While Panasonic may have claimed an early head start in this race with the recent launch of the GF3, it is clear that Olympus is not about to let itself get outdone anytime soon, for the company has just announced three new Micro Four Thirds system cameras that look set to give Panasonic's GF3 a run for its money. VR-Zone brings you the coverage.
Not so long ago, Panasonic and Olympus made headlines when they jointly announced the creation of the Micro Four Thirds system. The new standard was initially met with varying degrees of skepticism. Some pundits claimed that the concept was superfluous because the use of large lenses would negate any size-related advantages that Micro Four Thirds was founded upon.
Fast forward to 2011, and what was once considered a 'superfluous' standard has quickly matured into one of the most popular segments in the digital camera market due to its ability to capture excellent stills in a compact-sized body. As evidence of this success, Olympus saw it fit to announce not one, but three new Micro Four Thirds cameras today that at the National Geographic Store in VivoCity, Singapore.
The latest additions to the Micro Four Thirds stable are the E-P3, Olympus's flagship model, and the smaller E-PL3 and E-PM1. Hirobumi Imano (above), Olympus Imaging Corp.'s general manager for the design centre, was given the task of officially unveiling the new devices to the world. Imano described how the new cameras reflect the design principles which have been a focal point of the company's PEN cameras even since their conception:
"A camera should not be a toy.. the Olympus PEN is a product that is designed to deliver the happiness of photography all over the world without two main obstacles – difficulty in usage, and price. PEN exludes a sense of class and refinement, and its feature set is always expanding. And today, we will introduce the E-P2's sucessor, which sports the same design but is a completely different camera in its own regard, along with two additional products", he said in Japanese.
Toshiyuki Terada (above), senior manager of Olympus' SLR division, then described some of the new features of the new E-P3, E-PL3 and E-PM1. In a nutshell, the new E-P3 will feature a faster autofocus algorithm, an extremely sensitive sensor capable of ISO 12800, TruePic VI technology and a capacitive OLED touchscreen.
The E-PL3 will boast a tilting widescreen LCD display and support for high-speed continous shooting, while the smaller E-PM1 will get Live Guide, which allows users to control the camera's background defocusing.
Terada also announced the availability of two new large-aperture prime lenses for its entire Micro Four Thirds camera lineup, the 12mm, F2.0 "Snap Lens" and the 45mm, F1.8 portrait lens.