Excerpt: The half-frame 35mm Olympus Pen F was introduced in 1963 and featured none other than the late W. Eugene Smith, cigarette dangling from his lips, in magazine ads of the time. Its latest digital incarnation, the E-P3, is built using the Micro Four Thirds system that unlike the Pen F is not half-frame and uses the same chip size (17.3x13mm) as the standard Four Thirds system.
Excerpt: First saw the Olympus PEN E-P3 back in September during our trip to Hong Kong. It was eventually launched in the Philippines in October with a suggested retail price of Php44,750 (includes a MSC-M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED m14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 zoom lens). Check our full review after the jump.
Excerpt: In the last few years a new breed of camera has stormed the digital photography world. Known as mirrorless or interchangeable lens cameras, they forgo the mirror of a DSLR (or SLR) for a smaller, lighter, and more portable package. They’ve grown in leaps and bounds by providing amateurs an opportunity to upgrade from a point-and-shoot and enthusiasts a way to lighten the load of a DSLR kit. A winning proposition for all involved.
Summary: While the Olympus PEN E-P3 shoots out in front of its class for performance and holds its own on features and design, it's a bit expensive and you'll need to tweak its JPEG settings to get the most out of its images.
Pros: The Olympus PEN E-P3 is an attractively designed camera that's now one of the fastest in its class.
Cons: Poor video quality and suboptimal default image settings aren't that great, so you really need to shoot raw to get good results at midrange to high ISO sensitivities.
Excerpt: The Olympus E-P3 is the third-generation flagship camera in the Olympus Pen line of Micro Four Thirds format mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras. It has a 12-megapixel Live MOS sensor, seriously improved auto focus, full HD video, a beautiful OLED (organic light emitting diode) touchscreen display, a solid metal body and pro-level exposure controls. The Olympus Pen system has matured considerably since the E-P1 was introduced in the summer of 2009...
Summary: The PEN E-P3 sells at a maximum retail price of Rs. 39,999 for a single lens kit (14-42mm) and a maximum retail price of Rs. 46,999 for a dual lens (14-42mm lens and 40-150mm). While this may be a step up from point and shoot cameras, the PEN E-P3 has its fair amount of quirks for a camera looking to break into the DSLR market share.
Summary: This new sensor delivers high-quality images and performance. Image noise is low and metering rarely overexposes. There are some issues with color- and white-balance accuracy though. The Olympus PEN E-P3 is much faster than its predecessor, particularly for autofocus which is more reliable and performs well in moderately low light.
Pros: Low image noise, Conservative metering, Fast contrast-detect AF, Short shutter-lag, Almost instant video recording, Generally quick and responsive, Effective built-in stabilization, Excellent automatic, Great LCD visibility and anti-reflective coating, Highly customizable interface, Excellent build quality
Cons: Poor color accuracy, Below average AWB, Useless ISO 12800, No detents on lower control-dial, Poor video framing preview accuracy, Modal Exposure-Compensation, Histogram disappears during EC, Not always, Uncomfortable strap eyelets, Poorly placed tripod mount, Low battery life
Summary: Olympus’s P3 does a good job of updating the company’s top Pen model. P2 shooters thinking about stepping up will gain a pop-up flash, slightly less noise, a tiny bit of extra resolving power, but will have to trade ISO 100 for ISO 12,800. Some may find ISO 12,800 useful for marginal lighting situations; others may find it too noisy. We appreciate the upgrade, and feel that the added features outweigh any ISO argument.
Excerpt: The original Olympus PEN line was a series of half-frame 35mm cameras that included the PEN F SLR system. Produced in one form or another from 1959-1980, the PEN line was attractively designed and quite compact. In fact, the idea behind the name was that these cameras were as portable as a writing PEN .