Out on the street with the Olympus E-P3 and 12mm f/2 lens

Out on the street with the Olympus E-P3 and 12mm f/2 lens

Yep! I’m still using this little Olympus E-P3 and 12mm lens and am letting my Leica M9-P get some rest. On my recent 24 hour Vegas trip I left the M9-P at home as my mission was to shoot the Sony NEX-C3 and Noktor 50 Hyperprime as well as the SLR Magic 28 2.8. I did bring along the E-P3 and 12mm in case I wanted to shoot any side by side stuff. What ended up happening though was I started shooting the E-P3 more than the NEX! Even my buddy kept reminding me that I was shooting with the wrong camera, haha. Well, this is the thing I am talking about with the E-P series. They are so damn fun to shoot. They feel great in the hand. The controls are just right there where you want them and with the new E-P3 being so fast, it’s almost foolproof.

I shot the camera in the full Nevada sun (which can at times be a little more intense than the Phoenix sun), and also at night time at ISO 3200 using the grainy black and white setting which adds MORE grain to the images. I have tested small AF cameras on the street like this before. Cameras like the Ricoh GXR which gave me good output but was very slow to focus in the low light. The NEX-5 which did great when I shot it at ISO 6400 on the light rail. The Leica X1, which would not even be usable in low light like I shot the E-P3 below, Β just due to it’s very slow AF. It could be used in manual though, but not with 100% accuracy when moving quick.

Then we have the Fuji X100, which I adore. BUT if I tried using it in the late night darkness the AF would fail. Too slow. When shooting the E-P3 with the 12mm, even wide open and in dark areas the AF is just about instant, even in lower light. The KIT ZOOM is also lightning fast which tells me that cameras like this, with their contrast detect AF, CAN BE SUPER FAST. It just makes for fun, stress free, and exciting shooting. Then, with a lens like the 12mm, if I want to go manual I just slip the focus ring back and set my distance in feet for some zone focusing fun. I have been reading complaints online where people who do not own the E-P3 are moaning and groaning saying the sensor tech is lagging. Even DPreview posted their full E-P3 review only to conclude that it would have gotten their highest recommendation if the sensor was more megapixels and newer. So what they are saying is that the sensor in the E-P3 (which apparantly is the old E-P2 sensor, but has been tweaked) is too old. Does this mean that you can not take quality photos with it? The answer to that is NO. Of course you can. As a matter of fact, the only one s I have seen complaining about the E-P3 are the people who do not own one. Those who do seem to LOVE the camera, which is my experience as well.

I mean, how long has Tri-X been around in the film world? It still works and I am here to say that the sensor in the E-P3 does indeed still work πŸ™‚ Could it be better? Not really much better as this is micro 4/3 and there are limitations but the quality as it stands now is good enough for 98% of shooters.

The fact of the matter is, even in the new Panasonic G3, which to me, does not feel as nice in my hand, nor to control as the E-P3, has more megapixels and about a half stop improvement in high ISO. It may be a tiny but sharper but I mean, really? The 12MP of the E-P3 is wonderful. Much like another camera that I used to own and LOVE. It was a favorite of mine back in the day and I got slammed when I would post how great it was on forums. I remember taking side by side shots with it and the Canon 5D and I would get better results with the 4MP camera in many situations! I was SLAMMED for saying Β this but I did show examples. That camera was the Nikon D2Hs. It was 4MP but man, the quality of the pixels was amazing. Those who owned one (or still do) know what I am talking about. That camera now has sort of a little cult following, even today.

But I am not here today to talk about the D2Hs. Instead, I am here to show some recent examples of out of camera JPEGS shot with the E-P3. Some street shots at night with high ISO and the grainy B&W art filter and a few things in between. Enjoy, and if you have been on the fence about the E-P3 and are invested in the M 4/3 system, I’d say GO FOR IT. It is wonderful and a big improvement in just about every area over the E-P1 and E-P2. The new Panasonic 25 1.4 lens and the new Olympus 45 1.8 (both of which I will review here) will give us a GREAT set of fast primes..12, 25 and 45 which will equal 24, 50 and 90. I’m so happy that the M 4/3 format is starting to mature. The camera is slick, it’s fast, it’s comfortable, it’s built well and like I said in my review, it is THE BEST PEN to date!


UPDATE – A couple of grumpy people seem to be confused and think my review shots are meant to be works of art to be hung on walls. No, they are not πŸ™‚ – My review shots are just that, shots to review the camera. Snapshots like most people will shoot. Just showing what to expect out of cameras and lenses. My Photo work and print sales are not the photos you find in my reviews πŸ™‚ So keep this in mind. As with ANY camera review site, judge the camera output, not the photo itself. Thank you!

