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Olympus announces the new VF-3! E-PL3 priced at $699.


Image source and press release at Quesabesde.

There are a couple of Olympus news today!

1) The new VF-3 is finally official. It costs 190 Euro (or $180). From the Press Release (Source: Dpreview):
The VF-3 is perfect for photographers who like the option of holding the camera up to their eye to compose. With 100-percent field-of-view, none of the recordable subject area is cropped, making composition with the VF-3 easy and accurate. The magnification and built-in diopter adjustment of the VF-3 allow for easy viewing. The VF-3 can be rotated up to 90-degrees to accommodate more obscure shooting angles for additional creative control. Furthermore, if you are the kind of person who likes to tweak the settings on your TV, you’ll love the ability to adjust the brightness and color temperature to your own particular tastes.
So which One shoudl you buy? The Olympus VF-3 or VF-2? Answer at ThePhoBlographer (Click here).

2) The E-PL3 will start to ship in September for $700 with kit lens. (Source: Photographybay).

3) They also announced the SZ-11 a new compact shooter (Source: Akihabara). And another compact camera in Japan (the Olympus VG-145) Source:

4) And than we have a new ultra zoom camera, the Olympus SP-810UZ. Source: Photoscala.

  • Andi


    Some links?

    • admin

      Coming! Just woke up and without coffea I do only see myst :)

  • Bizzarrini
  • ijack

    I wish my VF-2 had the unlock button. It is the key design downfall in the last iteration. You just can’t use the viewfinder as a support without it locking in place.

  • ton

    Looks promising for most average user like me, considering the lower price. Also a big plus is the lock for the hot shoe. But can an average user see the difference (lower resolution) compared to the higher priced vf2?

  • Duke

    so no flash?

    • admin

      No, Weird, because the leaked image looked differently than that one!

      • Rachnaroch

        To you.

        • to me too.

          • Ben Y

            Me three. Perhaps they changed their mind about the flash near the final stages which is why it was delayed.

            • rik

              In the leaked photo it looks like it had a piece of tape or a sticker obscuring the logo on the front. Any hint of a flash was wishful thinking.

              • why would olympus covering its own brand/logo in a commercial????

                • rik

                  Ulli: it wasn’t a “commercial”. It was a “leaked image”. Companies obscure things all the time for field-testing pre-release products.

                  • It was a screencapture from a video commercial as far as i remember

  • thomasbutte

    so $700 for the camera, and an additional $180 for the VF? i can only guess at how much the EP3 is going to cost.

    …and for those prices i’d rather have a nikon D3000 or canon 1000D kit for much less. comparably small, better IQ, better handling, better VFs, better prices, better systems.

    • Mr. Reeee

      A D3100 is no way comparable to an EPL3 as far as size and weight go, It’s closer to P&S territory than the Nikon. A D3100 is noticeablly bigger and heavier than even a GH2. You’re correct about Nikon IQ and lens selection.

      • RW

        …but neither are true pocket cameras. As soon as you accept that the camera requires a small camera bag or a large coat pocket to be carryable, the comparison to the Nikon becomes completely valid.

        • Obviously neither cameras are pocketable, but size and weight do matter to many. My wife can put the E-PL2+20/1.7 in a relatively small purse. Try asking her to put any DSLR plus a comparable lens and she’ll just look at you funny.
          When I travel or just out, I have the E-PL2 + lenses + VF2 in a small leather satchel along with my personal stuff. Way lighter, more comfortable and discreet than carrying a DSLR kit in a camera bag.

