Olympus Announces New Cameras

Three new PEN camera models - E-PM1, E-PL3, E-P3 boast faster auto-focus

By Scott Gietler

 
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All three new Olympus PEN cameras - the E-PM1, E-PL3 and E-P3 - will feature touchscreen functionality,  improved auto-focus, and of course a micro-four thirds lens mount.

 

The cameras boast an auto-focus similar to the phase-dection auto-focus of the Olympus E-5 and E-30, and a new TruePic VI image processor. The E-P3 is available in August 2011.

Olympus E-P3

  • Highest end model, 12 megapixel, all stainless-steel metal body
  • touch-to-focus 614,000 pixel OLED screen
  • 35 auto-focus points
  • RAW, full manual controls, pop-up flash. ISO to 12,800. 2 control dials on the back of the camera
  • Flash sync of 1/180th
  • comparable in size to Sony NEX-C3 and Pany GF3
  • weights 13.3oz, 378 grams; just over 1lb with lens, battery, card
  • $900 with a 14-42mm or 17mm lens, fairly pricey

Olympus E-PL3

  • Slightly smaller than the Olympus E-PL2
  • no on-board flash, but a removeable flash
  • flash sync of 1/160th
  • no touch-screen controls
  • 3 inch swiveling LCD
  • no price/date set yet
  • housings from Olympus and Nauticam

Olympus E-PM1

  • Smallest of the three
  • no on-board flash
  • very few buttons; touchscreen
  • no price/date set yet
  • housings from Olympus

Based on hands on feedback from PC-world, the autofocus is faster than previous models, and comparable to the G series Panasonic mirrorless cameras.

The fast-autofocus will be very welcome when taking underwater photos. We look forward to getting our hands on the E-P3 and E-PL3 and finding out just how good the are for underwater photography given their functionality, size and price point.

Read our Olympus E-PL3 & E-PM1 review