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Has anyone used the Olympus E-PL3 underwater yet? The on land reviews seem good and there is now a housing available.

These cameras are said to offer some of the benefits of d-SLRs without the bulk and weight, or the price-tag.

I'm itching to get one. Does anyone have any experience/photos to share?
 

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Has anyone used the Olympus E-PL3 underwater yet? These cameras are said to offer some of the benefits of d-SLRs without the bulk and weight, or the price-tag.

I'm itching to get one. Does anyone have any experience/photos to share?
It's the cutest Pen I've tried so far :) Significantly smaller than the PL1 and 2, and the housing is smaller and lighter too. The biggest change over the previous model is a hike in focus speed - the previous models are quite perky with the new lenses too but the 3 is very quick. The standard housing port has been more tightly tailored to the kit lens so you can add 67mm wet lenses.

The Pens have all turned out decent results, which isn't too surprising as they are essentially SLRs without mirrors. The difference in results between models is minor as their sensors are very similar. I haven't put up examples yet, but have quite a few Pen pictures up from the 1 and 2.

Compared with my housed Olympus SLR, the smallest lightest system, the Pens are around half the size/weight - the PL3 smallest of all. Compared with a typical SLR they are tiny, probably less than a third of the size/weight. They also shoot half decent video which is handy.

So far I've been very impressed.

Rob
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Vivid Oceans and Secret Seas - marine photos
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Flash underwater?

How do you handle external flash(es) with this camera underwater, since it does not come with a built in flash? Do you need an extra thingy on the camera in order to fire off the flashes?
 

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It comes with a tiny slide-on TTL flash (and remote trigger) in the box. That's a designed in part of the underwater set-up... you can use it as the sole flash - there's a diffuser included with the PT housing, as the RC controller for full remote strobes (like the UFL-2), as an S-TTL trigger for Inon/Sea and Sea strobes or set power manually to trigger manual strobes. The housing has 2 moulded in fibre ports in the flash window.

Regards
Rob
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Vivid Oceans and Secret Seas - marine photos
Seasearch East - conservation underwater
Visit - Welcome to 1 Town Houses
 

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Is there any more feedback on these? I am itching to get one. I even phoned up cameras underwater credit card in hand. I was a bit put off by the fibre optic converter for my ike strobe costing £70 but in the grand scheme... Then the nice chap sad I'd really need a wide angle lens as 14mm on 4/3rds is not that wide. Apparently the Olympus one is much better than the other one, but it is £500.

I shoot my G10 in manual mode with manual strobe and I am not sure how a dial-less menus driven camera would fit in to my why of diving/photographing. I dive with a buddy so can't spend forever waiting for a shot but with manual mode I have a feel for how to adjust the aperture to account for different strobe-subjetc distances and on the G10 that's a nice dial to turn. On the E-PL3 I think it is a menu driven thing. Perhaps I should pop to dixons and have a play.
 

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I have a few more friends with these now and still think it strikes a great balance between cost, bulk and quality. It is a purely optical system for strobe triggering in the OEM housing but that's common to almost everything. The Ike system is proprietary so it'll always need some kind of converter if you move away from one of their housings. The housing has enough space to be drilled for one of the Heinrich Weikamp converter if you want to stay wired...

The wide lens: The 14mm end of the lens is the same (75 degree) field of view as your G10. The housing takes most 67mm wide lenses or you can buy extra ports and fit exotic stuff like fisheye lenses. If your G10 is wide enough no problem... you can fit wet macro lenses too as like most large sensor stuff it can't focus as close as compacts. I'd keep an eye on here and eBay for wet lenses - Inons are excellent.

You don't need to go into the menus to shoot manual but adjustment is button based. If you prod the top cursor button (+/- exposure) you can then use the up/down and left right buttons to step the shutter and aperture. I enjoyed using like that, with an old YS120 strobe, both parameters to hand. Unlike the G10 it can run TTL flash in manual mode (as well as manual or RC TTL) so you can swap to any of the modern Inon or YS strobes and they'll copy.

It's always best to go an have a play for yourself but few of the 'sales colleagues' with be any help as to how they work...

Rob
 

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It's always best to go an have a play for yourself but few of the 'sales colleagues' with be any help as to how they work...
It's a shame places like cameras underwater can't do try-dives with kit. I understand financially it would not work out for them but I'd gladly play for a chance to dive with a camera before buying it. Actually it owuld be quite noce to play with it in the housing in the dry.
 

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It's a shame places like cameras underwater can't do try-dives with kit. I understand financially it would not work out for them but I'd gladly play for a chance to dive with a camera before buying it. Actually it owuld be quite noce to play with it in the housing in the dry.
You can do try dives with me :) I have EPL3, OMD EM5 and EPL1s plus a range of strobes, lenses and ports. :) Have a look at my website if you want to know what it's capable of or look for my other posts on the subject.
 

