know but I, for one, am not happy at all to see how much noise the 420 is pumping out at even ISO 400. I was hoping that this round of cameras/sensors from Olympus would bring a one stop increase in ISO noise improvement but it looks like that is not the case. 400 has noticable noise even when viewed at a reduced image size (wood/wine in bottom left corner gets the worst of it). ISO 800 has very visable noise in the wooden wine shelves when viewed at a low image size, and 1600 ISO is unusable for anthing but snapshots and heavy NR use for me.
    Really - I would assume that they are quite printable. I have printed huge photos which were much more noisy than that, and they were fine. But as sven said, I have been playing with the auto, shadow, and highlight, gradation. I mean sure I can say after 100 shots, X. But really I will wait for anything final. Basically then noise levels between the 3 shots using auto gradation is similar (You should notice how I was looking for a different place to meter going further from the window, so that the camera as I guessed would boost the ISO, as it did) In the shadow areas, it is about as much detail as the other pictures.

    The one consistent problem with these 3 test shots of the wine is that the 420 seems to do terrible with shadow noise (also does poorly with the shadows in the baby picture too). More so than a lot of the current competition. I don't know if this is because of the auto gradiant setting or what have you but the issue remains that noise is an issue at even ISO 400 straight out of the camera (frame should be almost completely clean of noise at ISO 400). If you are going to be printing larger than 8x10 at above ISO 400 then it looks like some serious NR is going to be needed to knock out the shadow/underexpose noise. This is very depressing to see as I was hoping/expecting to see Olympus raise the noise bar and make 1600 usable for 8x10 prints without much or any NR. But with the amount of chroma(bleh) and luma that I'm seeing in the shadows this isnt even close to a reality.
    I will need to take something of high ISO that I can figure will be worth printing big, this week. And we will see. But the DR and noise to me looks very good. Really they are not that noisy. I have give 100% images, but prints tend to really look about as good as 50% magnification on screen, even at very large sizes. So they should print beautifully.

    Quote Originally Posted by ckrueger View Post
    Tony, thanks for posting as you go! It seems by the hand signal Casey is flashing that he can tell the difference between the 410 and 420.
    How does the E-420's grip feel compared to the E-410? It looks like it has a more prominent grip ridge than the E-410, but it's hard to tell from pictures.
    The 25/2.8 looks decent optically. Sharpness doesn't look like it will win any awards, but it certainly doesn't look bad. The corners look typically-Four Thirds--no noticeable reduction in sharpness and no smearing even wide open. There's definitely some fringing in the corners, but it looks manageable. I'm a bit surprised to see so much blooming in the center of the frame on the bicycle pics... looks like this camera/lens is one you'll have to be careful not to feed any massively-overexposed highlights.
    How noisy is the 25/2.8's AF? SWD-like? Moderate like the kit lenses? Or one of those evil Dremel tool wanna-bes?
    Is the focus a mechanical linkage, or focus-by-wire? If it's mechanical, what does the focus ring do when it hits infinity or close? Continue turning at increased friction? Stop turning? Sorry if these seem like silly questions... I find focus-by-wire rings like the 14-42 make street shooting a pain because you can't preset focus blind. Having hard or soft stops makes it easy to crank it to infinity, then back it off a quarter-turn, for example.
    Do you notice much difference in image quality as you stop down?
    Casey is a cute baby, and we are really enjoying him a lot.
    I like this grip on the E-420 a bit better. Now having a lens I can't grab, i have to hold on to the camera a lot more. In the past I speculated, because I am left handed that I really didn't care about the grip of a camera because I am really holding it by the lens. So now having a camera with no holdable lens, I can say I really like the grip on the E-420, of course it is way to small for my hand, but That really doesn't bother me, I just let my bottom 2 fingers hang out in space.
    I am sure it is a sight seeing a 6'7" with a dinky camera walking around. But its alright with me.

    The 25mm is a very nice little lens, I still am not going to say about optic quality yet. Not enough time with it. It is a pancake so I don't think we can expect the optical quality of the 50mm from it.

