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Olympus E-P3 Compact System Cameras
Product DescriptionThe Olympus E-P3 is the third top-of-the-line flagship Pen camera from Olympus. It has a newly-designed 12-megapixel sensor and new image processing for improved image quality. The E-P3 boasts the world's fastest auto focus and the 3-inch OLED touch screen LCD has touch screen auto focus and shutter controls. The E-P3 is the first Olympus Pen camera to have full HD 1920 x 1080 AVCHD video.
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. The lens selection has and there are now ten dedicated Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses, including three fast primes. There are also a whole bunch of non-Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses available now. I’ve been using the Olympus pen cameras since they were first introduced and I think the new sensor, OLED display, faster auto focus and refined design make the Olympus E-P3 the best Pen camera yet... Continue reading →
Submitted by Stephen Reese a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: January 23, 2012
Strengths: Of course it would be worthless if it was only eye candy. I was expecting to have to shoot RAW files, but the out of camera JPEGS are amazing. Plus if you want to fine tune the JPEG the settings allow you two tweak them to suit your sensibility. ISO up to 1600 looks terrific and if you are in a jam the higher ISOs are useable. The OLED viewfinder is iPhone quality gorgeous. And while I thought the touchscreen interface was a feature that I wouldn't use, it is thoughtfully configured and more importantly responsive. Most reviews rave about the lightening fast focus...and I agree. There' s a little hunting and pecking at incredibly low light levels but manual focusing is easy. I am crazy happy with my PEN.
Weaknesses: Let's be honest--this camera is expensive. Yes, there are better micro 4/3 capable of producing higher resolution photos with lower noise. If you include the cost of a good quality prime you are looking at the equivalent of a mid-range DSLR like the Nikon D90. But I would make the same purchase decision of the Olympus PEN E-P3 in a second.
Ideally the perfect PEN camera would have an integrated viewfinder. After using this camera for 4 days I decided to purchase the VF-2 accessory viewfinder. I went with the VF-2 instead of the more current VF-3 because of the glowing reviews it received. The VF-3 resolution is not as good as the model it replaced. The VF-2 was a GREAT purchase.
To put it gently, the sensor has some mileage on it. I am perfectly fine with the 12.3MB sensor size, but I have to believe that a more contemporary sensor would result in even better image quality. The PEN E-P3 does have an updated processor which is reasponsible for its increased processing speed.
About my Purchase:
My online purchase was a 2 step process which is a hassle. The online price does not include "insurance" so you are required to call to speak with an associate to complete the order. Of course the call involved several sale pitches for add-ons and upgrades of accessories. But after sealing the deal--which included an upgraded spare battery and a service contract--their price was still the best price I could find on the net.
I had to write this one because my PEN e-P3 exceeded my expectations--which doesn't happen very often. First, this camera is like a Faberge jewel. It is beautifully crafted with great attention to detail. I spent months doing research and I am so glad I chose this over DSLRs. You will not be disappointed! My rating is a 4.5 but since the rating scale does not accommodate half stars, I gave it a 4. If the sensor was a more contemporary one, I would have given it a 5.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $756.00
Purchased At: FumFie.com
Type of photography: Outdoor