The Olympus PEN E-P3 is the company’s latest Micro Four Thirds camera, and is a fine camera, suitable for those looking to upgrade from a point-and-shoot digital camera, or indeed for more advanced photographers.
Rating by Scott Fitzgerald: 4.5 stars
The Olympus PEN E-P3 is a 12.3 megapixel camera, with a Live MOS sensor that provides data speed of 120 fps, a light-sensitivity of ISO 12800, and in addition to stills the Olympus P3 shoots 1080i Full HD video. The screen is a 3 inch, 610,000-dot OLED capacitive touchscreen, which is used not for navigation around the camera’s functions, rather it can be used to take shots and manipulate focus, or to flick through pictures stored on the camera.
Probably the most notable improvement in the Olympus PEN E-P3 over its predecessors in the speed of the auto-focus system, which is, at the time of writing, the world’s fastest in an interchangeable lens camera. A 35-square grid appears on overlaid on the screen, and by touch you can select the area on which you would like the image to focus. Maths plays a part in this improvement via a spanking new algorithm, as does the Live MOS sensor, and a dedicated focusing processor within the TruePic VI engine.
Adding to the creativity offered by the quality of the image processing and the lens, there’s a bit of fun and creativity to be had with the art filters and in-camera editing options. Having originated in point and click cameras, art filters are more and more common on DSLR and Micro Four Thirds camera these days. If you’ve ever had a play with the Instagram or Hipstamatic app on an iPhone, then you’re familiar with art filters. They intensify or dial down colour, add borders, add noise – what the lens see is definitely not what you get. Choose from Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Gentle Sepia, Cross Process, Dramatic Tone. The art filters can be applied to both stills and video.
Olympus PEN E-P3 – Australian pricing
The Olympus PEN E-P3 is available in silver and black colours, and Australian RRP is as follows: