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Thread: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

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    Red face Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    Hi, I am an owner of the Olympus EP-3 since November (or was it August...) last year and have been using the 14-42mm kit lens since the start to today. First off, I have read about those basic photography stuff (aperture, etc) and I made the decision to get this portable EP-3 over the big badass DSLRs.

    After using it for quite some time, I feel as if the kit lens doesn't really have that '3d' effect when I take photos of my friends standing together. This effect is rather obvious on the likes of the 550d where the background behind the people is more out of focus, because of the 550d's larger sensor. In addition, the photos snapped by the kit lens(JPEG direct from camera, ISO200, F3.5,'vivid' colour tone set) looks quite dull in comparison with the photos from a 550d in the same lighting/outdoors. My EP-3 takes a rather dull photo in iAuto mode, and this gets slightly better when I use the Manual mode. I have used Adobe Lightroom on RAWs and I do understand that it's key to getting a better shot, but I would like to ask if its possible to get a better image through the camera itself?

    Is the key to getting a photo with 'better' colours through the lens? For example, I'd like to get the Panasonic 20mm F1.7 lens to use, but will it bring significantly better colours such that the picture is less dull? The Panasonic lens, when compared to my current kit lens, (I often shoot without zooming, so I think the 20mm is great) will it bring about a much better experience to justify the cost? I know this is very subjective but just want to find out. I'm not looking to instantaneously shoot like a pro, just interested in this lens but not sure if I will like it..

  2. #2

    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    Ex owner of EP3 here. I don't think that's something 3D but I get what you mean. Yes, the 550D is a APS-C sensor vs EP3's m4/3 and thus 550D is able to give a thinner DOF given the same framing and settings.

    The kit lens is fine actually. IDK what's your basis of comparison, unless you are shooting the same thing at the same conditions using a EP3 and 550D, and EP3 produces a duller picture then there may be a case. I'm just afraid that your claim on EP3 being duller is because you are shooting a dull thing. And what do you mean by getting a better image through the camera itself? You may review your composition or at least, shoot in RAW instead of JPEG. You can't compare Olympus' JPEG processing algorithm with Canon's algorithm. Just shoot RAW and learn how to process it in LR.

    Next thing you'd probably want to do is get out of Auto mode and learn about Av, Tv and M mode. Why leave it to the AI to decide how to take the picture when you should know better of what you want? AI doesn't know what you want and thus, may not be producing the kind of picture you are expecting.

    And I am not sure if your issue with IQ is with high ISO pictures or not. If yes, again you can't really compare Olympus with Canon. Sensor size, Canon already has the advantage.

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    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    Thank you for your response! Well, I'm mostly shooting people(haha, sounds weird) and I realise that the colours seem a bit washed out. I believe increasing the saturation of the colours would remedy this but I was wondering if it could be applied within the camera itself? I understand there is a 'Pop Art' Art filter but it exaggerates the colours too much for me and I don't know how to change it, could you enlighten me(if u dont mind)
    Regarding the part about 'reviewing my composition', what does that mean? I think my question about getting a better image refers to getting a photo where the colours are more vibrant, without having to use LR first as I may take a lot of photos and if I can save the trouble of doing it in LR then it's better for me. ^^
    I'm actually on 'Manual' mode now, from what I know, Av is Aperture priority and Tv is Shutter priority but I usually keep my Aperture at F3.5(I don't zoom often) and my shutter speed varies when I need more light.
    I think I like photos that are slightly warmer, would changing the WB to 'shadows' be a bad move? Just to add on, I have set my camera to take photos in ISO200 usually if the conditions allow me to.
    What if I change the lens to the 20mm one? Will the shallower DOF set it apart clearly from the 14-42 kit lens and bring less washed out colours?(or does the lens do nothing to the colours?)
    Thanks for your time!!
    Last edited by lawryyxd; 16th June 2012 at 02:08 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    Quote Originally Posted by lawryyxd View Post
    Thank you for your response! Well, I'm mostly shooting people(haha, sounds weird) and I realise that the colours seem a bit washed out. I believe increasing the saturation of the colours would remedy this but I was wondering if it could be applied within the camera itself? I understand there is a 'Pop Art' Art filter but it exaggerates the colours too much for me and I don't know how to change it, could you enlighten me(if u dont mind)
    Regarding the part about 'reviewing my composition', what does that mean? I think my question about getting a better image refers to getting a photo where the colours are more vibrant, without having to use LR first as I may take a lot of photos and if I can save the trouble of doing it in LR then it's better for me. ^^
    I'm actually on 'Manual' mode now, from what I know, Av is Aperture priority and Tv is Shutter priority but I usually keep my Aperture at F3.5(I don't zoom often) and my shutter speed varies when I need more light.
    I think I like photos that are slightly warmer, would changing the WB to 'shadows' be a bad move? Just to add on, I have set my camera to take photos in ISO200 usually if the conditions allow me to.
    What if I change the lens to the 20mm one? Will the shallower DOF set it apart clearly from the 14-42 kit lens and bring less washed out colours?(or does the lens do nothing to the colours?)
    Thanks for your time!!
    IDK, personally I didn't really get to know EP-3 well before I dumped it, for one fact that it's so difficult to get around? Oh well I think it's user problem but I really prefer the easy-accessible controls of my Canon DSLR. Change mode? There's a mode dial. Even for the flagship models without a dial, it's just 2 press of the button away. I suppose you can change the white balance to a warmer temperature as per your preference but I am not sure about saturation in-cam. It also has to do with the resolving power of the lens. Certain lens produce stronger colours and contrast while some lens aren't as good.

