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Olympus PEN-EP3 Announced

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Amin Sabet, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)

    Screenshot of the E-P3 page from OlympusAmerica.com


    Olympus® Launches The PEN® E-P3: Are You PEN Ready?

    Compact, All-Metal, Premium, Classic-Style Camera Delivers Incredible Power, Amazing Image Quality with Record-Breaking Autofocus and Touch Display

    CENTER VALLEY, Pa., June 30, 2011 -- Today Olympus announces a new flagship PEN camera designed for the hobbyist or advanced photographer who desires superior image quality, FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology)Autofocus Tracking System and total creative control in a body portable enough to travel the world: the PEN E-P3.

    The powerful Olympus PEN® E-P3 is the ultimate PEN camera for visual expression, delivering professional image quality, the World’s Fastest AF** speed, a huge selection of built-in creative features and an easy-to-use interface, all elegantly packaged in a classic, all-metal body with full-advanced controls. Two new M. Zuiko prime lenses also join the family of six MICRO Four Thirds® lenses, to expand the broad options offered to imaging enthusiasts.
    Look what you can do with the new Olympus PEN E-P3. It blends high-quality still images expected of a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera with high-definition (HD) video, AC3 Dolby Digital audio (comparable to studio recordings) and In-Camera Creativity in an ultra-portable body. The PEN E-P3 has it all.

    Outstanding New Features:

    • 12.3 MP Live MOS Sensor -- Utilizing new Fine Detail Processing Technology for greater detail in the photograph, the sensor is optimized to maximize the performance of all M. Zuiko digital lenses in all shooting conditions;

    • TruePic VI Image Processor -- This new image engine, designed specifically for the Olympus PEN, features Real Color Technology for improved color reproduction and faster speeds;
    • FAST AF -- To meet the demand for focusing speed, Olympus has introduced the new FAST AF Tracking System. The FAST AF Tracking System features 35 focus points as well as new Tracking AF to ensure fast & accurate focus each and every time;
    • Low Light Performance -- AF Illuminator / Built In Flash / ISO to 12,800;
    • Fast Shutter Response -- Never miss a shot again with fast shutter response time of less than 60 milliseconds;
    • Full HD Movie -- Shoot up to 29 minutes of full 1080i HD video in either AVCHD or AVI formats; and
    • 3-inch 614,000 pixel OLED Touch screen -- Bright high-resolution screen features a newly-designed touch interface that provides an innovative touch display solution.
    “With a classic, compact, all-metal body reminiscentof the Olympus PEN E-P1, the PEN E-P3 offers an unprecedented level of portability to help you capture great images and videos on the go,” said Katie Roseman, senior product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “This camera has the creative flexibility to give you a true professional experience.”

    Superior Image Quality

    A large 12.3-megapixel Live MOS Image Sensor delivers the highest quality images. Take great photos in low-light environments thanks to the camera’s built-in flash, AF illuminator and ISO up to 12,800. To improve color and speed, the Olympus PEN E-P3 features the new TruePic VI Image Processing Engine. Photos and HD videos taken with the PEN E-P3 will be crisp and clear thanks to three modes of in-body image stabilization. Image stabilization built into the camera’s body enables photographers to take advantage of this feature with every lens. The camera’s award-winning Supersonic Wave Filter™ patented Dust Reduction System vibrates to remove dust and other particles from the front of the image sensor, capturing it on an adhesive membrane every time the camera is turned on.

    Blazing Speed

    The Olympus PEN E-P3 uses a variety of features to achieve speed rivaling that of the professional Olympus E-5 DSLR. Focus and shoot faster with the camera’s new 12.3-megapixel Live MOS Image Sensor, TruePic VI Image Processor and new FAST AF Tracking System. The Olympus PEN E-P3 offers 35 separate focus points spread over nearly the entire sensor, enabling the camera to pin-point focus accuracy on small subjects wherever they appear in the frame. Selectable 3x3 groups within the 35-point area are especially effective when shooting active subjects. The camera’s fast shutter response time ensures that you will never miss the shot, even in the toughest shooting environments.
    Creative Freedom

    Olympus PEN series cameras put you in the director’s chair, offering a new level of freedom to the creative shooting experience and enabling instant experimentation, feedback and gratification. For the first time, the Olympus PEN E-P3 features full 1080 60i HD Video. Push the direct HD video button to instantly start filming your HD video with a choice between ACVHD and AVI formats with uncompressed CD-quality 16 bit/44.1kHz Linear PCM stereo recording or AC3 Dolby Digital Audio.

