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First impressions with E-3?

OK I'll have ago.
I have had my E3 for just over a week and it shipped with the Firmware for both the lens 12-60 and body at 1.1.

It is a camera that is not light, but as I am used to carrying NikonF4s or EOS1n RS around it is a light weight :)

Feels very solid. I have small hands but to not find the button layout to be an issues and it "just feels right" in my hands. Something the Nikon and Canon digital cameras did not and I tried alot at the Focus Exhibition last month.

It is quick to start up and when in Program mode, it is easy to use. The view finder is big and bright and it has loads of information across the bottom of it. It is repeated on the LCD screen to the right of the prism and that has more info on it.

Its menu system is big (been using a E20 for the last few years and that has a very simple menu system) and if your not used to the modern Olympus cameras, then I would read the manual, several times.

Once you are used to it the layout is quite good, but I am still learning about it.
The Super Info screen is great, but as you hit OK to access anything in, you can only move left or right using the arrow keys or command wheel. You canot go up and down with the arrow keys, which I find odd.

I love the picture quality out of it, and have been processing the RAW files using Olympus Studio Pro. Bit clunky to use but I do not find it that slow to load the images up, I run mine on OSX. My picture mode is set to Normal with everything, contrast, sharpening etc set to zero. Adjust everything in Studio.

Monotone, black and white, is nice and I like the way you can set filters in there, it gives a nice image but like all digital B&W lacks the punch you can get with traditional darkroom. Did not like the Sepia tint, just made everything brown.

I think that covers most of it, if I think of owt else I will edit this reply :)
I got the E3 as a baby camera for jobs and pleasure when my Canon mark 3 is overkill. The Canon is great but is a big camera that produces big files. The E3 has the same quality build shoots fast good autofocus and 1/2 the filesize. Many of my clients now shoot only for the web or up to full page max so this fits the bill for those jobs. So far I am very happy with the handling and colour.

I also got it because I shoot tethered in the studio. Is this the only camera that makes you buy it's software to tether a pro camera separately from the camera without which you can't shoot straight into the computer? It is $200 so similar in cost to Aperture and Lightroom and although functional much more limited and clunky as you are obliged to switch windows to do different things. If you adjust a Raw capture it does not save the settings nor can you cut and paste them to other images. VERY basic but once my trial runs out I will probably have to cough up since I have found no other way to tether with RAW files. If I shoot JPG however I can use the fabulous Eye-Fi SD card which send files wirelessly to your computer only $99. Even when importing tethered with Olympus Studio 2 I edit and organize my files with Aperture since it is infinitely more flexible.

All in all a great performer and great shots straight out of the camera which is what you want on smaller jobs.
'horses for courses'

They're different cameras for different jobs.
Make your mind up what you want a camera for and look up the stong and weak points of both on imagingresource.com or dpreview.com You'll not find any weak points of any consequence with the Nikon, it's about as good as they come...enough said?
First impression, I am afraid is negative, due to the awful Master 2 software. The camera arrived today with firmware 1.0 and having spent nearly an hour installing master 2, an upgrade to master 2, and then trying to upgrade the E3 firmware, I have given up. The PC does not recognise the camera, says that drivers are missing, but on the Oly site there seem to be no downloadable drivers for the E3.

I am REALLY pee'd off at the moment, and beginning to regret my purchase.

I have also heard that firmware 1.3 and 1.4 cause problems on some cameras and that 1.2 is the best bet to try first - assuming I can ever get master 2 to function properly! Any views?
Right! Day 2 and I have calmed down a bit now!

Just for reference if anyone else has this problem when attempting to upgrade the firmware, here is how I solved it (after extensive searching on the web).

1) When you load the Master 2 software, it may well prompt you to update to a newer version. Do this AND THEN REBOOT your PC (which it doesn't ask for).

2) The instructions on the Olympus website differ slightly from the instructions on the Master 2 program in as much as Olympus tells you to REMOVE THE MEMORY CARD(S) before upgrading the firmware.
Just sold mine (replaced with OM-D), but miss the comfort of a "man-size" camera and lens. Trying to use the 50-200 and 7-14 lenses on the OM-D is NOT working well (focus hunting, etc.), so I'll probably migrate to full micro lens kit.

FYI, My E-3 was purchased on its announcement day, used a good bit and only had one (focus motor) issue over the 4-year period.