I finally touched it! (X100 lust no more) EP3 taunts me.

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by twmangrove, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. twmangrove

    twmangrove Mu-43 Regular

    May 8, 2011
    The Shuswap, B.C.
    I touched it!
    On the weekend I finally had the opportunity to get my grubby hands all over the glorious Fuji X100. (Thank you big city big box electronics stores.)
    Immediate response: wow, this is light. It feels lighter than my E-PM1.
    Then I tried focusing. Wow, that's kind of slow. It snaps once it figures things out, but in that time my kid will have run away on to other things.
    Then I played with the viewfinder. Absolutely kickass. I hope that is the future of digital cameras, because that hybrid view is just out of this world (though still no where near as bright or wide as my old OMD film SLR).
    I know I'm stating the obvious here, but reading about something just doesn't compare to experiencing it in person. And after reading so much about this camera, it was great to finally see it in person and try it out.
    Then I played with the Orbmeister, the Fuji X10. That felt and performed admirably I thought. This is what the X100 should have been. I mean, it's still just a point and shoot, but snappy to focus, and the body felt more substantial for some reason. And the viewfinder, while not a hybrid, was still a pleasure to peer through.
    If I were to replace my Fuji F31, the X10 would likely be a top contender (with the sensor fix).

    When I was done goofing around with both cameras, I had a look at the Sony NEX 5n. That also seemed pretty snappy. And I know it has great IQ. Would have liked to have tried out the menu some just to see what the fuss is about, but I had to leave.

    Ultimately, I left thinking the PM1 is in a pretty good spot. IQ is wonderful, build seems decent enough. I have mine pimped out (skin and grip), and now have the VF3 (seems to do the job I want it too), and the overall package serves me pretty well.
    I was also thinking that while the IQ of the X100 may be superior, I would take the E-P3 over it any day.
    In fact, I've been thinking about picking up an E-P3 and came close to it recently through the boards here, but decided against it at that time. But I'm still looking at used P3s as they come up. I like the idea of having the VF and the flash functional at the same time.
    So I've been looking at reviews and tests and maybe I'm getting it wrong, but it seems as though the PL3 and the PM1 are in some ways better. For example, on one site I've found the PL3 to be the fastest of the three from button press to focus to taking the picture. Then the PM1, and then the P3. I've also read the screen on the back of the E-P3 is overly contrasty and makes it difficult to gauge the final image.
    Pros in favour of the P3 include the obvious: control factor, the onboard flash, touchscreen OLED and perhaps ergonomics (not a big deal with flipbac on the PM1). Another is colour accuracy. Compared to the PM1, the P3 is said to be more spot on. With reds in particular that's useful. Reds are typically a challenge.

    So is all this BS? Is the AF speed difference so negligible as to be unnoticeable? Is the colour thing just a matter of settings?

    Yes, I'm fishing for convincing. I'm starting to think I have extra room in my camera bag for a P3.

    The main point behind this rather pointless drivel of a posting is to say that sometimes the chase is more thrilling than the kill (there's got to be a better way to express that).
    My X100 lust is no more. If, however, someone can cram that X100 sensor and processing into an E-P3, whoa nelly. (I'm ignoring the Pro 1 as it's priced beyond reason). That X100 viewfinder, I hope it becomes the norm. But if I were considering the X100, and then saw the P3 beside it, then looked at the going price for used P3s, then looked at all the issues with the X100 (sticky blades, slow focus, dust, etc.), I'd likely go for a P3. Great bang for the buck for sure.
    Mind you, the PM1 may be even better.
    Yes, I'm completely ignoring the OMD. It's too new and I'm waiting to see what's up with it.

    Anyhow, thank you for allowing me to challenge you and/or waste your time. And if any of you have compared a PM1 directly with a P3 and can tell me there's really no noticeable difference in IQ or the time from focus to capture, I'd love to hear it.

    And Fuji, I may be with Olympus now, but you'll always have a place in my heart.

    • Like Like x 2
  2. pheaukus

    pheaukus Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 22, 2012
    As far as I know PM1, PL3 and P3 have the same sensor chip, imaging engine, processor and contrast focus implementation. There should be no difference at all, especially for RAW imaging.

    This should make them a good case to test both Olympus production standards and the reliability of reviewing sites :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  3. twmangrove

    twmangrove Mu-43 Regular

    May 8, 2011
    The Shuswap, B.C.
    Test sites

    That's where my thinking/understanding was coming from, which was why I was surprised to see such a difference between the PL3 and the P3 on a particular review site (not naming names). The colour comparisons I refer to are from another site.
    I'm not sure what lens was used for the tests though, so there is that potential variable.
  4. pheaukus

    pheaukus Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 22, 2012
    DPreview provides lens information if you click somewhere on the image samples. They hardly ever use kit lenses but if possible they use the same lens for all models from one manufacturer. For Olympus this is a Four Thirds 50mm if I remember correctly. According to their test images, a PM1 produces sharper results than a Leica M9. :tongue:
    • Like Like x 1
  5. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I've been very happy with the E-P3 since I got mine a few weeks ago. I really like being able to use the on-board flash AND VF-2 at the same time, mainly for macro photography. And the touch-to-shoot has come in even handier than I expected.

