The lightest DSLR
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Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
The lightest DSLR on 09/22/2011 16:34:26 MDT Print View

I just picked up one of these off the 'bay for a keen price.

E410

I wondered if anyone here has used one of these cameras. I'm quite excited at the prospect of getting to grips with it.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: The lightest DSLR on 09/22/2011 17:01:56 MDT Print View

It's a nice little camera. I have a 510, which is identical save for a bigger battery and IBIS.

In sum, it will take very sharp pictures with very good contrast and color saturation (Oly color profiles require little post processing, generally). Later models have stronger AA filters that remove some fine detail so these models are still used by many. Avoid ISOs higher than 400 and expose for highlights and let the shadows fall where they may--very susceptible to clipping. If you shoot jpegs, dial down the auto-sharpening and anti-noise to the lowest settings, they're too aggressive. Or shoot RAW and avoid the fuss.

There's a good deal of customization available and the rear control panel offers direct access to most settings. The manual pdf is available online if it doesn't come with one.

Enjoy,

Rick

Corbin McFarlane
(raven15) - MLife
That's what I carry. on 09/22/2011 22:22:55 MDT Print View

If you see mine on eBay (you won't) don't get it because it's been through the wringer a lot of times. The main benefit is the lenses, I've got the 9-18, 25, and 40-150 as my "backpacking" setup. You have to be careful though, that gets expensive.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: The lightest DSLR on 09/23/2011 00:18:02 MDT Print View

Hi Rick,
I see the 510 is 4oz heavier but the battery is only 15g more. Mine comes with a spare battery (2oz). I can't imagine the IS system weighs 85g so that chunkier grip and overall bigger body must account for the rest.

Do you find the IS to be a big boon for handheld work? I'm hoping a monopod attachment on my LT4's and the better light collection vs my previous compacts will allow me to speed up the shutter a bit.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: That's what I carry. on 09/23/2011 00:28:23 MDT Print View

Hi Corbin,
great, a fellow owner, I'll look out for yours and Rick's photos. One of the reasons mine was so keenly priced is that it comes with the low budget kit lens, the 17.5-45. Oh well, extra shots cost nothing, so I will be stitching together multiple shots to get wider panoramas.


I have my eye on the pancake 25mm lens. I like doing insect close ups and was wondering if I should get a 35mm macro too. The 40-150 lens seems to be affordable.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: The lightest DSLR on 09/23/2011 12:26:49 MDT Print View

IIRC the original IS system, which appeared first in the 510, takes up a decent amount of room, explaining the extra thickness and heftier weight. I suppose in addition to the module itself there must be a control circuit for it, but I'd guess the larger frame and shell account for most of the E-510 weight gain over the 410. FWIW they shrank the IS module for the E-610 and µ4/3 cameras but kept the larger unit for the bigger 4/3 bodies because it adds a extra stop or so of handheld range beyond the new one.

On that question, IS is most helpful in low light. Starting with the old "1/focal length" shutter speed rule of thumb (which should be converted to 1/2x focal length for crop sensor cameras) I feel safe extending my handheld range two stops, e.g., shoot at 12mm down to 1/8 second before I look to brace the camera. I've come to leave IS on all the time except when shooting really high shutter speeds (where it can actually reduce image sharpness) or on a tripod. I find a monopod isn't rock-steady unless braced against something solid, and IS has a benefit there (if small).

All that said, good technique still trumps IS in all but beyond-the-envelope shooting. Having at least one fast lens is nice, because it helps keep ISO low and shutter speeds high. I think you'll be very happy with your results compared to what a compact can deliver. You'll especially love the shallow DOFs you get at longer focal lengths.

Cheers,

Rick

"Do you find the IS to be a big boon for handheld work? I'm hoping a monopod attachment on my LT4's and the better light collection vs my previous compacts will allow me to speed up the shutter a bit."

