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Olympus Verve comments?

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Anonymous
July 19, 2005 6:52:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I'm about to purchase my first digital camera. I've been into
photography off and on for over 40 years, starting with a Brownie box
camera, working my way up through an Agfa RF, a Pentax, and finally a
Nikon EL2, the last of the big, heavy, old fashioned 35mm SLR's from
Nikon. And I loved it.
I lost interest for many years, used a Minolta Vectis APS on the rare
occasions I took pics at all. It broke.
So I know enough about photography to be dangerous. I'm going to Costa
Rica next Feb to my son's wedding, and have decided to take the plunge
and get a digital. I don't want anything real complicated, want to
point and shoot mostly, but would like to have some versatility for
those times when I have a little more time to prepare and compose. I
also want to take shots of my orchids, so macro is a must.
I've done some research, and like the Olympus Verve. Very small,
"splash resistent", good macro features. I've looked at the online pics
and compared them to some other cameras in the same price range (<$200,
which is what I've budgeted, plus some for memory card and spare
battery). I'm willing to trade the lack of telephoto capibility (2x
optical) for the splash resistent, since a lot of the pics I take are
around water. Most of the reviews, both professional and by users, are
good. There are exceptions. A few claim the pics are "muddy". I'm not
sure what that means, other than the colors wouldn't be saturated at
times. Seems like people either love or hate this camera. So I decided
to come here and ask what feedback/info/advice some of you here might
have. Particularly if you have direct experience with this camera.
I know it's not pro quality, not looking for that, so don't bother
telling me it has 0.000000002% barrel distortion or anything like that.
I'm more interested in getting snaps of my kids (and someday,
grandkids) and travel. Not going to blow them up to poster size. But I
am trying to figure out what the overall picture quality might be like
before I buy (am buying online, don't want to have to send it back if I
can avoid it). Does anyone have any ideas?
Thanks in advance!

More about : olympus verve comments

Anonymous
July 19, 2005 9:22:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

According to dpreview - it's quite a nice little camera, but has
mediocre battery life and fairly noisy images. The images may also be
a bit over-contrasty and over-sharpened (which could be a good thing if
you just want punchy images out of the box, but it means you have less
flexibility to refine the images later). You could probably do
slightly better image-wise, and a lot better battery wise with
something a bit more conventional from Canon/Nikon/Sony.

But the weatherproofing and 'coolness' factor are points in it's
favour.. I've played with one while selecting a camera for a friend,
and it has a very effective design...
July 20, 2005 5:48:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

davegb wrote:

> I've looked at the online pics
> and compared them to some other cameras in the same price range

If you can manage it, find a store that will let you snap a few shots on
your own CF card and see if you like the results on your computer at home
and maybe make a couple of prints. In the end that's all that really
matters. Some people make a big deal about noise at 100% viewing on screen
but most of the time you'll never see it in the final prints or downsampled
for online/email viewing.

--

Stacey
Related resources
Anonymous
July 20, 2005 11:17:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Thanks for your reply.

chrlz@go.com wrote:
> According to dpreview - it's quite a nice little camera, but has
> mediocre battery life and fairly noisy images. The images may also be
> a bit over-contrasty and over-sharpened (which could be a good thing if
> you just want punchy images out of the box, but it means you have less
> flexibility to refine the images later). You could probably do
> slightly better image-wise, and a lot better battery wise with
> something a bit more conventional from Canon/Nikon/Sony.

I read that too. But when I looked at the images online, side by side
with those from a Canon A520, I liked the Verve's better! Not much
difference on color, but big differences in indoor pics, which I'll be
taking occasionally.
Planning on buying a spare battery in any case, so battery life is not
so important.
Can you make a specific reccommendation, re Canon/Nikon/Sony? I've
checked out the comparable Canons and Nikons, and am not impressed.
>
> But the weatherproofing and 'coolness' factor are points in it's
> favour.. I've played with one while selecting a camera for a friend,
> and it has a very effective design...

