Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2
Spec: 16.1MP, 1080p video, fixed 3-inch touchscreen, TruePic VI image processor
Olympus announced the PEN Mini E-PM2 and the PEN Lite E-PL3 together, at Photokina 2012. Both feature touchscreen controls for quick and easy autofocusing, plus ports for external EVFs, the Mini has a smaller body than the Lite, and a fixed LCD screen rather than an articulating one.
It also has the same excellent 16.1MP Four Thirds type sensor and TruePic VI image processor as the Olympus OM-D, Olympus's premier compact system camera. Another feature borrowed from the OM-D is Live Bulb mode for long exposures, which shows you the image building up on the LCD screen so you can simply close the shutter when the exposure looks right.
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5
Spec: 16.1MP, 1080p video, 3-inch tiltable touchscreen, 12 art filters
As before, the new Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 is smaller than the Olympus PEN, but bigger than the Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2. Like the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 that it replaces, the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 has a tilting 3-inch screen, and it's now touch-sensitive.
The touchscreen works with the Live Guide that helps novices make settings adjustments, with the 12 art filters, with Touch Shutter mode and for setting autofocus points. The compact system camera also accepts interchangeable grips that are fixed onto the body by a chunky screw.
Read our Olympus E-PL5 review
Olympus OM-D E-M5
Spec: 16MP, 1080p Video, 3.0-inch OLED tilting screen, Dust and splash proof magnesium alloy body, Built in EVF
Harking back to the classic design of Olympus OM 35mm SLR cameras, the OM-D E-M5 mixes retro styling with modern sophistication. A 16 megapixel LiveMOS sensor, capable of recording images at sensitivities up to ISO 25600 and full HD video, is encased with a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body with a built-in electronic viewfinder and a tiltable three inch OLED screen.
Being aimed at serious photographers, the OM-D sports quick access to manual exposure functions. A newly developed five-axis sensor-shift image stabilisation system also promises to keep images sharp across the frame by compensations for body movement as well as vertical and horizontal camera movements. This new system also works during video recording.
Read our Olympus OM-D review
Olympus PEN E-P3
Spec: 12.3MP, 1080p video, 3-inch OLED touchscreen, dual control dials, built-in flash
Don't be fooled by the chunky retro styling, the Olympus PEN E-P3 is the most advanced CSC from Olympus to date. Housed in the robust metal frame is a 3-inch OLED capacitive touchscreen to aid quick menu navigation. Capacitive touchscreens tend to be more responsive than the resistive type found on most digital cameras, resulting in a slicker user experience, although it isn't possible to use a non-conductive stylus for greater accuracy.
Aimed at experienced photographers and enthusiasts, two control dials give direct access to shutter and aperture functions when shooting in manual exposure mode. Interchangeable finger grips are available too, to customise handling.
This is the first flagship Olympus PEN model to include a built-in flash, which is handy for fill-in and for illuminating dark scenes. As with all Olympus PEN models, image stabilisation is built into the body rather than the lens, so all lenses benefit from this technology. The 12.3MP Live-MOS sensor provides ample resolution for prints up to A3 in size, and Full 1080p HD videos can be recorded with stereo sound.
Read our Olympus PEN E-P3 review