E-P3 slowly fading out (and price drops). Don’t expect a successor but rather something else…


E-P3 price drops and discontinued status:
All normal E-P3 kits are now marked as discontinued at BHphoto (Click here). And they are massively discounted at Adorama (Click here) and low in Stock at Amazon (Click here). You can get it for even less as refurbished item on Cametaauctions (via Slidoo) or directly at Cameta. In Germany price drops are also shown by Idealo.de price history.

What’s coming:
I am working on that rumor now. All I have heard from one source is to not expect a “successor” but rather “something different“. As usual these kind of rumors lead to all plenty of speculation. Let’s keep expectations low so that we won’t be disappointed if something unspectacular will be announced. Question…when will it be announced? I am getting rumors form anonymous sources that the new camera may come in February! Still to be confirmed by trusted sources yet…
For some unclear reason I keep checking old Olympus rangefinder cameras one eBay. Just to see how a digital version could look like -> of course without rangefinder tech but with rangefinder style. But as I said, the new PEN will not be spectacular, just a small update..or not? :)


Deal sent by Eric (via NoisyC).

  • I can’t imagine that it will not be an RF styled camera. No-one at Olympus could be that silly, surely? They did the E-M5 well, now they need to give us an PEN E-F1!

    • Sören


    • michael

      All I want in life is an affordable OM-D. That viewfinder in a nice body shape makes me salivate, but I can’t justify the cost (I’ve spent too much on lenses!)

      Give me an $800, non-weather-sealed OM-D, Oly — I’m begging you to take my money!

      • Anonymous

        You can buy a factory demo for $829 and refurbished for $849.

  • +1
    lets hope for the “not” –> EVF Rangefinder m43!

    • LOL, I usually try to avoid double negatives.
      The cool thing about the original PEN F & FT cameras is of course that they were SLR’s, not RF’s. So no real reason why they can’t make an exact replica, just with EVF, as there was never a VF window in the first place.

    • Dwaine Dibbly

      Downgraded OM-D? No way. Give me an improved OM-D and drop the price of the current model to $800.

  • What seems strange to me is that Oly had the components before anybody else in the E-P2/VF-2 and it led Fuji and Sony take the lead in the integration.

    I am not scared at the new camera having a different shape, having a 2 axis stabilisation. Is it so much a creative effort to assemble and additional component in a slightly larger body?

    Please Admin, just give us some hints about what to expect for real, before you disappear for a while in your happy pursuit.

    Congrats BTW!

  • @amalric. I think you are saying it needs the 5-axis IBIS? Personally, if it doesn’t, I’ll have to accept the E-M5 as my E-PL1 replacement.

    • I am saying exactly the opposite. To me having the equivalent of the Fuji X-E1 with a m4/3 mount, OM-D responsiveness, and 2 axis IBIS would be perfect. Add two control wheels, instead of the useless shutter speed one, and I am set.

      That is why I say that Oly (and Panny) have all the elements to make a new successful line. Retro to me is just a passing fad. In the end be yourself.

      Design a body with the same economy of means you design a lens. Be essential, like the X-E1, or a NEX6, which glide better into a pocket than an OM-D.

      Reflex form factor is ridiculous when TTL is over. That is why Leica has a come back, when mirror is out. And curiously the Sony R-X1 imitates the early Pens, Not dSLR.

      • Thanks @amalric for clarifying. I’ll agree to disagree with you for once!

        For me, the 5-axis IS is one of the essential features that I want if I upgrade from my E-PL1. I’ll be happy with one proper control dial (instead of that bloody button pushing), a second would be a bonus.

        I’m with you on the design front, but I feel that they had it correct on the PEN F series. All protruding lumps were on the front, where the lens sticks out anyway. The back was smooth, and slightly tapered at each end. Perfect for putting into a pocket or small bag. Better than any current camera, to my eye. To that end, I’d buy a limited edition version that left off the rear LCD screen. Don’t really need that if you have a good EVF, and then they could stay true to the original smooth back.

      • The “useless shutter speed” control wheel and on-lens aperture ring are what set the Fuji cameras apart in terms of usability. I can now the exact settings the camera has just by looking at those, I don’t even have to turn on the camera. YMMV, but for ME, that is a great feature to have. And its not a gimmick like so many “advances” in todays digital cameras.

        • I would love to see the same with m43, but am aware that it can’t happen with the open standard….sadly!

  • jeroen

    hope your contact is flat out wrong. pen needs a sensor update and very little else.

    • Philip

      Sensor upgrade?

      They just upgraded the sensor! What more could you ask for. It’s an excellent sensor, wide dynamic range, fast and accurate autofocus and as sharp as you could need. I would however like updates more along the lines of usability, UI and better battery life (and screen for the PENs).

      The only essential technology missing from the PEN and OMD is GPS. You have GPS in entry level cheap compacts but not in flagship $1000 models..!

    • Per K

      jeroen: Isn’t the PL-5 what you hint at? Already available. An EP-5 needs to be something else.

  • Tim

    Well, rangefinderstyle speculations go rampant again. This time they might actually be right. I’m surprised that neither Olympus nor Panasonic has released one yet. It is a category of cameras that the m43 is perfectly suitable for and that sell well internationally but without a m43 offering.
    That doesn’t necessary mean that there isn’t room for a high end viewfinderless camera as well though.

  • rpm40

    If they do bring back a higher end Pen, I think it will help to realign the confusing models they had before. With the old line, everything blurred together. The pl-3 had things the p3 didn’t have, and there wasn’t enough to differentiate the low end from the high end.

