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-   Olympus Pen E-P3 (https://e-group.uk.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=52)
-   -   EP2 or EP3 (https://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=17369)

shirley 16th October 2011 07:41 AM

EP2 or EP3
Hi Folks,
I am considering buying into micro four thirds system. My question is very simple, and has probably been answered elsewhere, sorry if it has but I can't find it. Can somebody give me some idea if the EP3 is worth the extra money over the EP2?
I really want it as a camera that I can carry around each day, I have been looking at the XZ1 but I think I will miss the flexibility of the interchangeable lenses. Any advice gratefully received.

DekHog 16th October 2011 09:05 AM

Re: EP2 or EP3
Not just because I own one, but the best bang for your buck in the PEN series at the moment is coming from the E-PL2 - far, far cheaper than the E-P3, but apart from the quicker AF of the P3 there's really nothing huge in it.

There are also many considerable improvements over the P2 by going for the PL2. Pop up flash (wireless control); bigger screen; quicker AF etc. Actually a larger viewable screen area for image review/picture taking than the P3/PL3, as these rather stupidly have a 16:9 screen ratio rather than 4:3... :confused:

Whatever you buy, get the cheaper body and spend what you can on lenses - whatever body you get you are still basically getting the same sensor, so what you are paying for is incremental improvements, and 650 for a P3 body v around 230 for a P2/PL2 body just doesn't add up to me (unless you're in the fortunate position of not having to think about money, perhaps).

One other factor to consider is, would you want an EVF for it? This will add the best part of 180 to whatever you buy.....

jchallen 16th October 2011 09:21 AM

Re: EP2 or EP3
As with with all camera bodies I would recommend getting to hold the ones you are considering. I was considering the same options but when playing with them found the size/form of the EPL bodies, along with the lack of the thumb control wheel made them harder to use.

The EP bodies were much more comfortable to me, having said that I don't have small hands!

Having decided on an EP body there really was no contest between the EP2 & EP3.

Having just returned from my my first holiday with the EP3 I can really appreciate the benefits of a small system that had as much control and flexibility as my full 4/3rds setup but was so compact and light I hardly knew I was carrying it arround.

Derek is right, if the EPL-2 is the right size and has the level of control for you then it does represent the best value currently. Good luck with what ever you choose.

DJMC 16th October 2011 10:20 AM

Re: EP2 or EP3
I found my E-PL1 for sale 2nd hand at a good price, and if you Google you'll see most say it's not worth me upgrading to the E-PL2. But the E-PL2 looks to be the better camera if you're buying from scratch.

Having said that, it's my XZ-1 I pick up more than the E-PL1!


Ulfric M Douglas 16th October 2011 11:32 AM

Re: EP2 or EP3

Originally Posted by shirley (Post 137839)
... give me some idea if the EP3 is worth the extra money over the EP2?

IF you would be using the kit zoom lenses (or new 12mm or 45mm) then the touch-screen and very fast autofocus might make it worth the money. It has a built-in flash too.

If image-quality is your target then the cheaper e-pL1 or e-pL2 will give at least the same image-quality as the newer e-P3.

If it is nice retro styling and metal finish you're after then the e-P2 and e-P3 seem similar, and the e-P2 can be found cheaply as a used bargain.

Without understanding why you want a m4/3rds Olympus Pen you might end up with the wrong camera.

shirley 16th October 2011 02:28 PM

Re: EP2 or EP3
Thank you all for taking the time to reply but oh dear I think I am getting very confused.

The most important thing for me is the image quality and portability, I am not too worried what the camera looks like. Initially I would use the kit lenses but I can imagine I would add to it. I may think about buying a viewfinder but that would depend on cost.

As for the difference between EP and EPL I really haven't got that straight in my head. The only thing I can think of doing at the moment is to hire some bodies and lenses and see which I like, the problem is there are quite a few versions and I wouldn't want to hire them all!!:confused::confused:

Any further clarification/advice gratefully received*yes


DekHog 16th October 2011 03:26 PM

Re: EP2 or EP3
Shirley, the only thing I can say to you is try and find somewhere that stocks them and will let you handle a display model.

Image quality - really, all much the same.

Size - again, all much the same.

Controls - as with all Olympus models, slight but not huge differences.

Features - incremental improvements as you move up the range, but do due diligence on this, as it gets a bit weird as you get the '3' series PEN range. e.g. the PL loses the popup flash of the previous PL range, but gets a tilt screen, whereas the P3 gets the flash but no flip screen and slower FPS.

I'm not sure I'd spend money hiring bodies that you can actually buy for around the 200 mark though - there's loads of Internet reviews and specifications on all of them which should get you in the ball park of what is for you....

shirley 16th October 2011 04:03 PM

Re: EP2 or EP3
Thanks DeHog,
It is all beginning to make some sense.
I must admit until this weekend I really haven't taken much interest in the micro four thirds debate, so it feels like a lot to take in in one go. Your summary is very helpful and you make some valuable points about hiring.
More to chew over.
Thanks again. Much appreciated.

Zuiko 17th October 2011 12:18 AM

Re: EP2 or EP3
Shirley, I'm facing a similar dilemma myself. I'm increasingly finding the weight of my Four Thirds kit a discouragement to carrying it around and find my E-PL1 a welcome relief. This became even more apparent on the recent group meet in St Pancras and Camden, where I felt myself flagging towards the end and realized that I really would have been struggling with my E-3 and bag full of lenses.

