Also Four Thirds and older m43 Olympus lenses do focus fast on new PEN cameras!


The video on top shows an AF test with the Four Thirds 12-60mm lens. It looks like the AF on the E-P3 works faster than on th older Pen cameras!
And the video below shows the AF performance with the 20mm f/1.7 pancake:

So what do you think?

Check the 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ED SWD lens specs and price at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
Check the 20mm f/1.7 pancake specs and price at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

  • Maciek

    there is real improvement in AF speed that gives hope for 43 lens owners. Lets hope that the pen pro will be faster.

  • This is a really huge advantage over Panasonic users. “Fortunately” I neither have legacy Zuiko lenses nor chances to get one in the near future…

  • A little OFF, Admin:

    There are already tons of places where the G3 is in stock, can be purchased UNDER list price and free shipping (at least inside USA). E.g. Crutchfield, 42nd street photo.

    It’s a pity that you don’t have sponsorship agreement with these (smaller) camera stores. Waiting for Amazon/Adorama to have cameras in stock at last may be a long and paintful procedure…

  • Robbie

    The ZD12-60 is really slow on my E-P2.
    The E-P3 demonstration by omuser, while not blazingly fast, is already a huge upgrade!(almost 14-54 mkII like)

  • Alexander

    GOOD NEWS ! :-)

  • Peroni

    There was a lot of misinformation about the focus speed. Apparently the new m43 kit lenses only differs from their predecessors in their look. There won’t be any need of firmware upgrades for old lenses.

    • Can you quote some source? That would be very interesting to me.

      I also have a couple of 4/3 CDAF compatible lenses that could do better with FAST AF,

  • Klaus

    second video is the “magic cake” Panasonic 20mm 1.7

  • Arthur

    Please note that the 2nd video is a test on Panasonic 20 1.7 as you can clearly see the F1.7 on the screen

  • napalm

    this is definitely good news. i wonder how fast the 14-54mm mkII will be. hope someone will test soon.

    • M.

      +1. And how about the 50f2? It is really slow on ep-2.

      • i want to know too, maybe this omuser has tested more ft lenses.

  • This is good news. If Olympus releases non-weatherproof primes like 12/2.0 for pen. They can keep the 4/3rds SHG lens range alive (which are weather-proof and fast). The pen-pro to be released in 2 years will probably be weather-proof to focus your zuiko SHG glass.

    A nice way to merge both platforms. Makes a lot of sense to me.

  • MikeH

    Kudos Olympus!

    As a GH2 owner I’ll say that I’m impressed with how far Oly has come. It is good to see some healthy competition. If the IQ were a bit better, I’d have jumped at the EP3 for a second body choice, but I think a lot of people will because of the impressive AF speed. Now m43 only needs some DR improvements to rock the DSLR foundations even more.

    • Andyoz

      Good points. If the E-P3 had the IQ of the G3 (which from first appearance looks good) then it would be an absolute winner. I still thinks its a good camera and the IQ would be good enough for me but if they had of advanced the IQ a bit more ….

      • Digifan

        ?????? I think the E-P3 has better IQ than G3, just not at >3200.
        From the samples around of people who know what they are doing it looks DR has increased indeed.

        • Zaph

          Robin Wong is certainly one saying that the DR has improved significantly.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t believe Robin Wong necessarily but I do know that we don’t have E-P3 support with any RAW conversion programs and no properly processed RAW filles as a result just yet.

            As for out-of-camera jpegs, where are the examples where NR and sharpening settings were lowered?

            For these reasons, I’m not convinced at this time that the E-P3’s IQ is better or worse than the G3. It’s too early to know IMO.

            • UFRAW works fine.

            • Zaph

              I don’t think it necessarily *does* have better IQ than the G3. But it does seem have better IQ than the E-P2/E-PL1. Does it have to beat the G3 to be a useful camera? The G3 is larger, and has no IS, so you either need to use larger lenses with OIS on the G3 (which legacy lenses don’t have) or the E-P3 ends up with a 1-stop advantage for a lot of scenes.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t care what Robin Wong says. I’d like to see some properly processed RAW files from a program that actually supports the E-P3.

            And I’d also like to see some jpegs with NR and sharpening turned down in the camera.

            Until this occurs, there’s no way to properly evaluate the E-P3’s IQ vs the G3 or anything else.

          • tmrgrs

            I don’t care what Robin Wong says. I want to see some processed RAW files from a program that actually supports the E-P3 and I also want to see some jpegs where the NR and sharpening settings were reduced. Until that happens, there’s no way to properly compare this camera’s IQ with the G3 or anything else.

      • napalm

        some reviewers have said images are better with NR off/low

        the E-P3 images are just about the same as the E-5 so it’s good enough for me

  • Andyoz

    Looks great. Seems that most/all of the improvement is in the body processor and how it adjusts the auto focus. I am really curious how well it will AF the old first gen M43 14-42 lens – I like the look of that lens the most.

  • Pixnat

    Nice! Thanks for posting that one!
    It seems to be a good improvement, making 4/3 lenses much more useable on the new pens.
    That’s promising for the “beautiful system” announced by Olympus.
    I keep the faith (and the 4/3 Zuikos :-))!

    • WOW!

      I think that increasing the processor speed has a beneficial impact on all lenses.

      However I don’t understand how it can impact PDAF only lenses. Perhaps the 12-60 is CDAF compatible?

