(FT2) A new Olympus E-P3 rumor

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Several days ago I received the following E-P3 rumor. I didn’t post it because I wanted to check it with my other sources. But I just saw that photorumors posted the same rumor. Please keep in mind that this is not a rumor from one of my reliable sources. Message for the anonymous sender. Can you contact me using a fake email account? Thanks! :) Message to all our anonymous sources. Don’t expect me to post your rumor right after I received it. I always try to double check rumors as you can imagine not all rumors I do receive are correct.

Here the original mail I received days ago:

Olympus EP3 major upgrade with emphasis on classic 4/3 compatibility:

• 16MP sensor, supports 1080 video and up to ISO 6400, 12800 extension (same Panasonic GH2 sensor)

• Articulated LCD, 3″ and 920K.

• No built-in flash or EVF, but there are connectors for optional ones.

• The design “lines” are closer to E-PL1 than E-P2. The form factor, being slim with an articulated screen, is unique! The closest thing would be a scaled-up Samsung EX1.

• Considerable improvements in AF. A headline feature is a new dual AF (CDAF+ PDAF). The PDAF aids CDAF to decide the right focus distance reducing the typical CDAF trial-and-error, particularly helpful for AF of heavy classic 4/3 lenses, (it works MUCH BETTER than any m4/3 body with legacy 4/3 lenses, excellent w m4/3 lenses).

• A special accessory unit comprising a hand grip + 4/3 lens adapter. The unit covers the whole front panel and almost transforms the EP3 to a classic 4/3 camera when attached.

• Expected next November/December for the Christmas season, price TBA.”

Please contact me if you know more! Thanks!

UPDATE: A user on Dpreview forum got an answer from Olympus regarding the E-P3 rumor and said that “the rumour is pure fiction but there are many things happening next year.”

Reminder -> Rumors classification explained (FT= FourThirds):
FT1=1-20% chance the rumor is correct
FT2=21-40% chance the rumor is correct
FT3=41-60% chance the rumor is correct
FT4=61-80% chance the rumor is correct
FT5=81-99% chance the rumor is correct

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  • Miroslav

    No flash is a letdown. Other stuff like 1080 pixel video, articulating screen and faster AF seem promising. The accessory unit seem to me like something talked about couple of months ago when modular system was mentioned.

  • CR102

    While I wish for such a camera, I don’t believe this rumor. Here’s why:
    * Nov-Dec 2010 is too early. I would expect such a camera in the seocnd quarter of 2011, released with the m4/3 50mm macro and 12mm.
    * Either a pop-up flash or integral EVF should be included.
    * 16MP would out-resolve most of the Zuiko HG lenses, which is against Oly’s philosophy. They are trying to make a point of extracting all the detail with 12MP and will not shoot themselves in the foot so early.
    * The modular concept implementation sounds too “right” to be true.

    • George

      +1
      there is no way they can begin to ship this camera in 2 months even it hasn’t been announced yet

  • four thirds photo

    Good!
    E5 for al weather workhorse and fast AF (wildlife and moving subjects)
    EP3 for highest resolution landscapes and other static subjects with low iso(16mp with truepicc V+ and 4/3 SHG glass must be amazing)

    • lego

      think it said ‘next’ holiday season

  • Jonathan

    In essence this rumor describes the modular camera that is probably in the works… a m4/3 module that can function on its own, coupled with a 4/3 adapter that probably contains a PDAF assembly. It makes sense.

    I would have thought this camera would not be called a “Pen”, but then again… the rest of the specifics such as the sensor, availability etc. could be wrong (or not), but all in all it sounds quite sensible.

  • Maciek

    – (…)new dual AF (CDAF+ PDAF) ??????
    – 16MP sensor, (…) (same Panasonic GH2 sensor)?????

    if the sensor is the same as GH2 then will have no PDAF on the main sensor

  • Boris

    It’s hard to believe that they are so naive, to kill the E-5 with the camera like the EP3!

    • Robbie

      It’s not that strange actually, remembered the time when E-P2 was announced right after E-P1. You never know what Olympus is thinking!

    • Jonathan

      Boris… the E-5 is DOA, it can not be killed because it’s already dead.

      Olympus is not going to sell many E-5s, and probably does not rely on revenues from this camera. It must come out with competitive products if it wants to stay in business.

