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Hands on with the Olympus Pen Lite, Mini, E-P3

Olympus has released not one, not two, but three new interchangeable lens cameras all catering to different photographers. Check out our gallery and find out more about each.

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Lexy Savvides
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Pen E-P3

Olympus has released not one, not two, but three new interchangeable lens cameras all catering to slightly different people, but having the same top-line specs in each.

The new offerings include the Pen E-P3, Pen Lite E-PL3 and Pen Mini E-PM1. As mentioned, all these cameras share the same 12.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor, True Pic VI image sensor, HD (1080i) video recording and fast autofocus. Click through on each of the links to read more about the specifics, or click through our gallery below for first impressions.

Exhibit A is the new flagship Pen camera, the E-P3, which follows in the footsteps of the earlier E-P2 and E-P1 cameras. It's equipped with an all-new image sensor, a new graphical user interface (hooray!) and the world's fastest autofocus system, according to Olympus' claims.

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Pen Lite E-PL3

Next cab off the rank is the Lite, the middle child of the trilogy of cameras. It shares the same image sensor and processor, but comes with a 3-inch tilting widescreen LCD. Plus, it will be available in a range of colours, with corresponding kit lenses to match.

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Pen Mini E-PM1

The baby of the bunch, the Mini, comes out for its debutante ball in brown, pink, white, silver, purple or black options. To satisfy point-and-shooters, it also comes with a clip-on flash with wireless control that's powered by the camera's battery.

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Mini from on high

A top-down view of the new Mini shows just how small it is. This little bub weighs just 215 grams.

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Artistic flair

On hand at the local launch were a bunch of talented artists who recreated photos on canvas, using airbrushes and paintbrushes. Each of the cameras comes with art filters, the E-PL3 getting the full 10 filters and the Lite and Mini making do with six.

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Wireless flash

Olympus has traditionally had a really good implementation of wireless flash control, and the E-PL3 shows how easy it is to use, especially as the interface has been given a much-needed face lift.

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Optimus Primes

Also announced at the same time as the Pen range were two new prime lenses, a 12mm f/2.0 and 45mm f/1.8 (pictured). Both lenses cater to those photographers who value a fast, bright lens for use in lots of different situations. We're particularly taken with the 45mm f/1.8, which, in 35mm equivalent, is roughly like a 90mm lens. Pricing has yet to be announced.

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Backstreet's back

Alright! Here's the rear of the Mini, with a 3-inch LCD taking pride of place. It's widescreen, and like the other two cameras, the interface has been given a major overhaul. The Mini's version is a little simpler than the other two cameras, though we didn't get to see a functioning model just yet.

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