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View Full Version : Are you happy with the E3 now the dust has settled?


theenigma
25th February 2008, 09:39 AM
Hi there folks,

Well I guess as this is my first “real” post it should be one that makes some sense instead of me “wondering around” and not really asking anything!

Basically I want to know how you are getting on with your E3’s (for those of you lucky enough to own one).
Having heard about different issues that have affected some of the early cameras (focussing, bits falling off), how do you feel about owning one now that the dust has somewhat settled and that progress is being made to iron out these issues?

What would you say is the strongest asset of the E3? Is it the Live View or perhaps the weather sealing that makes it stand out from the crowd?

All in all, are you happy with the E3?

Can't wait to hear what you think on this

Cheers,

Harv :)

theMusicMan
25th February 2008, 09:45 AM
Hi Harv

I must admit to being very happy with my E-3, and have used all of the features you mentioned in your post.

The live view was superb when I took some moving water shots, the weather sealing has shown its quality when I have been taking shots of my daughters rugby games in the drizzle, and one feature you haven't mentioned is the IQ at high ISO's. I have been amazed (and you'll see a few threads about this too) at the quality of the images produced on the E-3 at ISO1600 and even at ISO3200. OK, as with most camera shots taken at these ISO levels, there is some PP required, but the E-3 certainly shines through here and is capable of delivering excellent results when used effectvely.

I am still very much learning about all the features and controls that are available in-camera, and am enjoying it immensely - and can honestly say that I carry my E-3 with me almost everywhere I go outside the house.

So yes... all in all I am very happy with mine.:D

andym
25th February 2008, 09:50 AM
Harv

Yes I had to agree with John its very good.I took me a while to get used to the focusing,I use center point small most of the time but even with that you have to very careful what you focus on and on the texture of the surface, I find I have to be a lot more precise than with the E1.

DerekW
25th February 2008, 10:06 AM
Do not know - I have not seen my E3 for 3.5 weeks, waiting for Olympus to digitus extractus
Update a few minutes later
Just rang Oly Watford - they are waiting for a spare part - due on the 29th Feb, item was identified as being needed on the 11th or 12th of Feb, the camera is in Portugal

DerekC
25th February 2008, 10:37 AM
Hi harv

I'm very happy with my E-3, it has many features and I'm still learning to get the best from them.
I'm enjoying and learning about using the E-3 alot. As to it strongest assest I'm not sure which I would choose the bright view finder is great and also the live view with the moveable screen.

Yes a very happy E-3 owner:D

beardedwombat
25th February 2008, 10:58 AM
Hi Harv
I am generally very happy with my E-3 however there are a couple of things that, I feel could be improved but then there is no such thing as the perfect camera. If there was, life would be very boring for some people as they would have nothing to moan about! (The following are therefore not moans, just observations!)

Button arrangement could be better, particularly the flash, mode and AF buttons - they are fiddly and not intuitive to use. The focussing is a bit of an issue as is well known. My camera front focusses on vertical lines but is spot-on with horizontal lines (I tested it using the Tim Jackson test chart) though in practice I don't really notice it. I still haven't worked out how all points focussing works (how about telling us Olympus?). I am forever wiping nose smears off the screen but then I have got a biggish hooter! The wireless flash control system would be much better if it used radio rather than light to communicate. The XD card slot is a waste of space - two CF slots would be far better.

Without doubt the standout feature is the image quality - it is superb. The viewfinder is wonderful and the IS is also far better than has been mentioned in any review that I've read. The "Super Control Panel" on the rear screen is incredibly useful and will, no doubt, be copied by most manufacturers. The hinged screen and live-view combine to make a very useful feature. The weatherproofing is a comfort in bad weather and it's built like a tank. The 12-60 lens is a honey on both my E-3 and my E-510.

So am I glad I switched from my Nikon D200? In a word - Yes!

Cheers
Chris

Photocracy
25th February 2008, 12:28 PM
...The "Super Control Panel" on the rear screen is incredibly useful and will, no doubt, be copied by most manufacturers...

Interested to know more. Can you elaborate on the Super Control Panel? What is it like and why so good?

Regards,

beardedwombat
25th February 2008, 01:23 PM
Interested to know more. Can you elaborate on the Super Control Panel? What is it like and why so good?

It's similar to the E-510, press the info button and a summary of 18 camera settings appears on the screen. Press the OK button and you can then scroll around the display, using the arrow keys, to the setting you want to adjust, press OK again and the appropriate adjustment screen pops up. In addition to the 18 settings the "Super Display Panel" shows mode, exp comp, date, IS status, NR status and frames remaining. It's very simple, very legible and very useful.