      • Boris

        It is sad that they didn’t use in E-5 the same sensor that is in GH2!

        • Jonathan

          That’s not the only sad thing about this camera…

          It wouldn’t be such a sad joke had it been released one and a half years ago as an E-3s. There is no new technology in this camera.

    • Miroslav

      E-5 is made for people who have many 4/3 lenses and make a living from photography. m4/3 is not for professionals yet.

      • George

        +1
        e5 is belong to 2009

        • Jason

          George is belong 1985

  • Tom

    Please Olympus, with respect to 1080p, support 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, and 30 fps frame rates. Overcranking would be a bonus, but focus on the basics first. Also take cues from the Fuji X100 for user interface. I think they just about perfected to user controls aspect of a camera, basically taking a step back and removing the LCD as the primary user interface, and relying more on physical controls.

    • http://www.nordstromproduktion.se NoM43Yet

      Tom: “Also take cues from the Fuji X100 for user interface.”

      That will probably happen first in the E-P4. The Development takes time and I guess that most of the plans for E-P3 are already made up.

      These rumors seem reasonable and I believe they are true, but the lack of integrated EVF is a disappointment.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/miklosrabi Miklos Rabi

    No flash? No EVF?
    I think Oly is going to die.

  • Gabi

    I hope the rumor is true, although I don’t believe the release date. I don’t need a flash, and if the VF-2 is compatible with this camera, I will be definitely tempted to buy one!

  • Alfons

    I’m not buying this rumor.

    Weather sealed pen would be nice, but that won’t happen either for a while. That is E-5 territory.

  • Aisha

    why 16MP?? who needs this?

  • Catastrophile

    When the camera has sensor shake
    and the picture is easy to take
    then the rumor turns out to be fake
    Please Olympus for God’s sake
    this is the camera you should make

    • Duarte Bruno

      Too little to late…
      …with the GH2 I have a date!

      • david

        You rhyme sublime;
        you’ll do just fine.

        • Miroslav

          But the absence of a flash
          will result in a crash!
          So please Oly, if you may,
          put a flash, make our day.
          We need light in the night,
          in the daytime shadows bright.
          All the other specs are fine,
          plus a flash, and it’s mine!

          • http://www.43rumors.com/members/emergo/ erik

            If Oly doesn’t act fast
            I’ll be buying a Pentax

  • http://www.thevoiceoverman.com TheVoiceoverman

    Next Christmas? Too little, too late. Again.

  • http://www.techside.eu Techfreak

    Next November/December – means 2011 or still 2010 ??

  • Per

    Is this true – or is Olympus leaking the to “keep the kettle boiling”? Product development pace by Olympus is so far a disappointment. The E-5 will not go well sales-wise. The Pen cameras are meant as upgrading from compact. Other, bigger, manufacturers have prosumer DSLR cameras to protect and will not make mirrorless cameras that competes witth them.So there is clearly a market niche here for Olympus and Panasonic (Samsung too). Are they up to it or not?

  • Duarte Bruno

    I don’t buy this one for one second.

    1 – Having a camera this important to be released in a few months and no prototype to show on Photokina while they showed a large sensor compact that isn’t going to be out any time soon?
    2 – Access to the GH2 sensor in two months which they couldn’t wait to fit on the flagship E5?

    Now the PDAF + CDAF I actually buy! If they really have a translucent mirror (like the Sony A55) with fast electronic switching off, they could use it to do an initial PDAF, switch off immediately at the same time they start to move the lens elements and take on CDAF with already a good enough estimation to prevent hunting.

    Unfortunately Olympus hasn’t been all that smart on their CDAF methods.

    • Ross

      Duarte Bruno. Did you hear how the Sony A55 overheats very quickly in video mode because of that? Seems like the technology still needs furher development. When was Olympus trialing that fan cooled camera (found in a patent)?

      • Jonathan

        Ross,

        The Canon 7D overheats in video mode as well without having a dual AF (a friend of mine uses it almost strictly for video and has been forced to take breaks to let the camera cool down). I think this has little to do with the AF engine.

  • gekopaca

    No viewfinder = No future
    Don’t care 4/3

  • http://www.43rumors.com/ft2-e-p3 E-3 early adopter

    I expect some more battery juice in such a camera, hence the new BLM-5 with 1620 mAh energy seems suitable!

