Alongside the PEN E-P3, Olympus has announced the PEN Lite and PEN Mini. These closely-related sister models (formally called E-PL3 and E-PM1) feature similar specifications but smaller bodies that borrow heavily from the styling of the company's XZ-1 enthusiast compact. Both cameras are aimed at the point-and-shoot upgrader and feature 460,000 dot LCDs, rather than the E-P3's OLED display but otherwise retain much of that camera's capability, including what's claimed to be the world's fastest AF. We've been using a PEN Lite for a while and have prepared a brief hands-on preview.

Click here to read our Olympus PEN Lite (E-PL3) hands-on preview

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Press Release:


Compact Portable Bodies Deliver Incredible Image Quality, Speed and
In-Camera Creativity

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., June 30, 2011 – Today Olympus launches three new PEN compact system cameras designed to help inspiration-seekers capture their unique visions and share their stories in brilliant still images and high-definition (HD) video. The Olympus PEN family combines the portability of a point-and-shoot with features found on bulkier cameras or camcorders to deliver amazing image quality and lightning fast speed. With a new 12.3-megapixel Live MOS Image Sensor, TruePic™ VI Image Processor, high ISO of 12,800, a reengineered autofocus system, full 1080i HD video with Dolby Digital sound recording, newly designed user interfaces and a variety of Art Filters and built-in creative features, these powerfully simple cameras offer advanced capabilities without the complexity of a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera.

In addition to these great shared capabilities, each new model offers unique features:

  • PEN E-P3: Also announced today, the flagship Olympus PEN with a classic, all-metal design and the world’s fastest autofocus**. A body portable enough to travel the world without sacrificing DSLR image quality and control that experienced photographers expect. It features a bright, 614,000 pixel, high-resolution, OLED touchscreen to easily navigate and control the camera at the touch of a finger.
  • PEN E-PL3: This powerful camera is perfect for photographers who want their memories to reflect incredible, professional image quality. Easy-to-use creative technologies are packed in its versatile body – the size of a small, portable point-and-shoot camera, but with the versatility of interchangeable lenses. A clever, tilting three-inch LCD empowers photographers to go head-and-shoulders above the crowd to capture graduations, easily stoop to eye-level as babies take their first steps or even lower to the ground to get an adorable shot of the family pet.
  • PEN E-PM1: The smallest and lightest Olympus PEN is available in six stylish colors (purple, pink, brown, white, silver and black) and features a new and simplified user interface as well as a streamlined button structure for superior ease of use. Its small size and portability make it the ideal camera to document life’s fun and spontaneous moments. 

Superior Image Quality
A large 12.3-megapixel Live MOS Image Sensor delivers the highest quality images. Take great photos in low-light environments thanks to the Olympus PEN E-P3 camera’s built-in flash and the E-PL3 and E-PM1 cameras’ bundled accessory flash. Each camera comes equipped with an AF illuminator and ISO up to 12,800. To improve color and speed, the new Olympus PEN cameras feature the new TruePic VI Image Processing Engine. Photos and HD videos will be crisp and clear thanks to three modes of in-body image stabilization and the award-winning Olympus Dust Reduction System.

Blazing FAST AF Speed
The new Olympus PEN cameras use a variety of features to achieve speed rivaling that of the professional Olympus E-5 DSLR. Focus and shoot faster with the new 12.3-megapixel Live MOS Image Sensor, TruePic VI Image Processor and new frequency acceleration sensor technology (FAST) autofocus system. The FAST AF Tracking System features 35 separate focus points spread over nearly the entire sensor, enabling pin-point focusing accuracy on small subjects wherever they appear in the frame. Selectable 3x3 groups within the 35-point area are especially effective when shooting active subjects. The cameras’ fast shutter response times ensure you will never miss a shot, even in the toughest shooting environments.

Creative Freedom
Olympus PEN series cameras bring a new level of creative freedom to the shooting experience and enable instant experimentation and gratification. The new PEN Series features full 1080 60i high-definition video. Push the direct HD video button to instantly start filming in either AVCHD or AVI formats with uncompressed CD-quality.

