Preview: A Glimpse of Olympus’ PEN E-P3

Olympus is one of the brands known for their micro four-third, mirror-less cameras. Their first generation of PEN digital cameras have been out since a  while, now. They just launched the next generation of PEN cameras, two days back with the E-P3 model being the flagship model in the range.

A very colourful, sleak E-PL3

A very colourful, sleak E-PL3

 

 

Some of the folks from Olympus were down here and we were invited for a briefing to get a first hand experience of their cameras. We were able to use the E-P3, and the E-PL3 cameras for a while and click a few quick snaps while we were there. The E-P3 is officially out and pieces should be available at the end of this month and early July. We should receive our review samples next week.

 

The E-P3 is the top of the line product under the renewed PEN series of cameras whereas the E-PL3 (PEN Lite) is a slightly lower end model. There’s also a mini E-PM3 (PEN Mini) model expected later in the year. The first impression when you use the product is that the body is the build quality.

Touchscreen and camera controls at the back

Touchscreen and camera controls at the back

 

 

The quality of the lens being used also feels better. Zooming and focussing is much smoother and autofocus is faster than in the previous models. The interface too has been jazzed up.

Integrated, folding flash unit built into the E-P3

Integrated, folding flash unit built into the E-P3

 

 

From the brief experience we had with the interface, it looked smooth and the animations were fluid and more appealing. The colours, fonts and artwork used were some of the best we’ve seen on any camera. All of the usual switches and buttons are where you'd expect them to be. The E-P3 fits fine for enthusiast who would typically go in for a point and shoot camera. 

 

The E-PL3 is a lighter and more compact camera. One of the things missing is the in-built flash unit. The flash is a separate unit that’s bundled with the camera.

Folding screen for easier shooting

Folding screen for easier shooting

 

 

It comes with a foldable screen, but for one, lacks the touch feature. Almost all of the other features are present. The interfaces are slightly different in each of the cameras. The cameras are available with some customisations - different colours will be available and there’s also the option of hand grips made available to the user.

PRF-D58 lens filter on top the 40 - 150mm Zuiko lens

PRF-D58 lens filter on top of the 40 - 150mm Zuiko lens

 

 

There are quite a few lenses available and accessories such as wireless flash units, wireless data transfer modules, macro photography lights that fit on to the camera flash mount are being sold by Olympus. As with any unconventional, non-mainstream system, there’s a need for an ecosystem for the cameras. Olympus is even selling straps, camera covers, flash units, and camera grips.

 

From the short time that we played with the camera, it’s pretty clear that Olympus has really pushed the envelope with these new PEN cameras. They’ve managed to squeeze in a load of features into a smaller camera. From the little we experienced, it looks very impressive. We can’t wait to get our hands on it and try out all that we saw. We await our review samples.

 

To view the entire photo gallery, click here.


Published Date: Jul 02, 2011 10:05 am | Updated Date: Jul 02, 2011 10:05 am