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Learning to love the E-P3

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dixeyk, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    After about a week my E-P3 is finally starting to get some love. I gave it a new set of dud (Aki-Asahi black leatherette) and a new black leather Gordy strap with Olympus blue wrapping.

    But...what has really be winning me over is the speed. It really does transform the E-P3 into a really fun camera. Sure the OLED is nice (in fact it's gorgeous), the capacitive touch screen is slick and the new UI is pretty cool as well but the speed is the real attraction. I took it to my son's science fair and paired up with the Olympus 45 is was real treat to use. I still love my G2 but it gets to play with my remaining legacy glass, but the E-P3 is also a real pleasure to use and I can see picking it up more and more. I wish it wasn't so slow focusing my Panasonic 20 but nothing's perfect.

    I had a chance to play with a student of mine's Leica M8.2...FWIW, I don't think I'd give up the E-P3 for it.
    • Like Like x 6
  2. lowincash

    lowincash Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 6, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Yeah I love the E-P3's speed. When I first got it I think I took a couple hundred test shots using the touch screen shutter. The almost instant AF was pretty addicting lol I also had the G3 before the E-P3, but don't remember the speed of the G3. It was fast too but don't remember if it was as fast as the E-P3.
  3. jim_khoo

    jim_khoo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 9, 2010
    Kuala Lumpur
    same here (plus a GX1 :tongue:) ....
    it sure is difficult to count the milliseconds differences. :biggrin:
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    It's addicting because it's the first digital camera that I've ever had that feels like a film camera in its quickness. I was really surprised walking ground and being able to fire off shots with abandon. I used to have an E-PM1 which was also fast but the E-P3 feel very different from that. I'm not knocking the E-PM1 at all. It was a terrific camera but the E-P3 is IMHO in a completely different class.

    I'm not sure I would have said as much prior to actually trying one. I Am finding the E-P3 to be greater than the sum of its parts.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. danxk

    danxk Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 4, 2010
    Having an E-P2 I had no intention to upgrade... until I tried the E-P3 in the shop were I bought the Oly 45mm. I was amazed at how responsive it was. It really does make a huge difference to have almost no lag when focusing and shooting.
    The quality and responsiveness of the touch screen is another big bonus.
  6. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I think there has been so much hysteria over the OMD that people forget what the most advanced micro 4/3 camera that you can buy in a store is. The E-P3 is THE KING (at least for a couple more weeks). Oh, yeah..... you can also get one for around half the price of that OTHER camera. E-P3 FTW!
  7. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    The other nice thing about the EP3 was the focus speed was so quick and lag so low, that you can use the touch screen for action shots. Just touch the moving subject, and you have a much better shot at capture than using multi-point AF or CAF with CDAF.
  8. MexicoMik

    MexicoMik Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 19, 2012
    "The other nice thing about the EP3 was the focus speed was so quick and lag so low, that you can use the touch screen for action shots."

    WOuld the touch screen do action better than an attached (VF3) viewinder? Is there some delay involved with focus/VF3? The reason I ask is because I took some moving shots of my wife riding toward me on her motorcycle last weekend and every moving shot was out of focus. I only shoot with the VF (so far). I've been meaning to go out and just shoot cars coming toward me and try different techniques to get a sharp pic but I haven't actually done that yet. Obviously I could try the VF/no VF myself and I wouldnt have to ask the question but I would like any info I can get from others.
  9. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    @ MexicoMik - you should post this in a separate topic and you'll get a lot of great responses. It has nothing to do with the viewfinder. More with the technique. There are a couple different ways to tackle this problem.
  10. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    This is the problem with CDAF. It will focus on the item that is most contrasty, not the item closest to you. So, you have to get the AF point on your subject. With still subjects, no problem. Focus and recompose, or move your AF point. With moving subjects this is much harder. The touch screen is nice, because it will focus and shoot where you touch, so you can touch the moving object, and you don't have to recompose, etc. Harder outside in bright light, though, to use the LCD.
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    So after a few weeks with the E-P3 and going back and forth between it am my G2 I have come up with a few observations...

