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JohnJohnsonIII

Oly 5060

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Okay...I am looking at the 5060 and wondering if I should go for it. I will be here in Japan in the beginning of Nov(when I THINK I saw it was being released). I am just starting to wonder about IF I should buy. I see this as one of their smaller leaps forward(revision of old model) and not really a NEW model. It's exciting that there is a new f-stop and less shutter lag. I love the fact that we can use our above-water WAL and strobe in new casings. And a wider ange lens is great news, too. But when I think about it, I'm wondering if I am not better off with my current Oly 5050 setup.

Why? Because I have already bought both the U/W lenses and the above-water ones, so I get no savings for that feature. A new wider lens is great, but I have a WAL for my setup and don't know if the difference would be worth the expenditure. And I really wonder if the Oly strobe-in-a-box will compare to the Ikelite that I am drooling over right now...

On the other hand, another f-stop, less shutter lag, and a smaller compact setup(since I am a freediver) does seem rather appealing. Question is--is it appealing enough to buy the camera, the case(s), and the above-water strobe(don't currently use one) for these benefits.

Normally when Oly mentions "new product" or "shinhatsubai" I start drooling, but I am starting to weigh the economics of this one and I don't feel myself reaching for the wallet...can someone change my mind by pointing out things that I have missed or misinterpreted? Thanks...

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Just remember that all Olympus cameras have Japanese language menus that cannot be changed except by their authorized service facilities.

 

I would spend the money on a better strobe seeing as you already have the 5050.

 

Cheers,

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That's an interesting point, mars. Thanks! I don't mind the Japanese menus, actually. I am curious that you can't change the menu like you can on the English ones. I can change my settings to several different languages, including Japanese.

 

--John

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I'm not yet drooling over this one for underwater photography ...

 

I think the change in the f-stops is the wrong way ... ie this lens is less bright than the C5050. And the smallest aperture is still F8.

The camera uses a Li-ion battery so I would need to bring a separate charger for it & buy a couple of spare batteries specifically for the camera (the C5050 & all my other gear uses AA which is good insurance in case of charging problems - it's easy to buy AA batteries almost anywhere).

As far as I can see the WA lens housing is actually a port rather than a separate piece. That means you can't put it on or take it off underwater. That means less flexibility than the current wet lenses give you on the C5050.

The FL20 isn't a very bright flash (I have one so I know). Having said that, being able to use Olympus TTL would be nice. But it looks like you could only synch one flash (but I never used a synch cord so I don't know whether you could use a dual cord connected to 2 flashes - that could be nice if it works). I think it would be relatively cheap to get a bulkhead put into a PT-015 and get any benefits of the housed FL-20 that way.

The fancy new LCD panel features are useless in a housing.

 

 

Having said all that ...

I think this would be a better camera for land use than the C5050.

The wider native lens would be a plus.

I think this camera is smaller than the C5050 (but I didn't check so don't take my word for it).

Those proprietary batteries seem to have similar total power (mWh) to a set of 4 of the best currently available NiMH.

Better movies!

The housed FL20 would weigh very much less than any dedicated u/w strobe. And presumably it would actually work reliably!

 

Just my thoughts after reading a first pre-production review.

 

-David

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Good points. I just went to the local CompMart in Japan to scope prices on setups. They have the E1 for right under 2K. They have pamphlets for the EOS D1s(inside the glass counter as if someone would steal the free pamphlets--go figure). Looks nice. The EOS was selling for something like 4.5K without lenses. Throw in a lens or two, a strobe, and the underwater housing and this setup will cost you your firstborn child, a kidney, and half the family jewels. But man does it look sweet. But seeing as I know nothing about photography, I won't even entertain the thought about spending that kind of money until I relatively competent. But wow, it's nice to window shop... :(

I am not too keen on Olympus's recent decisions on semi-proprietary technologies. The XD card is another one of those things that has me looking around for a card reader. Now the batteries. I made the mistake of buying a "quick charger" that Oly put out recently. Piece of crap. Doesn't work a quarter of the time and often takes as long as my regular Oly charger. My Rayovac 1 hour charger, which I bought for my 4040 way back when, charges the Rayovacs in no time flat. If only Oly could get it together. Being a keiretsu, they are spending too much effort on the nonessentials and not getting their core crap down. So this year we get a revision model instead of a new model in the C-series of cameras.

I am in my 3rd generation of Oly cameras, but I am looking around and thinking about switching...

 

My $.02...

John

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The Japanese language menu thing is probably done by Olympus to discourage gray market sales.

 

For Nikon cameras (and Canon, I think), you can switch to English language menus.

 

John, you know nothing about photography but have 3 different cameras and housings?!?