In-camera creative features such as Art Filters, Multiple Exposure, Aspect Ratios and In-Camera Editing allow photographers to capture the world as they see it. Art Filters set Olympus PEN images and videos apart from the pack. Since they’re built into the camera, Art Filters can achieve dramatic results on the go without the need for a computer or editing software. All filters can be applied to both still shots and HD movies.

The Olympus PEN family offers several ways to capture artistic visions. Apply up to 10 Art Filters (Depending upon model: Diorama, Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Cross Process, Gentle Sepia and Dramatic Tone) in the camera while shooting. Vary images by mixing and matching Art Filters to achieve your creative vision or by applying effects, including the new Star Light and White Edge to frame photos the way you want after capture.

These Olympus PEN cameras add a new dimension to photographs by shooting dynamic 3D photos in any situation from macro to landscape. Simply select the 3D Photo Mode, release the shutter and slowly pan until the camera automatically takes a second image from a slightly different perspective. The 3D data is processed in-camera, resulting in an .MPO file, the universal industry 3D format for easy display on 3D televisions or laptops.

Easy to Use with New User Interfaces, Menu Structures and Button Layouts
All three Olympus PEN cameras have a 3-inch, high-resolution display. Controlling the E-P3 is simple to use with its three-inch, touch-sensitive 614,000 pixel OLED, consuming much less energy than the traditional LCD. The display has a wide 176-degree angle of view and is bright enough to compose images even in harsh midday light. The intuitive and practical touchscreen makes it easy to navigate the camera’s new menus and graphic user interface. Going through a day’s photos is easy by scrolling through and enlarging photos with the tap of a finger. The E-PL3 features a tilting 3-inch 460,000 pixel LCD screen that offers the flexibility to capture moments from a variety of angles. The E-PM1 features a 3-inch 460,000 pixel display. All three cameras feature a newly designed Graphical User Interface. The font and graphics used in the menus offer improved visibility and quality to render elegant graphical menus that are attractive and easy-to-use. The E-P3 incorporates a rotational dial and sub-dial on the back of the camera. With just their thumb, users can fine-tune aperture and exposure time in an instant – without the need to switch between menus. Fans of hands-on shooting will love the three customizable buttons that can be assigned to the user’s favorite functions.

All of the Olympus PEN cameras are compatible with SDHC, SDXC and UHS-1 memory cards for greater speed and capacity and can work with Eye-Fi cards for instant uploads.

New Lenses and Accessories for Every Shooting Challenge
Today Olympus is proud to announce several new Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) lenses with high-speed lens drive mechanisms delivering near-silent autofocus during still shooting and high-definition (HD) video capture. New accessories include optional body grips and the FL-300R external flash to complement the PEN series perfectly and broaden the creative horizons for any photographer. The growing Olympus PEN MICRO Four Thirds family now features eight fully-compatible MICRO Four Thirds lenses. The legendary Olympus Zuiko® Digital Four Thirds range of 27 high-quality lenses, OM-series and other manufacturers’ lenses can be attached to Olympus PEN cameras with optional adapters. Each new PEN comes packaged with the re-sculpted M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 II R zoom lens (28mm-84mm equivalent) or the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f2.8 prime lens. Designed with Movie & Still Compatibility (MSC), experience near-silent operation, enabling you to shoot HD movies in stereo with amazing clarity.

  • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12m f2.0 lens: This high-speed, single-focal-length, wide-angle lens is ideal for shooting everything from high-quality, dramatic landscapes in low-light conditions to hard-to-get, spontaneous street shots. It has a beautiful full-metal body and a snap focus ring that allows photographers to pan focus with a distance indicator.
  • M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f1.8 lens: This single focal length portrait lens has a beautiful shallow depth of field, which allows for background blurring effects that are not possible with previous kit lenses. The MSC mechanism is great for tracking a moving child or pet, and provides a quick and silent focus mechanism for movies and still photography.
  • FL-300R Compact Flash: This flash functions on all three PEN cameras as a bounce flash as well as a wireless remote flash with enough power for most every shooting situation. It is designed in silver to match the new PEN lineup.

