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Olympus PEN Lite review
Ilse Jurriën : December 29th 2011 - 12:05 CET
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OlympusOlympus PEN Lite review : The current Olympus system camera assortment is made up of three PEN cameras. The Olympus PEN Lite (E-PL3) is the only PEN camera with a tilting display, so that you can shoot from the most awkward angles. The Olympus PEN Lite has an aluminum body and is equipped with a 12 megapixel Live MOS sensor and a new TruePic VI image processor. The processor, in combination with the fast autofocus, ensure that the camera reacts quickly, so that you can also capture fun action moments. We brought the Olympus PEN Lite system camera to Tunisia in order to give it a test drive.

Olympus PEN Lite review

Olympus PEN Lite camera
The Olympus PEN Lite is easy to operate and has a clear menu structure. The Olympus PEN E-PL3 is equipped with a Live Guide menu, which helps users to choose the best settings. The operation of the buttons took some time for me to get used to, as the buttons on the other PEN cameras are all placed to the right of the display. Due to the fact that the tilting display of the Olympus PEN Lite is fairly wide, there are also buttons placed above the display. Further, the display is a bit thicker than usual, due to the tilting screen, which make the buttons on the right awkward to operate.

Olympus PEN Lite

Olympus PEN Lite display
As mentioned, the Olympus PEN Lite has a tilting, 3" color screen with a 16:9 ratio and 460k pixels. The 16:9 wide screen ratio is especially handy for video recordings. For the regular 4:3 photo format, there is a black edge when reviewing the photos, but on the computer this is not visible. The display of the Olympus PEN Lite can be tilted up and down, so that you can easily take nice shots from the most awkward angles and positions. The tilting display is also useful for recording Full HD video. The Olympus PEN Lite does not have an optical viewfinder, so as a photographer you are depending fully on the display. There is an optional viewfinder available, however, this cannot be used at the same time as the external flash that comes included. This is due to the fact that the accessory port is placed underneath the hot shoe, so they cannot be used simultaneously.

PEN Lite review

Olympus Lite image quality
The image quality of the three Olympus PEN cameras is comparable with one another. The Olympus PEN Lite performs well, in a word. The Olympus PEN Lite system camera has Fast AF, the new Olympus very fast autofocus system with 35 focal points. The image sensor itself is also improved; de relatively large sensor offers an ISO range of 200 to 12800. For the higher ISO values noise is visible, meaning that the quality of the pictures taken in low light conditions will be less good. This can be compensated by connecting a faster lens to the Olympus PEN Lite. The colors and contrasts are very nice; the photos look clear and natural. Furthermore, the Olympus PEN Lite is equipped with built-in image stabilization in order to counteract camera shake.

Olympus PEN Lite Art filters
The Olympus PEN system camera series is known for its creative filters. There are six artistic filters integrated into the Olympus PEN Lite: pop-art, soft-focus, grainy film, pinhole, diorama and dramatic. I personally used Pinhole most often, as this is applicable in most circumstances. Pop-Art and Dramatic also give fun effects. Diorama was a bit of a disappointment. The Art filters are a very fun addition to the camera.

Review Olympus PEN Lite

Olympus PEN Lite review conclusion
The Olympus PEN Lite is a stylish and compact system camera with an aluminum body. Immediately noticeable when looking at the Olympus PEN Lite is the tilting display. The Olympus PEN Lite is also equipped with a new, larger sensor and a new AF system for fast operation and focusing. Despite its small format, the Olympus PEN Lite has similar image quality to a comparable SLR camera, especially for the lower ISO values, the Olympus PEN Lite performs very well. The photos appear natural with nice colors and contrasts. Furthermore, the camera also records Full HD AVCHD videos and there are six creative Art filters available. At 530 Euros, the Olympus PEN Lite has a good price-quality ratio.

Review Olympus PEN

Olympus PEN Lite review score
• User-friendliness : 85
• Features : 80
• Image quality : 85
• Design : 85
• Price : 85
• Rating : 85 out of 100

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