      That again makes me wonder if they don’t use the IR PDAF technology on the side, the same patent we discussed the other day.

      Anyone competent cares to comment?

      • JeremyT

        Still has the little open circle focus indicator in the upper right hand corner, so it’s definitely not a CDAF native lens. On second look I’m not sure this is really substantially faster; I don’t own this exact lens but it doesn’t seem like much of an improvement over what I see with my 50-200mm SWD.

        The real question I have is whether the SWD lenses will finally get a firmware update to support CDAF on PENs. Oly in the past has said it was possible, but it never materialized. Without full CDAF support you just have single AF (what he was using in this shot), but not continuous AF tracking (which would be very useful).

  • leendert

    I’m very curiuos how it works with the Sigma 50-500mm FT

    • Maciek

      +1, and sigma 135-400mm FT

  • Brod1er

    12-60 was faster than I expected although it was difficult to know when the shutter was pressed. Useful for existing owners, but too big for the rest of us. Bring on the native MFT 12-60 please!

    • Frederick Hew

      45 seconds into the video you can see when the shutter is pressed, as the demonstrator raises his fingers until actuation. it might be improved over the e-p2 but still slow nevertheless.

  • Christoph

    As much as I’d like to believe it, Robin Wong said he didn’t see any improvements. Maybe it only works with SWD lenses?

  • TR

    Good news. I wonder of e-p3 will come ‘body only’. I havne’t seen it ‘body only’ as a pre order anywhere…. any ideas?

    • Ben

      • TR

        Thanks, that’s a good sign.

  • Admin, the layout of MirrorLessRumors is broken again.

  • Jim

    Notice as he adjusts the zoom the lens equiv mm is shown on the top right of the screen real time… I don’t know if this is normal on the Pen but with my EP1 and kit zoom it does not display the zoom! – nice touch – if only it showed the focus distance!

    • Chris K

      It appears to be the actual focal length, not a 35mm equivalency. You’ll note when he zooms all the way in the camera reads “60mm”.

      A nice little feature. I would appreciate it on my 7D, where the equivalency math is harder to work out (1.6x is harder to calculate than 2x) for my brain stuck in 35mm terms.

      • All lenses should just read apparent FOV. That’s constant across formats, and makes everything simpler. Sadly, rationality will never enter into the equation.

    • JeremyT

      That’s nice, good catch! Now I just wish it would show an on-screen distance scale too :)

  • Cal

    Can you shoot a hockey game with this camera? Following the fastest game is sports? Is this fast enough to to capture the hits, the slap shots and the speed of the players? I don’t think any M43 can follow the game. Shutter lag is way to slow for fast pace sports. M43 is only for taking pics of grandma with a walker….

    • Chris K

      Don’t feed the troll, guys!

    • Jim

      Aww – Just depends on your skill level – I’m currently practicing bullets in flight (hand held MF of couse)…. at the moment on my m4/3 I’m only getting 1 in 3 but i bet with a proper camera I would get 100% keepers….. You’ll get there :)

  • james

    Any info on whether it can focus the 50mm macro or the 14-35mm/35-100mm type lenses well?

  • JeremyT

    Holy crap YES! If my 50-200mm SWD has usable AF, this totally just sold me on the E-P3! Time to throw away my last four thirds dslr! :)

  • Boooo!

    That’s not fast, it’s still snail-like slow.

    It’s hard to tell exactly, but it looks like it’s over one second (at one point in the video, it was close to two seconds), which is painfully slow for a SWD lens. Even a kit 14-42 zoom on an E-xxx focuses faster than that.

    Still unusable, not to mention that the 12-60 dwarfs the PEN in size and weight and you can’t use your left hand for anything but holding the lens.

  • The speed with the Panasonic 20mm is not bad, but it’s notably slower than my GF1.

    I wish these companies would actually truly work together on a lens system, instead of this BS where they pretend it’s the same system but there are blatant downsides to mixing brands. If these new Olympus bodies have the most advanced AF algorithms of any M4/3 body yet, there is no reason why a two-generations-old Panasonic body should be faster at focusing certain lenses. If this were truly a unified standard, Olympus would have the same amount of information about Panasonic lenses as Panasonic itself does.

    And as a person who covets the new 12mm f/2 lens, it irks me that I can expect to see more visible optical flaws in my image than I’m seeing in any review sample shots, because the brands don’t want to include any aberration correction data for the other guys’ glass.

    • Andyoz

      I wonder if there is any slight delay in the touchscreen implementation of AF that makes it slightly slower than using the shutter button. I know there shouldnt be. Perhaps that could explain part of the slower focus speed with the 20mm compared to the kit lens AF speed in the previous post on 43 rumors. Forgive my lack of knowledge but I thought even Panasonic users had said that the 20mm lens was slower focussing than the kit zoom or the newer 14mm lens.

      You make a good point Ethan about integration between the companies – I wish that Olympus and Panasonic would work better on two things:
      – as you say AF performance of different brand lenses
      – and sensor performance/IQ
      With the sensor they should be working together to maximise the IQ of the 43rds sensor and then using other features (IBIS vs OIS) and design to differentiate the brands. The bigger picture is that they are both trying to get customers away from entry level dSLRs and others from P&S.

    • Wrum

      A few nights ago I saw a dream. In that fiction, the main reason behind the demise of the original four thirds was companies that signed up for the alliance simply wanting to steal technical and sales/marketing info from Oly/Pana.

      Ah, the power of dreams.

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