Olympus E-3 takes a big hit- banding/noise issues

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by compuwar, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #1
    Luminous Landscape's recent E-3 review isn't pretty if you're an Olympus shooter- oh heck, it's not pretty no matter what you shoot:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/E-3-Second.shtml

    Flash compensation, banding, long exposure banding, and autofocus issues- things don't look good if the review is even close to accurate.

    The conclusion's painful too:

    Can Olympus fix the banding in firmware like Nikon did with the D200 a couple of years ago, or will this cost them replacements?

    Is Olympus really grabbing AF off the main sensor instead of a separate AF sensor making anti-shake an issue?

    Is there anyone who has an E-3 who can comment on the review?
     
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #2
    I never really take reviews like this seriously. A banding issue would be all over the forums if this was experienced by a large percentage of people. I haven't checked it out, but I also haven't heard such a major complaint.

    And besides, things like this are fixed, like the D200 as you said. Even the D300 had issues with some of their cameras, hence the firmware update (which I didn't install).
     
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #3
    The EOS 1D Mark III also supposedly had `focussing issues'.
    From the examples posted, I don't see the banding (although I could be blind ;)).

    In any case, I don't think the E-3 is a competitor to the pro-line bodies of Nikon and Canon. AFAIK it's more popular with people who go to places with harsh conditions.
    (Disclaimer: I'm a Nikon guy.)
     
  4. compuwar thread starter macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #4
    I see the banding on my calibrated MacBook Pro, and it looks pretty much as described "barely acceptable." You might get away with it in newsprint, you'd have photo editor issues in magazine or book printing.

    The real question is if it's a sensor issue or an amplification issue. On the D200, it was an amplification issue- and wasn't exhibited on all cameras (I had a new D200 for a brief time and it didn't exhibit banding even under the worst conditions possible- it got traded (with some money) for a D2x because the D2x was better for field work.)

    If it's a sensor issue, then that's a big problem. Long exposures probably aren't a big deal, few people do them- but not being able to adjust an image without banding is a much, much larger issue. A lot of folks accept compromises in image quality for a lot of reasons- I'm still shooting a D2x and I know that of which I speak :) However, if you're going to be competitive in the market, I think it's much more difficult to have your flagship product not shine in areas that are pretty commonly "panic" issues like AF and banding.

    Perhaps there aren't enough E-3s in the field yet to see how representative the author's sample is. That's why I asked if anyone had one, it'd be good to see some similar shots and see if it's a base issue or sample variation (though that wouldn't be good either.)
     
  5. compuwar thread starter macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #5
    But this is a new body in a new market segment, so there simply may not be enough cameras in the field for people to be shooting under normal conditions yet. We've seen the noise issues in other reviews- and the reviewer isn't shy about their biases in favor of Olympus.
     
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #6
    Both of the screens I use have been calibrated, too, so I was wondering whether I was simply oblivious to the effect. Is the banding the author speaks of the purple fringes that emanate radially from the back wall in the mid-upper third?
     
  7. compuwar thread starter macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #7
    Nope, it's linear. It's most visible in the bottom of the 15 sec. exposure and the top of the ISO 1600 frame and perhaps more so at the right hand edge under the recess in the wall. It's not fully defined at these image sizes, but it's certainly there. The noise isn't good at 1600 anyway- so I'm not sure it's a complete killer, but if the midtone slider comment is accurate, then it's way more of an issue that shooting lightbulbs with D200s ever was and may be a large issue. I think I do more levels adjustments than anything else in PP.
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    I can't see the banding either. I suppose I can if I squint, I can see "something", but I think I see something because I was told it was there. It looks like a really heavily compressed JPEG or something. I don't see the banding.
     
  9. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #9
    This guy posts a review and all of the sudden E-3's in trouble? I don't think it amounts to much as the majority of E-3 users I talk to do not have this issue and I talk to a lot of E-3 users. I suspect ulterior motives, or else the dude forgot to turn off his cel phone and it was interfering with the signal somehow.:rolleyes:
     
  10. M@lew macrumors 68000

    M@lew

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    #10
    The fact Olympus has chosen the 4/3's system is already a downside. Any old lenses will double in focal length and the sensor is smaller, meaning worse noise performance when compared to other cameras with a 1.5/6 crop.
     
  11. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #11
    I still don't see it. Even when I played with the exposure slider a bit, all I could see was some noise and jpg artefacts. :confused:
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #12
    DPR's review of the E-3 also didn't mention anything about it, and they take ages to test these cameras, going out and shooting quite a lot of real, outdoor photos, indoor test shots, etc.

    Again, it's one review. I haven't heard of this issue otherwise.
     

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