E-P3 Control wheel/button query

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by nandystam, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. nandystam

    nandystam Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 16, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi folks

    This might seem a bit of a newbie question, but I'm considering purchasing an E-P3. I've had some experience with Oly cameras before, as I had an E-620 and some other lenses.

    I had a play with an E-P3 at a local camera shop, and the first thing I noticed was how small the main control wheel (and the buttons inside it) were! I don't have very big hands or fingers by any stretch, but it seemed a bit too small for my liking. I believe the control wheel is about the same size on all the different PENs?

    How usable are the buttons embedded inside the main control wheel? To me they seemed like you could only press them with your fingernail, which was a bit of a concern, but maybe my concerns are ill founded?

    I believe you can disable the wheel if necessary, is that right (obviously you can use the secondary scroll wheel instead) ? Does that help the usability of those buttons? Is there an alternate way to access those functions (e.g. exposure compensation) without too many button presses?

    I'm considering the EP-3 + VF2/3 viewfinder, would that impact on usability at all?

    Everything else about the PEN seems quite nice, that wheel/button seems a bit small but perhaps regular users find it quite OK?

    Thanks :smile:
  2. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Hasn't been a problem for me. I've had the E-p1, 2 and now 3. The control wheel has been the same size, though I believe the P3 wheel is a bit harder to accidentally turn. My hands are large and 'stubby', so I doubt you'd have a problem.

    The whole dial is a 'rocker', so pressing one of the four sides is quite easy. Only the center 'OK' button is separate, though raised and also easy to press.

    Finally, for me most adjustments while shooting are handled by using the 'Thumb wheel' above the dial.

    The VF-2 is an excellent EVF and helps in situations where stability(holding against face), subtlety (no bright screen in a dark room), or fine tuning (MF of legacy lenses in bright light). I find I don't need it as often as I did with the E-P2 - the new OLED is very good.

    Hope this helps!
  3. trisberg

    trisberg Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 14, 2009
    I find the wheel/button implementation strange. The wheel is too small and whenever I try turning the wheel it seems like I always activate one of the buttons as well. This got me frustrated and I turned off the wheel-buttons which is kind of a shame since there are some useful functions on those buttons.

    Another frustrating thing is the overlays on review. There is no way that I have found to show the exposure data along with a full sized picture. You have to go to the display where the picture is real tiny to see what ISO/shutter speed/f-stop was used.

  4. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Tom has given you good answers and I'll chip in with my 2 cents.

    The "main" control wheel (the one with the 4-way dpad + center ok button) is "ok". I haven't accidently turned it yet, but I can see how if you're not careful or paying attention you MAY accidently jog it. Not a big deal IMO. Most of the time when you're dialing in a setting, you'll be using the subdial (the upper right thumb dial).

    Hold off on the EVF until you've gotten time to play with the EP3 for awhile. You may not need it, depending on your shooting style.

    The EVF is good for these situations:
    - very bright outdoors; although the new OLED in the EP3 is supposed to alleviate that somewhat. I haven't had a chance yet to test this
    - stabilization; for low light or using a long telephoto, resting the camera/VF against your face helps a lot.
    - manual focus of legacy lenses

    I have a VF2 and the display quality is great. It was on my E-PL1 all the time. Having said that, I'm trying to use it less with the E-P3 because the EVF does stick out and I prefer the smaller soap bar form factor without the vf.
  5. FaradayCage

    FaradayCage Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 22, 2010
    Yes, especially those bright ambient light situations. Indispensable. The black older VF looks nice on a silver E-P3 too.
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    That's not the main control wheel, that's the secondary one. ;) The main wheel is at the thumb. xD
  7. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Ned I would agree with you, but for consistency and *this is according to Olympus' E-P3 manual*:

    - the 4-way dpad with rotary dial is termed the "Main dial"
    - the thumb dial in the upper right is termed the "Sub dial"

    Doesn't really matter what they're called as long as we all know what we're talking about. :tongue: