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(FT5) The E-P3 is not the PRO camera and has no built-in viewfinder.


Will not come on June 30th. The PEN with built-in viewfinder (image made by our reader Leendert)

I am finally getting top info from reliable sources. And let me kill your hopes by pressing those words with my cold fingers: The E-P3 has no built-in viewfinder!!! The E-P3 is not the PRO pen we were waiting for. And to be honest Olympus officially announced that it will come in two years only (but you know, we were hoping they would not let us wait that much). The E-P3 is a “semipro camera” and a nice upgrade of the current Olympus E-P2. Those of you that like me were dreaming a Fuji X100 styled interchangeable mirrorless cameras should hope the more advanced Panasonic GF model will respond our needs. Let’s cross the fingers!

One more thing: I am working on many rumors. All I can say now is that there will be good news too soon! So don’t be to sad!

P.S.: A 43rumors reader pointed out that Olympus smallest rangefinder camera ever made was the Olympus XA (Click here to see it on eBay). That was another great design made by Maitani!

P.P.S.: Links to the Fuji X100 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.

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


    Do you have info about the sensor

    • admin

      Working on that!

      • ICMMP


  • MikeS


  • :|

  • Miroslav

    Someone’s not listening to us :( . Let’s hope it has articulated LCD at least…

    • napalm

      i thought it was also rumored that there were 2 “protoypes” out. one with EVF and one without. probably there is one in the works but we might not see soon. maybe by end of this year?

      • Agent00soul

        Yes, the E-P3 and the coming pro model, most likely (the latter with EVF).

  • che

    Nevertheless selling my E-PL1 and kit lens and keeping VF2 then :) but as there will be 2 cameras anounced maybe there is more to it than it meets the eye.

  • AndyOz

    Oh Nooo.
    So Olympus will have three cameras in their range – ALL without EVF and all very similar in size. Brilliant.
    E-P Mini

    Surely they could have come up with one camera with an EVF. What have they been doing for the last few years.

    Admin, is there any good news about Olympus? Surely it wont be two years before they come out with a model with EVF.

    • Wouldn’t say similar in size. Similar in capability is probably a better way of putting it.

      The whole E-P1/2 versus E-PL1/E-PL2 saga seems to be cloning itself into the E-PM1, E-PL3, E-P3 models. You get a modest set of features removed as you go down in size, but so far we’ve gotten very little differentiation. Indeed, so little that I’d generally recommend the lower cost E-PL2 over the E-P2 to virtually everyone. Why pay a lot more for so little more? So unless Olympus has some surprising features in the E-P3 that aren’t in the others Olympus is repeating the same mistake that they made with the 4/3 lineup. This is the old 1970’s HiFi strategy employed by the Japanese electronics makers right into oblivion. It worked best when there were ubiquitous Medium Box HiFi stores all around with piles of the various models littering the floor and salesmen on commission who were adept at persuading customers to “buy up.” Those days are long gone, and the net is a powerful anti-salesman when you pursue a wrong strategy.

      • AndyOz

        Hi Thom

        Thanks for the comments. Ok – similar in capability is a better description.

        1. If someone is after a very small body then there will be the E-PM1? or whatever the Pen mini will be called. This will be a good model for P&S upgraders and as a second body for those into Micro43 who want the smallest for pocketability. makes good sense.

        2. Then for someone who is after a slightly bigger model with no perceived performance difference (depending on sensor etc but assuming at some point there will be sensor parity) then there is the E-PL2. The controls are still mostly designed to cater for P&S upgraders.

        3. Then there is the E-P2/3 for who exactly? As you say at the moment most people should go for the E-PL2 over the E-P2. And as you say unless there are some really good new features in the E-P3 then the product strategy doesnt make sense. At the moment the only benefit of an E-P2 over an E-PL2 is the rear upper control wheel and the slightly better finish/metal look. If the E-P3 is meant to be “semi-pro” for enthusiasts it needs to be marketed alot differently and IMHO should have a built-in EVF to meet the demand out there. Look at the interest in the Fuji X100.

        If all three models end up with similar sensors and only slightly different controls (and sizes!) then there doesnt seem to be enough differentiation.

  • Faidz

    This actually relieves me. I don’t want my dear VF-2 goes to waste…but I am hoping for a tilt screen preferably AMOLED =D

  • Tim

    Who needs a viewfinder anyway? That doesn’t make it professional; those of us who’ve used medium-format can be quite happy – arguably, *happier* – with a WLF, or these days, an articulating LCD panel, instead.

  • Agrivar

    Admin, w/o built in EVF. What is the definition of semi pro then?

    • AndyOz

      I agree – what does Semi-Pro mean. Maybe “PRO” means a micro 43 replacement for the E-5 that Oly said could be coming in the future. I dont care if that is a couple of years away.

      But in the meantime I had hoped that Olympus would come out with at least one model to meet the needs of “enthusiasts” that want to have a built-in EVF (either in rangefinder or dSLR styling). The Pana G3 has a built-in EVF and that is a mid -tier offering from Panasonic. It isnt called ‘semi-pro’. Its just a model with a built-in EVF for those that want them. It seems that Olympus dont get it.

    • lily

      Probably means it’s not plastic. It’s probably also meant to be the replacement for the E-xxx series, since they’ve told us that if we want to upgrade, we should go m43. As an E-520 user, though, I’m thoroughly unconvinced. For a second, more compact camera, an EVF isn’t super important to me. But if it’s supposed to be a replacement for my 520? Heck no. No EVF, no sale.

