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The Olympus e-3 is here.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by srf4real, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. macrumors 68030


    Anyone seen this yet!

    Also a new line of lenses which are claimed to be the fastest auto-focus lens available, built for digital specific 4/3 cameras. :)
  2. macrumors Demi-Goddess

    Clix Pix

    Nice, but I think that the 4/3 thing never really took off in the first place and with Nikon and Canon offering full-frame cameras and excellent lens systems, why bother? Olympus is running far behind the others in this race.....
  3. macrumors regular

    I beg to disagree.
    So-called "full frame" cameras are, indeed, great for certain applications - but not so great for others.
    The same can be said about 4/3 and APS-format cameras: sometimes they are preferable to "full frame", sometimes they are not.

    A 4/3 camera system (body+lenses) will generally be smaller and lighter than the equivalent 135-format system. In fact, dramatically so. I can carry my E1 body, the 14-54 and 50-200 lenses in a small shoulder bag without breaking a sweat. I shudder at the thought of carrying a Canon 5D, a 28-70, and whatever Canon glass I need to cover the 100-400 mm. I will probably need a dedicated beast of burden to carry that (otherwise awesome) 135-format system with me.

    A smaller sensor also equates to larger DOF at equivalent field of view. My Zuiko Digital 50 mm macro has the same FOV as a 100 mm 135 lens, yet the same DOF as you would expect from a 50 mm. It makes my macro photography somewhat easier than with 135-format equipment.

    Finally, it is easier and cheaper to design lenses for a smaller sensor. Some of the Olympus lenses (7-14 and 14-54 come to mind) simply have no direct Canon or Nikon analogs (Nikon makes an excellent DX-format "normal zoom" - I think the 17-55, but it is 2.5x the price of Oly's 14-54 and has no technical advantages over 14-54). As far as image quality goes, I will take Oly's 7-14 over ANY Canon's UWA lens offering for "full frame".

    135-format cameras shine in four main areas:
    *If you already own a large collection of older or legacy Canikon glass. A very common situation, actually. If you get an APS-format body, all that nice glass will still work - but not really, not quite.

    *If you do a lot of architectural photography, and absolutely need a shift lens. There are none designed (or announced) for 4/3. 135-format shifts will work with 4/3 or APS cameras, but a 70 or 56 mm equivalent focal length for architecture is uninspiring. Typical shifts come in 35mm and 28mm flavors.

    *If you absolutely, positively need acceptable photos at an ISO setting of 3200. Now, let me make it clear... A "full-frame" sensor that has 2x the area of a 4/3 sensor will NOT be 1/2 as noisy. The laws of physics dictate that if the two sensors are built from identical substrate, the larger sensor will have an ~1.4 times better signal-to-noise ratio (i.e. you will only gain an extra 40% in sensitivity by doubling the chip size). If your "full-frame" camera has an acceptable ISO 3200, an identical 4/3 camera will have an acceptable ISO of 2300. At ISO 100 or 200, where both cameras are virtually noiseless, there will be NO perceivable difference.

    *If you need the highest resolution money can buy. Canon has been consistently producing cameras with the highest resolution around in their 1D family. If you need to shoot 22-megapixel frames - the Mark III is pretty much the only choice out there. It will take a while until we see 20mp 4/3 or APS sensors (if they will ever be made). But that kind of resolution is firmly in the medium format ballpark... I.e. it is a specialist application (just like that ISO 3200).
  4. macrumors regular

    And to add to the original discussion in the thread... Yay!
    Now I only need to come up with some spare cash. $1700 is not as bad as I thought it will be (I was bracing myself for $1900).
    E-3 is going to be an awesome camera.
  5. macrumors 6502

    I think I'd much rather have a Nikon D300 over that turd.

    Clix Pix is 100% right.
  6. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    It doesn't sound that bad, but the price is hefty.
  7. macrumors regular

    I don't want to sound stuck up, but you have really boosted your credibility by using the word "turd" and the expression "100% right" in one single post. Bravo.

    As to the substance, the D300 and E3 are more or less in the same category. If I were buying into a DSLR system right now, it would have been a tough choice.

    The D300 has 2 extra megapixels and especially that awesome VGA screen going for it. It can also focus in Live View mode without flipping the mirror (albeit it is still slow). With a judicious choice of lenses, there is now a "full frame" upgrade path. Of the irrelevant (but nice to have) things, the D300 has more focusing points, and faster burst rate.

