|The Olympus IS-3 DLX automatic camera is an easy to use camera. This Olympus film camera has a variable shutter speed of 1/2000-15 sec, which gives you the ability take the right shots in a wide variety of situations. With the choice of different exposure modes, this automatic mode camera also gives you total control over your pictures. With dimensions of 6.8 cm x 3.7 cm x 4.8 cm, this Olympus film camera weighs a mere 33.92 oz. This automatic mode camera also boasts of an impressive array of accessories such as a tele-converter, an external flash, etc., that let you further enhance the camera's capabilities. The Olympus IS-3 DLX camera takes sharp, high quality pictures.|
|Shutter Speed||15 to 1/2000 sec|
Average review score based on 9 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
This camera is unique: a fixed-lens, 4.7x zoom 35mm SLR which focuses through the lens, like an SLR. This is a "Point & Shoot" SLR, where you actually look through the lens to frame the shot. Everything is automatic--OR manual, if you choose. It was the most expensive, with the most features on any of the "IS series" cameras.
It has a razor-sharp telephoto lens system, 7 automatic exposure modes, as well as manual exposure options. It has autofocus as well, with a manual focus option. You may adjust for either aperture or shutter priority. It also has what is claimed to be the most powerful built-in flash of any camera ever produced.
The camera has "burst mode", 2 frames per second, and auto film advance and rewind. You may shoot a continuous 36 shots by just holding down the shutter bitton-esp. good for wildlife.
An accessory tele-extender lens is available on eBay, sometimes for less than $20, to give you capability from wide-angle to 8.7x. A wide-angle lens, which screws onto the fixed zoom lens is available as well, although more expensive. This was a camera which sold, discounted, for $666 in the middle '90's, with a sugg. retail of $885.
On eBay, this camera may usually be had for less than $60, sometimes for less than $30. This is a remarkable bargain, and is equivalent to a $3,000 digital SLR package with extra telephoto and wide-angle lenses. You might consider this a 'poor man's digital SLR outfit'. Especially good for people who don't take that many photos, and couldn't remotely justify putting that kind of money into a camera system. (You can buy a lot of film & processing by saving $2,950.)
Carrying a 34-ounce 4.7x telephoto IS-3 is also handier than lugging around the usual 35mm SLR with a bagful of lenses.
User groups on the Web mention that the autofocus function sometimes fails as the camera ages, and I found this to be true. (With a sample size of one.) You can use manual focus, but true focus is harder to see this way than with the adjustable-focus lens on a manual SLR. Naturally, the camera is not worth fixing if the autofocus is bad, or in fact, anything is bad.
Before bidding, I recommend you get a written statement from the seller that everything works (especially autofocus), and a "3 day DOA return" is allowable, and a good description of the condition of the lens system and body. (Scratches, dents, fungus on lens?) Ask if the camera was recently film-tested. Three days will give you time to run a roll of film through the camera and test the exposure system, autofocus, auto-film advance & rewind.
If a seller knows his camera works 100%, why should he disallow a return for a defective? I recommend this procedure for all eBay camera purchases. If the seller won't stand behind the camera, why buy a potential paperweight? There are too many sellers who will allow a return for a defective...
Especially avoid auctions where the seller says, up front: "I don't know anything about cameras. This was Uncle Fred's--and he died!" A sure sign of a yard-sale or junk-shop purchase. Avoid all "as-is" auctions as well.
The camera has a nice feel in the hands. The controls are easy to get to and manipulate. It takes a little practise learning where things are but it's a quick take up.
The zoom range is useful (medium wide to telephoto) and the quality of the images is very high. The ED glass and aspherical glass really do their jobs. I used some junk film for testing and was very impressed with sharpness of the zoom lense. The zoom also has two speeds, a fast and a fine tuning speed.
The winder is quick and the focus is not the fastest but it's respectable. I shoot a lot of nature and it's just right for that. I haven't shot any sports with it so I can't comment on that although I do think it will get me some nice shots at the horse races.
There is a little distortion but with software today it's easily fixed after scanning.
The flash is cool with double tubes for different distances from the subject.
The lense has a good macro feature that gets very sharp pictures. You can just about fill the frame with a large rose bloom. I'm trying to get my hands on one of the macro B converters made for this camera. That brings you even closer to the small subjects.
If you want to use a flash other than the custom flash units you will have to use a slave unit with it. The contact on the built in hot shoe is not set up for the generic flash.
It's larger than your average point and shoot but it still fits in my winter coat pockets. It takes 55mm filters and weighs a lot less than a comparable OM body and range of lenses.
G'day - I would have to say that this Olympus camera is as about as good as it gets for all round quality of build and for the many aspects of photography it can be used for.
I do a lot of work with mine out in the environment and sometimes indoors - it never lets me down.I do walking tours in New Zealand and take this camera along to record the trips; it has everything for that.
Using film, I call sometimes it 'deferred gratification' as I am quite happy to look at the pictures later, plus I know with this camera they are all razor sharp and perfectly colour saturated. On a good day I usually would take only about 6 photos anyway so 2 rolls of 36 lasts for ages. Then I have those put onto a disc and the results are fabulous.
Listening to the intricate mechanics of the camera whirling away as it instantly is taking shots, sounds like a Rolls Royce and Rolex combined - true.
Had I known about this camera sooner, I wouldn't have had a Nikon or a Hasselblad, though I did find those useful to learn photography on.
Now to know you can pick up one for a song is even more delightful and hopefully film will still be around to outlive me or the camera.
Out of 10 I give it 11
John in NZ
I have used these for years, The IS-3 is the Rolls Royce of cameras Lots of features are just a push of a menu button away, 180 zoom lens makes it a great portrait camera, A very large view finder makes it easy to see what the photo will look like. Good flash for indoor use. Lots of features make it go from point and shoot to fully manual. While others are fiddling with settings or lens changes , you will be getting great shots. I own 3 of them and have got the extra lens and dedicated optional flash. I've done everthing with these cameras and gotten many great photos.
The Olympus IS-3 is the top of the line of the IS series cameras that is very light with a 35-180mm zoom lens that can be bought now for $30 because most of
the world has gone digital. You may have to use ISO 400 film at the higher
end of the zoom range, but that is fine if you are not going above 11x14 in
prints. There is a lens attachment to go below 35mm if you like a wide angle,