The coolness doesn't matter to me, but I do like the form factor. The
Verve is compact and fits nicely in my hand, which I've always found
important with any tool. I do like the design. But picture quality
under the conditions I intend to use it is the most important factor.
My son, the pro photographer (I handed him that old Nikon up in
Yellowstone when he was 10, took his first picture of a moose, was
hooked), is trying to move me toward a Canon, but the published pics
don't look better to me. How much can I depend on the published ones?
I like the suggestion someone else made that I take some pics on my
own, and put them on my computer and compare, but I don't have a memory
card or a card reader, so it's not practical for me.
Any suggestions?
Anonymous
July 20, 2005 2:35:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

ASAAR wrote:
> On 20 Jul 2005 07:17:59 -0700, the frugal davegb wrote:
>
> >>> I'm more interested in getting snaps of my kids (and someday,
> >>> grandkids) and travel. Not going to blow them up to poster size. But I
> >>> am trying to figure out what the overall picture quality might be like
>
> > I like the suggestion someone else made that I take some pics on my
> > own, and put them on my computer and compare, but I don't have a memory
> > card or a card reader, so it's not practical for me.
> > Any suggestions?
>
> Since you're only interested in snapshots see if you can find a
> photo shop that also sells 4" x 6" printers. You may be able to
> talk them into letting you use their camera and card to take a
> couple of pictures and then put the card in the printer to make the
> snapshots that you can use for evaluation or comparisons. You
> should be willing to at least cover the cost of the prints unless
> you think that a couple of pictures for a dollar is also impractical
> for you.
Not at all! A couple of dollars to up my confidence level that I'm
making the right purchase is definitely worthwhile.

There's even a chance that the store will let you do it at
> no cost, but you should make the offer. If you can't do this, at
> the very least you'll have to buy a small card if you can't borrow
> one. Failing this you should be able to buy one new for about $10.
> If that's too much, take a chance on eBay, where you should be able
> to get a used small card for much less. For your purposes an 8 or
> 16 MB card should be more than enough. I'm not sure that you can
> even buy one new any more at sizes that small. Then take the
> pictures and bring the card to a Rite-Aid, CVS, Wal-Mart or any
> place that has a photoprinter that you can pop the card into.
Also an excellent suggestion.

But
> if you *do* get a camera, you'll probably want to get a card reader
> anyway. They're cheap, and will probably transfer pictures to your
> computer much faster than the camera's USB. I assume here that the
> Verve doesn't have a USB 2.0 high speed interface. Then you won't
> have to waste a whole dollar making unnecessary prints. :) 

The Verve has the old "slow" transter rate, but that's not a problem. I
do such things while I'm doing my weekend chores or when I go to bed at
night. If I decide I need it faster, I'll spring for the card reader,
which is about $50, from what I've seen so far.

Thanks for the excellent suggestions. Not sure about the slams on my
budget, maybe you've never had to live on limited income. I envy you.
Anonymous
July 20, 2005 4:11:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 20 Jul 2005 07:17:59 -0700, the frugal davegb wrote:

>>> I'm more interested in getting snaps of my kids (and someday,
>>> grandkids) and travel. Not going to blow them up to poster size. But I
>>> am trying to figure out what the overall picture quality might be like

> I like the suggestion someone else made that I take some pics on my
> own, and put them on my computer and compare, but I don't have a memory
> card or a card reader, so it's not practical for me.
> Any suggestions?