U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations
Olympus PEN E-P3 Body with MSC M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED m14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 Zoom Lens
Estimated Street Price: $899.99

Olympus PEN E-P3 Body with MSC M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED m17mm f2.8 Prime Lens
Estimated Street Price: $899.99

Olympus PEN E-PM1 Body with MSC M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED m14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 Zoom Lens
Estimated Street Price to be announced

Olympus PEN E-PL3 Body with MSC M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED m14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 Zoom Lens
Estimated Street Price to be announced

Olympus PEN E-PL3 Body with MSC M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED m17mm f2.8 Prime Lens
Estimated Street Price to be announced

** As of June 30, 2011.

Olympus PEN Mini (E-PM1) specifications

(Body + 14-42mm)
 • US: $tbc
 • UK: £tbc
 • EU: €tbc
Body material Metal and plastic
Sensor  • 4/3" Hi-Speed Live MOS sensor
 • 17.3 x 13.0 mm active area
 • 13.1 million total pixels
 • 12.3 million effective pixels
 • RGB (Primary) color filter array
 • Fixed low pass filter (anti-alias filter)
Dust suppression Supersonic Wave Filter
Image stabilization  • "Supersonic Wave Drive" (in-body sensor shift)
 • Three modes: Horizontal+Vertical, Vertical only, Horizontal only
 • Up to 3 EV compensation (claimed)
 • Digital IS in Move Mode
Image processor TruePic VI
Image sizes (Still)  • 4032 x 3024
 • 3200 x 2400
 • 2560 x 1920
 • 1600 x 1200
 • 1280 x 960
 • 1024 x 768
 • 640 x 480
Image sizes (Movie) AVCHD Format:
 • FullHD Fine : 1920x1080, 60i Recording, 17Mbps
 • FullHD Normal : 1920x1080, 60i Recording, 13Mbps
 • HD Fine : 1280x720, 60p Recording, 17Mbps
 • HD Normal : 1280x720, 60p Recording, 13Mbps
Frame rate of image sensor output is 30fps

Motion-JPEG Format:
 • HD: 1280x720, 30fps*, Aspect 16:9
 • SD: 640x480, 30fps*, Aspect 4:3 (VGA) 
* Some Art Filters are exceptional
Movie length AVCHD Format:
 • 29 min, Max 4Gb

