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New E-PL3 the other day

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Robert Watcher, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. I ended up selling my 50-200SWD last week - to a fellow from Toronto who wanted to fit it onto his E-M5. He went and purchased an adapter before meeting me in London on Friday.

    I have to say that I was not just surprised - but shocked at how puny the E-M5 was as he sat playing with it on my arrival. I really, was expecting small but more along the lines of an E-P1 or slightly bigger - - - especially when it gets compared to my old OM bodies all of the time. This was with the single grip attached, which obviously added to the size of the camera without it.

    He mounted the 50-200 on it and I actually thought that it looked fine and certainly could be handled just fine in hand. My second surprise was when he handed me the settup to let me see how it focused. After hearing so many comments alluding to how unusable 4/3 lenses are when attached to even the speedier new micro four third models - - - I was really expecting that the lens would not focus at all and if it did would take seconds to do so. That simply wasn't the case as the lens snapped into focus quite decently. I'm sure much slower than the dedicated new micro 4/3 lenses, but it was not an issue for me (or him). In fact I had my E-510 with me, which I have used the 50-200 on many times while working - - - and it may be a toss-up which is faster or slower depending on the lighting conditions and subject matter I suppose.

    At any rate - even though I have been thinking about getting one of the E-M5s in the near future and maybe replacing the 4/3 bodies that I use in my work - - - I'm not sure that I want to spend my money on that small a camera at this time, at least as a replacement. And if I am not purchasing it as a replacement, then I don't think I want to invest the money that I can purchase an E-5 for at this time.

    I do love and use my E-PL1 - but wanted to invest the money I got from my 50-200, into an updated model (before I met the guy, I was thinking the E-M5). It just so happened that Henrys.com had what I thought was a great deal on the E-PL3 with 14-42 kit lens. The price being $429 compared to the normal retail of $599. I headed over there and was actually quite blown away by the almost instantaneous focusing. I already have a kit lens for my E-PL1 - mind you it is the first noisy version - but the price of the body only was more than with the kit lens. I purchased it and then noticed that they had the 40-150R on for $199 - - - so I grabbed that too, to have a nice focal length range. How rediculously small that lens is. It's crazy. All yesterday I had it in a side pocket of my shorts for easy changing from one lens to the other.

    So when I got home, I realized how much I like about my E-PL1. Yes that is 1 not 3. When compared to the E-PL3, it is far more substantial and easy to hold with its wonderful front grip. The usable screen is larger. I really have no problems with that camera - even with focus - and so while initially I was going to sell it to make room for my E-PL3, I decided to keep it and keep using it. It would certainly prove useful for shooting live video from 2 different positions.

    Yesterday there was a family get together and so I took my E-PL3 along with me so I could get familiar with it. It is small. It is initially harder to hold. The small buttons are more difficult and the Arrow pad is firmer (which is good) but more difficult to push with my fingers and thumbs and sits so close to the screen that I found it difficult to push to the left. I felt like I had to use my finger nails to get firm contact with them. I like the shutter button and the video button and absolutely love the tilting screen and ended up using it in a flipped out position most of the day. This actually made the small smooth body much easier and more comfortable to hold for me.

    I grew to really like the E-PL3 throughout the day as I ripped off around 1400 shots. I loved the very fast film advance of 5.5 frames per second. The focusing is great. I must admit that I have a slew of out of focus shots because my goal was to try all of the different modes and focusing options. Yes the still images are a little smaller on the wide screen, but when zooming the previews in show a really good quality image. For video of course, the wide screen is awesome. It was a bright day and we were outside and I really had no issues viewing the screen. The portable flash is really cool and I decided to just leave it attached as it is not intrusive at all. I flipped it on periodically to play with some fill flash. It worked great. My grandchildren who had a hard time getting good focus with my E-PL1 because they couldn't catch on to the half press and then lock on focus - - - were totally at home with the E-PL3 and nailing shots with less effort.

    And so no E-M5 in my immediate future. The relatively inexpensive E-PL3 is filling my "small" and "unnobtrusive" needs right now. Cool thing is that I can build my arsenal of lenses this way and they will be useful at my next micro 4/3 upgrade or addition, down the road.

    2 of my little granddaughters flying around on the trampoline. One of a motordriven sequence of shots taken as they ran toward me and then fell on top of each other right in front of me.
    E-PL3 w 14-42mm @ 14mm : f3.5 @ 1/1600'th : 800 ISO
    Muted grunged up processing done in Photoshop.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Wonderful shot! But 1400 in an outing - that's some SERIOUS shooting. I thought I burned through a lot of frames, but 300-400 in a day is a very big day for me.

    There are aftermarket grips that really make the EPL3 more comfortable to hold traditionally. As you've sussed, its not really an issue when you shoot from the waist with the flip screen, but when you hold it up to your face or eye, the grip really helps. Richard Franiac makes a really nice one designed specifically for the EPL3 and EPM1. I think Flipbak also makes decent ones and I also had one that a guy was making from Eastern Europe that were ugly as hell but REALLY comfortable in use, but I don't think I could find his name or web-site again if I had to. About $30 plus or minus to make a great little camera that much better.

  3. Thanks so much for that info Ray. Greatly appreciated. :thumbup:

    EDIT : Wow does that Richard Franiec grip ever look good.

  4. Jorg.S

    Jorg.S Mu-43 Regular

    Great review and congrats on your new camera.
    That new R lens is a really good kit lens as I just upgraded that lens on my EPL 1 and it is so much faster and quieter to focus with.
  5. Thanks so much for your reply.
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