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  • Our sample E-3 has arrived!

    I've literally just opened the box - I only have a part of the E-3 jigsaw, a body on its own (no SWD lens or power grip just yet), but it's a start.

    The body only has 0.9 firmware, so I can't publish image samples.

    Very first impressions are:

    Wow - the hype about the improved viewfinder is all true - it's significantly larger to behold than the E-1 and makes all other E-Series finders look very petite. Job done, Olympus!

    The status info is back to below the frame view and it's clearly legible.

    The body itself feels solid and well made - it is slightly larger than an E-1, but only marginally - cerainly taller now there is a pop-up flash. The grip is softer in contour than the E-1 - which I think is a slight shame as I rather liked the 'hewn from stone' sharped contours of the E-1's grip. There is an interesting lip on the opposite side of the body which could be useful for consolidiating one's grip on the camera when shooting in certain attitudes - will explore that further.

    The shutter/mirror action is vibration free but I feel the E-1 is quieter and more 'snappy' in its action; there is a very slight hard edge to the sound of the E-3; though not as bad as the Sony A1/A700 or Canon EOS-30D, among others. There is no motor whine that is characteristic of the E-410/510.

    The card bay door is now plastic - it was a solid alloy casting on the E-1.

    The USB port is now a standard mini-USB instead of the two other more proprietary connectors Olympus has used on its DSLRs to date - a welcome standardisation!

    More to come - please post any questions you may have, though!

    Ian
    Founder/editor
    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
    Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
    Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

  • #2
    Re: Our sample E-3 has arrived!

    OK - here's five hands-on views of our evaluation E-3. You can click on the pictures to go through to the gallery to see the captions there if you wish.

    Got a question? Fire away...

    Ian









    Founder/editor
    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
    Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
    Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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    • #3
      Re: Our sample E-3 has arrived!

      well...

      - does olympus studio 2 already support the raw format?
      - is ISO 3200 a "real" ISO value or a "push" value?
      - how is AF with "legacy" ZDs? much faster than e.g. 14-54mm on E1, but also faster than 14-54mm on E410/510?
      - more info on AF sensors and usage would be welcome

      - can you rinse the camera, like the E1? 8)

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      • #4
        Re: Our sample E-3 has arrived!

        You mentioned that the shutter was not particularly quiet, was that with a lens attached? It looks chunky and I suspect will fit my hand just right! Is the flash shoe painted metal - if so I can see that getting scratched quickly. Shame about the Olympus name on the LCD as it will be upside down much of the time.
        Chris

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        • #5
          Re: Our sample E-3 has arrived!

          Originally posted by marcof View Post
          well...

          - does olympus studio 2 already support the raw format?
          - is ISO 3200 a "real" ISO value or a "push" value?
          - how is AF with "legacy" ZDs? much faster than e.g. 14-54mm on E1, but also faster than 14-54mm on E410/510?
          - more info on AF sensors and usage would be welcome

          - can you rinse the camera, like the E1? 8)
          I'll try Studio 2 shortly, but the RAW files are not loadable in to the latest Adobe Camera RAW release.

          I've had a glance at ISO 3200 and it's noisy, but I haven't yet tried to clean it up. More on that to come of course - though remember, I have a pre-release body and I have noticed that not all the menu options are fully functional.

          I've been using the 14-54, but I haven't noticed much difference in AF speed or focus lock reliability compared to the E-510, but the E-510 is pretty good already with its central AF point.

          My DxO Analyzer test target will be a good test - not E-System camera copes well autofocusing onto this target; which is an array of black dots.

          AF sensors - from what I can see, you can select any one of the 11, the central four in a vertical cross, or all 11. They are represented in the finder as small squares rather than dots.

          Ian
          Founder/editor
          Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
          Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
          Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
          Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
          Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
          Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
          Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Our sample E-3 has arrived!

            Originally posted by Beardedwombat View Post
            You mentioned that the shutter was not particularly quiet, was that with a lens attached? It looks chunky and I suspect will fit my hand just right! Is the flash shoe painted metal - if so I can see that getting scratched quickly. Shame about the Olympus name on the LCD as it will be upside down much of the time.
            Chris
            The shutter is quiet - the sound is dampened mechanical noise, no motor whine as in the E-510, for example, but the action lasts longer per shot and there is more complexity to what you hear.

            The flash shoe is indeed black, but so was the E-1's and OK, mine has a bit of wear, but it's no big deal

            The Olympus logo on the screen will be upside down in some instances, but when the screen is facing out, parked flush on the back of the camera, it's the right way around. You can also park the screen face-in to protect it.

            Ian
            Founder/editor
            Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
            Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
            Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
            Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
            Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
            Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
            Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Our sample E-3 has arrived!

              I certainly like what I hear here:
              http://home.tiscali.nl/dvrdata/e3shutter5fps.mp3

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Our sample E-3 has arrived!

