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Should I send back my E-P3?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Henry, May 13, 2012.

  1. Henry

    Henry Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2012
    Hello friends,

    I recently purchased a silver E-P3 from Cameta. At first I was really amazed by the design and finish, the handling and overall upgrade from the older Pens beside one thing: The images i got in a low light situation.

    I have been using E-PL1 for almost 2 years and I am happy with the results I get from the camera. I wouldn't think of upgrading it to an E-p3 if the E-PL1 had a dial or two...

    The images I got from the E-P3 in low light are somehow over-processed and flat compared to the the E-PL1. The dark areas are muddy. I also notice E-p3's WB presents aren't the same in artificial light. I searched the web and tried to adjust the camera with other E-P3 users suggestions.

    I don't use Noise Reduction and Noise filter is set to OFF. I tried to do all things necessary to be close to what I got out of my E-PL1 without success .

    My questions is:
    Should I keep the E-p3 for Raw, would it solve the problem of over-processed flat images. I haven't done tests in Raw yet.
    Should I return it and invest in a OM-D... (returning it means shipping is not refunded and I am in Canada, so it a 100$ loss)

    Besides this problem, which is an important one for me, I really like everything else of the E-P3

    Any suggestions will be greatly valued,
  2. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    The E-P3 and E-PL1 RAW files should look identical, so long as you don't use the Olympus program (It reads and then applies the as shot camera) settings. All the Pens have adjustments for AWB, contrast and sharpening. You should be able to match the E-P3 reasonably close to the E-PL1.
  3. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    You might try experimenting with contrast and gradation settings to see if the E-P3 can get close to your E-PL1. If no success then I'd go for the OM-D that excels in low light and on cloudy days (but I still prefer the images of my E-PL1 on bright sunny days).
  4. Henry

    Henry Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2012
    Thank you for your answer,
    I am doing some test in raw...
  5. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    IF you were shooting in JPEG, then yes, I'd say that the E-P3 JPEG noise reduction software is much more aggressive (smudging) than what you're used to in the E-PL1...
  6. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    +1 on the gradation setting if you've not already tried that. Normal = off (which is good).
  7. Henry

    Henry Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2012
    What do you mean +1 on gradation settings?
    I see only normal, auto, hi, low... in the menu
    I did set it on normal

  8. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    Sorry - I meant "me too". Long day... :smile:
  9. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    This could be part of the problem. In Olympus-land:

    Noise Reduction: this is actually Dark Frame Subtraction. You want this set to Auto. Almost never off.

    Noise Filter: This is noise reduction as everyone else in the world knows it. You can turn this off (I set it to low, but I mostly use RAW anyway).
  10. Henry

    Henry Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2012
    After a couple of tests in Raw and Jpg...
    (My computer is a PowerPc G4 so I could only open E-p3 raw files with Olympus Viewer)

    I noticed that noise is not the problem but in low light, even at 400 iso, the E-p3 output of the dark areas is muddy with less detail with considerable amount of blue stains compared to the E-pl1...

    I am confused because everything on the E-p3 seems perfect, very easy to use, even the design, in my opinion, is nicer than the om-d.
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    The noise filter on newer Olympus cameras is much more aggressive than on the older ones, like the E-PL1. Even with the noise filter disabled, you're still going to see significant noise reduction on the E-P3 and similar cameras. As for WB, did you disable the 'keep warm color' option?

  12. Henry

    Henry Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2012
    Yes, I did!
  13. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    You may want to go to the SCP and experiment with the sharpening and contrast settings.
  14. Henry

    Henry Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2012
    Even in raw?

    What does not help me, I couldn't open E-P3 raw files because my computer being a mac PowerPC
  15. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    My understanding is that with the newer camers, even with noise filtering off, Olympus is applying NR in Olympus viewer. I've noticed this on my E-PL2. The amount of noise in Raw Therapee is very different than in Olympus viewer, even with Noise Filter set to off.
  16. Henry

    Henry Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2012
    After doings some tests in natural light,
    I am happy about the results of E-p3 Jpegs...

    I want to ask users who had both cameras EPL-1/E-P3 if the raw files are close to each other, in low light situations...

    (I cannot open E-P3 raw files with my current Lightroom 2.7 so I can do a proper test under artificial low light conditions. Unfortunately I cannot upgrade to a newer version on my computer.)

    I might consider keeping the E-P3 after all, I really like shooting with it, unless I hear a news of a potential E-P5 with OM-D specs within a few days:rolleyes: .

    So I am waiting for a couple confirmations about E-P3 raw versus E-PL1 raw in low light situations...

    Thank you again, for your replies.
  17. Have you tried using the free Adobe DNG Convertor? That will allow you to open the E-P3 RAW files in an older version of Lightroom or Photoshop.
  18. Henry

    Henry Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2012
    Thank you, I downloaded it, but unfortunately, new versions of DNG Converter works on Intel based macs only...
  19. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    If you're going to keep the E-P3 and/or get the next generation PEN, it may be time to consider an upgrade to LR4. Unfortunately, Adobe uses planned obsolescence to bring their otherwise satisfied customers into a must-buy-update situation...

    Or, if you're not too heavily invested in Lightroom cataloging, a switch to Aperture could be a consideration.
  20. zucchiniboy

    zucchiniboy Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    San Francisco
    LR4 also requires an Intel-based Mac, as does Aperture...
    • Like Like x 1
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