3 New 3rd Generation Cameras From Olympus

The Olympus Pen E-P3: New Face, New Body, New Lens

The Olympus Pen E-P3: New Face, New Body, New Lens

Update: See sample images with 100% crops in different ISO settings here
Update: See also a sample video from the E-P3 & 12mm f2.0 lens here.

Olympus’ fairly young Micro Four Thirds range is already evolving into the third generation. Well, it is more than just evolution especially in the AF department. Mr Yong Kee Nyap, Assistant General Manager of Olympus Malaysia proclaimed it a quantum leap! I tried it and wholeheartedly agree. It is blazingly fast!

Being a VF-2 user, I was at first skeptical about the new touch screen AF interface but it turned out to be just as fast and very usable. The LCD screen is of capacitive touch type. An AF Illuminator light is now on the body, plus it will work with the existing range of external Olympus flash guns. Oh. The VF-2 now seems to fit more snugly and will not slip off as easily. Improvement from user feedback? :)

According to Mr Yasuo Asakura, the General Manager of SLR R & D, the E-P3 features a new Panasonic MOS sensor fabricated exclusively for Olympus. Combined with the new dual-core Truepic VI engine, there should be improvements in noise control, dynamic range and colour fidelity. Sample pictures coming up in next post.

Olympus E-P3 alongside the E-PL3 (in black)

Olympus E-P3 alongside the E-PL3 (in black)

Debuting alongside the E-P3 today, are the new E-PL3 Lite and the new E-PM1 Mini. Two new lenses; the 45mm f1.8 and the 24mm f2.0 were also unveiled. The new 24 mm will retail for RM 3099. There is also a new underwater housing for the E-PL3. It is also interesting to note that there are also two new accompanying kit lens to go.

E-PM1 The Mini: Currently the world's smallest m43 camera with IBIS and active hotshoe

E-PM1 The Mini: Currently the world's smallest m43 camera with IBIS and active hotshoe

I took Mr Asakura to the side and asked him about a future SLR-styled body with a built-in viewfinder and his answers were expectedly vague. He was also evasive on the possibility of a E-OM. Incidentally, he was the head of the legendary OM4 development team. By the way, the two Japanese gentlemen kept referring to New Generation System Camera (NGSC) instead of Mirrorless. Brilliant!

Mr Suzuki (left) & Mr Asakura shot in ISO 12800 with the new E-P3

Mr Suzuki (left) & Mr Asakura shot in ISO 12800 with the new E-P3

Olympus always serves photogenic desserts :) Olympus E-P3 ISO 500, f10, 1/60 sec

Olympus always serves photogenic desserts :) Olympus E-P3 ISO 500, f10, 1/60 sec

The E-P3 with kit lens will be priced at RM 3199 and will be available in July. Look out for real world tests of the camera here soon.

Update: See sample images with 100% crops in different ISO settings here
Update: See also a sample video from the E-P3 & 12mm f2.0 lens here.

All pictures photographed with the Olympus Pen E-PL2 & E-P3 by & © TV Smith

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