Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cameras in the field

These “wild things” are easy to photograph as they remain stationary and aren't people shy. All are originally Japanese species but have been introduced and naturalized in Thailand, the Philippines and China. I'd rather they all stayed in Japan, the naturalized ones just aren't as hardy and are prone to diseases.



The Pentax KM uses 4AA batteries and is a very small and light camera (by SLR standards). Not a fan of the pictures it produces straight out of the box though. Perhaps a better lens and more tweaking would bring out better photos. Not mine so can’t play around with it. The Nikon d90 on the right is significantly larger and heavier but is a great versatile camera. Costs about twice as much as the Pentax besides it. The Pentax is assembled in the Philippines if I remember correctly while the Nikon was put together in Thailand.


Olympus_e510 (2)

Olympus e510. My favorite shooter, small and light and a superb easy to use “super menu” for making quick changes to different settings. Great colors straight out of camera. Unfortunately, it is also the most prone to failure among all SLRs I have used (that includes a Canon 350d, not pictured in this post). This Olympus has been into the service depot twice, and after 3 years is now acting up (flash not popping up and not firing sometimes).



Oly in the wild. Waterfall at the back. The Oly’s viewfinder is the smallest vf I have ever come across on an slr and frankly, am tired of squinting. Liveview helps but is painfully slow. I hope the next new model (not the e620) will have a larger vf and better dynamic range.



Sony Alpha 350. Love Sony’s liveview system, works really well and is very fast. Not a fan of the colors out of camera though but some tweaking and pp should fix that. And not a fan of the menu system either. Accessing certain things like flash intensity requires one too many clicks.



Olympus e510 and Sony A350.


Other cameras I have used but not pictured are the Canon 350d and the Nikon d80 which I still use every now and then but is too heavy to bring hiking. I am searching for a new compact slr now, the Olympus e620 is tempting esp with an articulating LCD but I’ve had enough of squinting thru tiny viewfinders. Considered the Pentax KX but google produced too many reports of problems with the anti-shake system. So the wait continues…


Sarawakiana@2 said...

Very thoughtful article. Enjoyed reading it.

Hort Log said...

time to get an e620

John Cedric said...

Dear Sarawak Lens, I saw your post about the On-Off Switch problem with your Olympus E-510. I wish I'm writing to offer a solution but in reality I have the same problem and was wondering if you found a solution already? This loose On-Off Switch problem has happened to me twice already- once on my E-500 & the Oly service center here in the Philippines said was due to problems with the top plate. They were never able to give a satisfactory answer so I had no choice but to have it repaired. Unfortunately it happened to me again w/ my 2-year old E-510. The only way I can take pictures now is by taping the On-Off Switch to the On position- add to this the memory card door is loose & had to be taped too but this makes the camera look as if it got run over by a truck. I hope there's someone who can share a better solution. Johnny Imperial (

sarawaklens said...

John, I got it fixed by Olympus. It was still under warranty and I got it back in about a week. No further problems since then. My e510 looks like it's been used for 10 years lol. it's been my faithful outing companion for 3 years now and still takes wonderful pictures. I am no longer that interested in new cameras. It was just a phase. :)
But yes that battery door can be quite a pain!!

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