Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Olympus PEN E-P3: A Digital Camera Designed For Visual Expression

New Olympus PEN E-P3 Digital Camera Designed For Creative Visual Expression

This summer Olympus released the E-P3 digital camera, a new flagship PEN camera designed for the hobbyist or advanced photographer who desires superior image quality, FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology, Autofocus Tracking System and total creative control in a body portable enough to travel the world.

The powerful and portable Olympus PEN E-P3 is the ultimate PEN camera for visual expression, delivering professional image quality, the World’s Fastest AF speed, a huge selection of built-in creative features and an easy-to-use interface, all elegantly packaged in a classic, all-metal body with full-advanced controls. Two new M. Zuiko prime lenses also join the family of six MICRO Four Thirds lenses, to expand the broad options offered to imaging enthusiasts.

Outstanding New Features:
  • 12.3 MP Live MOS Sensor – Utilizing new Fine Detail Processing Technology for greater detail in the photograph, the sensor is optimized to maximize the performance of all M. Zuiko digital lenses in all shooting conditions;
  • TruePic VI Image Processor – This new image engine, designed specifically for the Olympus PEN, features Real Color Technology for improved color reproduction and faster speeds;
  • FAST AFTo meet the demand for focusing speed, Olympus has introduced the new FAST AF Tracking System. The FAST AF Tracking System features 35 focus points as well as new Tracking AF to ensure fast & accurate focus each and every time;
  • Low Light Performance AF Illuminator / Built In Flash / ISO to 12,800;
  • Fast Shutter Response – Never miss a shot again with fast shutter response 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; and
  • 3-inch 614,000 pixel OLED Touch screen – Bright high-resolution screen features a newly-designed touch interface that provides an innovative touch display solution.

The New Olympus PEN E-P3 Exclusively Available at H and B

Learn More About The New Olympus Pen E-P3 >>>

Even with all the great features listed above, you still might be asking,
"So what's different about the new PEN E-P3 when compared to the PEN E-P2?"

The Olympus PEN E-P3 looks a lot like its forebears - not just the E-P1 and E-P2 but, just as significantly, the company's film era Pen F camera.The E-P3's similarity of appearance to its predecessors could, all too easily, suggest that Olympus has again been subtle with its changes. But this isn't the case at all, and the new model brings with it a whole raft of updates and refinements. Olympus has addressed many of the key criticisms of the older models, to the extent that we'd be tempted to say that the E-P3 is finally the camera that the PEN has always promised to be.

The changes may be somewhat hidden but they are certainly there.

PEN E-P3 vs. PEN E-P2:
  • 35-area AF system
  • Touch AF and Touch shutter
  • Direct movie record and display magnification buttons
  • E-PL2-style control layout, 5 customizable buttons
  • Live guide control in iAuto
  • iEnhance color mode
  • Revised and expanded Art Filters (with quick preview option)

Physically the biggest addition is a built-in flash - deliberately styled so that the pop-up element doesn't interrupt the front plate of the camera. The accessory port is also more neatly integrated into the body design than before. The other big physical change is a removable hand grip; a large screw now holds the rectangular grip in place, giving users the choice of removing or swapping it for a more substantial design (in a fashion more than a little reminiscent of Olympus's OM-4 film camera).

But it's inside the camera that the biggest changes have been made: the sensor is still the familiar 12MP unit but the camera's processing is greatly improved. The latest TruePic VI processor is much faster than previous designs, allowing the camera to check focus 120 times per second. This, of course, means that it can adjust focus more often and therefore confirm focus more quickly. The dual core processor also means image processing and live view can be run in parallel, decreasing the blackout time after each shot. 

In addition, the E-P3 has a 614,000 dot OLED screen that is touch-sensitive. This particular panel uses Samsung's Pentile dot layout to give VGA-equivalent resolution, coupled with capacitance-type touch technology similar to the Apple iPhone. The touch screen can be used to set the focus point and optionally fire the shutter, and can operate some of the camera's other functions too. Crucially though this is always in addition to the rest of the camera's controls, rather than attempting to replace them. If you decide such features don't have a place on such a traditional-looking camera, they can be disabled with no overall loss of functionality.