I like using the E-PL1 and I like the IQ, but pushing buttons for everything slows operation down and can become tedious, so I want to change. As has already been said, the E-PL2 is a real bargain at the moment. It has a better grip than the E-PL1 and settings such as aperture and shutter speed are controlled by a dial, rather than by buttons. Unfortunately, this dial also doubles as the arrowpad when it is pressed and I know that my clumbsy fingers with their lack of sensitivity will be forever applying too much pressure to the dial and changing things I don't want to. I had a similar problem with a dual function dial on the Panasonic G1.

For those who can use this dial the E-PL2 is a bargain, but for me another alternative is needed. That probably comes in the form of the E-P3, which I found to be delightful to handle at the Olympus event in London a couple of months ago. The dual purpose dial is still there, but there is also a much more positive thumb wheel to which most regular functions can be assigned. It also has the option of a larger grip which was fitted to the one I tried at the event and, for me, it was a huge benefit.

The new screen on the E-P3 is gorgeous, the touch screen focus point selection very useful, the focus speed is astonishing compared to previous Pens and the build quality is sublime, making the camera a joy to hold.

On the downside it still only shoots at 3 fps and has a fixed screen. That seems particularly odd when the cheaper E-PL3 shoots at 5.5 fps and has a tilting screen. So why don't I buy an E-PL3? No grip at all rules it out, as does that dual purpose dial with no thumbwheel. The other big, big downside to the E-P3 is the price. OK, it's a magnificent, really well built piece of engineering, but I thought one of the benefits of losing the mirror was to make cameras cheaper to manufacture. That's certainly not reflected in the price!

I think I will bite the bullet and get the E-P3, because for me it's the first Pen that I can envisage eventually replacing my E-3, rather than supplementing it. Despite the high stand alsone price, the twin lens kit does seem better value at 890. I've just about raised enough now, by selling various bits and peices.

The plan is to start with the twin kit then, if I get on well enough with it, consider selling my E-3 and 14-54mm. That should let me add a VF-2 and 45mm f1.8. By scraping together a few more things to sell I should also be able to buy an adapter to fit my FT 9-18mm and 70-300mm, although I can't see myself using the latter on a Pen very much! Whatever happens, investment in new kit by me has to be self financing these days - if I want something, I've got to sell something.

To put value for money into perspective, though, if only I thought I could handle an E-PL2, for just a little more than the price of the E-P3 twin kit I could have an E-PL2 twin kit plus VF-2 plus 45mm f1.8 (based on current prices at my local Cameraworld).

Your priorities and needs are very likely different to mine, Shirley, and you may well find the E-PL2 route more attractive than the E-P3. The E-P2 is also a bargain at present but lacks a built in flash, although it does have a separate thumb wheel to improve handling.

Hopefully some of my thoughts will help you make the decision that is best for you. I just wish I could be sure. I really want the E-P3 but it is a lot of money!

DekHog 17th October 2011 08:26 AM

Re: EP2 or EP3
Don't forget the Franiec grip is available for the PL3.... looks very nice....


Zuiko 17th October 2011 09:36 AM

Re: EP2 or EP3

Originally Posted by DekHog (Post 137940)
Don't forget the Franiec grip is available for the PL3.... looks very nice....


Yes, I've seen these thanks, Derek. I guess I'm not sure about a grip that sticks on rather than bolts on and having tried the large grip on the E-P3 I really do like it. Having said that, the Franiec grip does look good and is bound to improve the handling of the E-PL3.

But then comes the cost; some serious thinking still to do.

Regarding cost, the E-P3 body only is currently 670. Suppose I keep it three years before upgrading and it has a residual value of, say, 190. The cost over three years is 480, or 160 per year, or 3 per week. My film cameras depreciated far slower, but my film and processing costs were far greater than 3 a week! Even if you write off the whole amount over three years it still only equates to 4.30 a week, and I don't drink or smoke!

Looking at it in those terms, is it still too much to pay to get the camera I really want rather than the camera I almost want? :)

DJMC 17th October 2011 10:49 AM

Re: EP2 or EP3
Shirley, we still don't know much about what you want of your new camera, other than "portability".

Is that an ability to put it in a pocket? If so, the interchangeability of the PEN lenses perhaps rules it out, unless you want several bulging pockets? You'd need a camera bag, or maybe a large handbag?

The XZ-1 fits in my jeans pocket, but 'only' 10MP and a maximum optical EFL of 112mm may not be sufficient for you if you're looking for large prints and a longer reach. But 112mm is better than the PEN's 14-42mm (EFL 84mm max).

So, is it ultimate image quality you're after, in which case a PEN and a bag of lenses is the solution, or a compromise for greater portability?

Tel us a little more.........


DekHog 17th October 2011 11:57 AM

Re: EP2 or EP3
John.... I feel it's a LOT of money for the P3 - OK, the focussing is quicker, but only what it should have been anyway. The build is nice but, like cars, there are no badly built cameras these days. Touch screen? Well, if it appeals to you (or you need it), I suppose it could be a good thing, but I could never see myself using it - the lack of the flip screen (something I would use) was just the killer for me.....

Shirley, as David said, once you put a zoom (any zoom) on a PEN, it's not pocketable in any way, but if you could live with a fixed focal length in the form of a pancake, it's a great tool with fantastic image quality. The fixed focal lengths also mean considerably better image quality than the zooms, especially with pancakes like the Panasonic 20mm F1.7....

benvendetta 17th October 2011 12:54 PM

Re: EP2 or EP3
I see that you can get the E-PL1 with 14-42mm lens for 199 now.

Kiwi Paul 17th October 2011 03:14 PM

Re: EP2 or EP3
The EPL3 handles fine for me as is. The way I hold it it cradles in the palm of my hand and doesn't slip at all, I find the ergonomics surprisingly good considering how compact it is.




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