  • tickatock

    I want most of this to be true, but God save us from the E-PL1-derived body. The E-P1 and E-P2, taken together, are a stunningly beautiful design compared to any other camera in their price range.

    I don’t see any other option holding up in comparison. On the side trending toward DSLR design (say, Olympus’s other E-System cameras, or Panasonic’s GH2), you have rounded corners, lumpy grips, humpback EVFs, and slanted shoulders. On anything lesser, you have plasticky-looking bodies that belong on point-and-shoots.

    The E-PL1 seems to have mostly drawn from the latter category for its gray gummy bear design. Before it arrived, the PEN line was simple, a steel brick. It looked like something John Dillinger would have carved behind bars. The E-PL1 is otherwise. If it were selected for Oprah’s book club, it would not regret it for a moment. It would not, we can at least say for certain, think of the word ‘schmaltz’ when later asked to describe the experience.

    I don’t know why straight lines are so hard to come by, but the E-P1 and -2 nailed them. I hope the -3 keeps that spark alive.

  • PeterMG

    Sounds interesting lets wait and see. I think the E5 will sell better than some expect and I for one will get one next year sometime. I’m not interested in a m4/3 camera untill it is waterproof and works with the faster 4/3 lenses.

    • FatDrunkAndStupid

      I don’t think it will sell better than expected at all. People with existing 4/3 glass will surely buy it, because right now, it’s looking like it might be the last camera that will ever be able to support 4/3 glass. But nobody new is going to buy in to a format that is facing extinction. If I were invested in 4/3, I’d sell now while my stuff can still fetch something. Hoping and praying Oly comes through with a camera they seem to have no desire to make and risk getting caught holding a bunch of expensive glass paperweights isn’t worth it. Oly has had an eternity to put the fears of 4/3’s owners to rest and confirm they are working on a camera like the one this baseless rumor talks about. They never have. That should tell you something.

      • Duarte Bruno

        If this wild rumour was true the E5 would not be the last camera to support 4/3 glass. A m43 body with PDAF can easily beat the E5 provided it has weather sealing. And who would buy the DOA E5 then?

      • Kylo277

        Has Oly not stated that there will always be a top end body available to drive Zuiko 4/3 glass? As long as it outputs top quality IQ I don’t care whether it’s a m4/3 or 4/3 body. I highly doubt they’re going to walk away from their crown jewels (lenses).

      • BS Artiste

        @FatDrunkAndStupid – “Oly has had an eternity to put the fears of 4/3′s owners to rest and confirm they are working on a camera like the one this baseless rumor talks about. They never have. That should tell you something.”

        Yes. Oly could forthrightly communicate their intentions regarding 4/3 very easily without giving away any product direction to competitors. No competitors are going to make a 4/3 camera at this point if Oly announced a commitment to 4/3 cameras in the future. The fact that Oly has not made such announcements is pretty telling.

        The rumor has the advantage of leading on 4/3 owners for a little longer while not officially coming from Oly as a statement of commitment to 4/3 mounts.

        Oly, please make a call one way or another instead of trying to stay on both sides of the fence with the future of 4/3. Beyond the E-5, are there any plans for a camera with a native 4/3 mount? If the E-5 is to be the last camera with a native 4/3 mount, then why weren’t all the latest and greatest camera features such as high end video included in the E-5?

        In some ways, Oly’s direction on 4/3 does not matter to me. I am so invested in 4/3 gear that I just about have to keep using it, although the dearth of 4/3 products from Photokina 2010 has caused me to terminate plans I had to buy $5K to $6K of HG/SHG 4/3 lenses this fall. Still, the way Oly has handled communication with its customers certainly could affect my future decisions on any new $10K camera systems that I purchase in the next 12 to 18 months.

    • das

      ep2 looks great , but in my opinion epl1 holds better in hand, and just with one hand.

  • Olf

    PDAF. How ? Panasonic does not have the fuji sensor technology, and the mirorless construction does not permit to have a separated AF sensor needed for the PDAF…

    • http://www.iixn.net GM

      Panasonic last year patented PDAF unit in mount adaptor.

    • Miroslav

      Maybe they just didn’t implement that in GF2 …

      • Miroslav

        Delete this one.

