Olympus E-3 Review
Live View off: Shooting information / settings changes
With live view off you can optionally display a Control Panel on the LCD monitor, this provides both an overview of camera settings as well as a method for changing settings. Press OK to access the options, move around and press OK again to change a setting. Unlike the lowlier models in the E-system range the E-3 only offers one level of information ('lots').
Overall we weren't that impressed with the E-3's control system (the external buttons, the incomprehensible top panel LCD and the interminable menus), but the 'Super Control Panel' is the saving grace, without which the camera would be almost too annoying to use. Other manufacturers could learn a thing or two from this feature.
|An example of the information display which provides a summary of current camera settings and exposure.||Press the OK button to access any displayed setting, move around using the 4-way controller and OK again to change.|
|Changing White Balance||Changing Picture Mode|
Live View on
The E-3 features the same Live View functionality as all the other current models in the Olympus range, though the marginally faster and noticeably quieter mirror mechanism means it's marginally less annoying to use. To activate live view you simply press the button on the rear of the camera (below the LCD). You can change the image overlay in live view mode by pressing the INFO button. Below you can see the four default views followed by the three optional grid overlay views.
Note that every time you switch Live View mode on the screen displays a reminder to flip the switch on the side of the viewfinder to close the eyepiece blind (this is to stop the metering being affected by light entering from the viewfinder).
Changing settings in Live View
In live view mode pressing the OK button displays a semi-transparent settings overlay as shown on the left below, this not only provides a summary of current camera settings but allows you to navigate and change any setting you wish (as above).
Live View: Auto Focus
Like the other cameras in the E-System the E-3 provides for Auto Focus in Live View,and once again it does so by closing the shutter and dropping the mirror so that the AF sensor can be used. During AF the Live View is darkened and frozen and returns when the camera has achieved a focus lock or has given up trying, this can take as little as 0.5 seconds (it feels fractionally faster than the E-510 / E-410, but not enough to make a significant difference when shooting). Using Live View adds around 0.6 seconds to the shutter lag (we measured it as 0.68 sec with live view on, 0.03 sec with it off).
This example animation is slowed down to around half its normal speed, it actually took around 0.6 seconds for the camera to drop the mirror, focus lock and raise it again before returning the live view with the steady green focus indicator.
The sequence you're seeing here is: live view before focus, half-press shutter release, screen darkens and freezes (mirror down, AF), focus complete (mirror up), live view returns.
Live View: Exposure sequence
In Live View mode the shutter release sequence is; mirror down, measure exposure, mirror up, shutter release (open / close), mirror down, live view enabled. This clearly means that there is a short period where the screen blacks out (around half a second). This sequence: live view before exposure, depress shutter release button, shot taken (screen blank), record review image appears and returns to live view. As mentioned, it feels a little faster than the E-510 (mainly because the mirror moves a little faster), but in reality the difference in overall shutter lag (including focus) or pre focus lag is very small.
|Initial view||Half-press the shutter (this brings up a display showing the focus points currently being used).|
|Full press of the shutter freezes (and darkens) the on-screen image. The mirror drops and the camera focuses.||Once focus is locked the green dot appears (very fleetingly) on the screen and the mirror lifts again to take the shot.|
|The screen goes blank for the duration of the exposure.||After a short delay the record review image appears (in whichever display mode you were last using in Playback), or - if you've turned record review off, the camera returns to live view.|
Live View: Manual Focus magnification
The E-3 features magnified Live View feature; simply press the INFO button until the magnify loupe appears. You can reposition the loupe anywhere in the scene then press OK to magnify. Select between 7x and 10x view by turning the main dial.
|During magnification||Returned to full frame view|
Live View: Low Light performance and 'Boost'
Live View performance in low light is surprisingly good, though in very dim conditions the picture starts to get a little grainy and eventually gets too dark to see. There is a Live View boost option, which amplifies the screen image as light levels drop (and eventually flips to monochrome, as below), but there are a couple of issues you should be aware of when using this option.
Firstly since the Live View boost attempts to keep a constantly bright preview image you can't preview the effect of exposure compensation or manual exposures (without the boost on the screen image fairly accurately reflects the exposure, getting dark if it's under exposed, bright if it's over exposed). This also causes a problem if you use the live histogram; since this is measured from the preview image it no longer reflects the actual metered exposure if you use the boost (basically manual exposures or exposure compensations are not reflected in the live histogram). It would be nice if the live view display (either with or without the boost function) simulated exposure (as, for example, the Canon 40D does), certainly if it had this as an option.
|Dark scene||Dark scene + F22 DOF preview|
Live View: Depth of Field preview
One advantage of Live View is that you can get an exact representation of focus point and depth of field on the LCD screen. In the example below the image on the left is at F5.6, on the right at F22 with the DOF preview button held. Note that, further to the live view boost issues mentioned above the boost kicks in automatically when you press the DOF preview button (even if you've got it disabled), so the scene doesn't darken when the lens is closed down.
- 19 Photographic tests
- 20 Photographic tests
- 21 Photographic tests
- 22 Photographic tests
- 23 Compared to...
- 24 Compared to...
- 25 Compared to...
- 26 Compared to...
- 27 Compared to...
- 28 Compared to...
- 29 Compared to...
- 30 Compared to...
- 31 Compared to...
- 32 Compared to...
- 33 Compared to...
- 34 Compared to...
- 35 Conclusion
- 36 Samples
|Moon 99% D55 C14 St-Zénon 20170806 DP by MarioSS|
from Best Picture of the Week
|Reeds on lake by kkardster|
from Abstracts in Nature
|Florence & the Machine by Dutch Newchurch|
from Second chances..
NASA photo editor Joel Kowsky didn't just capture the solar eclipse from his vantage point in Wyoming, he also managed to capture the ISS buzzing across what remained of the sun.
In these videos, talented photographer and filmmaker Daniel DeArco breaks down several tips that will help flash photography newbies start experimenting with artificial light.
Photographer and master potter Steve Irvine makes incredibly intricate, functional ceramic pinhole cameras that look like robots and monsters.
Chinese gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has released a firmware update for its Moza Air that lets you control the direction and angle of the head remotely just by moving a small handlebar-mounted control unit.
Curious how the Sony a9 performs underwater? Our friends at Backscatter took the camera diving off the Baja California coast, to find out how it handled shooting great white sharks.
While most of the DPReview crew put away our cameras and just watched the celestial event, Rishi decided last-minute to hack together a rig and capture a few shots.
Defunct Russian camera maker Zenit is making a comeback, and they're planning to release a full-frame mirrorless camera in 2018.
The days where you're more or less locked into premium or first-party flash units has gone. They're less than $50 now, so there's one less excuse not to get one. Here's our case for adding one to your kit, and a few pointers to get you going.
If you're shooting the solar eclipse here's a hint: don't fry your camera's sensor. Use a proper solar filter that offers at least 16 stops of light filtration, along with UV and IR filtering. More important? Don't look at it unless you've got solar filters. Sensors can be replaced, your retinas can't.
Photographer Rick Wenner recently captured an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen with a rather odd camera: The Phase One XF IQ3 Achromatic, the world's only 101MP black-and-white digital back.
Buying used is a good way to save some dough, and with the right precautions you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam.
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.