From the beginning,Olympushas placed its array of E-PL as an intelligible, lower-cost option to its line up of high end E-Ps cameras. By releasing the third generation of Olympus PEN E-PL3, it continues the tradition while displaying the functionality and all the performance gains of its ancestor, the Olympus E-P3. The only difference between the two is the arrival of the E-PM1/PEN mini simultaneously, which becomes the basic model in the array of PEN. The PEN Lite stays between the flagship of Olympus E-P3 and PEN Mini, it offers an integration of small camera like handling and external control points that may impress those who like to see high quality images in a small package, and are all set to go beyond an experience of ‘auto everything’.
The PEN Lite brings operational and handling changes from its ancestor, the Olympus PEN E-PL2. Among the most apparent of these is the absence of a hand-grip with the front plate. A tilting 16:9 format LCD screen and a flash unit(clip-on) that takes the places of hot shoe and rear accessory port has been added in this camera. It shares an image processing engine and a sensor with E-P3 of high price. It also has more unique styling and best feature discrimination from the high end model than that we have seen previously. The aesthetic design and minimized size of the new E-PL3 makes it similar to that of Olympus XZ-1, which is a compact camera.
However, the new E-PL3 does not compromise on features. But features like external control points, accessory port, mode dial and hot shoe are all carried over from the E-PL2. You have the option to customize the camera operation with different types of art filers and effects that can be implemented to JPEG images with the new E-PL3 model. The camera also has an AF illuminator to help low light focus acquisition like the E-P3.