    Despite what Olympus says the IQ of the E-P3 is not that different than the G2. The addition of the IBIS helps you get some shots hand held and in low light but side by side I can't tell one from the other. The E-P3 with the VF2 is NOT the equal of a camera with a built-in EVF. Sorry, but the VF2 is clumsy is always flipping up when I don't want it to and too easily knocked off. The E-P3 is so quick that it feel like snapping shots on one of my compact RF cameras (like my Konica S3). It is a real pleasure to use and the OLED screen is gorgeous. Speaking of the OLED screen...sorry but it's just as useless in direct light as the older LCD screens. I'd gladly trade it for a BUILT-IN EVF!!! FWIW, the touch screen is terrific. The SCP and UI are nice and logical and a huge step up from the likes of my E-P1. The addition of a flash and the little niceties Olympus added rally adds up to a fun camera to use. The controls are still odd and the double scroll wheel just doesn't work nearly as well as the thumbwheel on the Panasonic cameras.

    Ultimately I have found I like the E-P3 quite a lot.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/6897721940/" title="_4012068.jpg by dixeyk, on Flickr">
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  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Captains log...stardate 341648.2...

    I've been using the E-P3 now for almost a month. I go back and forth between it and the G2 and I find that the more and more the G2 is in the bag rather than the E-P3. I have nothing against the E-P3, in fact it is a very VERY nice camera but like the E-PM1 before it I just do not seem to be able to find reasons to use it. Going between the 2 cameras I have found out a few things. Of course this is not meant to be a blanket statement that applies to everyone. This si simply MY experience with these two cameras.

    First off, the much vaunted OOC Olympus color and JPEGs has been a non issue. They are both quite good. I have the G2 set up so that the images are very hard to tell apart. Where the Olympus shines is the Auto WB is very very good and it rarely gets the exposure wrong. The E-P3 is also vey fast to AF (with the right lens) and that means it feels and acts more like a typical DSLR and firing off rapid fire images is a breeze. This advantage however is IMHO compromised by the fact that the E-P3 is a pretty uncomfortable camera to hold with awkwardly placed controls and a too small grip. There are definitely work arounds but I find holding and using the E-P3 for an extended period of time to be pretty tedious. The G2 OTOH is probably one of the most comfortable and easy to use (control-wise) of the m43 bodies. The VF2 is a superb EVF..as is the built-in EVF on the G2. The E-P3's screen is amazingly nice and the capacitive touch screen is a huge improvement over pressure based screens like the G2...but the articulating LCD on the G2 makes it more useful in getting difficult angles. It goes on like this for quite a while as the cameras trade blows. This one is good for this and that one is better for that. In the end however it really just comes down to what you are more comfortable with. Presently, when I take out the E-P3 I feel like I cannot get the kinds of shots I want to get. I am sure it will come but this process has been slow going.

    One final note...I have come to realize that I do not particularly like the VF2. I think it is ungainly, cumbersome and changes the handling of the camera and not in a good way. The OLED on the E-P3 is good enough for many situations and while it is just as useless in bright light as any other LCD I think its better than having to strap the VF2 on the camera.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    LoL@ captains log...

    Once the EP-3 is fired up, that capcitative touch screen is like "weapons hot" and it's definitely a joy to shoot with.

    But I also agree, the camera leans to form over function. It comes with the retro design. My hand cramps up a bit when holding it too long so I resorted to an Ezfoto halfcase. It pretty much wraps over the oem grip and feels extremely comfortable. The added protection from a drop is also a bonus.
  14. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    You know a half case might be a good way to go. I hadn't thought of that. Thanks.
  15. jim_khoo

    jim_khoo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 9, 2010
    Kuala Lumpur
    have you tried the larger grip, MCG-2, on the E-P3?
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