Olympus E-P3 Review

August 11, 2011 | Gavin Stoker | |

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#1 Frank S.

Thanks for the thorough review. The price is really daunting, especially considering no viewfinder. In bright places like California, one wonders how much time will be wasted trying to use the screen on the back of the camera.

7:44 pm - Thursday, August 11, 2011

#2 joost

Are you sure the aspect ratio of the screen is 4:3? Looks 3:2 to me, with black bars left and right visible on the product images.

7:47 pm - Thursday, August 11, 2011

#3 Deeso

For that price I rather get a Nikon D5100. Surely is much more bulkier, but does a lot more picture quality wise and versatility.

9:13 pm - Thursday, August 11, 2011

#4 John Stephens

All the sample photos seem to have a slightly brown colour cast to them. I’ve noticed that this seems to be common to Olympus cameras.  I would really like to know if I’m missing something as this has always put me off Olympus cameras.

11:27 pm - Thursday, August 11, 2011

#5 dave

Excellent review. Gorgeous camera, the perfect travel camera. Nice solid camera: Way batter made than any Nikon or Canon at this price point. ~~Mirrorless is the future~~

12:38 am - Friday, August 12, 2011

#6 best rhinoplasty

Impressive camera.  I’m a hobbyist of photography and I’ve always wanted a camera that gives me an ease in using one.  Its features are very impressive.

3:02 am - Friday, August 12, 2011

#7 Mayjex

Olympus is the most popular camera company i ever know. In this Olympus E-P3, i think even rain drops can capture clearly, $899.00 is very expensive but it is really optimal.

3:30 am - Friday, August 12, 2011

#8 Ricardo

The most interesting is that Sony HX9V got a “Essential” rating, with that IQ, and this fantastic camera got ‘only’ a “Highly Recommended” one, perhaps for the price factor, I know they are in distinct levels, but some justice has to be done to Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras (I have a E-PL1), their JPEG is very good, even better in RAW format.

4:20 am - Friday, August 12, 2011

#9 George

You missed completely the whole controversy of excessive noise reduction throughroughly mentioned in many forums.  This camera needs a firmware revision for low light work, and noise detail is lost.  But it should be Olympus to retain its award winning jpegs, not for users to start having to tweeq with noise and sharpen settings.

5:01 am - Friday, August 12, 2011

#10 Neonart

I wonder if tweaking the settings a little would provide more detail. For example, JPGS can be set to L Superfine to reduce some of the compression. (The LSF setting has to be activated in some other menu. It’s not a default JPG choice.) Also, noise reduction can be set to low to avoid excessive smearing of detail.

BTW, thank you for shooting the camera without the grip. I know that’s probably less ergonomic, but who cares! That silver with no grip is gorgeous.

1:15 pm - Friday, August 12, 2011

#11 Bobalicious

Is it just me, but some of the sample images, although nice wrt colour, are truly of a terrible quality - image 16 in particular is all over the place! A fault, the lens, some wierd setting?

Or is this emperor wearing his new clothes well?

I want a system to camera to get much closer to the X100 in terms of images.

7:33 pm - Friday, August 12, 2011

#12 George

Yeah image 16 with the castle is at f9.  Good focus should be all over. The camera only focused on a few faces.  Wow.

7:55 pm - Friday, August 12, 2011

#13 Terry M

Picture 16 looks like it has one of the Art Effects applied to it, something like Toy Camera or Miniature

11:30 pm - Friday, August 12, 2011

#14 Vince

Looks to me like #16 has been taken with the diorama art filter which softens some areas and enhances colours to give a toy like effect. It would be useful to see this othe file details.

12:38 am - Saturday, August 13, 2011

#15 Vince

16 looks to melikeit was taken with the diorama art filter on. Ghats why some of the images in focus an some blurred. It’s done in camera so the raw is probably fine.

12:41 am - Saturday, August 13, 2011

#16 Bee Jay

I agree with Ricardo, I understand that cameras are rated against similar priced competition in their own class, be that compact, CSC, SLR. I just hope that everyone realizes that a high end compact, like the Sony HX9V, rated 5/5 for image quality isn’t as good as a 4.5/5 rating for the E-P3. If I was somebody new to photography and cameras I would find it hard to understand why a 3.5/5 could be better than a 5/5.

Referring to the E-P3, it’s a great camera, but if you want a great quality, small, retro CSC, that is also good in low light, why not go for the E-PL1? For half the price too.

10:08 am - Saturday, August 13, 2011

#17 Leslie

The sensor is aging.

1:53 am - Monday, August 15, 2011

#18 Dave

Did you really complain about too few megapixels?  Didn’t we learn anything from the megapixel wars?

4:37 am - Monday, August 15, 2011

#19 Red

I agree with “Leslie” and I also think that sensor IS showing it’s age. And NO I don’t want more megapixels, a sensor is MUCH more the amount of megapixels. I wan’t better dynamic ratio and less noise and for that we need new sensor.

10:41 am - Monday, August 15, 2011

#20 Clapi

I wan’t better dynamic ratio and less noise and for that we need new sensor.

Look at the Sigma DP2X or 1x

10:35 pm - Wednesday, August 24, 2011

#21 EvanZ

I guess for some people, tests done with kit lenses make sense. But I wouldn’t use a kit lens to make final judgements about a sensor or IQ. I’d like to see a follow-up review using the m.zuiko lenses that just came out. In order to really test a sensor properly, you need to see what it does with the best available glass, not the cheap kit lens. This goes for testing of any camera body obviously, not just this one. I’m afraid that we see most comparisons using kit lenses, which is a sub-optimal way to judge sensor quality. In reality, these tests may be testing the lens more than the sensor, and when we buy a camera body, we care about the sensor.

1:04 pm - Thursday, August 25, 2011


I own this camera and can honestly say that it is a fantastic product it feels solid in the hand is easy to use and very feature laden a real alternative to an SLR and has some fantastic art filters that really make you want to create unusual images.Some posts have been about the poor quality of image 16 this has a soft edge filter applied. Owning both nikon and leica gear this is the camera I choose to use. Buy one and be happy.

5:14 pm - Tuesday, January 17, 2012

#23 Phil

Fantastic camera.  I recently upgraded from a 3 year old “prosumer” point and shoot.  What a difference in IQ and versatility with only a minimal sacrifice of portability.  Build quality is impressive as well.  I’m glad I switched to this format!

12:25 pm - Wednesday, February 1, 2012

#24 Marc

This is an awesome camera that is more likely to be a DSLR. The image is similar to SLR cameras. It is lighter and easy to use and with lots of features. This one should have an eyeviewer to be more productive. But over-all it is awesome.

Be ware of Olympus!
Olympus OM-D5 is the next BOSS!
But for now it is the EP3

7:49 am - Friday, May 25, 2012

#25 . G. Shackelfod

Just bought the Pen E-P3 and have some thoughts. First impression is that the camera has the internal systems of a Chevy Corvette with the exterior of a Yugo. The lens, 14-42mm feels like it just fell out of a Happy Meal or Cracker Jacks box. The exterior body feel like it belongs on a $19 Wall Mart camera special, plastic, thin and cheap.  The camera sounds like it is grinding nuts when you pan video, loud and easily recorded. But, fast, fast focusing.

7:29 pm - Saturday, October 12, 2013

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, compact system camera, 12 megapixel, csc, RAW, olympus, DSLR, touch-screen, micro four thirds, touch screen, touchscreen, touch, 1080i, EVF, compact system, PEN, 3 inch OLED, ep3, e p3, e-p3, ep 3, Olympus E-P3 Review

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