Product Support


Select the topic that best matches your question: 

Can I adjust the sound level the shutter release makes?

This model has a true Focal Plane Shutter so the sound you are hearing is the actual sound of the shutter physically opening and closing.  It is not possible to alter the volume of the shutter sound.

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When recording movies I can hear the sound of the lens focusing, how can I reduce this sound?

When recording sound in a movie, the sound made by the lens and camera operating may be recorded. This is due to the proximity of the microphone to the lens. If desired, you can reduce these sounds by shooting with [AF Mode] set to [S-AF], or by limiting the amount of times you press the buttons. If your camera has the ability to use an external microphone this would allow you to extend the microphone away from the lens. If you are using a non-MSC lens, you may want to consider a lens with this type of mechanism which is near silent during AF operation.

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What are the main features of the E-PL3?

The OLYMPUS PEN E-PL3 is tailor-made for people who live active lives online and offline. It blends the high-quality imaging of a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera with High Definition (HD) video capture, stereo Linear PCM audio recording and creative in-camera multimedia tools into an ultra-compact, yet stylish body. No longer must you choose between powerful and portable; the E-PL3 will make you re-think what a small camera can do.

The E-PL3 showcases the best technologies of the acclaimed PEN Digital series -- a 12.3-megapixel Live MOS image sensor; 35-point autofocus (AF) system; intuitive, Live Control operation; in-camera image stabilization; the proven Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF®) dust-reduction system; creativity-boosting Art Filters that can be applied to still images and movies alike; and a 3-inch, color, LCD screen -- and efficiently packages them all into a miniature frame.

The E-PL3's accessory port accommodates the FL-LM1 external flash (included) as well as the following optional accessories: VF-1 optical viewfinder, VF-2 and VF-3 electronic viewfinders, SEMA-1 external microphone adapter, MAL-1 Macro Arm Light, PP-1 PENPAL Bluetooth adapter and the FL-300R, FL-50R, FL-36R and FL-14 external flashes.

In addition, the Imager AF Live View autofocus system features continuous autofocus (C-AF) tracking and AF target registration. You can lock your subject into focus, and the camera will constantly adjust focus and exposure on your subject to compensate for your or your subject's motion. This mode helps you to keep fast-moving and unpredictable subjects in focus – from left to right and from back to front – automatically.

In the iAUTO mode, the E-PL3 offers Live Guide, which uses sliders displayed on the LCD screen to apply exposure controls that demonstrate the effect of the controls on the LCD before a photo is taken.

The E-PL3 also includes a new picture mode called iEnhance that automatically selects the correct exposure settings for subjects such as close-ups, sports and action scenes, landscapes, portraits and night scenes, and then applies additional adjustments to color or contrast, as needed, to make good images exceptional.

The E-PL3 also offers 6 Art Filters -- which automatically process images using special effects -- and a Scene mode that automatically applies the ideal camera settings for specific shooting scenarios. Just choose one of the 23 available scenes, and the camera instantly becomes optimized for the shot.

The E-PL3’s manual movie mode allows for independent control of aperture and shutter for expanded creative control. This fine control allows you to express your vision exactly how you want in your HD videos. It also allows you to apply Art Filters as you shoot so you can easily create movies with artistic effects.

Once you’ve captured your works of art, seamlessly mix your still images and videos in-camera to create a multimedia slideshow. Dub in one of the available background music options to provide a soundtrack for your cinematic creation, and play it back in the camera or on any television (A/V cable included; Mini HDMI Type C cable sold separately). When connected to an HDTV, you can use the television’s remote to navigate camera menus and perform playback operations by activating HDMI CONTROL.

Finally, like all of Olympus’ PEN digital cameras, the E-PL3 supports all Micro Four Thirds-compliant lenses natively. With the addition of optional lens mount adapters it can also support Olympus’ Four Thirds-compliant E-System lenses and OM-series film lenses – as well as legacy lenses from a variety of manufacturers. No matter which lens you choose, the E-PL3’s in-body image stabilization ensures you’ll have Olympus’ best anti-blur protection.

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Where can I find the documentation for this camera?

The E-PL3 is packaged with a printed Basic Manual and an electronic copy of the detailed Instruction Manual, which is located on the CD-ROM bundled with the camera. The detailed Instruction Manual can also be downloaded in Adobe PDF format by clicking here.

