Having said so much, you must be wondering just how well the cameras will fair, and when they will be available for sale on the market. Well, we got the classic "good news bad news" situation going here, and the bad news is that Olympus is not able to give any specific dates or prices for the general availability of its new cameras. However, it did mention that its flagship model, the Olympus E-P3, is expected to make its appearance on the market in mid-July this year, while the E-PL3 and E-PM1 will only be released for retail in the later part of August.
However, if you are willing to live with that little uncertainty, the good news is that we have got a little photo gallery in here for you to have a closer look at the new cameras and some of the accessories that will be sold along with it.
Our initial impression was that the E-P3 is a little heavy for a camera that is this small, although Olympus has explained that this is due to the company making the decision to craft the camera out of stainless steel.
Here is how the E-P3 looks like with the lens retracted and locked into the lens barrel:
Here is a shot of the E-P3's rear. And yes, that is the OLED capacitive touchscreen we were talking about in the previous page. While the unit shown below is nothing more than a non-functional model, we were able to play around a little with the actual camera, and suffice to say you can control the camera through the touchscreen much like how one would operate a smartphone.
Want to know how the mode dial on the E-P3 looks like? Well, here you go:
And finally, the E-P3 with the lens removed from the body:
The Olympus E-PL3 is the only camera in Olympus's new lineup to feature a tilting LCD display. This makes it ideal for users who need to capture that all-important shot from impossible heights and angles every once a while.
That being said, here is the same E-PL3 camera, now viewed from the front:
Last but definitely not least, we now arrive at the smallest camera that is unveiled in today's product announcement, the Olympus E-PM1. According to Olympus, the 'M' in E-PM actually stands for 'Mini'. Which, we have to say, is a rather apt description of the E-PM1's size, or lack of it.
Here are a couple of closeups of the E-PM1, as shown below:
The E-PM1's name is printed on the camera's top left:
Need a size comparison for all three cameras? Sure, we are always happy to oblige. That being said, there are no prizes for guessing which camera is which.
Olympus was not able to bring in the 45mm prime lens in for today's media event, but they were kind enough to allow us some time to have a little hands-on with the new, ultra-wide 12mm "Snap Lens":
See that focus ring on the lens? Well, it is not any ordinary focus ring, so to speak. According to Olympus, users can easily control the autofocus feature in the lens by simply pushing the focusing ring up or down on the body. Pushing the ring upwards will force the lens to operate in autofocus mode, while sliding it downwards will trigger the manual override, thus allowing users to set their own focus.
Last but definitely not least, Olympus also showed off the new wireless flash gun for the E-PL3 and E-PM1, the PP2-2-141.
Remember how we said in the previous paragraph that this external flash unit is meant to be used on the E-PL3 and E-PM1? Well, there is a good reason for doing so; this is due to the fact that this particular wireless flash unit is only compatible with the aforementioned cameras. In other words, it will not work on the E-P3 and Olympus's older Micro Four Thirds-based system cameras.
Hands-on by the booth babes
well, here are booth babes holding the new Olympus micro four-thirds cameras
and everyone is happy