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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a personal Review of the Olympus E-3, 3 Dec 2007
This review is from: Olympus E-3 Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
This is my hands on review of the new E-3 the Flagship Camera of Olympus and the four thirds system. It is not full there are areas which have not been covered but I hope this is give a good review of this camera

On opening the box you discover that the magnesium-alloy build and weight is fantastic, feels solid and evenly distributed with the 14-54mm lens attached and this goes with any of the smaller sized lenses 150 f/2 and below. On comparison compared with the Nikon D200/300 it is more or less the same size half a cm narrower, 2mm shorter but .5mm deeper and 15gms lighter than the Nikon, so those who have had the chance to hold the Nikon it is not far of the weight size and feel of the E-3. Another nice thing about the feel in the grip is the same as other newer models improved and comfortable with the styling to allow you fingers to grip the camera securely and use the shutter button and front wheel with ease.
A big plus for me is that the Play and delete button is no longer next to one another, the amount of times I have lost pictures using my E-500 because they were on top of one another. I am aware that a couple of people have moaned about the card door being plastic and flimsy, but I like the design and the fact that you have to use a button to release the door, it is a smooth and though it is plastic its not an issue it is the same with the Battery door. Some people think it should be metal.

On turning on the E-3 you notice the start up time is quicker than what was on the E-500 and jumps straight to the menu page. The start up time may be slightly longer than other makes but after all Olympus claims to have the best sensor cleaning system. And waiting a little extra time isn't going to be too much of an issue not for me any way

You also notice that unlike the other E-system camera and most Dslrs there is no settings dials on the top, there are three main panels the control panel on the top, the super control panel on the rear (LCD) and of course the View finder , all easy to read and simple to navigate through.

There are four mode settings A, P, S, M, and BULB. And these are easily navigated by pressing a button on the top of the camera and using one of the thumb wheels, though a little confusing at fist as having to think "how do I change that" but it soon become second nature. as you would expect on a pro DSLR There is no Auto mode the nearest to this is the P mode where the camera selects the shutter and Aperture.

The 100% viewfinder is larger and the 1.15 magnification is a great improvement on previous E-system cameras, I wouldn't say it is brighter but the two factors certainly make it easier to see though than my E-500. With a larger eye piece cup the viewing become more comfortable while composing the shot

The auto focus is fast as it claims using the new lens but it isn't much slower on any of the other oly lens such as my existing 14-54mm and is certainly faster than other bodies I have tried recently. It locked on in the most difficult of situations and it did so without too much thinking or delay. The improved 11 bi-axis assists In the focusing in the most difficult of situations I have been zooming in on dark areas and the camera was focusing without too much difficulty if none at all, but like the manual says there are going to be times where it may not focus on areas but this is the case for all cameras. The camera has AF sensitivity where you can change the between Normal or small where it changes the range of the auto focus

One of the main new features to the latest camera is the Live view/swivel LCD, this is great technology and takes Dslrs to a new level and possibly to a new audience, wanting that little more than a compact can offer. I don't think I am going to use this much In my line of photography, but it is there so I have had a play, mainly in macro photography and taking a few test shots of the dog while laying on the floor. I have got use to this though I am not totally convinced but this is only my personal opinion. One point I did like is the 7x digital zoom where you can zoom in on the subject even further to improve the focus of the overall image if you have manual focus selected, this is a great aid in macro photography. Because the LCD is raised slightly when in the body my nose seems pressed against it more when taking a landscape picture. I may just have a bigger than average nose!!! I would have preferred a 3" Fixed LCD rather than the 2.5 Swivel, but I have found using the LCD more than I thought whilst playing around at home

Another new +feature is Image stabilisation inbuilt to the body, to combat hand shake at lower shutter speeds, there are three settings off IS 1 and IS 2, IS1 is for general Horizontal and vertical shooting and IS2 is for panning horizontally to create a blurred background. The IS certainly helps out in low light and when zooming in creating sharp images

Moving on to Image quality it looks as if fourthirds and their noise issues have been over come, yes there is noise at high ISO 800+ but that's the same on any camera, it is much improved on other E-system camera and gets very very close if not matches that of cannon/ Nikon, I love the SAT this helps produce some outstanding and great images. But there one quality issue at high ISO I should point out. I found that when the Graduation settings are set to auto there is increased noise as the camera tries to compensates for the darker areas and make them greyer and very grainy. When the setting is switched to Normal the quality is a lot better (Click here to see comparison) this may be improved in a firmware upgrade later on. There is 6 colour settings found in the menus to change the colour depending on your preferences Vivid, Natural, Muted Portrait monotone and custom. In each setting you can alter contrast/sharpness/saturation levels for ultimate control. Pictures at 800-1600 ISO look great and there is certainly an improvement. I can't wait to get this camera to a music gig to really test it out.

The shutter speed is an improved 5FPS though the shutter in not the quietest, not a match to Cannons or Nikons Latest models but it is Fast and if really checked out may be slightly faster than the claims the 10MP sensor; people were expecting at least 12 but I don't think this is too much of an issue and would only cause an issue to those blowing their pictures up. People should really get over this more MP is better issue they have.

