Olympus IS-3 DLX Point and Shoot

IS-3 DLX

Many would call the IS-3 DLX the Swiss Army Knife of cameras because it combines everything you need in one easy-to-use camera. Which means you will never have to fumble around changing lenses. The IS-3 DLX comes equipped with a 35mm-180mm zoom lens (constructed of extra-dispersion glass for superior quality), programmed ESP Auto Exposure, seven creative exposure modes, spot metering, and more. (Sorry, screwdriver and corkscrew not included).

User Reviews (29)

Showing 1-10 of 29  
johnyknox   Professional [Jul 25, 2009]
Strength:

Compact, easy to operate, takes a few different filters and quiet to use.

The 180 zoom and close up feature really get some fabulous pictures.

The flash is balanced.

Really affordable to purchase if you get a good used one like I managed too.

People cannot believe sometimes that the photos I show them have been taken on a compact zoom - surely not it has to be a Nikon or Canon big SLR

Weakness:

Wish somehow that it could be digitalised so I don't have to pay for film processing. Would like the zoom to go to 300 perhaps.

I have always had a soft spot for Olympus cameras, ever since my first one when I was a teenager, the Pen FT.

Having had Hasselblads and most of the upper end Nikons in my time as a photographer, I find the Olympus IS 3000 is the only one now that I'll take on holidays or work jobs.

I take it out because it is compact, fits onto a lightweight tripod, and takes incredibly sharp and well saturated with colour photographs of anything - it's amazing.

I do a lot of work in National Parks here in New Zealand , Australia and Fiji and I really need a camera like this in the back pack with a lightweight tripod.

I just wrap it up in a towel in a plastic bag with a small pouch for filters, films and some spare batteries and with that small package I can handle almost any situation - true

Customer Service

Never needed any, it is so reliable.

Similar Products Used: Nikon F5, Hasselblad ELM, Swiss army knife, Subaru 4WD car, ABU fishing reel, Martin D 28 Guitar, Yaesu SW radio, Citizen Eco drive watch, KTM mountain bike, Pentax binoculars - things that do eveything well.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mkg   Intermediate [Jan 16, 2009]
Strength:

Overall design, lens quality, robust construction, simple and intuitive controls, ergonomic "rightness", full auto to full manual options

Weakness:

A faster lens would be nice on rare occasions

I purchased this camera, my last film camera buy, in the late 90s. I have recently pulled it off the shelf as I return to film work along with digital.

This is a terrific camera. The lens, 35-180mm built-in zoom with ED elements, is phenomenal. While the 4.5 F-stop may seem minimal, it really poses no problem at all in actual use. There are numerous ways to shoot: fully automatic including focus, aperture or shutter priority and fully manual. In addition, the manual focus works easily for the rare occasions when it is require. Macro mode works well, also.

The viewfinder is bright and clear. The TTL meter works with near flawless precision - including in the provided spot metering mode. The built-in flash is superb, though a rather costly external flash may be used for greater control and affect.

The shape of the camera contributes to its overall ease of handling, fine balance and ability to shoot at slower shutter speeds than one would anticipate. It is an extremely well engineered device from every aspect.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
afshalders   Expert [Oct 19, 2005]
Strength:

Excellent metering, spot, full manual override, WONDERFUL flash, good grip and one of the finest lens on the world. Good finder and very easy operation.

Weakness:

Lens is a bit slow. Heavy.

This camera is one of the finest I ever had. This is a very advanced camera and the lens is fantastic (Zuiko ED, the finest)

Customer Service

After near 4000 pictures, still no service needed.

Similar Products Used: IS-10, IS-50
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
kalizzi   Intermediate [Dec 13, 2004]
Strength:

About everything, and no greater value for money.

Weakness:

Discontinued, hence less supported. Mind you, the current flagship of Olympus (IS-5/IS-5000) doesn't even come near this baby.

