EM1 iii Mk3 DPR Review Very Fair and Balanced

BushmanOrig

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I think everyone knows what I think of DPR...

Apart from the fact that each previous Olympus review or preview TOTALLY outdated is, and of absolutely NO value to the reader, Not like Nikon while back when DPR created a launch event type announcement plus an update of the Z7 review after a firmware update - girls were dancing, they were waving the flags... On Olympus NOTHING...

DPR still did not realize that different sensor sizes give photographers different photographic opportunities... So what they did again is the mobile phone "mine is better than yours" spec review...

Almost every paragraph or tech comparison has something like this:-

- "When it comes to AF, the E-M1 III is good at some things and struggles with others..." (what a useless and loaded statement...)
- "It's situations like this where larger sensor cameras have a clear advantage over Micro Four Thirds..." (they just can't help themselves)
- "The E-M1 III appears to be using large radius sharpening (similar to the E-M5 III), noticeable in the 'haloing' around the outer edge..."
- "Dynamic range from the E-M1 III's 20MP sensor is very good, and on-par with the best performing Four Thirds chips we've seen..." (focus is simplistic sensor size and not application)
- "20MP sensor outputs good Raws, on par with the best Four-Thirds sensors..." (again M43 is now grouped into size with lower expectation - this is manna for the forum expert)

These are called triggers - they used by marketers - go read up... and they feed forum "experts" with ammo...

I just could not continue with this stupidy - "no the SCP is not good enough"... but we love the SCP, no the menu is just not good enough, O there is too much noise and on and on it goes... M43 owner makes sure you know you have an inferior camera you might just as well switch to the XT4 who now has a 7 stop masterpiece Olympus like IBIS camera...

This is probably one of their worst reviews to date on Olympus... it as if they gave Olympus that final death kick...

When I first saw it a while back, I realized we should not complain, we all still go look at what nonsense they generate daily on that site about M43... and yes there are several talented M43 review sites...

We should have been clear long ago - support this or that review site, they know what they do...

My 2 cents...

PS. Robstar - this is NOT against you my friend... :)
 
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Robstar1963

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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I would urge anyone reading the above post by @BushmanOrig to read the review in its entirety and especially the overall conclusion which for me is very balanced full of praise and correct with regard to weaknesses highlighted such as the outdated EVF and Poor Tracking Capabilitiies
Please let me know if I am misreading this as badly as the post above would suggest ?

From the DPR Review:-
“With the planned sale of Olympus' camera division toward the end of 2020, the OM-D E-M1 III could be the last high-end Olympus camera we'll see for some time. A slight upgrade to the E-M1 II, its most notable improvements include a new processor with better face and eye detect, the addition of an 8-way AF joystick and the inclusion of several useful modes, like hand-held 'High Res Shot', 'Live ND', and 'Starry Sky AF' (to assist in focusing during astrophotography).

The E-M1 III's 20MP Four Thirds chip is one we know from previous M43 cameras: it produces some of the best JPEG and Raw files of any camera in its sensor-class, but larger sensor cameras, at a similar price point, offer better dynamic range and resolution. That said, for static scenes. the E-M1 III's high-res mode can produce up to 80MP Raw files with the added benefit of improved noise over a standard file. This allows it to punch well above its sensor class in some instances.

The E-M1 III strikes an excellent balance between capability and size/weight
Video capture from the E-M1 III is very good and rolling shutter is well-controlled; Cinema 4K quality especially impresses. But the UHD output is not quite as detailed as the competition's 4K. And though the Olympus offers a flat picture profile and a Log mode, the latter is only 8-bit and therefore less malleable than the 10-bit Log footage from the competition. Olympus' image stabilization is class-leading. For hand-held run-and-gun work, you'd be hard-put to find a smoother camera than the E-M1 III, especially with digital IS turned on (which adds a 1.19x crop).

With burst speeds as fast as 10 fps mechanical and 18 fps electronic (the same as the E-M1 II), the E-M1 III is well-suited for fast action, and has a well-sized buffer to boot. Autofocus performance is decent when used in the traditional method of maintaining a point or zone over one's subject. However the camera's subject tracking mode is easily fooled and far less reliable than the competition's. Face and eye detect on the other hand work quite well and, thanks to the new joystick, it's now easy to jump between detected faces.


The build quality is outstanding; this is easily one of the most comfortable digital cameras I've used in recent memory and the control dials are also a personal favorite. What isn't a favorite is the camera's EVF: it's unchanged from that of its 4-year-old predecessor. In 2020, a 2.36M-dot LCD panel in a top-end model seems antiquated when the competition is offering 3.69M-dot OLEDs. On the UI side, menus are dense but the camera is highly customizable: once you wrap your head around its somewhat strange ways, it'll be smooth sailing (it just takes some time to get there).

