Saturday, June 07, 2008

Meet Ollie

I think it is time to talk about my camera. I can hear Jasonmumbles screamed FINALLY !!!


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Before I jump into anything, lets have some history reviews, with interesting events building up to my decision on getting a DSLR. For most of you who know me, I have always mentioned that I would prefer compact cameras, mainly due to its pocket able size providing me with much flexibility and mobility, as I take pictures almost anywhere at anytime. My old Kodak cx875 has served me well for almost a year now, until it showed signs of dying roughly two months back when I was in Kuching. I was devastated.

Therefore, I started searching for a new camera. The new camera to replace my old Kodak has got to be better in terms of picture quality and performance. My old 8MP Kodak camera was quite a decent one to begin with, it has full manual controls (PASM Modes) and a longer than usual 5x zoom range. Obviously my new camera has got to be better than what I already had.

I was looking more towards Olympus sp560 (which costed around RM1500 at the time of survey) which basically covered all that I ever needed in a camera, 8MP, 18x zoom, super macro mode, full manual controls, built in optical image stabilization, and heaps and heaps of other useful features. It was leaning somewhere in between a dslr and compact camera, though I would personally think it was more towards a compact camera end. Nevertheless, with budget in mind, this seems to be the best option for me.

Until I talked to Jasonmumbles.


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The first MSN conversation on the night I told him my old cam was dying, he tried to brainwash me into buying a DSLR for more than 2 hours non-stop instant messaging. I typed till my fingers were literally sore.

The second night in a row, he still did not want to let me go. 2 more hours of MSN conversation....

I was seriously getting worried.... hence I took 1 day to seriously think about what I am getting into really, really thoroughly.

Then the following night, just before he was trying to brainwash me again... I told him I was reverting my decision back to getting just a semi pro camera.

And that was when he snapped, picked up the phone.... and called me up in the middle of the night...

Giving me 1 hour 1/2 hour lecture on why I should get a DSLR.

I swear I could not sleep the whole night because of that. It was as if I would go to jail for the rest of my life or something if I did not buy a DSLR as my next camera !!

And so... I gave in to the temptation. I feel so cheated. Gosh, am I the only one of Jason's victim out there?? If there are others, please share your horrible experience with me.


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And so I left my thoughts on compact cameras or semi pros aside, and set my eyes on DSLRs. My oh my, there are plenty of options to choose from, but with my current tight budget, I could only go for a few. After much surveying around local lousy camera shops, and doing online research, I have narrowed down my choices into 1) Sony Alpha 200, and 2) Olympus E410.

I can hear some people screaming at me now for leaving Nikon and Canon out. To be honest, the only cameras (at the time of surveying) I could only almost afford from Nikon and Canon were Nikon d40x and Canon 400d, both in almost similar specification category as the aforementioned Sony and Olympus. Both the Nikon and Canon were selling for Rm2500 with standard kit lens, which were waaaaaaaaaay out of my budget. The Sony and Olympus were selling at more than half a thousand ringgit cheaper (or lower if you bargain your way around). Dude, half a thousand bucks is a heck lot of money for me.

If you read online reviews, Sony Alpha 200 and Olympus E410 both are as capable, and perform just as well as the Nikon D40x and Canon 400d, with their differences at the entry-level budget DSLR level negligible.

So I was down with Sony and Olympus.


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And then I met Yiaw Wei (check out his blog, he has got cool pictures too) who tried to brainwash me into getting a Sony. Sometimes I do wonder.. why don't these people just live their lives as salespersons.

In the end, I opted for Olympus.

And here are my reasons:

(1) Superior kit lens build quality.

"this really is one of the best standard zooms currently available" - DPREVIEW

I do not have that much spare cash to spend on extra accessories and better lens, hence the original lens that comes with the camera has to be a good one for my long term usage. Olympus lenses surprisingly outperform many other lenses easily in the similar classes based on the professional reviews I have read online.

(2) The world's lightest and smallest DSLR camera.

I carry my camera around a lot, and sometimes I am engaged in several hours long shooting for event coverage. Therefore, the lightweight and smaller than usual size of the camera fit into my necessities perfectly. You may think that small cameras do not perform up to the standards of bigger ones in general, but lets just see who gets the last laugh after shooting continuously hand-held for hours.


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(3) Loaded with tonnes of features.

I would say that this camera houses a great deal of features that Nikon and Canon owners would be surprised to find missing in their cameras (ok lets not talk about newer cameras like D60 or 450D, ok? those are out of my budget to begin with). Features such as Live View, custom mirror lock-up and shutter delays, and full control over the internal noise filter (the noise filter control is something that no other brands have at the moment).

(4) Performance and Picture quality on par with competition.

"The images made by the Olympus E-410 in combination with both kit lenses are of excellent quality. Colour rendition is fine and resolution outstanding." - Letsgodigital

(5) Olympus E410 is by far the CHEAPEST most reasonably priced DSLR out there.

So what do I personally think of this new camera of mine? I think it s one great entry level dslr camera, most suitable for a learner like me. I have yet to explore everything in the camera yet, but obviously I will get to those features as the needs arise when the time comes. I shall share those experience with you beautiful people on this humble blog.

I love Ollie. So should you.


