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(FT5) First E-PM1 image and hands-on report! Has touchscreen and E-PL1 buttons.

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The new E-PM1 compared with the Olympus XZ-1 (Click on image to enlarge).

As you know Olympus will announce three new PEN cameras and the 12mm f/2.0 and 45mm f/1.8 lenses on June 30th (Click here to see the official Olympus invitation). And on top you can see the very first image of the tiniest of the three PEN’s the Olympus E-PM1! The other two cameras will be the E-PL3 (with tilt-screen) and the E-P3 (no tilt screen, built-in Flash). The main new feature of the Olympus cameras will be the new ultrafast autofocus that will beat the already fast Panasonic GH2 AF and it will be even faster than the AF of most current DSLR cameras!!! Also the sensor and imageing engine will be new (I hope to get some more news soon about that). Don’t miss any rumors: Join us on Facebook and Twitter! Subscribe our RSS feed!

A good source had the chance to play a little bit with the new smallest PEN. And this is his hands-on report (I have rewritten the report to hide the language style):
The E-PM1 is really very small. The body size is very similar to the XZ-1 (Click here to see it) (similar depth and height, and a little less wide. Autofocus speed is awesome (faster than the E-30/E-5 by any means). And the AF is not only fast, it’s accurate! It has touchscreen, but it also has enough buttons like the E-PL1.) Overall it is a camera you can handle very easy. Looking at the size of the E-PM1 it might will not sue the BLS-1/5 battery, I am not sure about that but I think it could use the Li-70B battery from the XZ-1?
All three new PEN cameras do have touchscreen and a new circuitry that reduces power consumption and increases the battery autonomy.

Editor’s note: The new Panasonic GF3 is a bit smaller than the E-PM1 but that camera doesn’t come with built-in image stabilization and doesn’t have the same usability (the E-PM1 has more buttons).

Questions to sources: Do you know the price of the camera?

Links cameras/accessories mentioned in that article:
Olympus XZ-1 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.
Olympus E-PL1 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.
Olympus E-30 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.
Olympus BLS-1/5 battery at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.
Olympus Li-70B battery 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

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  • Bimbo

    First!

    • MJr

      Admin.

      Does the superfast focus work during video ? Maybe the source knows :)

      ps. This is such a intentional teaser-leak.
      It works tho, color me interested. ;)

  • Omg..

  • drawingyourattention

    where did the retro go to….!

    • mahler

      Fortunately, it is gone!

      • Mr. Reeee

        We haven’t seen the front or back yet.

      • Miroslav

        +1
        And hopefully it won’t come back :).

    • Well there are 3 cameras being introduced if the rumors are correct. I suspect the retro styling will be on one of the others (E-P3 would be my guess).

      • AndyOz

        I agree Michael. It looks like the E-PM1 and E-PL3 will have more ‘modern’ styling aimed at younger P & S owners. The E-P3 will probably go for the chrome retro look aimed at the more mature photographer. Its a bit odd that the E-PL2 will be such a short lived model with its styling. Ironically I think I liked it best of all – if only it had the upper vertical thumb dial like the E-P2 it would have been perfect.

        It looks like the grip on the E-PL2 is better than the E-P2 … anyone out there own both and have an opinion on this?

  • Hmmmm looks nice from the top, although the ‘clean’ look doesn’t seem to have much to hold…

    Would be interested to see how the new Oly AF goes with Panasonic lenses – the EPM1 might be a steller compact kit with the 14/f2.5 ;)

  • Woodent

    tilt-touch screen, IBIS… if the E-PL3 has a comforable grip for shooting from the hip level, and the shutter is at least as quiet as in E-PL2, I will revert to 1-system setup, since Oly would be quite usable for street shooting, where I use NEX-5 now.

    • Ferdinand

      Yes, looking for a street-shooter too, and the E-PL3 will be the perfect match for me if indeed it has enough control buttons. Silent shutter would be perfect, so let’s hope…

    • Henrik

      The features you name sound nice, but it has no built-in flash, which is stupid.

      The cam pictured above has no grip whatsoever. By only looking at the pic, my hands feel awkward as if a camera could fall down easily.

      • Woodent

        you never use a flash on the streets. And, frankly, if the ISO 1600 is acceptable in quality, the IBIS and wider-than-2 aperture make it quite fine to shoot in low-light conditions in the premises. Or maybe it’s just me and the habbits of 1year shooting with E-P1

        • Henrik

          I know that in street photography you don’t use a flash. That’s because you are kind of stealing other peoples’ faces and don’t want to draw attention to your habit with a flashing flash.

          ISO 1600 is no replacement at all for a built-in flash. I use a flash even in many daytime situations (not street photography) to give more punch to the foreground and to light up shadows, be it people, flowers or espresso cups (good flash exposure control essential). I don’t need ISO 1600, but better flash synch times – not just 1/160, but maybe 1/1000.

          But maybe nobody else cares for that.

          • Ross

            That’s when you use an external flash that will do FP TTL (like FL36R) to have the faster shutter speeds too.

          • Chez Wimpy

            “That’s because you are kind of stealing other peoples’ faces”

            A bit loaded perhaps? I prefer the more neutral term “swallowing souls.”

          • MJr

            Some care, and if any it’ll be compact seekers. But that is because they simply don’t know what a fast lens and iso, or -shadow recovery in post- can do.

            Even when lighting up shadows, even when done well, a built-in flash just cannot get around giving the cheap flash look. But that is how i see it.

            At least the Olympus’ have the option for a proper flash on the hot-shoe, for when its really getting dark, or strong backlight. The GF3 doesn’t have that option. The NEX only has the sony flash option.

            A flash and its flash capacitor take up a lot of precious space that can be used for better things (battery), in a big sensor camera that wants to be small. I think Olympus made the best decisions.

  • cL

    It does look very appealing, at least from the top, but where is the PASM dial? XZ-1 has it, but a higher end m4/3 camera doesn’t have it? How weird!

    The on/off button is the wrong position…. Some people will accidentally hit it when they want to press the shutter.

    • PASM is a problem, not a solution. How often have you pulled the camera out of the bag, or pulled it up from the strap, and inadvertently hit the mode dial, and had that quick shot ruined as a result. And how often does someone who lives in the PASM world, as opposed to scene modes, really use the dial? Is it really necessary to use up valuable space on the camera for that function? I say no.

      • cL

        I never have that problem with my PASM dial on my E-620. It’s not hard to turn, but not soft enough it can be switched accidentally. If it’s on A mode, it stays on A mode.

        I use P the most, and do use program shift instead of full Manual mode to save time for other more important things. Sometimes I switch to A mode for macro where you know exactly which aperture must be used. Or when you are doing aperture bracketing, so you have to shoot several dozen shots with different aperture setting. So yes, I do use PASM dials and it’s enough to be a deal breaker.

        • Ross

          The PASM dial on a E620 is reasonbly protected. This camera is not aimed at the pro or enthusiest but as a small & easy to use entry level camera & more options would be available through menu or touch screen options.

          The power (on/off) switch looks like it might rotate unless that is just a pretty surround to a button & I doubt it would be something that could be easliy turned off when trying to take a photo.

  • AndyOz

    It seems like they couldnt have found enough room for both IBIS and flash in this camera. So they went for IBIS. I know alot of us would prefer that but I am not sure that P & S upgraders would appreciate the lack of a flash.