      • Agent00soul

        E-xxx series was not semipro, so not likely. (E-xx was semipro)

        • AndyOz

          Ok so if we define the previous Oly 4/3 range as:
          E-xxx – entry level
          E-xx – semi pro level
          E-x – pro level

          Then we know that the E-5 is the current pro model and that according to Oly it wont be able to be replaced by a micro 43 version for another couple of years. Thats fine with me.

          But in the meantime there are no replacements for either the E-xxx or the E-xx. Ok so there is the Pen series but none of these have an EVF so that leaves no options for those of us who prefer shooting with a viewfinder built-in. Oly is missing out on alot of potential sales.

          It could be argued that the E-xxx customers may not care about an EVF hence the entire E-Pmini, E-PL, products to meet their needs. But at the Semi-Pro level it could be argued that just an E-P3 camera with NO EVF does NOT meet the needs of enthusiasts/semi pro market, let alone all the 43rds system users who dont have anything but an expensive E-5 to buy. Thats a big gap for either M43 or 43.

          • It is entirely possible that Olympus’ decision to do another E-xxx model made them decide to not include an internal EVF on a Pen. It could be that they see their model lineup this way:

            * XZ-2 — high-end compact, non-interchangeable lens
            * E-PL3 — entry interchangeable lens
            * E-PL3 — standard interchangeable lens mirrorless
            * E-P3 — high-end mirrorless
            * E-700 — entry SLR-style (viewfinder) interchangeable lens
            * E-7 — high-end SLR-style interchangeable lens

            When you look at it that way, moving an internal EVF into the E-P3 makes the E-700 somewhat redundant. Basically an E-700 gains bulk with the primary gain being PD autofocus.

            However, note to Olympus: if that’s the way you’re thinking, you need to fire all the marketing guys coming up with names. You’re making classic naming mistakes.

            • AndyOz

              I guess it depends on what market they are trying to support/grow. I agree with your thoughts that if there were an E-700 43 model that having an internal EVF in an E-P3 would make the E-700 redundant. However with this approach there is no EVF option in micro 43rds. As someone who wants an EVF but has no existing investment in the 43rds system why would I want to buy an E-700 and 43rds lenses etc when I know that all the future direction is pointing towards Micro43. If I am going to pay for lenses it may as well be M43 as I know that I also want one system with two body options – small without EVF, and larger with EVF. I could see alot of Micro43 owners ending up with two bodies.

              So if Oly want to support 43rds then your thoughts are correct but if they want to grow Micro43 then the strategy you think they might have, would be the wrong move for Oly.

              I think that they need an E-xx model to support the existing 4/3 users but need to replace the E-xxx model with a built-in EVF micro 4/3 model. Most consumers who bought the old E-xxx probably didnt buy more than a kit lens so moving them to micro 43rds wont be a big issue. So here’s my preferred product line-up (based on yours with some changes):
              * XZ-2 — high-end compact, non-interchangeable lens
              * E-PM3 — mini entry interchangeable lens -as small as possible
              * E-PL3 — standard interchangeable lens mirrorless (tiltable LCD?)
              * E-P3 — high-end mirrorless (with EVF and tiltable LCD)
              * E-70 — semi-pro SLR-style OVF interchangeable lens
              * E-7 — high-end SLR-style OVF interchangeable lens

              You are right about the naming. Its pretty bad. I would make the E-P3 rangefinder style and then when they are ready to go more “Pro” they could come up with a M4/3 replacement for the E-70 model in DSLR body form with the ability to better focus 4/3 lenses as well as M4/3 lenses.

            • Not being a marketing guy, what is the classic mistake here, besides gambling with a Sicilian with death on the line?

              • There’s a school of thought that believes that model name confusion is good. The logic doesn’t seem right at first, but it’s based upon one of the things our brains do when confronted with too much information. Basically if a person walks into a shop not fully able to comprehend the differences in names, it’s easier to upsell them.

                If you called the products Pen Soccer Mom, Pen College Student, and Pen Dad, you don’t sell a Pen Soccer Mom to a dad, nor a Pen Dad to a soccer mom. Simple as that. By obfuscating the names you force the potential buyer to ask questions, which is where the upsell notion comes from. Ironically, the more answers you give, the more confused and reluctant to purchase a buyer becomes as it turns out, which is why I don’t believe in this naming convention.

                Those of you who remember the last time I had full control over things like naming at a tech company, it produced a string of hit products named RAM Doubler, Speed Doubler, Virtual PC, QuickCam, and VideoPhone. If you couldn’t figure out what the products might do for you from the name, you didn’t need them ;~).

                So, with that in mind, the new low-end model being introduced would be easy to name: Pen Pocket. The problem is the other two models, which to date have completely overlapped and try to be all things to all people. One could imagine a Pen Pocket, Pen Enthusiast, and Pen Pro, for instance, but that’s not what Olympus seems to be producing. Indeed, that’s another problem with convoluted letter/number names: they don’t provide clear targets for designers to hit ;~).

                So I’ll stand by my comment, it’s a classic marketing mistake. One committed by far too many companies.

    • admin

      The definition is made by who made the camera. Olympus :)

    • > definition of semi pro

      I personally don’t think “built in EVF” or “external EVF” is a distinguishing trait of a serious enthusiast camera. Most would prefer the former over the latter, but lack of the former doesn’t disqualify a product from targeting the enthusiast. It’s really in how the photographic controls present themselves to the photographer and the level of build quality that would make the primary differentiation.

      A serious enthusiast camera doesn’t get in the way of capturing the moment, ever. It doesn’t bury decisions into menus or excess button pushing. It doesn’t move the hands all about to make a change. It keeps the camera in shooting position all the time. To that end, an internal EVF requires “findable” controls that keep your eye at the viewfinder, and ones that aren’t accidentally changed. Olympus hasn’t proven they can do that yet with m4/3. They have more to fix than just “add an internal EVF.”

