27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
The Best Olympus Camera So Far,
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This review is from: Olympus PEN E-P3 12.3 MP Live MOS Interchangeable Lens Camera with 14-42mm Zoom Lens (Black) (Old Model) (Electronics)
I've owned several Olympus digital cameras over the years (E-1, E-330, E-3, E-PL1, and now the E-P3) and the E-P3 is by far be best Olympus digital camera to date. Not only is this camera extremely compact while still using the same DSLR-size image sensor found in Olympus DSLRs, but the new auto focus system inside this camera makes it one of the fastest focusing cameras on the market (depending on the lens you're using).
The 14-42mm R II kit zoom lens focuses extremely fast and is good enough for casual/vacation use but the real advantage of a camera like the E-P3 is the ability to use interchangeable lenses. My favorite lenses to use with this camera are the Olympus 17mm f/2.8 pancake lens, the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4, and the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lenses. I also have the 9-18mm zoom lens when I need to have a wide angle lens. I owned the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens for a while but it focuses slowly compared to the 17mm and 25mm lenses.
One feature that I didn't expect to use was the touchscreen display. I thought I'd just use the screen to compose my images like any other camera, but I discovered that it's really nice to be able to touch the screen EXACTLY where you want to focus and have the camera instantly take the picture.
In any case, the durable metal construction, built-in image stabilization, built-in wireless flash control, and decent 3fps burst shooting mode make the E-P3 a solid DSLR replacement if you're looking for DSLR quality without the bulk. I also have several Sony NEX cameras and lenses and I can tell you that as of November 2011 the Olympus system has a MUCH better selection of lenses ... and that has more impact on image quality than the differences between the Olympus image sensors and the Sony image sensors.