    • Miroslav

      Maybe they just didn’t implement that in GH2 …

  • Nathan

    No thanks. I will never, EVER purchase a camera that makes me choose between EVF and flash. It’s just an idiotic design that I thought they had corrected with E-PL1. I’d want a metal E-PL1 with these features, not an updated E-P2.

    The problem with the idea of Micro Four Thirds replacing Four Thirds is how many accessories are needed to make the E-P2 into a real camera: EVF is needed, grip is needed, flash is needed (because they couldn’t just put a bright infrared LED in the EVF for wireless flash control, or put a hot shoe on top of the EVF, no, that would make too much sense.

    Until they make micro four thirds into a proper camera, they can’t have my OVF.

    • Eric

      I agree. I don’t understand why people think those two items are interchangeable. I shoot photos through a view finder period. The trouble is I also occasionally need flash/studio lighting. The only solution I can think of is for them to make an EVF with a hotshoe on top. If they did that I’d be ok with an add-on EVF. Just get rid of the hinges on the current EVF to make it a bit smaller and more sturdy then slap a hotshoe on top and I’m good to go.

      • vinzer

        I fully understand where you’re coming from, only that saying the E-Px cameras aren’t “real cameras” until accessorized sound hollow. A camera only needs to be able to take photos. Everything else that helps the user to take photos easier are features, and the lack thereof doesn’t make a camera a “fake” one.

  • jeff

    i will not bother with micro43 until they use built in EVF’s

    • http://marcstephenramirez.blogspot.com/ marcram

      Like the Gx/Ghx series?

      • jeff

        honestly those cameras dont appeal to me as they dont have in camera image stabilization and on top of that they are fuck ugly in design

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/angry/ Angry Olympus Owner

    “Expected next November/December for the Christmas season”

    next November as in November 2011???

  • Archer

    Built-in flash is necessary on a “Pro” m-4/3’s to support wireless flash, which the E-PL1 can do, even though it isn’t advertised very much. I have my doubts about this rumor, though, as it seems like its someone’s wishful thinking that sent around until someone published it.

  • Michael

    Olympus needs next Micro Four Thirds body with built-in viewfinder. I am talking about serious camera with serious lenses. Hoping for fast primes and decent camera body with dedicated buttons/dials for fast exposure adjusting (aperture, shutter speed and sensitivity). This has been said millions times here. Will ever Olympus listen to us?
    Everything similar to current PENs would be exactly the same product with no future impression on enthusiast/semi-pro users. Another PEN without built-in EVF is like bad joke. Just a fancy camera for rich P&S shooters…
    And 16Mpix is for what if quality is compromised? Better highly improve DR and ISO rather than resolution (are current standard grade mZD lenses optimized for such resolution?). With FT Olympus know what are they doing but with mFT I don’t think so if this rumor is true.

    • David

      A m4/3 body with a built in evf becomes an e-620 without the grip. What is the advantage there over 4/3? If olympus or panasonic just built some fast primes, then a e-620 would be just as small and more useable than an e-p3 with a built in evf. For that matter, canon, pentax, and nikon DO have some nice primes and small bodies.
      If Olympus is smart, they will do something that differentiates them. Build small, quality primes for m4/3. Keep the Pen series small. Don’t build in an EVF unless they can keep it the same size (or a little smaller) than the current Pens. Then build a couple larger mirrorless bodies to replace the e-620, e-30, and e-5 that can use both 4/3 and m4/3 lenses. That gives them a small bodied, large sensor camera that can be used with the primes, and a large, professional camera that can make use of the best zooms on the market, as well as the fast primes that are used with the m4/3 body.

  • Din

    That was a inpatient Olympus Fan-boy…

    • Duarte Bruno

      You said it all! Unfortunately!

    • Catastrophile

      exactly David, many people seem to forget or ignore the fact that EVF needs to protrude considerably to the back (check G1, G2, GH1 or GH2’s side view), otherwise your nose will be unwantedly in an intimate kiss with the LCD. a protrusion on the top (hump) is also needed for a large satisfactory EVF, as soon as you do that you get to the territory of form factor of the above mentioned G GH models, never a GF or EP size. even compact P&S when they have EVF, they are largish not much smaller than the smallest DSLR, v rare exceptions like one of the Nikon coolpix Pxx is only compact by means of using v tiny EVF. best solution is not built in but independent from hotshoe and designed to somehow fit within the box of the camera (maybe interchangeable with the pop up flash).