    In-camera features such as Art Filters, Multiple Exposure and In-Camera Editing enable photographers to capture the world as they see it. The Olympus PEN E-P3 features 10 Art Filters: Diorama, Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Cross Process, Gentle Sepia and Dramatic Tone. The camera also features nine Art Filter variations and enhancements, including new Pale & Light Color II, and five Art Filter Effects, including new Star Light and White Edge. The new Art Filter Bracketing function helps you develop multiple pictures utilizing different Art Filters with a single shot, making it possible to experiment with several different photographic effects at the same time. Photographers can use Art Filters in all shooting modes: shutter priority, aperture priority, manual and program auto modes for expanded control. All Art Filters can be applied to both still shots and Standard Definition or HD movies. Art Filters set the Olympus PEN E-P3‘s images and videos apart from the pack. Since they’re built into the camera, Art Filters can help you achieve dramatic results on the go without the need for a computer or editing software.

    The Olympus PEN E-P3 adds a new dimension to photographs by shooting dynamic 3D photos in any situation from macro to landscape. Recreate a sense of depth like that of the original scene. Simply select the 3D Photo Mode, release the shutter, and slowly pan until the camera automatically takes a second image from a slightly different perspective. The 3D data is processed in-camera resulting in an .MPO file, the universal industry 3D format for easy display on 3D televisions or laptops.

    Expanded Control Combined with Ease of Use

    Controlling the Olympus PEN E-P3 is simple with its next-generation, three-inch, touch-sensitive 614,000 pixel OLED display. Consuming much less energy than the traditional LCD, this display has a wide 176-degree angle of view and is bright enough to compose images even in harsh midday light. With the camera’s new intuitive graphic user interface and touchscreen, it is easy to capture a picture, change camera settings or navigate the Live Guide controls by simply touching the screen. Going through a day’s photos is easy by scrolling through and enlarging photos with the tap of a finger.
    The Olympus PEN E-P3’s built-in, pop-up flash makes it easy to illuminate low-light subjects, reduce red-eye and fill in dark areas. The camera is compatible with SDHC, SDXC and UHS-1 memory cards for greater speed and capacity and can be utilized with the Olympus PENPAL® or various Eye-Fi™ cards for instant wireless uploads to your favorite social or photo sharing websites.

    Olympus has added a rotational dial, sub-dial and two new function buttons to the back of the PEN E-P3 so photographers can make rapid changes to menu settings and maximize the camera’s performance. With a thumb, photographers can adjust aperture and exposure time in an instant without switching between menu selections. Hands-on shooters will appreciate the two customizable buttons they can assign to favorite functions. Photographers will appreciate how the camera’s mode dial enables access to basic settings.

    The Level Gauge in the Olympus PEN E-P3 is a tremendous benefit for architectural photographers who must ensure that images of buildings are as centered and true as the walls of the buildings themselves. This feature detects the camera’s pitch and roll during Live View operation so photographers can make sure subjects appear where they should in the frame.

    New Lenses and Accessories for Every Shooting Challenge

    The Olympus PEN MICRO Four Thirds family features eight fully-compatible MICRO Four Thirds lenses. The legendary Olympus Zuiko® Digital Four Thirds range of 27 high-quality lenses, OM-series and other manufacturers’ lenses can be attached to Olympus PEN cameras with optional adapters. The Olympus PEN E-P3 comes packaged with the Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) ED m14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 zoom lens (28mm-84mm equivalent) or the m17mm f2.8 (34mm equivalent). Today, Olympus is proud to announce several new Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) lenses with high-speed, near-silent autofocus during still shooting and high-definition (HD) video capture. Also, several new accessories will complement the PEN E-P3 perfectly and broaden the creative horizons for all PEN photographers.

    • M. Zuiko Digital ED 12m f2.0 lens (24mm equivalent): This high-speed, single-focal--length, wide-angle lens is ideal for shooting everything from dramatic landscapes in low-light conditions to hard-to-get, spontaneous street shots. It has a beautiful full-metal body and a snap ring that enables photographers to pan focus with a distance indicator.

    • M. Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f1.8 lens (90mm equivalent): This single focal length portrait lens has a beautiful shallow depth of field, which enables the background blurring effects not possible with the 14-42mm kit zoom lens. The MSC mechanism is great for tracking a moving child or pet, and provides a quick and silent focus mechanism for movies and still photography.

    • FL-300R Compact Flash: This flash functions as a bounce flash and wireless remote flash with enough power for nearly any shooting situation. Photographers can use it in tandem with the camera’s built in pop-up flash, or as an alternative to it. It is designed in silver to match the new PEN lineup.

    • MCG-2 Exchangeable Camera Grip: Available exclusively for the PEN E-P3, this comfortable grip enhances the grip area of the camera to fit any photographer’s hands perfectly. It is available in black and beige.