I forgot to mention how useful the degree of customisation is but it would still be even more useful to be able to assign functions to the arrow keys as well as the Fn button.

Cheers
Chris

beardedwombat
25th February 2008, 02:03 PM
Also mustn't forget the dustbuster. Never noticed any specks on any images yet despite fairly frequent lens changes and the audible sucking sound when zooming lenses.

DerekC
25th February 2008, 03:26 PM
Very good point don't forget the SSWF, never had a problem with dust on images from the E-3 or with any of my other E-system cameras. Very effective system Olympus still well ahead of the competition. But tester still moan it slows down start up time??

Photocracy
25th February 2008, 04:01 PM
It's similar to the E-510, press the info button and a summary of 18 camera settings appears on the screen. Press the OK button and you can then scroll around the display, using the arrow keys, to the setting you want to adjust, press OK again and the appropriate adjustment screen pops up. In addition to the 18 settings the "Super Display Panel" shows mode, exp comp, date, IS status, NR status and frames remaining. It's very simple, very legible and very useful.

I forgot to mention how useful the degree of customisation is but it would still be even more useful to be able to assign functions to the arrow keys as well as the Fn button.

Cheers
Chris

Thanks for explaining that. I still have the E500 at the moment so some of the later Oly developments are unknown to me. Yesterday, at Focus, I was able to handle all the Oly models for the first time. I cannot believe how brilliantly small the E410 is and as for the E3, just lovely. Some have said it's large, but I thought it was well proportioned for semi-pro and beautifully built. Oly really were looking good yesterday with their camera line up and lenses all on show. Personally, I think the future looks bright. (Sorry for wandering off topic a little). :)

Regards,

Invicta
25th February 2008, 06:11 PM
Always been happy with my E-3, luckily my SWD 12-60 was outside the batch that has a service note out.

I love the live-view, it helps take photos in difficult positions e.g.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/541/e3upsidedown.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/1801)

Live-view also allows you to see the effect of depth of field, exposure comp etc on the LCD display.

The buttons are similiar to my previous E series so the transition was a lot smoother. As with all cameras they are a bit fiddly with my big fingers.

The tried and trusted dust prevention system is a must. Image stabilization in camera is an advantage to gain a few stops when I don't have the tripod around.

Not had any opportunity to use the fast 1/8000 of shutter speed.

The weather seals are a great reassurance as I tend to take most of my photos outdoors.

Overall I think it is great value for all the features at the price.

ianc
25th February 2008, 07:04 PM
The E3 gives a steep learning curve and when I first started to use it I found the huge range of options a bit overwhelming, especially the focus options but now after a few months of using it I'm glad to say I'm very happy with the camera. It has all the things I love about the E1, build quality, dust reduction, splash proofing and the Olympus colours to name but a few but adds better high ISO performance, live view - the tilting screen is great, a fantastic viewfinder, I.S. which works with every lens and faster focus. Doubling the number of pixels over the E1 allows far more cropping and although it is festooned with buttons after using them for a while it's now starting to become second nature.

So yes I'm happy with the camera and most importantly with the results I have got from it.

Ian C.

Jim Ford
25th February 2008, 08:18 PM
I'm very pleased with my E3+12-60mm.

It's a serious chunk of machinery compared to my E500. I usually go walkabout in the Cairngorms for a couple of weeks in summer. On the one hand I'm looking forwards to using it - but on the other, not looking forwards to carrying it!

Of late I've been trying to go lightweight and 'gram counting' with my backpacking gear, but that's all gone out the window with my photo gear this year - especially if I get a Zuiko 50-200mm lens. Perhaps I'll hire a ghillie to carry it all!

Jim

250swb
26th February 2008, 10:01 PM
I am very happy with my E3, it focuses and works flawlessly. I have used it in a torrential downpour that lasted for around two hours without any problems, other than keeping the UV filter clear of water. The E3 is certainly a massive step on from the E1, although I wonder what the designer was thinking when they designed the awful HLD-4 grip

theMusicMan
26th February 2008, 10:06 PM
I am very happy with my E3, it focuses and works flawlessly. I have used it in a torrential downpour that lasted for around two hours without any problems, other than keeping the UV filter clear of water. The E3 is certainly a massive step on from the E1, although I wonder what the designer was thinking when they designed the awful HLD-4 grip:eek: Really...? do you really feel it's that bad...? I must admit that I very much like it, but then again I am very new to DSLR's and hadn't used any grip before the HLD-4 on my E-3, so I don't have anything to compare it with.

I do find it very comfortable though. What is it that you don't think works?

250swb
26th February 2008, 10:37 PM
so I don't have anything to compare it with.

Ergonomics. It is a clunky shape, to wide across the base because the batteries go side by side, and not contoured for a good grip other than letting gravity rest it in the hand when vertical. It feels positively precarious with wet hands and/or gloves while being jostled around in a crowd. Many people with small hands or short fingers will find it very awkward

Fortunately I would only use it when it would be inconvenient to change batteries, otherwise it is a useless fashion accessory. Well, I was keeping all the above to myself until you asked. Oh, hang on, I have thought of something it is good at, protecting the base of the camera when it is put down on a rough surface.

jojo
26th February 2008, 11:26 PM
I like the shape - i only have three complaints:

a) Bit heavier than i would have liked
b) auto focus in s-af single point is not as accurate as i would like (seems to front focus a little)
c) havne't figure out how to make c-af do what i want...

--
Note I come from a manual focus system so I do not know if only E-3 auto focus is weak or all digital cameras auto focus are weak. I will not that with E-3 extended DOF in most cases it would be easy to excuse front focus with sub optimal lens performance but after a number of tests I think the system just front focus too much with both 50-200 (non swd) and 12-60. It is worse (almost bad) with 50-200@50 but seems to have this tendency with both lenses at all focal length.

theenigma
28th February 2008, 09:13 AM
Hi there folks,

Many thanks for the replies so far, some very interesting reading!

I have been considering an E3 for quite some time, I even pre ordered one from Park Cameras. I think the thing that turned my decision was the early problems that people were having with their cameras, it now seems that these problems are on the mend… it would be interesting to know exactly what went wrong but who knows if Oly will ever fill us in!

The more I read about the E3 and the more fantastic images I see taken with it only adds to my desire to own the camera. I think the deciding factor for me is going to be price.

I got a shock when I first bought my E300 when the price dropped by about £200 and they released the dual lens kit for about £100 less than what I paid for the single lens kit!

I guess I'm a little unsure on when to jump for a deal, though I would hazard a guess and say there not really a “right” time to buy, as if you leave it too late the next one comes along and if you go too early you pay the highest price due to it being so new… it’s a real pain!

Having read your comments it seems that the majority of you are happy with the camera, its unfortunate that some people are still waiting for theirs to be fixed. Just as an aside, do you think that Oly will wait another 4 years to release another “Pro level” camera?

I can't see that it would make financial sense and would surely be a shot in their own foot if they waited too long to push the envelope of development.

Look forward to your thoughts on this.

Cheers,

Harv :)

ianc
28th February 2008, 09:34 AM
I think the reason we had to wait so long for the E3 was that Kodak didn't make the progress with sensors that was originally promised. This lead to the switch to the Panasonic sensors and the delay in the E3 was due to the time it took to develop the sensor to the performance level that could be put in a top of the range DSLR. My guess is we will see an E3 replacement in about 2 years time.
As for when is the right time to buy a camera or any other bit of technology the problem is you can wait for ever. First you wait for the price to drop then by the time the price has dropped you wait because the product is getting a bit old and should be replaced soon. The questions I ask myself are do I want it, can I afford it? If the answer to both of those is yes I buy it. I bought the E3 when it came out, I could of waited for the price to drop but the question has to be asked how much is the pleasure I have got from the camera in the past few months worth? I would say far more than the amount the price is going to drop.

Ian C.

Ian
28th February 2008, 09:48 AM
:eek: Really...? do you really feel it's that bad...? I must admit that I very much like it, but then again I am very new to DSLR's and hadn't used any grip before the HLD-4 on my E-3, so I don't have anything to compare it with.

I do find it very comfortable though. What is it that you don't think works?

The HLD-4 isn't bad, it's just not as sexy as the E-1's HLD-2 grip, but that's primarily down to the decision to use the standard BLM-1 battery rather than an expensive dedicated battery.

Ian

Solar
7th March 2008, 04:59 AM
I was never disappointed with the E-3 ... I have loved it since the day I got it. It was leaps and bounds passed the E-300 which is what I graduated from. I don't even mind it's bulkiness, in fact I like the rugged feel (yeah I work in construction so I am used to heavy tools that are tough).

The only thing that took me some time was learning the controls inside and out and customizing it. With help from Tony Spore and Wrotniak's suggestions, I have found my medium and have tweaked it to my styles.

The only gripe I have, if you are searching for such is that the eyepiece comes off too easy and the plastic hot-shoe cover slips out too easy. I have already lost and replaced the eyepiece once and I constantly check it now to ensure it isn't "creeping up" off the rails. Other than that minor external gripe, I couldn't be happier (well ok, maybe flawless iso at 6400 and 25megapixels would be nice, not really for me, but so that I don't have to sift through the trolls on the various forums mentioning these things over and over).

theMusicMan
7th March 2008, 07:20 AM
Nicely put Solar, very well articulated.