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: The lightest DSLR on 09/23/2011 15:12:10 MDT Print View

Thanks Rick, the 510 looks like a great piece of kit too. I'll see how I go. As you say, it'll be such a big step up from the limitations of small CCD's that I'll not miss the IS to begin with anyway.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: The lightest DSLR on 09/23/2011 16:12:35 MDT Print View

Rick, I'm looking to get a much lighter camera, with a larger sensor, and which is faster and more versatile than the Ricoh GXR I use (which I love for its beautiful resolution and color rendoring). I have a Nikon D7000, but it is just to big and heavy for backpacking. I was looking at the upcoming Sony Nex 7, but this Oly camera that you have might be an alternative. Would you have any thoughts on the two and which one you would get if you would buy again? Thanks.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: The lightest DSLR on 09/23/2011 18:05:29 MDT Print View

Miguel,
I checked out an olympus E-PL 1 the other morning before I found the bargain E410 on the 'bay. The output is impressive, and the price is way down on the intro price over here (now £250).

I took some test shots with it outside the camera shop. If you want to have a look, PM an email address to me.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: The lightest DSLR on 09/23/2011 18:33:35 MDT Print View

Hi Roger, thanks. The price is certainly right (you can get them really cheap here in Japan), but for my purposes the E-P1 just doesn't have what I'm looking for. The sensor is too small, it doesn't have a good viewfinder, it's too slow (switching on, autofocus, data processing), and the video capability isn't all that great. Some of the reasons I'm looking at the upcoming Sony Nex 7 is that it has a great, built-in viewfinder, a large sensor, is very fast, video is great, and has external control dials... I can't stand using a software controls system while I'm in the field trying to shoot. Too much fiddling with them while looking at the camera rather than the scene. I really love Ricoh and the system they have put together, and the GXR is a professional level camera, but there aren't enough lens units available for the camera to be really useful (and the new lens mount module focuses on Leica and Voigtlander lenses which are waaaaay too expensive for me), while the data processing and autofocus are too slow, and the batteries die way too quickly for hiking in the backcountry. I considered getting the new E-P3, but again, the sensor is too small and I don't like the EVF viewfinder, even though it is an improvement over the E-P1 EVF. I like the size of the Micro 4/3 system, though, so I'm still on the fence.

Corbin McFarlane
(raven15) - MLife
Re: Re: That's what I carry. on 09/25/2011 00:12:54 MDT Print View

I got mine because it was small and I found a great price on the two lens kit.

The 25mm is very small and takes good pictures. The 35mm macro is very sharp at all apertures (one of the better lenses in the entire line up), the cheapest non-kit lens Olympus sells, and the second lightest for 4/3. The deeply recessed lens makes the glass harder to scratch or glare. You have to be patient or your insects dead to get close though. I use it too quite a bit, but mostly for the focal length depending on what other lenses I am carrying.

Ruby Mountains

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: The lightest DSLR on 09/25/2011 10:51:51 MDT Print View

Hi Miguel,

In regards to µ4/3 and 4/3, they spec the same sensor so there's no inherent IQ advantage between the two systems. Because 4/3 is more mature there are far more lens choices, but µ4/3 has been concentrating on small lenses so there's a built-in attraction to backcountry photographers. The number of system lenses from all makers is impressive, considering the format's young age.

This handy-dandy Thom Hogan graphic shows where 4/3 slots versus other common sensors (Nikon, in this instance).

http://bythom.com/Images/Sensor-Sizes.jpg

The size difference between 4/3 and APS-C is trivial on the Y axis and significant on the X axis--how much one can capitalize on the difference depends on the final image crop. Very generally, APS is considered to offer an extra stop in ISO headroom and dynamic range. Fine image detail has to be compared camera to camera, lens to lens and I try to avoid any sweeping generalizations.

When digital dinosaurs roamed the earth, I selected the Oly system for its compactness, lens selection, dust reduction system and commitment to IBIS (only they and Pentax had it at the time). IIRC the other cameras I was considering at the time were the D200 and 20D, which were relatively gigantic and especially in the Canon's case, had control layouts that didn't suit me.

Mirrorless is changing the landscape and once they master speedy autofocus and EVF technology, will become the preeminent camera platform. DSLRs will soldier on but as specialty cameras.