      My personal guess is that an E-P3 is likely to have a positionable LCD versus the E-PL3 having a fixed one. That, plus a better sensor and some substantive changes to controls would be enough to separate the two models in my mind. Barely.

    • Ross

      I would consider a semi-pro first of all has to have 2 control wheels which is what the E30 & E5 cameras have & the E-P2 had that so both aperture & shutter speed can be quickly adjusted (among other adjustments & quicker navigation of the menu settings etc). After that, other features desirable for semi-pro use would be added. A larger faster buffer is one thing & possibly with a faster sequence shutter & 1/8000 sec shutter speed. Quality might have a similar output to a lower model but usability will lend itself better to semi-pro use & with it being more rugged.

  • Maczon

    Maybe good news are that sigma lenses are coming out soon. :)

    • peroni

      semipro=expensive ;-)

  • Brod1er

    Shame. To date I have bought Panasonic, but I was open to offers from Oly. No EVF=no interest (unless it’s a small cam like the gf3).

    Maybe Oly could do an even more radical gf3-esque camera? Very small (collapsible?) and thin, No LCD, EVF only, IBIS & flash. Pancakelicious! Let’s call it “XA”

    • Mr. Reeee

      Unfortunately, expecting anything visually radical from conservative Olympus ain’t a-gonna happen.

      They have a nice niche with their comfortable throwback designs. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there needs to be more functional range and differentiation in what they offer: dead simple, moderate controls and customizable, and full controls with customization…. With simple and descriptive naming to match and guide buyers.

  • ok, we just forget that. :-(

    Oly XA, admin wrote in P.S. was on this site.:

    Yes, he is the guy who posted negativ comments on Nokton.
    But this is very nice! Look into it.

  • Bu

    A shame, I was hoping the pro would make a surprise appearance. Still, at least Panasonic have their act in gear, just a shame about the price of their lenses!

  • Schwarz

    I don’t care about the EVF. Hoping for a higher resolution screen, improved pancake, improved video, especially in art modes and more manual controls in EP2 style retro design. Everything else is icing on the cake.

  • Narretz

    Olympus sure wants to run the Photography department into the ground … in two years a Pen Pro will have so much competition that it will be niche like Leica.

  • > So don’t be to sad!

    Hope dies last, you wanted to say? :D

    Even if E-P3 has better sensor, without any built-in VF, it still fail to fill the gap left by canceling the E-xxx line.

    Oly: has IBIS, but no built-in VF, no bright pancakes.

    Pannay: has EVF, but no IBIS and bright pancakes lack OIS.

    To compensate for that one could have raised the ISO, but loss of detail at ISO 1600 is already quite noticeable.

    No love to available light photography…

    • Ganec

      if Panny has bright pancake, Oly has it also ;-)

      My E-P1 likes Lumix 20 mm F1.7 very much.

      Builtin EVF is probably not very usable with PEN design.
      I tried optical VF which I have with E-P1, but I don’t like to shoot like that .. not ergonomic…

      For me it is good news that it will not have EVF -> price may be lower and size don’t need to increase

      • > Builtin EVF is probably not very usable with PEN design.

        Well, Pannay with G1/G2/G3 manages it somehow?

  • XA4

    I’ll shed no tears, as long as E-P3 has tilt-swivel screen.

    You mention the XA… are you hinting something about the forthcoming Olympus mini?

  • ObZerver

    2 weeks ago when you were all so excited about the “oh-so-big-2-day-event”, I told you that Olympus are capable of announcing new-old products.
    I really hope this time I am wrong, but won’t be shocked if I am not and we see yet another E-PL-ish body with the same old sensor and whatnot…

    • I think some confusion was made here. In the beginning even 43rumors predicted that there would be 3 separate models, one with flip out screen, one with touch screen, and another with built-in EVF.

      So the latter might still come later this year. BTW the X100 must be expensive to imitate. If Oly wants to introduce a 1000 $ camera with IL it better get its stuff right, and that might require some time.

      Doing another G3 makes little sense.

    • Loll, brace yourself for a 2-day presentation of the newest “Art filters” :))

      • AndyOz

        Too true. That made me laugh. For once I hoped that Oly would meet or exceed our expectations but alas – more art filters it is.

  • napalm

    my questions will be:

    -will it have a built-in flash?
    -if yes, can it control external flashes?
    -G3 sensor or the “Oly-designed” sensor?
    -same E-PX design? or a new one (w/grip)?
    -AF-assist lamp?
    -swivel/tilt screen?

    • Martin

      -will it have a built-in flash?
      -if yes, can it control external flashes?
      -G3 sensor or the “Oly-designed” sensor?
      G3 sensor
      -same E-PX design? or a new one (w/grip)?
      More or less same
      -AF-assist lamp?
      Probably not
      -swivel/tilt screen?
      Probably yes

  • Len

    More waiting for good news about pro… At least I get more time to save for the pro… Hopefully a new lens that tempts me to spend smome money and expand my micro 4/3 lens collection. Please at least one pro lens…

  • Oriol

    What a disappointment! Fuji listened to customers and they launched what everybody was asking for (except for the interchangeble lenses). I do not understand why a company such Olympus does not listen to customers.

    Rangefinder style + integrated EVF + interchangeble lens in a package of less than 1.000 EUR = is that so complicated??

    • MaxElmar

      Fuji only got two out of those four things right….

    • ebbesen

      Nonsense, Fuji listened to no one.