    • R u sure what you’re saying you cannot compare the d3000 with the epl3 as you cannot compare the 1000d or a d3000 with the old epl1 jeeeee NONSENSE!!!!!! U dont know i clue of photo!!!!
      Nikon d3000 , optical visor REALLY small, 10 mp,no video,iso 1600,2fps,stabilization in the lenses, no liveview,no kelvin regulation for the wb. Only 3 options of flashhh,really slow focus ,heavier than epl1 etc etc etc etc etc etc and etc!!!!
      Canon 1000d , 10 mp,liveview without regulations, 1600 iso,2,5 fps, no video ,no stabilization system,plastic construction , the slowest af of all canon,no wb kelvin regulation,9points of focus and more etc etc etc etc ,,,,,,, in other way
      Olympus epl1 .- 10 mp, video HD,3200 iso,3 fps,in body stabilization system ( so all the optics that u put in the epl1 gets stabilization- and u can put old lenses, 11 points of focus, liveview with simulation , kenvin specific regulations from 2000k to 8000k , noise reduction,11 options of flash ( second curtain included),REALLY LIGHTER and small,trakin af ,and with the vf2 .- u have the only one live simulation view of EVF in the world!!!!!! Non afected by sunlight like an optical visor ,etc etc etc etc so after that!!!!!
      Could u compare the two cameras that u say with the epl3 or epl3 jojojojojojojoj

      • Men sorry the epl1 has 12 mp jeee my mistake^^

  • GreyOwl

    I wonder if it will also be available in black like the VF-2?

  • maxter

    I really wouldn’t want to complain about pricing, but this is really stupid.
    a vf2 costs 184€ at, so why would anyone want to buy the vf3 for just 30€ less?
    I was hoping for a 100€ prize tag, so that people like me that are totaly fine with using a camera without a viewfinder might just buy it out of curiosity

  • peroni

    Does the unlock button unlock the tilting or the hotshoe connection?

    • Ross

      It has a hot shoe locking pin & that is the release button.

  • C’mon Panasonic, let’s have a new EVF to put on my GF-1

  • There seem to be two separate locks.

    I have mixed feelings. If the new one won’t fall out of the hotshoe, in some circumstances it will break.

    Choose your own poison.

    • Bizzarrini

      Where do you see the 2nd lock?

      • Sorry, the wheel with graduated scale I see now is for diopter setting.
        The lock seems to be for the hotshoe pin.

        So I assume that the tilting mechanism has still no lock. This is far from ideal.

  • Mar

    Hmmm, 150€ is not terribly cheap, especially considering VF2 can be had for 190€ here.
    Seems to me like VF2 is similar in size to E3/5 viewfinder while VF3 looks like the one in E30. This is odd because when I used VF2 it felt bigger and close to the one in 5Dmk2 and significantly bigger/better than the one in Panasonic G1 (which is supposed to have similar specs).

    • 150 euro is the suggested price, so it will drop a bit after some time. the vf-2 average street price is around 220 euros in europe when i checked it,some sell it indeed below 200 euros.

    • Oliver

      It´s not 150, on it´s 200 Euros. Which crazy guy made this prize? The better VF-2 is only 30 Euros more!

    • cL


      I think the viewfinder size has to do with magnification ratio and field of view coverage (correct me if I am wrong). With EVF, you don’t have the pentaprism/penta mirror design limitation and you can easily make it 100% coverage and 1.0 true-to-life magnification, which is usually what high end FF cameras use. Pentaprism is very expensive to make! So I guess that’s one advantage of having an EVF. It’s cheaper and give you more view. Downside is it is not good in low light situation (at current technology level) and usually have refresh rate problem causing lag when you move your camera very quickly.

  • Sho-Bud

    Seems like this one doesn’t support an eyecup though. Other than that, ik looks promising.

  • I can not help myself but all those Add-VF looking like ancient monocles or the habit from the beginning of photographie at Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre. Or it looks funny to stay and look into this kind of “monocle”. Why the hell do they not build the cameras 1-2 cm more wide to include a EVF. damn.

    • Ahem

      THAT’s your complaint? Some of us take photographs with our fashion acces… cameras.

  • 43pr0n

    Before buying that darn thing, I’d rather get a mint used VF-2 for €130-150. ;-)

    • used prices for vf-2 are rather close to new ones

      • KL32

        I’ve seen new VF-2s go for $229. Currently the price is jacked back up- probably to make the new viewfinder look like a better deal. I seem to recall Office Depot had a deal on the VF-2 where if you bought an E-PL1 you got a coupon good for $100 off on a VF-2. Anyway, I think the new cheaper viewfinder is too close to the VF-2 in terms of price. I’d just assume get the VF-2 as well. I doubt Olympus will be selling a ton of these new viewfinders unless the price drops significantly. Still, they are selling a ton of inexpensive cameras right now so they have a rapidly growing base of users. But I just don’t see too many people who are paying $399 for a camera body dropping $180 on a viewfinder. They rightfully view the price as a rip off.

