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E-PL3 is showing as available on the oly site

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by WT21, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    As long as they're silver or black. :cool: 

    I already ordered one. I'm insanely happy with my EP3 but I sold a LOT of gear recently and had the $$ in my paypal acct to try both of these and keep the one I liked better. Its hard for me to imagine liking it more than the EP3, but I'm not really using the touchscreen much and I figure I should check out the flip up screen because its availability is why I sold my Nex. I'm not sure its gonna matter though - I've gotten SOOOO much more comfortable shooting from the hip, just on instinct with a wider lens, that I'm not sure I'd be looking down into the flip screen much anyway.

    So the EPL3 may be a short lived experiment. Or not. Should have it in the next couple of days. I don't expect the results to differ from the EP3, but I wanna check out the screen and the controls to see if I'll be as happy with them. I can't imagine I'd be MORE happy with them, but if they cut it and I like the screen, I might keep that one...

  3. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    ALWAYS a dangerous thing!!!!

    Please do post your thoughts/opinions.

    I want a smaller camera than my EP3, and am thinking EPL3, EPM3, GF3 (all with the 14/2.5 mounted) or possibly XZ1. Would love to hear your input on the EPL3
  4. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    With my big mitts I wonder how well I can actually grip the camera.
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Not so dangerous, that's specifically WHAT I sold the other stuff for, so the money was there with this purpose in mind from the beginning. With both cameras and the 12mm lens (which I really didn't think I'd want, but DAMN its nice!), I break even - if I sell or return one camera (likely), then I can buy the 45mm and come out ahead. On the off chance I like both cameras too much to sell one, the 45 will have to wait a few months.

    I'll definitely post my impressions. I actually don't care about a smaller camera - the EP3 feels just right to me (and I do have a Ricoh GRD3 for something REALLY pocketable) - its really all about the flip screen for me. So, I'll see if I still use it the way I did with the Nex...

  6. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    They sure have some funny pricing going on! E-pl1 kit $399, or body only $449, haha. Same thing with the e-p1. I'm surprised to still see the older cameras on their site - I can't wait to see the e-pm1 pricing too.
  7. Caroline

    Caroline Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 4, 2010
    They also have the camera in Jessops in New Oxford St, London, as I had one in my grubby little mitts tonight!!! :biggrin:

    What a lovely little camera - much smaller than I'd expected, quite a bit smaller than the E-P3 and about the same size as the GF3 they also had in the shops. It looks very nice too, although the the tilting screen does seem to look a little "tacked on" compared with the sleek integrated screen on the E-P3. However overall it looks very good, especially from the front, and much nicer IMHO than the preceding PL series cameras which personally I thought looked a bit "boxy" (I do appreciate some people prefer that look though!). The brushed matt finish also looks (and feels) good quality and overall it seems pretty solid and well engineered. It is very small, as is the wheel control and the 4 way controller inside it, so though it was fine for me, those with larger hands and fingers may find it more difficult to hold and operate.

    I was very impressed by the focusing speed, it seems as fast (subjectively) as the E-P3 I played with the other week, and it certainly shoots more fps in continuous mode than the E-P3. The shutter definitely sounds different too (a bit noisier than the E-P3) which would tie in with the idea that it might be a new type which allows for faster shooting. One thing I did notice that I didn't on the E-P3 (although to be fair I may just not have seen it!) was that in tracking AF mode there is a little green box which moves about the screen as it follows whatever it first focused on - for things like motorsports (or kids!) I think that might be very useful as you can tell which part of the image it has in its sights. I didn't really get much chance to test it on a really fast moving object (the people wandering around the shop were about as fast as it got!) so I'd still need to take it to a race meeting to see whether it could handle a Le Mans prototype coming at it at 200mph, for example!

    As to the tilting screen I really liked it. It actually felt quite solid and well engineered given that the brackets holding it on looked pretty thin, but as with the inbuilt flash on the E-P3 I would want to take care not to knock it hard on anything when it's not flush against the back of the camera. However it articulates out to 90 degrees (perpendicular to the back of the camera) when facing up, i.e. shooting from above the camera, and to an angle of about 60 degrees from horizontal when facing down, i.e. shooting from below. I've never had a camera with a moveable screen before so it would be plenty good enough for me (I need it to be able to compose from below, as I'm short so often have to shoot by holding the camera in the air above people's heads!), although one of the shop employees said he would have preferred a fully articulating screen. I don't think I'd miss the E-P3's touch screen personally, as I've never had a camera with one before, although I did find the that camera's touch focus quite an interesting idea. The image on the screen definitely is smaller than the E-P3's and when the aspect ratio is not 16:9 there are black bands on each side of the screen, which I know some people dislike, but I didn't find them too distracting.