      Despite all the love being thrown at the X100 it still remains a niche product.

      And let’s be honest; it’s primarily a fashion statement, only secondly a tool for a photographer.

    • Atle

      Don’t listen to what customers? A lot of the people in here have pretty high end needs, they seem to put little value in less size, want wheater-sealing an in-built EVF, expensive expensive lenses and so on. For me at least this things are not as important. In-built EVF would be nice, but its no killer feature, especially not if it increases weith and size a good deal. I don’t know if i represent the average consumer, but I don’t think a good deal of the people commenting here do either.

      Its much more important for me with a better sensor, better high-iso performance. And dare i say it, I actually use the art-filters, people find them amusing and get more eager to pose for shots.

    • Martin

      > Fuji listened to customers and they launched what everybody was asking for (except for the interchangeble lenses).
      They released a big sensor compact with a fixed focal length lens that looks like from the sixties. I strongly doubt that it’s something “everybody was asking for”.

      >I do not understand why a company such Olympus does not listen to customers.
      You mean.. listen to you?

      • Mr. Reeee


        The X100 is meant for an audience as thin as the DOF of an f1.0 lens. Very rare on all fronts. ;-)

        My first real camera was a Konica II my dad got in Japan during the Korean War. The X100 looks kind of like it, except fort he built-in ligth meter. EVER so high-tech! As a collector’s item, it seems appealing.

  • Bob B.

    At least it isn’t a toy camera. :-)

  • hmmm, lets hope all the spectacle will come from the new sensor then.

    • admin

      Actually I heard the real BIG improvement is not made with the sensor but with something else…(working on that rumor right now that’s why I cannot write it).

  • I’m OK with keeping my E-P2 and spending my money on lenses until Olympus gets it right with a PEN that has a built-in EVF. Not terribly happy about it but it’s OK I guess. The problem for Olympus is that many enthusiasts including me may get interested in someone else’s cameras while we’re doing all of this waiting. Who knows what the future will bring?

    • Everyone knows by now that there’s a huge group of enthusiasts with money to spend on a rangefinder style camera that has a built-in EVF. It’s surprising that the overpriced Fuji X100 with a fixed lens is all that has been available for this market segment so far but that can’t last much longer I’m thinking. Maybe it’ll be the Sony NEX7 or Samsung NX200 or even a true successor to the GF1 from Panasonic that finally grabs the lion’s share of this market segment. Olympus may never recover from the damage caused to them in the marketplace by not meeting its customers’ needs. I love Olympus but wow this is getting discouraging.

      • Ross

        You’re discouraged by a rumour? Wait till the facts come before throwing in the towel. You might not be so disappointed when it is actually out & proven to be another winner even when the critics try to say the specs aren’t as good as the competition. The specs don’t look as good on paper for the E5 but the output image quality certainly excels in comparison to the opposition. Watch the Canon users run for cover when it rains, not the E5 users.

  • Keep your hair on. The existing EVF is already superb and 100% functional. The reason for omitting an internal one must be to keep size within the current PEN limits. Lets face it: a good EVF should be much larger than we might desire.
    To me, “semi-pro” means high build quality, perhaps weather-sealing too, faster AF than we have seen from Olympus so far (especially with 4/3 lenses) and fast, intuitive control over all exposure parameters. Personally, I hope that the E-P3 is fitted with an internal flash which can trigger remote units. Not being able to use a flash and a viewfinder simultaneously is the biggest drawback of the E-P2.

    • adam

      There probably isn’t much they can do about the AF speed of FT lenses, short of releasing a new adapter that has a phase-detection sensor in it. Or some extremely brilliant AF algorithm that is capable of emulating phase-detection AF by telling the lens approximately where to focus on the first try instead of making many tiny adjustments…FT lenses aren’t good at making many tiny adjustments like mFT lenses are. But I think the adapter would be a much simpler problem to solve.

      (If Olympus did release such an adapter, I’d be first in line to switch back to mFT…I’m sick of carrying my heavy Nikon gear around…)

      • admin

        You will might get a surprise soon ;)

        • Olympius

          Oh great, Olympus will release an adapter for micro 4/3 to 4/3 with phase detect focus, and then they’ll charge $599 USD for the stupid thing.

          Right now, just a boring, stupid apdapter to put 4/3 lenses on a micro 4/3 camera will set you back $170 USD, and that’s for just a stupid tube with a couple of mounts on it!

          And then, of course, the new phase-detect adapter probably won’t work with Panasonic micro 4/3 cameras, because even though they are playing on the same team, they can’t be bothered to make truly compatible products.

          Not that I’m in a hurry to mount my 50-200 SWD on an E-PL2 or anything…


          • admin

            Nono, there will be no adapter. There will be a far more easier and nicer solution (I hope it really works!)

            • AndyOz

              Any hints please Admin?

              Are you going to post something soon?

              • michael

                That sounded like a hint to me, dude.

                • printposter

                  sounds like some kind of exchange program?

                  • sounds like they might use fuji’s phase detection built in the main sensor

            • JeremyT

              Oh my god, admin how can you give such a tiny little exciting tidbit without clarifying, now my imagination is running wild. If I can use my 50-200mm SWD with proper AF on a PEN, I’ll be in heaven!

            • Martin

              Sensor with phase AF points?

            • Olympius

              One thing that comes to mind is some sort of hybrid contrast/phase focusing system…a bit complex to engineer, but would be simple for the end user. Even though I’m not a fan of mounting HG or SHG lenses on micro 4/3 bodies (with the 14-54 MkII being a notable exception), there are those who would love to see the 4/3 12-60mm work as well on their Pen as their DSLR.