  • Starred

    The issue with the VF-2 regarding the lack of a locking mechanism, is that significant? How bas is it really?

    Will it fall out really quickly, or only in some very specific situation?

    • Mike

      I’ve never felt that my VF-2 was at risk of falling from the EPL2. It’s pretty secure.

    • it depends on the user i guess, especially if you hang your camera around your neck, its possible it will disconnect from the body, though it never happened with me in such scenario. more annoying can be the tilting mechanism which does have some kind of locking pin, but it can’t withstand the force when you put your eye firm against the finder, resulting in unintentional tilting. Once you are familiar with these design flaws, the vf-2 is still a very usefull add-on imo

  • fta

    The flash! It’s so bright! It hurts my eyes :)

  • JeremyT

    The locking mechanism is a welcome addition (although, despite all the people here who complain about its absence on the VF2, I’ve never had mine fall off accidentally).

    I have a little trouble understanding how this product is situated alongside the VF2. The VF2’s higher resolution makes it seem more high end, but not by much, and the price isn’t very different. In addition the locking mechanism is clearly an upgrade in the VF3, so I kind of think it’s a wash.

    I’d guess the VF2 isn’t long for this world.

  • Narretz

    Despite my thankfulness for admin’s work, I think admin could at least have mentioned that he was previously wrong when he said this would have an integrated flash. It doesn’t hurt admitting that you were wrong (and should probably check stuff like that even more thoroughly), instead it makes you more believable, and you would at least gain my respect for it.

    • Joey

      Fair enough, though as it’s a rumour site you expect to have wrong/inaccurate information, still i see your point. It’s also very easy to misread a picture, look at the PhoBlographer who now seems to think there is exposure adjustment on the EVF ;)

    • KL32

      It’s a rumor site. Take everything you read with a grain of salt. Nothing you read here is written in stone. Did Admin say he was 100% sure it was going to have a flash? I doubt it.

      • Narretz

        That’s why I am “complaining”. I didn’t believe it then, but Admin said it’S FT5, when it was extremely implausible that it was true, and he had only one source to back it up.

        • Kralin

          Complaining about what??
          Admin is doing a great job here. Go complaininig somewhere else if you don’t like his job.

        • admin

          I repeat, was a mistake to include the flash info in the title. And I shoudl trust some external websites less next time!!!

    • Stop complaning you narretz chikenhead ^^ that was only a rumor ^^

    • admin

      Yes I was wrong, but the rumor wasn’t from my soruces, it was from external. My error was that I did trust those websites :(

  • grump

    the competition is heading to 2-3 megapixel viewfinder displays, oly is announcing a ‘brand new’ 900k display, way to go, rip off your customers oly, where is the progress?

    oly desperately needs 2011 sensor tech, and a new strategy

  • Maley

    Should be the VFL1 ;). And comparing the suggested retail price of the VF3 with the market price of the VF2 isn’t usefull.

  • Pendant

    Strange: no Black 45mm/1.8 or 12mm/2.0 and now only a silver VF-3?

    Olympus, this doesn´t match with my E-P2 !!

  • KL32

    Too expensive- the viewfinder that is. The price for Olympus bodies is not that bad but they really gouge you on everything else. The most egregious example is the lens hood for the new 12mm. Instead of including it, with an already extremely expensive $800 lens, they charge you an extra $100.

    • JeremyT

      Yeah, some of the accessories do bother me. Don’t forget the SEMA-1 mic port, which not only consumes the hotshoe but sets you back an extra $70.

      There’s no doubt that Panasonic’s bodies are better values if you really want all the bells and whistles. You can add things to the Pen, but they cost you. I still like Pen the design philosophy (small and modular), but you pay a premium to add on the functionality that Panasonic gives you out of the box.

