I finally ordered the new camera (the Olympus Evolt E-500). I’ve been waiting months for this and I’m really excited. Once I had the go-ahead to order it, it still took me over 24 hours to pull the trigger. I knew what I wanted, there was no doubt about that, but I needed to obsess over who I should order it from. I considered Amazon, but after they raised the price $80 over the past month, that pissed me off enough to look elsewhere. The best price was actually Sam’s Club, but c’mon Sam’s Club?I finally chose a package on eBay from Cameta Camera that included a 1GB fast CF card, a bag (I don’t need) and a bunch of other useless stuff. The thing is, it’s a factory-demo. It’s mint condition and came with only 212 shutter movements — I’ve pushed it to over 800 in the week since it came. I got it along with two additional years of factory warranty and two OK lens filters all for less than just the camera body and the two lens kit would have cost new at Amazon. It’s turned out to be a good choice.
Why did I choose the Olympus? For a number of reasons. The reviews are undeniably good. Another thing… I’m not the kind of person who typically follows what everyone else is buying — I’ve only ever owned one pair of Nikes, and someone bought them for me. The market leaded typically doesn’t try as hard. While the Canon Rebel XT is a really good camera, I didn’t like the size of it. It felt small in my hands (I have to like using it), the kit lens was less than excellent (the Olympus comes with two solid lenses) and the price was too high (to come up with a comparable kit I would have been hundreds more and with three kids and a mortgage, that mattered a lot). To me there is also something a bit “plasticy” about the Rebel — even though it’s no more plastic than the Olympus. Toss in the memory of Agassi doing those ridiculous EOS “Rebel” ads in the early 90’s (it’s not all science) and I definitely wanted an alternative.
I have a history with Nikon and Olympus. In my pre-digital days, I had a nice Nikon setup that my dad has continued. I sold my FM2 on eBay to finance the purchase of the then-state of the art Olympus c-3000z in 2001 — a camera I still own. I gave my collection of excellent lenses to my dad who has since added a set of collector worthy bodies (an F an F3 Titanium and at least one other) so someday — opefully many, many years from now — I’ll be back with the Nikon. I love Nikon, but Olympus has had my back digitally for years (since 1999) and the quality I’ve found has been excellent.
Now for something decent to shoot. I gotta get out of town soon.