Olympus Pen EP-3

1572_1.jpegOlympus's latest Micro 4/3 cameras come in three flavors with new 12.3MP sensors, reengineered autofocus systems, 1080i video and up to ISO 12,800. The flashship EP-3 is predictable fare, but the E-PM1 is very small indeed. They're also releasing two new M. Zuiko Digital ED lenses for the mount: a 24mm-equivalent f2.0 model and a 90mm-equivalent f1.8 one. [Olympus]


  1. Anyone here using their old 35mm SLR lenses with an adapter on a 4/3 camera?

    I’ve got a whole bag full of great Minolta glass that’s been pretty much idle for the last five years, wondering if it would be worth it to get a 4/3 body.

    I’m fine with manual focus and exposure, never owned an automatic 35mm….

    1. I’ve been shooting my old manual Nikon lenses on my Panasonic GF-2 using a Rainbow Imaging adaptor with great results. The GF-2 has a nice manual focus zoom-in feature that let’s you quickly pop in on your subject for fine focus, then jumps back out when you’re ready to snap the photo. However, for subjects with even minimal movement, good focus gets pretty tricky when viewing with a 3″ LCD. The add-on viewfinder helps but isn’t crystal clear, so the manual focus seems best suited to still subjects when you want the superior sharpness and apertures that Panasonic lenses are a release or two away from achieving. Oh, and something I never see mentioned in reviews of the GF-2 is the nasty grain effect on the LCD due to the touch screen feature. That was almost a dealbreaker for me, but I’ve grown accustomed.
      This new Olympus seems to have caught up with the upgrades Sony and Panasonic introduced last year.

  2. I really like the idea of a super-tiny Micro Four Thirds camera, especially since they don’t sacrifice the flash mount or manual exposure controls. But my E-P2 works just fine and the picture quality is probably comparable, so I won’t upgrade, at least not until the E-P2 starts malfunctioning. Heck, I’ve used my “main” camera (a Canon 1Dmk2) for over four years and am only now upgrading to a newer SLR, so the secondary camera can definitely wait at least until my bank account recovers from the blow ;]

  3. @wildbell – looks like it will be about $800 for the E-P3 with a kit lens. The VF-2, the excellent accessory viewfinder is an additional $250. I am curious what the price will be for the mini version. Olympus has a unique marketing strategy where they take away features for their cheaper DSLRs but leave in the imaging guts, as opposed to equipping them with cheaper sensors, etc.

    @Wally – you can find many fairly m4/3 adapters on Ebay, I have some 4/3 lenses and some CCTV lenses that work great with adapters.

  4. The image does not show the Pen EP-3, but the Pen E-PL3, also introduced today. The EP-3 does not have an articulated screen.

    Hope that Olympus gets some more market share with these new products, so they will expand their line of lovely litte cameras and great optics.

  5. Another happy E-P2 user here… there does seem to be many reasons to want the upgrade here, particularly increased operational speed, which is my only real complaint. The E-P2 is not quick enough on the trigger to easily catch just the right moment. Hard to say how much better this one will be, but any improvement would be welcome.

    Also looks like they’re addressing some of the UI issues. I’m perfectly happy with the UI of the E-P2 most of the time, but I do believe it could be improved. Should be interesting to see how it handles. Improved image quality would be much welcomed as well. The E-P2 screen is quite good, I thought, but the new one is apparently much better especially in sunlight.

    The two new lenses are rather interesting too… I think a lot of people have these as second cameras, though. I’m tempted by the 12mm f/2.0 but the 45mm is a tougher sell because of the fantastic full-size SLR equivalents like the 85mm f/1.8 that both Canon and Nikon have. Also, I haven’t really found a situation where I feel like I really need to change lenses – I use the 20mm f/1.7 from Panasonic on my E-P2 almost exclusively. It’s pretty much perfect for these cameras and I’m surprised Olympus doesn’t try harder to come up with an equivalent.

    Still… the 12mm f/2.0 looks awesome… but it apparently costs more than the camera itself.

  6. You write: “Olympus’s latest Micro 4/3 cameras come in three flavors with new 12.3MP sensors”

    Are you sure the sensor itself actually has 12.3 megapixels or is does it have somewhat fewer and the software interpolates?

    Because 2 different cameras can both output 10 megapixels and yet have wildly different sensor sizes and, consequently, image quality.

    http://www.practicalphotographytips.com/Megapixel-Myth.html is a good place to start to understand this.

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