Adobe Reader® is required to view PDF files. The software is available as a free download from Adobe's web site.

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The printed instruction manual refers me to a page that does not exist or does not address the topic I am trying to find. Why?

This camera is packaged with both a paperbound manual, which presents an overview of basic operations, and a complete, detailed instruction manual, which describes all functions.

Some of the topics introduced in the basic manual are explained in more detail in the full instruction manual. In cases such as these, the basic manual references the page(s) in the detailed instruction manual where the information can be found.

The detailed documentation is stored in Adobe PDF format on the CD-ROM packaged with the camera. It can also be downloaded by clicking here.

Adobe Reader® software is required to view PDF files. The software is available as a free download from Adobe's web site.

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What types of memory cards can be used with the E-PL3?

The E-PL3 accepts SD media, including SD, SDHC and SDXC cards, in capacities ranging from 128 MB to 64 GB. It supports the SD speed class and the UHS-1 speed class, and it is Wi-Fi compatible when used with an optional Eye-Fi™ card.

When shooting HD movies, please use a card with an SD speed class of 6 or higher or a UHS-1 speed class.

The E-PL3 does not accept xD-Picture Card media or CompactFlash® cards.

Memory cards are optional accessories and must be purchased separately. Olympus does not manufacture memory media. For a list of memory cards that have been tested and are known to be compatible with the E-PL3, please click here.

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Is the E-PL3 splashproof?

No, the camera is not designed to be used in extreme environmental conditions. The Olympus E-5 would be more appropriate for use in severe conditions.

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The E-PL3 features Live View. What is it and how does it work?

Live View is the technology that allows you to use the LCD screen to compose shots or to shoot while viewing an enlarged display on the monitor.

Live View uses the Imager AF system to secure focus. Using IMAGER AF, autofocus is acquired via contrast detection. The camera searches 35 AF targets to find the one that contains the greatest contrast and then focuses on it. Typically, this will identify the subject nearest to the lens.

The shooting sequence is as follows:

  1. Pressing the shutter button halfway activates contrast detection using the image on the sensor.
  2. When the focus is locked, the AF confirmation mark is displayed briefly in the upper right corner of the screen. If the AF confirmation mark blinks, focus could not be obtained. Re-compose the shot, then press the shutter button halfway to try again.
  3. When the shutter button is fully depressed, the shutter fires and the image is captured.
  4. The image is displayed on the monitor.
  5. The shutter reopens, and Live View is restored.

While in Live View the same functions of the shutter button can be used by tapping the desired subject on the screen. The camera will autofocus on that subject and trip the shutter.

IMAGER AF can only be used with Micro Four Thirds system lenses and Four Thirds system digital lenses that have compatible firmware.1

Compatible lenses can be identified by their AF confirmation mark. For compatible lenses, the AF confirmation mark looks like this: . The AF confirmation mark used with other Four Thirds system lenses looks like this: .

It is possible to pre-select a specific AF target. Doing so reduces shutter lag2 because the camera does not need to search for a subject in all AF targets. When selecting an AF target, choose one that contains an area of contrast. If the camera is unable to detect contrast (e.g., if the selected AF target is facing a stark white wall), it may not be able to take a picture.

To select a specific AF target, use the AF AREA function, which is accessible from the Custom A menu icon menu and the Super Control Panel. (The Custom menus and the Super Control Panel are not displayed by default; the user must configure the camera to use these navigation options.)

While using Live View, it may be desirable to magnify the subject on the screen. This is especially useful when using a Four Thirds system lens that is not compatible with IMAGER AF and/or when focusing manually because it makes focus confirmation and adjustment easier. If necessary, adjust the focus by rotating the focus ring. (AF MODE must be set to S-AF + MF or MF).

To view an enlarged display while using Live View in the still picture modes, first press the [INFO] button until you see a green AF Frame on the LCD. You can position the AF Frame to position it over the area to be mangnified. Then press the OK button to magnify the view. The magnification can be selected by rotating the Control Dial.

While viewing an enlarged display, the degree of magnification can be set to 5x, 7x, 10x or 14x by pressing the [INFO] button and then pressing the Up and Down arrows. Press the [OK] buton to register the setting. Press [OK] again to cancel the enlarged display.

1 To view a list of compatible lenses, click here. Depending on the date of the purchase, a compatible model may require a firmware update in order to support high-speed IMAGER AF. In the future, Olympus may add high-speed IMAGER AF support to other Zuiko Digital lenses via firmware updates.

