The 12.3MP PEN E-PL3 combines a small physical size with a lots of external control points in a stylish, attractive body. Among the traits it inherits from its predecessor, the E-PL2, are in-camera raw conversion, a nice selection of art filters and of course Olympus' eminently customizable camera and menu options. Welcome additions range from the cosmetic, in the form of a more contemporary menu design, to the functional, with a tilting rear LCD screen, AF assist lamp and Full HD video capture.
The E-PL3's now ageing Micro Four Thirds 12MP sensor is capable of very good low ISO output in both JPEG and Raw mode. The competition has not remained still, however, and we are seeing rival cameras with higher resolution sensors and superior noise performance at high ISOs. When evaluating images you'd be hard-pressed to find any significant quality advantage over the E-PL2.
|Body type||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|Max resolution||4032 x 3024|
|Effective pixels||12.3 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)|
|ISO||Auto (200 - 1600), 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800|
|Lens mount||Micro 4/3 Lens Mount|
|Focal length mult.||2×|
|Min shutter speed||60 sec|
|Max shutter speed||1/4000 sec|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||313 g (0.69 lb / 11.04 oz)|
|Dimensions||110 x 64 x 37 mm (4.33 x 2.52 x 1.46″)|
The Olympus E-PL3 offers ample external control points, a tilting LCD screen and fast AF performance along with high image quality in a small, stylish package. Although the complexity of the menu system may require an initial learning curve for new users, the E-PL3 is a pleasant-handling and very well-specified camera that can capture excellent images with a minimum of fuss.
Good for: Compact-camera users looking to upgrade to vastly improved image quality and easy access to manual controls
Not so good for: Sports or fast action shooters who demand precise AF tracking and DSLR enthusiasts who prefer the solid feel of a hand grip