    In my opinion Olympus need a small and cheap flash (cheaper than FL-14) which they can option with this camera. Something with GN 6 – 10 that will fit the hot shoe. Maybe a retro looking flash cube!!

  • Touch screen manufacturer, aspect ratio and resolution?

  • Floyd

    It’s beautiful…but NO grips will be ouch to handle.

  • Where is the viewfinder?

    • Martin

      > Where is the viewfinder?

      In a shop.

      • Ferdinand

        LOL.

        Some people seem to be obsessed with a viewfinder, but they do not realize that it is just a tool from an era when LCDs were not yet available.

        • Bob B.

          Ferdinand…in bright sunlight ….your LCD is in an unavailable era, too!
          Good luck with that for any serious, critical photography.

          • Luke

            this camera is NOT for “critical photography”. It’s a little point and shoot companion (that will accept expensive lenses) for your real camera.

            • Bob B.

              I can be a very serious camera with a VF attached.

              • cL

                In that case, they’ll simply upgrade to another camera…. I suspect this is only meant to be a bridge between P&S and a PEN camera. Honestly, I thought that was XZ-1’s role.

              • Luke

                it can really only be a serious camera for someone with small fingers and when it has a small lens attached. go ahead…..but the 14-140 lens on here and enjoy using it.

          • Ferdinand

            Bright sunlight, that happens occasionally, I admit.

            A modern LED (OLED?) already offers a partial solution. Tilting it is also an option. Finally, taking multiple shots of your subject with different framings may also help, and it is even very educational when looking through them afterward!

            Anyway, in the end I want to have a small high-quality camera, so I accept this compromise. If I still cannot live with bright sunlight, there is always the optional EVF. But, I just get sick of all those people who immediately start to shout that there is no viewfinder on a camera. It is just a design choice.

            • cL

              Tilt screen won’t help you under bright sun. It gives you better angle for viewing, but LCD is still unreadable. You’ll analyze your exposure incorrectly and color rendition would be all wrong. You still need a VF, doesn’t matter EVF or OVF, it is still better than nothing.

        • And focusing via LCDs is like focusing via ground glass on your 4×5/8×10 view camera, and in fact they had the issue with bright sunlight also, and used a hood over the photographer’s face.

          While I am trying to replicate the look of view cameras with my E-P2 inside of a Kodak Pony Premo 5×7 body and my E-3 inside of a custom shell, I do draw the line at a hood. While photographers certainly used them, since I’m shooting in crowded situations, I prefer to keep my eyes on the whole scene, rather than put a hood on the camera.

    • Narretz

      You should be lucky it actually has the thingy for ext evf or flash

      • Bob B.

        Thingy? is that a technical term that I am unfamiliar with? :-)

        • Yes.

        • cL

          Thingy is a very useful noun, just like funky is for adjective.

          That thingy is so funky…, see what I mean? Very descriptive, tell people exactly what you mean. I can almost read people’s mind when they tell me that.

  • Sweeeeeet. Looking forward to seeing the other two cameras as well!

    • Gianluca

      +1 ;)

  • ReadingZ

    why all the mirrorless manufacturers breaking their heads entering into the touchscreen?~~does the touchscreen really help? maybe~~is the touchscreen better than physical buttons?? who are you kidding?? even the EP3 will have the touchscreen??? piss off~

    • Martin

      The goal of this camera is to be small and cheap. Is that really hard to understand?

    • they are preparing you for camera apps :D

      • ren

        can’t wait to play angry birds during shooting breaks :)

    • Kralin

      Yes the touch screen do change a lot if you wanto to choose fast where to focus. Combine it with a super fast AF and it is extremely important. I don’t want to spend 30 sec cycling trought the 23 focus area or spend avoidable time in composing. The subject may not be there after 1min or just be pissed off

      • Notice that the camera is a smooth material and doesn’t have a grip. With what hand are you poking at the touch screen to get focus? ;~)

        Oh, and you’re shooting in bright sunlight, so you want to put a shade over the LCD. Oops.

        Heaven help you if you turn the camera to vertical and are wearing your sunglasses, as the polarization now makes the screen impossible to see.

        Right, touch screens are the future of cameras. /sarcasm

        I’ve yet to see a touch screen design that really works for photography all that well, including on smartphones. You have to design for purpose, not design technology because it helps sell product.

        • Hold between the thumb and the index finger of your right hand. And for good measure stick your pinky in the air. Now you’re talking! Left hand is free to shade the screen, hold a drink, swat at flies, shoot a second camera. Man, the list goes on and on.

          P.S. /sarcasm. :p

          If the touch screen adds something to the user experience of the market the camera is aimed at and doesn’t take much away, I can only see it as a step forward. I’m sure there will be an off switch for those who prefer not to use it.

          • MJr

            As long as the buttons don’t go away it’s ok with me too. I’m all for retro basic controls in photography, but to deny that a touchscreen doesn’t increase browsing speed through a menu, or selection of focus points and such, is just ignorant. Same anger used to be toward tilt screens, but that seems to be cooling down now as people are discovering there’s actually benefits for us advanced users too.

            • Kralin

              of course I will never trade touchscreen for physical buttons

          • Atle

            Touchscreens have a purpose, they add controls without taking any space (provided the camera already needs a screen)

        • Chris K

          Polarization is not a big problem. I use my iPhone with my polarized sunglasses and I can see the screen no problem. Take whatever Apple is doing with the iPhone and put it on the back of a camera and you have a perfectly-usable touchscreen interface.

          I like viewfinders too, but LCDs can be very usable if done properly.

        • Kralin

          I didn’t say you have to use touchscreen for everything,
          but in some situation it can the difference that make you have the shot or not.
          I do not have any problem in holding a m43 camera with one hand and use the other for the touchscreen…

        • Anonymous

          Thom, in the spirit of your calls for modularization, maybe m43 manufacters need to make a “knobs and dials” module to attach to these touch-screen cameras!

        • Jim

          Photography and sunglasses don’t mix… thats a poor reason…

          Touch screen focus is the most logical solution ever designed! – All they then need is 3 dials – ISO, Apature, Shutter… job done – menu can be i-phone style for the rest of it.

          Only on 2 occations has bright sunlight hindered me with my E-P1 – your not checking your print calibrated monitor – so all you need to see is a reasonable framing and ruff exposure… and I hate the looking down a bog roll feel of traditional VFs – slower to work with too!

    • Henrik

      I have a G2 with touch screen, where all functions from touch screen can *also* be reached with hard buttons. I almost *never* use the hard buttons, touch screen is always faster. Not to mention the touch screen advantages when focusing, releasing shutter or zooming in image review.

    • MikeS

      Touchscreens are a gimmick.

      Unfortunately, gimmicks sell cameras.

  • Lets hope the new sensor has at least 16 megpix and higher dynamic range… But, even if the new blazing fast AF is the only improvement, I will not be sad :)

    • Gianluca

      12mp…but yes more dr!

      • Duarte Bruno

        12MP is good enough for me too. Improving SR Ratio and thus DR is a priority!

        • Yep. I’m plenty happy with 12MP. I need more DR and better high ISO :)

          • This should be repeated until it becomes reality!
            Better SNR and DR

            • reverse stream swimmer

              12MP is a good number, I agree!
              However, most of my cameras only have 10 MP.
              All these do well with 10MP, apart from bird photography.