2Shutter lag can also be minimized by acquiring and locking the autofocus prior to pressing the shutter button.

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Can I preview changes to settings on the Live View monitor or through the optional electronic viewfinders?

While setting up a shot, changes made to the (exposure compensation) and WB (white balance) settings are displayed on the Live View monitor so their effects can be checked before shooting. The effects are previewed in all shooting modes, including those in which the camera automatically adjusts exposure and/or white balance. Live View Boost must be set to Off.

When Live View Boost is set to On, the camera automatically adjusts the brightness level and displays the subject on the monitor for easier confirmation. The effects of exposure compensation adjustments are not shown on the monitor when Live View Boost is enabled.

The Live View monitor cannot be used simultaneously with the optional VF-2 or VF-3 electronic viewfinders.

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What is the origin and meaning of the SuperSonic Wave Filter (SSWF)? Where does the dust go?

The filter is so named because it shakes dust off the image sensor using supersonic wave vibrations. The displaced dust is affixed to dust-collection components around the filter.

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What are the purposes of the different record modes?

Record modes allow photographers to quickly and conveniently vary the quality settings used to capture and save images in-camera. While it is possible to always shoot at the higher-quality settings and process the images down to lower file sizes later using a computer, it may be more convenient in some situations to shoot at other than the higher-quality settings. For example, it may be preferable to shoot using lower-quality settings when the shots are intended for use on the Internet, where small size is more important than rich detail.

The E-PL3 offers several record modes, whose benefits are outlined below.

  • RAW: This is the highest-quality record mode available in the E-PL3, and it allows the photographer the most creative control in post-production. Images are saved to the memory card from the camera sensor with minimal image processing. Factors such as white balance, sharpness, contrast, and color are unchanged so they can be modified later on a computer. Some photographers prefer to shoot RAW all the time for all subjects, while others may shoot RAW in situations that pose complicated exposure problems.

    Each camera manufacturer has its own version of RAW tailored to its cameras; therefore, special software is required to process RAW files and convert them to other image file formats such as JPEG and TIFF. The OLYMPUS ib, OLYMPUS Master® 2 and OLYMPUS Studio® 2 and Olympus Viewer 2 applications contain RAW processing and conversion software for the Olympus RAW format, which bears the file extension *.orf. Third-party imaging software and operating systems may use RAW plug-ins or updates to process Olympus RAW files. Without them, they would not be able to read RAW images from Olympus digital cameras. Most photo kiosks, printers and photo labs cannot read unconverted RAW images.

  • JPEG: Four record modes create compressed JPEG image files. When the camera processes a captured JPEG image and saves it to the memory card, it uses algorithms to discard some of the data to make the file size smaller. The process of mathematically reducing a file's size by discarding some of its data is called compression. The greater the compression ratio, the more data will be discarded and the smaller will be the file size. When the image is opened on a computer, the JPEG algorithms reconstruct the discarded data.

    The camera permits customization of the JPEG record modes by mixing and matching their quality settings. The factors that define a JPEG record mode are image size (determined by the number of pixels in the image) and compression ratio.

    The table below shows all of the combinations of image size and compression ratio available in the E-PL3.

    Customization of the quality settings is performed via the option, which is found in the menu. The controls on this screen are used to set image sizes as either L (Large), M (Middle) or S (Small) and to set compression ratios as SF (Super Fine), F (Fine), N (Normal) or B (Basic). The PIXEL COUNT menu item, also in menu , further customizes the Middle and Small image size settings by offering a choice of display resolutions.

  • RAW+JPEG: Four record modes in the E-PL3 save both a RAW and a JPEG image when a picture is taken. This can be advantageous when shots are intended for use in multiple media or when the medium in which the images will ultimately be published has not been determined.

    The quality settings used to process the JPEGs in the RAW + JPEG record modes are tied to the quality settings defined for the corresponding JPEG record modes on the  menu. The first RAW + JPEG record mode uses the JPEG settings of the first registered JPEG record mode; the second RAW + JPEG record mode uses the JPEG settings of the second registered JPEG mode; and so on. Changing the JPEG quality settings via the and PIXEL COUNT menus affects both a JPEG record mode and its RAW + JPEG record mode "counterpart."

