Olympus has opened up its Micro Four Thirds line of cameras to three new cameras. The Olympus E-PM1, E-PL3 and E-P3 (shown above) essentially make up the small, medium and large categories for the series. Of course, “large” is a relative term with respect to the Olympus Micro Four Thirds line as a whole.
The E-PM1 is the newest model to the series, while the E-PL3 and E-P3 follow their respective predecessors, the E-PL2 and E-P2. Each camera features a 12.3MP Live MOS image sensor and accepts all current and past Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses – as well as many other brands’ Micro Four Thirds system lenses.
Olympus E-PM1 Overview
As mentioned above, the E-PM1 is new to the Olympus line and is the smallest Olympus interchangeable lens camera (iLC) to date. Not only is it smaller, but the E-PM1 is a more basic iLC camera than its siblings and will likely appeal to an even more consumer-oriented audience.
The sensitivity range of the E-PM1 covers ISO 100-12,800 and features a 3-inch 460k-dot res LCD. Additionally, the E-PM1 sports Olympus’ in-body image stabilization, which allows you to take advantage of image stabilization technology with every lens you use. It will capture up to 1080/60i AVCHD video at a max data rate of 17Mbps. In addition to capturing standard RAW and JPEG still images, the E-PM1 will also capture MPO 3D still images.
The E-PM1 will be available in six colors – purple, pink, brown, white, silver and black. Olympus has not yet announced pricing on the E-PM1. In the mean time, you can watch Amazon.com and B&H Photo for availability.
Olympus E-PL3 Overview
The Olympus E-PL3 follows up the (still rather new) E-PL2. Equipped with the same 12.3MP sensor, the E-PL3 breaks the mold from the previous models in the line by adding a tilting, 3-inch LCD screen. The E-PL3 also covers the same sensitivity range of the E-PM1 (ISO 100-12,800) and offers 1080/60i AVCHD video capture, as well as 3D still image capture.
While the E-PL3 does not have a built-in flash, the camera ships with a compact external flash. The E-PL3 will be available in several colors. Olympus has not yet announced pricing for the E-PL3. In the mean time, you can watch Amazon.com and B&H Photo for availability.
Olympus E-P3 Overview
The Olympus E-P3 is the successor to the E-P2 and carries a lot of the same specs as found in its siblings above. What’s perhaps most interesting about the E-P3 is that Olympus claims it has the world’s fastest autofocus. I heavily berated the E-P1 for slow AF performance, and I wasn’t much more impressed with the few times I handled the E-P2. As a result of those rather underwhelming experiences and Olympus’ claims for the this camera, I can’t wait to get my hands on an E-P3 to test it out.
The E-P3 also offers the impressive 1080/60i AVCHD spec, along with a 3-inch LCD screen at 614k-dot resolution. The E-P3 will be available in black, white and silver in August and will carry a retail price of $899 with either a 14-42mm or 17mm kit lens. Check availability on Amazon.com and B&H Photo.
New Olympus Lenses and Flash
In addition to the three new PEN camera models, Olympus added a 12mm f/2 lens and a 45mm f/1.8 lens to its lineup. Finally, a new FL-300R external bounce flash was introduced as well.