Looks and building
I bought the raw silver aluminium version with the 14 - 42mm kit lens. Compared to the E-P1 as far as looks go, Olympus obtained a great deal of their design ideas from this camera as things are an evolution of this already modern classic. The grip screws on to the side of the camera rather than the fixed one on the E-P1. You can leave it off and have more lovely aluminium exposed, have the standard grip or get a slightly larger grip if required.
The screen is a much higher resolution than the E-P1 and is a touch screen, nearly three times the resolution. You can tap anywhere on the screen to take a picture and release the shutter, flick through the photos you have taken and zoom in by sliding your finger up and down on the right hand side. It is bright, detailed and to my eye a very accurate representation of what your pictures will come out as. It's a gorgeous screen!
Like the E-P1 it is extremely solid and very well made. All the buttons feel solid and those that click do so with the right amount of resistance. Everything feels great in its aluminium body and shouts premium product, built to last.
The camera came with a 14 -42mm kit lens. It is very small and folds into itself to make things that more compact. Although mainly plastic in construction it is well built and performs to a high standard.
The lens you see in the pictures above and below attached to the camera is actually the 12mm f2.0. This is an all metal premium prime lens with a 35mm equivalent of 24mm. The attention to detail and build quality is incredible. Since buying it I have not take it off. It is perfect in many ways and I will one day write a review just about it.
A criticism of the E-P1 and E-P2 for that matter was the speed of auto focusing. (I must admit that the speed of my E-P1 in daylight - the only time I really take pictures - was not something that overly bothered me). The speed of the E-P3's focusing is breathtaking. It is as fast as if not faster than that of the Canon 500D I used to own. Coupled with the kit lens or my beloved 12mm f2.0 it is like lightning. The screen it touch sensitive and can be touched to focus and release the shutter, taking a picture. This means that for street photography its fast reaction time means shots are rarely missed and hardly ever out of focus. I love it!
The menus are fast to navigate and all appears snappy. Some say that the menus are complex however I found them quite intuitive.
The cameras jpegs are very sharp and colours have great tones and appear very natural to my eyes at least. Even though it can shoot RAW I haven't
really had cause to use it a great deal.
In short I love this camera. I can see newer, updated versions on the horizon but they don't interest me. I am very happy with this camera and will enjoy the time to get to know it better and all it can do. Coupled with the 12mm f2.0 for the type of photos I take (buildings, landscapes, street photograph and family) I have all I need.