Olympus E-P3 brings the retro style back

Updated on Dec 09, 2011 11:53 PM IST

Olympus’s new Micro Four-Thirds camera looks slick and is well-sized, but can’t rival digital SLRs just yet. This camera, is for those looking to upgrade from a point-and-shoot, minus the complexities of a full-fledged D-SLR.

HT Image
HT Image
Hindustan Times | ByAaron Almeida, Mumbai

The Olympus E-P3 is the flagship camera in the company’s Micro Four-Thirds (MFT) system. This camera, is for those looking to upgrade from a point-and-shoot, minus the complexities of a full-fledged D-SLR.

The PEN E-P3 is compact, retro-looking and fits easily in the hand. Other than the proprietary USB port and pop-up flash, the camera also has a mini-HDMI output for viewing videos on a compatible TV.

Since the E-P3 uses a 12.3-megapixel MFT sensor, it means there’s no retracting mirror mechanism like that in a digital SLR. The 3-inch screen at the rear sports 614,000 pixels. Additionally, the technology used is OLED. This means that colour accuracy, especially in terms of black levels, is far better than conventional screens.

Unlike most other cameras, the E-P3 also comes with a touchscreen that can be used to focus and change settings. The camera can also shoot video at 1080i.

Olympus has updated the user interface of this camera. The visuals are less complicated, and icons and artwork are detailed.

iAuto is less desireable
Images shot outdoors seem a bit dull in the iAuto mode, but focusing is accurate. Images are detailed with minimal amount of purple fringing. However, photos taken at low ISO sensitivities are a bit overexposed.

Images are less fascinating when shot indoors — with a significant amount of colour supplementation used. If you’re interested in shooting in macro, both the 14-42mm and the 40-150mm kit lenses offer good close-ups. The flash is impressive too; it can light up 10 feet of well-lit areas. But if you find it harsh, you can adjust the flash intensity levels.

Slow focusing
Focusing isn’t consistent. The camera clicks photos quickly when there’s sufficient light, focusing on walls or plain surfaces is much slower. Battery life is rated at 330 shots per charge. This is quite impressive for a camera with so many features.

The E-P3 costs Rs 39,999 for the single lens kit and for Rs 46,999 for the dual lens kit. While it has many interesting features and a compact body, it still isn’t competent enough to match up to D-SLRs when it comes to quality. Looks and flamboyance are this camera’s forte. However, it makes more sense to go for a budget D-SLR camera instead.
Rating: ***1/2

For more reviews visit tech2.in.com

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