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Thread: Seems to be a good cheaper ebay seller of photographic gear in europe

  1. #1
    ajohnw's Avatar
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    Seems to be a good cheaper ebay seller of photographic gear in europe

    Having decided that there is some mileage in micro 4/3 I recently bought an Olympus E-P3 off ebay from Pixmania-fr. Much cheaper than others and importantly with the Oly 2 year guarantee. An official import unlike many others. The camera also arrived in 3 days from France. I've used them before so expected that sort of service. I've used an E-PL1 for some months now but the compact style controls are a bit of a pain with the view finder on. It's firmware is also obviously crippled in some areas that are rather useful.

    When I had the camera I noticed that the magnify view button didn't always seem to work. Thought it was me as the buttons are rather small. A few days ago however I had to press it dozens of times to get it to work. I contacted the seller and described the problem and suggested that a return and refund might be the best option. I've had the camera for over 2 weeks. Response was quick and included a pre paid UPS return sticker and they will refund. This is well past the usual 7 days to return for any reason period. I'm impressed but don't know how long the entire process will take. No mention of taking it to an Olympus service/repair centre either.

    Started to pack the camera away and played for it for a while to say goodbye and lo said button worked 100%. Life is never simple. My only thought is that it's much colder in the UK now than it was a few days ago so I'm warming it up via the tepid draft from a laptop.

    :-) What to do. Worse still I'm inclined to think that a Panasonic G3 is a much better thought out camera! What would you do?

    John

  2. #2
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Seems to be a good cheaper ebay seller of photographic gear in europe

    Hi John, I can't advise you on the best course of action but in my experience, intermittant issues almost always return and usually at the worst possible time.

  3. #3
    ajohnw's Avatar
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    Re: Seems to be a good cheaper ebay seller of photographic gear in europe

    Worse still the magnification button is now working 100%. I even warmed it up a little with a hair dryer. On the worst day it was in a shoulder bag and it was sunny. The camera was neither hot nor cold.

    Think I am going to request an exchange and leave the G3 question for another day.

    John

  4. #4
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: Seems to be a good cheaper ebay seller of photographic gear in europe

    Olympus E-P3:

    Good points
    Stylish retro pedigree
    1080i60 HD video
    Hugely customisable
    PASM modes for video

    Bad points
    Screen hard to see in bright light
    Touch screen can freeze conrols
    Art filters slow video frame rate
    -----------------------------------------

    Panasonic G3:

    Good points
    Great image quality which matches APS-C DSLRs.
    Articulated touch-screen with tap-focusing.
    HD video with quiet and fairly quick continuous AF.
    Very fast AF and face detection. Ideal portrait camera.

    Bad points
    Slow continuous shooting when continuous AF is enabled.
    Live view not available during continuous bursts above 3fps.
    Traditional DSLRs better for low light or fast action photography.
    No external microphone input or manual movie exposures

  5. #5
    ajohnw's Avatar
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    Re: Seems to be a good cheaper ebay seller of photographic gear in europe

    The ep-3 has tap focusing and shoot. I understand that a firmware upgrade has fixed the freezing. I use a viewfinder and have had problems with bright sunlight on any rear camera type screen i have owned. The AF and face recognition is extremely quick now with the newer lenses. Some feel more attention to accurate focus would be a better idea on both cameras. Wait for focus peaking - probably means slow it down and get it right when needed. Sony have added this recently.

    Olympus optics are generally better than Panasonics when these aren't corrected in the camera and in some cases are better anyway.

    The worst aspect of both cameras is the Panasonic sensors. Actually Olympus make a "better" job of managing dynamic range than Panasonic do but at the expense of compression at both ends. Neither will match better quality entry level aps cameras off the main makers.

    The tempting aspect for me on the G3 is the magnified view in the entire view. I have used manual focus compacts that work this way and it's not a bad way of getting round precision focusing problems on cameras that use an electronic view finder of any sort. Not sure that I want to entirely loose the Olympus's whole mag view even though it can be hard to use - without putting a Panasonic lens on the end. It's more or less fine with the Oly 14-42 but that's about it.

    The other good point about the Pen is it's jpg engine at high iso. Reviews rate it highly and I would agree. In some respects given a shot that is suitable for high iso it's often best to leave it to the camera manufacturers. This is a link to a 1600 iso shot straight out of the camera. It could be improved but at realistic sizes apart from some tone correction it's fine. :-) These guys had something of a tan anyway.

    http://www.23hq.com/ajohnw/photo/8104507/original

    If you right click the image the exif is available under properties. The shot expands to full size when clicked. Taken with an e-pl1 not an e-p3. I upgraded after playing with the e-pl1 for a while. In many ways it's not worth the money but has several useful things enabled in the firmware as well as better manual controls

    In a nutshell Pen's use their image stability when they focus the camera but wont let me use it when I do. Apart from that which for serious general photography is rather serious they aren't too bad. My general experiences with it suggest that I can put up with that problem but it would be an amazing little camera with out it.

    John

  6. #6

    Re: Seems to be a good cheaper ebay seller of photographic gear in europe

    I've got the Panasonic G2,and I've found it a great camera,with a great viewfinder,useful touchscreen,and nice to handle,solid,and well made,plus nice images.
    It's a bit bigger than some CSC,but still smaller than a typical DSLR,weighing,with the standard zoom lens,about the same as a DSLR body.
    I have also been trying the G3,but although slightly quicker to use,I have found it a bit too small,although some might prefer a smaller camera.
    They also tell us the G3 picture quality has been improved,but looking at images on my computer,at least below 800ISO,it's hard to see the difference,and they seem to be of equal high quality,so I think I'll keep my G2!
    I also had a Sony Nex5 before the G2,but found using the menue system awkward,and I missed a viewfinder,although the image quality was good,the Panasonics have quicker focussing systems.
    I have used Pixmania myself,and found them very good in the past.

  7. #7
    ajohnw's Avatar
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    Re: Seems to be a good cheaper ebay seller of photographic gear in europe

    Out of interest for others in the UK / Europe no problems at all. I mentioned return and refund initially and they basically said ok. Then explained why I had said that - concerned about having problems sorting things out - and asked for an exchange camera. The new camera arrived more or less in return postal times. They even booked me a pre paid ups postal sticker to return the camera and sent me a copy of the original invoice in case I had lost it. All together compared with many on ebay an enjoyable experience as I partly expected problems. They aren't the cheapest but don't seem to deal in strange imports without the usual guarantee. To include them in searches from the uk just check the include europe box. My Pen viewfinder came off them at a cost slightly over what they often fetch 2nd hand.

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