              But I don’t plan on using the E-PM1 for bird photography, so let’s have high hopes (SNR & DR) for the new generation of 12MP sensor!

        • I want 10MP, 8MP or even 6MP ;-)
          Of course this won’t happen, but 12 are absolutely too much! :-(
          IQ would be so much better with 6MP :-)

      • Kralin

        +1

    • Why do we need even more megapixels? The more megapixels you have, the tighter the photosites are packed together, which means noise is more of a problem.

      Also, more megapixels means diffraction becomes more of an issue. One diffraction calculator says that a 4/3rds sensor starts showing diffraction effects around f/7.3 for 16MP, f/8.4 for 12MP (my 5MP E-1 would start showing effects at f/13.1). Given consumer zoom lenses are f/5.6 at the long end, you don’t have as much room to stop down the lens to get a sharper image before diffraction starts making it less sharp.
      http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/digital-camera-sensor-size.htm

      I tend to think for cameras, that after you reach a basic size, the ever increasing MP only serves one real purpose, and that is when you are in the big box store, and ask which camera is better, the clerk (who may have been selling DVDs yesterday, and might be selling washing machines tomorrow and just reads the package list back to you) can see that one number is bigger than another.

      Frankly, I thought 8MP was a reasonable size for cameras with sensors smaller than full frame.

      • Good point! Moreover, the best of lenses can resolve about 5 micrometers at the sensor level. 5 microns is the pixel pitch of a 4/3 sensor with 12MP. A denser sensor would not extract more detail. Comparisons between the E-5 (12MP) and GH2 (16MP) demonstrate this very well.

      • Martin

        >Why do we need even more megapixels? The more megapixels you have, the tighter the photosites are packed together, which means noise is more of a problem.

        Wrong, it’s a common myth repeated again and again. You do not view individual pixels, you view whole images. Two pictures should be compared at the same size, if the comparison is to be meaningful. In that case noise isn’t more of a problem. On the contrary, it is easier to tackle noise if it is more ‘finegrain’.
        More megapixels means an advantage, not a problem.

        • Yes, if you are doing pixel binning to produce an output image with SMALLER number of pixels, then having the extra pixels to average out the noise helps. I would suspect however, if you are not reducing the number of pixels, then it does not help, and noise removal software in this case tends to act as a sander and remove the detail.

        • It’s not a myth… look at D3s and D3x. One is aimed at resolution and one on Low noise. What would be the point of D3s??? You can shrink noisy image and noise is still there, it will never match low megapixel sensor.

          Just compare those two and then come back and tell me what You see ok?

        • reverse stream swimmer

          I support your theory that more megapixels gives more input data for signal analysis and a better image output as the end result.

          The major drawbacks are more intensive computation, larger buffers and storage, larger battery power consumption and finally larger raw and jpeg file storage requirements.

          MFT can never be a high res format, for that we’ll need 24x36mm. I do image stacking and panorama as a workaround.

        • cL

          Yes, you do look at individual pixel quality. Why would you want to buy a 16MP camera only to down sample it to a 3MP so it looks better “as an image?” Do you really need 13 more extra pixels? No, I need the entire 12MP so I can print an enlarged photo at acceptable quality. A 16MP with lousy individual pixel quality won’t give you better enlarged photo than a high quality, noise free 12MP camera would give you.

      • Jim

        Other thing about Megapixels is that the 1/shutter speed rule will go out the window – if you have say 4x the Mpix then you need to be 2x as still to get the same per pix sharpness – so a 100Mpix cam will be only sharp at silly sutter speeds – any slightest movement will be detectable with such super high res – I find 12Mpix quite chalanging to get absolutly pin sharp at the pixel level – this is 90% of my struggle with my images – getting it super super sharp!

  • young-sun

    Now lets see if it has a conventional shutter or an electronic one that will allow flash sync up to 1/2000 like in XZ-1, am also hoping for ISO lower than 100, very useful for daylight outdoor shooting. and the LCD lets hope it has 921k screen res instead of the 460K res.

    overall very nice

    • kkkk

      moron… 16 mpixel are useles for a m43 sensor.

      • reverse stream swimmer

        Time will tell…

        Today we see CMOS-BSI with 16 MP, and that’s 1/2.3″ sensors. It’s not megapixel that is the restriction, it’s the sensor area! M43 does fine with the latest Panasonic 18 MP sensor.

    • Young-sun:
      ISO 100 is likely not to happen, since manufacturers are shooting for the higher ISO.

      If you get an appropriate Olympus flash (FL-36R, FL-50R) or Metz flash (48 AF-1, 50 AF-1, 58 AF-1/2), you can use FP-TTL/HSS mode to sync at very high speeds outdoors. The lower end Olympus and Metz flashes like the FL-14, don’t support it.

      For outdoor shooting, I would say invest in a series of neutral density filters.

      • Young-Sun Teh

        i do hope they can make it ISO 25. under bright lights if one is to use an aperture of F2 it the shutter speed would hover around 1/2000 -1/8000 at Iso 100 Just imagin if you had an ISO of 25 without having to resort to ND filters.

        on the XZ-1 the flash sync goes all the way to 1/2000 and filling in with any strobse is possible not only those strobe that are capable of HSS. now with this two features means you have absolute control over the linghting and contrats at what ever time of day.

        now woldnt that be compelling

        • Ulli

          I like the idea of havin lower iso settings too, but i am afraid this will have little chance to be included, prob of both marketing(higher iso instead) and technical(shift in base sensitivity?) reasons.
          still, noiseless images and better adaption to lightflooded locations straight from the camera would be the reward.

        • I just don’t see that happening. The market in general wants high ISO and not low ISO. I would hazard a guess that if they made a camera with ISO 25, but a top ISO of say 800, they would sell maybe a few hundred cameras at most, but having a top ISO of 800, they would lose thousands or tens of thousands of sales. All sensors have limits, and you can’t have sensors that are both capable of very low ISO and very high ISOs at the same time.

          As I said, pick up some neutral density filters if you need to reduce the amount of light.

          Until the camera companies can come up with a global shutter that works for larger sensors like 4/3rds, you are stuck with a focal plane shutter for most things, and a leaf shutter for specialized cameras. IIRC, leaf shutters tend to be much more expensive than focal plane shutters, and they sometimes have reliability problems. IIRC, the E-10/E-20 had leaf shutters, and back when it was a current camera, I recall reading that people needed to send it in for servicing every 20,000 clicks or so (Olympus no longer services those cameras).

        • cL

          ISO 25 would be terrible for DR reason. Very low ISO (below 100) should be used with even lighting and not to mention, a tripod. I rarely encounter someone on the street with a DSLR carry a tripod like myself.

          Michael Meissner said it nicely, most companies are aiming for high ISOs, because that’s what general public wants (because none of them wants to carry a tripod), so market dictates. It’s not always for the best, but that’s what you get in market economy.

          That said we adjust to the cameras we use…. If I have a choice, I would always shoot at ISO 100 for superior image quality, but for my E-620, ISO 200 is the one with best DR, so that’s my base ISO. That’s just me. Most people prefer shooting at noisy high ISO over carrying a tripod, if what kind of camera that sells is a good indicator.