All images are JPEGS from the camera. In some images, contrast, saturation have been adjusted. CLICK ANY IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION.

Walking the street in downtown Las Vegas (Fremont Street) is an explosion of light and color. This was shot with the 12mm at what appears to be f/3.2 (exif says so). Love the color.Β 

and more from Fremont street

Inside Caesars Palace I shot this at f/2. Out of camera JPEG here. Click for larger.

Olympus E-P3 – ISO 1000 – Inside Ceasars

Fremont Street with 12mm

Street performers are everywhere it seems…

Switching over to grainy B&W mode and higher ISO – These were all shot late night

About to get a new tattoo.

Remember, grain is ADDED to these by using the grainy art filter – gives it some grit and grime – ISO 2000, 12mm.

woody just chilling on the strip…ISO 2000

Minnie Mouse taking a break – ISO 3200 – Grainy mode – 12mm

This was shot in a dark casino, ISO 3200, grainy mode AS I WALKED by. I lifted, the camera focused and I snapped. All took place in a fraction of a second. Yes, it is blurred because I was walking but shows how fast the AF is in low light.

My buddy Mike Β – ISO 2500 – grainy B&W

and again a few minutes later – ISO 1250 – f/2 – Grainy B&W mode.

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  1. Hello Steve… thanks for the excellent review!

    I’ve been reading a lot about the Oly E-P3 and so far I really like everything I’ve learned about it. I currently own a Nikon D90 and I love the IQ and features it gives me but I think I would like something smaller / easier to carry and I really like the snappy, touch-screen focus the e-p3 offers. I’m considering selling my D90 and purchasing an E-P3… do you think that would be a foolish move?

    Thanks for your time!

  2. Here are a couple more. The bee is a 500% magnification crop. No PS adjustments, just cropping. The JPEGS are straight from the camera.

    I read a few reviews slagging this lens off a bit saying it wasn’t sharp, had barrel distortion, vignetted and was soft at the edges. Maybe slow shutter speeds inside a dark building will be different. Anyway, those reviews pretty much put me off but in the end I took the plunge and dug out the plastic. And I’m pretty chuffed with the results.

    this was taken at f2.2 and about 1/2500 sec ISO 100. The tip of stamen of the hollyhock is around 1″ nearer to the camera than the bee and I notice it is out of focus. I was very close to the flower and at the limit of the focus ability. The DOF is really short.

    This is a great lens for a snapper like me !



  3. Hey Steve,

    Thanks for all the time you put into your reviews, you have helped me focus my thoughts on a new camera purchase. I was wondering what your thoughts were on th 9-18 vs th 12 for a budget minded consumer.

    Thanks for your time


  4. Hey Steve,
    Have you had any experience with the Oly 9-18mm f4-5.6 ?

    I currently own the EP3 and the 45 f1.8, extremely happy with my purchase, arrived at my front door 3 days ago! Now I am looking for a micro wide angle. Debating between the Oly 12mm f2 and the 9-18mm f4-5.6..

    Also, have you had a chance to try out the new Leica 25 f1.4 yet?

    • The 9-18 is one lens I have NOT owned or shot with extensively. Between those two Id go for the 12 though if possible. It is BEAUTIFUL. Better build than the 45, amazing all around. The Leica/Panny 25 1.4 arrives to my doorstep, finally, TODAY πŸ™‚ Review SOON. Promise.

      • First, thank you for the quick response.
        The more I think about it, the more I lean towards the 12. The 9-18 is $100 less, but I keep reading how much everyone is enjoying that prime 12.

        I can’t wait to read what you think about the Leica 25, it could possibly be higher on my list than the 12. I read a couple amazon reviews, usually I take those type of reviews with a grain of salt, but everyone is raving.


        • Ever feel like the 12mm can be too wide for a walk around street lens?

          I’m trying to decide between the pan 20 1.7 and this oly 12.. I’d like a versatile lens I can walk around with and take photos of people and architecture, that has pretty good IQ, a “street” lens. I know they are two different lens. I’m afraid I’ll get the 12mm, and although it being a great lens, be too wide at times, or at least make me get closer than comfort to my subject.

          Any thoughts Steve?