    The E3 has a swiveling (but lower resolution) screen, in-body IS, and an actual working dust elimination system. It has weather/dust seals throughout the body, the lens mount is also sealed - and every pro-grade Zuiko has the same seals. Last but not the least, the ZD lens lineup looks more attractive than Nikon's current offerings. Don't get me wrong - you can shoot any assignment with D300 and Nikkors. But Nikon's DX-dedicated lens lineup can not even begin to compare to Zuikos, and "full frame" Nikkors are huge and don't come in "crop sensor-friendly" focal lenghts. Of the irrelevant (but nice to have) things, E3 can control Oly's dedicated flashes wirelessly.

    I know that Nikon also has an anti-dust system in D300 - however, it partially relies on dust mapping and software... Which means it is not as good at actually removing the dust as Oly's SSWF. One thing that I really, really, really hate is seeing dust in my photos... So this (and seals on all lenses and the body) are important factors for me.

    The D300 is certainly a *very* nice camera. But to each his own. I will be buying the E3 body as soon as it will actually become available...
  8. macrumors 6502

    You are 100% right, I'm sorry I was being a turd.

    Wireless flash, that must be a new feature, cause I certainly cant do that with my Nikon setup, oh wait I can. Again like Clix said, oly is Behind the times. And the really need to get off their 4/3rd pedestal.
  9. macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    I think the 4/3 idea was great in theory, but for it to have made a significant impact they probably needed the other smaller manufacturers (e.g. Pentax) to buy in - and that didn't happen. That said, Olympus has historically made cameras that offer a good price-to-features ratio. If you're already a 4/3 shooter, this looks very nice.
  10. macrumors 601


    I think Kodak, Leaf, Hasselblad, Aptus, BetterLight, Mamiya, et al. will take exception with that statement. If you're going to argue with statements about format, it makes sense to take other formats into account. :p
  11. macrumors regular

    The Nikon D300 does NOT have a wireless TTL flash controller built in. The E3 does.
    I know that you *can* do wireless TTL with Nikon bodies and Speedlights (I think you could even do it back in the film days). However, it will require an external controller that costs on the order of $150 or so.

    And now show me some of your pictures.
    No, really :)
    I would really love to see what work you have been doing with your technologically superior equipment. After all, everyone knows that if your pictures are shot by an "N" camera, they are twice as good as if they are shot by a camera of another brand.
    And if you want to argue, saying that something is "bad" just because you think it's "bad" is hardly and argument.

    By the way, here is some of my work - all done with some antiquated and hopelessly outclassed cameras. Some of these cameras do not even have autofocus!

  12. macrumors 6502



    1. LOL, I do not consider ISO 3200 a 'specialist' application. In fact, if PnS digicams (not withstanding Oly's PnS ISO 10k :D ) had decently low noise at ISO3200 or higher, they would be *fantastic* improvement that would allow so many more non-flash natural light images being captured by PnS afficiandos (beginning photogs). They will come, it may take time, but full-frame PnS sensors will be insanely great...just like the compact 35mm film cameras of decades ago, Rolleflex (sp?) comes to mind.

    2. I shudder to think how bulky that E-3 is compared to the Full-Frame Olympus OM1/OM2 (well since I have both of those old classics, I do know :eek: and the difference is far more substantial than the difference btw a Canon 5D and Oly E-3). There is no valid reason why Oly or any other manufacturer (following Apple's lead in making sexy thin computers) cannot make smaller, compact, lighter weight dSLR FF lenses, not unlike the lenses that comprised the revolutionary OM series. See my sig ;).

    Steve Jobs (new iCEO of Olympus Camera Co): Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm pleased and excited to announce today, the new Olympus iPico full-frame dSLR, the world's smallest and lightest weight dSLR.

    Interviewer: But Mr. Jobs, didn't Olympus just introduce yesterday, the 4/3rds Pro-level dSLR the E-3?

    Steve Jobs: It's too BIG! It's old, obsolete!

    3. DOF, now that's a 'specialty' application. Olympus made what some consider the best of the best in PC lenses in the 24mm wide-angle shift lens. If they could do that, then there seems no reason they couldn't design a tilt/shift lens to compete with the 35mm film versions that Canon & Nikon (well the newer Nikor 85mm T/S Macro will work...transmit aperature data to a dSLR)...if you really need great DOF. T/S lenses are awesome, and fully manual (though I think Oly could start a revolution there too and come out with an AF version).

    Want extreme DOF? get a specialty full-frame lens, picture below is impressive!

  13. macrumors regular

    I was talking about "35mm-like" equipment.
    But you are absolutely right - MF backs will always "outmegapixel" any new 1D Mark X. And this is precisely the reason I would not buy that new Mark...
    Instead, I am building my second SLR system around a Mamiya RZ67. Right now I only have a film back, but I hope to get a digital one as soon as I can afford it!
  14. macrumors 6502

    What the heck are you talking about? My D80 can do wireless TTL, I'm pretty dang sure the D300 can. And for a matter of fact I was just using it today.

