A night at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic

I received an exciting invitation from Olympus PR last week. Would I be able to attend the Legg Mason Tennis Classic on August 1st, here in DC? I’d get a box seat and the chance to try out the new E-510 DSLR. Absolutely, I said!

What do you think I did this afternoon? I was center court, sure enough, sitting together with five other folks from reputable news organizations, geeking out on Olympus DLSR stuff and comparing cameras and features. The E-410 was also available to try out. It’s the smallest and lightest DSLR on the market. You’ll remember the E-330 held that title before, but it didn’t have a prism. The E-410 has the prism. It, along with the E-510, now also has Live View, which lets you compose photos on screen.

If you know your cameras, then you know Live View is a pretty innovative feature, which is really hard to accomplish on a DSLR. In the E-330, Olympus used two sensors and a complicated mirror system to accomplish it. With the E-410 and E-510, they’ve simplified things. Now they have only one CMOS that does it all. I’m planning to write a detailed review of the E-510 after I’ve used it thoroughly for a month, and I’ll explain how the Live View works in the review.

Back to the Legg Mason Classic. The weather was filthy hot today, but thankfully the humidity was fairly low for our area, and the sun’s oven-hot rays tapered off around 7 pm. I slathered on plenty of sunscreen, but still got sunburn. Such is life when you’re a pale-face.

The first match, at 4 pm, was P. Goldstein (USA) vs. R. Stepanek (CZE). By the way, you can check the schedule over here. I didn’t know who to root for. Goldstein put up a serious fight and I thought he’d win. Stepanek looked like he was losing, but somehow he kept on top and won the match. Goldstein was the crowd favorite — apparently he grew up in the DC area. Stepanek got booed a few times, but I have a feeling he didn’t really care. He kept at it and brought home the bacon, so to speak — home for him being Monte Carlo, which is not a bad place to call home if I might say so.

The second match was A. Clement (FRA) vs. T. Johansson (SWE). Johansson had some amazingly fast serves. He clocked in at 132 mph once, if I remember correctly. He also had great returns. Clement kept pouting and giving the crowd angry looks if they’d as much as get up from their seats. In the end Clement went home to sulk over a baguette and Brie and Johansson advanced to the next round.

The third (and final match for me) featured the annoying Bryan twins (USA) vs. P. Goldstein and T. Phillips (USA). Yes, you read correctly. That’s the same Goldstein from the first match at center court. How he managed to recover from that exhausting match with Stepanek in the course of a couple of hours, I don’t know, but there he was, ready to put up another good fight. I instantly had to root for him. You have to respect a guy that plays two tournament matches in one night. That’s real dedication and perseverance. Unfortunately, all he and Phillips could do against the (yes, I’ll say it again) annoying Bryan twins was to put up a good fight.

The dynamically annoying duo towered over the shorter Goldstein and Phillips and smiled gleefully as they mercilessly tore away at their opponents. I’m sorry, I don’t care if they’re top seeded and girls find them cute, I found myself calling them names and hoping Goldstein and Phillips would beat the pants off them. I didn’t end up staying for the whole match, and after I got home, I found out that the annoying Bryan twins lived up to their ill-begotten reputation and won it. I so wanted them brought down a notch… They desperately need it.

All in all, I had a LOT of fun, and I’m really glad I got to meet people from the National Geographic Traveler, Internet News and The Washington Post. But all of this would not have been possible without Michael Bourne (yes, that’s his real name) from Mullen, who organized the entire get-together and provided us with some great new DLSRs to test and review. Michael, Mullen, Olympus, thank you! I look forward to processing the photos I got last night, and reviewing the E-510! :-)

Updated 8/6/07: The photos are available right here.

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13 thoughts on “A night at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic

  1. Those Didik cars are something, that’s for sure! :-) Yup, saw some of the earliest videos of Jansen’s creations back in 2004. Very cool stuff!

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  2. Thanks Raoul! Stop by anytime.
    I like that HumanCar video you posted. Reminded me a bit of some of the imaginative human powered vehicles Frank Didik has designed: http://www.didik.com/art/
    Oh, and have you seen this cool wind-powered kinetic sculptures by Theo Jansen?

    Very fun to watch.

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  3. Thanks Julie! The Live View feature on the E-410 and E-510 is much, much better than what you’d see on point-and-shoot digital cameras. For one thing, the same sensor used for photographs is used for it, not some really cheap and tiny secondary sensor with poor resolution. This means two things: (1) the quality of the view you get through it is great and (2) what you see is what you get. What I mean by last point is that you can expect the photo to look the same as what you see on screen. This is because the sensor isn’t off to the side somewhere, and no angle adjustment needs to take place between the screen and what the camera records. The Live View is dynamically adjusted based on your aperture, ISO, white balance and image stabilization settings. It’s pretty cool indeed.

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  4. Look forward to that E-510 review. I’m still shooting with my E-300 and I’ve got to say that I still love that DSLR. I’ve heard some good things about it. Live View is the one feature I wish the 300 had.

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  5. Hmmm, I wondered why it was  so quiet around the office this afternoon…
    Glad you had a good time and met some nice folks.

    National Geographic Traveler worker bee

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