              If Olympus could pull that off, it would be a HUGE advantage for them over Panasonic, and just about everyone else. No one would even care about a built-in EVF at that point.


      • …or developing a sensor with PDAF capabilities (like Fuji did for their compacts).

    • agree with most of your post

    • You mean it’s 100% functional until you mount a flash or RF trigger; then it becomes 0% functional. For those of us that do off camera lighting and don’t feel like buying an entire set of Olympus dedicated strobes the VF-2 is no solution at all. I could be happy with an external EVF, but they need to redesign it. Put a hot shoe on top, build it out of aluminum, and preferably make it a bit smaller. I’d suggest doing so by removing the 90 degree hinge. A 90 degree EVF isn’t needed with a 3″ articulated LCD screen on the back of a camera.

  • Agent00soul

    It makes my decision super-easy, I guess: Buy the 12/2.0 now and wait for the pro-Pen. I wouldn’t be able to afford both at the same time anyway.

    • admin

      I have been told the 12mm lens is awesome and not so expensive as I thought!

      • Olympius

        That’s it then, the Olympus 12m and the new Leica 25mm get pre-ordered the day they come out! Two fast, small high quality primes is just what the doctor ordered. And if that Olympus 50mm f.1.8 or whatever proves to be a reality, I’m getting that too!

        I used the 24mm focal length a LOT back in my film days, a micro 4/3 12mm would be a very welcome addition.


  • Tom

    Is olympus trying to kill themselfs? I really got that feeling right now…

    G3 has a good sensor in a compact body with EVF, Sonys NEX-7 will feature an integrated EVF as well, when rumors are true, Samsung got its NX20 with EVF, so Olympus will stay the ONLY manufacture without an EVF… epic fail i would say.
    So what should a E-P3 feature to hit big on the market?
    An sensor with DR and Noise Performance BETTER then G3/GH2, an higher Quality Body then both, and lower Price Level. Realistic? not really…

    So i will def. go for a G3…

  • ABB

    Olympus has to release any so-called PRO-grade camera after SONY has released his NEX-7, that is, impossible to be on JUNE; if not, it will be killed by NEX-7 (which is going to be released at some point in the time of this year’s summer) instantly.

  • Look what happened in last september. Oly could not upgrade ANY features for PROs in last year, even for their very flagship E-5. It will just same for the PEN unless Oly pick up an UFO and it’s technology TODAY.

    For ‘PRO’, I think it’s time to start developing E-30 successor. For two years, It will fill the gap between E-5 and E-P3.

    • admin

      There will be new stuff from olympus in September. I am almost sure about that!

    • Inge-M.

      I think the is not problem but, semi Pro 4/3 and semi Pro M4/3 side by side, so maybe Olympus come up by E-50 and Pen Pro and sam IQ in camera body.

  • Epic fail. They are dead.

  • David

    So, basically, in 2 years Olympus will release a 2011 product while Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic are releasing the 2nd or 3rd (or higher, in the case of Panasonic) mirrorless EVF model. Sorry Olympus, but while I like your brand, you aren’t worth waiting for. In the competitive world of cameras, there is no excuse for not delivering what everyone wants, and what nearly every other company has been able to deliver.

    • MK

      +1 i am sick of these shenanigans. both olympus and panasonic have made bad mistakes. panasonic has no collapsible lenses and no ibis – this defeats the point of a portable system. the kit lenses are laughably ridiculous on GF bodies (see sony NEX). And olympus wont make a body that you can actually hold while using anything bigger than the kit ie, why would they make a 75-300mm lens when you can only put in onto an e-pl1 style body? i feel like i am taking crazy pills here.

      sold everything except 20mm and 9-18mm hoping for good news but this rumor makes me want to leave mft altogether.

      • Mr. Reeee

        I get it, but if you really want collapseable lenses, buy Olympus lenses.

        There are differing opinions on IBIS vs. OIS.
        There are advantages and disadvantages for both.

        Then there’s the NO I.S. school of thought…
        Learn to hold a goddamn camera! ;-)

        Never bet anything based on rumors OR get disappointed when rumors don’t come true. It’s worth it.

  • George

    so basically this is another useless release from Olympus… Man this company needs to be history.. they don’t listen to their customers, now they even don’t listen to fanbois who are keeping Oly alive.

    These are final nails to Oly coffin.

    Again sell all your Oly gear before it is too late.

    What an idiotic company Oly is.

    • Sadly, we can’t keep them alive. We could not, and we will not. Thousands of ordinary customers did that. Not us.

  • Agent00soul

    It’s a bit strange since they actually have a suitable EVF. Just integrating it into the body shouldn’t be very costly.

    • Thomas

      They want you to pay extra for the EVF. That’s why they keep it separate.

  • Nathan

    What, did they just decide to build a PRO camera a year ago? Did they have no roadmap of ideas when they began building micro four thirds?

    It sure seems like they’re riding by the seat of their pants, kind of a “Just-in-time” in the world of ideas.

    As in manufacturing, “just-in-time” actually means delivering the product late. For smaller companies who can’t build 100,000 cameras that they aren’t sure will sell well when they come to market (but believe they will), there is always the chance that it’ll get horrible reviews and you’ll end up eating that product yourself.

    Olympus seems too timid to go all-in, and too bold to go home and quit playing.


  • Urgg. I really really don’t want to have to switch systems again, but the NEX-7 is coming soon and all we’ve gotten from m4/3’s the last 2 years is a bunch of rumors about high end bodies with no end sight. Seriously, 2 more years before we get a pro-Pen? Sony will already be on their replacement for the NEX-7 by then, and Fuji will most likely have an interchangeable lens X100 by 2013.