  5. Just got an EPL-3 after reading this – I know smaller and without touchscreen but essentially the same guts. It’s more point and shoot like but I have to concur on the basic performance- it’s very good, and the camera is small. Can’t imagine the mini. I am with Steve, the smaller Panasonics are incredibly cheap looking. I have a GH2 and it is a bit chintzy – these cameras are not.

    Steve, your reviews are both good and crack me up – love the irreverence (especially from a Leica guy).

  6. Great Las Vegas pics. I was wondering if the diorama mode in the E-P3 could be used to get wide-angle shots that correct for keystoning when you’re not holding the camera level.

  7. I’m actually not a fan of the grainy B&W mode on my E-PL2; they’re just too, well, grainy.

    Here’s a suggestion: I bump up the contrast in the regular B&W mode, and at higher ISO’s the grain looks much more natural. It’s pretty great, and I much prefer it to the art filter.

  8. hi Steve,

    do you see a lot of improvement in term of IQ comparing EP3 with EPL2 ?

    did you manage to try EP3 with oly 17/2.8 ?


  9. Steve:

    I love your site. Thanks for taking time to shoot with the new Olympus. I have the E-PL2 and think I will just keep shooting with it for the time being. I think the Pen series are good cameras and fun to shoot. I also enjoy my Nikon D90 but my Pen fits well in my large hands and is easy to carry. I believe thier size and output encourages creativity and picture taking.
    I really like Mother Goose….

  10. Great piece Steve.
    I’ve been to the camera shops, held these cameras and liked the ‘feel’ but I can not get past the lack of a view finder. Holding a camera at arms length seems to deaden my creative feel and involvement in the process and in the end it just feels wrong. The result is that (I feel) my photography suffers as a result. Do you or anyone else here have the same problem?

    • Darrell,

      I feel the same way. If the EP-3 had a built in viewfinder (either ovf or evf) I would be in heaven! I am considering checking out the GF2 for that reason alone.

      Sure its a bit bigger, but can use the same lenses and has a built-in EVF and articulating touch screen.

      • I’m assuming you mean GH2 because the GF2 does not have an EVF or OVF and the Panny clip-on EVF has a very low resolution vs the great Olympus one.

    • I think it’s something you can get over πŸ™‚

      Try using the majority of Medium Format or Large Format film cameras and the lovely ground-glass LCDs πŸ˜›

      Ok, they’re not LCDs, but still…

      The preference for eye-level viewfinders is a byproduct of 35mm cameras and SLRs being so popular before the “digital explosion,” and as a result, “serious photographers,” and those who aspire to be serious photographers, have a distinct bias towards a certain kind of shooting. I think using the LCD to compose and shoot is actually an advantage in a lot of situations: it allows for more flexibility in angles, it doesn’t restrict your photos to your eye-level, and you can frame whilst paying attention to what’s going on around you.

      To be sure, eye-level finders have their place. Sports photography would be very different/difficult without them, but I find that it’s a bit restrictive to dismiss a camera or an entire class of cameras solely because they lack eye-level finders.

  11. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your cool review, really liked it! Now you got me lusting for one! What do you think of the kit lens 14-42? Is it sharp? Can’t decide if I should buy it with the kit of with another zoom lens. I already have enough wide angle lens, so need a moderate zoom. Thanks for your input. Your love for photography makes us all happier!

  12. Sorry, those are bad Fremont pictures. I went back and check the pictures I’ve shot with my XSi + 17-55mm f/2.8 and they were way, way better. What happen to other colors? All I see is Red and noise.This is why I keep hesitating to buy m4/3 over APS-C sensor.

    • These were JPEG, out of camera TEST shots and shot at night. The color shots look exactly like the scene did as the lights were red and orange πŸ™‚ Noise happens at high ISO. Thanks for your comment.

    • Oh, and please post some of your night time/high iso pics from Fremont. Would love to see them as I was just walking around taking snapshots. Always like looking at others photos from the same places that I shoot. You can upload them in the comments by clicking on “choose file” under the “upload files” text. Thanks.

    • please upload your APS-C sensor pictures so we can compare. Would love to know how much of a trade off it is under real conditions.


  13. Hi Steve,
    Love your reviews. I have the Panasonic GF1 with the 20mm lens. How would you compare the Pansonic and E-P3?


  14. Steve.

    As a beginner withing the field of photgraphy, and looking for which camera to buy, I have been reading your reviews with much interest.
    I have set my eyes on either the Fuji x100, Olympus E-P3 or the Leixa X1. Do you have any recommendations – which would be the best/easiest to start with? Love your work – keep it up!

