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Old 31-12-2009, 12:53 PM
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Thumbs down Why not Olympus DSLR

Hi Guys,

In reading this forum I note that DSLR selection seems to be restricted to Canon or Nikon, with the preference leaning toward Canon. Olympus cameras have always had a good reputation. Why or where do they miss out in astro-photography?

Robert
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Old 31-12-2009, 02:19 PM
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mswhin63 (Malcolm)
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I am sure that there is a lot of cameras that will function in AP, but i noticed that Canon and Nikon have filter support from Baader. Also a lot of mod information on cooling and so on.

I supose it needs someone to set the stage in evaluating other cameras which takes time and sometime a lot of money, along with the risk of failure and the potential of destroying a camera in the process.

If you already have the camera, maybe you can evaluate long exposure without modding and see how it goes.
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Old 31-12-2009, 02:19 PM
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Octane (Humayun)
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Rob,

The fact that it's nigh on impossible to find any online examples of Olympus astrophotography speaks volumes.

From my limited understanding, I would imagine that the single greatest hurdle for them would be software support for Olympus' own proprietory RAW format. Canon, Nikon and even Pentax, and Sony, have pretty good software support in most packages.

Just my $0.02.

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Humayun
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Old 31-12-2009, 02:33 PM
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Robert,

Generally its been a high ISO/Noise issue.

Olympus cameras haven't performed as well as the rest in the high ISO department and there have been more people modding the Canons than anything else, so that has generated the most interest and support for RAW formats and Camera Control options and DIY or commercial modifications.

But there are people out there successfuly using Olympus for Astro.

Its worth noting that the Olympus E300 and E500 (now superceded and very cheap) use the Kodak KAF8300 8mp (colour) sensor - this is a 4/3rds format CCD that is ever so slightly smaller than APSC sized sensors used by the Canons but tends to have a more useful aspect ratio (no flaming !)

So if you can cool these (and I am not sure if you can do that so easily) then you would be using a One Shot Colour version of the same chip that all the big name Astro Camera manufacturers are releasing now !!

The Olympus E1 (5mp pro DSLR now superceded) lends itself to cooling very well because the CCD is by chance thermally coupled to the lens flange mount, so by adding a chiller to the lens mount (via an extension tube) you could cool it.
Not all software will control the various Olympus cameras however, so its worthwhile checking that first.

Most of the Olypus cameras can be modded for IR enhanced photography by removng the IR filter and or the antialiasing filter. Its not for the fainthearted, but there are services available to mode your camera - essentially the IR filter is removed and replaced with a piece of clear optical glass.

Rally
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Old 31-12-2009, 03:40 PM
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I do wonder whether this attitude (for want of a better word and no criticism intended) is limited to this forum for say, historic reasons. I have found a Yahoo forum which is actually dedicated to the Olympus cameras http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/O...rophotography/
and from what I have read, camera modding is certainly "on".
With regards software, I have been checking out the Olympus site and Olympus have 2 main support programs. The one which comes with the camera is simply an archiving and editing program, the other also includes camera control.

The major difference that I can see is that they use CMOS rather than CCD (although I haven't checked their high-end cameras) and this could account for their reported noise levels.

Robert (doing some research)
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Old 31-12-2009, 04:58 PM
rally
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Robert,

MaximDL suports the E series DSLR's quite well
See here -
http://www.cyanogen.com/help/maximdl/Olympus_DSLR.htm
"This plug-in currently supports the Olympus E-System camera models including the E-1, E-300, E-330, E-400, E-410, E-500 and E-510 using the supplied USB connections."

Olympus have used both CCD and CMOS sensors in their DSLR range.

There haven't been many posts about a lot of equipment but that doesnt mean it is either good or bad, just that people aren't using it or arent posting.
Olympus is a niche player in the DSLR market and a (the ?) leader in the Point and Shoot market there simply arent that many people doing astro with them.

I expect the new Micro 4/3rd format Olympus cameras to start making a serious impact - these are DSLR cameras with the same sized 4/3rd sensors that do HD video and everything else but are the same size as a point and shoot and I hpe they can be used for live preview in colour attached to the end of a telescope instead of an eye piece !

There are also some astro examples on the Four Thirds Photography Forum - you can search by Keyword.
This link should do it.
http://forum.fourthirdsphoto.com/for...c&daysprune=-1
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Old 31-12-2009, 05:21 PM
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Hi i do use a olympus e520 dslr camera for astro imageing.it is good as long you dont go over iso 400 or go over 15 min subs .you do get banding on hot nights but there is zero amp glow even at 30 mins exp. It is a good camera for the money but a canon 40d is slighty better for night shots . The images below are 4 and 8 min exp with out dark frames and manully guided .
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:33 AM
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Thank you Rally and Shane for your comments and info. which I will follow up. Great shots Shane - very impressive. I'm sure there must be quite a knack to manual guiding - you seem to have made a great job of it.
As you probably gather, I am, and have always been interested in the Olympus range and in fact am now looking seriously at the E-620.
All the best for the new year.
Robert
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:14 AM
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olympus are getting better every year that goes by they just need to work on the noise problems and computer software. i did read somewhere that the e620 does still have noise at height iso. you do have to work a little harder with the olympus camera for night shots but day time photos it is exellant. here is some more photos.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:13 PM
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Thanks for those Shane. I have just had a browse of the two sites you gave links to and was most impressed. Hadn't seen either before - the Internet is truly amazing (to echo my wife).
My interest was particularly caught by MaximDL having provision to wait for camera steady after mirror up.
Looking at the forum poll on ISO, 800 seems to be the maximum most use. ISO 400 is one stop slower or 2 minutes instead of 1 minute in terms of exposure (neglecting reciprocity), so not a great deal in it really.
Your photos are also very encouraging.
Robert
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