E-PM3 wishlist

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dhazeghi, May 4, 2013.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    The E-PM2 was announced 8 months ago, which means according to the usual timelines, it'll be seeing a replacement in 4-6 months. I've had mine since January, and it's been a good camera overall, but there are a good many things, minor and not so minor, that could stand to be improved. Here are my list of suggestions:

    • Electronic shutter. So far no Olympus camera has this, which is unfortunate. Truly silent shooting is a valuable feature in many venues, and the ability to avoid shutter shock on many lenses translates directly into improved image quality.
    • Screen. The 16:9 3" screen is not a good fit for most photographers. A 3:2 or better yet 4:3 3" screen would be a considerable improvement when it comes to image review.
    • Buttons. I realize that there are oodles of features in the Pen, but especially now with the touchscreen being standard, there's no good reason to have a dozen tiny buttons scattered across the camera's backside. I have small hands and even I have a hard time manipulating many of them. A dial that doubles as a 4-way controller, plus 3 or 4 buttons on the top or right side really ought to be sufficient.
    • Menus. The current menu structure is appalling, and a major turn-off to new users. What the next generation of Pens need is a major reorganization to bring the significant settings to the fore and to hide or eliminate the less significant ones. The best solution would be to allow saving/restoring settings off of an SD card. Add to Olympus Updater the ability to configure the 'expert' settings (hidden by default on the camera), as well as a help mode to describe in detail what each does.
    • Materials. The E-PM1 felt sleek and solid. The E-PM2 far less so. The camera has grown slightly and the switch to polycarbonate for the top plate and other areas makes it feel distinctly cheaper compared to its predecessor.
    • New pancake lenses. The Pens, especially the Pen Mini, are popular in large part due to their size. A better collection of pancake lenses would substantially improve that argument, and I think reinforce sales. The 17/2.8 is not a compelling option being pricey, not particularly fast, and not particularly good. A redesigned 17/2.2 or 20/2.2 pancake in conjunction with a 45/2.8 pancake in the $200-300 would change the equation considerably. Bonus points if the kit 14-42 is replaced with a smaller non-collapsing sort like the Panasonic 14-42mk2.
    • Built-in EVF. Okay, this is strictly pie-in-the-sky, but a built-in EVF, even of middling resolution (think VF-3) would make a lot of folks very happy.

    Of course, additions like focus-peaking and WiFi are pretty much a given considering what the E-P5 and competing Panasonic models have added, but even a few of the items listed above would make for a considerable upgrade in my book.
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Going by the E-P5, 1/8000s and 5-axis IBIS would also be nice, though perhaps not essential additions!
  3. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    You seem to like the PM2 less than I do.

    Sure, I'd like improvements:
    a) 5-axis IBIS (but only if it doesn't make the camera bigger);
    b) GPS; why not?
    c) better CAF
    d) better grip

    I actually like the button situation the way it is, and the menus are just fine now that I'm used to them. Hardly "appalling". Sure I'd like a larger and higher-res screen, but, again, only if it doesn't make the camera larger.

    I completely agree about the pancake lenses. This camera was made to mount a small pancake and slip in your pocket . . . mine practically lives with the 14mm Panasonic. It's a shame that Oly hasn't produced ONE high-quality pancake to go with their stellar 'mini' cameras.
  4. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Love the form factor and heft/build of my E-PM1 - people love to handle this camera when I lend it to them.

    From my perspective the only reason I'd upgrade is -

    * Better low-light noise performance
    * 5 Access IBIS would be cool but I'm not sure if thats physically possible in such a tight form-factor
    * Bigger sensor although I'm happy with the images a 12MP provides
    * Screen aspect ratio - just seems like wasted space
    * I really miss the levels/tilt-sensor of my E-P1 - if they could squeeze that in too please

    Lastly, nothing to do with the camera . . .

    * A matching pancake in a kit (cheap nifty 50 would fly off the shelves particularly if it was somewhere between the 14 and 20 sizewise)
  5. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    To me it seems like a great idea (low budget, best m4/3 sensor, smallest body) with some substantial flaws in terms of execution (external EVF sticks out way too much, the plasticky feel and tiny buttons give an impression of being cheap).

    A GPS is an interesting idea. For a while, it seemed they were going to become standard, but right now, their doesn't seem to be as much interest. Not sure why that is. Better C-AF would definitely help, but I wonder how achievable it is with current lens motors and whatnot.

    I was exaggerating a bit about the menus. For me, it doesn't matter much at this point as I know where the important stuff is. I just feel it's an awfully tall order for people new to Olympus - not a good thing on their entry-level model. I don't think the screen is that small - it's just a lot of it doesn't get used when shooting at 4:3.

