Finally this week, after selling one of my EX1s, I bought a production model EX3. The UK price really sucks compares to the USA and Japan price, but that’s another topic. Why such a huge price difference?!
The last time I properly shot with an EX3 was when I reviewed the pre-production model back in April and I shot my short “3 days in April”.
So, how do I feel about it 4 months later? Is it worth the money? Is it worth upgrading to?Well yes and no. I am or was in the fortunate position of owning two EX1s. So I sold one to get an EX3 but if I owned just 1 EX1 would I have upgraded to an EX3? Possibly….It is just the EX1 is still such a great camera but most importantly, small. The EX3 is no longer a small camera, it is a medium camera. It attracts more attention and more importantly doesn’t fit into any of my “hand bagagge” sized bags. So when I fly I will have to carry it loose and put the bag that fits it into the hold. It does attract more attention, the big viewfinder (the part that stops it fitting into any of my bags) juts out and makes the camera look bigger than it actually is. I really wish they could have made the viewfinder removable for putting into smaller bags making it easier to fly. It couldn’t have been that hard to have done?
The flimsy SXS cover is better than the pre model but still not a patch on the solid EX1 version. The other things I didn’t like about the EX3 haven’t been changed. The shutter switch is still in an awful position and some other switches could have done with being improved upon.
But, there is still so much about the EX3 that is better than the EX1. Having a proper viewfinder, even this chunky thing is such a step up. The ergonomics have been improved drastically. The over and under crank knob is a joy. Although I need a way to go from 1080p to 720p quicker than going to the last thing in the last menu. I want to be able to assign it to a switch. Of course the main plus is the interchangeable lenses. For my test filming, well as soon as I got the camera really, I took off the nice EX1 Fujinon lens that comes with it and put on my 1/2″ Canon HD 20 X lens. What a difference it makes, having that extra length means getting a shallow DOF is achievable, nowhere near as easily as with a Letus or the like but it is possible.
When you lose the stock lens you also lose expanded focus of course and steady shot. Now steady shot really is a loss as even with the redesign shoulder rest it is not as rock steady as a full size camera like my F350. The proper peaking control on the viewfinder makes focusing a doddle, even with the loss of expanded focus which I really do miss and will miss even more when the Letus relay comes out for the Letus Ultimate and Extreme.
It is a really great camera and I doubt I will use my F350 much now. Would I recommend buying this over the EX1? Yes for most people, no if you need a smaller camera. The price difference is quite large and the picture quality is identical.
I am still tempted to use my EX1 for my 35mm adaptor stuff and keep the EX3 for shooting with the Canon lens. The EX1 and Ultimate is about the same length as the EX3 and Canon. I can put it in my flight bag and carry it as hand luggage. A big plus for me. But the viewfinder, cranking knob and the interchangeable lenses mean this is my new A camera and will most likely go everywhere with me. It will just be a bit long until Letus bring out their relay!
To test the camera with the Canon I did some filming in Windsor, apart from getting almost arrested by the police for filming on the Queen’s grounds at Windsor Castle it went well.
You can see the results here