    I have not noticed any real sound from the 25mm, it doesn't seem to travel real far in most shooting. I would guess infinity is something like 5 feet But I will have to test that.
    It also is focus by wire.
    My 25mm is tight to get it onto the camera, much tighter than any other Zuiko I own. (I don't really have a lot of experience with the kit lenses though, to tell you the truth)


    Ok,I will try to get a few more tests today, so I can talk about the lens quality. And I will post a few more images later tonight.

  3. #28
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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    Thanks for the update, Tony!

    Shooting older brick-style SLRs before Canon kicked off grip-mania I find I hold them differently; the left hand supports the camera and works the focus/aperture rings, and the right hand supports the camera and works the other controls. Either hand supports the weight depending on what the other hand is doing. With gripped SLRs I find my right hand holds almost all the weight, and my left hand plays with the rings and supports very heavy lenses. I think holding the E-410 like a gripped SLR is what leads most people to hate the feel. Of course, I'm left-handed too, so you might be right that it's simply a lefty thing.

    Glad to hear the lens is pretty quiet. Nothing ruins a discreet camera like a noisy AF motor. Bummer to hear it's focus by wire, as it will require me to learn a new method to prefocus, but I guess I can live with it.

    I have no high expectations for image quality from this lens. My only requirement is that it's better than the P&S cameras I'd otherwise carry. If it even approaches my zooms--to say nothing of my primes--I'll be very happy! That said, the first thing I'll do with this little guy is compare it to my OM 50/1.8 on my 5D. The comparison between the old OM gear and what might be its renaissance is too tempting!
    Chris


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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    Quote Originally Posted by tspore View Post
    The 25mm is a very nice little lens, I still am not going to say about optic quality yet. Not enough time with it. It is a pancake so I don't think we can expect the optical quality of the 50mm from it.
    Do you have (or want to borrow) an OM Zuiko 24mm f/2.8 to compare against? I venture the old lens because it's a fairly reliable and well quantified optic which could give a basis for comparison, prime to prime.

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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    I have uploaded a video about liveview in case anyone missed it.
    Ok, Well I will do a couple more lens comparison tests, but for now, here are is a test shot, basically - Here is my opinion - their is a slight degration from center to edge, as well as the sharpest point is at f5.6. Basically - f2.8 very good, f4 very good, f5.6 Excellent, f8 very good , F11 good, f16 - ok, and f22 ok.
    So this lens performs best around f5.6 for sharpness, however, not all things in life deal with sharpness. In fact, often times I don't want faces to sharp. So a very good in this case is in many situations is good enough.
    After f11 perhaps diffraction begins to kick in to equal the degradation of the image.
    Here are the screen shots of the images all lined up together.

    (click for 1920 px wide - this is the center)

    Bottom Right side -



    Top Left Side -


    Again note these are screen shots of the original files, so degradation is quite a bit.

    So for a pancake it isn't bad at all. I have no problem shooting it wide open.








    It is a very nice lens for this need. One thing I would like though is a hood. I think it would prevent the problem like in the image below.

  6. #31
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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    It seems CA is probably the biggest problem with this lens. Both your and Ian Burley's samples show it.

    /Jörgen
    Jörgen

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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    Hey Jorgen, Really the CA doesn't seem to be that bad.
    I do see it off the tree in the far top left corner, but really 1 out of the many isn't too bad.

    (100% file)



    I agree it is not the best but when we think about it, its a pancake. I would expect more than that....

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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    Quote Originally Posted by tspore View Post
    Hey Jorgen, Really the CA doesn't seem to be that bad.
    Hi Tony. I didn't say it's really bad. I just said it's probably more of a problem than other faults, like lack of corner sharpness.
    Apart from the CA, this lens looks really nice. The bokeh looks excellent in the samples I have seen.

    /Jörgen
    Jörgen

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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuttaton View Post
    It seems CA is probably the biggest problem with this lens. Both your and Ian Burley's samples show it.