To activate a Record Mode, use the  function in the Camera 1 Menu icon menu or select the record mode directly from the display in the Live Control or Super Control Panel control view. You can also quickly toggle between a JPEG record mode and its corresponding RAW+JPEG mode if you pre-register that function to one of the function buttons. This can be accomplished via the Button Function item in the Custom Menu B submenu.

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What is the purpose of the SCN (Scene) modes?

The E-PL3 has a SCN (Scene) mode that optimizes the camera settings for specific shooting conditions. All of the settings applied in the 23 available Scenes can also be applied via controls in the camera menu, but applying them manually can be time-consuming. In addition, amateur photographers may not have a deep enough knowledge of photography to select the appropriate settings for some situations that advanced amateur and professional photographers would employ.

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What are Art Filters?

Art Filters enable the application of creatve effects in-camera while shooting. The Art Filters available on the E-PL3 are:

  • Pop Art - Increases the saturation of bright colors
  • Soft Focus - Diffuses the image
  • Grainy Film - Simulates the look and contrast of high-speed black and white 35 mm film
  • Pin Hole - Simulates the look of a pinhole camera with soft edges and vignetting
  • Diorama - Simulates the look of photographing a miniature model by narrowing the depth of focus
  • Dramatic Tone - Simulates the look of High Dynamic Range (HDR) digital photography

Art Filters can be applied to still images as well as movies. When Art Filters are in use, the Super Control Panel is not available.

If you want to shoot an unaltered image as well as a copy processed with an Art Filter, shoot using one of the RAW+JPEG record modes. The RAW file will be unaffected, and the Art Filter will be applied to the JPEG.

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What is the purpose of IMAGE ASPECT?

The IMAGE ASPECT function is used to change the aspect ratio (horizontal-to-vertical ratio) of captured images. The default aspect ratio is 4:3, which is the aspect ratio of the imaging sensor.

The E-PL3 provides five aspect ratio options. This allows the photographer to pre-visualize and shoot for specific print formats. For example - if the assignment were to shoot an event that will be printed as albums of 4 x 6 inch prints, the image aspect ratio would be set to 3:2. If the assignment were to shoot cover art for a CD sleeve, 6:6 would be selected since this would yield square images.

The table below shows the aspect ratios that are available in the E-PL3, the image size options for images captured using each ratio, and usage recommendations. When composing shots, select the aspect ratio that best fits the expression and purpose of your images.

RAW JPEG Purpose
4:3 4032 x 3024 Large: 4032 x 3024
Middle: 3200 x 2400 / 2560 x 1920 / 1920 x 1440 / 1600 x 1200
Small: 1280 x 960 / 1024 x 768 / 640 x 480
Default; the aspect ratio used by the imaging sensor
16:9 4032 x 3024 Large: 4032 x 2272
Middle: 3200 x 1800 / 2560 x 1440 / 1920 x 1080 / 1536 x 864
Small: 1280 x 720 / 1024 x 576 / 640 x 360
The aspect ratio of HDTV and widescreen TVs
3:2 4032 x 3024 Large: 4032 x 2688
Middle: 3216 x 2144 / 2544 x 1696 / 1920 x 1080 / 1584 x 1056
Small: 1296 x 864 / 1024 x 576 / 624 x 416
The aspect ratio of 35mm film and 4x6 inch prints
6:6 4032 x 3024 Large: 3024 x 3024
Middle: 2400 x 2400 / 1920 x 1920 / 1440 x 1440 / 1216 x 1216
Small: 960 x 960 / 768 x 768 / 480 x 480
The aspect ratio of 6 cm x 6 cm film format
3:4 4032 x 3024 Large: 2272 x 3024
Middle: 1824 x 2432 / 1440 x 1920 / 1104 x 1472 / 864 x 1152
Small: 720 x 960 / 576 x 768 / 384 x 512
6 cm x 7 cm medium format camera

When a non-default aspect ratio is selected, JPEG images are cropped and recorded using the selected aspect ratio. When the JPEG images are reviewed in Playback mode or in OLYMPUS ib, OLYMPUS Studio 2, OLYMPUS Master 2 or Olympus Viewer 2 software, they are displayed at the cropped dimensions.

RAW images are not cropped, but the aspect ratio information is recorded to the digital files with the image data at the time of shooting. When a RAW image is reviewed in Playback mode or in OLYMPUS ib, OLYMPUS Studio 2 or OLYMPUS Viewer 2 software, the uncropped image data is shown overlaid by a template, or frame, based on the selected aspect ratio. The frame is provided as a reference so you can preview the effect of applying the crop.