The camera is fantastic in everyway, build image quality and is certainly user friendly, there is so much more I could go in to detail with. But I wont get chance to play with the camera if I sat here typing. I am glad I got this camera, I did try other cameras but I like all the features, feel and image quality this camera offers. I can see why Cannon Nikon users are looking at this camera as an addition to their Camera kit, and why not is would certainly sit nicely in the kit bags
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great camera, 9 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Olympus E-3 Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
For me an upgrade from my E410.

This camera has great build quality and response will to quick changes in setting changes. It takes a minute to switch on because of an inbuilt sensor cleaning (which is a nice feature but stops you from getting that "quick moment shot")

A soild build quality - I have taken it up mountains, rainforest etc and never been a problem.

No presets - so you need to know your ISO levels, white balance, shutter speeds etc.

Overall I get good results
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a camera, 23 Feb 2010
By 
Mr. Daniel Kinnear "Daniel K" (Belfast NI) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ive only realy been doing photography for a few years now but what ive seen in quality of cameras is that this is one of the best. It feels strong and tough and has every little setting you can think of to make your photos work the way you want. This is such an easy camera to use with well layed out buttons and in camera controlls in a way that makes everything quickly changed to get your photos before the chance is over. I got this with a spare battery but not the olympus one because i have found out before that they dont need to be the propper one, as long as they work even half as well. I got the extra battery because i was unsure if the handle grip would work with only one battery in it or not, turns out it does so you dont need a spare strate away. Even then the battery can last for ages without needing a charge depending on you setting. It has a lovley lens on it and can use any other Zuiko four thirds lenses effectivly. This camera has alot of well placed buttons on it so that everything can be controlled externaly for the most part. There is a screen on the top that shows ALL of your setting but only shows the exposure levels when you auto focus. The top screen can be lite up by a button to see in the dark. The built in image stabaliser can be used with any lens and is very handy in low light contitions and means you dont need to steady youself as much. Cameras usualy start to pick up camera shake on anything below 1/60 of a second but the image stabaliser alows you to drop that down to around 1/1.3 at f2.8 12mm focal length ISO 500 depending on how high the ISO and f-stop is mixed with the users ability to steady themselves. The ISO can also be set up to 3200 but as with all high ISO's its not advised even with noise reduction turned on because the photo with have noise in it to some degree or another but 3200 could be used if you dont particularly care about they quality of the photo if its something like a snap shot or you just want a faster photo. The software with the camera is good at sorting your photos, there is a layout in the software that alows you to put the photos in specific folders but no matter what way you sort them in the software it will put them on your computer in a folder that sortes each photo by date into folders first buy its year, then month and then day so that you can find every photo easliy by its general date. There is a programable function button that can be changed to a set list of comands such as getting a WB or taking a test photo. The movable screen can be usefull for if you have the camera on a tripod and you have it at an angle that the screen cant be seen normaly. The screens auto adjusts to the lighting of the surrounding to make the screen easier to see but can be changed by your shadow but this setting can be turned on or of. One thing about this camera is that its alot bigger that some of the other four thirds cameras so it needs a big camera bag to store it is, for this i would recommend the Lowpro Magnum AW because it is able to hold the camera with around 6 other lenses and one on the camera easily if you re-arange the movable parts inside it well. One thing that may be a proble for some is that the charger for mine only came with a US plug but i was lucky enough to have other olympus adapters to use with it but US to UK plug adaptors are another alternative. This camera is brilliant for everything, even digital pinholes. If recomending a high end camera to anyone i will always suggest this camera.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still a good camera, even if it's dated now, 29 Sep 2014
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I like this camera. It feels solid and strong (the sort that can stand up to your typical English weather), and when it's coupled with the 12-60mm lens it gives really sharp photos, with good colour representation in the final product. It's dated now (it was released first in 2007), but it still gives you some really good photos.

I would recommend that you make sure the camera's software is up to date, it seems to extend the life of the batteries in the HLD-4 battery grip some people use (or so I've read).

My grumbled would focus on the size of the screen (it's small by modern standards), and the weight (some new to DSLR photograph would say it seems heavy)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Olympus E-3 Digital SLR Camera (Body Only), 19 July 2013
By 
Stuart Robertson (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Olympus E-3 Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
Really delighted with this camera. Build quality is fabulous and it feels great and the images are excellent. Great service and delivery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Camera - but has minor flaws., 10 Jan 2011
By 
Lee M. Taylor "A1" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Olympus E-3 Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
Build quality is among the best.
But it's four-thirds, which means noise as you bump the ISO. If you can live with that, all well and good. If you need superb quality upto ISO3200, then you need full frame.
Take it to ISO800 max, unless you want the effect of noise (!).
Stick below ISO200 and print to A3, and you'll be fine.
A great travel camera, and perfect for students. However, of little use to the photographer looking to sell portraits / stock shots / weddings, etc.
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