Review: Olympus PEN E-P3

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Olympus has brought out the latest in its PEN series of cameras, the Olympus PEN E-P3. It retains the same retro look of its predecessors but is packed with lots of new features that makes it one of a kind. It is faster, with a shutter speed of 60 miliseconds, and also has new add-ons like the inbuilt flash which is like a pop up element in the camera. Will this camera be the sum of its good looks or can it deliver?

 

Design and Build:

Designwise, this camera will remind you of the old timers with film reels. It feels very solid and steady. The body is of brushed aluminium and on the right side of the device is a faux leather hand grip, which prevents your hand from slipping off the smooth surface. The grip is removable.

 

The front of the camera has a Lens Release button. The top of the device has the in-built flash, a rotary dial with the different shooting modes, click button and the on/off button. Just below the in-built flash is a button which, when pressed, makes the flash pop up.

 

The rear of the device houses the 3" OLED Capacitive Touch Screen. On the top right of the screen, we see the Record button, then the zoom button, then the display button, and lastly the erase button. There is also another rotary dial with an OK button in the middle. On the top of the dial is the

 

Info button which, when pressed, provides date and time details of each image. Near the Info button there is a Zoom Scroller.

 

On the extreme right of the camera, there are the USB and HDMI ports hidden with a flap of brushed aluminium. The memory card slot is at the base with the battery.

 

Usability:

The Olympus PEN E-P3 is 12.3 Mega Pixel with the latest Live MOS sensor. The MOS sensor is an upgrade of the CMOS sensor which allows you to take pictures in very low light conditions, reduces noise and also uses less energy. Since the energy consumption is low, it makes the camera much faster.

 

The camera has a touch sensitive OLED screen with 614,000 pixel dots. You can swipe through images by touching the screen and also do other things like setting the focus by tapping on the particular area which needs to be focused, zooming in/out. The screen also has anti-fingerprint and anti-dust systems. The sensitivity of the camera ranges from ISO 200 to ISO 12,800. At around ISO 6400, the images give you a very subtle and a soft look but when the ISO goes up to its highest range 12,800, the image becomes red which can destroy the picture quality.

 

The Olympus PEN E-P3 has added the latest True VI processor which enables you to check the focus at 120 frames per second making this camera work faster than its predecessors. Another very unique feature is a built in autofocus illuminator light which is in the form of an orange LED makes it easier to focus when you want to click images in very low light conditions. Compared to the previous E-P1 and E-P2, the autofocus is also upgraded to a level that it focuses on almost the whole image rather than just half.

 

The camera comes with 2 lenses - a 14.42mm with an aperture of 3.5 and a 41.150mm with an aperture of 5.6. The first lens has a snap focus ring which actually acts like a manual focus ring. The lens also has distance markings on the barrel. This lens is wide angle and is good for shooting landscapes. The second lens is better suited to portraits and close-ups.

 

The Olympus PEN E-P3 allows you to use your creativity with 10 Art Filters which include Dramatic Tone, Gentle Sepia, Cross Process, Diorama, Pin Hole, Grainy Film, Light Tone, Pale & Light Colour, Soft Focus and Pop Art. It also includes 22 shooting modes - Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Landscape+Portrtait, Sport, Night, Night+Portrtait, Children, High Key, Low Key, DIS Mode, Macro, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Beach & Snow, Fisheye, Wide-Angle, 3D.

 

Images and videos can be shot in full 1080 p High Definition resolution and also 3D. The 3D image is not as good as expected and it is also a little complicated to achieve a perfect result. Manual and Automatic modes both work very well. It has in-built shadow adjustment controls and also in-body image stabilisation for both lenses. Automatic White Balance gives a very warm effect to pictures captured indoors. 

 

Verdict:

 The Olympus PEN E-P3 is a great looking camera with multiple features which make this camera the best among the PEN series. This camera will come handy for photographers on the. But with such an expensive price tag, it will have to fight for survival among DSLRs in similar price ranges.

 

Price:

Single Kit (14-42mm lens) - Rs.39,999

Double Kit (14-42mm+41-150mm lens) - Rs.46,999

 

Pros:

Strong Built

Attractive Looks

Various Shooting Options

Comes with Interchangeable Lenses

 

Cons:

Very Expensive

Very heavy not good to carry around

No Viewfinder

 

In The Box:

USB Cables

Lenses

AV Cables

Charger with cable

Strap

Warranty Card

Software CD

User Guide

 

In the Stores »

 

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