Note: The aspect ratio information stored with RAW images can be used to crop the images in the camera (via the EDIT menu) or in the OLYMPUS ib, OLYMPUS Studio 2, or Olympus Viewer 2 software. The software may require an update to recognize the saved aspect ratio information.

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MULTIPLE EXPOSURE and IMAGE OVERLAY are options built into the E-PL3 that enable multiple images to be combined and saved as a single image.

MULTIPLE EXPOSURE, located in the menu, is used at the time of image capture -- for example, to add a telephoto shot of the moon to a night skyline shot.  Two RAW or JPEG shots can be combined into one image. (The record mode is fixed after the first shot in the sequene.)

When the function's Frame setting is set to 2f, you can also select a stored RAW image and shoot additional RAW or JPEG exposures to overlay onto the stored image. The record mode used to capture the overlaying exposure(s) will determine the file format of the final, combined image. If JPEGs are shot, the combined image will be a JPEG; if RAW is selected, the combined image will be a RAW file.

IMAGE OVERLAY, located in the > EDIT menu, is used to combine up to three RAW images previously saved on a memory card.

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When and why should I manually set the white balance value?

Many light sources and situations are best served by setting the white balance value manually. There are many noncontinuous light sources that do not have all of the colors of the spectrum, such as fluorescent, mercury vapor and sodium vapor lights. There are also situations in which many different types of lights are used in one environment. These do not neatly fit into what the camera firmware knows about white balance, so it is necessary to “educate” the camera about the specific light balance by shooting a white reference subject such as a white card and saving the data in the WB menu as a custom white balance.

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When manually setting the white balance, what do all those numbers followed by a "K" mean?

The color balance of different light sources in the color spectrum is rated numerically by color temperature in the standard Kelvin (K) temperature scale. A color temperature value is expressed as a number followed by a “K,” for Kelvin.

The E-PL3 provides an array of preset white balance options that correspond to various common light sources. These options are convenient for when you wish to set the white balance value manually. The chart below shows the approximate values of different light sources that can be selected from the WB (white balance) menu:

  • 5300K - Use for shooting outdoors on a clear day, or to capture the reds in a sunset or the colors in a fireworks display.
  • 7500K - Use for shooting outdoors in the shadows on a clear day. The light in shadows areas is bluer, so this setting compensates for the color shift.
  • 6000K - Use for shooting outdoors on a cloudy day. This setting makes the color slightly warmer in tone.
  • 3000K - Use for shooting under tungsten light. This setting keeps the images from coming out with a yellow color cast.
  • 4000K - Use for shooting under white fluorescent lighting.
  • 5500K - Use for flash shooting.

It's also possible to fine-adjust the values of all preset white balance settings, including Auto, by manipulating the Amber-Blue and/or Green-Magenta channels. This tweaking can be performed from the WB menu, which is located under the Custom Menu G icon menu.

For even greater control, you may wish to set a custom white balance (CWB). CWB settings allow photographers to shoot with more granular color temperature settings, which leads to more acurate color rendition.

The CWB function is especially useful when working with studio lighting. Many commercially available lamps are labeled with color temperature ratings so that a photographer can match a camera's CWB value to the lamp's rating. The CWB values available to the E-PL3 range from 2000K to 14000K. (The step interval varies.) Up to two CWB values can be registered for re-use, and these stored values can be fine-tuned just like the other presets.

Color temperature settings can be applied in situations for which they are not intended in order to produce creative effects. For example, a tungsten setting can be used on a cloudy day to produce a surreal effect suggesting cold.

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Is movie editing possible using the bundled software?

OLYMPUS Viewer 2 HD Edition for Windows supports clipping, joining and fading movies in the .AVI Motion-JPEG format. With the AVCHD format, only clipping is possible. "Clipping" means extracting a still image from one frame of a movie file. This software can also convert .AVI movie files to the AVCHD format.

OLYMPUS Viewer 2 for Macintosh supports clipping, joining and fading movies in the AVI Motion JPEG format. It does not support AVCHD-formatted movies.

OLYMPUS ib HD Edition for Windows will support clipping, joining and fading movies in both the .AVI and AVCHD formats.

