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Old Dec 23, 2007, 6:41 AM   #1
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Hi All

Now that several of the guys and gals have had their E'3s for few weeks I' think quite a few of us would like to hear some real user feedback on how your finding the camera, esp compared to previous models, IQ, handling etc. Post some of your best E3 images to date. It looks as if I may have to bite the bullet earlier than I had thought as the E1 is really playing up lately.

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Harj

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Old Dec 23, 2007, 7:27 AM   #2
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hi Harj

1/. Im still in jpeg mode so take note of that. jpegs out of the camera are really very good. Outdoors is absolutely spot on and it rarely meters wrong. For the first few days I was in P mode auto-iso, auto-WB and it was fabulous fun.

2/. it has a lot of settings, and you either make use of the custom settings, shoot RAW or get used to menu plugging. Things like Auto Gradation are best used at low iso, so if you set to high iso or to auto-so (which is tempting as you can set the iso ceiling and baseline) you need to crank Gradation back to Normal. It seems like every day I find more settings.

3/. The OVF is another world to me, so you can start thinking about MF lenses if you are on a low budget because manual focus is a snap. Seriously this might be one of the greatest things about it. I have a 1.2x Pentax O-ME 53 mag finder which makes the OVF just a fraction bigger than that on 5D.

4/. its heavy, but i guess you already know that, and its as solid as a good handgun. So if you have some alterior requirements start thinking about that Fuji F30 too.

5/. It has shortcut buttons all over it, but Im still navigating through them, mostly they are easy to place.

6/. Sometimes you still miss pointing the centre AF dot at the subject and re-composing. Ive had occasional focus issues (maybe 4 that matter) and have learned to scrutinise images for good focus incamera.

7/. Every where you look its different, everything seems the same and yet everything has changed. Its great having extra latitude with flash shutter sync, with extra iso without noise washout, a real OVF, faster AF, faster fps, but its another world to what Im used to with the 300. Its like another 2 levels of complexity has been added so Im still feeling my way around nd havent yet touched what it can really do.

ps. as a portrait shooter Harj, you will love it, name your favourite lens and shoot away. Or get an adapter and have a play with some other glass


Riley

check this from a 50/2 K mount, no idea what aperture/speed probably 5.6, believe it or not it was in P mode
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Old Dec 23, 2007, 11:04 AM   #3
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Hi Rob

Thanks for your post its good to get real feedback from people that are actually using the new oly where as I just had a fleeting 15mins feel of the beastie. I'm still a bit miffed that they got rid of the program dial as its just so much easier to use a dial rather than button pushing. It shouldn't be too much of a problem for me as I'm going to just pop it into Manual mode anyway but I do like dials!

More importantly how does the quality of the files from the E3 compare to the 300 ? Is there a noticable differnence in DR, noise at higher ISO etc ? I'm looking forward to seeing how the RAW files compare and how much extra detail can be recovered.

How well does the E3 handle multiple light sources, esp if your not using flash ? Whats the focusing in low light like - now that the E3 no longer has a focus assist LED I'm wondering how well it works ? I did read a thread over at dp where a few users were noticing that with highly reflecting surfaces the AF would have trouble locking focus unless spotfocus'ing was used. What about quality of the rubber grip on the camera body ? The rubber around the grip on my E1 is coming loose, apparently its a common fault with the E1, so I'm hoping that the E3 has been put together so that doesn't happen.

The exposure and WB looks spot on in that shot, I'd like to see more pics please!

Cheers

Harj




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Old Dec 23, 2007, 5:07 PM   #4
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Well so far my E3 has performed right on par with how it should work. I have been pretty well leaving it to do many things, like decide on WB, focus points, metering etc. then check these results against what I would expect, so trying to catch it out and lull it into a mistake. But to be honest it hasn't done anything much wrong, and nothing that can't be put down to a new user forgetting where buttons are and what they do. When I have used it more I'll probably tweak a few settings on a more regular basis, but I haven't come across anything yet where it always goes 'over this' or 'under that'. I feel Auto WB is particularly reliable, even under artificial lights. The DR is noticeably wider than the E510.There is also much less noise at higher IS,and with a proper full exposure is easily sorted out in post processing (I haven't tried in camera JPEGs and switching the noise filter on). In any case the noise of the E3 does look a lot like film grain so high ISO's aren't so bad.

I shoot RAW and leave the noise filter off, WB on Auto, and ESP metering most of the time, and inevitably ACR processing is just one touch 'Auto' mode with nothing being adjusted before some 'artistic' decisions and sharpening in PS3. I think as usual in RAW you aren't necessarily working towards a perfect image on the LCD, but anticipating a perfect image during conversion, so you have some leeway to over expose on purpose for instance and still get highlights back. But the RAW files are very easy to process and show little need for adjustments if you want a quick general workflow. The attached original RAW imagehas simply had some very mildsharpening done and nothing else.