    /Jörgen
    Yep. Seeing the original MTF plot and construction of the lens had me worried a tiny bit: the resolving power of the lens wasn't great, and the design was neither apochromatic nor had any ED elements. But none of that really matters because the resulting image quality is actually very good, and CA can be adequately corrected in post-processing if absolutely necessary. And of course, it's a tiny pancake lens... one that I want, especially an 18 or 20 mm version of!
    4/3: Oly E-3, E-1, E-520, 9-18, 11-22, 14-54, 50-200, 70-300, 25/2.8, 35/3.5 | Leica 14-50, 14-150, 25/1.4
    m4/3: E-P3 | G1 | 14/2.5 | 20/1.7 | 14-42 IIR | 17/2.8 | 45/1.8 | Nik 20/3.5
    Nikon: D90, D700, 70-300/VR, 24/2.8, 35/1.8, 35/2, CV 40/2, 50/1.4G, 60/2.8, 85/1.8, 180/2.8 | f/2.8 zooms | Zeiss 25/2.8
    Sony: A55, A900, 24-85, 70-210/4, 20/2.8, 24/2.8, 30/2.8, 35/1.4G, 50/1.7, Zeiss 85/1.4
    P&S: Canon S90

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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    Quote Originally Posted by sven View Post
    Correct--at least on the E-3 the default position is "Normal," which as I understand it is as good as off. On the "Normal" setting, noise in the shadows is greatly reduced compared to "Auto," esp. at higher ISOs, regardless of in-camera NR settings.

    olympus should just rename the 'normal' to off.
    maybe it cannot be turned off at all.

  11. #36
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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    Thanks for the added sample shots, Tony!

    Your lens looks great from corner to corner, even wide open. You can see a small sharpness increase from f/2.8 to f/4 in your center crops, but otherwise the image quality looks remarkably uniform all the way to f/16, where diffraction drop kicks the sensor.

    CA is definitely noticeable to my eye, but if what you've shown is the worst of it I don't think it's enough to be problematic except in extreme enlargements. I agree: considering the purpose of this lens, I'd consider CA a non-issue. And I'm a CA-hater.

    I'm impressed with its performance in the pictures you took inside the train, too. Backlighting doesn't seem to bother this lens one bit. That plus is much more significant than the CA minus in my book!

    Have you tried popping a finger/hand over the sun to deal with contrast loss? That might be enough to kill the haze you're seeing. I prefer that method over using a hood on small lenses because, well, they aren't small lenses once you put a hood on them! The hand method has always taken care of flare/ghosting/haze for me, although with our less-than-100% viewfinders I sometimes get a bit of a finger in the frame.
    Chris


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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    Quote Originally Posted by ckrueger View Post
    Have you tried popping a finger/hand over the sun to deal with contrast loss? That might be enough to kill the haze you're seeing. I prefer that method over using a hood on small lenses because, well, they aren't small lenses once you put a hood on them! The hand method has always taken care of flare/ghosting/haze for me, although with our less-than-100% viewfinders I sometimes get a bit of a finger in the frame.

    Haha... I do that too. Doesn't always work, though, as you can see from the severe flare of some of these severe backlighting pics in my Sigma 24/1.8 test shots (although I have to admit that it was a severe torture test that most lenses would fail):

    http://picasaweb.google.com/public6028/Sigma2418Pics
    4/3: Oly E-3, E-1, E-520, 9-18, 11-22, 14-54, 50-200, 70-300, 25/2.8, 35/3.5 | Leica 14-50, 14-150, 25/1.4
    m4/3: E-P3 | G1 | 14/2.5 | 20/1.7 | 14-42 IIR | 17/2.8 | 45/1.8 | Nik 20/3.5
    Nikon: D90, D700, 70-300/VR, 24/2.8, 35/1.8, 35/2, CV 40/2, 50/1.4G, 60/2.8, 85/1.8, 180/2.8 | f/2.8 zooms | Zeiss 25/2.8
    Sony: A55, A900, 24-85, 70-210/4, 20/2.8, 24/2.8, 30/2.8, 35/1.4G, 50/1.7, Zeiss 85/1.4
    P&S: Canon S90