Olympus IS-3 DLX Excellent all-round camera, reliable, great quality pictures, despite the fact that the lens is fixed (ZLR). Has all you may need for 99% of shooting situations. With adapters you can have a zoom range between 28 and 300mm, an external flash of GN-40 will increase the range and battery life. Very accurate metering, 2fps motor drive, you name it. I have taken this camera through extensive travel and have come back with breathtaking photos. I have Olympus OM gear for when I am in the mood for serious shooting, but using my IS-3 does not mean in anyway that I am comprimising on quality. The typical SLR outfits are a wee bit more customizable, thats all. It is discontinued but S/H are always available on eBay. Feel comfortable about buying it S/H as this is a very sturdy and durable machine.

Similar Products Used: IS-5, IS-2, IS-10 Super.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
dpriest   Intermediate [Apr 16, 2004]
Strength:

Lens Auto Modes Built in Flash

Weakness:

Discontinued Plastic construction (don't drop it!) Accessories are expensive

This is a excellent camera for the money. It has been discontinued, but you can stil find examples that are used. The lens and shooting modes are excellent. You can use manual control if you desire. The built flash and redeye reduction also work well. If you are looking for a film camera that will make you look good as a photographer and is capable of handling 95% of the situations you will encounter in a one piece package, this is your camera. I don't care for the new IS-5 which is cheaper and has less capability. This is a excellent camera for travel and for the photographer that wants versatitly without buying a lot of lenses. I will enjoy this camera for a long time.

Customer Service

I haven't needed it!

Similar Products Used: Olympus IS-2, Canon SLR's
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
  Intermediate [Oct 27, 2002]
Strength:

Sharp lens. For better sharpness, we should rather use 6x7 because of the limitation of 35mm film size, not only the limitation of the lens. Lens aperture fast enough for such zoom range Zoom range suitable for me Fast enough AF for general use (Far better than IS-30!) beautiful look Points comfortably down when hang on the neck. can use G40 flash All P A S M mode available IVP flash, give exact flash no matter how the back ground is. It is one of the best flash other than Minolta ADI FP flash with G40 Power focus available, I use it as focus lock. Macro available

Weakness:

Can't attach more than one flash unit for TTL metering. I like the lens cap of IS-30. Internal flash can cause redeye. I hope that can create a longer flash beam to hold the internal in a higher position. Power focus move too fast. Can't use AA NiMH battery. LCD doesn't have light. No DOF preview. 1 point AF only.

Excellent all around camera. The lens alone worth the price. I don't like their introduction of IS-5000. It is no better than IS-3000 and can't attach G40. I upgraded this camera from IS-30 because IS-30 can't attach G40 and has slower AF, and IS-30 doesn't has so much manual override. I will use this as my main equipment.

Customer Service

Repaired IS-30 in the past. Service in Hong KOng is ok.

Similar Products Used: IS-300 (IS-30 in USA) Minolta Dynax 5, Pentax SFXn, Minolta XG-1, some P+S
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
rustedborg   Expert [May 13, 2002]
Strength:

Too many to name them all here. However, high-quality lens, professional-quality program modes and probably the highest-quality built-in flash of any camera are some big strengths

Weakness:

Not enough lens attachments, expensive accessories, bad choice of plastice construction (in some places).

I have used or owned a variety of professional-quality SLRs in the past six years (Nikon N90, Pentax PZ-1p and a bunch of lower-level pentax cameras). I can honestly say that 9 times out of 10 I could use my IS3-dlx for everything I use my N90 and PZ-1p for. Yes, the IS3 can''t accept a wide variety of lenses. But the built-in lens is a HIGH-quality 35-180mm which can even be used in macro mode, and you can buy attachments to make it a 28mm wide or 300mm tele. And the Olympus ED lenses are as good as any lens I''ve ever owned. I can count on one hand the number of times I''ve needed a lens wider than 28mm or longer than 300mm. The various program modes are also as good or better than any of the pro models I''ve used. Although the shutter and motordrive aren''t fast enough to be compared with other pro cameras, the camera is more than fast enough for most applications. And keep in mind, this baby was designed as a cross between a point-and-shoot and a SLR! While most serious photographers who use this camera should buy the G40 flash accessory, the built-in flash is more than powerful enough for most uses. In fact, the built-in flash is one of the best on the market. The only real complaint I have is that the accessories are expensive and that the camera could use a bit more metal in some places (namely, the tripod mount ... it has plastic threads!) Don''t get me wrong. I still use my Pentax PZ-1p for "serious" shooting, but I could probably use my IS3-dlx for almost everything I use the Pentax for.

