Olympus 12.3 Megapixels PEN E-P3 Compact Review by PR With Rating 8.8/102011-09-13 03:58 | Source
Average Camera Review Rating [11 reviews]
Cameras In The Article
On June 30 2011, Olympus announced the PEN E-P3, along with the E-PL3 (Pen Lite) and the E-PM1 (Pen Mini) compact cameras. The E-P3 comes with 12.3 Megpaixels Live MOS Sensor, TruePic VI Image Processor features Real Color Technology for improved color reproduction and faster speeds, ISO support up to 12,800, 3-inch 614,000 pixel OLED Touch screen as well as 1080i HD movie support in either AVCHD or AVI formats. The E-P3 uses a variety of features to achieve speed rivaling that of the professional Olympus E-5 DSLR. The camera can focus faster using the new FAST AF Tracking System. It offers 35 separate focus points spread over nearly the entire sensor, enabling the camera to pin-point focus accuracy on small subjects wherever they appear in the frame. Selectable 3x3 groups within the 35-point area are especially effective when shooting active subjects.
Other notable features of the E-P3 include a metal body, 3fps continuous shooting, a flash hot-shoe, an accessory port, an electronic level gauge, no less than 3 customizable buttons for easy operation and can apply up to 10 Art Filters (Diorama, Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Cross Process, Gentle Sepia and Dramatic Tone). The new OLED touchscreen offers fingertip scrolling and enlarging of photos as well as control of the shutter release, AF points and the pop-up Live Guide. The Olympus PEN E-P3 kit is available in black, white and silver. The Olympus PEN E-P3 Body with MSC M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 Zoom Lens is listed for $899.99, while the same camera body with the MSC M. Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f2.8 Prime Lens is listed for the same price at $899.99. Here's the summary of review by PhotoReview Australia, giving the camera a rating of 8.8 out of 10:
"The most significant improvement we found with the new camera was its improved autofocusing system, which provided further improvements in capture lag, bringing the new camera close to the response times of entry-level DSLRs. Our timing tests were carried out with a 16GB Kingston 233x SDHC U1 memory card, one of the fastest commonly available, and we found improvements across the board when comparing the new model with the E-P2. Provided the lens had been unlocked (and when a non-collapsing lens was used), the review camera took roughly two seconds on average to be ready for the first shot. Shot-to-shot times averaged one seconds without flash and five seconds with. Average capture lag was 2.8 seconds without pre-focusing, with shutter lag reducing to less than 0.1 seconds when shots were pre-focused. Image processing times were similar to the E-P2, with Large/Super Fine JPEGs and ORF.RAW files taking approximately 2.6 seconds, although RAW+JPEG pairs were processed in just 2.8 seconds on average. Using the art filters extended processing times, often by several seconds. In the sequential shooting (burst) mode, we recorded bursts of 10 Large/Super Fine JPEGs and also ORF.RAW files in 2.9 seconds; the same frame rates as the E-P1 and E-P2. However at three frames/second, the continuous shooting mode isn't fast enough to ensure a high percentage of 'keepers' when shooting moving subjects. Fortunately, processing times for JPEGs were marginally less as it took 2.9 seconds to process a burst of 10 Large/Super Fine JPEGs. Significant improvements in processing times were recorded for processing raw bursts, which were completed in 6.1 seconds. Only nine RAW+JPEG pairs could be recorded before capture slowed noticeably. This sequence was captured in 2.5 seconds and took 9.7 seconds to process.
Overall performance for the review camera was similar to the E-P2 unit we tested, which isn't surprising since the sensors of both cameras are very similar. The new camera appears to have a wider dynamic range than its predecessor, although the Digital ESP metering remained slightly biased to recording shadow detail. The incidence of blown-out highlights in JPEG shots was significantly less than we found with the E-P2 provided shadowed areas occupied less than about 30% of the frame. When this percentage was exceeded, the metering system gradually over-compensated and highlight detail was lost. The images below, taken with lenses from the twin lens kit using P mode with Digital ESP metering, show what happens when the photographer doesn't over-ride the camera's settings. Contrast and saturation appeared to be relatively modest and Imatest showed colour accuracy to be generally good, with slight warming of skin hues and enhanced saturation in reds. Purples were shifted towards blue and greens towards cyan. Other hues were close to the mark. The review camera's low-light performance was generally good with long exposures using ISO settings up to 1600, where image noise started to become apparent. However, the exposure metering system consistently under-exposed available-light shots in low light levels. Resolution began to decline from ISO 1600 on and noise was apparent at ISO 3200, although shots remained printable up to A4 size. By ISO 6400, noise was quite obvious in long exposures and colour reproduction was noticeably affected, with images becoming increasingly blotchy and unsharp as sensitivity increased. Video quality has been improved with the swap to the AVCHD recording format and the upgrade to Full HD quality. Clips shot at top resolution with the MSC-compatible 9-18mm lens were sharp and smooth with adequate audio presence, although the built-in microphones were quite susceptible to wind noise."
Olympus E-P3 Sample Photos on Flickr
Olympus E-P3 Camera Reviews Roundup
|Imaging Resource: "The Olympus E-P3 also sets itself from much of the competition with a really fast autofocus system, which matches up well even with SLRs using dedicated autofocus sensors, in terms of speed. Arguably, it betters them in terms of versatility, thanks both to the ability to set the focus point anywhere within the image frame, and to the fact that contrast-detect systems are relatively free of issues like front- and bac..." - Jan 29 2012 More »|
|PopPhoto: "One of the benefits of the new sensor in the P3 is that Olympus is able to double the speed of its data sampling to 120 frames per second for short periods of time for the purpose of autofocus. This is very similar to how Panasonic achieves its speedy AF in its recent models. We found the autofocusing of the P3 just as fast as the Panasonic's, putting these two ILC makers neck and neck in the lead of AF. We fie..." - Nov 15 2011 More »|
|Camera Labs: "You get a different view of a camera having spent ten days with it in the absence of any other distractions, so this isn't the usual Cameralabs verdict assessing features and specifications and including comparisons with competing products. The most flattering thing I can say about the Olympus Pen E-P3 is that I would definitely take it on holiday again. In terms of portability and general handling there's very..." - Sep 26 2011 More »|
|dpreview: "If there's one area of disappointment with the E-P3, it's that the image quality hasn't really progressed from previous PENs - in essence it's very similar to the E-PL2. This does mean that the images are slightly sharper than those from the E-P1/2, due to the use of a slightly lighter anti-aliasing filter, but it's impossible to ignore that the E-P3 lags behind the current round of 16-18 MP sensors in terms to the..." - Aug 19 2011 More »|