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Thread: E-3 or A700?

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    E-3 or A700?

    Ok, guys. I have a chance to start a new system for portraits and candids. Let's hear the pluses and minuses for the E-3 and the A700. Also, lens suggestions. Thanks.

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: E-3 or A700?

    I think that Jono is probably the only person among us who has both the E3 and A700. He can hopefully chime in with real world experience.
    I just purchased the E3 for landscape and wildlife shooting. I don't think that I would choose it as a portrait specific tool because of the large DOF that 4/3 offers. I like to have narrow DOF as an option when shooting portraits, even though it is not always used.

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    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: E-3 or A700?

    I have an E3, I wouldnt consider it the best for low light performance, I have never published a shot over 1000iso and then that was a single frame, but i have many at 800iso and below with a working range for interiors of 320-800iso.

    Shooting for the same DoF is entirely another matter, where in that case the noise is going to be roughly the same, but E system has a disposition toward deeper DoF, there being fewer fast lenses, limited to Zuiko 50/2, 14-35/2, 30-100/2 150/2, Leica D 25/1.4, Sigma 50/1.4, 24/1.8, 30/1.4.

    If those aperture and iso limitations suit your shooting regime then the E system will please you, I think most people buy Olympus for the jpeg performance and lenses where there are some very interesting options, and Leica D system are no different here.

    E3 is one of the few cameras with articulated LiveView, the Sony doesnt have LiveView at all if that matters.

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    Re: E-3 or A700?

    Hi There
    I have an E3, and use it mostly for travel photography (where the weather sealing and small lenses are a real bonus). Cindy is right - if you are looking for very narrow depth of field and lovely bokeh, then this might not be the right answer, The fast f2 zooms do have a good bokeh, but they're heavy and expensive. It's low noise characteristics aren't wonderful (they aren't awful either), which might be an issue. The flip out LCD and live view is great on a tripod for product shots, but it's a bit slow and clattery for portraits.

    I don't have an A700 - I have the A900, which, being full frame is rather a different beast. However, I do know a bit about the A700, it seems to be a great camera, and there are a number of good lenses available for the cropped sensor - the 16-80 zoom seems popular (but it's designed for aps-c sensors, so I haven't tried it). The Sony/Zeiss 24-70 f2.8 is also a lovely lens (although it's big and expensive). I have it on the A900, where it's a little short for portraits, although it would be a more useful 36-105 on the A700. The A700 will also have more DOF than the full frame cameras, but less than the E3. There is also the lovely sony - zeiss 85mm f1.4 (I want one!). I understand that the handling and menus on the A700 and A900 are very similar - which means that they are straightforward and nice to use.

    Hey - these are both great cameras with lovely colour, the A700 has better high ISO (especially with the new version 4 firmware), but probably the E3 has a better lens selection.

    I can only suggest you find a friendly dealer, and go there armed with CF cards and try them both out.

    Just this guy you know

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    alfred_uy
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    Re: E-3 or A700?

    Hi,
    For portraits, DOF control is very important. Both the E3 and A700 has greater DOF ( not much difference between the two ) than a 36 x 24 DSLR and that could be a disadvantage sometimes.
    I would consider the D700 and the 105 DC for ultimate control of DOF and best noise characteristics at high ISO.
    Regards,
    Alfred

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    Re: E-3 or A700?

    Quote Originally Posted by alfred_uy View Post
    Hi,
    For portraits, DOF control is very important. Both the E3 and A700 has greater DOF ( not much difference between the two ) than a 36 x 24 DSLR and that could be a disadvantage sometimes.
    I would consider the D700 and the 105 DC for ultimate control of DOF and best noise characteristics at high ISO.
    Regards,
    Alfred
    Hi Alfred
    depends how you do your portraits I guess (very narrow dof is not always good for candids where you are likely to miss the eyes). I'd agree with you about that combination, but of course there are other ff options.
    Of course, you could also use the Sony A900 with the 135mm f2.8 STF or the zeiss 85 f1.4 if small depth of field is what you need.

    Just this guy you know

  7. #7
    alfred_uy
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    Re: E-3 or A700?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Alfred
    depends how you do your portraits I guess (very narrow dof is not always good for candids where you are likely to miss the eyes). I'd agree with you about that combination, but of course there are other ff options.
    Of course, you could also use the Sony A900 with the 135mm f2.8 STF or the zeiss 85 f1.4 if small depth of field is what you need.
    Hi Jono,
    I agree that shallow DOF can at times be a disadvantage too ( sharp eyes but blurred ears and the like ) but the option to use a smaller aperture is always there with the 36 x 24. Using a larger aperture is not always available with 4/3 or APS-C unless you use very expensive fast lenses.
    Out of topic: Which has the better color between the Sony and Oly?
    Best regards,
    Alfred

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