                Originally posted by Ian View Post
                You can also park the screen face-in to protect it.
                which is cool actually..

                "hey, is that a new camera?"
                "yes, it's an olympus"
                "where's the screen? must be analog, right"
                "right"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Our sample E-3 has arrived!

                  Originally posted by marcof View Post
                  well...

                  - does olympus studio 2 already support the raw format?
                  My E-3 RAW files crash Studio on my Vista laptop

                  Studio 2.02 was able to communicate with the camera via USB and check and attempt to update firmware (0.9 is apparently the latest current version).

                  Camera Control doesn't work, though - again, Studio crashes.

                  Ian
                  Founder/editor
                  Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                  Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                  Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                  Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
                  Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                  Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                  Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Our sample E-3 has arrived!

                    Do you have any way to determine whether the electronics are different from the E510? I guess that the imaging sensor has the same pixel count, but the buffer seems larger and the ISO is higher, so

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Our sample E-3 has arrived!

                      Originally posted by Beardedwombat View Post
                      You mentioned that the shutter was not particularly quiet, was that with a lens attached? It looks chunky and I suspect will fit my hand just right! Is the flash shoe painted metal - if so I can see that getting scratched quickly. Shame about the Olympus name on the LCD as it will be upside down much of the time.
                      Chris
                      hmm... good point. however, i find that stencils and small prints like that can be easily and harmlessly removed by using a sugar cube. otherwise, the e-3 i think the flip and twist screen is probably one of the hallmarks of this baby. standard mini usb - good idea. this will lessen the clutter in your camera bag. looking at the lenses that this 4/3 monster has got in its line-up, i'd say this is gonna woo over some hobbyists, and maybe some pros.

                      what i really love about it is this: buttons everywhere. i can't get enough of buttons. it's got quick access to almost every conceivable setting that you want to tweak. if you are a full-manual type of guy like i am, i'm sure you will appreciate this just as i am grinning right now ^_^

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Our sample E-3 has arrived!

                        Hi you lucky man
                        - Is it possible to show a reticule or lines in the view-finder and on the display?
                        - Where are hided the scene programmes (portrait, landscape...)? How often do you have to push buttons to get to the programmes?
                        - Do you have a 510 or 410? The E-3 and the 510 or 410 together on one photo would help to give an idea/image of the proportions of the new model. A photo of the e-3 and e.g. the ZD 14-54 would also be nice.

                        Thanks a lot
                        Italian*s

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Our sample E-3 has arrived!

                          Originally posted by clark666 View Post
                          Do you have any way to determine whether the electronics are different from the E510? I guess that the imaging sensor has the same pixel count, but the buffer seems larger and the ISO is higher, so
                          I mentioned on another post that the E-3 sports a TruePic III image processor compared to its immediate predecessors' TruePic Turbo processors.

                          The buffer needs to cope with data rates up by 66% (5fps instead of 3fps for an E-510) and yet it can handle 16 continuous RAW+JPEG shots in a 5fps burst instead of just the 6 in the E-510 or E-410 (both using high-speed 300x cards).

                          The buffer is good for 12 RAW+JPEG frames; there is a buffer load indicator (12=empty, 0=full) in the viewfinder.

                          Ian
                          Founder/editor
                          Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                          Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                          Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                          Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
                          Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                          Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                          Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Our sample E-3 has arrived!

                            Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                            Hi you lucky man
                            - Is it possible to show a reticule or lines in the view-finder and on the display?
                            - Where are hided the scene programmes (portrait, landscape...)? How often do you have to push buttons to get to the programmes?
                            - Do you have a 510 or 410? The E-3 and the 510 or 410 together on one photo would help to give an idea/image of the proportions of the new model. A photo of the e-3 and e.g. the ZD 14-54 would also be nice.

                            Thanks a lot
                            Italian*s


                            Scene modes? None of those in this camera. There are plenty of custom function options for setting the camera up the way you like it of course.

                            A similar selection of framing aids (grids, etc.) are available for the Live View mode, but not visible in the optical finder, sorry.

                            Yup -lots of family pix coming tomorrow. The arrival of the E-3 was unexpected, so I've had to reschedule a lot of things! And Panasonic told me the L10 should arrive on Friday - busy busy!

                            You can use the excellent OK => nav => select/adjust interface using the rear LCD, in exactly the same way since the E-500. I find myself hardly using the top-plate LCD maybe that will change with time.



                            Ian
                            Founder/editor
                            Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                            Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                            Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                            Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
                            Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                            Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                            Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Viewfinder info

                              The status panel is at the bottom, like on the E-1. It's fairly similar to the E-1 but adds an IS mode indicator and the ISO speed is displayed full-time.

                              The 11 AF points are shown as small squares, in three lines, 3 x 5 x 3, with the vertical points in line with each other. They light up red when active.

                              Ian
                              Founder/editor
                              Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                              Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                              Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                              Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
                              Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                              Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                              Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

                              Comment

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