E3 second opinion at Luminous-Landscape

Started Apr 12, 2008 | Discussions thread
iphillips
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In reply to villebon, Apr 15, 2008

Can't resist saying it.... I'm not drinking this kool aid.

Pinder's LL article was more than fair, IMO. The press has been very easy on Olympus because they generally don't test for banding. They show you a little swatch of a (well-lit) image at various ISO's so you can see the fine detail of the noise. On that basis, the E-3 and the E-510 are pretty darned good, but it's the large-scale noise structure that's killing them at high ISO.

The E-3 is a great camera in good light (low ISO), and it can hold its own against the competition (resolution, sharpness, DR, WB, etc). But in low light it's not competitive. The E-3 can't reliably do ISO 1600. Are there any other current DSLR's that can't reliably do ISO 1600 without banding? It also doesn't focus as well as Canikon in low light unless you're using an AF illuminator (on the FL50 or FL36 etc).

I know that some folks don't want to shoot at ISO 800+, but if you are buying into a system, do you want the system that can shoot at ISO 1600 or the system that can't? If you're buying into a brand, do you want the brand that has an upgrade path to something that can shoot in low light, or the brand that doesn't?

Olympus has a nice package of features, but so does the competition. It's not like Canikon can't shoot great images at ISO 100-400.

So the shortcomings of the E-3 may not be relevant to some individuals, but they are relevant to Olympus because it plays into the average buying decision. I, for one, am not inclined to buy another body that can't shoot ISO 1600 without banding.

Olympus needs new sensors.

This isn't a 4/3rds vs. FF issue. The D40, D300, 40D and 450D can all focus and shoot in low light without banding (and without FF), and I don't see why Olympus should be incapable of doing the same. There may be a little more noise on 4/3rds, but that's something I would be willing to compromise on.

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