    The E-PL3's menu system took a bit of getting used to it has to be said - it's very different from the E-P1 and even the new E-P3, and the one disappointing thing was that in default mode turning the rear thumb wheel seems not to change the "main" parameter (e.g. aperture in A mode, shutter speed in S mode etc) - you have to click up and down on the ring to do that, whilst turning the wheel changes the exposure compensation. I would have preferred the wheel to change the aperture (as it does on the E-P1 and most of the DSLRs I've used) and the up and down buttons the exposure compensation, but to be fair there may be a way of changing that in the menu settings that I just didn't have time to find.

    However I did like the way you could put the camera into a "multi-setting" mode very easily by pressing "info" and then "ok" in the centre of the 4 way controller. That pretty much allows you to access all the shooting parameters you are ever likely to need very quickly (to the side and bottom of the screen) and you don't have to go through the menu system to change things like ISO or single/continuous shooting mode, which I found much more intuitive than the menus themselves.

    The dinky little removable flash is very cute, though I would imagine quite easy to lose when it's off the camera, but it clicks into the hot shoe and accessory port quite firmly and it didn't seem at all likely to fall out once it was there. Like the E-P3's little flash it seems to pack a fair punch for its tiny size, but not really a replacement for a proper flash if you want to do much more than fill-in lighting.

    I can't comment on image quality as I didn't take a card in to save any photos on but I'm sure the pro reviews that are bound to come out soon will do that far better than I could!

    All in all I really liked it - yes I think it has a couple of quirks I would need to get used to such as the thumb wheel operation but overall it seems like an awful lot of camera for such a tiny size. It also seems much more reasonably priced than the E-P3 (£549 vs £799 for the camera with 14-42 kit lens in the UK). I think I'm now convinced to get one of these over the E-P3, because it has most of the same features (and one, the continuous frame rate, that is better) for a much lower price - and the things it does lack I can live without.

    All I have to do now is wait for the double zoom kit to come out in silver and make me (and the credit card company!) very happy!

    • Like Like x 3
  8. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I want to love the E-PL3 but I don't like a lot that I've seen about it so far. Where are the full reviews? Shouldn't they be out by now...
  9. Caroline

    Caroline Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 4, 2010
    FWIW I have just found the E-PL3 manual on the Olympus web site and you can set up the rear dial differently - in fact I think the camera I was playing with must have been changed from the default, since according to the manual, turning the ring should change the primary parameter (aperture in A mode etc.), as I would have expected. So if that's the case then that removes one of the quirks - and it gives me an excuse to go back and have another play with the camera to check! :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    THAT's good! You had me scared there. If you'd had to push a button to arm the wheel to control the primary function, it would have taken me back to the thing I couldn't stand about the EPL1 for the brief time I had it. I change aperture more than exposure comp and I don't mind having to push a button for exposure comp.

    Did you happen to notice if there a button you can customize to bring up ISO with one touch as well? If I can get to exposure comp with one button and ISO with another, the rest of the stuff I'm OK taking the extra click to get to the super control panel (or whatever they call it).

  11. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Ray, you can customize the right and down dpad buttons on the main dial of the E-PL3 the same exact way you can with the E-P3; I just looked at the E-PL3 manual (page 10)

    So yes, you can assign down or right to bring up ISO (that of course, negates either the drive mode or flash setting assigned to that button)
  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I figured, but good to know. Thanks...

  13. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    Thanks, Caroline, I was wondering about that. My E-P1's ring is set for EV compensation while the knurled control knob above it was set for main function changes (F stop, S/Speed). I assumed it was something that could be changed anyway.

    BTW, thanks for the detailed review; haven't seen any updated hands-on reports so am looking forward to the ones posted here. Of all the new Olys, this is the one I want to get, mainly for the faster AF and the tilting screen. Think I'll try to find one at a local camera shop to try it out as well.
  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    OK, I got it, the black one. And I also just got an email that B&H has them in stock now too (although it looks like only the silver one), so I guess they're hitting the virtual shelves. After an hour or so of playing, a couple of observations.

    First, this camera is LITTLE, SMALL, TINY, UNDERSIZED, etc. Did I mention its not very big? Its about the size of my GRD3 plus the lens thickness. Not really front pants pocket pocketable (except without lens...), but any sort of cargo pants, jacket, etc, pocket should do. This is not the sort of camera I'm likely to hold UP anywhere for lack of enough grip-able surface area. I see an opening for Richard Franiac here. But it falls to hand very nicely in much the same way my Nex 5 did - down at belly or waist level, with the screen flipped up, held in the left hand, controlled with the right. That's how I shot with the Nex about 90% of the time and that's how I'll likely shoot with this. If I keep it - more on that below.

