Olympus PEN Series updated + new lenses

It seems that large sensor compact cameras are getting ever more popular in the photographic market. Hot on the heels of new micro-4/3rds cameras from Panasonic and Sony, Olympus has released a trio of their own, updating the entire range and adding a new model to boot. They also have two new lenses on offer. Let’s take a look at these new releases. And click through the photos for more info at dpreview.

Olympus PEN E-P3 © dpreview.com

There is a lot of hype around their flagship E-P3, and for good reason. There is a new built-in flash, removable handgrip, touchscreen LCD, AF assist beam, new 12MP sensor, and a new processing engine which makes it more speedy than the original model. Most of all, it claims to have the fastest AF speed in the world. Finally, unlike other brands, they have eschewed the trend for minimalism and simplification (Panasonic GF3, Sony NEX-C3) in favor of sticking with tradition and plenty of external controls. We expect this camera to be a hit with serious photographers everywhere.

Olympus PEN Lite (E-PL3) © dpreview.com

On the surface, the E-PL3 differentiates itself more from its bigger brother this time around, but still packs plenty of punch. It uses the same sensor, processing, and has a similar degree of control with external buttons. It is also smaller, and features a swivel LCD that should be a hit with consumers. There is no built-in flash, but a clip-on unit is included with the camera. This new model certainly takes it’s clues from compact cameras and aims for the upgrading market.

Olympus PEN Mini © dpreview.com

The PEN Mini takes aim at the consumer market with an even smaller model. Impressively, it retains most of the features of the above two models, but loses the flash, flip out screen, and several external controls. One wonders why a camera aiming for the mass market wouldn’t include a built-in flash. Either way, it should be very tempting for those wanting a compact interchangeable lens system.

M. Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f2.0 lens © dpreview.com

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