    • Pia, Steve probably will have much better input from lots of personal use, but here’s how I see it from the reviews and info on the web including Steve’s comments:

      X100: Superb Image quality, great lens, fantastic viewfinder, somewhat buggy, slow focus, not flexible, priced in the middle.
      X1: Excellent image quality, great lens, no viewfinder, slow focus, not flexible, most expensive.
      EP3: Great image quality, outstanding lenses, 2 optional viewfinders, fast focus & operation, very flexible, most affordable.

      So the only things that may count against the EP3 is slightly lower image quality, the included viewfinder in the case of the X100, or the Leica brand in the case of the X1. But you gain a system which you can explore photography from macro to portraits, from super-wide to super telephoto.

      I almost pulled the trigger on an X100 till the EP3 came out. I’m waiting till I can get the body only.

      • Don’t know what the difference between “superb”, “excellent” and “great” IQ is, The X100 AF is reasonably fast, in the ballpark of an Olympus EPL2. With the 12mm prime, there is presently only one outstanding Olympus lens available. Whether the 45mm is in the same league needs to be seen. And with what you call “outstanding lens” the EP3 costs significantly more than the X100, and has no EVF. Lastly, the EP3 weights quite a bit more than the other two and with EVF mounted is much bulkier than the sleek X100. Concerning IQ, let’s see Steve’s comparison of EP3 and X100, dynamic range and high iso performance will be interesting. Now as a gear nut (or should I say gear slut) I have all three of them. Just bought the EP3 with kit and 12 mm lens based on Steve’s reviews. And it is a lot of fun, just as Steve writes with very fast and accurate AF and a touchscreen which is much more than a gimmick. When it comes to superior IQ, though, the X100 is in a different class and I’d consider it almost a bargain. The X1 will be sold in the next 2 weeks, since as a photographic tool it is inferior to the other two contenders. Just my 2cents.

        • Retow, superb, excellent, and great are exactly what they are, adjectives. Just as you put it, the X100’s IQ is ‘superior’, ‘in another class’, or superb. As a new photographer Pia may not get a bunch of techno mumbo-jumbo.

          As far as lenses, the system has more than one outstanding lens. There’s the Panasonic 8mm fisheye, 7-14mm ultra-wide, the 20 1.7, the 25 f1.4, the 45 f2.8, and even the 14mm f2.5 is regarded as a very nice lens. On the Oly side, the 9-18 is outstanding for it’s size and focal range, the 12 as you mentioned, the 45 f1.8 as we’re discovering, and even the 14-150 is regarded as a very sharp lens for the price/type. Something can be outstanding for many reasons. IQ, value, uniqueness in the system, compactness, etc. It doesn’t just have to be expensive, metal, or scare test charts.

          The X100 has one outstanding lens. One. As a new photographer, Pia may not want to have more than just one focal range. Maybe not.

  15. Steve, I also love shooting with E-P3 with the 12mm f/2 lens. I’ve bought (and sold) so many compact digital cameras (GF1, GH1, EP2, EPL1, EPL2, X1, X100, GXR, GRDIII, M8, DP2s, HX9V, NEX5, DLux4, DLux4, Lx3) over the last two years and I think this combo is perhaps the most enjoyable of allβ€”I feel I can finally “settle down” once I add the Panny 25 1.4 and Oly 45 1.8 to the system. I look forward to reading your reviews on the new 25mm and 45mm lenses.

  16. While I agree the E-P3’s autofocus is near instant, I am equally impressed with its metering. This thing meters fantastically. In 3 (albeit unusual) situations my E-P3 chose the correct exposure while my D7000 underexposed (in all 3 cases) buy 2/3 of a stop.

    It really is a fun camera.

  17. I think what makes the EP3 so fun to shoot is that it just works. The AF and exposure seem dead on 99% of the time, and unlike other cameras, such as the X100, which while taking beautiful images, can sometimes take a bit of work to finally capture the image. Using the OVF for example, you could hit the AF button 3-4 times and get a different distance reading on the scale each time, either due to parallax error or just some AF quirks in general. As such, this can lead to a feeling of having to fight against, or perhaps “work with” the camera. Nothing wrong with that per say, but at the same time, with the EP3, its AF is just so quick and spot on, and you can also put it anywhere in the frame (even with just a touch which I find really cool). Its just a really nice and direct implementation of the camera doing what your wanting it to. Camera almost feels invisible because your just thinking about your composition, not about what you have to do on the camera to get it to focus, or thinking if you need the ND filter for your current F stop, or where the EV dial is set.