Another very welcome addition is a built-in autofocus illuminator light, in the form of a bright orange LED on the front of the camera (previous PENs were notorious for their reluctance to focus in low light). The autofocus system has been updated too, with 35 zones covering most of the image area. The movie recording specification has also been significantly upgraded, and the E-P3 can now capture full HD 1080i60 movies in AVCHD format. 

The control layout has been revised too, most notably by the addition of direct movie record and display magnification buttons - indeed overall it's now much more closely related to the E-PL line than the older E-P models. As is the Olympus way the camera's controls are remarkably customisable - no fewer than five buttons can now have their functions defined by the user. All of the goodies that Olympus introduced in the E-PLs have also found their way across - ranging the beginner-friendly 'Live Guide' control and iEnhance colour mode, through to the ability to display user-configurable shadow and highlight clipping warnings in live view.

The Art Filters have been expanded dramatically too, with a number of additional filters plus the ability to tune their looks and add effects such as frames and even a digital 'starburst' filter on point highlights. There's also a new tonal control that allows you to manually adjust shadow brightness independent of overall exposure. Last, but by no means least, the menu system has finally benefited from a substantial makeover, and is not only much easier on the eye, but easier to find your way around too.

Olympus E-P3 Key Features:

  • Updated 12MP Live MOS sensor
  • 120 Hz 'Fast AF' focus system
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • Built-in autofocus illuminator light (orange LED)
  • Touch-sensitive VGA-equivalent 614,000 dot OLED screen (3:2 aspect ratio)
  • Dual-core TruePic VI processor
  • 1080i60 movies in AVCHD format
  • Independent Shadow and Highlight tone adjustment controls
  • Interchangeable hand grips
  • In-body image stabilization (works with all lenses)
Get a Closer Look at Key Features:

Superior Image Quality
A large 12.3-megapixel Live MOS Image Sensor delivers the highest quality images. Take great photos in low-light environments thanks to the camera’s built-in flash, AF illuminator and ISO up to 12,800. To improve color and speed, the Olympus PEN E-P3 features the new TruePic VI Image Processing Engine. Photos and HD videos taken with the PEN E-P3 will be crisp and clear thanks to three modes of in-body image stabilization. Image stabilization built into the camera’s body enables photographers to take advantage of this feature with every lens. The camera’s award-winning Supersonic Wave Filter™ patented Dust Reduction System vibrates to remove dust and other particles from the front of the image sensor, capturing it on an adhesive membrane every time the camera is turned on.
Blazing Speed
The Olympus PEN E-P3 uses a variety of features to achieve speed rivaling that of the professional Olympus E-5 DSLR. Focus and shoot faster with the camera’s new 12.3-megapixel Live MOS Image Sensor, TruePic VI Image Processor and new FAST AF Tracking System. The Olympus PEN E-P3 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. The camera’s fast shutter response time ensures that you will never miss the shot, even in the toughest shooting environments. 

Creative Freedom
Olympus PEN series cameras put you in the director’s chair, offering a new level of freedom to the creative shooting experience and enabling instant experimentation, feedback and gratification. For the first time, the Olympus PEN E-P3 features full 1080 60i HD Video. Push the direct HD video button to instantly start filming your HD video with a choice between ACVHD and AVI formats with uncompressed CD-quality 16 bit/44.1kHz Linear PCM stereo recording or AC3 Dolby Digital Audio. 

In-camera features such as Art Filters, Multiple Exposure and In-Camera Editing enable photographers to capture the world as they see it. The Olympus PEN E-P3 features 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 camera also features nine Art Filter variations and enhancements, including new Pale & Light Color II, and five Art Filter Effects, including new Star Light and White Edge. The new Art Filter Bracketing function helps you develop multiple pictures utilizing different Art Filters with a single shot, making it possible to experiment with several different photographic effects at the same time. Photographers can use Art Filters in all shooting modes: shutter priority, aperture priority, manual and program auto modes for expanded control. All Art Filters can be applied to both still shots and Standard Definition or HD movies. Art Filters set the Olympus PEN E-P3‘s images and videos apart from the pack. Since they’re built into the camera, Art Filters can help you achieve dramatic results on the go without the need for a computer or editing software. 