Motion-JPEG Format:
 • 7 min @ HD, Max 2Gb
 • 14 min @ 640 x 480, Max 2Gb
Aspect Ratio 4:3 (Default), 3:2, 16:9, 6:6, 3:4
File formats  • RAW
 • MPO (3D still)
 • AVI Motion JPEG
Sound recording  • AVCHD Format: Dolby Digital
 • Motion JPEG Format / Picture with Sound: Wave Format Base (Stereo PCM/16bit, 48kHz)
 • Max Recording Time 9Picture with Sound) 30 sec
 • Mic / Speaker: Stereo / Mono
Digital Tele-Converter  • 2x digital zoom
Lenses  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
 • Range of M.ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses available
 • Multiply focal length by 2 for 35 mm equiv. FOV
 • Compatible with standard Four Thirds lenses via adapter.
Auto focus  • Imager Contrast Detection AF system
 • 35-area multiple AF
 • When non High-speed imager AF compatible lens is used, works as AF assist.
Focus Area Selectable  • Automatic
 • Manual
 • Auto from 35 area, Single area from 35 area, Group target (9 area) from 35 area
 • Auto from almost all area when Face detection is ON
 • Free selection when Magnified View Mode is selected
Eye Detect AF  • OFF
 • Near side eye priority mode
 • Right side eye priority mode
 • Left side eye priority mode
Focus modes  • Single shot AF (S- AF)
 • Continuous AF (C-AF)
 • Manual focus (MF)
 • Single + Manual (S-AF+ MF)
 • AF Tracking (C-AF+ TR)
 • Focus mode can be set in still and movie modes separately
AF assist lamp  • Yes
Exposure modes  • iAuto
 • Program AE (with shift)
 • Aperture priority AE
 • Shutter priority AE
 • Manual
 • Art Filter
 • Scene select
Scene modes  • Portrait
 • e-Portrait
 • Landscape
 • Landscape + Portrait
 • Sport
 • Night Scene
 • Night + Portrait
 • Children
 • High Key
 • Low Key
 • DIS mode
 • Macro
 • Nature Macro
 • Candle
 • Sunset
 • Documents
 • Panorama
 • Fireworks
 • Beach & Snow
 • Fisheye Effect (for use with lens converter)
 • Wide Angle (for use with lens converter)
 • Macro (for use with lens converter)
 • 3D
Art Filter  • Pop art
 • Soft focus
 • Grainy film
 • Pin hole
 • Diorama
 • Dramatic Tone
Sensitivity  • Auto : ISO 200 - 12800 (customizable, Default 200-1600)
 • Manual ISO 100 - 12800, 1/3 or 1 EV steps
Metering system  • TTL Image Sensor metering system
 • 324-zone multi-pattern
Metering modes  • Digital ESP (324-area multi-pattern metering)
 • Center-Weighted Average
 • Spot (1%)
 • Highlight based spot
 • Shadow based spot
AE Lock  • AE lock available using Fn/Rec button
 • AF lock with shutter release half-press in Single AF mode
Exposure comp.  • Up to ± 3.0 EV
 • 1/3, 1/2 or 1.0 EV steps
AE Bracketing  • 2, 3, 5 frames in 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 or 1.0 EV steps
 • 7 frames in 0.3, 0.5, or 0.7 EV steps
Exposure fine tune  • ±1EV in 1/6EV steps
Shutter speed  • 60-1/4000 sec
Flash X-sync speed  • 1/30 - 1/160
White balance  • Auto
 • Sunny
 • Shadow
 • Cloudy
 • Incandescent
 • Fluorescent
 • Flash
 • 12 custom presets
 • Kelvin (2000 - 14000 K)
 • Flash + WB:  Off / AWB Priority / Flash WB priority
 • AWB Keep Warm color: Off / On
WB fine tuning  • Red - Blue: ± 7 steps (2 mired each)
 • Green - Magenta: ± 7 steps (2 mired each)
WB Bracketing  • 3 frames
 • 2, 4 or 6 steps
Color space  • sRGB
 • Adobe RGB
Image parameters  • iEnhance (3 levels)
 • Saturation - 5 levels (Vivid, Natural, Portrait, Muted)
 • Sharpness - 5 levels (Vivid, Natural, Portrait, Muted, Monotone)
 • Contrast- 5 levels (Vivid, Natural, Portrait, Muted, Monotone)
 • B&W filter (Yellow, Orange, Red, Green)
 • B&W toning (Sepia, Blue, Purple or Green)
 • Gradation (4 levels)
 • Art Filter Bracketing available
Drive modes  • Single
 • Sequential
 • Self-timer (2 or 12 sec)
Continuous  • 5.5 fps (IS Off)
 • 4.1 fps (IS On)
Add-on flash  • Special external flash is included
 • Guide No: 10m at ISO 200
 • Mode: TTL-Auto, Manual (Full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64)
