More foot in mouth

This CrunchGear announcing the Olympus E-510 is the height of moronitude.

Basically he doesn’t like this 4-3 10 megapixel wonder child because it cost $100 more than the E 410 sister camera with only one difference: image stabilization.

Olympus E-system E-510 and E-410 sister cameras

“Now, who’s willing to pay $100 more for image stabilization?”

Let us deconstruct shall we?

[First blush on the Olympus after the jump]

Who isn’t?

He says this statement considering that Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Lumix, Sigma, and Fuji currently don’t offer in-camera image stabilization in any of their dSLR bodies?

He says this despite the reality that I’ve dropped over $2200 on lenses with optical image stabilization over the past two years?

Or the fact that the only reference point we have here is Pentax whose “street” price difference right now between the K100D and the K110D is a whopping $3 less than the price difference between the E 410 and E 510? Oh yeah, you can verify that the only difference between those two models is… image stabilization.

I’ll give you one reason to drop a benjamin on anti-shake

A fast aperture normal lens. $100
Anti shake body. +$100

A fast aperture normal lens with anti-shake? $200 total.

An optically stabilization fast aperture normal on Nikon or Canon? Doesn’t exist.

Let’s face it

Image stabilization, whether sensor-shifting in-camera or optically in-lens is the single greatest thing to have come to SLR photography.

If Nikon came out with it for the D200 for $1900 ($100 more than D200’s list, $500 more than the street price), I’d buy a second body in a heartbeat. And so would a lot of others. Similar would be true if you were talking about Canon and the 30D or 5D.

If there was in-camera anti-shake for $100 more in my world, I wouldn’t even glance at the non-anti-shake version.

That’s the litmus test. Our hypocrisy gets revealed when we open our wallets.

First blush

510 press release on DPReview
410 press release on DPReview

Other interesting features of this camera are live LCD preview (LiveMOS), 10 megapixels, anti-shake (as always), an a new image processing engine (which will hopefully mitigate it’s too-tiny shot buffer and the traditional noise problems that plague every Olympus camera), and support for dual mode Compact Flash in addition to xD. Oh yeah, for you Canon users out there, the camera has a DoF preview button, a spot meter, can do exposures/bracket in 1/3 stops, has a pentaprism instead of a pentamirror, and writes faster to the memory card.

(Disappointing things: you can only bracket a max of 1 stop and 3 shots and the 4-3 needs the pentaprism thing because of the smaller format and the light loss to support the liveMOS.)

I’m still going to have to call the Pentax K-10D highest recommended camera out there (a fair comparison will have to wait until the Olympus P-1). I’m not a big fan of 4-3 because the line is missing a lot of cheap normal lenses and the liveMOS isn’t going to sell me until you put the LCD on a swivel mount.

(In particular I’m thinking how much it would have rocked two days ago when I was stuck behind a crowd at the Chinese New Years parade on my way to Flickr333.)

But I give this a nod over the K-100D. But this is only because I hate the K-100D’s menu system. It’s a personal thing, but the K-100D only feels nice next to the Sony Alpha 100D.

The K-100D takes the entire Pentax K-mount lens series (that’s like every 35mm lens Pentax has manufactured since 1976 for those counting at home) so it represents the best end-to-end price-performance bargain in dSLR photography. The Olympus E 510D, on the other hand, is going to kick ass for macro photography and wide-aperture telephoto.

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