  • Anonymous

    Right now, this what we can get Pens for on here in the USA, with a kit lens:

    – E-P1 $407
    – E-P2 $530
    – E-PL1 $395
    – E-PL2 $500

    I’m not sure Olympus wants to sell E-PL3’s if they are pricing them at $700 USD. Even the E-PL2, which was just relased about five minutes ago, had a more reasonable list price of $600. does not have a price for the E-P3, but B&H is listing them at $900 USD. Ouch!

    Unless you just gotta have super fast focusing, the older Pens are a much better deal IMHO. Get ’em while they last…


  • SteveD

    I know this will bother some, but I just put a black elastic band around where the VF2 goes into the hot shoe and it stays just fine. Inelegant but effective.

    • Thierry

      …and you can use that same elastic band to turn the new VF-3 into a black one ;o)

  • Befürworter

    E-PL3 will cost 649€ with the kit lens. And it will come in mid August.

  • carpandean

    I don’t have a Pen anymore, so this doesn’t really affect me; however, thinking back to when I did, I would have wished that they had come out with a more compact, non-hinged EVF. They could have made it look almost like a true built-in EVF and it wouldn’t stick out as far from the body. It could also be less expensive due to not having a hinge or the extra piece on the bottom. If someone wanted hinged, then they could still get the more expensive one. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s what I’ve wanted Panasonic to do for the GF1/GF2.

  • Olympius

    I guess Olympus is not really interested in selling E-PL3’s. Here is a list of prices on the current crop of Pens at B&H, with the kit lens included:

    E-PL1 – $400 USD
    E-PL2 – $500 USD
    E-P2 – $650 USD

    And the new E-P3 is listed at $900 USD – ouch!

    Unless you just got to have that super fast focusing, the older Pens seem like a much better deal, especially the E-PL2.

    For $700, the Lumix G3 is a far better value, if Panasonic could ever manage to ship any…looks like we will have another GH2 situation on our hands. But then that’s what happens when you make a camera that people actually want to buy.

    As for me, I’ll wait and see what the NEX7 has to offer, or even the GF Pro, which might end up being the best fit for me.


  • mambastik

    I’m not really familiar with EVF lingo, what exactly does 0.97x magnification mean vs. the VF2’s 1.15x. What’s this whole magnification business.

    • it makes the image in the viewer larger, so more comfortable useage.

  • RW

    I own the Panasonic LVF-1 for my GF-1, but I have to admit that it is a poor solution – not only because it is so low res, but because external EVFs are a poor solution generally. I don’t like composing in the rear LCD because it lacks precision – particularly in any sunshine brighter than *overcast*. Adding an external EVF helps with the composition and critical focus issues but makes the camera significantly larger and much more prone to snagging on things. Its also fiddly and slow.

    All around a poor solution. For those that want an EVF just occasionally, this new EVF is just too expensive for what you get. I will never buy another camera without a built in EVF.

  • Neonart

    Not sure if it’s been posted here, but the price of the VF3 is $150. Here’s the bit from the press release:

    “Olympus also expands the power of its PEN Micro Four Thirds system family today with the introduction of the compact VF-3 Electronic Viewfinder. Attractively priced at $149.99, the VF-3 easily attaches to Olympus PEN models with an accessory port, as well as the Olympus XZ-1 for eye-level convenience.”

  • Bill

    The press release from Olympus’ website still says 179.99.

  • infinity jr.

    Olympus missed the boat… again!
    VF2 should have been been simpler, smaller and cheaper.
    E-PL3 should be $599. But I’d gladly pay $699 for PEN with fully-articulated screen, like 4/3 DSLRs.
    I still fail to see how Olympus expects 4/3 users to migrate to m4/3, without offering this feature. No one asked that the E-PL2 be turned into a NEX clone.
    Sorry, Oly, no sale this time around.
    I will wait for late-year Panny and Oly announcements, and hope the competition hasn’t taken over the market by then.

  • Whatever the price (you can get it from HK) the EVF experience is worthwhile, because it allows *composition*, an essential element in photography.

    I never regretted buying the VF-2, although my main use of the Pen is with the 17mm for street shooting. For all the other lenses, especially the MF ones, it is really a needed piece of equipment, better than adding a new lens.

    Admin, please keep away the NEX and dSLR trolls: they have an axe to grind and can only disrupt communication.

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