The New Olympus E-P3

For a few weeks I have been quietly testing the new Olympus E-P3 and have been impressed. How much, you ask? Here’s a simple test that I made inadvertently: When Mary and I went to a car show we took the E-P3 and a Brand C entry level SLR that I was testing for Shutterbug magazine and mid-way through the show we switched cameras. When we got home from the show, I download the files into a folder on my MacPro then burned a DVD of all the shots. That’s when I noticed that we shot 170 images with the SLR and 680 images with the E-P3. Clearly the Olympus was the camera we enjoyed using the most base on the simple fact that when given a choice, the E-P3 was the one we both preferred. Here are some details but look for an extended hands-on test in an upcoming issue of Shutterbug.

For openers the new E-P3 is a lot like it’s predecessors but it’s a whole lot more tpp:

  • 12.3 MP Live MOS Sensor – Using new Fine Detail Processing Technology for greater detail in photographs, the sensor is optimized to maximize  performance of all M. Zuiko digital lenses;
  • TruePic VI Image Processor – This new image engine is designed  for the Olympus PEN and features Real Color Technology for improved color reproduction and faster speeds;
  • FAST AF – Olympus’ new FAST AF Tracking System features 35 focus points as well as new Tracking AF to ensure fast & accurate focus;
  • Low Light Performance – AF Illuminator / Built In Flash / ISO to 12,800;
  • Fast Shutter Response – Shutter lag time of less than 60 milliseconds;
  • Full HD Movie – Shoot up to 29 minutes of full 1080i HD video in either AVCHD or AVI formats;
  • 3-inch 614,000 pixel OLED Touch screen – Bright high-resolution screen features a newly-designed touch interface.
  • Bracketing feature lets you even bracket Art Filters and it’s fast.
  • New lenses (12mm f/2 and 45mm f/1.8

 

I am also testing the new M. Zuiko Digital ED 12m f/2.0 lens (24mm equivalent.) This high-speed, single-focal–length, wide-angle lens is ideal for shooting  landscapes or  street photography if you’re brave enough in these times, not that I’m a street photographer. The 12m f/2.0 lens has a metal body and a snap ring that enables photographers to pan focus with a distance indicator. There’s even apertures and focusing distances, something you don’t see often in this modern AF lens word.

The Olympus PEN E-P3 Body with MSC M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 Zoom Lens has an estimated Street price of $899.99. Look for my in-dept report in Shutterbug magazine soon.

Author: Joe Farace

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