Rens
9th March 2008, 10:54 PM
Yes, but I had to struggle with the interface and ergonomics for about three weeks before starting to feel comfortable with them. While I'm happy now, if Olympus want to attract Nikon and Canon users, they should have made it more immediately user friendly.

However, I'm very happy with my images, and the reservations I have are trivial. Like the power switch and screen housing, neither nice to use.

I was drawn to the E3 because of its swivelling live view, after two years with a Sony R1. The R1 was good when used to its strengths, but the E3 is better everywhere. I'm glad I bought it, despite not having planned to spend so much.

High ISO noise isn't the best, but I checked it out thoroughly before buying and decided it wasn't a problem - neither has it been.

Now I plan to add a 50-200 to the 12-60 I bought with the camera.

Best wishes to all, Rens

Melaka
13th March 2008, 08:22 PM
the plastic hot-shoe cover slips out too easy.

I put a small piece of sellotape over mine to stop it coming out. It can be a real pain otherwise.

knikki
15th March 2008, 03:52 PM
Well I have had my E3 a week now and still playing with it:

I like the handling, for someone with small hands the E3 fits really well, I find the button layout to be ok. The menu system is a little clunky but the more I play with it the more I like it and do not find it a problem to get round.

It is quick and I really like the sound of the mirror/shuttle makes and it focus well quick.

Its great!!!

theMusicMan
16th March 2008, 06:58 AM
Well I have had my E3 a week now and still playing with it:

I like the handling, for someone with small hands the E3 fits really well, I find the button layout to be ok. The menu system is a little clunky but the more I play with it the more I like it and do not find it a problem to get round.

It is quick and I really like the sound of the mirror/shuttle makes and it focus well quick.

Its great!!!Hi Knikki

Glad you are already enjoying your E-3.

May I ask please, what doe you mean by the menu system being a little 'clunky'...? I find it quite intuitive to be honest and am not sure how it could have otherwise been set out. Care to elaborate...?

knikki
16th March 2008, 09:56 AM
Hi Knikki
May I ask please, what doe you mean by the menu system being a little 'clunky'...? I find it quite intuitive to be honest and am not sure how it could have otherwise been set out. Care to elaborate...?

Hi

I find the Info to have loads of info on it (too much info? or is that just me :o), but it took me a while to realise you can't change the shooting mode from it, like highlight the 'P' wizz the command wheel to 'M'. That seems odd to me.

Or you go to the Info screen hit the OK button to activate it, but you can only go left or right not up and down through the menu using the arrow keys.

I think it is just a case of the more I play with it the more I get to understand it, it is way more choice than the E20 I am used to.

I have not used any of the newer E cameras like the E1 onwards and not used any other digi cameras (well apart from point and shoots). so the menu system on the E3 just takes a little getting used to.

I agree that given the limited screen space and CPU capability of the camera, it would be tricky to layout the menu system any other way.

theMusicMan
16th March 2008, 10:23 AM
Thanks knikki for your explanation, very much appreciated. It's always great to get an understanding of these items.

Cheers...

Melaka
27th March 2008, 12:14 PM
As a camera I like it.

However mine plus HLD-4 has just gone back to Olympus for the second time because it doesn't do what it says on the tin. It's supposed to work with AAs in the grip and doesn't. I believe it should work with the LBH-1 but it doesn't. After a couple of hundred or so pix I get a red battery warning. If I ignore the battery indicator it will still take another 150+ pix.

It spent three weeks away but came back with exactly the same problems.

Paulpp
7th April 2008, 12:28 PM
I seem to recall the threads some while ago about using AA batteries, or rather not using them as they don't work, but now can't trace the thread.
Is this a resolved issue?
And the other day was surprised to get the camera locking up every few shots as if the battery was low (it wasn't) and having to turn it off and on again to get it working. Again I think this was a previous issue. Am using the latest firmware.

Melaka
7th April 2008, 05:41 PM
I've posted on the battery issue on several occasions. I've never been able to find out if the camera and grip should work with the LBH-1 (mine doesn't). I've not been able to get mine to work for more than a couple of shots with AA batteries. That's why it is now back with Olympus again. As far as I am concerned the matter is not sorted.

Paulpp
7th April 2008, 06:06 PM
Interesting. I have never tried since hearing about the problems. Ian - is there a definitive answer? Should we send them back to Olympus if they don't work?