  1. You need a better lens. you need a better lens. you need a better lens. you need a better lens.

    quick, go buy the 70-200 f2.8 now. you need it.
    and the 10-20mm wide angle, and the 108mm macro. and the kitchen sink too. you need 'em all. kittylens is for little kids!!!

  2. hey fishtan,
    ahahahaha... show me the moneyyy !!!

  3. well.. i have one thing to say about the handling..
    being too small, and too lightweight isn't exactly what i really want.

    i prefer more stable handling, rather than light-weight handling.

    my 350D used to be pretty 'light-weight', but when i attach a speedlite and equip it with a longer/larger lens, the whole camera was so not balanced. very difficult to handle..!

    yeah.. get better lens!

  4. hey allen,
    Nah, I beg to differ in opinion.
    Smalla is betta !!!!
    Siaw... no $$$$

  5. Finally!!!!!

    Will comment when I am not so stoned.

  6. Hey jason,
    LOL... stoned from doing what???

  7. finally revealed.. haha. Ollie rules!

  8. Hey Chunchow,
    Yeah !! Finally...

    Ollie ROCKS !!!

  9. Nice! Your requirements really sounds like mine. Though I have yet to get a DSLR yet due to tight budgets. Compacts still works fine for me. ^.^

    How come Jasonmumbles brainwash you but din't brainwash me when I wanna get my camera? Even though I've befriend with him more than 5 years... :P

  10. And you never regretted for spending that extra cash to go for a dSLR, right?

    You ought to be grateful with me for I have brought you into the world of dSLR sooner than you thought.


    Although I am still skeptical about Olympus, I am sure you are able to squeeze every life juice out of the camera, probably beating my 40D.

    After all, you have been hailed as shutter god by Eugene and I think your skill is really pro too.

  11. hey slinky,
    Yeah.. budget has always been an issue !!
    I have been using compact for years, even if I bought one instead of this ollie, I would have no regrets.
    Ermm... about jasonmumbles... that you have to ask him LOL

  12. hey jason,
    hahahah thanks for the compliments.
    Errmm... that eugene comment... a bit over lar... ahahahahaha.... i guess I just happened to be at the right spot.
    Nah, my cam cannot go anywhere near ur 40D lah... i can only dream ahahahaha

  13. well.. i was just stating my preference. :)
    i feel insecure with the small build.

  14. hey allen,
    LOL... i treasure portability and mobility !!

  15. Shinky : That's because your first five requirements for selecting a camera is budget, budget, budget, budget and budget. Besides, you aren't that interested in photography.

    As for Robin, he wanted a DSLR but lacked that push. I gave him. He has the budget but wasn't willing to splurge. I gave him that push. :P

  16. Hey jasonmumbles...
    LOL WTFF...

    "had the budget but not willing to splurge"...

    Me so poor weiiiii...

  17. Was thinking contemplating rather to get the E410 or E510 for over a month until I saw the offer for E510 for 300pounds (a bit less than RM2000). I just couldn't bother about the size and everything else and bought it immediately. No regrets to date.

  18. hey mrbherng,
    yeah, your E510 was a great deal, obviously it was better than E410, with body IS and all.

    hey jasonmumbles,
    LOL... i slept doesnt mean I cant comment right?

  19. Yes. What Jason said is right. I'm not really into photography. I'm more into designing. ^.^ So getting a DSLR is still a secondary option. Beside I bought my compact for the purpose of going underwater to snap photos. So it would be very clumsy if I'm bringing a big toys down. ^_^;; Budget is still a restrain but portability and simplicity still my preferences.

    Btw, Robin, I'm Shinky not Slinky :P kekeke..

  20. I'd the honour to meet both Ollie & the Owner!

    Keep on posting all your wonderful photos and best wishes for now & the future. Cheers!

  21. finally i get to meet your girlfriend/wife/soulmate/toy! hurry come down to spore so i can get better acquainted!


  22. Hello Ollie!! Can I touch u...??? Hahahahahahahaha!!!

  23. hey shinky,
    aaahhh if designing is your priority, then of course, a compact cam would have suffice your needs. Nevertheless, you gotta love the flexibility and quality a dslr could offer. If you can, by all means, get one !!

    hey unker ho !!
    Yeahhh.. you have met Ollie long before many people knew about it !! ahahahaa...
    Yeah, you can bet that more pictures will come up soon !!

  24. hey robin, so you finally get a dSLR afterall...hahaha....i thought you want something more mini...more slim...more portable? hahaha...anyway, looking forward for nice pictures from you.

  25. hey mark,
    Blame Jasonmumbles !!

  26. *waves*

    Jasonmumbles is here!


  27. Everyone..


  28. hey ahlost,
    Yes finally !!

  29. Wah, I didn't know that fella is so wuliao. Lucky he didn't bug me much when I was going to get a DSLR... hahahaha

  30. Hey Hao..

    LOL !!

    You hear that jason? u are wu liao !

  31. Hao was poisoned by his own house mates and gang. On top of that, he was determined to buy a dSLR from the beginning.

    Unlike you, for God's sake, actually wanted to buy a compact cam after two spoiled compact cam.

  32. Hey jasonmumbles,
    aahhahaa, yeah, 2 compact cams... could be another one ahahahha.
    You know, for the weirdest of reasons, besides olympus, i was also eyeing on Kodak, a new cam, with 12x zoom, apparently better controls than my old cam, but not available in Malaysia lah. Forgot the model... kinda lazy to search things up now...