After Eight Months With the E-3...

Started Aug 27, 2009 | Discussions
dark goob Contributing Member • Posts: 980
After Eight Months With the E-3...

After eight months with the E-3, 15,000+ pictures later, I have to say: this camera rules. I love it. But it has its flaws. So here I'll say the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I just love the "Oly color." The image quality is awesome. I have some OM primes with adapter but I just find consistently that my 12-60 + 50-200 are basically all I need. The only thing I would really like to add is a 50mm 2.0, and the 300mm 2.8. I guess I don't really care about the wide angle. Oh, a 25mm 1.4 would be nice, but frankly... I just can't justify $999 for a fast prime. Ugh.

I love the wireless FL-50R. I love the weatherproofing, and boy have I ever tested that: champagne, water, lots of water, sand, etc. Not very much sand but a little bit, no issues. Never a dust spot. Image stabilizer works well enough. Metering is fine. The swivel LCD is fantastic.

What would I change? Most of the features changes I would suggest are already in E-30, E-620, E-P1, and undoubtedly will make their way into the E-3's successor.

But one thing I would change is the Info modes. Currently you have up to six (?) different info display modes, and you have to press info each time to cycle to the next info mode. They streamlined this on the E-P1 by allowing you to turn off certain info screens so you are only switching between two, lets say, the green square zoom-in or the standard view. And then the auto-zoom-in on the E-P1 is genius. But I would love to see this: hold down the info button and turn the dial to cycle through a series of icons representing each info mode, then stop on the one you want to use. Simple. Fast. Better.

Also improved batteries. Pentax, Nikon, Sony, they all have the improved info type batteries. Improved battery grip: I'm tired of my HLD-4 crapping out with AA's in it when I try to use wireless flash, etc. I would also like a 4-way controller on the battery grip, like Sony does. I don't care if it costs more.

Higher rez screen: not that big of a deal, to be honest. But of course it would be nice.

Sharp previews of SHQ jpegs!!! Ugh. I end up shooting in JPEG Normal, against my will, so that I can zoom in to check my focus. That's just wrong.

Stay at 10 megapixels if necessary, but LESS NOISE. Not better noise reduction, LESS ACTUAL NOISE, especially in the shadows. I'd gladly give up 12mp and stay at 10... I think the resolution is fine... I'd get a Canon 5D MK II if I wanted tons of resolution. I buy Olympus for the image quality, color quality. And having noisy shadows is my #1 complaint on this camera, even at ISO 400 it's pretty bad in those shadows.

I will say this: after the 1.4 firmware, the C-AF is AWESOME. I LOVE the AF on this camera. It's made out of pure WIN. I hope we can see some more SWD lenses soon. I would personally love to see a fast prime from Oly... I know the story, it's not telecentric, it's hard to do. Well, I just think there's a way, there has to be a way... figure it out. I'd be so happy about a 67.5mm F1.4.

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bobmax Veteran Member • Posts: 6,380
Pretty much agree across the board... .
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Bob

odl Senior Member • Posts: 1,684
Re: After Eight Months With the E-3...

I agree on most of your points, and some i have no opinion on... as i dont often scroll through info windows etc... but if you say its an improvement I will go for it.

Also improved batteries. Pentax, Nikon, Sony, they all have the improved info type batteries. Improved battery grip: I'm tired of my HLD-4 crapping out with AA's in it when I try to use wireless flash, etc. I would also like a 4-way controller on the battery grip, like Sony does. I don't care if it costs more.

This I agree with 110% i bought the HLD-4 and returned it the next day, i didn't find it nearly as comfortable as the E-3 grip itself. I found it wasn't as easy to grip or reach any of the buttons... but thats just me, other hands might have fit well... but the E-3 is so damn comfortable to hold, the grip was a huge letdown.

Sharp previews of SHQ jpegs!!! Ugh. I end up shooting in JPEG Normal, against my will, so that I can zoom in to check my focus. That's just wrong.

I do find the slightly fuzzy images in preview disconcerting, it took me a few shots to work out it was the preview not the focus

Stay at 10 megapixels if necessary, but LESS NOISE. Not better noise reduction, LESS ACTUAL NOISE, especially in the shadows. I'd gladly give up 12mp and stay at 10... I think the resolution is fine... I'd get a Canon 5D MK II if I wanted tons of resolution. I buy Olympus for the image quality, color quality. And having noisy shadows is my #1 complaint on this camera, even at ISO 400 it's pretty bad in those shadows.

I think riley calls this better black clipping, not sure what he means but I am doing some jewellery shots with smooth reflections on black acrylic and it is a little bothersome.

All in all i also love my system, the 12-60 keeps blowing me away... I have looked at the D700 as a second system or the 5DmII, or the Sony A900, however the quality the E-3 delivers always has me saying... do i need to spend the money?

Too much quality out there...

So glad there is another satisfied E-3 user, enjoyed reading your post.

Ab

rezaf_2000 Regular Member • Posts: 335
Re: After Eight Months With the E-3...

And having noisy shadows is my #1 complaint on this camera, even at ISO 400 it's pretty bad in those shadows.

You might know this already, but just in case: make sure your gradation is NOT set to auto, otherwise you'll get gobs of noise in shadows even in low ISOs.

ThingFish Contributing Member • Posts: 699
Re: After Eight Months With the E-3...

And wouldn't it be nice if Olympus abandons the XD card in favor of the SD cards

ShatteredSky
ShatteredSky Senior Member • Posts: 1,864
Re: After Eight Months With the E-3...

rezaf_2000 wrote:

You might know this already, but just in case: make sure your gradation is NOT set to auto, otherwise you'll get gobs of noise in shadows even in low ISOs.

That is about the only real thing that bothers me about the image quality of the E-420: not the finely distributed noise as single points, but the acumulated blotches in the dark / shadow areas of an image.

Why is there no gradual drop to dark with finely distributed noise as black points, but rather flat black (jagged) areas. And gradation is not auto.

Cheers

Claudius

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rovingtim Veteran Member • Posts: 8,643
agree

ShatteredSky wrote:

That is about the only real thing that bothers me about the image quality of the E-420: not the finely distributed noise as single points, but the acumulated blotches in the dark / shadow areas of an image.

This (and banding on the E3) are the only real IQ issues.

Ivo Verhaar
Ivo Verhaar Regular Member • Posts: 346
Re: agree

I can only agree, as a matter of fact, an E-5 or whatever needs to be much much more in order to make me change. Just because the current package is soo good.

My wish list is more on the lens front. 2 10x zooms (12-120 vs 50-500) with weather sealing and decent macro option would be lovely.

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