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What is the resolution of a still image clipped from a movie file?

The following resolutions are supported: 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720 and 640 x 480 pixels.

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Approximately how many shots can be taken with a fully-charged battery?

When composing shots using Live View (the back panel monitor), a fully charged battery should capture approximately 300 shots, according to the CIPA standard. When composing using the Live Finder (EVF), a fully charged battery should take approximately 90% as many shots as when shooting using Live View, or about 270 shots.

Generally, more battery power is consumed when the fulltime AF is ON, but this cannot always be assumed to be the case because battery life varies more depending on shooting conditions. From the viewpoint of the CIPA standard, the battery life specifications are identical whether AF is ON or OFF, but you may switch the fulltime AF off if you are concerned about battery drain.

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How do I enable the custom menu options?

The Custom Menu can be used to personalize camera settings and operations. This menu is not visible by default to prevent unintentional adjustments. To view the Custom menu, locate Menu Display in the Setup Menu, and set Custom Menu icon Menu Display to On.

  1. Press the [MENU] button to display the menu.
  2. Rotate the wheel controller to select SETUP, and then press the [OK] button.
  3. Use the Up and Down arrow buttons on the wheel controller, or rotate it, to select (Setup Menu), and then press the Right Arrow button.
  4. Use the Up and Down arrow buttons on the wheel controller, or rotate it, to select Menu Display, and then press the Right Arrow button.
  5. Use the Up and Down arrow buttons on the wheel controller, or rotate it, to select Custom Menu icon Menu Display, and then press the Right Arrow button.
  6. Use the Up or Down arrow on the wheel controller, or rotate it, to select On, and then press [OK]. The Custom Menu tab will appear in the menu.
  7. Press [MENU] to exit the camera menu.

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How do I enable the optional navigation interfaces, including the Live Control and Super Control Panel options?

The Control Settings function determines which camera navigation options are available in each shooting mode. While the hierarchical menu is always available by pressing the [MENU] button, Control Settings presents convenient short-cut options to help you quickly access frequently used controls. The control view options are Live Guide¹, Live Control and SCP (Super Control Panel).

The Live Guide view, designed for novice photographers, lets you fine adjust photographic effects such as brightness, color saturation, color balance and background blur using convenient and intuitive slide bars. As you rotate the wheel controller, a slider moves up or down the slide bar. You can preview the effect of repositioning the slider on the LCD monitor before you snap the picture. A technical understanding of photography concepts and jargon is not necessary.

The Live Control view presents narrow banners along the right side of, and at the bottom of, the LCD monitor. The banner on the right is filled with icons that represent camera settings such as White Balance and ISO; use the Up and Down arrows, or simply rotate the wheel controller, to select a setting you wish to edit. The bottom banner contains icons that represent the options available for the selected setting; use the Left and Right arrows to scroll through the options and select a setting. Press the [OK] button to activate the new setting.

The SCP view presents the Super Control Panel, a grid that overlays the image on the LCD screen. Use the arrow buttons to select a setting on the grid and press [OK] to activate it.

Before you can access a control view from a particular shooting mode, it must be activated for that mode by changing its Control Settings value to On. The Control Settings function is located in the Custom Menu D icon submenu.

Once a control view is activated, you can access it by pressing the [OK] button. If multiple views are activated for a particular shooting mode, pressing the [INFO] button repeatedly will cycle through the enabled views. To exit any control view, press the shutter button halfway down.

¹ Live Guide is available only in the iAUTO shooting mode. Because iAUTO is a fully automated shooting mode, some settings cannot be adjusted when using Live Guide.

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What are the differences among the three Image Stabilizer functions?

The Image Stabilizer has the following three options:

  • I.S. 1 - The Image Stabilizer corrects for camera shake on both the horizontal and vertical planes.
  • I.S. 2 - The Image Stabilizer only corrects for vertical camera shake. This is to allow a photographer to use a low shutter speed and pan horizontally for creative effect. Situations in which this technique can be applied include tracking rapidly moving subjects such as flying birds, running wildlife, racing cars and athletes with the intention of blurring the background for a visual effect in the image. The result would be a sharply defined subject against a blurred background that might otherwise appear cluttered.
  • I.S. 3 - The Image Stabilizer corrects for horizontal camera shake. Use when panning the camera horizontally with the camera held in portrait orientation.

