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Olympus Pen E-P3 review

August 13, 2011

Overall Rating:

3

Olympus Pen E-P3


  • LCD viewfinder:
  • Dynamic Range:
  • Build/Handling:
  • Autofocus:
  • Noise/resolution:
  • Metering:
  • Features:
  • AWB Colour:

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£799.00

The latest Olympus Pen models are claimed to have the fastest AF of any interchangeable-lens camera. We find out how the new E-P3 handles and if it lives up to this bold statement

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White balance and colour

The white balance menu in the Olympus Pen E-P3 is quite extensive, with six presets, a colour temperature setting, two custom reading memories and white balance compensation. You can even bracket for up to three frames and choose whether to retain warm colours for indoor shooting using the auto mode. The auto setting performs so well, however, that you are unlikely to need to use many of these controls.

The custom settings are perhaps the exception, should you want to set your white balance for critical use, such as studio or portraiture work. This is set by using Olympus’s one-touch system (actually it’s two buttons) and asks you to point the camera at a white sheet of paper (or white card), press the shutter and then confirm to store.

The colour settings sit in the quick menu options and provide a choice of five main colour styles comprising i-enhance, vivid, natural, muted and portrait. For the most part, natural or i-enhance (which adds a little more punch) are the best options for natural colours, although even the vivid mode seems relatively tame after playing around with the art filters. The art filters can also be selected from the colour settings menu – as on the E-3 – which means they can be used in any shooting mode.

Image: The pop art filter gives a highly saturated effect, which is great for bold colours

  • Video: 1080 HD 60i, AVCHD, 720P Motion JPEG
  • External mic: Yes (accessory port only)
  • White Balance: Auto, 6 presets, manual, 2 custom modes
  • Dioptre Adjustment: N/A
  • Built-in Flash: Yes, GN 7m @ ISO 100
  • Shutter Type: Focal-plane shutter
  • Memory Card: SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Viewfinder Type: N/A
  • Output Size: 4032x3024 pixels
  • LCD: 3in, 610,000-dot touchscreen OLED
  • Field of View: 100% (live view)
  • White Balance Bracket: Yes
  • AF Points: 35-point system, touch focus, face and eye detection
  • Sensor: 12.3-million-effective-pixel Live MOS
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/180sec/1/4000sec (Super FP mode)
  • Exposure Modes: PASM, iAuto, 23 scene modes, 10 art filters
  • Weight: 321g (without battery)
  • File Format: JPEG, ORF (raw), AVCHD/motion JPEG
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion (330 shots)
  • Shutter Speeds: 60-1/4000sec + bulb
  • Drive Mode: 3fps
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV
  • RRP: £699 (body only)
  • Lens Mount: Micro four thirds
  • ISO: 200-12800
  • Focusing Modes: Single, continuous, manual, tracking
  • DoF Preview: No (via test picture)
  • Dimensions: 122x69.1x34.3mm
  • Metering System: 324-zone multi-pattern TTL digital ESP, spot, centreweighted, highlight, shadow
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB, HDMI

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