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PEN E-P3: A Whole New PEN

In preparation for the launch of the new Olympus PEN cameras, I got to test the PEN E-P3. What I found was that this new PEN is much more than a new model in the PEN series. Rather, it’s a new generation of PEN camera that, to me, marks the maturity of the PEN system and the micro 4:3 platform.

To put it through the paces, I went with John Shafer of PhotographyReview.com to shoot a short biographical video of a professional climber.

For this video, I shot stills and video exclusively with the E-P3 and a variety of lenses. Most of the footage was shot between ISO 400 and ISO 1250—I’m quite impressed with the E-P3’s noise characteristics in this ISO range.

I look forward to getting to know this next generation of the PEN and taking it wherever my work and travels take me.

To view John Schafer’s review and behind the scenes video of our shoot follow this link or watch the embedded video below.

Discussion

3 comments for “PEN E-P3: A Whole New PEN”

  1. […] blog posts that offered his thoughts on the new camera, along with images and video. The first, PEN E-P3: A Whole New PEN, includes a short biographical video of a professional climber. The second, Shooting in Low Light […]

    Posted by “Olympus Visionaries” Dickman, Isaac, Kinghorn and Wells travel the globe to capture amazing photographs | PMDA | September 8, 2011, 11:38 am
  2. Hi Jay,

    I’m considering buying this camera to shoot 4 minute wev segments for an online morning show. My only concern is the audio. We have a tight budget and this seems like an option, any thoughts?

    Posted by Michelle Madison | September 24, 2011, 6:15 pm
  3. Michelle, thanks for your comment. Your show looks like a lot of fun! I think the E-P3 would be a good choice for your 4-minute segments. However, like any of the dSLR or PEN-style cameras, the on-camera audio can be tricky to get good results from. It isn’t a problem with the technology as much as the microphone type and positioning. All cameras like this have omni-directional microphones, which pick up sound from almost any source in the room. (on-camera personality, background crowd, AC, etc). Secondly, the distance between the camera and the on-camera subject often makes it difficult to hear the on-camera talent.

    I think you’d be happiest using the E-P3 with a second audio system. This would allow you to use the camera in a wide range of shooting locations without having to be as concerned about background noise, AC-hum, etc. If you’re shooting in a semi-controlled environment (sound stage, quiet room) and you’ll be close to the camera, I think the audio would be just fine. The on-board audio system, for what it is, is very good quality. Like any tool, it’s important to know the strength and weaknesses so you aren’t surprised on a really critical shoot.

    I hope this helps answer your question. Please shoot me an email at jay at kinghornvisual dot com if you’d like to discuss the camera in greater detail.

    Posted by Jay | September 26, 2011, 10:58 am

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