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US Open Olympus E-1 images
Dave Kennedy, Photographer
Nanuet | NY | US | Posted: 2:16 AM on 08.27.03
->> More than a few photographers were surprised to see Olympus at this year's US Open Tennis tournament. But when I saw they had E-1's to try I figured why not give one a spin around the Arthur Ashe Stadium. Let me start by saying I only shot with the 300mm lens during 1 match, Andre Agassi vs. Alex Corretja.
Images 7-10 on the gallery:

And realistically compairing the Canon 1D and Nikon D1 series cameras to the E-1 is unfair since the E-1 doesn't share many of the capabilities that those cameras do. Comparing this camera to the Canon 10D or the Nikon D100 might be more fair.

As the match was starting I was handed an E-1 body with the 300mm. I headed out to the court and tried to figure out the controls. I easily found my way around the functions/buttons of this very small, yet very solid camera. The autofocus was a bit jittery but overall it was reliable.

The overall feel of the camera was similar to that of a Nikon D1 series or the Canon 1D, meaning that the body was solidly put together, the buttons felt good and the knobs had a very positive "click". The knobs and buttons on the camera seemed to be in the right places to get to them in a hurry (or if you just picked the camera up for the first time a few minutes ago). Deleting images was quick and only took pressing 2 buttons to delete an image (not like pressing a button, holding one down while rotating a dial like on the Canon 1D).

One of the best features was the ability to zoom in on an image, once the image was visible on the screen on the back of the camera all you need to do is rotate the zoom dial, you don't have to hold down a second button or press another button to get to the zoom feature. Once the image is enlarged to the desired size you can very quickly move around to any part of the image to see whether it's sharp (not just to selected boxes within the frame).

Ok now the bad news, but a disclaimer first. The camera I used has the beta version of the firmware, I was assured the production cameras will have these problems worked out.

There are some bugs in the buffer and the camera I used had some issues with focussing and firing when I wanted it to. If I shot a burst of 2-3 frames and then paused before shooting again (like when the ball was on the other side of the net) the camera would buffer out and not let me shoot until it had moved the images to the card.

And as it says in the specs for the camera, it shoots slowly, very slowly. You get one shot at getting the moment and that's about it (much like with the Canon D30/D60 and Nikon D100).

Overall the camera feels like a pro-camera should, it's heavy for its size, but not too heavy. It's got a viewfinder that's easy to see through if you wear glasses (if only Canon would see the light and make there camera's with a high eyepoint viewfinder). And if Olympus makes a version that shoots a more reasonable frames per second and with a buffer at least equal to the other digi-pro bodies, they might sell some of these cameras to pro's (as long as this also includes making a reasonable selection of lenses as well).

Thanks to the tech's at Olympus for their help and the people at the Fuji counter to the wallets for the image cards as well.

BTW, they all check out sportsshooter on a daily basis to see what's up!!!
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Patrick Tuohy, Photographer
Stony Point | NY | | Posted: 2:44 AM on 08.27.03
->> Dave,

Nice shooting..I am a fellow Rocklander...I'm shooting a little of the Open also...It was suggested to me by othe SS shooters that I try to get in tighter on my shots...Now I see why, nice work.
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Dave Kennedy, Photographer
Nanuet | NY | US | Posted: 11:28 AM on 08.27.03
->> Patrick, Another Rocklander...hmm I wonder how many of "us" there are on here.

You said on an earlier thread that you are using a 70-200 with 2X, if you leave the zoom at the 200 end that should be tight enough. We should talk, I'll be back at The Open on Friday and by myself all weekend.

Two last points to mention about the E-1 (hey it was late....).

1. The camera is quiet, I mean dead quiet. Maybe it's the quietest interchangable lens digital camera? Who knows that's for the people who write the ad copy to decide.

2. The image quality and size are great. When you open the files in Photoshop they are 14.1mb. Larger than the Canon 1D & Nikon D1H jpeg files. The files looked really good (but again I only shot this on 100 ASA and not at a higher setting). The color was great, skin tones looked good and there seemed to be a good amount of lattitude to work with the files (not that we are supposed to at my paper, but that's another thread).
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Patrick Tuohy, Photographer
Stony Point | NY | | Posted: 12:32 AM on 08.30.03
->> Dave,

We should meet up, but I don't know if I'going to be back at the Open, but I will get in touch with you...The guys at Olympus anf Fuju were very helpful, nice guys.I told the guy at Olympus to read your review and he did. Talk to ya soon.
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Thread Title: US Open Olympus E-1 images
Thread Started By: Dave Kennedy
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