  • Wow, yea, and electronic shutter would be an amazing breakthrough.. Talk about getting the NiKanon to turn their heads! Just think about.. when you push the shutterbutton all you hear is a little “zip” from the apertureblades.. Wow, imagine shooting street with that.. Mmm…

    • maybe it has built in ND grad filter too…

    • kkkk

      yout talking bullshit…..

    • Inge-M

      Yepp ;-)

    • cL

      That’s a personal preference. I wouldn’t buy a DSLR that has no shutter sound. The type of sound it makes, however, is very important. Olympus DSLRs usually make very pleasing shutter sound that sounds professional. Kind of like a bike. Harley Davidson actually patented the wavelength of their bikes because that sound sells.

      Electronic shutter is for durability purpose. It has longer life, but some of us grown to love the sound coming from our cameras. Electronic shutters sound too P&S.

  • Kralin

    THI IS GREAT!
    olympus + touchscreen + fast AF + new sensor means I’m not going to buy the g3 anymore :)

  • *yawn*.

  • Fiato

    Are there stereo microphones? The L & R signs near the hotshoe.

    • Yes, stereo mics. This looks really promising. I don’t care if it’s a little higher or wider than the GF3 and NEX, as long as it is flat. And it is! Note how much flatter than the E-PL1/2 it is!

      • Miroslav

        Too flat, how will one hold this thing? They should have made NEX-5 like grip and put larger battery in it. But, you’ve got to leave space for improvements to E-PM2 :).

        • A flat object is much easier to hold than a cube with the same volume. Especially if you have a fairly heavy object sticking out on the front (the lens). Try it for yourself.

          • Miroslav

            The more surface to put your fingers around, the better. G3 grip is minimum what interchangeable lens camera should have. Not just for shooting, but also for carrying.

            • But that’s a different size of camera…

              • Miroslav

                If the image is correct, E-PM1 is not small at all. XZ-1 is 111x65x42 mm, therefore E-PM1 is 114×65(“similar to XZ-1”?)x37 mm. E-PL2 is 115x72x42(because of grip) mm, while G3 is 115×84(because of EVF)x47(because of grip) mm. So, I don’t see why is this called “mini”: not much smaller than E-PL2, it’s far from GF3’s 108x67x32.5 mm. I also doubt E-PM1 is as tall as XZ1, because GF3 is already on the limit of m4/3 mount height, I expect something close to 70 mm. But these teaser images are always a bit (deliberately) distorted, I’ve been wrong before in trying to guess camera measures from them.

                Anyway, I hope E-PL3 has grip and is not larger than E-PL2.

          • Rodney

            Tried it for myself by taking a hacksaw to my eos Rebel and “flattening” (I.e. removing) the grip, and I don’t agree with you. It was much easier to hold when it had the grip…..

  • Admin, thankyou for Amazing work :)
    Now PLEASE give us some full frontal shots too!

  • Mar

    Am I wrong to think it has 3.5″ lcd? Seems bigger than XZ1’s.

    Great news from Oly recently. :)

    • Inge-M

      Mar, maybe you have right.

  • Jake Donver

    Was the EPM not supposed to have flash? Doesn’t seem like it looking at this picture. Could mean that the EPL3 would have flash though!

  • weiaperture8

    This is bloody sexy and small camera~

  • The “touch shutter” from the GF3 would be nice… :)

  • Looks good. I just sold my e-pl1 on Saturday. It was a great wee camera, but the autofocus just sucked. If these new batch of PENs’ autofocus really is as fast as they say, I’ll be buying one.
    Only problem now is deciding which of the three!

  • Looks like they try to copy the NEX-style? But even without any grip… retro design > modern design :(

    • AndyOz

      I agree. The way the back is shaped reminds me of the NEX but without the grip. I actually prefer the styling and shape of the XZ-1. Its a shame Olympus didnt style the E-PM1 based off the XZ-1 but with the addition of a small grip.

      I hope that the E-PL3 is better designed even though it sounds like it shares the same basic ‘body’ structure.

  • So everything is promising but I’m still pretty courious about 3 issues:

    1. Does the ultra fast AF work with anything but HG lenses (e.g. 45/F1.8)?
    2. Has the 12 MP sensor been really improved in terms of image quality as well, or just the focus speed has been tweaked?
    3. Do the 3 cameras have at least as smart AF interface (touch shutter, etc.) as recent Lumix G cameras have?

    If at least one answer is ‘no’ I’ll have doubts about the seriosity of these ‘huge technological leaps’.

    • Mr. Reeee

      +1
      Touch shutter is rather annoying. I shut it off almost immediately. Touch focus is quite usable and makes for a good party trick! ;-)

      Oly’s interface issues could be a deal killer.

  • @admin: one question:
    “Autofocus speed is awesome (faster than the E-30/E-5 by any means). And the AF is not only fast, it’s accurate! ”

    With which lens did he test this? With kitlens? Or with the new 12/2 ?

    • Inge-M

      I mean the say, only very fast focus on 12mm F2,
      but soon come more HG lens.

    • Boooo!

      I keep reading that as “with kittens”.

      Would be interesting to have a camera that has a kitten on it.

  • Mr. Reeee

    The top looks good, but does the carpet match the drapes? ;-)

    It looks promising. I’m curious about the button setup on the back and how it handles manual lenses and focus. Maybe Oly will clean up their dreadful menu system.

    Since Panasonic, in their sometimes infinite cluelessness, saw fit to put the idiotic scroll dial thingamajig on the GF3 instead of the extremely usable and flexible control wheel that every one of their other M4/3 cameras have, then the PEN mini might make a good complement to the GH2.

  • Raúl

    I don’t see the benefict of making the body so slim. It compromises good grip and you still have a lens mount protruding in the front

    • mal

      Put it into a screw-on leather cover and the thinness makes a LOT of sense. The grip is also vastly improved. I have one on my XZ-1 and it is perfect to hold.

      http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-Leather-Camera-Case-Bag-Strap-Olympus-XZ-1-XZ1-/270757529020?pt=AU_Cameras_Photographic_Accessories&hash=item3f0a6805bc

      • Luke

        kind of defeats the purpose of making a small body, doesn’t it?

        • MJr

          No.

        • Ross

          When you buy a super slim phone there is nowhere to hold it but that doesn’t bother some & others of us put a leather cover on it. This model camera is the smallest & simplest entry level PEN camera & any thoughts that this isn’t sufficient for you (talking to everybody here) then the E-PL3 or E-P3 are the other models to choose from with the appropriate price & with increasing functions & programmability.

  • Miroslav

    Looks good. Hot shoe and touch screen are major pluses. Now they need a small add-on flash that can bounce. I REALLY hope it’ll have AF assist lamp.

  • funky

    Looks good, looks like some thought has been put into the design. Still has the hotshoe, unlike the GF3 or Nex. Looking forward to seeing all three cameras!

    • Guy

      I agree funky, and I like this site so much I created an account! Good work admin.

  • rampart

    Looks good from the top but so did my last haircut. The rest left a lot to be desired. We’ll see how the rest of this camera turns out.

    • peroni

      LOL, thanks for the laugh

    • Inge-M

      Yepp, but only skull, if you need, EVF, Flash and Wefee, can you peel later.

