View Full Version : Impressions of an E3

26th March 2008, 12:52 PM
When I first landed here some one asked what I thought of the E3. At the time I had not finished reading the Manual *note and now 2 weeks later I still have not finished it.*zzz

Still I have been out and about and using the said machine, so here is my 2 pennys worth!

I had seen the E3 advertised and wanted to play with one before I bought it, so off to Focus I went. I was also looking at the Nikon D300 and the D3. Discounted the D3 mainly cause I could not justify the price and while the D300 was nice it just did not feel right in my hands (cameras are a very personal thing for me) and I have not been over impressed with the images that come out of the Nikon machines.

At the Olympus stand, was great. Got to play with the E3 and pick up a great goodies bag and then orederd a machihne which arrive a few days later.

The camera did not feel that heavy at the show, but once at home it have that "well built and solid" feeling about it and with a Pro-Tech strap on, it now feels like no weight at all (mind you I am usually carrying a Nikon F4s or EOS1N RS around so anything is light compaired to them ;))

I like the layout of the camera and all thought it has loads of buttons, once I have the camera set up I don't tend to fiddle very much. Even having small hands I do not find the camera a problem to get round

Mine came with Firmware 1.1 for both lens and body so have not suffered any of the focusing problems accossiated with the earlier ones. Start up time, write time, AF speed, are all very quick and certainly what I would expect from a top range camera.

The movable screen at the back is great, espically for doing those low down shots (no more wet dirty knees for me *chr), but in bright light the screen can be a little tricky to see, so it is used more to rough check the composition, than for critical pin point accuracy.

Menu sytem is big and complex and a little messy, but the more I play with it, the more I get used to it. I think in another thread I made a similar comment, but given the size of screen and CPU of the camera, I do not think I would be layout any different.

Picture is great, I really like what Olympus do (which is why I choose the E20) and I have it set up like:
Picture set to Natural (must try to other ones)
All sharpness and contrast etc set to zero
ISO set at 160
Noise reducer? set to none
Noise filter set low

I have tried to "monotone" setting with red and orange filter, which works quite well (and even better when set to ISO3200) but like all digi black and white, I find them lacking when compaired to the wet darkroom (yes I still do that at college). Did not like the Sepia setting, it looked like I had spilt tea all over the image. Not very sepia at all IMO.

I gto the 12-60SWD lens with it and it has a B+W KR1.5 filter (slight warm up) on the front. Why? just a personal preference as all my film cameras have them as well.
I find the lens to be very sharp, and I am still getting used to the 'bokeh' effect, which can be very nice on the lens, just wish that it was f2.8 across the range. But from what I have down with the grave yard images, yes I like it. The lens will also focus very close, which is nice btu it is no substitue for a Macro lens.

So conclusion:
I really really like this machine and I am not regreting the choice I made.

PS sorry it is a bit of a ramble oh and I cant spell for toffee and my grammer probable needs checking as well :cool::eek:

26th March 2008, 01:07 PM
Great review knikki, very good of you to take the time and trouble to post this, much appreciated. I am sure others will benefit from reading it too.

Looking forward to seeing some more of your shots.

26th March 2008, 01:09 PM
Thanks for that. I haven't succumbed to an E-3 yet but it's only a matter of time (and money *ohwell).

You have an interestingly eclectic camera collection!

26th March 2008, 01:33 PM
You have an interestingly eclectic camera collection!

The curse of Ebay *yes

26th March 2008, 02:17 PM
If you fail to understand certain things in the factory E-3 manual ... check out the comprehensive write-up on the E-3 from Wrotniak (if you haven't seen it already) ... it has helped me tremendously with various settings and understanding how to tweak the camera so much more to my hands ... good luck!!


26th March 2008, 02:57 PM
Thanks for your input, I am still wondering and waiting and still think that probably the 510 is all i really need. I have booked on the course on Olympus at Malham next month so may get a chance to change my mind! Who knows?

Jim Ford
26th March 2008, 03:28 PM
I have booked on the course on Olympus at Malham next month

Sounds interesting - what course is that?


26th March 2008, 04:19 PM
Yes, I am interested in finding out what this is too.

26th March 2008, 07:44 PM
It was in the newsletter and is a four day course entitled make the most of olympus e system and is based at the Holiday Fellowship place nearby. www.hfholidays.co.uk