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Mars, yup. Maybe a little modest, but I have no formal learning per se in the realm of photography. I have been shooting digital since the Kodak DC50 first came out. Then I bought the Oly 2020 and an underwater housing and got hooked on Olympus. I took it everywhere and loved using it. I got the 4040 and used it constantly for a year or so, and now I have had the 5050 going on half a year or more...I'm having a blast and taking some incredible shots, but I have a lot of room for improvement. I read here and there, but I would not consider myself anywhere near as competent in photography as a lot of the people I see online here. Doesn't mean I don't take pride in the shots I have taken and I think a lot of my shots hold up quite well compared to people who are well versed in the theory. It just means I have a lot of room for improvement. And that's why I'm here. :(

 

--John

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What I've seen of the 5060 so far hasn't led me to want to trade my 5050 in.

 

I'm concerned that it may actually be a step backwards, particularly the proprietary battery issue and REDUCTION in lens speed.

 

Right now my Maha charger will charge a completely dead set of 2200mah AAs in about 2 hours on the "fast" cycle, and do it in my house, in my car, or in my boat. The batteries also cost me about $10 a set, and the same batteries work in most of my portable stuff, so get interchangability and, with a couple of little plastic holder cases, I can stuff a couple extra charged sets in my pocket. That ain't happening with the LiION packs, simply for cost reasons if nothing else, not to mention that now I have no interchangeability.

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Surely the really big advantage of the C5060 is the reduced shutter lag. That for me is the major pain in the ass for all other digital cameras (at least the onces I have tried) Trying to take a picture of any moving object is well near impossible. Hopefull this camera will bring the consumer level camera in line with the simple operation of a housed SLR or DSLR. It will make a huge difference to pic taking underwater. The other changes are certainly not worth upgrading a 5050 for but the shutter lag........mmmmmmmmm I would think about!

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John,

 

Re "I made the mistake of buying a "quick charger" that Oly put out recently. Piece of crap. Doesn't work a quarter of the time and often takes as long as my regular Oly charger."

 

I have three Ike strobes and have used the quick charger 100's of times to recharge them. For me it never takes more than hour and normally much less. Plus, with it's two step charge rate, I don't have to worry about overcharging.

 

The only problem I ever had was with the center strobe pin not being spread open enough to make good contact. By inserting a small screwdriver blade in the pin I was able to spread it to the point where it always makes good contact.

 

My suggestion, get your quick charger working the way is designed to work. Then you will have another winning charger in your stable.

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Right now I have 3 or 4 chargers, so I am not worried about not being able to charge, but I must say I am highly disappointed with Olympus in the battery department. I bought the new one wanting a faster charger for all my Oly batteries(have a lot) and paid a pretty penny for the charger and batteries together. I bought it in Japan before coming back to the US and it hasn't worked very well since the beginning. The contacts are fine. Everything is fine. The charger is clean and physically ok. Half the time you put in batteries you get a blinking error light. A quarter of the time the thing charges and the light never goes out. The other quarter of the time you get a charge. What a waste it was. I will start looking into all brands BUT Olympus for juice...

 

--John

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To me, the advantages of the 5060 over the 5050 appear to be 2:

 

1) No hold this, while twirling that, to change aperture or shutter speed.

 

2) Faster Autofocus.

 

However, the later is due to the external, IR active focus system, which will not work through a housing.

 

Don

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To me, the advantages of the 5060 over the 5050 appear to be 2:

 

1) No hold this, while twirling that, to change aperture or shutter speed.

 

2) Faster Autofocus.

 

However, the later is due to the external, IR active focus system, which will not work through a housing.

 

Don

 

Hello Don,

 

#1 is incorrect, the 5060 features the same menu system. The jog dial alone changes shutter speed in manual mode, but to change aperture, a fucntion button is pressed while turning the jog dial.

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Absolutely, as a 5060 owner the menus seem largely unchanged. You still need to hold down the small button on the left to change aperture in Manual mode. Though when shooting in Aperture (or Shutter) priority it is smart enough to just let you twirl the jog dial to adjust the relevant parameter. This may be the same as the 5050 - I don't know I never had one.

 

Personally If I had a 5050 with all the bits, I wouldn't change. It may be a bit less shutter lag, and faster autofocus, but it doesn't seem that fast to me - no where like DSLR. Your wet WAL lenses don't work well with the 5060. A wet WAL with dome on the 5050 will get you better than possible on the 5060 right now. The housed FL20 looks pants - not enough grunt. Oly WAL under a flat port = bad distortion and takes you from a potential 19mm domed to 26mm equiv.

 

True the max aperture is f2.8. But look around that is not really slow. You 5050 users have had it too good. How often do you use wide open under water. (yes yes indoor low light benefits - woo hoo. The 5060 seems to have a lot less noise at higher ISOs so what we lose on the lens we gain elsewhere.) The batteries though proprietary Li-Ion are FANTASTIC. Don't look just at the specs, this battery is amazing. 200+ shots and still firing, no sign of a battery low symbol.

 

Personally I'm still not sure If I made the right choice, I'd like to see the Ike housing though.....

 

Check out these links for sample pictures:

 

Cameras Underwater

DigitalDiver forum

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