Olympus PEN E-P3 review

Could the PEN really be mightier?

TODO alt text

These graphs were produced using data generated by DXO Analyzer.

We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using the DXO software.

Signal to noise ratio

A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.

Olympus pen e p3 signal to noise ratio

At ISO 200 JPEGs from the P3 have a lower signal to noise ratio than the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Samsung NX11 and Sony NEX-5.

However, our resolution tests indicate that the P3's images contain more detail than the G3's indicating that the camera's processing is calibrated to preserve data at the expense of revealing noise.

Like the other cameras, the P3's signal to noise ratio drops steadily as sensitivity increases and at the highest values images lack definition.

Dynamic range

Generally, a higher dynamic range is better than a low as a greater number of tones can be recorded in a single exposure.

Olympus pen e p3 dynamic range

Despite its Four Third sensor, the P3's JPEGs have very respectable dynamic range, generally trumping the Panasonic G3's, but not quite matching the Sony NEX-5's.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution12.3 Megapixel
Product FamilyPEN
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical, Digital
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesLive View, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Weight (Approximate)321 g
Image Sensor Size4/3" (17.30 mm x 13 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4032 x 3024
Display Screen TypeOLED
Height69.1 mm
Width122 mm
Depth34.3 mm
Focal Length17 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelE-P3
Product NamePEN E-P3 Mirrorless Camera
Product LinePEN
Exposure Control
  • Program Automatic
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV204033SE000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

The PEN E-P3, or simply 'PEN', has the fastest auto-focus of any camera with interchangeable lenses. With its world-beating FAST AF (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology), timeless metal design and state-of-the-art touch-sensitive OLED display, it's a genuine alternative to bulkier and more expensive SLRs.

Package Contents
  • PEN E-P3 Mirrorless Camera
  • M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake Silver Lens
  • BLS-1 or BLS-5
  • BCS-1 or BCS-5
  • Micro Four Thirds Body Cap (BC-2)
  • Shoulder Strap
  • CB-USB6 USB Cable
  • CB-AVC3 Audio/Video Cable
  • Software CD-ROM
  • Operating Instructions
  • Warranty Card
Limited Warranty2 Year