  • Faidz

    Panasonic should get their G3 to the market ASAP. If they don’t Olympus will beat them to pulp =D

    • anentropic

      G3 is in stock on Amazon UK…

  • Oli G

    Sounds promising. Think I’m gonna buy me an E-PL3 if the flip LCD works like Sony NEax and the sensor really is improved.

  • leendert

    + new sensor
    + new engine
    + very fast AF
    + Reduces power consumption
    + touchscreen, but with enough buttons

    I am very curious!

  • Maley

    If the epm got the new 16mp Sensor the gf3 will be having a real hard time. Better controls, more mp, hotshoe and also got a Touchscreen. Only lacking a flash.

  • Mmh… auto-focus on the new PENs faster than on the E-5?! Even when comparing to an E-5 with the ridiculously fast 12-60mm?! According to Olympus, the E-5 & 12-60mm combination has the fastest auto-focus available on any available DSLR system.

    This is hard to believe but in any case, it’s good news, very good news indeed.

    If the E-P3 has good usability and comes with a less cumbersome EVF accessory than the VF-2, a lot of folks will be leaving their E-5 at home for most of the times.

    So, basically, Olympus designed their new sensor mainly for contrast auto-focus speed it seems. At least they recognized their biggest weakness and did something about it. My curiosity is almost killing me by now…

    • tmrgrs

      Agree with you Tobias W, a very interesting ultra-compact. It’s too bad that some here keep complaining about the lack of a grip. This is a camera that’s meant to be as small as is practical and there will be two other models coming out with more size and ‘holdability’ for those who aren’t interested in this smaller body. My only real question is – Was it technically imperative to eliminate the PASM dial? If not, it’s too bad that it isn’t more like the XZ-1 in that regard. I am interested in this camera as a second m4/3 body.

      • Who uses the PASM dial a lot anyway? I would say the PASM dial is way overrated. On my cameras it stays parked in A-mode and P&S upgraders will leave it in P-mode or some “intelligent auto” mode. When I touch the PASM dial it’s for an occasional video recording. But with a dedicated video button on the new cameras, there is no need for that either.

        • anentropic

          agree 100%

          • MJr

            agree 21%

      • Ferdinand

        I have the dial on “A” for 98% of the time, so that is not an issue for me.
        I do like to be able to quickly change the aperture, exposure compensation, and ISO, so buttons for these settings would be very nice!!! Just hoping the E-PL3 has them.

      • The E-5 doesn’t have a PASM dial either, although I doubt the PEN mini will use the same solution for changing exposure modes.

        • Well, the E-5 has multitudes of buttons on dials to compensate for that… ;)

  • Admin writes: “The new Panasonic GF3… doesn’t have the same usability (the E-PM1 has more buttons).”

    Buttons = usability. Ah, now we know. And all those years silly designers thought usability had something to do with design, control placement, etc.

    • MJr

      Sure. But he dumbed it down a little for the public.

  • No, thanks. The body is too slim and too narrow for holding comfortably. The E-P1/GF1 are the absolute minimum for me in terms of heft and size.
    If it’s designed after the XZ-1 it may gain some popularity due to the (relative to competition) “serious” look. On the other hand, it looks like plastic whereas the GF3 and NEX-C3 are metal clad.
    The PEN mini would need a small, perhaps low-res EVF and a small bounce flash to be complete.

  • DonTom

    Well, come September (buying time for me, I’ll be in Singapore), I am really gonna find it hard to decide what to buy. At the moment it will be the 45/1.8, but if this is well priced with a pancake……

    • What pancake? The 17mm?!

      That’s why I’m thinking that we might be missing something and Olympus has hopefully another ace up its sleeves with an updated and tinier 17mm.

      • Inge-M

        Tobias, what by 25mm F2.8 pancake.

        • AndyOz

          Good point Inge
          I had wondered whether Oly might release a M4/3 version of their 4/3 25mm 2.8 pancake. That would be an interesting addition to the lens range. I would like an improved lens from Oly in the 17-25mm focal length range. Perhaps a high quality 17 or 20mm – not pancake to be different !! Or a 25mm 2.8 pancake just to be different to Panasonic.

  • Simon

    Why didn’t they keep the near-to-perfect button layout of the XZ1? They even could have maintained the mode dial, which would’ve been a major advantage over GF3 or Sony NEX. Movie Button seems to be positioned so I will always hit it with my thumb when holding the camera? And afterword hit the on-off button instead of the shutter…. :D

    Well…except from that…WOW!

  • bunfoolio

    This looks good. Oly does have hope.

    I might have to trade in my E-pl2

    • Yeah, owning a recent E-PL2 must feel stupid right now. I know more than one person cursing Olympus for that right now! :)

      I got into MFT with an E-PL1 at below 400€ about a year ago. I will definitely get the E-P3 if the auto-focus rumor is true. No more compromises with bodies! It’s nice to have smaller and cheaper entry-level bodies, but the usability of the E-PL1/2 sucks compared to DSLR bodies (both against my E-520 and E-5) and I hate going into a menu for every exposure setting.

      So, in my personal case, all I care about is more information about the E-P3.

  • Bob B.

    Olympus is coming on strong. WOW. They totally upped Panasonic with their mini…looks like is will still take an optional viewfinder..and they have a new smaller VF about to be released that will probably make more sense than their current gigunda (tumor) viewfinder. That REALLY makes the Oly mini MUCH more useful than the toy GF3. (BTW…I am a Pany owner…and am disappointed with the current new camera offerings).
    Hopefully Panasonic will have a strong response to this.
    The incredible 25mm f/1.4 gives me hope! :-)

    • Agrivar

      I’m a GH2 owner and was looking at the GF3 as a second cam… but seeing this.. wow.. with possibly optional EVF and IBIS.. looks interesting, very interesting. I might want to pick up one of the new Olys as my 2nd cam now.. : )

      Just that I do video. About 30% of the time..

      $Admin : Any idea from your sources about the video capability of the 3 new oly PENs? Will there be Full HD? 24/25p?

      • Traditionally, the main restriction with video on Olympus is that for some reason they do NOT record video longer than seven minutes each! At least that’s the case with the current PENs.

        I think this has to do with import restrictions and taxation as a camera able to record longer qualifies as a video camera and is taxed differently. But I might be wrong here completely!

        • Even if there were no restrictions at all, most video cameras using SD cards have a 2GB boundary for a file. Thus, you end up with a best case video length that’s unimpaired of about 12 minutes.

          • Agrivar

            Thats true to a point. However for my previous G2 and now my GH2, there isnt any restriction to the length or file size for the video (AVCHD) that I can shoot. Mine’s a PAL Far East version. There is no tax laws like the EU that restrict video length..

            So in fact, I can shoot up to the maximum capacity of my SD card. I typically use a 16GB SD card and can shoot close to 2 hrs of video..

          • El Aura

            There is SDXC and exFAT which does away with this 2 GB file limit. Computers support it, I see no reason why any new camera could not support it.

        • The reason for the 7 minute HD limit (14 minute SD limit) is that the encoding Olympus uses is not space efficient and that is where the file size would be greater than 2GB (2GB is the limit for a single file on the FAT32 filesystem used by camera makers).

          In dpreview, one of the posters said that the current generation of Olympus point & shoots has fixed this, so maybe there is hope.