 • Wireless flash (4 channels, 4 groups)
External Flash  • Hot-Shoe
 • Compatible with E-system Flash (FL-50R, FL-36R, FL-50, FL-36, FL-20, FL-14, FL-300R)
 • External Flash Control : TTL Auto, Auto, Manual, FP-TTL-Auto, FP-Manual
 • Modes: Auto, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction slow sync., Slow sync at 1st curtain, Slow sync at 2nd curtain, Fill-in, Manual (1/4, 1/16, 1/64), Off.
 • Flash power: Up to ± 3EV in 1, 1/2, or 1/3 EV steps
Super Control Panel Information  • Battery information
 • Shooting mode
 • Shutter speed
 • Aperture value
 • Exposure compensation value
 • ISO sensitivity
 • Exposure compensation indicator
 • Exposure indicator
 • Flash intensity compensation indicator
 • Date
 • Auto BKT setting
 • NR setting
 • WB
 • WB compensation value
 • Record mode
 • Flash Status
 • Image size
 • Drive mode
 • Flash intensity compensation value
 • Metering mode
 • Recordable still image number
 • Focusing mode
 • Gradation
 • IS activating mode
 • Face detection
 • My Mode
 • Multi Exposure
 • Aspect Ratio
 • Super FP
 • AF frame
 • Colour space
 • Sharpness
 • Contrast
 • Saturation
 • Internal Temperature Warning
Live Control Information  • Battery information
 • Shooting mode
 • Shutter speed
 • Aperture value
 • Exposure compensation value
 • ISO sensitivity
 • Exposure compensation indicator
 • Exposure indicator
 • Flash intensity compensation indicator
 • Date
 • Auto BKT setting
 • NR setting
 • WB
 • Record mode
 • Flash Status
 • Image size
 • Drive mode
 • Flash intensity compensation value
 • Metering mode
 • Recordable still image number
 • Focusing mode
 • AF frame
 • Internal Temperature Warning
 • IS activating mode
 • Face detection
 • My Mode
 • Multi Exposure
 • Aspect Ratio
Orientation sensor  • No
Electronic Viewfinder  • External (optional)
Display  • 3.0" 16:9 LCD with Anti-Reflective Coating
 • 460,000 dots
 • 100% frame coverage
 • Brightness adjustment +7 to -7
 • Color Temperature adjustment +7 to -7
Live View  • 100% field of view
 • Max 8 frames of face detection can be displayed
 • AF operation
 • 7x - 14x magnification
Live View Modes  • Normal Mode
 • Grid Line Mode (4 types)
 • Histogram Mode
 • Magnified View Mode (x5, x7, x10, x14)
 • Highlight & Shadow Mode
 • Comparison View Mode
Live View Information  • Aperture value
 • Shutter speed
 • Auto Bracket
 • AE Lock
 • AF mode
 • IS
 • Shooting Mode
 • Battery Check
 • Myset
 • Internal Temperature Warning
 • Face / Eye Detection
 • Histogram
 • Number of storable still pictures
 • Record mode
 • ISO
 • Sequential shooting
 • Self-timer
 • White Balance
 • Metering Mode
 • AF confirmation mark
 • Exposure Compensation Value
 • Spot metering Area Flash Mode
 • Flash Status
 • Flash intensity Control
 • Super FP Touch panel condition
 • Focal length
 • Tone control
 • Eye-Fi condition
Playback functions  • Single-frame
 • Information Display
 • Index Display(4/9/25/100 frames, Calendar)
 • Close-up (2 - 14X)
 • Movie (w/sound, FF/REW/Pause)
 • Slideshow (Still/Movie/Still+Movie, Slide show w/BGM/BGM+Sound/Sound)
Editing  • RAW development
 • JPEG editing (B&W, Sepia, Red eye reduction, Color saturation, Resize, Shadow Adjustment Technology, Anti red-eye)
Storage  • SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I compatible)
 • Eye-Fi compatible
Connectivity  • USB 2.0 (Hi Speed)
 • Mini HDMI
 • Video Out (NTSC / PAL)
 • Accessory Port AP2
Power  • BLS-5 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (supplied & charger)
 • Approx 330 shots (CIPA test standard)
Dimensions 109.5mm (W) x 63.7mm (H) x 34mm (D) (excluding protrusions)
Weight (no batt) 217g
Weight (with batt & card) 254g
Box contents Body, Clip-on Flash, Li-ion battery BLS-5, Li-ion battery charger BCS-1, USB/Video Multi cable, Shoulder strap, OLYMPUS Master CD-ROM, Instruction manual, Warranty card.