Since you're only interested in snapshots see if you can find a
photo shop that also sells 4" x 6" printers. You may be able to
talk them into letting you use their camera and card to take a
couple of pictures and then put the card in the printer to make the
snapshots that you can use for evaluation or comparisons. You
should be willing to at least cover the cost of the prints unless
you think that a couple of pictures for a dollar is also impractical
for you. There's even a chance that the store will let you do it at
no cost, but you should make the offer. If you can't do this, at
the very least you'll have to buy a small card if you can't borrow
one. Failing this you should be able to buy one new for about $10.
If that's too much, take a chance on eBay, where you should be able
to get a used small card for much less. For your purposes an 8 or
16 MB card should be more than enough. I'm not sure that you can
even buy one new any more at sizes that small. Then take the
pictures and bring the card to a Rite-Aid, CVS, Wal-Mart or any
place that has a photoprinter that you can pop the card into. But
if you *do* get a camera, you'll probably want to get a card reader
anyway. They're cheap, and will probably transfer pictures to your
computer much faster than the camera's USB. I assume here that the
Verve doesn't have a USB 2.0 high speed interface. Then you won't
have to waste a whole dollar making unnecessary prints. :) 
Anonymous
July 20, 2005 6:43:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 20 Jul 2005 10:35:24 -0700, davegb wrote:

> Thanks for the excellent suggestions. Not sure about the slams on my
> budget, maybe you've never had to live on limited income. I envy you.

My budget is likely more limited than yours. But anyway, any
slams were tried to be made as gentle as possible. If I hadn't,
your reply might not have been nearly as reasonable. :) 

You may not have realized it, but you seemed to be asking for
much, but by saying:

> I like the suggestion someone else made that I take some pics on my
> own, and put them on my computer and compare, but I don't have a
> memory card or a card reader, so it's not practical for me.

you almost seemed to be saying that a very, very small expense
would be impractical. It might be because your estimate of the
costs involved were much higher than mine. I know that small memory
cards can be quite cheap, but while I also thought that card readers
were fairly inexpensive I wasn't sure, as I've never bought any (my
computer is attached to an old SCSI box that accepts PCMCIA cards
and I use a PCMCIA card adapter). I just opened a magazine and the
first ad I found had 4 card readers, all less expensive than "about
$50, from what I've seen so far". These are from Microtech, GGI,
Lexar and Sandisk, and the cheapest was GGI's for $14.95. Next in
price was the Lexar reader at $29.95. This was in B&H's ad, and
while they have generally good prices, they're not the lowest.

As you say, you have no need for the higher speed of a card
reader, but if your son or someone else visits and has their own
camera, a card reader would make it a simple affair to give you a
copy of some of their pictures or allow you to copy some of yours to
their card. Another use that crops up infrequently is to help out
when cameras fail. "Is the camera bad or is it the card?" A card
reader can help answer that question. Both of these uses are likely
to occur very infrequently at best, so they're not really good
reasons to get a card reader if you don't need one, but you should
be aware that readers can be used for more than the usual purpose.
Here's another I just thought of. There are probably more. If you
have a printer that can make prints from cards that are plugged into
it, it can be a laborious process to select the pictures you want to
print if there are hundreds of pictures on the card. With that old
8 or 16MB card you can copy just the pictures you want to print,
making selection *much* quicker, even to the point that you don't
have to select any pictures at all - you could instruct the printer
to print everything it finds on the card. Another similar use might
arise if you want to bring you card to a commercial photoprinter,
and feel uncomfortable about inserting your big card with hundreds
of pictures (and possibly other things on it) into their machine.
Again, a card reader would let you quickly copy just the pictures
you want to print onto a small, expendable card. Much quicker than
burning the pictures onto a CD, and it's easier to carry. Not many
shirts have pockets large enough to hold a CD. :) 
Anonymous
July 20, 2005 7:01:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