    The screen is a bit smaller than the EP3 but its pretty bright. I just took it out in the brightest midday sun imaginable and with the screen pointing straight up into the sun, it was a bit dim but adequate for framing (if not for manual focus!). Held at an angle to the sun or shaded, its perfectly adequate. Good enough, for sure, particularly given that you CAN use the VF2 if its just too insanely bright. The 16-9 orientation would probably bother me if I shot much in 4:3, but I generally shoot in 3:2 (oh the megapixels!) and it fills the screen pretty well, with only a little blank area on each side. Edit - just turned the screen brightness all the way up and its quite good, even in direct sunlight. Probably close to as good as the Nex, although its tough to remember precisely...

    It feels every bit as fast as the EP3. Focus and shooting are immediate. The shutter has a different sound than the EP3, but I don't think its louder. In fact I think its a bit duller, lower pitched, and not as immediately identifiable as a camera's shutter. Might be better for close quarters street-shooting in that regard.

    Big lenses are kind of funny on this. Its OK with the Oly 14-150, a little weird, but workable. I tried it with the Pany 100-300 and just started laughing pretty quickly. About as silly as the Nex body with the Sony 18-200 lens - not quite, but close. I don't think I'd ever use this combination on purpose and I'm not sure how it would happen accidentally?

    The buttons and dial are adequately configurable. I quickly got everything where I needed it and once I figured out to turn off the dial-lock, had it all working just as I'd hope - until I figured that out, I thought the thing was HORRIBLY flawed! I don't see the single dial being a problem.

    So now I'm gonna face a decision. I'm quite sure just based on how small it is that I'm not going to keep ONLY the EPL3 - it just isn't as handle-able in as many situations as the EP3, which, like the EP2 before it, just falls about as naturally into my hand as any camera ever has. And I do like using long lenses occasionally, so its just not gonna work as my ONLY m43 camera. So then the question becomes whether the EPL3 adds enough benefit to make it worth keeping ALSO? Which mostly comes down to using the flip up screen for discrete shooting again and seeing how I like it. I loved it on the Nex but I've gotten far more comfortable framing on instinct without looking at a screen since then. So will I even look at it enough for it to be helpful? I don't know. I'm gonna have to spend a few hours shooting with it on the street and see. I had enough money from my massive equipment liquidation to keep both (in which case the 45 f1.8 will have to wait a couple of months or more). But I hadn't really planned on it. I expected I'd see which I liked more and just keep one. Now I'm not sure. I hope to figure it out quite soon though... In time to return this one, since I KNOW I'm not gonna sell the EP3.

    That's all for now. I'll be interested in other's reactions, now that the camera's seem to be hitting the street.

    • Like Like x 3
  15. Novaron

    Novaron Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 3, 2010
    Falls Church VA
    Just got mine from Olympus today.
  16. tigertiger

    tigertiger Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 30, 2011
    Removing the hand grip was a pretty dumb move, and lost Olympus at least one sale.

    I really want an articulating display, but not at the expense of a hand grip!

    Richard's grips are great for point and shoots, but I think they'd be ineffective on the E-PL3, unless you only use small light lenses.
  17. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    My wife's E-PL3 arrived today. Since I home office and she was away at work, I had to open the package to verify right?! =)

    I was also surprised how small this seems compared to the E-P3. The red looks a bit more hot than it does online... think my wife will dig the color and size. Think it will be just the ticket to get the E-P3 back in my hands.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I doubt I'll shoot with anything larger than the 9-18, 12, or 45 on this camera if I keep it - use the bigger lenses on the EP3. I think the Franiac grip will still help for those who want to hold the camera up to their face a lot. The size and shape, minus the lens is very similar to the Canon S90 (similarly slick surface too) and his grip did that camera a world of good. If he makes one, I'd probably buy it.

  19. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Wow you must have one of the first one's out in the wild. No reviews anywhere...open it up and let us know what it's like!
  20. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Flipbak now makes three stick on grips a la Franiac, but not the fine machine work - molded nylon - $10. Works nicely on my wife's XZ-1. Seems to be the same adhesive that Richard uses.

    Sounds like a great little camera for the right person. I concur re the E-P3: right size, weight, and features for so many situations. Smaller isn't better for me.
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