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You can do try dives with me :) I have EPL3, OMD EM5 and EPL1s plus a range of strobes, lenses and ports. :) Have a look at my website if you want to know what it's capable of or look for my other posts on the subject.
I'm still working on SWMBO. Not sure I'll manage a week but might be able to do 4 or 5 days over a weekend if that fits in with flights and your schedule. I guess I should look at flight times to see how long I'd be clear of the water before flying the next day. I'd rather have a play and see if I get on with it and talk though the options for things like a second strobe and macros lenses, wide angle etc than spend a fortune and decide I don't like it.
 

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Dive tart, just can't say no :-)
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I'm still working on SWMBO. Not sure I'll manage a week but might be able to do 4 or 5 days over a weekend if that fits in with flights and your schedule. I guess I should look at flight times to see how long I'd be clear of the water before flying the next day. I'd rather have a play and see if I get on with it and talk though the options for things like a second strobe and macros lenses, wide angle etc than spend a fortune and decide I don't like it.
Depending on when you want to come that could work well, not in september though, I haven't got a single day free that month. :)
 

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I have the E-PL3, standard Olympus housing, the 9-18m lens and the Zen port

I cannot fault it in anyway, its a super bit of kit!!!!!
Get great results from it (from my perspective!) I've got a couple of INON z240 for it, but too be honest they are more than I need, so need to grow into them, but on a clear day, the camera on its on is quick to focus, takes beautiful video (HD1080!!!) and has if you need as many options as you need.

You won't regret it - perhaps now, if I was buying again, I would also look at the new EM5 - but no idea on price difference, but only because its the latest and greatest.

Any questions and if you want some sample photos - drop me a line/email/pm :)

Rich
 

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Dive tart, just can't say no :-)
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You won't regret it - perhaps now, if I was buying again, I would also look at the new EM5 - but no idea on price difference, but only because its the latest and greatest.
Rich
Rich the OMD is a superb bit of kit and has features that I doubt will make the Pen range for a while (5 axis IS and Live Bulb for example) it also has a better sensor, but the cost with housing, ports and camera and kit lens will be more than double the EPL3 price at current prices.
 

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Reckon Rich is spot on, echoes the my thoughts that the EPL3 is a Goldilocks package - just right :)

The OM-D EM-5 is an awesome bit of kit and will do some things better but you'd have to decide whether the extra cost is worth it - the camera alone costs more than the PL3 and housing and so does the housing... thus lovely but around 2.5x the cost. It's pitched against SLRs and the cost reflects that.

Rob
 

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I have the E-PL3, standard Olympus housing, the 9-18m lens and the Zen port

I cannot fault it in anyway, its a super bit of kit!!!!!
Get great results from it (from my perspective!) I've got a couple of INON z240 for it, but too be honest they are more than I need, so need to grow into them, but on a clear day, the camera on its on is quick to focus, takes beautiful video (HD1080!!!) and has if you need as many options as you need.

You won't regret it - perhaps now, if I was buying again, I would also look at the new EM5 - but no idea on price difference, but only because its the latest and greatest.

Any questions and if you want some sample photos - drop me a line/email/pm :)

Rich
I am looking at the E-PL3, but first noticed the EM5, but with the camera and basic lens coming in at almost £1,200 and the cheapest housing (I think) being another £1,000. I put it down very, very quickly :eek:
 

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What wide angle adaptors do folks use? I like the idea of a wide angle adaptor rather than a wider lens and a separate lens port as I'm thinking it will let me change form wide to normal under water. The cameras underwater chap recommended the Olympus one at £550 but it weighs over a kg. The Inon UWL-H100 is 1/3 the weight and costs £415. And there is also the Epoque DCL-30 at £350. Or I guess I could get the camera now and buy a wide angle adaptor once I'm happy with the camera functions.
 

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Personally I am going to go for the Inon, I like their lenses, it's lighter and can most likely be used with other set-ups.

I like the flexibility of wet lenses and I don't fancy messing around with ports just yet as they seem to be a second point of failure to me.


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I am looking at the E-PL3, but first noticed the EM5, but with the camera and basic lens coming in at almost £1,200 and the cheapest housing (I think) being another £1,000. I put it down very, very quickly :eek:
I know a very famous tog who knocked my EM5 off the table onto a stone floor (I'd had it 3 days at that point).... it survived without a scratch, they are very tough, TF!
 

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I have a UWL 100 with the 165 adapter which works very well (currently on loan to someone else) TBH I prefer fixed lenses and ports rather than wet ones but that's my preference.
Any particular reason why? I've not used either so I'm just guessing I'd prefer wet lenses. Top side on my slr I'd never consider additional lenses that go on like filters I'd rather just buy the right lenses. But underwater its not so easy to change lenses. I guess I don't want to do a wreck dive with a wide angle and then see something that would make a great macro shot. Accepting that by trying to cover more lenses I'm making compromises on quality (a bit like an 18-300 slr lens)

I know a very famous tog who knocked my EM5 off the table onto a stone floor (I'd had it 3 days at that point).... it survived without a scratch, they are very tough, TF!
How much Olympus kit have you got?? one of everything? :)
 
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