    As for colors and AF speed, I don't see why there should be much of a significant difference. You can adjust the Jpeg settings to change how the image displays on the screen, especially if you are shooting RAW those settings don't really matter. I know the buffer speed/rate is different from the P3 to PL3, but otherwise like pheaukus said the internals are mostly the same.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I have an E-P1, an E-PL2 and an E-P3. Color and IQ are virtually the same on all three. I can't tell by looking at photos which camera was used. The E-P3 is the quickest to focus and I was surprised to find how useful the touch-focus-shoot really can be. I am really impressed with the E-P3 overall, but the photos are equally fine from all three cameras.
  7. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I'm still loving my x100 & E-PL2 :cool:
  8. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    This rings true. A friend and colleague of mine picked up one of those closeout (brand new) E-P1s about a year ago and just loves it. She had a chance to check out my E-PM1 and neither of us could really tell which camera was used when comparing images. I still like the E-P3 but now that I have the GX1, it'll have to wait until it's on closeout and the price drops to $299 like the E-P1. :smile:
  9. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Real Name:
    Based on all the online reviews and testing, the color and IQ of the E-P3, E-PL3, and E-PM1 should be identical, but in real life usage, I found that not to be the case. I don't have an E-PM1, but based on my experience at a camera store, I believe it is pretty much the same as the E-PL3. I do own both an E-P3 and an E-PL3, and as you correctly noted, I find the WB of the E-P3 more accurate than that of the E-PL3, or I should say it takes longer for the E-PL3 to find the correct WB than the E-P3. As a result, even if the E-PL3 focuses a hair faster than the E-P3, I like using the E-P3 better because it fine tune the WB more quickly (I am talking about SOOC JPEGs here).

    Ergonomic-wise, I love how the E-P3 handles, especially with the large grip, much better than my E-PL3, although the tilt screen is quite handy. Some people don't like the placement of the thumb and rear dials, which are moved by accident to easily. That happens to me sometimes, but I actually find their placement more convenient than the 2 top dials of the E-M5.

    In terms of the color accuracy of the OLED, you can adjust the brightness and color temperature to make it closer to what you are actually seeing, and that works fine for me.

    So, all in all, I think the E-P3 is a great camera. The problem with me is now that I got an E-M5, which has even better IQ and overall performance, the E-P3 is relegated to the cabinet, as I find the light weight of the E-PL3 makes it a better back-up to my E-M5...
  10. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2012
    FWIW, I have the Fuji X10, and the orbs are a non-issue 99.9% of the time. I don't even know for sure if I will have the sensor "fixed" simply because I am not yet convinced the new sensor is quite as good as the old in the 999 shots out of every 1000 not affected by orbs.
  11. LVL8hacker

    LVL8hacker Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 4, 2012
    Pinehurst, North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Larry Anderson
    My second body for the 35mm focal length is a Fuji X100. I love this thing. Not a camera you would use to snap pics of kids running about, but man I love the files it puts out.
  12. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 16, 2010
    +1 I'm actually selling my :43:, partly because of the Fuji X100. The X100, with the latest firmware (which is the only experience I have, because I only bought it recently), is my favourite small camera. Ever! (And it's not like the E-P3 was designed for action photography either, so I don't miss out on anything except lens selection, and I have another system for that :smile:).
  13. Keith

    Keith Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 16, 2012
    I had an X100 briefly and the killer for me was the tragic manual focus function. I thought the AF was OK but trying to focus the thing manually was near pointless. Great IQ!
  14. toshiro

    toshiro Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 3, 2012
    I got a X100 a month ago and sold it last weekend. IQ and colors are great but AF speed and AF accuracy is terrible, even worst than an EP1 with its original firmware

    And the Fujinon lens on it is not that great, pretty soft at f2 and -I did the comparison- not as sharp as the Oly 17 pancake at f2.8, which isn't the sharpest lens in the world
  15. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I would recommend sitting tight for 1-2 months. New Oly Pens are due in August followed by Photokina. If they release a new Pen with the OMD sensor, you sound like you would enjoy thar.
  16. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 12, 2012
    Real Name:
    Another important thing about the EP3 is to change the lcd screen setup. It comes with vivid as default setting and should imho be changed to natural. That explains the extra contrast and warm colours on the screen...
  17. twmangrove

    twmangrove Mu-43 Regular

    May 8, 2011
    The Shuswap, B.C.
    Some great feedback folks, thanks. Thanks Hkpzee for sticking your neck out and sharing your experience with the PL3 and the P3.
    Regarding the X100 I tried out, I don't know what firmware it had, but I agree, it seemed simila to, if not slower than my former my PL1 prior to its firmware update. And I know the IQ is smashing. And the X10, it is indeed a lovely point and shoot. That lens set up, in particular, felt marvelous, like nothing else out there.
    Mind you, the 14mm Panny on my PM1 makes for a pretty awesome compact, which was kind of why I bought it in the first place. That and the fact that with it I could actually catch my kid in mid stride with much greater ease than I could with the PL1.
  18. twmangrove

    twmangrove Mu-43 Regular

    May 8, 2011
    The Shuswap, B.C.
    Apology to X100 users - a bout of Fuji nostalgia

    Decided to remove post and take more pictures with my family instead. Thanks kindly.