    EDIT: it's 1am, I was using it yesterday :)
  15. macrumors 601


    Have you considered 4x5? BetterLight seems to have *relatively* reasonable pricing compared to any of the MF vendors. If I thought I could sell a higher volume of landscape prints, I'd so have one of their backs.

    Having shot a fair amount of MF and LF film, I consider MF "35mm-like" equipment, if you ain't got that swing... :)

    The D200 has a commander-mode built-in flash, and DPR's preview of the D300 has this custom setting:

    e3 Flash cntrl for built-in flash • TTL ¹
    • Manual
    • Repeating Flash
    • Commander Mode Set the mode for the built-in flash.

    Since it says "Commander Mode," that means it'll do iTTL to all the iTTL-capable Nikon Speedlights. No external controller required.
  16. macrumors regular

    It is no doubt nice to have a camera with working and noise-free ISO 3200.
    However, it is definitely a specialty application.
    The problem is, you do not see the world at ISO 3200! Someone has estimated that the "sensitivity" of darkness-adapted human eye is on the order of ISO 800 (and it is much less under "ordinary" lighting). Such a sensitive camera will essentially be a poor man's nigh vision device :D.
    Speaking from a more practical standpoint, i believe that all modern cameras woth no exception (yes, including the precious Canons) are horrible above ISO 800. Some are more horrible than the others. Canon is probably the least horrible of them all. Oly is probably one of the worst. But even if I were a Canon user, I would never shoot at ISO above 100 or 200 unless I absolutely have to. Thus, ISO 3200 is definitely a specialty application as far as I am concerned - at least, this is what I meant.

    Now as far as the size goes, Oly does make an awesome small camera... It is called the E-410. If you couple it with one of the old OM lenses with an adapter, it makes an awesome street camera!

    E3 is not a small camera (though it is, I think, very slightly lighter than the D300). However, the 4/3 lenses, such as the 14-54 and 50-200 are definitely smaller and lighter then the equivalent FF lenses. Overall, Oly system does win over Canikon in terms of weight and size - even with the E3 body. And then there is the E-410 :)
  17. macrumors regular

    If it is indeed so - I stand corrected.
    I do not use TTL flash anyway... And do not own any of Oly FL's either.
  18. macrumors 6502

    Wireless flash is awesome, if you do indeed get yourself the E3, by all means get yourself a good flash. There is no such thing as a flash too powerful. I've had a ton of people ask me why I went with Nikons best flash, I'd still want more if I could get it.
  19. macrumors regular

    The stuff I am shooting will always have some motion, thus a scanning back probably won't cut it. I will also be doing some people work with that Mamiya. In additio to these constraints, I want slightly more mobility than a 4x5 will permit.

    And, yes, I understand what you mean by saying MF is "35-mm like" :)

    What would I need a flash for? :D

    I do have a studio lighting system (3 Elinchrom monolights) for shooting still lifes and models... But it stays in the studio, and I rarely use it.

    I don't like working with a flash.
  20. macrumors 6502

    I like to use it for fill flash outdoors.
  21. macrumors 601


    I'll trade ya for a Novatron pack and 3 heads that do get used- I mean it seems such a waste to let some good Elinchroms sit unused...
  22. macrumors 68030


    Funny how dust reduction and live view were just a dream to most other mid range system users until just the other day... I honestly was not expecting so many critical posts, I was creating this thread in my joy and excitement. I don't mind if you don't care for the system, use what u like.:cool: I like excellent hq glass designed specifically for my sensor at a reachable price that fits whichever 4/3 shooter I buy next - maybe that E3 in the future. I'm looking forward to that new standard class tele giving me a reach of 140 - 600mm equivalent in 35mm format. Did I mention that it's only 5 inches long and less than $400? I know the quality will be there in the glass, because it is an Olympus lens.;)
  23. macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    This statement doesn't actually make much sense, given what's already out there / already announced in the same price range as the E3. If you'd posted this a year and a half ago, when Olympus announced the E330 - then maybe you'd have a point. But Olympus is not the only company offering either feature, either at, around or below the E3's price point.

    That E3 is certainly a nice offering for people that have bought into the 4/3 system, though, as I previously stated.
  24. macrumors 6502

    It's also funny that Live View and dust reduction are things that don't make a good SLR either.
  25. macrumors 68020

    You're correct about the former, but I strongly disagree on the latter: dust reduction is just being introduced by the Big Two and essential for dslrs -- especially when you change lenses a lot.

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