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PEN Lite packs a big punch

Olympus’ new PEN Lite camera gives you the power of an SLR camera, but without the hassles and none of the bulk. This according to the company is thanks to a new TruePic VI processor.
Over the last couple of years, Olympus PEN has made itself well known with retro-styled, easy-to-use, compact system cameras that take very high-quality pictures. The new PEN Lite (E-PL3) does that and more.

It gives you all the creativity and interchangeable lenses of an SLR camera, but with none of the hassle and none of the bulk. The secret is a powerful new processor called TruePic VI.   More power means a whole camera-full of new state-of-the art features, including FAST AF – world’s fastest* autofocus system for interchangeable lenses. The processor also drives an impressive array of Art Filters that you can use (and even combine) with 1080i Full HD movies and stills. Like every PEN, the E-PL3 has Image Stabilisation built into the camera body, so it doesn’t matter if your new (or old) lens doesn’t have decent IS, the Lite automatically compensates for shaky hands. A brand new feature is the tilt able 3-inch LCD. If you have to hold the camera at arm’s length, for example to get a shot over a crowd, tilt ability makes life a lot easier – just like everything else on the PEN Lite! The E-PL3 is now available in South Africa and comes in black, white, silver or red with a 14-42 zoom lens.

New perspectives
One of the things people love about PEN cameras is the way they make it easy to take high-class pictures, even if you don’t know much about photography. Thanks to some the latest high-tech innovations, the PEN Lite takes that user-friendliness to a whole new level. It’s the very first PEN with a tiltable LCD that makes seemingly impossible shots a piece of cake. By pulling out and angling the 3-inch display, you can comfortably frame and capture unusual perspectives, even with the camera at arm’s length. For example, if you need to shoot over the heads of a crowd or focus on an insect by your ankles without bending down.

Easier settings
To make the most of excellent optics and to get the very best shots, camera settings need to be spot on. For an amateur, that’s often a challenge that ends in frustration. Not with the Lite, and Live Guide is the key. Live Guide lets you easily master the settings that make all the difference –motion and background blur, colour intensity, lighting mood and brightness. In a typical shooting situation, the Live Guide helps blur out the background to make a shot more dramatic and show off the foreground to the best effect. To achieve this, you’d normally have to adjust the depth of field using the lens or menu, but with Live Guide you just press a dial to move a bar up and down until you see the shot you want on the LCD. The Lite chooses the right settings automatically. Adjusting more permanent settings in the menu is simpler too, now that each menu choice has a popup window with a description of how it works. And for other menu settings that need adjusting more regularly, Olympus have fitted a row of fast access buttons – on the top of the camera right next to the shutter release.

Faster focusing
When you purchase a PEN Lite, you can be confident you’re taking home cutting-edge technology. And that means fantastic still and movie quality. Like the other two new PEN cameras, the E-PL3 is powered by the new Olympus TruePic VI image engine. TruePic VI makes the camera faster and more responsive all-round, but the speed of the autofocus is amazing. FAST AF is the world’s fastest* autofocus system. An AF of this speed gives you every chance of capturing even the most spontaneous, fast moving shots. And with 35 separate focus points spread over nearly the whole sensor, it’s even possible to focus on objects tucked away in the corners of the display. Thanks to AF Illuminator, low-light focusing is better than ever and new AF tracking technology ensures subjects stay sharp even when they move in and out of the frame. And all this in the blink of an eye, because Full Time AF means the AF is always on – and the main subject already in focus.

Higher resolution
The supercharged TruePic VI processor also makes it possible to record Full HD 1080i movies and capture pristine images in 12.3 Megapixel quality, even in low light. With a 60Hz frame rate, Full HD resolution and a stereo soundtrack, movie picture quality and realism has to be seen to be believed – ideally with a group of friends on a big Full HD TV. What’s more, there’s a choice of video formats. For TV playback, users can choose AVCHD, which generates a smaller file size. If they want to edit their movies on a PC first, 720p HD Motion JPEG is ideal. Whether you’re shooting movies or stills, the PEN Lite is especially designed to deliver consistently high performance – irrespective of the interchangeable lens.
Unlike on other comparable cameras, Image Stabilisation is built into the body, so the camera automatically counteracts blur with any lens you attach.

More creativity
Among the most advanced automatic aids on the Lite are the creative Art Filters and new Art Filter Bracketing. All six filters can be applied on camera to both HD movies and stills and some filters can even be combined to startling effect. Using Art Filter Bracketing, you can experiment with different looks by simultaneously applying different filters to one and the same shot. The Art Filters are Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pinhole, Diorama and Dramatic Tone and at the touch of a button these can be combined with up to five additional Art Filter Effects, including the new Starlight or White Edge. As soon as photos are ready, you can play them back on the LCD as a slideshow – or on a TV via the HDMI interface.

Stunning looks
By any standards, the Lite is a striking camera. Available in black, white, silver or red, the brushed metal casing and refined design details give it an unmistakeably contemporary and premium style. Not to mention its compact dimensions. For a system camera that offers SLR-quality, these are even more remarkable than the overall look.

Big family
The Lite is compatible with a growing family of high-grade Olympus lenses and accessories. It comes supplied with the re-sculpted M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm (28-84mm) 1:3.5-5.6 II R, just one of 20 dedicated Micro Four Thirds lenses available for PEN cameras. The supplied lens is specially designed for near-silent operation so you can shoot HD movies in stereo without the annoying background whir. For outstanding still portraits and movies with beautiful background blurring, the new M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm 1:1.8 (90mm) portrait lens is the lens of choice. Stylish accessories include the FL-300R external flash in silver with the wireless flexibility and the affordable and tiltable new Electronic Viewfinder with a 100% viewing angle and 920,000 dot resolution. Attached via Accessory Port 2, it’s excellent for shooting in bright sunshine or with a telephoto lens.

PEN Lite main features:
Image Quality

Ease of Use

Creativity & Flexibility


Other highlights

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