          I need to record performances once or twice a year that are up to 30 minutes long. I will likely break the image down into smaller chunks for posting on youtube, but because it is a live performance, I don’t always know when the performer is transitioning to a new song. Last year, I used my E-P2, but this year, I will likely use the Kodak ZX-1 I just bought for the purpose (though I really would like the better wide angle the E-P2 offers).

          Lets see, for the XZ-1, a 1 minute VGA/SD video is 20Mb, and a 1 minute HD video is 81Mb. On the E-P2, a 1 minute VGA/SD video is 122Mb, and a 1 minute HD video is 238Mb.

          Panasonic and Sony have an alternate video system (AVHCD I think) that is more space efficient and can create multiple files on the memory card so that they can create say 2 hour videos if you need it. The downside, is Windows and Mac don’t have software that understands AVHCD native, and you have to load drivers so you can see your videos on the system.

          • Thanks for that detailed description! Very insightful!!

          • MJr

            AVC-HD (Lite), also known as h264 or MPEG-4. Youtube is h264, Bluray is h264. All just slight variations of AVC (Advanced Video Coding). Basically the new universal standard. And Windows 7 or OSX plays it natively just fine.

            The older Olympus’ used MJPEG (Motion JPEG), which is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s bigger but then it’s also more resilient against re-compression, like after editing a home movie, or uploading to youtube. But h264 is the future, the most efficient, and at the same bitrate does better than any other codec, but it requires much more processing power to work with, or a dedicated chip. Thankfully these are standard these days in any camera, phone, and computer (video-graphics card).

            One thing that does make MJPEG videos so unnecessarily big is that it includes 1536kbps PCM audio rather than 128kbps or so MP3. Quite a difference.

      • Bob B.

        I almost bought a GH2…but I am strictly a stills photographer. I was put off by all of the video capability and the price. Glad I waited…(have and love my GF1)
        I am holding out for the new pro body to go with that new 25mm f/1.4 ! :-)
        Hope that is coming. GH2 is a great camera and makes a lot of sense for you!!!
        I don’t want to get into Oly because I have the Panny and a Canon 5D Mark II..and I just don’t want to have yet another menu system…it all get too confusing for me!!!! LOL!
        …but I think Oly is coming out with some incredible products.

        • JM

          I decided to go the opposite way. I’m happy owner of GF1 and will pick up G1 as a second body for ~$150. The EVF/tilting screen is in the pair with the best and I’m satisfied with the picture quality of GF1. I’m not excited to pay $500+ for a camera every year, which is always missing something to be perfect.

          • Bob B.

            I have a REAL problem with the G1 ( I bought one as a second body and to use with the longer telephotos)…in the area of focusing… I had one and decided to unload it until something better came along…The GH2 apparently fixed this problem (although…not as well as the Olympus..from what I am reading here….LOL!) I feel the GH2 is too expensive and geared more to video…so I am waiting. The G1 just doesn’t focus many times in lower light…and I am not talking about anything extreme here. My buddy has one too and his canon G10 easily focuses in these situations and it is EXCEEDINGLY annoying that you have a higher grade camera with interchangeable lenses that can’t focus as well as a point-and-shoot????
            It is less of an issue with my GF1…My friend and I have never read any posts about people complaining about this…but it is a noticeable problem with the G1. But for $150….it is a GREAT camera.

            • Luke

              I’ve never had problems focusing the G1 in low light…..my E-P1 yes.

              • Bob B.

                Interesting. My friend and I are VERY frustrated with the performance. We were having coffee one day..and he is new to photography…and he said… I really love the images from this camera…but…..
                And I was experiencing (I am a very experienced photographer bought into MFT for a small second camera system) the same frustration..but I just blew it off personally saying..hey..its an entry-level consumer camera. At least with our two cameras when using the old kit zoom (14-45mm)..the G1 camera has a hard time focusing in moderate light …you never know when it won’t focus..but you are always waiting for it to not focus. Frustrating.
                It may just be that lens on the camera…I didn’t do a comparison test with my 20mm f/1.7 or my 45mm f/2.8 macro. They let in more light so maybe the focusing is better.

    • greyhat

      And Olympus can launch a small bounce-able flash like NEX for E-PM1 to use on hot shoe. It only loose to GF3 (not to NEX).

  • jasonk

    I’m falling in love once again with Olympus. They always manage to surprise me, and in a good way too. But I guess that’s mostly because of poor marketing and fairly well controlled secrecy.

  • Jan Francois

    So much for incremental updates. If the reports of the autofocus speed are correct, its a major advance for olympus, and in itself a compelling reason for upgrade. Combine with the other coming attractions and I think there’s reason for strong optimism for the first time since the birth of m4/3. Bravo!

    • +1

      If the autofocus rumor is true, I can justify to invest more into MFT.

      My current wish-list consists of:

      an E-P3 (with excellent usability and the ability to change most exposure settings without using a menu or taking my eye of the viewfinder)
      a VF-3 that is smaller than the VF-2 with 100% coverage
      a Panasonic Leica Summilux 25mm

      If I can’t get rid of my E-PL1, it will probably serve to host manual focus lenses only – which has been its primary use anyway so far…

      In any case, Olympus may be late with these advancements but I have no doubt they will rock the market if the rumors are true.

    • It will all come down to the sensor quality

  • I think…I may have wood…

    • Bob B.

      Wood….is that a technical term that I am unfamiliar with? :-)

      • Not unless you’re really old, or a woman.

        • Bob B.

          LOL!

  • Mar

    If new pens have full hd video with manual controls (at least E-P3 if not 2 of the cheaper models) and Oly makes a new EVF (smaller and better), I seriously doubt the point of Panasonic cameras :D

    Panasonic has nothing to offer any more, AF isn’t faster, cameras are bigger, they have no wireless flash control, Panasonic sensor is probably worse (“new” sensor is not really any better than the “old” 12mp one, it’s just that it’s got more megapixels).

    This is the point of m43 – small usable cameras with manual controls and not DSLR-esque touchscreen controlled cameras rivaling the size of an entry level dslr.

  • cowgaR

    + stereo microphone

    + hotshoe, so it _might_ take SEMA-1 micro set like XZ-1 compact:
    http://bit.ly/kfN6LO

    + probably aperture control in movie mode, so finaly a camera that can shoot video (Panasonic GF2 can’t set aperture – widest all the time, focus jumps all over, no manual control)

    Question:
    Does anybody know of a (portable) quality microphone to stick to SEMA-1? I don’t like the one included due to poor sound quality, would like a replacement for concerts, but something cheaper that £1000 pounds seinnheiser ;)

  • jchan

    guess they finally have to redesign the ugly big evf2, because that thing will be as big as the body itself.

    John

  • Ulli

    like the gf3 i can dig this mini pen. combined with one of the pancakes, its the camera i would keep with me all the time. and i can live with all the compromises. the new af system is a great bonus for the mini.

  • Jan Francois

    I think a touch screen is probably a necessity on such mini micro ILC’s. Its probably a better idea to shrink the rear lcd to allow for more controls, but this seems unlikely. Also, lets face it, this thing is supposed to be a p&s.

    • Agrivar

      lol… maybe.. an interchangable lens P&S..

  • Looks good so far, I was never a fan of the plastic slab body of the PEN deisgn, this more sculpted and compac version suits me better. Might make a nice compact alternative for when the GH1 is a bit much.