    If they go higher end with this model, they can add some of the features a high end pen should have, like an evf, built in flash and weather sealing.

    • I agree with you @rpm40, but unfortunately, I doubt if Olympus will. I think the blur of features on the earlier PEN models was due to lack of space on a small body. Every time, something had to give.
      An RF styled PEN will likely not have a built in flash or weather-sealing. That would position it above the E-M5! I would like the built in flash personally, but I’m prepared to give it up.
      I feel that Olly will focus on the “enthusiast” features like more manual control dials. I expect an F/FT replica, but with a control dial where the film winder was, and the VF more to the left than on the original. No flash built in, no weathersealing, allowing them to position it between the E-PL5 and the E-M5 price-wise. One or two other control dials, that will be it. I doubt it will have a tilt screen either.

      • Cornflake

        Agree with you: either EVF or swivel screen, not both. I would welcome longer battery life and large grip as well as two dials and roller. WS body will be great.

        “The E-P5” could be better specs than E-M5 because they will replace it either – sooner or latter. They have to fight with Sony who plans to bring new NEX bodies on the market in 2013.

      • Anonymous

        I would be happy with no weather sealing and the 2 axis IBIS. What I covet from the E-M5 is the control wheels. So if a new top Pen had the control wheels and an EVF I’d be more than happy to buy one.

        On the tilt screen, not a big draw for me, I don’t find rear screens that useful. But I really like the tilt feature on the VF-2, so I hope any built in EVF would be able to tilt as well.

        Also quite happy for a new Pen to have the same overall volume as the E-M5, just without the hump. Keep it an oblong shape and we will all be happy. I saw an EOS-M fake on the canon rumors site that actually looked rather nice, very small hump for the VF, but otherwise a good shape.


        • Ash

          “What I covet from the E-M5 is the control wheels. So if a new top Pen had the control wheels and an EVF I’d be more than happy to buy one.”

          I don’t get it…you are describing the E-M5

  • Cornflake

    “not expect a “successor” but rather “something different“”

    Does it indicate different body shape and advanced features? And a new PEN line?

  • SLOtographer

    The good news (for me at least) is that used EP3 bodies are cheap.

    • MdB

      Agreed. People are so fickle, now I can get probably the best handling mirrorless that olympus have made – every stupid flippy screen model they’ve released has been an ergonomic nightmare. I just hope whatever they eventually replace it with wont have a flippy screen so I can buy one dirt cheap in 6 months time.

  • Ben

    “For some unclear reason I keep checking the old PENs on ebay!”

    “Oh, right, it’s so that I have an excuse to post my affiliate link! DUH!”

  • Tomtom

    “not expect a “successor” but rather “something different“”

    The Olympus 15mm f/8.0 will come in silver! THAT is “something different” :-(

    • Ash

      So you visit his website and fault him for psoting his affiliate link?

      uncouth and uncalled-for

  • before they bring out new cameras they should bring out semi-pro/pro zoom lenses for mFT.

  • Timccr

    A lot of you obviously have very clean pockets but I don’t so I want a weather sealed Pen.

  • camaman

    Well if they make it rangefinder styled… that is taller than curent PENs I see no problem for integration of the 5-axis IBIS and it sensors.

    OMD’s hump is Sensors and EVF optics. On PEN the EVF goes to the left side and IBIS sensors stay in the middle.
    That would make the bode a bit taller then EP3 and a bit shorter that OMD-hump measured.

    Its just that it will look odd. the front will look empty withou a OVF window.

  • Hard2Xplain

    Gotta admit the white E-P3 is a real beaut! If only they could release one with the evf and 5-axis ibis…….

  • adaptor-or-die

    The new e-P[5] will be the top level PEN, so it should come with all the e-M5 features in a PEN package styling. The top-end PEN F was a poroprismed SLR, in digital terms that translates to EVF. Optical VF and hybrid systems are much larger cameras. The Leica Ms and Fujifilm Xs are quite large to accommodate these features. They are slow and expensive as well when it comes to stats.

    Epson and Sony have been improving EVF systems at a massive rate. EVFs are very near to competing directly with optical systems and once they hit that level they will quickly surpass the old once HUD and other features combine a clean clear view.

    (Leica is selling their newest M body using 1st Gen PEN EVF parts, just so that the M can shoot effectively in video mode. This is from the people that brought us the digital optical Rangefinder?)

    If the new PEN doesn’t come with an EVF to the left, it will be a crazy mistake by Olympus …

    • Yes, I agree completely with the above. It seems that a Leica substitute, albeit half frame is really where design creativity is unleashed in many of us. Sony and Fuji are bringing in different ideas.

      I concur that m4/3 being a (somewhat) open standard it can’t go back to the shutterspeed wheel and the aperture analog stops. Two generic wheels and a good large EVF are probably enough (Sony’s solution).

      I say it because I am and many enthusiasts are, aperture-priority users, so the Fuji solution is wasted on us anyway. Get a Fuji is you can’t live without.

      What is interesting in m4/3 is the quantity and different quality of lenses it can take with better resolution across the frame, compared to APS. Perhaps O&P could imitate the simulation of DOF in the EVF from Fuji.

      It is also v.important, in respect to film imported features, to have a quick control of ISO, and the ISO range. That was not possible in film, and has been a sorry point with Fuji.

      Oly instead got it right from the beginning, and for me knowing how far the camera will go by itself is essential, control of noise being central in Digital.

      It’s a bit like in Aviation – what fly-by-wire commands should be implemented?
      Very few analog controls are needed if the system is good, but users must have a say, in terms of useability, like pilots should.

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