Is the EPL-3 really needed? I would like mini to have been fixed lens 17/F2..

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by LovinTheEP2, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Hey Everyone,

    After watching Digital Rev's video today about the EPL-3, Kai highlighted a few issues in his own way :rofl: that I had been thinking all along (even before the 3 camera announcement).

    Now that all 3 are out and a few Mini experiences as well. I wonder how everyone feels about all 3 cameras. I'm not sure how to setup a poll to see which camera everyone would prefer to get.

    For me, the EP3 is the standout out of the bunch and good on them that they made it the flagship (which wasn't necessarily the case with the EP2 when the EPL2 came out). I'm glad they didn't add an articulating screen as it would just make it a bit more bulky.

    EP3 mini
    For me, the Mini was done just right from the initial reviews. A more true point and shoot and coupled with a 17mm or 14mm would be nice to have.

    In some ways, I almost wish Olympus had taken it a bit further and maybe drop the interchangeable lens and given it like a 17mm fixed lens f2. :eek:

    Yeah yeah, I know it kind of goes against the mu-43 concept but I really think an optimized mu43 fixed lens solution would be a huge hit and probably keep a lot of X10 customers looking at Olympus. Add touch focus on the screen and I would have made it a must have cam for me. It's out of the box for the mu43 crowd but I think it would have been an interesting approach and the concept has been proven with the X100.

    The one that I don't really get is the EPL-3. It's less expensive, but really not that much when you consider an interchangeable lens systems, any additional lens would be way higher then the cost savings between the EP3 and the lite.

    The screen is of lower resolution and hardly even articulates. Just added mass for a slide down screen.

    Higher burst rate sure, but how many times does a 3 to 5 frames per second really matter to a m43s shooter. If speed of the essence, you'd be shooting with a dslr. I can't imagine where the extra 2 fps really makes a difference to 99% of m43s owners 99% of the time.

    For me, I think Olympus missed a real opportunity to make some major news. They could have priced the EP3 $100 cheaper (if they hadn't made an EPL3 investment), launch a fixed lens Mini and made some real waves rather then what is seen as just an update to their line with fast focus.

    Since the launch of the 3rd gen cameras, I've actually grown to like my EP2 again and not really looking to upgrade as was the case when their were previewed. The onboard flash of the EP3 and faster focus for legacy glass does keep me thinking of it though.. but I also want the mini with a 14mm.

    I think Kai even though tongue in cheek in his review of the EPL-3 pretty much hit the mark.:thumbup:
  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    In some ways, I almost wish Olympus had taken it a bit further and maybe drop the interchangeable lens and given it like a 17mm fixed lens f2.

    I would have taken that EXCEPT that I'm more of a "normal" lens shooter -- so I would need more like the 20/1.7 or a 25, which of course leads us back to interchangeable lenses :)

    Besides, there's already a FujiX100, so how about a new normal fixed lens for those of us who prefer that :biggrin:
  3. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    As for the X100.. the fixed Mini would come in probably 1/2 the price of the X100 and in a smaller form factor to boot and close enough in image quality.

    As for the lens, 25mm would be nice if they could keep ultra compact and fast.. anything less then 2.5 would be a disappoint and ideally a stop better would be ideal. For a lens that fast and focal length, not sure how compact it could be... hence why I was leaning more towards the 17mm ..
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Real Name:
    Some people like the articulated screen. I rarely use it on my NEX3, but it does come in handy if I'm doing some covert street shooting.

    IMO, there's a little bit of everything for everyone with the three Pen lineup. However, I do wish the EP3 had an articulated screen.
  5. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I would think that for a fixed lens -- where the lens can intrude farther in to the body, and be optimized for the sensor, a fast 25 would be possible (2.0 or maybe even 1.x)
  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    We all have our own idea of the perfect camera. For me it would have been the EP3 with the screen from the EPL3. The OP may look at it as "hardly even articulates.... Just added mass for a slide down screen" but I look at it as the modern day equivalent of the old twin lens reflex, which I loved and I'd buy one in a second over a screen that fully articulates and requires you to flip it out to the side before you can do anything with it. To each their own. Olympus decided not to build me the perfect camera, but then I'm a very small market. It built three cameras, two of which I like a lot, a combination of which would have been perfect for me.