      • cL

        Well, they can build it like Fuji X100, which has the viewfinder on the side, so your noise is protruding through the side of the camera rather than directly on the LCD. With EVF, there is no requirement that the viewfinder must be exactly on top of the lens, because there is no mirror, only electronic cables! With a little rearranging of the electronic parts, they can do it. Then they can have a proper hot shoe for dedicated flash. Problem solved.

  • eric k

    Compact mirrorless cameras should have built in flash (even if small and limited), a viewfinder (even if optical) and HD video.

    X1 for example no HD video is idiotic. EP2 with no flash kills it for a lot of people, specially people looking for a better alternative to a P&S.

    I think part of the excitement about the Fuji X100 is that it has a built in viewfinder, flash and HD video. Obviously some people would like it to use interchangeable lens…

    Obviously, all these companies need to keep people buying accessories and upgrading over time, there in lies the obstacle to any company building the perfect camera?

    • David

      I think this is a false argument, and due to lack of education by P/S users (and many SLR users). I have never missed the flash on the e-p1. I can pretty much always use available light with the 20mm and iso 800. Pop up flashes have one or two good applications I can think of, like triggering real flashes, or when the subject is dark, the background is light, and you want the entire frame exposed. But these are limited situations. Mostly I see people using tiny flashes to light light up subjects 10, 20, 30ft or more away because the P/S or SLR in auto did it for them. Sure, they have a flash, and it goes off, but it doesn’t actually do anything. I suppose built in flashes are also good for the deer in headlights night shot. Where you really need a flash, i.e. in portraiture or some macro photography, you need a ring flash or a bounceable, higher powered flash.

  • gekopaca

    If Fuji makes a X200 with interchangeable lens system, I will kick out immediatly my M43 system… because I use both alternative lenses, wich could be OK on the Fuji system with the right adaptors.
    Never mind Oly or Pany, if they’re unable to make the perfect camera!!!

    • spam

      It’s not possible to make a perfect camera.

  • http://www.photoforum.ru/11012 Frosti7

    ADMIN <

    Is there any news about the 0.5X adaptor for full frame lens?
    (there was a rumor stating Olympus will produce 0.5 converter adaptor that a full frame lens of 50mm would show as true 50mm on 4/3 sensor, and it would actually double the aperture as well!)

    • Michael

      Doubling aperture, how is that possible? Is adding another optical element in opposite to this statement (lower f-stop)?

      • Chris

        It would reduce the focal length, causing a lower focal length-to-diaphragm ratio for a brighter f-stop.

        • Michael

          Ok, and what about image quality (sharpness and contrast rendition)?

    • admin

      Hi Frosti! I have taken some breath after Photokina. So I didn’t work a lot on rumors. Anyway I received some info but as I have learned from the lats months I want to figure out why Olympus didn’t deliver us any news about modular or adapter news. As soon as I have something more reliable I will post it. Bye!

      • http://www.photoforum.ru/11012 Frosti7

        Great, thanx!
        Chris> thanx for the better explanation

  • Paulus

    “New E-P3”?

    A big step forward! – Congratulations to Olympus!

    – Full HD-Video, new dual AF (CDAF+ PDAF) – Great!

    – Special accessory unit comprising a hand grip + 4/3 lens adapter.
    The unit covers the whole front panel and almost transforms the EP3 to a
    classic 4/3 camera when attached – Super!

    – Articulated LCD, 3″ and 920K – (dual axis swivel Hyper Crystal LCD?)
    – Most welcome!

    – A must: EVF with a hot shoe on top or with an add-on EVF
    (simultaneous use EFV and hot shoe for flash (I fully agree with the comment
    of Eric!)

    – Weather sealing plus Geotagging, Wireless-Lan/Bluetooth
    would make the “E-P3” perfect!

    I will buy one if pricing is ok!

    • Paulus

      … forgotten – wireless flash control!

  • David

    I’ve though about this, and here is what I think Olympus should do for their lineup.

