|1. The E-PL3's LCD monitor tilts (but doesn't swivel), handy for high- and low-angle shots. 2. The main dial, shutter button and on/off button are to the right of the accessory shoe. 3. The arrow pad, control dial and OK button provide access to many camera features.
Olympus Pen Mini E-PL3
ESTIMATED STREET PRICE: $699 (with 14-42mm zoom)
The intermediate model in Olympus' recently introduced PEN triumvirate, the E-PL3 is the only PEN to feature a tilting LCD monitor. It's a 3.0-inch, 460,000-dot one that works well for video and high-/low-angle still shooting.
Most of the other features are the same as the E-PM1, including the 12.3-megapixel High Speed Live MOS sensor, TruePic VI image processor, 3D still shooting, ISOs from 200 to 12,800 for both stills and video and, perhaps most important, the new Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology AF for both stills and video.
You can shoot video in two formats: AVCHD (1920x1080/60i full HD and 1280x720/60p HD) and Motion JPEG (1280x720/30p HD and 640x480/30p SD), with stereo sound via built-in microphone. Maximum length for an AVCHD clip is 29 minutes or up to 4 GB; maximum length for Motion JPEG is 7 minutes for HD clips or 14 minutes for standard definition. Digital IS (electronic-image shift) stabilization is available for video, sensor-shift stabilization for stills; both function with all lenses.
The E-PL3 can shoot full-res images at 4.1 fps (5.5 fps with IS switched off) and has a 0.60-second release-time lag. Image overlay lets you combine up to three existing images in-camera, using the LCD monitor to position them. You also can shoot double exposures in-camera. There's no built-in flash unit, but the E-PL3 comes with an attachable one, and can do wireless flash with up to four groups. Maximum flash-sync speed is 1⁄160 sec.
Built-in Art Filters include Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama and Dramatic Tone; the effects can be adjusted, and there's even Art Filter bracketing.