    I guess they didn't build your perfect camera either, eh? So it goes - you're a small market too. Someday you can run Olympus and build your perfect camera. And probably sell about ten of them.

  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    An E-PL3 with the OLED touch screen from the E-P3 would better do it for me. :D I like a tiny but full-featured body. If they can fit the thumbwheel on the E-PL3, that'd be perfect. A non-articulating OLED screen on the E-PL3 would make it slimmer, just like the E-PM1.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Real Name:
    I prefer cameras with the built-in EVF, but for me E-PL3 is the most attractive camera in the current PEN range. IQ and AF speed are on par with E-P3 and the tilt-screen is a must.
  9. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    If youre on the fence, dont read the zonetenphotography review of the e-p3.:smile:

    Though the last few pages are an interesting projection on olympus' future with the pen line. Not sure if i can link here.
  10. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Actually.. I did say they built the near perfect cam in the EP3.. just not enough of an update to necessarily make everyone drop the EP2 and run for the EP3. It's definitely a better effort then the EP2 version.

    Where I did say they missed out on was a chance to set themselves apart from Pana and go with a fixed lens solution and the Mini concept would have been a perfect platform for a such an endevour. That said, the Mini was still IMO very well executed. The only one where I see almost a reduncancy in the line with only a slight downgrade was EPL3...

    As for the weird comment about only selling 10 of them... considering there was already at least one other supporter in favor the fixed lens solution.. I highly doubt it would be that small of a market. I bet a great many felt the same as to how you you when the X100 was discussed internally and it's been nothing but a huge success for Fuji.

    A EP3 fast focus touch focus / Mini fixed-lens touch fast focus / EPL-2 lineup :thumbup: and obsoleting the EPL1, EP2 I think would have done far far far more for Olympus buzz and bottom line their current 3rd gen approach.

    EP3 truly Olympus classleading u43 camera
    EP Mini fixed lens; best P&S out there in a small form factor.
    EPL2 a generation old but still plenty good enough for a budget conscience buyer just missing fast focus. Maybe a 2nd generation version i.e EPL2r with the sliding out screen for a refresh.
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Sorry to confuse - I wasn't referring to the fixed lens with that comment about selling 10 of them. That was about the fact that we all have a slightly different version of what we really want and any subset of features that would be MY perfect camera would probably sell about 10 copies and the subset that would be YOUR perfect camera would probably sell 10. And Olympus is trying to please as many people as possible at a few different levels and price points and, despite my desire for something different, will sell far more than 10 of each. And obviously (I hope) the number 10 was pure hyperbole for hyperbole's sake...

    As for fixed lens cams, I'm happy enough with interchangeable, but I don't doubt there'd be a market. To me, a big part of the appeal of the X100 is that going fixed lens is about the only way to fit a really premium lens in a body with a really fine APS sized sensor and deliver the kind of IQ that they managed with that camera. Nex is showing that you can build a fine APS body for interchangeable lenses, but the lenses are gonna be bigger than a lot of folks (ie - ME) wants. A fixed lens gets around that problem. To me, its less of an issue with m43, as we've already seen that very nice glass can be made in very small packages even with interchangeable lenses when you're dealing with smaller sensors like m43. For ME, this is what makes m43 such a compelling compromise. For those who are OK with bigger lenses, there's Nex. For those who want really small cameras with really small lenses with an m43 sized sensor, fixe lens is a way to go - there just seems to be less downside to an interchangeable lens system with m43. And then we get into the whole thing about what focal length - you'd like 17, Bill would like 20 or 25, I'd prefer 14, someone would no doubt prefer 12. The X100 is a great camera but I'm sure there are plenty of people sitting it out because its the wrong focal length for them...

    • Like Like x 1
  12. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Wow.. never came across his review. Quite well put together.

    Interesting was a reference to a Pen "lifestyle" camera below the mini. And his view that the ZX1 might get assimilated into 4/3rds (ie micro)... I'd prefer a fixed especially with Pana X zoom lens coming soon to sthe interchangable camp..