  • hiplnsdrftr

    I think the reality is that most camera manufacturers know what consumers want, but they have elaborate plans to release improvements and upgrades little by little over long periods of time.

    Their biggest fear is releasing too good of a camera (Canon Pro1, Panasonic GF1). They aspire that consumers will be perpetually baited and constantly duped into buying minor upgrades to purposely crippled products.

    Sad but true.

    • Steve H

      That’s why my next camera is going to be a RED Scarlet. If it ever comes out. And if I can stretch my pocketbook that far.

  • Dave_In_MI

    I’ll be a happy camper if the E-PL3…

    retains E-PL2 style (the silver & black looks sharp)
    new & improved Oly sensor (12-14MP max)
    Pan G3-like fast AF & tracking AF
    1080p 30/24 movie modes (24fps unlikely, I know)
    keep accessory port for EVF & stereo mic
    touchscreen (w/ touch AF & aperture control)

    Mostly, I just want a good starter camera that’ll still be a useful second camera when I upgrade in a year or two to a more pro-style model like the Pan GH3 or a mid-level Nikon/Canon.

  • Sören


    I wonder how many readers here would be the faked E-P3 from your image Admin. I guess of it would be <1000 Euro a lot.

  • Why all the fuss over a built-in viewfinder? There is an excellent vf2 which it will most likely be compatible with.

    Honestly, all I’d really want is an updated e-pl2:

    -better sensor
    -one more dial on top for ISO (or stack ’em like on the Canon G12)

    • leendert

      Yes, The EVF2 is good, but expensive.
      And you cant use it with a external flash.

      I will buy the EP3 even if it has no viewfinder (then I buy the evf2), but I’m not very happy (because I cant use it with a flash).
      Most important for me is a good sensor and better AF with 43 lenses.

  • Lars

    2 YEARS UNTIL E-P3……..

    and until then we have to stick with the E-P2?

    • leendert

      No, the E-P3 is not a Pro camera, it’s semi-pro.
      The announcement of the EP3 is on 30 june.

  • Jumbo

    the external EVF is a pain in the ass.

    it may be good from a technical viewpoint. but practically it´s a pain in the ass. small camera with an external “knob”… that makes it useless.
    i cant carry it around with the EVF attached and i have no time to put it on when i need it (slows down my photography).

    FAIL !!!

    • I agree with you, although it’s not totally unusable.

    • why can’t you carry it around with the evf attached…i have no problems with it.

    • Mr. Reeee

      The VF-2 is actually really nice, especially with the pivot. Too bad it couldn’t be used on a GF1! The inconvenience of having an extra thing to lug, juggle, possibly lose and certainly lose use of the hot shoe… is a real turn-off.

      Why the same people who tout the glories of the VF-2 knob complain bitterly about “humps” on Panasonic cameras, especially the ones with built-in EVFs, seems oddly incomprehensible.

  • Pete

    2 years …. lol….. no EVF.. hyper-lol.

    the camer branche of OLYMPUS is DEAD in two years.

  • 123

    More Art Filters from OLYMPUS.. lol.

    What a crap.
    The Sensor will not so much better that it justifys to have no build-in EVF i guess.

    I stick with my E-PL1 for snapshots.
    For real Photography i prefer my Canon FF anyway.

    • ReadingZ

      Oly bet there still have consumers in two years, LoL
      Who give a damn to so called SEMIPRO without build in EVF, come on Oly, die alone with Ep-2 ain’t nice at all.

      eeeee, just ruined a good June.

  • Wilson

    tks for the news, will there be an on board flash?

    • admin

      Don’t know that yet!

  • Jon Wu

    konfuze says… OLYMPUS DEAD!

  • kevin

    wow…2.5yrs and still no built in EVF.

  • Christian

    Not that I have any intention to buy a new camera right now – I am pretty sure my E-3 and E-620 will last for several years – and by that time I will probably acquire an used E-5. Nevertheless, I find Olys product policy outrageous. All PENs are basically the same – none of them is a worthy replacement for a DSLR regarding its usability (though the IQ is ok). Panasonic on the other hand offers various products, the more PEN-like GF, the intermediate G3 and the more DSLR-like GH-2. However, the things that Panasonic fails at are IBIS and good JPEGs. I fear that Olys managers have lost their marbles…

  • Jon Wu

    Olympus is doing not well when it comes to Cameras.
    And this new disappointment will not help Olympus.

    I guess the camera branch will be gone in 2-3 years or bought by a bigger company.

    Im a DSLR shooter and M34 offers me nothing but a smaller size.
    The Lenses are way to expensive for what they offer and they make M34 cameras so big that i could use my DSLR anyway… in fact most of the time i do. Add an external EVF and M34 has no benefits for me at all.

    My E-P1 is sitting around on the shelf doing nothing.

  • Thomas S

    I agree that it is frustrating not seeing higher end MFT gear (fast lenses, pro body), but I think that MFT is already a very nice system. There are even some people who ditched their D700 + Nikkor 14-24/2.8 or 5DMkII in favor of a MFT kit or are using their pro rigs alongside their MFT kits (seen in other threads).

    While it is lamentable that MFT is not fully compatible with many FT lenses, especially AF with HG and SHG FT lenses, using FT alongside MFT is quite a workable solution, especially if you think in a lens-centric way: buy the lenses you want and stick a suitable (for the task at hand) body behind them. There is no reasonably priced fast normal lens for FT? Just use the Pana 20/1.7 and an MFT body. FL-50R remote TTL works brilliantly with E-PL1 and E-PL2. 50/2.0 is a brilliant macro lens on MFT (you would use manual focus anyway). Landscape photography? Any FT lens will do (no fast AF required). Heck, you could even shoot a professional movie with any of the FT lenses (manual focus again).

