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The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
The E-PL3 is overall an impressively fast and responsive camera. Autofocus is very fast, at least with static subjects, and thanks to some intelligent buffering its continuous shooting performance is pretty good as well. Meanwhile all other operations - browsing through images in playback, or navigating through the various setting screens and menus - are performed quickly and with no fuss. Fundamentally, the PEN Lite is a camera that hardly ever feels like it's getting in the way while you're using it, and that's exactly what you want.
Continuous Shooting and BufferingThe PEN Lite breaks new ground, with a maximum continuous shooting rate of 5 fps (with IS off), which takes it to the head of the class in comparison to similarly-priced models. It easily trumps the maximum shooting speed of its big brother, the E-P3. The E-PL3 offers High and Low-speed continuous shooting modes and you can define the speed for each option in the Custom C menu. As with previous PENS (and in contrast to current Panasonics) it's somewhat hamstrung for serious action work by the fact that live view isn't maintained in continuous shooting mode. Instead you get shown the picture you've just taken, which isn't very helpful when trying to track moving subjects. Live view does however return a few seconds after you take your finger off the shutter button. The E-PL3 will shoot a series of frames at full speed in an initial burst, then once the buffer is full, slow down and shoot at a reduced frame rate. As you'd expect, larger file sizes take longer to clear from the buffer, so that shooting in Raw + JPEG produces the longest write times. On the positive side, the camera does let you continue shooting (at a reduced frame rate) while image data is being written to the card. And while you cannot review images during this period, you can access and change the vast majority of the camera's menu settings.
The table below summarizes the maximum frame rate, the number of frames that can be shot at maximum speed before the buffer is full, the reduced frame rate that follows, and the write time for all images to clear the buffer, using our fastest SD card. In all timings below, the camera was set to H drive mode.
Burst of JPEG 12MP/SuperFine images
Burst of Raw images
Burst of Raw plus JPEG 12MP/SuperFine images
Taken as a whole, the results above are quite impressive for a camera of this class. While one could pine for a larger number of shots at max frame rate, we feel the ability to continue shooting while data is being written to the card is perhaps even more beneficial to users in most real-world situations.
Autofocus speed / accuracy
Olympus has made great claims about the E-PL3's autofocus speed, and it is indeed very fast when paired with suitable lenses (including the 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II MSC kit lens), for static subjects at least. Its performance is on par with the best of its competitors in day-to-day shooting. And, like other cameras which employ contrast-detection autofocus using the main imaging sensor, it's essentially immune from the front- and back-focus problems which can affect DSLRs.
AS seen one the E-P3, the EPL3 includes an autofocus illuminator that addresses one of the big criticisms of previous PENs, which struggled to focus in low light. It's not a panacea - as usual it won't cover off-center subjects, its effective range is limited, and its proximity to the lens means it can be blocked by those with larger barrels - but it's a big improvement, and makes the camera much more usable in dimly-lit conditions.
Once your subject starts moving, though, things are a little less clear-cut. Contrast-detect AF systems have historically been less capable at tracking moving subjects than the phase-detection systems used in SLRs, so the E-PL3 has its work cut out to match this more-established technology. In continuous AF mode the camera's continuous frame rate drops dramatically while the camera checks focus between shots. And the lack of live view means you can't follow your subject between frames in continuous drive mode, so there's no way to ensure it stays covered by your selected AF point.
To combat this problem, the E-PL3, like its predecessor, the E-PL2, also has a subject tracking mode (C-AF+TR). Once you've designated a subject by focusing on it initially, then the camera will attempt to track it around the frame and keep it in focus, just as long as you keep the shutter half-pressed. But again, this has problems once you start shooting in continuous drive mode; naturally it only works if your subject stays within the frame (and there's no way of knowing this), and as soon as you release the shutter the camera stops tracking and resets the AF point.
All-in-all, while Olympus is certainly making some progress in this area, the E-PL3 still isn't the most practical camera for shooting moving subjects in the real world, even compared to other mirrorless cameras. For example Panasonic's implementation of continuous drive mode mode maintains live view between shots, with AF tracking that stays locked onto your subject until you reset it. Pretty well any SLR will do better too.