  • marcram

    Looks beautiful from the top. I’m also loving the strap lugs compared to what gfx are offering.

  • Nathan

    Let’s be honest, I’d just leave it in aperture priority mode with +/- tweaks 90 percent of the time, so as long as the touchscreen works well, I could probably use it.
    At any rate, I dig the styling and feature set. Even without flash. With the 12mm F2 and 45mm F1.8 it would make a great little kit all by itself.

  • Anybody know what the little grill on the left might be? To the left of the L mic hole?

    Is it a port? A vent? A tiny shaver?

    What?

    • cbr09

      It’s a speaker of course – to make the shutter sound when you are using the silent shutter.

      • Inge-M

        Aoooh, Yes you can eligible difference sound, like so phone.

      • you will be able to programme/record you own shutter sounds so you could have a cow mooing or a farting sound when you press the shutter :D

        • cbr09

          Yes – let’s just hope that it will be in stereo – otherwise it just won’t be able to reproduce that ‘pop’ effect you get from CaNikon cameras.

        • Fishfishfish

          Imagine if you take continuous shots with these funny sounds~!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Touchscreen, *if well implemented*, can be a real bonus.
    I have an old Lumix fx500 compact – and didnt expect to use the touchscreen, but boy was I wrong.

    It makes for very fast menu navigation, effectively replaces the pasm dial, browsing scene modes is a pleasure – it allows for exposure compensation in a very elegant way (horizontal and vertical sliders for shutter speed and aperture), and placing the focus point by touch with auto tracking is working exactly as you’d hope.
    In playback mode, it’s arguably better than a button interface.
    For the smallest possible camera, touchscreen is the way to go.
    For an enthousiast model on the other hand, I wouldn’t want to miss the manual controls like on my EP1 – but it might be a nice extra for faster navigation.

    Only thing which is nonsense to me is touch shutter – when you take the shot your hands should be holding the camera steady, not adding even more camera shake.

  • nisero

    My XZ-1’s use the LI-50B battery, isn’t LI-70B.

  • thephil

    Can’t wait. Olympus lens and image quality have always been superior. In body stabilization is major advantage to M4/3 lens design and size. Lens design can be purely focused on image quality and size. Panasonic’s major disadvantage is very large lenses, constricted by lens stabilization, and inability to efficiently utilize after market m4/3 lens. Don’t forget Olympus lens quality have always been superior(especially wide open). Look how poor x100 wide open results are. (quality looks like plastic lense results, and Fuji markets lens F2.0 ability, but F2.0 quality is highly lacking)

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/FujifilmX100/page16.asp
    “As mentioned above, wide open sharpness in the macro range (and at minimum focus especially) is highly lacking, with the lens suffering badly from spherical aberration.”

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/FujifilmX100/page25.asp
    “Lens gets very soft at large apertures and close focus distances”

  • Olympus is going to really come through for us, in my humble opinion…

    Cant wait to see what zoom they release with these cameras to make use of the fast auto focusing… Not sure why there isnt more disucssion about it… Me I am hoping for a small 12-60 that was on my E-3… I did love that lens… I dont want another colapsing lens, am ore interested in pro quality and weather sealing… Metal bodies, focus distance scales and even depth of fieild markings…

    How can they release a very fast camera with out the fast general zoom to go with it…

    The new 12mm is shapping up to be on my shopping list as is the EPL-3 I quitr like the idea of a tilting screen and dont mind the lack of flash… I hope it has at least one dial for me to change the aperture or shutter speed easily…

    • ha

      “Cant wait to see what zoom they release with these cameras to make use of the fast auto focusing… Not sure why there isnt more disucssion about it…”

      Don’t expect too much. 14-42 II has internal focus and will be fast. With FT the ‘world fastest AF system’ didn’t sell well, so Oly won’t go for records with a kit lens any more.

  • I think this “rumors” site is a great way to waste time, but I really think it should be called 43 Marketing. From the way the rumors come out, it is very clear that both Panasonic and Olmpus marketing departments are directly controlling the “rumors”. The rumors are classic drip-feed marketing aimed at keeping consumers intersted in and discussing the products up to launch date.

    Its funny we get a little bit of information about say fast auto-focus (just days after the GF3 announcement) – to keep buyers from purchasing the GF3. Then one image (obviously from Olympus) comes out of the top of the camera.. each day a new “rumor” is passed on to 43 rumors that is obviously all part of Olympus’ marketing strategy.

    How come no rumors ever come out about the most important things about the camera, such as the sensor? All these “leaks” somehow know the camera has super fast auto-focus, they know the expected lense pricing (after everyone here demands to know), they know the specifications of the three cameras, yet they dont know the sensor (megapixels) thats in the cameras?

    This is totally unbelievable!

    • Relax and have fun.

    • Well. Maybe they simply dont know. I mean, when i have a camera to look at, i see a touchscreen and the new lens, and the fast AF, but to see differances in DR, NoisePerformance, i have to look at the output! So its pretty believable when you ask me if the “sources” simply cant look at the output of the image!
      But, youre absolutely right. Simply looking at Samsungs “leaks” you see that its all marketing!
      Actually, i wrote my Bachelor paper about Blog and Leak Marketing. Thats a oomon way to introduce new products at the moment. And im sure, the leaks we get here, are 70% planned by the marketing division.
      But: who cares? :-D
      I think this Marketing technique simply works! Im always excited to see new rumors here, to get a look at future products.
      I dont care if Olympus wants us to see this, or not!

      • MJr

        Dude if you have access to product images, why take only the top one, the top that directly shows the size resemblance with the compact XZ-1, and the least about the actual camera (back). And coincidentally the one camera that happens to compete directly with the GF3.

        If you have the camera in hand (GF3), why picture only the front, the front we had already seen. But wait comments were ‘ugly’ and ‘big’ with the first leak, so what else could you expect than a photo putting both complains in good light- showing a narrow DoF photo (scientifically proven to make everything look better) with shiny front-facing camera and some dude with big fingers holding it.

        Come on.. Really..

      • Inge-M

        If you well have a idea test the youself, take camera side by side and look on histogram in cameras, if histogram not go up on side, is DR. good for motive you shoot here. ;-)

    • You could be right, but it doesn’t detract from the fun. Actually, this site may act as an indirect vehicle for telling the manufacturers what we would like to see in their future products.

    • MJr

      I just said that too ! But yea definitely. Still, we all watch movies too when really we know it’s all fake, the acting, the studio, even the people can be CGI. Fun anyway :)

      • funky

        Yep, that’s why i said its a great way to waste time (when one should be working or studying!).. I guess its more fun to think they really are leaks, rather than being a pawn in Olympus’ marketing dept!

        • MJr

          Yea me too.. ugh.

          Don’t forget; The ‘leaks’ may be fake, but the camera is very real !

    • Fish

      Making good use of that new account Funky.
      Personally I don’t care one bit ‘where’ the information is coming from (as long as it is accurate). I am just glad to have the information.
      If you think that the release of the rumor was directly aimed at preventing people from purchasing the GF3… how could anyone other than Panasonic marketers be upset by that?? No one is forcing us to do anything. The only people who would be swayed by this “leak” are those who genuinely prefer the features of the PEN mini over the Panasonic alternative – and those people will be very glad that they found out now, rather than finding out they want the Olympus AFTER they bought the GF3. And for those who want the features of the GF3 (eg, sensor), this rumor doesn’t hurt them either.