    The situation of FT/MFT kind of frustrated me, too, but if you step back a bit from the gearoholic viewpoint and actually do some photography, it is not bad at all, at least not for me.

    • > There are even some people who ditched their D700 + Nikkor 14-24/2.8 or 5DMkII in favor of a MFT kit or are using their pro rigs alongside their MFT kits (seen in other threads).

      It only goes to say that they probably had no need for such gear in the first place.

      > … but if you step back a bit from the gearoholic viewpoint …

      #$%^&*. Where is promised E-xxx replacement? I want at least:

      – swivel LCD: because I use it to shoot at unusual angles

      – built-in (E/O)VF: because I generally prefer to compose that way; also my hands are not so steady and add lots of shake in low light situations

      What so frigging “gearoholic” about wanting some upgrade path? Which was no less promised by Oly itself??

      I would have had totally different angle on the whole situation if Oly came out and officially stated: 43 is dead, forget about it, do not wait for replacement. But even that they are apparently incapable of doing.

      • Thomas

        Maybe “gear-o-holic” was a bit exagerated, I want an upgrade path, too! Not in a hurry, though: just bought a used E-30.

        Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Oly can somehow merge the 2 systems! Maybe Maitani’s vision of a modular camera system will become reality? Imagine having both the advantages of an OVF/PDAF with FT lenses or a short flange distance (and the lenses possible, think Leica M) / compact size with MFT lenses.

        Maybe the current situation is so frustrating because many can see the potential of the system(s) but nothing or very little of it has (yet) materialized?

  • M


    They’re dead.

  • Daneyumyum

    Damn.. everybody are looking for a good camera , not a stupid fancy toy and they still don’t understand that. Holly crap you know what ? You juste have too wait and buy a Leica m8 and fuck them all !

  • Ufff… I have EP2 and VF2 and to be fair, the most of use VF2 gets is when using manual focus lenses – and I’m not big fan of them except for special cases. I would rather take swivel screen with better resolution – more help when shooting over the head or close to ground.

    So many people complain about EVF, but this piece is not what really holding anyone from taking good pictures – sensor and lenses are!

    • JeremyT

      Hear, hear – I do the same with my VF2! I love it when it’s manual focus time (or very bright out), but leave it behind when I don’t need it.

      I have to think the crowd here who want something built-in is in a (clearly vocal) minority. I find the times when I really need the EVF to be much less frequent than I originally expected, and I really recommend that people don’t knock it ’till they try it.

      To me, as somebody who enjoys the detachable EVF, the things that might determine whether I upgrade from the P2 to the P3 are autofocus performance, shutter speed, built-in flash (mainly as a wireless trigger), sensor improvements, ergonomics, and size (in roughly that order of priority).

      • Mr. Reeee

        EVF = CIS. Cranial Image Stabilization. :-)

        An EVF is nice for composing and mentally focussing, not to mention trying to work in bright sunlight.

        But, really, the bottom line is that there SHOULD be an option to be able to buy an Olympus M4/3 camera with a built-in EVF. Telling people that that preference is somehow wrong is no solution. Olympus prefers to send those potential customers and their dollars to Panasonic rather than to profit from it. A real shame.

        If Oly had had a M4/3 camera with an EVF and articulated LCD, I probably would have bought it instead of a GH2. I still would have bought Panasonic/Leica lenses, though.

        • JeremyT

          But how many people are they really talking about here? The nice thing about µ4/3 is that you *have* the option to go the Pansonic G* route should the integrated VF be critical to you.

          If I’m Olympus now, I have to focus on things with broad appeal in order to drive sales. Is the built-in VF such a thing? I suspect not.

          • Mr. Reeee

            If you’re Olympus, or Panasonic for that matter, you’re hopefully trying to build a SYSTEM with broad appeal. It’s not just one or two cameras of EXACTLY± the same style and nearly identical features. To sell your SYSTEM, you have bodies that appeal to different users and different uses.

            Once you get a customer, you want to KEEP that customer and have them buy from you over and over and tell their friends and colleagues. Think how Apple stayed afloat for years!

            If I’m a P&S upgrader with an EPL2, REALLY like it and want a more feature rich body, WITH a EVF and moveable LCD, what do I do? Stick with what I have, abandon M4/3 or buy a Panasonic. (or fantasize at rumor sites ;-) ) Oly loses.

            On the flip side, let’s say I started out getting a GH2, but want a really small body I can put my 20mm on and discretely use at MOMA or a party. Let’s say Panasonic doesn’t have a tiny body like the GF3, but Oly does. What do I do? I buy the Olympus.

            The other option is to call everyone with different tastes or desires names and pretend that real choice doesn’t and shouldn’t matter. ;-)

        • spam

          What are you doing on this forum, writing intelligent comments all the time. You’ll get banned.

          • Mr. Reeee

            I’m just one of those obnoxious New Yorkers. ;-)

    • Thomas

      It would just be nice not to have to attach the thing.

    • Inge-M.

      Well, if Olympus come by swivel screen is a good choise for E-P3.

  • tetzu

    why are people so upset about evf? ovf is a lot better. i dont understand why people want builtin evf? if the pen3 has ovf and liveview.

    please no touchscreen on pro cam

    • Boooo!

      You can’t have an OVF on a mirrorless camera because there is no mirror.

  • Camaman

    Still no EVF! OMG!
    When will they split their lineup further and offer a more advanced feature camera for people who want that!

