Another Olympus PEN Incomplete Camera in January 2013

43Rumors is reporting that there could be a new Olympus Micro 4/3 Camera Launching by the end of January.  Also (and maybe by no coincidence), the popular Olympus PEN E-P3 (which has only been out for about a year and a half) is now listed as “Discontinued” on B&H Photo’s Website.

The Olympus PEN E-P3 is now listed as "Discontinued".  Could this indicate the imminent launch of it's successor?
The Olympus PEN E-P3 is now listed as “Discontinued”. Could this indicate the imminent launch of it’s successor?

According to 43Rumors:  Trusted sources could confirm that one single new Micro Four Thirds cameras will be announced “soon”. They didn’t unveil any specs or other details, but It’s easy to guess that the camera will be announced in late January for the CP+ show in Japan. The only [other info that] I received from unknown (also non trusted) sources was that there will be a “completely new PEN”.  (Read post on 43Rumors – video courtesy of TechRadar)

43Rumors lists this information as an “FT5″, meaning that there’s a very strong possibility that this is true.  If I had to guess, I would say that Olympus are in fact, planning on launching a successor to the E-P3 (The PEN E-P5?) to compete with the Panasonic Lumix GX1, which also may have a successor launching in 2013.

By the way…  If you wanted to pick one up, the Olympus E-P3 is now listed at $599 on Amazon (of course, you can always get one cheaper used).  Of course, that’s the same price as the new Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5, which has the same sensor and image processor as the flagship OM-D E-M5, so I’d recommend that over an E-P3 at this point.  You can also pick up a Panasonic G5 for $599 on Amazon, or a Panasonic GX1 for $449 on Amazon – that’s a great price on one of our favorite cameras of 2012!

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I don’t why the PEN Mini, PEN Lite, and PEN continue to offer an incomplete experience. I get it for the most part, the PEN offers an ‘enthusiast’ option with mode dial and integrated flash, where the PEN Lite gives you the mode dial and tilt-screen, where the PEN Mini is all the digital processing tech in a small, no-frills package without the flash, tilt-screen or mode dial. Maybe I’m just cheap, but it makes sense to me to go with the PEN Mini or Lite–the integrated flash is nice but unless Olympus comes out with a PEN that offers an EVF, integrated flash, and tilt screen, the current PEN line will continue to be a debate about the best incomplete option. Sony gets it with their NEX-6 and NEX-7 but these are APS-C sensors with big lenses; Olympus could have a runaway hit with a similar MF3 product.

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