When attaching the camera to a lens other than a Micro Four Thirds or Four Thirds lens, the Image Stabilizer corrects the camera shake based on the focal length of the lens. You must manually set this value. The focal length can be set from 8 mm to 1,000 mm. Set the focal length to the value (or the nearest value) that is displayed on the lens.


  • The image stabilizer cannot correct excessive camera shake or camera shake that occurs when using an extremely slow shutter speed. Use a tripod so your camera remains steady when shooting.
  • When attaching the camera to a lens with its own image stabilizer function, turn off the image stabilizer function of either the lens or the camera.
  • The image stabilizer will not operate when you shoot with a shutter speed of greater than 2 seconds.

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I have a lens from another manufacturer that has built-in optical image stabilization. Will I get more image stabilization if I enable the image stabilization in this camera?

In such a scenario, it is recommended to use one or the other, but not both image stabilizers simultaneously. If both lens and body image stabilization are being used at the same time, the combination may be counter-productive because the camera image stabilization would be trying to compensate for the lens image stabilization and not be able to arrive at a stabilized image.

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How do I update the firmware in the E-PL3 body and the Micro Four Thirds lenses?

For complete instructions, please download this file.

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Can I use the E-PL3 to update the firmware in any Micro Four Thirds compliant lens?

The answer depends on what company manufactured the lens.

Olympus Imaging Corp., Panasonic Corporation and Sigma Corporation offer a joint firmware update service that makes it possible to download and install firmware for one another's Micro Four Thirds System-compliant and Four Thirds System-compliant lenses when the lenses are attached to any of the companies' Micro Four Thirds System-compliant cameras. The service is not available for Four Thirds System-compliant lenses manufactured by other companies, such as Kodak, Fuji and Sanyo.

Panasonic/Leica and Sigma lenses mounted on this camera can be updated using the OLYMPUS Digital Camera Updater software. For details on how to acquire the software and how to update the firmware of a Micro Four Thirds or Four Thirds System lens or camera, please click here.

For more information on the joint firmware update service, please click here.

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The subject I want to focus on doesn't line up with the AF frame on the screen. How do I get the camera to focus where I want it to?

The Focus Lock function enables the photographer to prefocus on a specific subject, lock the focus, and then re-compose the image and shoot the picture.

  1. Position the AF frame on the autofocus subject and press the shutter button halfway until the AF confirmation mark lights up. The focus will be locked.
  2. While holding the shutter button in the halfway position, recompose the image and press the shutter button all the way to shoot the picture.

At first this may seem cumbersome, but with practice it can become a fluid movement.

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Why doesn't the lens focus when I turn the lens focus ring?

The manual focus ring will only function if it is activated, since it uses focus-by-wire technology. Choosing a focusing mode with MF options such as MF or S-AF+MF, will activate the manual focus ring.

The 12mm M.Zuiko Digital f2.0 lens has a mechanical focusing option, so it can be manually focused in any autofocus mode.

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Which ISO should I use for my shot?

Think of the ISO values as film speeds. Low ISOs are better suited to situations in which there is a lot of light – for example, outdoors scenes. ISOs 400 and 800 would be used outdoors where there is plenty of light and fast shutter speeds are desired – sports and air shows, for example – or indoors for available light shooting. ISO 1600 and above would be used where there are very low light levels, such as indoors or at night.

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How does the E-PL3 combat sensor noise commonly found at high ISOs?

Digital cameras vary the light sensitivity of the image sensor by varying the gain voltage applied to the sensor, much like turning up the volume on a stereo. When the gain voltage is increased, as it is when shooting with higher ISOs, the sensor becomes hot. Hot pixels perform differently under extreme conditions. The result is a graininess known as “noise.”

Noise occurs whenever sufficient heat has built up on the image sensor. Therefore, it can also be seen in images with long exposures, such as night photographs, due to the additional heat generated by charging the sensor for an extended period of time. All digital cameras include technologies to minimize the effects of noise. The E-PL3 uses a sensor that dramatically decreases noise. In addition, it combats noise with two methods: NOISE FILTER and NOISE REDUCTION.

The Noise Filter function is found in the menu. It has four options: Off, Low, Standard and High. The majority of digital cameras have a default noise filter that is always on. Some photographers feel that this reduces detail, so Olympus has included the option to not use a noise filter at all.