The construction of the E3 is superb. I don't miss a dial, and although the buttons appear daunting in their dual functions etc, you just have to remember no photographer is likely to use all the various functions on a camera anyway. So they are more simple in real life. The only thing that myself and a few other people are confused about are the parameters of the multi point focus system. It seems many people are opting for centre point or dynamic focusing as a safe method. If I knew what it was trying to achieve I'd trust the multi point more.
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Old Dec 23, 2007, 9:11 PM   #5
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hey Harj
"More importantly how does the quality of the files from the E3 compare to the 300 ? Is there a noticable differnence in DR, noise at higher ISO etc ? I'm looking forward to seeing how the RAW files compare and how much extra detail can be recovered."

I cant speak for RAW yet, so mine are worst case scenario. Somehow the same yet different, the spikey reds are still there, but green renders are beautiful and accurate. DR is widely different as the 300 was very edgy here, there is far better roll-off on E3 and it just seems to be able to capture much more range and the exposure is more accurate anyway, more like a giant P&S. Noise is different, it has noise with NF OFF at iso800, but its fine as powder, not the colour shift monster my 300 was at 800.

Ive had a few tricky exposure tests, i shot into bright light sources and the sun to see what would happen and the results somewhat shocked me. It isnt easily fooled at all and darn it that was in P mode!

photos, black dog is Banjo, detail remians in contrast, it would be too easy for most cameras to lose that. I tweeked levels but on reflection should have left it. Its hard sometimes when there seems to be nothing to do to an image in post.

trickey scene with tungsten lights, exposure vitually full auto and nailed. Although its iso800 there is no noise, so where light can support it iso performance is quite excellent. Everybody in it seems to be looking at something else, quite odd

sun in scene, full range is there

these 'parachutes were moving so theyre not sharp at all, shot is handheld. there is noise especially around the doorframe stonework, but its so fine its like it dissapears. Other noise more evident bottom left adds that cast. It really was a dingy scene that needed a lot of brightening/levels


Riley

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Old Dec 24, 2007, 7:07 PM   #6
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Hi Guys

Thanks for the replies and just as importantly the images. Its been good reading the points outlined by you both and most importantly for me is:

1. The IQ an detail that you're both seeing straight out of the cam - I knew there would have been better DR and low noise from the E3 but how much was always the question and from what you've both stated its a noticeable improvment over the E510/410. The detail that the cam is capturing seems to be very good as well, esp with NF set to off.
2. How the camera seems to be superb even in Auto mode - Rob your pic of the multi market is something that I was really looking for - theres tungsten and flourecsent sources there. Did you use flash for that shot or not ? If not I'm really impressed with how the Auto WB handled that scene. I was thinking with the E1, you'd have had to use flash and over power the other two sources.

I've seen the first portrait shots with the E3 and the 12-60SWD posted over at dp and was impressed with what I saw. So far I think Oly looks to have done a very good job with the new cam and its only a matter of time when I get the E3 and that may be fairly shortly even though I know a pro Panaleica is just around the corner. In the meantime I'll carry on with teh E1 and see if I can hire an E3 for a few days for a potential shoot that I may be doing in the next few weeks.

Cheers

Harj




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Old Dec 26, 2007, 10:48 PM   #7
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hey Harj

"Rob your pic of the multi market is something that I was really looking for - theres tungsten and flourecsent sources there. Did you use flash for that shot or not ? If not I'm really impressed with how the Auto WB handled that scene. I was thinking with the E1, you'd have had to use flash and over power the other two sources."

no flash support at all, virtually point and shoot auto everything, better known as press this button to make pictures. The hall is a theatre with rather poor dodgy lighting supplemented by tungsten sources like those we are looking into on that frame.

Riley
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Old Dec 27, 2007, 3:49 PM   #8
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I'm liking what I'm seeing so far. Thanks for asking the right questions Harj..

That indoor market is interesting, I don't see signs of flash being used (Shadows in front of boxes etc.) so that is valuable asistance. As is the high sunlit back lighting on the others.

Had to point out the Banjo is black in case we thought he was in silhouette dincha...!!!!



Thanks, we'll have to see how business goes this year and tell my wife "We need one"
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Old Dec 27, 2007, 4:32 PM   #9
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Hi Scouse

Rob's market place shot really got me thinking as I couldnt see signs of a flash being used but I wasn't sure at and it is really good to see that the E3 in auto mode handled the lighting so well. My E1 on the other hand would have just been seriously hit or miss without (1) setting manual WB or (2) having the Fl50 at hand.

I'm very encouraged with what I'm seeing the E3 produce and even on some C/N forums it seems to be gaining a fair amount of respect and that includes its high ISO abilities. I'm looking at spring.

Cheers

Harj


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Old Dec 29, 2007, 2:16 PM   #10
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Yeh, I can see how the higher OSO would be an advantage to your genre of tog. I really enjoy your "street Photos" Especially the ordinary day to day (night to night) stuff that just doesn't register until you see a good photo of it.
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