    You do give up a a little overall IQ verses some other options, but it is really fun to just be able to shoot rather carefree and know that your getting in focus, well exposed results nearly every frame.

    Put a good lens on like the 12mm, f2.0, and you can shoot it wide open and get decent DOF, good edge to edge sharpness, and between its fast aperture and the IBIS you can pretty much shoot in under most any light, save for fast action etc.

    Makes for a very simple and fun time where you can have your eyes more on your surroundings rather than always having to look down at the your camera and mess with the controls, review shots for focus and exposure etc

  18. Steve,

    When you say OOC JPEGS, are you shooting at Large Fine or Large SuperFine?


  19. Wow That was a fast response steve thank you. I think it’s time for a new camera lol.
    PS I don’t think my wife would like you very much if she knew I am upgrading because of your review lmao..

  20. I really like the color shots. The BW (maybe because of the grainy mode) seem to lack tones. In that regard I preferred your GXR shots. The 12mm lens really does a good job. If more lenses like this will hit the market I may start to consider m4/3 more seriously in the future (unless Leica will smoke them all in 2012 πŸ˜‰ )

    • Yea, the grainy B&W mode gives that “look”. I like it but not everyone does. If you set the camera to ISO 3200, NR off, and set the color to MONOTONE you will get more tonal range than using grainy B&W. Thanks for the comments!

      • Long ago I read a great essay that distinguished between snapshots and “good” photos. Snaps are personal. They record a personal history and are very important for that reason, but only to people who know the people and places in the photos. Technical quality is less important than capturing the people and place in time. Digital point and shoots are ideal for this purpose.

        Good photos grab anyone’s attention without any personal or other history. They speak for themselves. Ideally they take an interesting subject and highlight what makes the subject interesting through selective focus, contrast, etc. I use this test: if you saw a particular photo in a gallery, without knowing anything else, would you want to buy it and put it in your house?

        Apply this test to the photos above. With due respect, I find none of these photos interesting, especially the ones in black and white with added grain. Those are poor snapshots made deliberately worse. I do not get the point. They lack detail, are sometimes out of focus, and appear to have been taken with a poor quality film camera like a 110 pocket camera. Maybe that has a nostalgic quality for some but for me making a photo worse does not make it better, especially a photo that is uninteresting to begin with.

        The photo of the couple kissing kind of captures the mood of Las Vegas but is such a bad photo that it does not work. The camera completely missed the focus. A 110 pocket camera would have taken a better photo. Even the color photos with no added grain are uninteresting and not good quality. They are grainy and might remind you of something if you had been there but are generally meaningless to anyone else.

        I would not quibble if Steve said he is simply testing a camera and showing test photos, or is just taking snaps. But he does not. He offers these as “good” photos.

        The special quality of a Leica or any other camera is to make a photo interesting in itself. I would find this website more interesting if it focused on ways to do that.

        • Ummm. I do offer these as TEST snaps. Testing the E-P3 and 12mm in low light near dark conditions. That is ALL these are. The only REAL photos I take are when I shoot and do actual work. NONE of my review photos are “art” or meant to be hung on anyones wall. Show me one review site that does. I mean, we all know that DPreview provides wall hangers in every review πŸ™‚

          I have sold prints of my work for up to $500 each, and have many hanging on walls. I have an album cover and back coming out in November. I have done commercial work. BUt for reviews? They are just review snaps.

          Also, the B&W grainy filter comment is your opinion and not everyone shares it. Some hate that filter, and some love it. Me, I love the filter and use it all the time. Also, the kissing couple..the camera nailed the focus but I was walking and the shutter speed was low, hence the blur.

          So to be clear, I never ever offer my review photos up as anything more than test snapshots. Not sure why you thought differently. They are meant to show what anyone could do with the camera and lens, not those searching for wall hanging art. Besides, even if I wanted to shoot works of art in each review it would be impossible. Try shooting 1-2 new cameras a week to review and coming up with masterpieces every time. Not possible by anyone unless you just do studio model shots, but that would not be a real world review.

          As for articles on photography, there are close to 100 on this site that speak of technique, passion, methods, etc. Its all here if you search or look in the site map. What I always find interesting though is those who complain about other peoples pictures never show their own photos, even when requested to do so πŸ™‚


          • Steve,

            I do appreciate your camera reviews. I have learned a lot reading your site and I thank you for that and look forward to reading more in the future.

            And I understand that you can’t do much more than shoot various snaps when testing a new camera. I don’t expect more.