Customer Service

Never needed (as long as you treat the camera like it''s made of plastic and not concrete and steel.

Similar Products Used: Nikon N90 Pentax PZ1-p
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
perry   Intermediate [Nov 04, 2001]
Strength:

lens quality, versatility, ease of use, portability, easy on the batteries, sheer fun to use

Weakness:

the body material could be a bit more scratch resistant, but overall nothing that really matters

The IS3 (in Holland the IS3000) is a real gem and is underestimated by many. The lens is really very-very good! A lot of really large blow-ups in my home and at work can be called proof of that. I''ve used the likes of canon-L and nikon ED lenses but the IS3000 is (almost) as good as the forementionent prime lenses in sheer quality. As for versatility: you really cant beat the IS3000, not even after almost 10 !!! years from introduction. Canon- and nikon- bodies have come and gone from 1980 onwards, but over the years (from 1994)the IS3000 has served me so well I am certain it will be with me for many years.

Customer Service

still no experience after 7 years of use (about 25 rolls a year for the IS3000)

Similar Products Used: canon EOS 620/600/5, nikon 801/90/90X, IS1000
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Biotar   Intermediate [Oct 30, 2001]
Strength:

The 35-180 lens is very sharp. Just as sharp as many of the old Zeiss lenses, at all focal lengths. The camera is very easy to load and has a plate that keeps the film flat to ensure better photo sharpness. The camera is easy to grip, allowing you to take pictures with one hand, if you are walking the dog, or in some such situation--although it is not light. The camera is very sturdy, although it seems to be of plastic construction. I''ve banged it around a lot and it is working fine. There is just about every mode imaginable, outside of actually being able to focus the camera manually.

Weakness:

You can''t focus it manually, making it not so ideal if you are doing close up work. The macro mode is limited, unless you get a screw on converter, which I don''t have. It ain''t light--although you can successfully take one handed shots, because it is easy to hold. Built in flash can result in red eye, if you do not use the red eye reduction mode, because of its location right above the lens. It would be great if this had the 28mm wide focal lenghth. You can get a converter--but I have other wide angles on other cameras, including the IS-20, so no need.

My wife has the IS-20 that we both like very much, so I decided to upgrade to the ED glass. This camera may be one of the best values on the market for a really great lens at a reasonable price. Check what people are paying for Canon and Nikon ED lenses. The autofocus on this camera works better in low light than the auto focus on the IS20. For someone who is an avid amateur photographer you can''t get much better quality in a low priced package.

Customer Service

Not used.

Similar Products Used: Olympus IS-20, many manual SLRs including the Minolta x700 and the Pentax ME Super as well as several old M42 mount cameras.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Al Tanaka   Expert [Aug 07, 2000]
Strength:

great ergonomics, tack sharp lens, very rare to spit out bad pictures.

Weakness:

quite bulky but i guess you have to consider the lens.

this camera amazes me with it's stunning picture quality. I like that you can be very creative with it's manual feature and when you need to fire off some quick shots, the auto with fuzzy logic is bang on. this is the cadillac of p&s. i can hand it over to my wife and say "go nuts!!".

if you can dig a little deeper into your pocket, the powerful g40 flash is great addition.

Similar Products Used: om 2n body with various zuiko lenses and many p&s cameras.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 29  

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