Size advantage comes at the cost of some image quality, but in situations in which portability or lens 'reach' are more important, the E-M1 III is among the best cameras you can go with

Based on specification and performance alone, the OM-D E-M1 III doesn't stand out much from the crowd. But specs ignores one of the camera's greatest assets: the small / light-weight nature of the M43 system. For adventure and wildlife photographers (or anyone, really) who needs to pack light without sacrificing reach, Micro Four Thirds and Olympus in particular, are a godsend. You need 1000mm of reach in a lens that won't break your back? Olympus's forthcoming 150-400mm F4.5 with built-in 1.25x teleconverter has got you covered (at an F11 equiv. aperture, mind you). And other glass like the compact 12-100mm F4 Pro and 300mm F4 Pro really show off what makes this system special.

Ultimately, the E-M1 III strikes an excellent balance between capability and size / weight. It's extremely well-built, packed with all sorts of cool and useful features and has a huge family of glass to support it. The size advantage comes at the cost of some image quality, but in situations in which portability or lens 'reach' are more important, the E-M1 III is among the best cameras you can go with.”
 

BushmanOrig

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I would urge anyone reading the above post by @BushmanOrig to read the review in its entirety and especially the overall conclusion which for me is very balanced full of praise and correct with regard to weaknesses highlighted such as the outdated EVF and Poor Tracking Capabilitiies
Please let me know if I am misreading this as badly as the post above would suggest ?

From the DPR Review:-
“With the planned sale of Olympus' camera division toward the end of 2020, the OM-D E-M1 III could be the last high-end Olympus camera we'll see for some time. A slight upgrade to the E-M1 II, its most notable improvements include a new processor with better face and eye detect, the addition of an 8-way AF joystick and the inclusion of several useful modes, like hand-held 'High Res Shot', 'Live ND', and 'Starry Sky AF' (to assist in focusing during astrophotography).

The E-M1 III's 20MP Four Thirds chip is one we know from previous M43 cameras: it produces some of the best JPEG and Raw files of any camera in its sensor-class, but larger sensor cameras, at a similar price point, offer better dynamic range and resolution. That said, for static scenes. the E-M1 III's high-res mode can produce up to 80MP Raw files with the added benefit of improved noise over a standard file. This allows it to punch well above its sensor class in some instances.


Video capture from the E-M1 III is very good and rolling shutter is well-controlled; Cinema 4K quality especially impresses. But the UHD output is not quite as detailed as the competition's 4K. And though the Olympus offers a flat picture profile and a Log mode, the latter is only 8-bit and therefore less malleable than the 10-bit Log footage from the competition. Olympus' image stabilization is class-leading. For hand-held run-and-gun work, you'd be hard-put to find a smoother camera than the E-M1 III, especially with digital IS turned on (which adds a 1.19x crop).

With burst speeds as fast as 10 fps mechanical and 18 fps electronic (the same as the E-M1 II), the E-M1 III is well-suited for fast action, and has a well-sized buffer to boot. Autofocus performance is decent when used in the traditional method of maintaining a point or zone over one's subject. However the camera's subject tracking mode is easily fooled and far less reliable than the competition's. Face and eye detect on the other hand work quite well and, thanks to the new joystick, it's now easy to jump between detected faces.


The build quality is outstanding; this is easily one of the most comfortable digital cameras I've used in recent memory and the control dials are also a personal favorite. What isn't a favorite is the camera's EVF: it's unchanged from that of its 4-year-old predecessor. In 2020, a 2.36M-dot LCD panel in a top-end model seems antiquated when the competition is offering 3.69M-dot OLEDs. On the UI side, menus are dense but the camera is highly customizable: once you wrap your head around its somewhat strange ways, it'll be smooth sailing (it just takes some time to get there).




Based on specification and performance alone, the OM-D E-M1 III doesn't stand out much from the crowd. But specs ignores one of the camera's greatest assets: the small / light-weight nature of the M43 system. For adventure and wildlife photographers (or anyone, really) who needs to pack light without sacrificing reach, Micro Four Thirds and Olympus in particular, are a godsend. You need 1000mm of reach in a lens that won't break your back? Olympus's forthcoming 150-400mm F4.5 with built-in 1.25x teleconverter has got you covered (at an F11 equiv. aperture, mind you). And other glass like the compact 12-100mm F4 Pro and 300mm F4 Pro really show off what makes this system special.

Ultimately, the E-M1 III strikes an excellent balance between capability and size / weight. It's extremely well-built, packed with all sorts of cool and useful features and has a huge family of glass to support it. The size advantage comes at the cost of some image quality, but in situations in which portability or lens 'reach' are more important, the E-M1 III is among the best cameras you can go with.”
Let's leave it there... I am glad to see you found a home at DPR...
 