    As for reviewing composition - sometimes, we think that the picture aren't vibrant in colour, looks dull, somehow doesn't look that nice. I'm no pro myself but as per my own experience, I've come to realize that it's what we shoot most of the time that makes us think so. Even with a high end DSLR like 5D3, there are times when I review the photo after the click, I tell myself "what the sh1t have I shot". Picture looks desaturated? Or lacks contrast, or too much contrast? Boring? Yes it is, but I've realized is how I took the shot. Sometimes, lack of contrast or colour is maybe I am shooting towards light source, everything looks washed out. Too much contrast or shadows? Probably I'm shooting against light source, or my lighting is wrong. Colour looks weird? Maybe my WB is off. Boring picture? Maybe because I'm shooting something boring or my perspective is boring.

    There can be many reasons.. things like IQ, saturation, contrast can be subjective as everyone may have difference acceptance level and tolerance. Maybe you want to post some examples of poor pics in your opinion, and we'll see if there's anything really wrong..

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    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    I understand the way you feel about this camera. Well, for me I'm going to give myself more time and spend more effort before I really hand it over to someone who may appreciate it more.. I have seen photos by many professionals with the EP3 but many use either the 12mm F2 lens or the 20mm/ 25/ 45mm lenses, without a normal 14-42 for me to make a comparison. I really think its a poor application of skill on my part that the photo looks unappealing though.

    Yes I agree. The conditions I have taken photos in may have caused this phenomenon to occur.. Well, I am currently on my phone now, so I can't post any photos with convenience, so I will update this thread tmr if I manage to retrieve some photos. I have some pretty horrible ones at 42mm with maximum shake added into the mixture, will see if I can find them. Heh.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawryyxd
    Hi, I am an owner of the Olympus EP-3 since November (or was it August...) last year and have been using the 14-42mm kit lens since the start to today. First off, I have read about those basic photography stuff (aperture, etc) and I made the decision to get this portable EP-3 over the big badass DSLRs.

    After using it for quite some time, I feel as if the kit lens doesn't really have that '3d' effect when I take photos of my friends standing together. This effect is rather obvious on the likes of the 550d where the background behind the people is more out of focus, because of the 550d's larger sensor. In addition, the photos snapped by the kit lens(JPEG direct from camera, ISO200, F3.5,'vivid' colour tone set) looks quite dull in comparison with the photos from a 550d in the same lighting/outdoors. My EP-3 takes a rather dull photo in iAuto mode, and this gets slightly better when I use the Manual mode. I have used Adobe Lightroom on RAWs and I do understand that it's key to getting a better shot, but I would like to ask if its possible to get a better image through the camera itself?

    Is the key to getting a photo with 'better' colours through the lens? For example, I'd like to get the Panasonic 20mm F1.7 lens to use, but will it bring significantly better colours such that the picture is less dull? The Panasonic lens, when compared to my current kit lens, (I often shoot without zooming, so I think the 20mm is great) will it bring about a much better experience to justify the cost? I know this is very subjective but just want to find out. I'm not looking to instantaneously shoot like a pro, just interested in this lens but not sure if I will like it..
    Hmmm how are you drawing a comparison with a 550d? from the lcd screen or did you shoot with one?

    I have a 550d and a pen as well and pairing with native kit lenses for each, I think there is no doubt the pen produces much better JPEG photos OOC. Of course if the 550 is used with a L lens then it is different and i find more depth in the raw files too. But Oly jpeg engines are one of the best around.

    In fact, I shoot mostly on my pen for travelling with only a kit lens and I find the colours really good and accurate. Of course depth of field control is deep. Try not to shoot in manual since you just started and AV and TV is easier.

    Just shoot more! The key to a better photo and colour is not purely due to the lenses. Hunt around and you will find excellent photos and threads that are shot only with kit lens. The panny is a great lens but if you cant get 'good' photo and colour with your current setup, getting it wont give you what you want

    Happy shooting!

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    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    I think I may have made a mistake yesterday about the claims that the E-P3 outputs dull looking photos in general.. I didn't recall correctly, but after checking out my photos this morning, I think the colour is not bad at all. I managed to find the one I had the best bokeh in, and one of a close-up. But in the case of the third picture, I can't really get a well-focused, sharp picture throughout this event for portraits.(The second image on top is from the same event- AFA2011) Is it because of the lighting? To add on, what's an L lens?





    Thus, will I be able to see improvements should I change to the panny, with my current progress in photography?

    Links to full sized images:
    dropbox.com/s/vhxvtt0gkobu2ih/P1122505.JPG
    dropbox.com/s/7a20m1a6l33lffl/PB131690.JPG
    dropbox.com/s/h0xug69gf3jl5va/PB131709.JPG
    Last edited by lawryyxd; 16th June 2012 at 10:52 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    1. In the 3rd picture, it looks like you focused on the lady in the back with the pink thing in her hair.
    2. L lens is just Canon's terms for their high-end lenses. What the poster was referring to was the larger lens aperture compared to the kit lens, though realistically that has NOTHING to do with "L" as there are many large-aperture lenses that are not labeled as an L lens. Many canon users just like to think that using an L lens means better pictures.
    3. You need to see if you can set your focus point to a single spot, and then focus on the eyes.
    4. The panasonic is only a 20mm lens, and thus blurring out the background sufficiently (even at 1.7 aperture) will be harder. If you are into portraiture I would look at something with a higher focal length, as focal length influences depth of field as well.
    Alpha

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    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    1. In the 3rd picture, it looks like you focused on the lady in the back with the pink thing in her hair.
    2. L lens is just Canon's terms for their high-end lenses. What the poster was referring to was the larger lens aperture compared to the kit lens, though realistically that has NOTHING to do with "L" as there are many large-aperture lenses that are not labeled as an L lens. Many canon users just like to think that using an L lens means better pictures.
    3. You need to see if you can set your focus point to a single spot, and then focus on the eyes.
    4. The panasonic is only a 20mm lens, and thus blurring out the background sufficiently (even at 1.7 aperture) will be harder. If you are into portraiture I would look at something with a higher focal length, as focal length influences depth of field as well.
    (I had rearranged the photos accidentally due to resizing) but I know which photo you're talking about Thanks I totally didn't notice the pink thing!! It seems I have the focus wrong in many of my photos cause I didn't focus on the eyes.
    Thanks for the 'L lens' description!
    However, if I use a lens with a higher focal length, does it mean I have to stand further away since the people will appear more 'zoomed in'? I am worried that space is a problem for me at times and I already have trouble sometimes while at 14mm on my kit lens, so I'm afraid a 45mm f1.8 might not be as suitable for me.. What are your views? I am aware the 45mm is better but I cannot imagine shooting at 42mm on my kit lens for long use since I will be taking one step at a time and just purchasing one lens in maybe 1 year or so..

  10. #10

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    Very well said as explained above.

    And my bad never say properly.. was referring to the slightly better colours of L (assuming compared to a kit lens and OOC jpeg and little adjustments). not referring to larger ap lenses since there are so many excellent 3rd party ones and much more affordable.

    And as Rashkae said, try a single point af for better accuracy and control. The ep3 AF is lightning quick but ahem not all the time accurate if you rely on face detect etc.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    Quote Originally Posted by lawryyxd View Post
    However, if I use a lens with a higher focal length, does it mean I have to stand further away since the people will appear more 'zoomed in'? I am worried that space is a problem for me at times and I already have trouble sometimes while at 14mm on my kit lens, so I'm afraid a 45mm f1.8 might not be as suitable for me.. What are your views?
    Well, you can't have it all. You need to decide if you want better subject isolation via depth of field control, or convenience.

    Why not try to rent the 20mm f/1.7 first?
    Alpha

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    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Well, you can't have it all. You need to decide if you want better subject isolation via depth of field control, or convenience.

    Why not try to rent the 20mm f/1.7 first?
    Do you have any suggestions where I could rent it from? Checked google there is this 'camera rental centre' @clarke quay.. any other recommendations?
    Last edited by lawryyxd; 16th June 2012 at 12:41 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    Quote Originally Posted by lawryyxd View Post
    I think I may have made a mistake yesterday about the claims that the E-P3 outputs dull looking photos in general.. I didn't recall correctly, but after checking out my photos this morning, I think the colour is not bad at all. I managed to find the one I had the best bokeh in, and one of a close-up. But in the case of the third picture, I can't really get a well-focused, sharp picture throughout this event for portraits.(The second image on top is from the same event- AFA2011) Is it because of the lighting? To add on, what's an L lens?





    Thus, will I be able to see improvements should I change to the panny, with my current progress in photography?

    Links to full sized images:
    dropbox.com/s/vhxvtt0gkobu2ih/P1122505.JPG
    dropbox.com/s/7a20m1a6l33lffl/PB131690.JPG
    dropbox.com/s/h0xug69gf3jl5va/PB131709.JPG
    Lighting affects your pictures. What your sensor does? Is to capture light. So if your light is poor, expect poor pictures. That is why your pictures in AFA11 doesn't look "too great" at first glance, because I see that you are snapping with ambient light, or "available light". And in events like AFA where everything is cramped, a lot of people moving here and there, you will see undesirable shadows everywhere. Ambient light is already poor, then you have other people's shadows falling on your subject here and there.

    Refer to #2, did you realize that the 2 cosplayer's hat is casting shadow on their face? I guess that's a main reason that makes you feel that the picture is boring. And I think your shutter speed is below 1/50s at first glace, and when checked against your EXIF info (EXIF is like fingerprint - it tells me the settings your camera has used when shooting this picture), your shutter speed is only 1/25s! At such slow speed, any kind of movement, will cause you motion blur. That could also be the reason why you think that the cosplayers doesn't look sharp. Go through the EXIF info of all your pics shot in AFA11. My bet is the shutter speed is all below 1/50s, causing blur or not-so-sharp pictures.

    If you want to know what's a L lens, it's Canon's top line of lens, boasting superior build and optical quality. It does give you better quality pictures when shot under the same conditions and settings by the same photographer, although sometimes it is not obvious. But in your case, I think I've pointed out sufficient evidence that it is a "user problem". Now you know where your problem lies - poor lighting and inappropriate settings. To counter this, you may need a flash to fill out the shadows and give a better lighting. Flash photography is another big chapter for you to explore about, info is available here at Newbie's Corner. Similarly, what shutter speed to use, what aperture is appropriate and it's relation to ISO is another thing you may wish to read up more about. Then, you may start to get the pictures you want, with your kit lens. And then you can consider your upgrades and further purchases. Without knowing what's wrong, purchasing anything else is futile because you will get the same old issues again.

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    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    Quote Originally Posted by avsquare View Post
    Lighting affects your pictures. What your sensor does? Is to capture light. So if your light is poor, expect poor pictures. That is why your pictures in AFA11 doesn't look "too great" at first glance, because I see that you are snapping with ambient light, or "available light". And in events like AFA where everything is cramped, a lot of people moving here and there, you will see undesirable shadows everywhere. Ambient light is already poor, then you have other people's shadows falling on your subject here and there.

