I love this camera…it’s easy to use…and fun to use. I’ve always like Olympus cameras for their compact dimensions and high quality build. I have used the OM system for years, but when I switched to digital 6 years ago, Olympus didn’t have the product to attract me. Now, my needs have migrated and their product offerings have migrated and we meet again.
I enjoy landscape photography…being out in nature…inhaling her beauty. And when I see a scene that strikes me I want to make an image for all to see. Yes, I know that many of you use this camera for street shooting. But, as you’ll see, many of the features that make it ideal for street shooting work well for landscape photography.
Usually my landscape photography consists of wide angle shots…with my Canon 5D I ofter used the lower limit of my 24-70 and was only rarely motivated to use my 17-40. So I was attracted by the m.12/2 lens by way of the reviews it has garnered and decided to try it in with a new E-P3.
I rely on reviews to point out gotcha’s…none were made obvious by dpreview’s comments on this camera…except that there might be an issue of image quality. Being used to using a full frame camera (with all it’s heft) I was really concerned with noise. So I’ll get to that, but also, I was really curious about all the features of a more modern camera.
First of all, I really like the touchscreen. I look at the large bright screens on the latest smartphones and wish I had one on my camera. It’s taken so long for prosumer cameras to update their user interface in light of the technology available in smart phones. The touch part of the screen is not overdone, so many of the functions we are used to seeing are still available with button. Note: the screen is not articulated, but the available viewfinder, albeit expensive, ameliorates that problem.
- Level indication. A vertical and horizontal bar is displayed to indicate level…this is a great feature and saves a step in my workflow. I always use eye glasses when shooting and I believe the interaction of the viewfinder and my ‘progressive‘ glasses causes me to consistently compose photos that are not horizontal. These indicators are available in one of the 5 ‘Info’ overlays available on the viewfinder.
- Focus area selection. The field of view is divided into a 5X7 grid, and focus can be chosen for any spot on that grid. This is easily chosen by a click on the left of the selection wheel, a tap on the screen, and a press on the OK button. This is really a simple step during the composition of the scene. Also, very convenient is the ability to tap the screen at the desired focus point and the shot is taken. This mode is often derided as a nuisance but I have found it very nice…part of the fun of the touch screen interface.
- Wide auto bracketing. This feature is run of the mill now, but my 5D doesn’t have it…the E-P3 will take up to 7 bracketed exposures. The downside is that the exposure steps are limited to a maximum of 1 ev at 5 exposures and .7ev at 7 exposures. But this fine grained bracketing results in very nice HDR images with the HDR software that I use.