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Olympus E-3 AutoFocus – WOW!

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I have the chance to try out Olympus E-3 professional DSLR today in DEODEO electronic superstore in Japan. That was a surprised actually, as my main purpose going there wasn’t for the E-3 (didn’t expect they have one) but Nikon D300.


I spent some time checking out Nikon D300, while finding subjects to focus…I spotted the E-3. After fiddling the D300 for an extra minute, I went to take up the E-3 and ON the power.

I remember Olympus users talking about E-3 having the world’s fastest Autofocus system…I thought that was just a marketing gimmick until I tried it out myself just now.

Just how fast is it?


I test the E-3 by focusing to close and then to far subjects, making sure that the camera and lens have to travel some “long” distance in order to get focus. The result is just amazing! The lens snap into focus almost instantly!

I can’t remember which lens was mounted on the E-3, if I am not mistaken, it should be the “12-60mm F2.8-4.0 SWD” (confirmed the lens, just update with photo). The lens extend quite long (almost double the original length after zoom to telephoto).

Bare in mind that I was just testing the D300 with AFS 18-200mm lens before trying out the E-3. If I can explain the speed of E-3 AF better…it is like the sound of Zop while D300 is like ZOoooop. Yes, the difference is very obvious. On the viewfinder of E-3, you can see the focus change is instantly. You don’t see from blur to sharp in progress…but instantly change!

To be honest, I must say I am impressed with the E-3 AF system. Definitely deserves the title of “among the world’s fastest AF” if not already the world’s fastest!

On the side note of E-3 physical built, the camera does feel good in hand with firm grip design. It is definitely a very big size camera as compared to the E-510 or other E-DSLR. There are lots of buttons at the back of the E-3…which I am not familiar of, so I didn’t try it out. The Flippable LCD screen actually makes the E-3 looks a bit cheap…discount the professional feel of the E-3 in my humble opinion. Of course, this is just my personal feel, in terms of practical use, it is definitely better than those fixed LCD. Yeah, imagine shooting from above your head or on the ground.

That’s all from my few minutes try of the E-3. If I got the time, I will go try it out again. By the way, I notice the price of E-3 is around RM1k cheaper than Nikon D300, so it is definitely a very good competitor to the Nikon system.