When Olympus launched its PEN Micro Four Thirds system cameras, it created a whole new camera category. Now it has launched a visionary new PEN flagship that defies categorisation altogether. The PEN E-P3, or simply ‘PEN’, has the fastest* auto-focus of any camera with interchangeable lenses. With its world-beating FAST AF (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology), timeless metal design and state-of-the-art touch-sensitive OLED display, it’s a genuine alternative to bulkier and more expensive SLRs.
The TruePic VI image engine designed especially for mirror-less cameras. In addition to the new FAST AF, TruePic VI serves as the motor for ten Art Filter special effects and the large, tap-sensitive OLED display that previews and plays back in photo quality. In combination with a faster and more sensitive 12.3 Megapixel sensor, TruePic VI ensures outstanding picture quality, especially in low light. For experienced users, the PEN has more special treats in store – two dials on the back for making quick adjustments to exposure and aperture, plus in-body image stabilisation that counteracts camera shake irrespective of the attached lens. The PEN E-P3 14-42 lens kit is available from August 2011.
Pick up the new PEN and you realise you’re holding a potential style icon. The craftsmen at Olympus have managed a rare feat, drawing on the charm of the golden era of camera design some 50 years ago to create a camera that will still turn heads 50 years from today. If their vision was a timeless classic, that’s exactly what they achieved.
With its compact design, user-friendly features and first class picture quality, Olympus’ award-winning PEN system camera range is already a firm favourite with both ambitious amateur photographers and professionals looking for a practical second camera. Led by the E-P3, the new PEN generation significantly enhances that reputation. One of the PEN’s most striking – and useful – characteristics is the sheer speed and versatility of the record-breaking autofocus. Driven by the new and powerful Olympus TruePic VI processor, the FAST AF focuses quicker* than any other camera with interchangeable lenses, giving PEN owners the very best chance of capturing fast-moving shots. What’s more, it offers 35 separate focus points, spread over nearly the whole sensor, making it possible to focus on small subjects, no matter where they appear in the picture. In low light conditions, the built-in AF Illuminator compensates for potential loss of accuracy while new AF tracking technology ensures subjects stay sharp even when they move in and out of the frame. Another potentially shotsaving bonus is Full Time AF – the focus is always active so the image is always in focus and the camera doesn’t waste time focusing when the user applies pressure top the shutter release.
Unique to the flagship PEN is the three-inch, touch-sensitive OLED display. It’s not only intuitive and practical to use, but also delivers a superb, photoquality picture, regardless of ambient light conditions. Compared to similar LCD screens, an OLED display generates superior contrast, deeper blacks and a broader spectrum of colours. It is brighter, the angle of view is wider and it uses less power. The PEN’s display offers fingertip scrolling and enlarging of photos as well as control of the shutter release, AF points and the pop-up Live Guide – the celebrated PEN assistant that makes it easy for less experienced users to get crucial parameters such as aperture and depth of field exactly right. Even professionals will be glad to note that there’s now direct access to Live Guide in P, S, M and A modes, if need be.
Unlike with some of PEN’s rivals, Live Guide is available for both movies and stills.
But for most serious photographers, experimenting with settings is half the fun – and they don’t want to scroll through endless menus to make their adjustments. That’s why Olympus has incorporated two additional dials on the back of the PEN. With just their thumb, users can fine-tune aperture and exposure time in an instant – without having to switch between menu sections. The chosen settings appear bright and clear on the OLED screen, or in the optional electronic viewfinder. Fans of hands-on shooting will also love the three customisable buttons they can assign to their favourite functions. The buttons, dials and new FAST AF help users react quicker to spontaneous situations and capture fleeting scenes or fast-moving subjects before the opportunity is lost.
Main Features - Image Quality
• Powerful TruePic VI image engine for faster recovery time and excellent image quality
• Ultra-effective in-body image stabilisation for blur-free movies and stills with any lens
• 12.3 effective Megapixel High Speed Live MOS sensor for excellent low-light performance and Full HD movie recording
• ISO 12800 sensitivity
• 1080i 60fps Full HD stereo movie recording as AVCHD or Motion JPEG
• Compatible with the new generation of dedicated PEN lenses Convenience
• World’s quickest* FAST AF for cameras with interchangeable lenses, always on, with 35 AF points, low-light AF Illuminator and out-of-picture AF Tracking
• Super-bright, wide-angle, touch-sensitive 3.0” OLED display with 610,000 dot resolution for photo-quality colour reproduction
• Separate dials for quick manual adjustment of aperture and exposure
• Touch-sensitive Live Guide in HD Movie, still and P/S/M/A mode
• Live View in HD Movie and still mode
• 3 customisable buttons
• Level gauge for at-a-glance appreciation of position relative to horizon
• Easy-to-use Live Wheel feature menu
Creativity and Flexibility
• Ten creative Art Filters in HD Movie and still modes
• Five effects that can be combine with Art Filters: Pinhole, Soft Focus, Frame Effect, plus new Starlight and White Edge
• Accessory Port 2 for compatibility with the growing family of PEN accessories, e.g., the VF-2 Electronic Viewfinder and PENPAL Communication Unit
• Compatible with 20 Micro Four Thirds, 27 Four Thirds and more than 500 other lenses (via an adapter)
• 1/4000th sec. shutter speed with 3fps sequential shooting
• Multi Exposure mode for 2 RAW images
• Long-life BLS-5 Li-ion battery
• Timeless PEN design with interchangeable, removable grip in two sizes
• 3D still photos
• SDXC*** card and Eye-Fi compatible
• Wireless flash control