    Seems like more then a few of us are looking for a fixed lens 4/3 camera. Wonder if Olympus or Panasonic are listening :cool:

    He did bring up a few good points about technologies that are on the E- series that should have been migrated to the PEN series.
  13. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Thanks for the clarification on the 10 selling :thumbup:

    I agree with almost everything you said regarding NEX and u43s but with one caveat.

    u43s are predominately sold on the small factor and lightness of kit vs. dSLR. The 4/3 advantage of len size vs. is pretty straight forward and why 4/3 has remained relevant considering image quality compromise. That being said, the 1 thing u43 hasn't yet achieved is a real pocketable camera even with a pancake. I know I leave my camera at home a lot a result.

    I would imagine that a fix lens camera variant u4/3 would finally yield a truly front jean pocket pocketable camera like the S95. Why not just get the S95.. cause I would like the image quality of 4/3 in a S95'ish body. I personally feel its achievable..

    Considering the Pen Mini size if the adapter plate was removed and collapsable lens designed X series from pana. A 35-50mm ff equivalent field of view should be achievable in a pocket size format.

    If Olympus was to make it a special edition low volume variant with touch focus, throw on some leatherette homage to 50`s cameras on a silver mag body. and price it as the EP3 price point, hell, I`d preorder myself one! :thumbup:
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Hammerli

    Hammerli New to Mu-43

    Aug 29, 2011
    Having just ordered a the E-PL3, I'm proof that Olympus was wise to offer more choices in their Pen line. The E-P3 holds no interest for me, it is too big and too retro for me, that is also the reason the X100 holds no interest for me, I guess I just don't understand wanting my camera to look like my Dad's. The Mini is too small, and had too much functionality relegated to Menus for me. The E-PL3 is the right size, and while I would have actually preferred a fully articulated version of the E-P3 OLED, I would have been very disappointed with a fixed screen. I love the ability to flip a screen and nest it when putting it into a bag or case, as well as the ability to use the screen when shooting timer or remote family shots. But as has been pointed out here, my camera would also sell 10.

    I do think it would have been a mistake in the current line to restrict to a fixed lens. My favorite lens on my FF DSLRs was an 85mm, and wide angle just does nothing for me, so forcing me to live with a 28 or something close puts those cameras into the not in consideration category. I was on the fence about a micro 4/3 camera for a very long time, and the 14-42 pancake zoom and the 45 1.8 are the two main reasons I finally ordered one, well that and the fact I like the design and implementation of the E-PL3 over the *to me* clunky designs of some of the previous, well and current, models.
  15. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    The mini does seem just right. A fixed 17 would be a deal breaker for me, though. I live in a more rural area and often need a bit more reach. Between the other two, I would probably opt for the PL3. Smaller, cheaper, and I don't need the touch screen.
  16. bongestrella

    bongestrella Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 2, 2011
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    I like the idea of an m43 camera with a fixed lens. But it will be harder for us to chose which camera we should go for lol. Maybe an opportunity for other companies?
  17. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    I'm scratching my head at the amount of anti-EPL3-ness going around... For me it's the only one of the new Pens that is of interest :confused:
  18. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    For me, it's the comparison with the previous generation. The E-PL2 had that unique Pen balance of classic and new looks, plus a really nice grip. The E-PL3 looks like a million different P&S cameras and has no grip whatsoever (held both side-by-side and the E-PL2 has significantly better ergonomics.) It was a step down (screen and focus improvements, aside) to me. However, everyone's tastes are different.
  19. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Camera companies don't build the perfect camera simply because we would then stop buying them once we had one. When someone comes out with a 18.73mm f/1.55 lens, I will be content...
    • Like Like x 1
  20. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    I also think the reason might be due to how the EPL2 came to be. It was an improvement over the existing products and never really seen as a step down from any other cam in the PEN line up.

    Now however, since it was launched at the same time as the EP3 and is a dumbed down version of the EP3.. it's sort of lost its appeal to many. People felt there were getting a deal as it was priced less then EP2 but yet in many ways was a better solution (weaker AA filter, on board flash etc). Now however, it isn't necessarily the case. Getting the EPL3 is now a compromised solution that it once was not. Olympus ever so slightly made it relevant by adding a tilt screen... so if you want the tilt screen you end up feeling like your buying a lesser camera as the EP3 is top tier version. Hence the polarized view.

    In my opinion, they should have followed their original course and launch the EP3 along with the mini and then the EPL3 in Jan.. potentially with some other improvement to make it a step above the EP3 ... and about 6-9 months out before the EP4..