Sunday, July 30, 2006

Trying out the Olympus

My Dad gave me an Olympus C-770 Ultra Zoom when he came in July -- thanks so much, Dad! -- and I've been putting the camera through its paces recently. The pic above was shot from the ridge above my house, looking south through Taichung city on Tatu Mountain. I used the Super Telephoto (535mm lens equivalent), which kicks ass. The original resolution was 1600 x 1200. One thing that can't be conveyed is the clarity of the original images, which have to be compressed to be posted here. The Olympus produces excellent image clarity, better than my current Fuji S5000. It also has a heck of a lot more functions, some of which are of suspect usefulness.

The telephoto turns in sharp, clear pics. Unfortunately the lightness of the camera, about 20% smaller than my Fuji S5000 leads to more shake, I feel, especially in the telephoto shots. Here there is so much light it is not an issue.

The Super Telephoto also caught this fire in Tanzi.

An ant crawls across a spiderweb at dawn.

Taichung. The Olympus isn't nearly as prone to washing out from bright skies as the Fuji is.

I shot this dragonfly with the Super Telephoto/macro combination. On my Fuji it produces glorious pictures...

...and on the Olympus I am happy to report that it does as well.

I used the Super Macro to shot this What are those dang things anyway? And to think I used to teach high school biology.....

This one was shot on ordinary macro.

Meat at the night market. Ordinary macro.

My favorite thing about this camera is the night exposure possibilities. The shutter can be kept open for as long as 15 seconds, unlike my Fuji, which is a useless 2 seconds. Here is a small temple to the earth god Fu De outside of Taichung. Look forward to lots of night hots.

A golden orb spider at dawn.

Three years ago, when I was considering buying a new camera, I narrowed it down to the Olympus C770 and the Fuji S5000. The Olympus was NT$19,000, the Fuji just NT$12,000. I went with the latter partly out of price. But as it turns out, I made the right decision. For though the Olympus is manifestly the better camera, the Fuji is a much better design. Everything in the Fuji is basically one-button access, whereas getting to things on the Olympus is a nightmare of menu choices, along with trying to remember whether the camera has to be set on P, AUTO, or A/S/M to get to the thing you want. If you are considering upgrading from your basic point-and-click consumer digital camera to a prosumer model, as I was at the time, the Fuji is an excellent choice. If you have some idea of what you are doing, the Olympus is the superior option.

All that said, I am absolutely delighted with the new Olympus and can't wait to take more pics with it. Thanks, Dad!


Anonymous said...

great pics, man. That night exposure feature creates nice atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

Nice night shot of the temple - how about a wallpaper-sized copy of that one for us whose dad hasn't come through with the camera equipment yet??