I'd be more enamored with Sony's system if they had the lens selection I'd want. If you can find the lenses you need, then they "win" in terms of biggest chip and best EVF. Oly has yet to release a body with integrated EVF, rumored for later this year, and I'd like to see better integration with the slr lenses. I know I can live with the 4/3 format so would rather stay on that path rather than jump to something entirely new.

BTW, the GXR system has received a lot of praise for such a niche system. Glad you're enjoying yours.

Cheers,

Rick

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
The lightest DSLR on 09/26/2011 03:35:50 MDT Print View

The new Sony looks very nice, especially the built in viewfinder, which would be a big plus for me. However, the Sony lens don't seem much smaller than std SLR lenses to me and the small size of the lenses in the 4/3 format is very appealing (especially the new Panasonic zoom). I am right on the brink of trading in all my 35mm gear (except for my wildlife photography stuff), for a 4/3 set up. The rumour of an Oly body with a built in viewfinder sounds intriguing, but I know from experience that there is always something better coming along and eventually you just need to jump in.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: The lightest DSLR on 09/26/2011 10:52:59 MDT Print View

Hi Jason,

I agree on both counts. Sony's lenses are relatively huge, watering down the mirrorless size advantage (although they've done a fine job making the bodies miniscule). And the "perfect" camera of whatever format is always the next one. It's probably best to figure out which features and capabilities are your must-have requirements then find the camera that meets them and start building the system (presuming that's the goal). The real money is in the lenses, which don't go obsolete.

The Panny G3 has pretty much anything a µ4/3 shooter could want, short of IBIS. On the Oly side, since all bodies have IBIS the only glaring deletion is an integrated EVF. They now have two accessory EVFs so that's an option with all the current bodies. Complicating things a bit is one can ony combine flash and EVF on the E-P3.

My "dream" µ4/3 camera has an EVF and some sort of PDAF capability for better integration with standard 4/3 lenses. After that, I want a pony.

Cheers,

Rick

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: The lightest DSLR on 09/27/2011 05:08:26 MDT Print View

"Complicating things a bit is one can only combine flash and EVF on the E-P3"

The EP-L1 can use the EVF and the built in flash. I think it can control wireless flashes too.

.epl1vf

Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
light DSLRs on 09/27/2011 12:12:59 MDT Print View

Olympus E-620

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/olympus_e620.html

Olympus E-1

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/olympus_ep1_camera_review.html

Goto "Articles" above, click on "Gear," in right hand column scroll down to "Cameras and Photography" for other camera reviews at BPL!

Edited by rambler on 09/27/2011 12:17:28 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
First pic with my bargain DSLR on 09/28/2011 07:38:30 MDT Print View

Well, it arrived this morning, on a beautiful sunny autumn day.

So I took a few snaps on the way to the train station for my morning commute.

.berries

.Black Prince

.town hall

.seagull sculpture

Very happy so far. :-)

By the way, that darker blue by the town hall upper columns isn't an artifact, it's netting to keep the pigeons off the stonework.

Edited by tallbloke on 09/28/2011 07:40:51 MDT.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
The lightest DSLR on 09/28/2011 10:25:10 MDT Print View

Got my wife the 510 for a photography trip she took to northern Arizona, it took great pics. Unless you're a camera buff, I'm sure.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: The lightest DSLR on 09/28/2011 13:22:23 MDT Print View

Miguel says:
The price is certainly right (you can get them really cheap here in Japan), but for my purposes the E-P1 just doesn't have what I'm looking for. The sensor is too small, it doesn't have a good viewfinder, it's too slow (switching on, autofocus, data processing), and the video capability isn't all that great.


How about one of these:

.nx11-1

.nx11-2

Full size APS-c sensor
Some new light lenses available
Low power consumption superbright AMOLED screen

Fully loaded for less than 16oz

What's not to like?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: First pic with my bargain DSLR on 09/28/2011 16:59:06 MDT Print View

> it's netting to keep the pigeons off the stonework.
Ah, pigeons ...

2854 Pigeon in Florence on statue

Canon G11, cropped and shrunk for web, statue in Florence outside Uffizi Palace.

Cheers