Olympus first announced the E-PL3 late in June, but at the time only the E-P3 (which we recently reviewed) had a price and a date. No longer! The E-PL3 is now officially coming to the US in September, though Oly didn’t want to get any more specific than that.
At $700, the E-PL3 is $200 cheaper than the E-P3; the two share the same sensor, image processor, and general camera capabilities (including interlaced video, unfortunately), but the E-PL3 lacks the sexy OLED touchscreen. Instead, it has a tilting, 3″, 480×320 LCD. It also lacks a built-in flash, something to think about if you’re looking for an all-in-one device (an external flash is included, though).
They all fit the same lenses, of course, and the E-PL3 will be bundled with either a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom or 17mm f/2.8 pancake prime.
Olympus also announced their VF-3 electronic viewfinder, which is cheaper than its predecessor at $180 — but reportedly loses a lot of resolution to hit that price goal: 640×480 was the rumor. The resolution isn’t mentioned in the press release, so I’m guessing it’s not one of the marquee features. Instead they focus on the fact that you can look into it with “your own eye,” and that it can be rotated. Well!
If you don’t feel like shelling out for the E-P3, just hang on for a little bit before settling on the E-PL3. We’ve got micro four thirds and mirrorless cameras coming out our ears this year, so something better might just come along soon.