RichardC

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I'm on the fence here, bit I have to say that their banging on about the 'size advantage comes at the cost of some image quality' would be like Professional Photographer saying 'well, the Nikon F4s has lots of great features, but you get sharper enlargements out of a Hasselblad 500C/M'.
 
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Doesn’t look like anyone else has posted
Long overdue test by DPR
They seemed to quite like the camera and their test came accross as very positive and fair and the camera was awarded a silver and 83%

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympus-om-d-e-m1-mark-iii-review/8
I read the review as well and thought it to be quite fair. There is no camera which can be all things to all men and the trick is to make the best compromise to suit one's individual needs. Were I looking for a new camera now, I think this review would help me to arrive at that compromise. A silver award and 83% presents a strong approval level.
 

AmritR

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DPR has imo to cater to their audience, show diplomatic skills to minimize ‘offending’ their customers, and at the same time generate traffic and sales for Amazon. In the end they have to report to Jeff Bezos, and there is only on thing Jeff is interested in: more for him self.
So they will have to perform a split between personal and professional integrity, their careers and corporate (Amazons) interest.

Would be interesting to chat to the editors in confidence, and hear what they are really thinking, about their commenters, the camera market in general, DPR, Amazon, etc.

I’m also curious with the dedicated camera market declining, how their own website traffic is doing.
 

stevedo

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This is the bit in the conclusion which always gets me about their MFT reviews:
" Larger-sensor competition offers better dynamic range and noise performance "

Why do they have to bash the camera in this way? Seems totally unnecessary to me. I just checked the reviews for the Sony A6100, Fujifilm X-T4, Ricoh GR III and Canon M6 Mark ii (just a random selection) and nowhere is there a similar statement of what they don't like in the conclusions. Why not I wonder. They could probably also say the same about so called full frame cameras when compared to medium format but they don't.

I read the 1.3 review in full and (mostly) agree with other posters here who stated that they think it is fair and balanced. Just my 2 pesos worth.
 

RAH

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I saw that they had reviewed it a few days ago (when it first went up, I guess), but didn't post anything on this forum about it because I figured that merely the mention of it would turn our usually nice forum into a mini-DPR forum. Please play nice folks. :)
 

BDR-529

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This is the bit in the conclusion which always gets me about their MFT reviews:
" Larger-sensor competition offers better dynamic range and noise performance "

Why do they have to bash the camera in this way? Seems They could probably also say the same about so called full frame cameras when compared to medium format but they don't.
Since when has stating the obvious become "bashing"? If same sensor technology is used, it's pretty inevitable that 4x the sensor area will increase IQ in absolute terms. It's an another question entirely whether this absolute increase really matters.

In my opinion this DPR review really, really tried to find maximum amount of positive things to say about M1.3 and soften all negative findings they couldn't leave unmentioned. The whole tone of the review was "We would really like to recommend this camera to you ... but you must also know that..."

The biggest problem for MFT is not even the sensor size any more. It's the fact that latest FF sensors are now two generations ahead of MFT (IMX269, 270 and 272). Even dynamic range has more to do with the performance of individual pixels (generation of sensor technolody) than the size of the sensor itself so MFT would get instant IQ increase by just getting the same generation sensors as FF even if nothing else changes.

And there's no way around the fact that entry level new mirrorless FF cameras have now the same or even better noise profile at 12 800 that you get from MFT at 3200 which is generally regarded as the max usable ISO.

If you never need to shoot abobe 1600, then the whole comparison is moot and you can concentrate on other advantages the MFT system can give to you but camera reviews must at least explain where MFT lags behind so that buyers can check whether these areas really matter to them.

I'm happy with MFT despite it's technical disadvantages but I'm not trying to fool myself claiming that I wouldn't see increase in technical image/video quality with FF. Note the difference. Better technical quality might just make it more obvious that I can't take good pictures 😁
 

stratokaster

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DPR covers Nikon, Canon and Sony in the first place. But there is a very good explanation for that: they don't have unlimited resources. Since e.g. Canon's market share is many times that of Micro 4/3, an article about Canon is likely to gather more views and to generate more sales for Amazon which is their parent company.

E.g. I have been a Mac user for more than 15 years, but when I was the executive editor of a tech publication, it was my decision to cover mostly PC laptops since their combined market share is ~9 times larger than Apple's. Anything else would have been fanboyism.
 
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Thorough review. Going forward, very few websites will have the resources to do what DPR does, given the 95% consumer market contraction.