    The Olympus PEN E-P3 kit will be available in stylish black, white and silver, starting in August 2011. It includes the PEN E-P3 body, lens, USB cable, video cable, BLS-1 Li-Ion battery pack, Li-Ion battery charger, shoulder strap, OLYMPUS [ib] software CD-ROM, manuals and registration card.
    U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations

    Olympus PEN E-P3 Body with MSC M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 Zoom Lens
    Estimated Street Price: $899.99

    Olympus PEN E-P3 Body with MSC M. Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f2.8 Prime Lens
    Estimated Street Price: $899.99


    Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.
    Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances people’s lives every day. These include:

    • Digital Cameras
    • Professional and Interchangeable Lens System Cameras
    • Related Underwater Products and Accessories
    • Digital and Microcassette Recorders
    • Digital Media
    • Binoculars
    Olympus Imaging America Inc. is responsible for sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For more information, visit: www.olympusamerica.com.

    *Specifications and design are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. All trademarks and registered trademarks listed herein are the property of their respective holders, in the US and/or other countries.

    ©2011 Olympus Imaging America Inc.

    ** As of June 30, 2011.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Additional views and colors:





  3. Photorx12

    Photorx12 Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    If I'm reading this correctly, it will sell for $900.00? It is pretty up there.
  4. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    I love the lines without the grip screwed into place !

    Time to start saving.
  5. rcferraris

    rcferraris Mu-43 Regular


    :eek:  fast AF and high iso. hope i win the lottery

    Giveaway please!

    does the black version use the same paint as on the E-p2?
  6. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    A screw on grip in different patterns. Just like an OM20!
  7. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Well.. shockingly i'm changing pre launch position and saying i'm disappointed with the EP3.

    That being said, I think i'm leaning towards getting the mini .. but will need to wait and see a bit more.

    The only reason for my disappointment.... poor Dynamic Range continues and Subpar ISO performance past 800..

    I was really really looking forward to the EP3 but the DR & ISO performance is a major let down when compared to the Fugi X100 and Sony NEX.

    Now the what to do.. geez. Was hoping it was going to be a slam dunk.
  8. Photorx12

    Photorx12 Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    I agree with you, I think i will be leaning towards the one with the flip screen. Not willing to pay close to what I paid for my X100 with what it's lacking.
  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I've flipped the other way. Based on the latest rumors I was expecting no change to the sensor and was feeling disappointed. After further reflection, I've come to the conclusion that the current sensor image quality is good enough, and I'm ready to order my E-P3 as soon as soon as one of my preferred sellers opens up for pre-orders.
  10. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    I was at dpreview looking at studio comparison of JPEGS at 800, 1600 and 3200 with the EPL1 (don't seem to have them for the EP2) and it's an improvement.. Just not as much of a leap as I had hoped for. I'll wait and see how it panes out once full RAW support is available for the ORF files from the EP3.

    I guess since I have the EP2... and was really just looking for an S95.. the mini works perfectly for that.

    Just looked at jpeg comparison from the PEN MINI (actually EP3 but should be the same) vs. S95 and the mini wins hands down at ISO 400 and above. Seems like Olympus may have the perfect P&S on their hands ...
  11. rcferraris

    rcferraris Mu-43 Regular

    saw some jpg shots on another site of the E-P3 and i am a bit disappointed. iso 6400 looks as good as the iso6400 of the E-PL2. I think...

    I just hope they make a firmware update for the olympus E-P2 for a faster AF speed. since it is the only major problem i have with the E-P2.
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    World's Fastest AF (As of June 30, 2011)...

    That means faster than any other DSLR, faster than the Olympus E-5 but also the fastest Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Samsung, Fuji, Leica, or Sigma offerings. I'd love to try that out!! :D  I don't see any mention of "with such and such lenses", only "as of June 30, 2011".

    I know that many here are thinking that this is still far short of the "pro PEN" you've been hoping for... but realistically, what is the biggest argument used for Micro Four-Thirds being insufficient for pro use? Slower AF speed than PDAF (not that I personally would ever consider AF speed to be a necessary proponent of a pro camera, as a true professional camera should be more adept at manual control than auto). Some would also say high-ISO performance. Well besides little nit-picky differences, what's really there to hold people back from downsizing a bulky pro DSLR system to Micro Four-Thirds now, besides personal inhibitions? Not saying that Micro Four-Thirds cameras or :43: design is for everyone by a long shot - just saying that it's now as viable an option as any equivalent DSLR for practically everyone, no matter how stringent their requirements... assuming the claims of "World's fastest" are correct. But I know Olympus isn't going to globally announce a claim like that if they can't back it. ;)  People can now choose between DSLRs and CSCs based on design preferences, rather than performance preferences.

