Quote Originally Posted by georg16nik View Post
There is a big difference between the low budget soapbox RF like XA or 35RC and full featured RF like CV Bessa, Zeiss or Leica.
I haven't shot the Olympus rangefinders, but assuming they're similar to their relatives from Canon, Yashica, Minolta, etc., I think this statement is only sort of correct. There is a big difference, but I think it has more to do with the user experience than with objective measures of quality. (As far as the bodies are concerned, that is. Lenses are a more complicated issue.) The fixed-lens rangefinders mostly have electronic shutters that are dead-on if they're working at all, onboard meters that work fine given the right battery, and often really good viewfinders---but the controls are sometimes fiddly, many don't have full manual modes, and they just don't *feel* like high-end cameras. To some people that adds up to "terrific cheap camera", to others it adds up to "not comfortable enough to make its virtues practical".

Also, the argument about camera shake is valid in the low end.
I didn't understand thuggins's point about "setting the exposure with the shutter button", and maybe it's a construction specific to the Olympus cameras. I think everyone agrees that camera shake induced by the internal moving parts is worse with an SLR than a rangefinder, all other things being equal---and especially with the cheap fixed-lens RFs, which mostly have leaf shutters---but the concern seems to be something about shake induced by pushing the shutter release. I'm pretty sure it doesn't apply to the Bessa bodies, which if I remember correctly actually share their release mechanism with some Cosina-made SLRs.

-NT