So my Olympus E-300 was (almost) broken and could not be fixed by the official service. What was left to me was to check what I could do with the gear and see if it could be sold individually as parts. Here’s the list and price for each item or set of items:
Set 1 (40 euros):
- Non-functioning E-300 body in almost mint condition
- 2GB in CF cards (2 X 512MB + 1 X 1GB)
- original packaging, including manuals
- CD with the Olympus Master software
- Original body cap
- original neck strap (really worn)
- USB cable
- AV cable
- Remote control (not the original, but still working ok with the camera)
Set 2 (105 euros):
and the following items:
So in total everything was given for 180 euros roughly, out of which 140 euros went directly for purchasing a second-hand Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 pancake lens for my new E-PM1 and another 10 for the Flipbac Camera Grip G2.
So after the sudden death of my Olympus E-300, I ended up with an Olympus E-PM1 double zoom kit (M.ZUIKO Digital 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II R and M.ZUIKO Digital ED 40-150mm f4.0-5.6 R). It came in white color (body), with silver lenses, a combination that I don’t find really attractive; however, I didn’t have the choice since it was the only available model…
I have only spent about a week with the E-PM1 and I get to like it. It was not easy to compare it with E-300, as the latter was bulkier and had the style of a dSLR; on the other hand, the Pen Mini looks like a compact with interchangeable lenses! I tried to compile a list of things I like in Pen Mini and things I miss, compared to the E-300:
What I like:
- It is more portable, so I suppose I will start taking it with me in my business trips (it has been a long time since the last time I took E-300 with me, due to the weight and volume needed)
- It looks more fun to use, due to the interesting “artistic” effects and small size; I don’t look like a professional photographer now!
- These filters will minimize the time for post-processing; I used to do the same with my mobile phone (shoot and then process photos with filters and effects), now I will do it in a higher-quality manner. With my mobile phone I used to shoot first and apply the filters later; with E-PM1 I can shoot using the filters in advance!
- It shoots HD video, which is really appreciated. I already have a cheap but good HD camcorder but using one camera for both photos and videos is a plus.
- It uses the widely used SD memory cards and not the obsolete CF ones.
What I miss:
- Optical viewfinder: After almost 10 years of shooting through an optical viewfinder, I find it hard to get used to frame photos through the LCD screen.
- Menu dial on top: Even though I usually do not mess with settings (Aperture/Shutter etc), I was using the top menu dial switch for changing between different functions. I find that doing that through the menu is more time consuming and confusing
- The commands assigned to the dial on the back of the camera are not adjustable, so I am stuck with the predefined ones, which are not really convenient to me. I would like e.g. to have either a dedicated ISO button or at least a way to program one of the existing buttons to do so
- There is no hand grip on the body of the camera (front/back), which makes it rather awkward to hold with my fat fingers. E-300 had an excellent grip which was really convenient for holding the camera either way.
- Flash is not built-in, so I found myself looking for it in some cases (e.g. strong back light), when it was left in my camera bag.
That’s all for now. I guess that I will get used to it with time and I may get for once more into digital photography, a hobby that I have almost given up for many years now…
It must have been 2005 when I got my Olympus E-300, my first dSLR. I was an amateur photographer back then (well, I still am!), with previous experience only with small compact cameras.
E-300 was bulky but sturdy; it felt like a rock in my hands. Excellent construction and finishing, excellent quality of photos, wealth of settings and options. It came as a kit with the ZD 14-45mm f3.5-5.6, which was paired with a Sigma 55-200mm f4-5.6; however, I hardly used the latter, as I was shooting mostly landscapes. E-300 was a trusty companion in several trips, both inside and outside Greece and had been through some difficult situations but never showed up any sign of wear.
It was only during an event organized by the company I am working for back in December 2012, that was misused by a colleague and then stopped functioning properly; everything was working fine with no CF card in the slot but when a card was used, the camera would not even turn on… a visit to the official service in Greece proved that the camera could not be repaired, due to the lack of spare parts.
Even though I got a nice offer from the service (and I feel grateful for that), I have to admit that I am going to miss E-300. It was a workhorse which one was not afraid to use under hard conditions and in any case. I have thousands of photos taken with my E-300, kept as a legacy and proof of the quality images that were captured with my poor skills.
So long, E-300 and thank you for being here for me during all these years!