Olympus E-P3 !!!

by Enche Tjin on June 30, 2011

When Olympus PEN E-P1 released for the first time in June 2009 (around two years ago). People expect a lot from this camera. But EP-1 is underfeatured and underperformed. It does not has built-in flash,  does not has AF-assist light, and its auto focus speed is very slow (1-2 seconds).

The updates, from Olympus E-P2, E-PL1, E-PL2, E-P2 can only solve a bit of the problems. But I believe Olympus E-P3 will solve most of it. It takes a while for Olympus to solve it but it might worth the wait.


Olympus E-P3 specs and features:

  • 12 Megapixel four thirds live mos sensor
  • ISO sensitivity up to 12800 (but good up to ISO 800)
  • Full HD video recording
  • 3 inches 3:2 aspect ratio LCD monitor with OLED technology, 610k resolution
  • Fast auto focus when equipped with new optimized lenses
  • 35 Area focus
  • Touchscreen LCD
  • 3 fps continuous shooting speed
  • Max shutter speed 1/4000 second
  • Built-in image stabilization
  • Battery: 330 shots (CIPA standard)
  • Weight: 13 oz with battery and card
  • Dimension: 4.80in (W) x 2.72in (H) x 1.35in (D) (excluding protrusions)
  • Outer material: Metal with removable grip
  • 10 Art filters
  • Price: $899

I like Olympus by being conservative on image resolution / megapixel. forcing too many megapixel in a limited size sensor might cause image quality to drop in high ISO setting. Even Olympus boasts ISO range up to 12800, however, recent review by CNET shows that the image is only good up to ISO 800 and noise starts showing up in ISO 400.

Now that E-P3 has fast auto focus system, Olympus might be more desirable micro four thirds system brand compared to Panasonic, because Olympus has built-in stabilization. It also has better external electronic viewfinder than Panasonic.

However, Panasonic still has Panasonic GH2 and G3 which has built-in electronic viewfinder, grip and swivel LCD screen. Therefore, Olympus still has homework to do. Olympus still need to develop PEN system with higher spec for professionals and advanced photographers.

Along with E-P3, Olympus will also release new lenses

  • Olympus 12 mm f/2 –> landscape and street photography
  • Olympus 45 mm f/1.8 –> for portrait, candid
  • Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R –> revised kit lens for silent and fast AF when used with E-P3
  • Olympus 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R –> revised telephoto zoom

Olympus also announces two more PEN cameras:

Olympus E-PL3 : focuses on affordability
Olympus E-PM1 : focuses on portability

I think it is an excellent product and I think it will be great camera for traveling light and poise a challenge to other mirrorless format cameras.

link: Olympus America official site, M43 lens chart, Olympus E-P3 @ amazon.com

Image samples by Photography Blog shows noisy images past ISO 400 which is an unfortunate.

12 pages Olympus E-P3 review and image sample by Hummingbird

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