ASAAR wrote:
> On 20 Jul 2005 10:35:24 -0700, davegb wrote:
>
> > Thanks for the excellent suggestions. Not sure about the slams on my
> > budget, maybe you've never had to live on limited income. I envy you.
>
> My budget is likely more limited than yours. But anyway, any
> slams were tried to be made as gentle as possible. If I hadn't,
> your reply might not have been nearly as reasonable. :) 
>
> You may not have realized it, but you seemed to be asking for
> much, but by saying:
>
> > I like the suggestion someone else made that I take some pics on my
> > own, and put them on my computer and compare, but I don't have a
> > memory card or a card reader, so it's not practical for me.
>
> you almost seemed to be saying that a very, very small expense
> would be impractical. It might be because your estimate of the
> costs involved were much higher than mine. I know that small memory
> cards can be quite cheap, but while I also thought that card readers
> were fairly inexpensive I wasn't sure, as I've never bought any (my
> computer is attached to an old SCSI box that accepts PCMCIA cards
> and I use a PCMCIA card adapter). I just opened a magazine and the
> first ad I found had 4 card readers, all less expensive than "about
> $50, from what I've seen so far". These are from Microtech, GGI,
> Lexar and Sandisk, and the cheapest was GGI's for $14.95. Next in
> price was the Lexar reader at $29.95. This was in B&H's ad, and
> while they have generally good prices, they're not the lowest.
>
> As you say, you have no need for the higher speed of a card
> reader, but if your son or someone else visits and has their own
> camera, a card reader would make it a simple affair to give you a
> copy of some of their pictures or allow you to copy some of yours to
> their card. Another use that crops up infrequently is to help out
> when cameras fail. "Is the camera bad or is it the card?" A card
> reader can help answer that question. Both of these uses are likely
> to occur very infrequently at best, so they're not really good
> reasons to get a card reader if you don't need one, but you should
> be aware that readers can be used for more than the usual purpose.
> Here's another I just thought of. There are probably more. If you
> have a printer that can make prints from cards that are plugged into
> it, it can be a laborious process to select the pictures you want to
> print if there are hundreds of pictures on the card. With that old
> 8 or 16MB card you can copy just the pictures you want to print,
> making selection *much* quicker, even to the point that you don't
> have to select any pictures at all - you could instruct the printer
> to print everything it finds on the card. Another similar use might
> arise if you want to bring you card to a commercial photoprinter,
> and feel uncomfortable about inserting your big card with hundreds
> of pictures (and possibly other things on it) into their machine.
> Again, a card reader would let you quickly copy just the pictures
> you want to print onto a small, expendable card. Much quicker than
> burning the pictures onto a CD, and it's easier to carry. Not many
> shirts have pockets large enough to hold a CD. :) 

Again, good suggestions. I hadn't really researched prices for card
readers yet, been busy with camera reviews and prices as well as SD
card, XD card, battery and case prices! Saw one along the way for $50,
made a mental note of it. Didn't realize all the uses of a card reader.
It was on my mental list of questions for my son when I see him next
time.
I Googled for card readers and found a large selection for under $15. I
already have SD cards for my Palm, but I'd have to buy an XD to test
the Verve. I Googled for small capacity XD cards, can get a 32M for
about $12. So for less than $25, I can get everything I need to test
most cameras! Not bad at all. And, of course, the card reader and one
of the cards I can use for my camera. So it sounds like a good
investment beyond just testing the cameras.
Thanks again!
Anonymous
July 20, 2005 10:04:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Given you have already done some comparisons, are printing fairly small
(so noise will probably not be an issue at all), and are happy about
spare batteries... go for it!

One of my cameras is an Olympus C8080, and several friends and
relatives have some of the other smaller Oly compact digitals. While
this is a very different camera to the Verve, it's a very fine camera,
its ability to produce excellent images is second to none in it's
class, and it is the camera that I always have with me. And the
results I have seen from those other Oly's lead me to have a lot of
faith in the Olympus line. They seem to be designed by photographers..
(O;

I have never been impressed with the feel or ergonomics of the Canon or
Nikon compacts, and if anything I think the much maligned Sony produces
some very good cameras in this class, like the DSC-P73, or the newer
DSC-S90. (I'm assuming you are referring to the 4Mp Verve..?).

But after what you have said.. go with the Verve. (O:
!