    Also... I see the 45mm f/1.8 actually made it into the lineup! Frickin' sweet.... I just might start buying native lenses soon. I've only been using adapted lenses until now because none of the native Micro Four-Thirds lenses impressed me enough except the very expensive ones (
    ie, like the Voigtlander Nokton). An m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 at only $399? Now that's something I can definitely get into!!
  13. rcferraris

    rcferraris Mu-43 Regular


    [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Lo155fpIGE]YouTube - ‪Olympus E-P3 Pen Camera Hands-On Introduction‬‏[/ame]

    not my video
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    The E-P3 sure looks like a good camera. It's more or less what I had hope the E-P2 would be.

    From what I have read from early user reports the AF speed feels about the same as the latest Panasonics - in raw numbers it may be faster, but if it as fast as the G3 in real use then that's great. I did note in one place though that the term 'fastest' applied when comparing 3 x zooms...

    Anyway, it's a nice, fast camera. I wonder why they decided not to allow Fn 1 or 2 be assigned to ISO? Odd.

    If I were upgrading today I would, I think, still go for the G3 instead: but I will likely wait to see what shakes out with the new GF mentioned by Panasonic. The E-P3 offers no advantages over my GF1 for my uses that would justify an upgrade.

    Glad to see Olympus really pushing the platform: new cameras and new lenses. Cool.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    My pennies on this camera.

    I was close to buying an E-PL2 a few months ago. I loved the form factor but it also had good ergonomics, ie solid grip.

    As an E-P1 owner for quite some time, the two biggest issues are its ergonomics with larger lenses and its focusing. All the complaints about the LCD early on were never an issue for me.

    Now we get these three new cameras.

    E-PM1 - I have no interest for. Great camera for those starting out

    E-PL3 - This is what I would consider the tweener camera. The problem is it has no grip. What a shame. Hopefully there will be after market ones available, but larger ones, not the small dinky ones like they have for the XZ-1. This camera has everything I need. Flash, tiltable LCD, reasonable resolution, fast AF. No grip though. Honestly, the front looks slippery, especially with sweaty hands.

    This gets me to this camera.

    The only thing I'd have liked on this camera is the tiltable screen. The OLED might solve this, but I don't know. I love the looks, hate the ergonomics.

    I have been applauding Oly for the exchangeable grip, but cmon man! No grip or a little skinny grip? Thats it? Surely putting on a 150mm or 300mm lens won't balance with that small grip. Its great for the smaller lenses, but not for larger lenses, especially with larger lens. Form over function I suppose. Hopefully they will come out with a larger grip or after market grip. Since it screws on, the aftermarket grip would be easier to make and implement I think. Same as above though, I'd imagine without the grip installed, carrying it around during the summer heat the front would get slippery.

    So thats my thoughts. Yes, opinionated as they are, I've been itching for a while to purchase a new camera. I've been mostly happy with the E-P1, but slow focusing and ergonomics has been my biggest complaint. If I use the camera all day with just about any lens, my right hand starts to get really sore.

    While the G3 probably fits the bill, I don't like the added EVF hump it has, and of course, it probably doesn't focus as fast.

    On edit, the guy in the video says multiple options. Did I miss something in the press release? I just saw one option, the one they've been showing.
  16. sparkin

    sparkin Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2010
    Lexington, KY
    I hate to be a cynic, but this could quite easily have had a flip/tilt screen, and it wouldn't have taken much to include a viewfinder as well as the weedy flash. I guess feature restriction is a marketing ploy. I predict the e-p4 will have a flip/tilt screen OR a viewfinder, but not both. Perhaps a couple of release cycles from now it'll be a must have.
  17. sparkin

    sparkin Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2010
    Lexington, KY
    I expect there'll be boatloads of third party grips from China before long, and in every conceivable geometry.
  18. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Yeah, I agree with this sentament.

    Think of it this way though. If they offered everything in one camera, who'd buy the next one. The OLED might be good enough.
  19. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I would advise having a look at the G3 'in person'. You might be surprised at just how compact and well-designed it is. I would also say that it does seem that the E-P3 will focus faster than the G3, the latter is extremely fast. Unless the very fastest AF (and we are talking tiny fractions of a second here) is a key requirement, I don't think you would have an issue with the G3. Even with it's kit lens it was very, very fast in low light. If you have been able to use the E-P1 effectively, then you will be delighted with the AF on the G3.
  20. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I'm interested to know how the AF speed compares to my GH2 when focusing my Panasonic primes. I've already pre-ordered the E-P3 (and a 45/1.8) and am hoping for the best :smile:.
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