            But I would pose this question: what is a reader supposed to learn from the black and whites above? They don’t reveal anything about the camera’s capabilities (that is a positive at least) and you don’t post them for that purpose. You offer them as a style of photography. I am simply commenting that I don’t get the style and I wonder what you find interesting about them.

          • Oh get a life man….. Or in the words of Homer Simpson: “Booooring!”

            I liked the TEST pictures and thougth the one with the man and the bunny in the background was very cool!

          • I dont think your tone in your original post was one of personal opinion but sweeping and damning.

            If you want two things someone can learn from the samples posted, including yourself: Technical perfection does not make a photo AND One should be open minded when viewing others work.

  21. PS. I love your real world reviews and commentaries and website Keep up the good work in thank you very much

  22. Steve you said that the E-pl1 was the best
    J peg camera do you still think that. Compared to the new E-p3? Should I upgrade to the new model?
    I’m looking at some photos and I’m thinking that to me the epl1 has the better jpeg engine And I believe is sharper and shows more detail..

    • I would take an E-P3 over 3 E-PL1’s. Any sharpness difference is minuscule and would never show up in a print and IMO, the E-P3 may have a “richer” quality to the file from what I see. But like i said, minuscule differences, much like the difference between the E-P3 sensor and the Panasonic G3 sensor.

  23. Poor Minnie mouse, there goes the fairytale… Nice little camera and lens. Great for people wanting a high quality wide set up.

  24. Cool pictures !

    Got (black) E-P3 with dualkit 14-42 and 40-150 so had two tours outside with it, really cool stuff.

  25. Wohh, Minnie Mouse is looking a bit worse for wear!

    What about your good old X100? Is it in the back of the draw, gathering dust now?

    • Yea, she is…

      I took the E-P3 and NEX C3 as these were the two cameras I am reviewing and using now. Cameras come through my house every week and since it is what I write about, I have to use certain cameras at certain times. The X100 would not have been able to focus quickly in the night so I left it at home. Thx for the comment!

  26. Nice to see the images Steve. I am currently in Vegas. I just walked by the fountain and thought ” how fun, Steve just took a photo here two days ago”. Vegas feels like a city made for wide angles. I am mainly using a 21mm Zeiss 2.8 on a M9P plus a 50mm Lux. The Olympus would have been a nice light addition. BTW The Leica plus four lenses and an IPad all fit into a tiny hotel save. Great argument for small cameras with large sensors. πŸ™‚

  27. Excellent points Steve,

    Yesterday I received two packages from B+H one was a D7000 to replace my D90 and the other was an E-P3 with the bundled 17mm f/2.8 which I purchased solely based on your review.

    I took a bunch of pics last night just to see how the two compare with simple settings ISO 200, F/2.8 on both cameras (on the Nikon I had the 35mm f/1.8 lens set to 2.8) and I am amazed at how fantastic the ooc jpgs look from the E-P3.

    They are not as nice in the shadows as the D7000, but the color balance and sharpness of the Olympus is just amazing. I am having a real hard time justifying keeping the D7000 other then the fact I have some Nikon glass.

          • Yes! At least with my E-PL1 i have a hard time to see the LCD in bright sunlight. The EVF is superb!
            But I heard good things about E-P3s OLED. Maybe it would be good enough for me in sunlight…

          • I have an E-P2 and E-P3 in the house. I felt like I needed the EVF with the E-P2 often, due to the smaller screen and iffy performance in sunlight. Outside of manual focus, I think you can get buy w/o the EVF on the E-P3 for most shooting. I am glad I have one, though, and think it will still be nice for some applications, like theater music events when you don’t want to subject people to your bright lcd.

      • I love the 20mm 1.7, its fantastic. I personally hated the OVF from Lumix, I sent mine back (to me it was horrible and half-baked at best.)

    • Thanks for the quick comparison Jeff. Consider that the 17 f2.8 is one of the “weakest” lenses in m4/3. It’s not bad, but not great. Wonder how some of the really nice primes would do?

    • Hi, I have to say I just sold my D7000 (nice but too big) and am keeping my GH1 w/14 2.5 and beloved 20 1.7 . Check out the Lumix 14mm at f/5.6, it delivers !

  28. Steve,

    Thanks for all the details on this great M4/3’s camera. The more I read and see how much fun you’re having with the E-P3. The more I want to get one. I’ve been looking for a camera that will fall in between my D-Lux 5 and 60D. Thanks to your posts and reviews on this camera I believe I have found it.

    Again, thanks for all that you do on this site and I look forward to reading more articles.



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