Olympus, a long-standing industry leader in compact camera design, has released an updated generation of Micro Four Thirds format cameras aimed at both beginners and enthusiasts. In keeping with the PEN tradition, Olympus' new line of cameras maintains the goal of professional image quality in a compact package.
The most impressive feature of these new PEN cameras is the new autofocus system - Olympus claims this is the world's fastest autofocus system. This is certainly a bold claim to make, especially considering the fact that mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras like the PEN line have historically lagged behind their SLR competition in autofocus speed.
Here's what to look forward to with the new PEN cameras:
- E-P3 - Olympus' new flagship model, the E-P3 boasts an improved version of Olympus' 12.3-megapixel sensor from the previous generation's E-P2. The E-P3 brings some other noteworthy improvements to the table: a 3-inch OLED touchscreen, a new autofocus system with 35 focus points, and the new TruePicVI image processor.
- PEN Lite - The consumer version of the professional E-P3, the Pen Lite contains the same sensor and image processor of the E-P3, but is housed in a cheaper body and sacrifices the touchscreen for a tilting LCD.
- PEN Mini - Aimed at those who are more accustomed to point-and-shoot consumer cameras, the Mini is the smallest of the three and incorporates a fixed 3-inch LCD screen. The Mini has the same guts as its more expensive brethren (meaning similar image quality) but does not feature the external buttons of the E-P3 and Lite... thus making settings and adjustments more cumbersome.