  • lamer

    ….”why are people so upset about evf? ovf is a lot better. i dont understand why people want builtin evf? if the pen3 has ovf and liveview”….

    get a clue….. OVF on a pen……

    • Don Pope

      OVFs are great, but there’s no practical way to put a built in OVF on a non SLR interchangeable lens camera. That’s why Leicas can’t use very wide or very long lenses.

      An EVF, on the other hand, can be very compact and lets you see exactly what the sensor sees.

      • Camaman

        OVF’s are dead.
        small formats will never have it again. DSLR type cams are getting rid of it today.
        Only ones who aren’t getting with the program is Canikon. They will be the last to get one, and it wont be because OVF is something market needs or wants, but because they are slow to adopt new tech, with main excuse that they want something proven.

  • lamer

    build in optical viewfinder on a PEN.. have you seen one?

    live view? yeah it´s especially great in bright sunlight.

    a good camera needs a good viewfinder.. except your a facebook snapshooter and nobody cares about your pictures anyway…..

    • Don Pope

      Sorry, replied to wrong post

  • Jumbo

    lenses and sensors are good enought today to make good to superb pictures.

    the problem is the guy behind the camera who has no clue about composition, framing and taking a interesting picture!!

    that´s why a good viewfinder is important!!

    • Gino

      I hope you’re sarcastic about EVF making improvement for composition, framing and taking a interesting picture :)

  • Why am I not surprised by this…

  • G_C

    you know, even though i’ve had my fair turn of complaining, almost all of the stuff written here is eligible for

  • are there any other olympus produt names in the rumors ether?

    we have


    so, lets think, a higher end version might be:


    For all we know anything can happen. There are probably things that havent come out in a rumor here yet. Or am i just trying to be optimistic?

    • AndyOz

      It will be interesting to see which naming convention Oly decides to use. The current ones dont make much sense and seem a bit confusing.

      I think they should use numbers like they did in 4/3 system:
      E-Pxxx – base level mini Pen (eg E-P300)
      E-Pxx – the current E-PL2 Pen (eg change it to E-P30)
      E-Px – semi-pro (eg E-P3)
      That would be alot less confusing.
      Then I dont know how they would name a pro version that sits above the E-P3.

  • Olympius

    My hope is that Olympus sticks with the E-Pn body style, and just updates the electronics/sensor inside. They got things mostly right with the E-P1, it will be (if it’s not already) a classic camera design that will be fondly remembered when it’s gone, just the like Olympus E-1, the Olympus OM’s, the Olympus XA’s, the Olympus Trip35….

    I had ZERO expectation that Olympus would put a built-in EVF on the E-P3, or any other Pen for that matter. What I don’t understand is why anyone would expect them to do that. Clearly, Olympus has no interest in that sort of thing, and I don’t expect them to ever implement one on any of their future product, with the exception of the mythical “Pro Pen.” Might as well beg Apple to put an EVF on the iPhone.

    If an EVF is really all that important to you, I would highly recommend the Panasonic G2, G3 or GH2. They all have ’em.

    What I’m far more concerned about, is Olympus coming out with another camera other than the E-5 for us DSLR users. They really, need an E-30 replacement in the $900 USD ball park to shore up their rapidly shrinking user base. What I’d really, really like is an E-30 replacement with a pellicle mirror and EVF, much like the Sony SLT’s, that can shoot at 10 fps. But I seriously doubt that will ever happen.


  • bai

    first news I read this morning is this…. today is a sad day…

  • Sören

    when I have the choice if I take the external EVF with me or not, there is a big chance to take the false decision… So if I want to be sure, I’ll take the VF-2 with me. And it that case I would prefer a build in VF.

    Or Olympus, offer a detechable EVF which doesn’t block the hot shoe, which sits tight and safe, and which fits the retro design of the pen…

  • For me, it’s not about the VF. All I ever use is a swivel screen for waist-level shooting. The big question is whether they will finally make a high quality 12-xx zoom. If the glass is good the rest is more or less footnotes.

  • Lop

    OLY is so DEAD.

    and m43 will be when sony gets on full steam.

  • Having an EVF *and* a flip out screen would boost up the sales. However you forget that the BCP rankings in Japan, show that it’s the compact LCD Micro cameras that lead them, We’ll see if the G3 will make it to the top, but consider that the faux.dSLR are aimed at the Western, more traditional taste.

    Secondly can anybody tell me how long it took Fuji to design the X100 and when an ILS X200 is likely? That is not exactly cheap to design for a cash strapped company. Perhaps Oly has not the incentive, or perhaps it will issue a cheaper version later.

    Some of you who have the EVF should cheer up. It is excellent, it won’t depreciate andyou can carry it over from one camera to another.

  • Opa

    fanboys will buy olympus no matter what.
    you can sell them shit and they will praise the smell.

    anyone with a common sense will buy a product that is better.

    i will not mention brands here…..

  • OlyFan

    Olympus makes VF-2. Why would they release a model with a built-in VF and effectively kill the sales of VF2 (unless EP3 is priced substantially higher 1.2k$+ which again is a problem)?

    TBH, I would be interested in finding out if EP3 comes with the new sensor that is supposedly designed by Olympus. If this sensor performs anywhere near as well as GH2 sensor, that in itself (IMO) is a massive step forward for Oly. This sensor + the awesome Oly JPG engine + upcoming HG lenses from Oly will be a winning combination.

  • Simon


  • Gerd

    So i will buy SONY then.
    Never had the trust in m43 to spend much on Lenses anyway.

    Goodbye Olympus.

    • Robbie

      Yeah, you can happily shoot with just 4 lenses

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