Olympus PEN Lite/E-PL3

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 July, 2012, 12:00am


The latest Olympus 4/3 interchangeable lens camera might carry the word 'lite' in its description, but there are plenty of features inside. The Olympus E-PL3, known as the PEN Lite, packs many of the same features as the non-Lite PEN model, E-P3.

In terms of maximum resolution, imaging processor, and video capture (HD at 60fps), along with the majority of key features, the PEN 'Lite' is exactly like its bigger brother. But the little sibling has some tricks up its sleeve that big brother hasn't learned yet.

The mid-end E-PL3 has a flip-out screen that allows you to tilt the view for those awkward angle shots, compared to the fixed display of the E-P3. The model also introduces a slimmed-down design that separates the flash unit from the main body - now available as a clip-on accessory included in the package - without affecting its functionality. It even offers a faster continuous shot rate (5.5fps vs 3fps) than the higher-end E-P3.

Additional features of the PEN Lite include a 120 Hz 'Fast AR' focus system with 35-point auto focus areas, HDMI output, and an Eye-Fi card for wirelessly transferring photos to Wi-fi enabled devices like your phone or tablet.

In Hong Kong, the Olympus E-PL3/PEN Lite kit with two lenses (14-22mm and 17mm f2.8) sells for HK$5,590. If you buy the Japanese version of the kit, the 17mm lens is replaced with a 40-150mm lens.

Pros: compact 4/3 model with all the trimmings, clip-on flash for versatility

Cons: the Hong Kong kit doesn't include second zoom