    E-pl1 type camera: similar build quality to e-pl1, uses m/43 lenses only.

    e-620 replacement: something near the size of a gh1, built in grip, build quality comparable to e-620, with built in evf, and an adapter for using either m4/3 or 4/3 lenses.

    e-30 replacement: basically, the e-p3 described above. Something with higher end build quality like the e-p1/2, no built in evf or grip, but with a grip adaptor that has an evf built in, uses bigger batteries, and allows for use of 4/3 lenses

    I’d love to see that weatherproofed, but I don’t think that will happen.

    e-5 replacement: weatherproof body, built in grip and evf, battery grip as an accessory, with ability to use either 4/3 or m4/3 lenses.

    I dunno, am I dreaming?

    • Paulus

      Today’s day-dreaming – products of tomorrow!

    • Catastrophile

      am not sure whether or not they’ll weather proof such a camera.
      i prefer if E5 replacement be lighter than feather and when it’s windy we rely on sensor shiver.

    • cL

      It’s okay to dream. That’s what’s missing in modern society. (and I don’t mean delusion, which is too common)

      Anyways…, let me continue on this “It makes sense if Olympus does this” game.

      E-PL1 type camera. Agree with you there David. Key is portable and simple to use.

      Pen type camera. This should be the high-end m4/3 with a build-in EVF at least. Focus on quality and design.

      E-x type flagship. Capable of using 4/3 lenses. E-30 size but weather sealed. E-xxx will be replaced with high end Pen and E-xx does not need to exist. Using E-30 size body will re-emphasize that Olympus cameras have size advantage over competitors without sacrificing usability for professionals. Will be built with the greatest parts Olympus have access to. It’ll be niche (i.e., don’t expect it’ll sell too many units) but the focus is to keep some prestige, so quality of image and build must be impeccable. Guaranteed money loser from business point of view, but it’s to give a ripple effect to the whole umbrella of cameras. Renew the model once every five years only, in order to keep cost down.

      So what’s different from the current Olympus plan? Not much. The Olympus plan DOES make sense, but it’s the execution that’s different. Everyone who has gone to a a cooking school knows, it’s not the recipe. Everyone is cooking with the same recipe, but why some are better chefs than another? It’s the EXECUTION!

      Does having the greatest camera makes you an artist? Okay, that sounds like borderline insult, but that gives you the idea. :-p

  • http://none Brian

    EPL1 is butt ugly. I’ll stick with my EP2 if it is that ugly.

    • tickatock

      zactly.

  • Maz

    I totally agree with those who say lack of built-in EVF would be a deal-breaker.
    I can live without built-in flash – just. But I’m not prepared to do without an EVF for bright sunlight situations. Would also want an articulated LCD. On my present camera I regularly use both flip LCD and EVF. I more often use external flash rather than built-in because I do a lot of bounce-flash for fill-in, so the flash is less of an issue for me than for others.

  • Voldenuit

    Wow! A revolutionary upgrade in time for Christmas, and so amazing Olympus couldn’t show it at Photokina, only parading the warmed-over corpse of the E-5 instead! Does it come with a free Brooklyn Bridge?

  • Mumbly

    Sounds like a hybrid autofocus system:

    PDAF = Phase Detection Auto-Focus
    CDAF = Contrast Detection Auto-Focus

    So nothing really new at the end, but if the rumour’s true, let’s see what Olympus will make of it…

  • Rumonger

    If the IQ is as sharp as the E-5 and retails about $999, I am sold. It does not even have to have 16Mp, I am good with 12Mp.

    Sounds too good to be true though.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bp_arts Moments in time

    I think that the rumor makes a very good sense; merging with the info from somewhat older talk about modular system being developed.

    For normal amateur users PENs have shown the way…there will be new mFT lenses, new cameras, smart cameras, phone cameras…
    However…for more serious enthusiasts and pros now there is FT line – ZUIKO quality glass (I see it in the aspect of physics – the bigger the lens, the better the lens – the highest level of sharpness can not be earned through SW algorithms)- and at this time only E-x/xx/xxx can handle them, with E-5 being the best of them.
    With the ongoing development the characteristics of mFT cameras will catch-up with the SLR-line (mostly AF, shooting speed, pro-like interface, weather/…/proofness).
    Then the time will come for the camera that while being CDAF based, handles all the best quality ZUIKOs as good as a E-series SLR – the camera to replace the E-5 with all the deserved shine and “flagshipness”.
    So the rumored camera is on the way to start bridging the gap.

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