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Olympus E-5 E-5 specific discussion.

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Old 29th March 2011
hillsarealive
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E-3 to E-5 questions

I picked up an cheap unused E-3 with the SWD kit lens a while back from a shop ceasing to carry Olympus DSLRs. I haven't been able to get my hands on an E-5 to check whether two (for me) fundamental problems have been fixed - and haven't seen discussion in either E-3 or E-5 reviews. Please can anyone with an E-5 confirm the E-5's behaviour:

1) Continuous (H) frame rate, C-AF every shot, daylight? My E-3 drops from 5fps to between 1 and 3 fps when asked to focus each frame, even with SWD glass and a static subject. Either single central point or limited area focus. I've seen workarounds that involve using C-AF only for the first shot, with focus locked for the rest of the burst, but I'm after what other brands offer - full frame rate with each shot focused. Does the E-5 perform?

2) Magnified image review. With other brands I can zoom in and inspect precise focus, check for CA and noise - whether RAW or JPEG. With my E-3, with either RAW or JPEG files, I get magnified compression artifacts instead, which is less than useful. Does the E-5 correctly magnify images for review?

Hopefully someone can check?

Alistair
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Old 29th March 2011
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Ian Ian is offline
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Re: E-3 to E-5 questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by hillsarealive View Post
I picked up an cheap unused E-3 with the SWD kit lens a while back from a shop ceasing to carry Olympus DSLRs. I haven't been able to get my hands on an E-5 to check whether two (for me) fundamental problems have been fixed - and haven't seen discussion in either E-3 or E-5 reviews. Please can anyone with an E-5 confirm the E-5's behaviour:

1) Continuous (H) frame rate, C-AF every shot, daylight? My E-3 drops from 5fps to between 1 and 3 fps when asked to focus each frame, even with SWD glass and a static subject. Either single central point or limited area focus. I've seen workarounds that involve using C-AF only for the first shot, with focus locked for the rest of the burst, but I'm after what other brands offer - full frame rate with each shot focused. Does the E-5 perform?

2) Magnified image review. With other brands I can zoom in and inspect precise focus, check for CA and noise - whether RAW or JPEG. With my E-3, with either RAW or JPEG files, I get magnified compression artifacts instead, which is less than useful. Does the E-5 correctly magnify images for review?

Hopefully someone can check?

Alistair
The E-5 continuous shooting rate does not drop in C-AF if the subject remains in focus. The E-3 did slightly. But if focus does change in action shooting then the shooting rate does drop on the E-5 because the shutter has to wait for the lens to refocus. This is the same for any DSLR with continuous shooting in C-AF mode. However, with both cameras you can prioritise the shutter over the AF so that the shutter does not have to wait for the focus. Most DSLRs have this option too.

Also, in C-AF mode do remember that eventually the buffer can stall after x number of shots (depending on resolution and compression if using JPEG) and the shooting rate is forced down as the buffer empties to make way for the next shot.

On your other question, I haven't noticed issues with the image review magnification on the E-3 (I've just had a look at an E-3 and E-5 side by side) and the main difference with the E-5 is that its image is clearer because of the 330K pixel screen compared to the E-3's 77K pixel screen.

Ian
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Old 31st March 2011
hillsarealive
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Re: E-3 to E-5 questions

Ian,

Many thanks for looking and your reply.

I'm aware of buffer filling, but was comparing like with like - initial frame rate from an empty buffer in S-AF and C-AF. I suspect, though am happy to be proved wrong, that Oly fitted a slow old mirror return mechanism to the E-3 which delays the re-start of focusing more than cameras from other stables. So to confirm, the E-5 with a static subject in C-AF shoots at 5fps?

I've found minimal difference in frame rate with my Canon 7d and 'L' ring USM lenses (equiv SWD) on whether I have focus or rate priority set - though paradoxically rate priority seems to help focus accuracy with larger birds in flight - maybe it stops the camera trying to track wing beats.

As an example of replay magnification - shoot a car at about 20m with 60mm lens so that the numberplate fills the screen at max review magnification. On Canon etc, you see slight edge fringing, stone chips, dead flies etc and can normally read the garage's advertising text along the bottom. With my E-3 the text appears only as splodges, and instead of the rest I just see alternating light & dark edge artifacts between and around the letters. Your low screen resolution point is noted, and perhaps Oly felt they could get away with only VGA or poorer image quality for review - I don't see information content increasing as I zoom beyond 3x.

Alistair
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Old 31st March 2011
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Re: E-3 to E-5 questions

It's probably best if you handle an E-5 for yourself. They should be back in stock in 3-4 weeks.

Ian
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