    • Kralin

      I do not see the problem in this….

  • Great news!!! Things are getting exciting lately…and Oly seems to be ready to counterpunch!

  • I’m sure there is going to be a new or updated kit lens with the new ultrafast AF. If not, what’s the point in having it in entry level bodies? I mean, you can’t expect P&S upgraders to buy the 12/2.0.

    • AndyOz

      I am hoping there might be a new high grade zoom like the 14-54 or 12-60 that is a kit option with the E-P3 but I am likely to be wrong. I am not so sure about the kit lenses that will come with the E-PM1 and E-PL3.

      Maybe the AF improvements are largely to do with the sensor and algorithms etc – even though its ‘even faster’ with the 12 f2 lens and new High Grade lenses, maybe the AF improvements with the current 14-42 kit lens are still noticeable. Possibly might be the same kit lens or slightly tweaked.

  • Duarte Bruno

    It’s really fun to read today’s comments and compare them to the ones on the thread about the Olympus new line of cameras… :)
    Has the audience changed?

    • Fish

      Yes the audience is completely different. All of those people left Olympus, sold their m4/3 gear, and are now happily contributing members of CaNikon forums.

      Didn’t you hear them say they were going to do that? If I recall correctly, they announced it several times.

      • Duarte Bruno

        The simplest explanation is always the right one. :)
        Thanks!

    • Just look at the nicks. Some of the notorious crybabies are absent today. Maybe they are still asleep? In that case, be careful not to wake them up.

      • Duarte Bruno

        Not all, I was one of them… ;)
        But I know the perfect camera doesn’t exist… (except for the GH3 of course)

    • Christian

      I am pretty enthusiastic about the upcoming lenses. The 45/1.8 is not that interesting to me, as I am more inclined towards pros and top-pros, nevertheless, I think that a fast and affordable portrait lense is something mFT is missing. But the new bodys do not really turn me on. I want something for serious shooters with build-in EVF, dust and splashwater-protection and (though not oversized like my E-3) big enough to be well-balanced with fast and excellent constructed pros and top-pros.

  • javier

    three new cameras if they do, why make the three toy? Why not make a camera to replace the E-620 or E-30?

  • Boooo!

    Nice.

    But when are the E-650, E-50 and E-5 MkII going to be released?

    • Kralin

      never…
      maybe the new E5 in 3-4 years…

      • Boooo!

        If they don’t make those three cameras, they are in serious trouble.

        Just yesterday I had a friend shout at me because a couple of years ago I told her to buy an E-620. She has NOTHING to upgrade to.

    • Speaking about this spectacular AF speed I don’t see any reason to make further developments in 43 system.

      Better make legacy 43 Zuiko lenses as compatible to m43 as it’s possible…

  • Pierre

    All right, 3 new cameras. BUT, where are the m43 equivalent of the 43 7-14mm, and the 12-60mm swd (and why not the 50-200mm swd), dust and splash proof, with outstanding optical quality and relatively fast?
    I bought into 43 system, used, because of the lenses, which have no equivalent on other brand (at least for the quality/price/size/weight). For instance, the forums for nikon 10-24mm, or the canon 10-22mm are full of reports of quality check problems, and neither lense is as well built and dust/splash proof as the Zuikos. Even the 16-35mm L isn’t as good as the 7-14mm.
    So, come on Olympus, would you please make/release these two lenses for the m34 format?

    Other wise, I might migrate to the Zeiss-Sony 16-35mm and 85mm!
    Cheers!

    • Duarte Bruno

      I’m sorry but I don’t understand your post…
      You’re complaining about the lack of a weather sealed 7-14mm and then you end up saying you’ll migrate to another super WA without weather sealing?

    • Boooo!

      1) Panasonic has the 7-14.

      2) Olympus has in its mind an image of a “camera girl”, which owns a PEN with a pancake instead of a P&S. That’s a very nice image, except that it doesn’t exist in reality and never will. Owners of m4/3 cameras are predominantly older males interested in street shooting (read: voyeurism ;) ) and have the camera as a fun complement to their serious photo gear.

      3) If you want something like the 12-60 or the 50-200, you need a seriously big m4/3 body. The 50-200 does not handle great on an E-3/5 without a grip, so that should tell you something. The 12-60 is very usable (though not on E-30 and below), unless you want a hotshoe flash – then it’s grip time again.

      In short, if you want good zooms and if you want to do serious work, then you need to look into 4/3… Or a different system entirely.

      • >>Owners of m4/3 cameras are predominantly older males interested in street shooting…

        Blimey, that explains a lot.

      • Bobby

        Mirrorless cameras have got up to 40% market share within 3 years… That’s an awful lot of ageing voyeurs if you’re right!

        There are plenty of people in China, India, Brazil etc. who are just getting a bit of disposable income and don’t have any existing camera system. Never say never!;-)

  • JeremyT

    Oooh, very nice! My only concern with the GF3 was the lack of buttons, it’s great to see Oly retain more physical controls to go along with the touchscreen.

    I may need to own one of these things :)

  • Pierre

    To Duarte Bruno.
    Right. Zeiss-Sony are not weather sealed. So I am stuck with my Zuiko 43 lenses. Maybe they’ll work fine with the E-P3, with an adapter, if the new autofocus is really that fast??

  • AndyOz

    Looking at the XZ-1 – I wonder whether Olympus could introduce a Pen model with the same click wheel as the XZ-1 has around the lens. Obviously it would only work with a protruding lens mount like the E-PM1 seems to have. If the lens flange was flush with the front face of the camera (eg E-P2) it wouldnt work.

    Imagine a click wheel around the lens mount protrusion that would allow for aperature control. I know it might seem a bit strange to change focal length on the lens and then aperature control on the body a bit further back (hey thats just like old cameras). But think about it – this way every lens could have ‘aperature control’ without the need for an aperature ring on the lens (which no lenses have anymore anyway). Then all a user needs is one more thumb control wheel on the body for shutter speeds – and then there you have the perfect manual controls.

    Any thoughts on that ?

    • simon

      Sounds good to me!

    • Look at the “ring” structure around the base of the 12/2 mockup. I wonder what it is for.

      • AndyOz

        Yes I had wondered about that. But I figured that it was most likely just a fixed ring with the machining added for grip for when a lens is taken off/on.

        If it were a rotating control wheel then where would you hold then lens when taking off/on? Everything further forward looks like it would rotate for focus. I could be wrong. Plus the red dot is usually a locator.

        Check out the 14-42 lens – it has a red dot and a ring but it doesnt rotate.
        http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusepl2/page3.asp

    • cbr09

      Yes – I think that would be great. Could be the main click wheel – for aperture in A/M, shutter in S and program shift or compensation in P. This would be like the shutter control on the OM cameras.

  • Pablo

    Does the E-PM1 have a built-in flash? Even the GF-3 has a flash. How about the art filters? I’m assuming Olympus has kept those. Thanks.

    • I don’t know, but I believe it may not have a built-in flash. Unlike the G-F3, it does have a hot-shoe so that you can use a proper external flash. Though if you use the external flash, you can’t use the VF-2 viewfinder or SEMA-1 external microphone.

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