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When the Fujifilm X-T2 arrived, it was more than just a modest upgrade to the already impressive X-T1. While the new X-T3 hasn't changed the overall design of the camera, this model is way more than an upgrade; rather, it's a quantum leap.
The Movie Maker is a compact, motorized slider designed for phones, action cams and small mirrorless cameras. We think it's a fun little kit and a good value proposition for the cost, provided you can work around a few of its weak points.
Nikon's Z7 is the first camera to use the all-new Z-mount, the company's first new full-frame mount since 1959. We've put together our first impressions based on quality shooting time with a pre-production camera - check out what we've found.
What's the best camera for a parent? The best cameras for shooting kids and family must have fast autofocus, good low-light image quality and great video. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for parents, and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
What’s the best camera costing over $2000? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2000 and recommended the best.
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British photographic engineer MTF Services is claiming the world’s first third-party lens adapters for the new Nikon Z system with a collection of four units designed to allow cinema lenses to be mounted on the mirrorless full frame bodies.
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Canon's new normal is seriously sharp wide open. After shooting with it for a few days, we've prepared a gallery of real-world sample images.
Nikon will cease offering Brazil-based customer service and technical support, though the company stresses that it will still offer technical assistance and warranty repairs for valid warranties.
Two years ago, CatLABS of JP announced a plan to save Packfilm from the dead. Now, it's announced it's giving up its efforts to better focus its resources elsewhere.
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We've got our hands on a full-production Nikon Z7 camera and have updated our gallery with additional samples.
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Canon and Nikon finally entered the full-frame mirrorless market this summer with the brand-new RF and Z mounts. Now that we've had some time with the cameras, we wanted to revisit our earlier predictions and take stock.
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Blackmagic Design has announced the public beta of its new Blackmagic RAW video codec. The company says the new format combines the benefits of shooting Raw video with the ease of use and smaller file sizes usually associated with non-Raw video files.
Serif, the company behind the Affinity suite, has announced the latest update for its mobile Photoshop competitor Affinity Photo for iPad.
The Atomos Ninja V external video recorder and monitor will be ready to ship at the end of this month. The 5.2in Ninja V is designed to provide a smaller option, while still offering many of the features of the larger 7-inch models.
Having shot with the camera, spoken to Canon and read the tea leaves, here's what DPR Technical Editor Richard Butler thinks the EOS R tells us about Canon and the RF's mount's future.
After last week's teaser, lighting manufacturer Profoto has announced its 'small big' new product. The B10 is designed to be used as studio flash head but in a very small body, and has a powerful continuous light source for videographers as well.
Konseen has launched Photo Studio, a new light box tent large enough to photograph people, as well as objects.
Seagate has introduced new high-capacity hard drives for Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices: the 14TB IronWolf and 14TB IronWolf Pro HDDs.
The case was first announced earlier this year as a Kickstarter campaign and comes with a range of features aimed at iPhone photographers.
Manfrotto has introduced a new two-in-one tripod to its Befree lineup. Called the Befree 2N1, this new addition is both a tripod and monopod in one and is available with both of Manfrotto's locking mechanisms.
This new high dynamic range editing software comes with an AI-powered Quantum HDR Engine for improved photo merging.
Apple has unveiled the next generation of its iPhone X in the form of three variants: the 5.8" iPhone XS and 6.5" iPhone XS Max with OLED screens, and the 6.1" iPhone XR with an LCD and single rear camera.
Ahead of the launch of the CamRanger II the company has announced a mini version of its wireless remote control system that it says has a longer range than the original in a body half the size.
Lens manufacturer Sigma has announced a trio of fast cinema lenses for full-frame camera systems, that it says will also be available in the future in the LPL mount for Arri’s large format camera system.
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X-Rite ColorChecker Video XL is an oversized color target for wide-angle, long distance, and aerial shooting.