  13. #38
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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    You are correct the hand would probably solve a lot of issues. In fact its been so long since Iv'e used small primes that I need to figure out something to do with my left hand, I still am trying to hold the lens at times, but it would in the above examples been the best option.
    Really I am not trying to only post good or bad shots, in fact I am not really trying to make sure that I have the subject lined up correctly at all. My whole goal is, this camera is designed for a parent shooting their kids. No tripod, maybe a little bit of understanding on how to shoot the camera. (In fact I should probably move out of Shutter /Aperture priority mode, but that is a old habit.) I do have Auto ISO on, and usually the Auto Gradation. But that isn't an advanced technique. So I go out take 500 pictures and then pick a few which I think will show a good showing for both strengths and weaknesses. If you look in the gallery their is only 1 tree with some CA our of the 3. I did do quite a bit of strong back light, in many photos - and only the ghosting in the shots of Cody running around the back yard show that issue.
    I even handed my camera to Ryan (Personal Assistant) and told him to take a picture of Cody and I in our glasses, and it was great. Nearly full proof.
    I let Ryan use the camera for a couple hours, and he said he really liked live view - Me I see its place, but I am having a hard time to adjust to it. However, I would say that the AF off the sensor is the best way to use it.

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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    Do you notice any difference in the speed of operation between the E-410/510 and the E-420? I noticed there's less shutter lag with the E-3 than the E-410, although that might be up to the faster AF.
    Chris


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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    I gave Ryan the camera for a while this weekend, and he said that it felt like less shutter lag. I think that I agree. Now I just need a way to test it.

    I also placed the liveview video in a flash version in the preview of the E-420.
    (Some claimed they couldn't watch quicktime.)

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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    Cool, that's good to hear. I might have to pick up one of these 420's when the price drops, especially if the ISO noise ends up being closer to the E-3 than the E-410.
    Chris


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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    At the Japanese Olympus site, today they announced a firmware update for 14-42mm and 40-150mm firmware 1.1 which supports contrast AF for E-420.
    http://www.olympus.co.jp/jp/support/...ontents_up.cfm

  18. #43
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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    Ok here is to show the slight barrel distortion. Not bad for the lens / category.


    Compared to the 14-35mm

    (Click for larger, you can replace XL for O if you so choose)

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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    Quote Originally Posted by tspore View Post
    Ok here is to show the slight barrel distortion. Not bad for the lens / category.
    Note that the amount of barrel distotion is often dependent on shooting distance. So for larger distances it might actually be less than in Tony's brick wall shot.

    /Jörgen
    Jörgen

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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    It's tough to tell with the slight tilt in the frame, but the 14-35 looks like it might have a bit of waveform distortion on the bottom of the frame. It looks to my eye like, from the bottom center of the frame going right, the projection curves upward, and then straightens back out. I suppose it would take a very controlled test like Photozone or Imaging Resource do to tell for sure. It's hard to tell in a real-world shot... which is a good thing.
    Chris


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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    They are slightly off, but here really isn't to talk about the 14-35, just to keep everything on topic. You know what I have no problem recommending the 25mm to anyone. For its price point, size, focal length, and quality, it is very good lens. Their may be a slight barrel distortion, but I doubt many will ever notice, as well as a Touch of CA. But to tell you the truth. Really to expect perfection from any kit / consumer, lens is having to high of hopes. I will run a few more tests, but it is a great little lens.

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    Default Re: E-420 in my hands

    My most difficult challenge, in forums and in life, is to avoid going off-topic. I'm like a kid in a candy store.

    From what I've seen from the 25/2.8 so far (your samples and others' samples), I think I'm going to be pretty happy with the lens. It has more CA than I had hoped, but not more than I expected. Unless the only lenses available right now are hero copies, it will only be a problem for me when I print big. Which I won't likely do much with this lens.
    Chris


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