    It is strange. I have a hard time understanding what their goals are sometimes. If the 17/2.8 were a better and slightly faster lens, I think it'd make a great kit lens for the E-PM2. As it is, it's sort of an embarrassment!
  6. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think that all models going forward should at least put in the axis stabilization.
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    A few more things to hope/wish for (from recent experiences)

    • Standardize on a battery. The E-M5 and E-P5 use the BLN-1. All the other Pens use the BLS-1/5. Having to own/remember to pack two sets of batteries/chargers is not helpful.
    • Enable all functions through the EVF when it's available. I don't know who the brilliant soul is that decided that when you're using the EVF, pressing menu or play should display the image on the rear LCD, but it's one of the more puzzling design decisions I've seen. I've already got the camera up to my eye. What good reason is there that I should be obliged to either take the camera away from my face or press the EVF button ever single time I need to access something in a menu.
    • Fix the image review delay. This has been around since their early DSLRs and it's just stupid. You should be able to magnify/lock/delete images directly after taking the image, not have to wait 5 seconds and hit play first.
    • A functional mechanism to lock all settings. This needed on all m4/3 bodies IMO. There are so many tiny buttons that it is just way to easy to accidentally jog something. The current system is far too easy to unlock just by brushing the camera against something (like your shirt).
  8. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Realistically such a camera is for entry level users, or it's a second body to share with family or whatever. So I'd expect Olympus to improve on the following areas;

    - Simple NFC / Wi-Fi sharing like on the E-P5
    - A bigger touchscreen with a MUCH improved touch interface that is intuitive to new users
    - Cheaper and smaller if possible
  9. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    Electronic shutter would be great. Might help with shutter shock as well.
    Slight improvement in build quality nice but not necessary.
    Utilize LCD space.

    Rubber grip - GX1ish but with PEN styling.
    No slick wood please. :biggrin:

    All else is fine to me.
  10. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    I'd like this too.
  11. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    I like everything about the E-PM2 except for one part of it, The Shutter button.... When I had the E-M5 I did not notice it much but when I was using it side by side with the E-P5 it was so obvious.

    The Shutter button have a longer lag than I would have liked and I always end up a few millisecond behind on some shots. The "short" shutter delay on the E-P5 felt very fast compared to the E-PM2.

    Other than this I would agree with the screen format, although an EVF solved that problem for me.

    Of course a few new bells and whistles would be welcome. :)

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Mu-43 mobile app
  12. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Two other points:

    1) The 14-42II R kit lens on the E-PM2 doesn't really do the camera justice and the extending barrel mechanism is both unhelpful and unnecessary. It adds an extra step to shooting, and as Panasonic's 14-42 II shows, a smaller conventional barrel design is quite possible. The Olympus 14-42II R is also notably less sharp than the new Panasonic lens. Granted many customers won't notice the difference, but there are plenty who do, and a good kit lens will serve as an advertisement for their higher end lenses.

    2) Electronic shutters are becoming pretty standard. All current Panasonic models save for the GF6 have one. I'm not a big fan of checkbox marketing, but it is an idea worth stealing. Heck, they might even be able to use it to simplify the mechanical shutter and save space/money, as Panasonic has done on the GM1.
  13. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Now that Sony has tipped their hand with the A6000, and Nikon with the V3, I'm really hoping that we'll see PDAF making it into the rest of the m4/3 line.

    I guess we'll know in a month or two.
  14. vtsteevo

    vtsteevo Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 20, 2012
    I just ordered an E-PM2 with the latest deal they had (Body + kit lens + 40-150 for $349). Stepping up/down/across (depends which way you look at it!) from a GX1
  15. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    The E-PM2 is a great little camera. In spite of the things I'd like changed, I still think it's the camera that best captures the soul of m4/3 - small, great output, fun, and inexpensive.
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  16. popiT

    popiT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 20, 2014
    BayArea, CA
    I totally agreed.

    My wish list:
    3-axis IBIS like EM10.
    Articulate LCD like EPL5 but less the mode dial.
    eShutter as option
    Built-in Time Lapse
    Built-in Panorama (currently need ImageViewer to stitch)
    1080 60p (EPL6 already has this)

    1 thing I not sure why, when recording movie, the VOF is narrower? Keep the same as still please.
  17. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    After a bit of use the thing I would most like to change is to have exposure bracketing on the drive menu and if I press the play back button when on EVF mode show the photo in the VF. As bonus add ons Silent shutter, tripod pixel shift high resolution mode that I saw in some medium format back years ago, basically the sensor moved a set amount up and down to create a higher resolution file, so it could be possible to create a 30mp or higher file using sensor shift. Not really bothered about wifi or gps more interested in AF performance highlight clipping behaviour.
  18. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    better caf
    electronic level
    focus peaking
    tilt screen
  19. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Somebody needs to come up with a bluetooth Google glass type of EVF. Something that comes with its own frame but can be removed and clipped to your own glasses if need be. Look one way, and frame in a different direction for street… Hold the camera high above your head in crowds while being able to frame a shot. And you could still keep a tiny form factor. Both Olympus and Panasonic are pretty innovative when it comes to usability. We need to put that on their radar.

    They already have bluetooth for the iPhone apps (Panasonic does, not sure about Oly). An accessory bluetooth EVF seems like it would be pretty easy to implement.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. TheRenaissanceMan

    TheRenaissanceMan Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 11, 2013
    Wow, I've been thinking about this exact idea for a couple months now! :) If the QX10 can use your cell phone as a detachable screen and every camera comes fitted with NFC, why not actually take those capabilities further and create a detachable eyepiece of some kind?

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Mu-43 mobile app
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