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Old 28th February 2008
dennisg
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Question New review of E-3 in DpReview

Hi all,

I have been home with the flu and read the review on the Olympus E-3 at dpreview.com.

To start the overall rating of the E-3 is a 9 of 10 and it is highly recommended. So let's give recognition where it is due. But there were some tell-tale signs of the discussions that we have been having here at the user's group in the past several months.

The overall JPEG quality was found to be very good and better than the previous Olympus E models. But the Raw files suffer. The Dynamic Range of the E-3 has been widen over the prior models but only on the black side of the spectrum. Thus the white side of the spectrum still gets clipped and thus when we shoot Raw files we assime we have more data to work with in Photoshop. According to the review, due to this, the JPEGS are not far behind in quality from the Raw files. According to the review, "But anyone used to pushing raw files to the limit will be disappointed with the E-3; resolution aside, there's little latitude for exposure changes; push it more than an a stop or so you'll see noise in the sahdows even at ISO 200, pull back and you'll find there's precious little highlight headroom." Again the JPEGS produced by the E-3 are very good and campare considerably well against the four other cameras the review put the E-3 up against. It is in the RAW format the there there is a significant difference.

Exposure or metering errors are occuring because the exposure of the shot is dependent on the point of focus in the AF point in the multi AF mode. Thus there could be differences in exposure values within the frame dependent on the focus point chosen.

In regards to the focusing issue, the review states, "New mulit point AF system seems easily confused, single point AF is a lot faster". In low light conditions it is stated that, "Foucus hunting in low light conditions". So FINALLY, there is an outside source that validates the current focusing issues being seen by users. In addition, when zooming is at the longer MM range the AF slows down as well. The report stated that inside sporting events would not be an advantage for the E-3 with a zoom lens.

It was clearly stated that this is NOT a point an shoot camera. A lot more care and finess is needed to get good results with the E-3.

With all this stated here, if I were to spend $1699 for the body, $999 for the new 12-60 zoom, extra battery, state tax here, and an extented warranty; the total out of pocket would be around $3300. This is certainly a lot of cash for what I have read thus so far in this review. If you remember, I was the one who asked why the photo magazine have not picked up on these issues and now they are clearly pointed out.

So, if I were at the Riviera, site seeing the Alps, attending a pro soccer match, what and hiow should I use the capabilities of this camera based on what was stated in the dpreview review of the E-3? Years ago you chose the film for color and grain, the lens, camera body and you set the f-stop and opening and you were on your way. All that mattered then was who was processing and printing your prints? Today we do it all via the digital photo venue. Thus how much time is spent setting and reviewing settings and how much time is spent "Taking the Shot"? It may be that we have finally come against issues that instead of helping us, is really slowing us down!

I strongly recommend that you visit www.dpreview.com and read the entire review of the E-3. It has 34 sections and is done quite completely and is very informative before you respond. I still would like to purchase the E-3, but I still have some reservations. When there are repetitve output problems, that is a photographers worst nightmare!!

Dennis Goldensohn
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