iPhone 4S and Olympus Pen E-P3 update

I’ll start with the easy one – the iPhone 4S. I’m still generally happy with it, but I see that since my earlier post it has attracted quite a lot of negative comment regarding battery life. There seems no definite solution yet – some have suggested that the problem lies in the Location Services, and particularly time zone correction. I disabled most of those settings some time ago, and I have to say that battery life is still not impressive, though I’d still rate it as about tolerable (my first mobile phone would not hold charge for a day, even when only in standby – all things are relative!). A lot of apps are still being updated in fairly minor ways – it will be interesting to see if there are any substantial improvements after developers have had more time to work on it.

I have to say that, in terms of iOS 5 on the iPad goes,  although the built-in Photos app is marginally better, it is still not much use as far as my interest in being able to use an iPad as a very portable means of processing photos, avoiding the need for a laptop computer. Nor have any of the apps yet advanced to the point that I’d be comfortable using them and an iPad, not a laptop with Lightroom or Aperture, but I still live in hope that some of the iOS apps will be able to make this possible if iOS 5 allows it, which iOS 4 did not.

On to Olympus. Oh dear, my problems with the E-P3 locking up pale into insignificance compared with the alleged financial scandals surrounding the company at present. But I’m only going to comment on the E-P3! After a lot of experiments, I seemed to have finally tracked the problem with the camera refusing to respond to some controls to the touch screen – if this was enabled, I had the problem sometimes, but with it disabled the problem had not occurred. I was living with this, but then Olympus recently released a firmware update for the camera, and specifically referred to it solving a problem on the E-P3 when using the EVF and if the touch screen was pressed. This fitted in with my problems – I was not deliberately touching the screen, but it is very easy to do this in handling the camera. Updating the firmware proved a problem initially, as the Mac verso of the Olympus software failed to recognise the camera. Happily I was able to overcome this by running the Windows software instead. A friend tells me he has had the same problem. What a good thing we both have Windows machines as well as Macs! Since installing the update I’ve re-enabled the touch screen, but I’ve not used the camera enough to be able to say if the problem is now solved. The only other issue I’ve had with the E-P3 was that the EVF fell off one day during a project – fortunately I heard it fall, and it was undamaged, but accessory EVFs really should have some kind of lock to hold them in place (this applies to the Panasonic EVF for the GF series too).

I still love the 12mm Olympus lens – great performance optically, but also mechanically, with the positive focussing system. The new 45mm lens is quite tempting too, but it doesn’t actually add to the range of focal length, and it does not have the positive focussing of the 12mm, though it is a fast lens, and moderately priced. It is o my wish list, but not very high up that list.

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About Mike Hessey

I'm a BOF (Boring Old Fellow) and MOS (Miserable Old Soul) whose main interests are photography, cycling, walking and computers. Regrettably recent problems with my legs, back and heart have reduced the cycling and walking.
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