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Olympus PEN E-P3 cameras announced

12.3Mp Micro FourThirds cameras offers 1080i AVCHD video capture

Olympus has announced three new Micro FourThirds cameras. Set to go onsale in the UK from August, the 12.3Mp Olympus PEN E-P3 will be the flagship model and will retail for £799 with a 14-42mm lens kit.

The Micro FourThirds camera has 35 separate focal points, 10 art filters, a range of manual and automatic scene and focusing modes and claims the fastest autofocus speed of any interchangeable lens camera. Olympus credits the TruePic VI image engine with the lightning-fast focusing. The Olympus PEN E-P3 has a 3in OLED screen on which images can be framed and reviewed. An electronic viewfinder is available as an optional extra.

A Live Guide helps with composition. This feature is available across all settings on the camera including the 1080i video capture mode. There is a choice of capture settings too, from 30fps and 60fps to AVCHD rather than Mpeg4.

Next in the Olympus PEN line-up is the PEN E-PL3. Also known as a ‘PEN Lite’, the EPL-3 has the same retro styling as the other models in the PEN range but is aimed at less experienced photographers. It has a built-in electronic viewfinder, an easy shooting mode and a tiltable 3in display. As with the E-P3, it is a 12.3Mp camera. Pop-up tips appear onscreen to help the user get the best possible shots. As with its bigger sibling, the E-PL3 has a Live Guide, an AVCHD and Mpeg4 video capture mode and supports RAW image capture. Olympus includes six art filters to the E-P3’s 10 on this model. Pricing for the E-PL3, set for sale from August, has yet to be announced.

Finally, there’s a new chassis to consider. Olympus has designed a PEN Mini, known as the E-PM1. For details of the PEN E-PM1, click here

Olympus first launched a Micro FourThirds camera, the E-P1, in June 2009. The mirrorless technology was developed in tandem with Panasonic, which also makes Micro FourThirds cameras. 

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