Here is the cracker:

The Mark III is the best E-M1 yet. I really appreciate the addition of an AF joystick and nifty features like Live ND are truly useful and help you to travel as light as possible. Unfortunately, its core capabilities are looking outgunned in today’s market, especially given fierce competition at this price point from cameras with larger sensors. It certainly fits the bill as a rugged, long-reach, high-quality travel camera, but many photographers will likely be served better elsewhere.

Not being price-competitive is the main issue facing Olympus. That ties into the JIP transfer and staggering, unsustainable financial losses.
 

JonSnih

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Doesn’t look like anyone else has posted
Long overdue test by DPR
They seemed to quite like the camera and their test came accross as very positive and fair and the camera was awarded a silver and 83%
https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympus-om-d-e-m1-mark-iii-review/8
I dont understand their "Menus can be overwhelming" never ending caveat. The E-M1iii is targeted to pros & enthusiasts who are willing to take time and learn few bits about the camera. Moreover menus in the 1iii (and the 1X) have quite polished layout, more direct functions via Fn buttons/arrow keys/joystick and also MyMenu which minimizes the need to enter old menu.

And their "...but many photographers will likely be served better elsewhere. " is in the same ballpark. No suprise here from a DPR FF staff. Andy Westlake had the best understanding of crop formats. Unfortunately he left DPR.

"AF subject tracking not reliable " Correct con. Why is Oly so stubborn and has not updated the old AF-C+TR mode so far? A missed opportunity, I guess. Will change that at least the next FW update for the 1X?
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Why do they have to bash the camera in this way? Seems totally unnecessary to me. I just checked the reviews for the Sony A6100, Fujifilm X-T4, Ricoh GR III and Canon M6 Mark ii (just a random selection) and nowhere is there a similar statement of what they don't like in the conclusions.
Yes, it's peculiar how sometimes this is a talking point and sometimes it is not. It's either true that smaller sensors are inferior because they are smaller, or they aren't. APS-C should always be qualified as less than FF, and FF less than MF. Now, if the differences are due to the actual makeup of the sensor, then that should be the explanation, not the size. If that were the qualifier, then I would see no issue with saying that the other cameras have an advantage because they are using newer sensors.

I'm not going to read the review, it's not really going to tell me anything that I don't already know or can find out here. I'm a big fan of actual user opinions and samples, because they've actually committed the effort to really maximize the camera's capabilities. For example, when @Nam-in-Sonoma posts his travel shots, it tells me way more of what the E-M1iii is capable of doing than a reviewer who probably has his preferences of brand and format.
 

BDR-529

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It's either true that smaller sensors are inferior because they are smaller, or they aren't. APS-C should always be qualified as less than FF, and FF less than MF. Now, if the differences are due to the actual makeup of the sensor, then that should be the explanation, not the size. If that were the qualifier, then I would see no issue with saying that the other cameras have an advantage because they are using newer sensors.
A quick comparison of reletive sizes should explain immediately where even a couple of generations later sensor technology might even out larger sensor area.

1) Medium format. There is actually no standard for medium format because this term covers everything between FF and large format. This also means that every medium format sensor is a niche product, designed for that single camera only and will not benefit from the R&D budget Sony, Canon and TowerJazz have allocated for FF sensor development

For example Fuji GFX 50R has a "medium format" sensor that is only 67% larger than FF and 2019 tests found that IQ was pretty much on par with Nikon Z7. In all other areas Fuji was lightyears behind: lackluster AF, only 3fps, no 4k video and so on.

Sony alone has six new FF sensors in their pipeline on top of the models which were released this year so it's pretty likely that FF IQ will soon exceed most "medium format" cameras which have sensors based on 2016 era technology, four digit sales per year and no R&D budget worth mentioning compared to FF. IQ will depend on lens quality, not sensor size.

2) MFT vs APS-C. Canon is using smaller sensor that has less than 1,5 times the image area of MFT and rest of the manufacturers have a ratio of around 1,7. Here the latest sensor technology plays a large role. Without latest 32MP Canon APS-C and Fuji X-Trans 4 sensors, IQ difference between MFT and APS-C would depend more on the lens and processor FW quality than sensor potential. Unfortunately MFT is a couple of generations behind here as well on top of the area disadvantage.

MFT sensors date back from the time when Sony 6300 was released and as usual, Sony reserved the latest technology of the time for their own product. Despite this, Olympus M1 Mark II was more than a match to Sony 6300 in all areas, including IQ when it was launched in Septermber 2016. Problems started only when the next model, M1.3 was hitting the stores with the very same sensor in 2020.
 
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stratokaster

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I guess Sony needs the MFT camera manufacturers to commit to a certain quantity before producing a new sensor. Given the recent developments, it's possible we will never see another Sony MFT sensor. Panasonic recently divested itself of its sensor fabs so they're not going to make a new sensor either.
 

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