In the DSLR world, most people think that there are just two brands – Canon and Nikon. They find it quite easy to forget about the other players in the market – Sony, Pentax, Olympus and others. I have never really understood why it is so easy to dismiss these other manufacturers. In fact, the Zuiko lenses from Olympus have long been regarded as some of the finest glass around.
I don’t know that I would say I take offense to this dismissiveness, but I guess I do. Back when I started shopping for a DSLR to move up from my Canon G5 point and shoot (a VERY capable camera I might add), I looked at Canon and Nikon. And then I participated in a test drive event Olympus sponsored. I took home an E-500 for a weekend and was hooked. Shortly thereafter, I bought an E-510 kit that included 2 lenses. Since then, I have created some stunning images that get rave reviews. I even put them up for sale, that’s how confident I am of the work. I have done headshots, portraits, landscapes, product photos, all with my E-510. None of my clients have complained in the least.
Why then is it time to upgrade? More importantly, why do I want an Olympus E-30? Well, it’s time. As noted before, I am looking to ramp up how much I shoot. In that respect, having a second body is always a good idea. Once I start my schedule of team photos, there is no way I can be out of commission if something goes wrong with my only camera. So this is indeed a primary driver.
My photography is continuing to evolve though, and this is really why I am looking to upgrade my camera. I love taking HDR pictures. Sadly, Olympus elected to not update the 510 firmware to allow for the kind of EV bracketing that is ideal for HDR captures. The E-30 is well suited to this, allowing a 5 frame, 1 sec burst that will be perfect for HDR. Overall, the upgrade in frames per second from 3 on the 510 to 5 on the E-30 should help with taking pictures of my daughter, as well as the various sports I take pics of during the summer (baseball, softball) here in Colorado.
The increased megapixels will be nice, but not necessary. The ability to interact with the Olympus Radio system for flashes would be nice too, but I already make do with Cactus triggers (and manufacturer flashes in general are way too expensive). Simply put, I am taking my photography far more seriously, and I want a camera that can keep up. Sure, I could switch systems to Canon or Nikon, but right now I don’t see the point. I think the Olympus E-30 will work just fine for me.