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Olympus E-3: Flagship dSLR finally launches

Olympus has announced the launch of the E-3, a 10-megapixel flagship dSLR using the Four Thirds lens standard and an adjustable live view LCD display

We hope you haven't been holding your breath. The Olympus E-3 dSLR camera has been announced a leisurely four years after its predecessor, the E-1. The E-3 is pitched at the professional level, with a 10-megapixel CMOS sensor, mechanical sensor-shift stabilisation and live view. And it's splashproof -- just look at our picture!

The Olympus E-3 will be available from the end of November 2007. The body only will be available for approximately £1,099, the kit with the 14-54mm lens for around £1,499 and the kit with the new 12-60mm lens will be in the neighbourhood of £1,699. Click through for more pictures and more on the E-3's features. -Rich Trenholm

Update: As several of you pointed out, the Olympus E-3 is the flagship professional model model of the Olympus dSLR range, and not an entry-level model as we previously stated. Ahem. Sorry about that.

Read our full Olympus E-3 review.

Olympus claims the E-3 will capture shutter speeds of up to 1/8,000 second, and can manage 5 frames per second sequential shooting. When shooting raw footage, the camera is capable of buffering 19 images in burst mode.

Olympus claims that the 11-point autofocus system is the world's fastest. Intelligent Shadow Adjustment Technology (SAT), white balance adjustment, and exposure compensation are also featured to get the best out of tricky lighting conditions.

We like that the 64mm (2.5-inch) LCD display folds out and can be adjusted to different angles, like on the Pansonic DMC-L10 and many camcorders. This foldy-outiness really liberates you from the viewfinder and is where live view comes into its own. Hanging around volcanoes is optional.

The E-3 is based on the Four Thirds lens standard, so you have the option of mounting lenses made by Kodak and other manufacturers. Olympus has launched a number of other lenses with the E-3, including a wide angle (24mm-120mm equivalent) lens with Supersonic Wave Drive autofocusing.

The E-3 incorporates a Supersonic Wave Filter dust-reduction system, which vibrates dust off the sensor and should take care of pesky motes that sidle in when the lens is being changed.