The Olympus PEN E-P3 adds a new dimension to photographs by shooting dynamic 3D photos in any situation from macro to landscape. Recreate a sense of depth like that of the original scene. Simply select the 3D Photo Mode, release the shutter, and slowly pan until the camera automatically takes a second image from a slightly different perspective. The 3D data is processed in-camera resulting in an .MPO file, the universal industry 3D format for easy display on 3D televisions or laptops.

Expanded Control Combined with Ease of Use
Controlling the Olympus PEN E-P3 is simple with its next-generation, three-inch, touch-sensitive 614,000 pixel OLED display. Consuming much less energy than the traditional LCD, this display has a wide 176-degree angle of view and is bright enough to compose images even in harsh midday light. With the camera’s new intuitive graphic user interface and touchscreen, it is easy to capture a picture, change camera settings or navigate the Live Guide controls by simply touching the screen. Going through a day’s photos is easy by scrolling through and enlarging photos with the tap of a finger.

The Olympus PEN E-P3’s built-in, pop-up flash makes it easy to illuminate low-light subjects, reduce red-eye and fill in dark areas. The camera is compatible with SDHC, SDXC and UHS-1 memory cards for greater speed and capacity and can be utilized with the Olympus PENPAL® or various Eye-Fi™ cards for instant wireless uploads to your favorite social or photo sharing websites. 

Olympus has added a rotational dial, sub-dial and two new function buttons to the back of the PEN E-P3 so photographers can make rapid changes to menu settings and maximize the camera’s performance. With a thumb, photographers can adjust aperture and exposure time in an instant without switching between menu selections. Hands-on shooters will appreciate the two customizable buttons they can assign to favorite functions. Photographers will appreciate how the camera’s mode dial enables access to basic settings.
The Level Gauge in the Olympus PEN E-P3 is a tremendous benefit for architectural photographers who must ensure that images of buildings are as centered and true as the walls of the buildings themselves. This feature detects the camera’s pitch and roll during Live View operation so photographers can make sure subjects appear where they should in the frame. 

New Lenses and Accessories for Every Shooting Challenge
The Olympus PEN MICRO Four Thirds family features eight fully-compatible MICRO Four Thirds lenses. The legendary Olympus Zuiko® Digital Four Thirds range of 27 high-quality lenses, OM-series and other manufacturers’ lenses can be attached to Olympus PEN cameras with optional adapters. The Olympus PEN E-P3 comes packaged with the Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) ED m14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 zoom lens (28mm-84mm equivalent) or the m17mm f2.8 (34mm equivalent). Today, Olympus is proud to announce several new Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) lenses with high-speed, near-silent autofocus during still shooting and high-definition (HD) video capture. Also, several new accessories will complement the PEN E-P3 perfectly and broaden the creative horizons for all PEN photographers.
  • M. Zuiko Digital ED 12m f2.0 lens (24mm equivalent): This high-speed, single-focal–length, wide-angle lens is ideal for shooting everything from dramatic landscapes in low-light conditions to hard-to-get, spontaneous street shots. It has a beautiful full-metal body and a snap ring that enables photographers to pan focus with a distance indicator.
  • M. Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f1.8 lens (90mm equivalent): This single focal length portrait lens has a beautiful shallow depth of field, which enables the background blurring effects not possible with the 14-42mm kit zoom lens. The MSC mechanism is great for tracking a moving child or pet, and provides a quick and silent focus mechanism for movies and still photography.
  • FL-300R Compact Flash: This flash functions as a bounce flash and wireless remote flash with enough power for nearly any shooting situation. Photographers can use it in tandem with the camera’s built in pop-up flash, or as an alternative to it. It is designed in silver to match the new PEN lineup.

MCG-2 Exchangeable Camera Grip: Available exclusively for the PEN E-P3, this comfortable grip enhances the grip area of the camera to fit any photographer’s hands perfectly. It is available in black and beige. 

The New Olympus PEN E-P3 Exclusively Available at H and B

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