|1. A built-in flash unit provides handy light wherever you go. 2. The accessory port accepts a number of optional accessories, including flash units, microphone, three EVFs and this optical finder. 3. The mode dial provides direct access to exposure modes and other camera features.
Olympus Pen E-P3
ESTIMATED STREET PRICE: $899 (with 14-42mm zoom
One of the big "raps" against the mirrorless cameras has been the slowness of their contrast-detection AF systems. Olympus' newest PEN models feature a new contrast-detection system that's quick—they claim as quick as phase-detection systems in DSLRs. To complement the new AF system, the new top-of-the-line PEN E-P3 offers a 3.0-inch, 614,000-dot touch-screen OLED monitor that speeds and simplifies shooting—just touch the point in the scene where you want the camera to focus, and it will focus there and immediately make the shot (you also can use the shutter button in the conventional manner to shoot if desired). There's no eye-level finder, but accessory eye-level finders are available.
Besides 12.3-megapixel still images, the E-P3 can shoot 1920x1080/60i full HD video (also 1280x720/60p HD video, both in AVCHD format, plus 1280x720/30p and 640x480/30p video in AVI Motion JPEG format), with CD-quality stereo sound. ISOs from 200 to 12,800 are available for both still and video shooting.
Olympus introduced in-camera Art Filters in its E-30 DSLR a few years back, and the E-P3 offers 10 of them. They can be applied to both still images and video, and are now adjustable. Other features include in-camera 3D and multiple-exposure capability, sensor-dust reduction, sensor-shift image stabilization, in-camera level, built-in flash (plus wireless off-camera flash capability with compatible units), 3 fps shooting and shutter speeds from 60 to 1⁄4000 sec. The optional PP-1 PENPAL Bluetooth unit makes it easy to upload your photos and send them to friends.
Like all Micro Four Thirds System cameras, the E-P3 can use all Micro Four Thirds System lenses, as well as many other lenses via adapters. The new MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) lenses feature quick AF and silent operation.