    Refer to #2, did you realize that the 2 cosplayer's hat is casting shadow on their face? I guess that's a main reason that makes you feel that the picture is boring. And I think your shutter speed is below 1/50s at first glace, and when checked against your EXIF info (EXIF is like fingerprint - it tells me the settings your camera has used when shooting this picture), your shutter speed is only 1/25s! At such slow speed, any kind of movement, will cause you motion blur. That could also be the reason why you think that the cosplayers doesn't look sharp. Go through the EXIF info of all your pics shot in AFA11. My bet is the shutter speed is all below 1/50s, causing blur or not-so-sharp pictures.

    If you want to know what's a L lens, it's Canon's top line of lens, boasting superior build and optical quality. It does give you better quality pictures when shot under the same conditions and settings by the same photographer, although sometimes it is not obvious. But in your case, I think I've pointed out sufficient evidence that it is a "user problem". Now you know where your problem lies - poor lighting and inappropriate settings. To counter this, you may need a flash to fill out the shadows and give a better lighting. Flash photography is another big chapter for you to explore about, info is available here at Newbie's Corner. Similarly, what shutter speed to use, what aperture is appropriate and it's relation to ISO is another thing you may wish to read up more about. Then, you may start to get the pictures you want, with your kit lens. And then you can consider your upgrades and further purchases. Without knowing what's wrong, purchasing anything else is futile because you will get the same old issues again.
    Ahh, I see what you mean.. If I make an increase in the shutter speed, the photos will get darker cause lesser light enters the sensor - thus I have to increase the ISO, is this the only way? I will go read up more about aperture and ISO first before I decide to make a purchase then. However, what I had originally wanted to achieve with the 20mm lens was to get a shallower DOF, which is technically what the low aperture does, right?

    *Yes, I have to say.. My photos then were averaging about 1/30s for shutter speed :P So that's why...... Hahahah.
    Last edited by lawryyxd; 16th June 2012 at 01:11 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    Quote Originally Posted by lawryyxd View Post
    However, what I had originally wanted to achieve with the 20mm lens was to get a shallower DOF, which is technically what the low aperture does, right?
    DOF is also controlled by focal length. Look up online DOF calculators to get a good idea.
    Alpha

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    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    thanks guys~

    will gather more experience before i decide to spring for a new lens ))

  17. #17

    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    Quote Originally Posted by lawryyxd View Post
    Ahh, I see what you mean.. If I make an increase in the shutter speed, the photos will get darker cause lesser light enters the sensor - thus I have to increase the ISO, is this the only way? I will go read up more about aperture and ISO first before I decide to make a purchase then. However, what I had originally wanted to achieve with the 20mm lens was to get a shallower DOF, which is technically what the low aperture does, right?

    *Yes, I have to say.. My photos then were averaging about 1/30s for shutter speed :P So that's why...... Hahahah.
    Yes, raising shutter speed to freeze motion means you are cutting the amount of light reaching the sensor. You can either raise your ISO (which I don't really suggest for EP-3), or you can open up your aperture to allowing in more light. And that's a good idea, since you want a shallower DOF. For this, you may want to check out some fast primes.. Preferably minimum f/2 or lower.

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    Default Re: Regarding Olympus EP3 & its lens^^

    Quote Originally Posted by avsquare View Post
    Yes, raising shutter speed to freeze motion means you are cutting the amount of light reaching the sensor. You can either raise your ISO (which I don't really suggest for EP-3), or you can open up your aperture to allowing in more light. And that's a good idea, since you want a shallower DOF. For this, you may want to check out some fast primes.. Preferably minimum f/2 or lower.
    I see.. I may be looking for lenses in the near future, do u have any recommendations other than the panasonic 20mm F1.7? I'm looking for lenses within this focal length/price range and this has a pretty good bokeh as well!

  19. #19

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    panasonic leica dg summilux 25/1.4 . Almost unbeatable in IQ and bokeh for m4/3 lenses.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjaminong88
    panasonic leica dg summilux 25/1.4 . Almost unbeatable in IQ and bokeh for m4/3 lenses.
    My bad didnt read your post properly.. The price range is much higher than the 20 1.7

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