If Noise Filter is set to Off, it is recommended to set the Sharpness setting for the selected Picture Mode to –2. If  Sharpness is set to 0, it may exaggerate the noise when no noise filtering is being applied.

The Noise Reduction function can also be enabled from the menu. After the first exposure, the camera makes a second exposure of equal length with the shutter closed. It then, in effect, overlays the two images, finds the hot pixels in the second image (essentially, any pixels that aren't black) and deletes the corresponding pixels from the first image. This doubles the shooting time. If the first exposure is 12 minutes 30 seconds, the second, black exposure will also be 12 minutes 30 seconds for a total exposure time of 25 minutes.

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In the CARD SETUP menu, the options are ALL ERASE and FORMAT. What are the differences between these options?

All Erase deletes all of the images from the memory card directory except for those that have been protected. Format deletes all of the images from the memory card directory and overwrites the directory. In both cases, the actual digital images are still on the memory card until new images are shot that overwrite the old images. Therefore, if images are inadvertently erased or formatted, it may be possible to retrieve them via image recovery software.

If All Erase is used exclusively to delete images, over time a buildup of artifacts in the directory may corrupt the memory card. The Format option is recommended to preserve the integrity of the memory card and extend its useful life.

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How do I use TONE CONTROL?

In image post-processing software, there is often a feature called Tone Control or Tonal Curves which can be used to selectively control the brightness and contrast of images. The contrast of an image in tonal controls is called gamma and is represented by a slope in a square box. A 45 degree slope is a gamma of 1.0, which is considered normal contrast. However, tonal controls allow the slope to be pulled above and below the center line at selected points. At the bottom of the slope (the toe) are the shadows; pulling the slope upward lightens the shadows and pulling the slope downward darkens the shadows. At the top of the slope (the shoulder) are the highlights; pulling the slope upward lightens the highlights and pulling the slope downward darkens the highlights. In the middle of the slope, pulling the slope upward brightens the midtones, and pulling the slope downward darkens the midtones.

The E-PL3 has a Tone Control option that provides some limited options to select preset tonal curves to change the contrast and brightness of images when shooting, with preset one-step values of -7 to +7. The minus values primarily control the midtone to shadow portion of the slope and the plus values control the midtone to highlight portion of the slope, with the zero value representing the normal 1.0 gamma.

To enable the Tone Control function, press the [Exposure Compensation] button (the Up arrow position on the wheel controller) and then the [INFO] button. A new icon will appear in the lower right quadrant of the LCD screen. The minus and plus values are selected by rotating the wheel controller. You will be able to see the effect of the various setings on the Live View screen before shooting. The effect is persistent from shot to shot until the control is reset.

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Where can I find information on how to use the bundled [ib] software?

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about [ib] are collected here.

Detailed documentation of the software's functions is available in the application's Help file. To access the Help file, launch [ib] and choose ib Help from the Help menu.

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I am a Mac user. What software can I use to view my images and movies on my computer?

The OLYMPUS Viewer 2 for Mac software included on the CD-ROM bundled with this camera is compatible with Mac OS X versions 10.4.11 ("Tiger") through 10.7 ("Lion"). Mac users may install this program to transfer their images and AVI Motion JPEG-formatted movies to a supported Macintosh operating system.

However, the software does not support the transfer or playback of AVCHD-formatted movie files on the Mac OS platform. Four of the camera's six movie recording modes, including the default mode, capture movies in the AVCHD format. Therefore, Mac users have the following options:

  • Shoot movies in the M-JPEG HD or M-JPEG SD record modes; these modes use the AVI Motion JPEG format, which is supported by Olympus Viewer 2 for Mac and by Mac OS X natively.

  • Shoot movies in one of the available AVCHD formats and then view the files using iMovie 08 or later or another Mac-compatible software program that supports the AVCHD format.

    The iMovie application is pre-installed on many Macintosh systems. If your Mac does not have iMovie 08 or later, you may purchase it or choose an alternate software. One free option is VLC Media Player from

    Please note: Olympus provides this information for convenience only and does not recommend, endorse or support any non-Olympus products.

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What is the OLYMPUS AVCHD Codec Update, and do I need it?

The OLYMPUS AVHCD Codec Update is a downloadable module that upgrades the OLYMPUS AVCHD Codec from version 1.0 to 1.0.1. 

The codec allows certain software programs to import, display, play and edit AVCHD-formatted movies captured by supported Olympus digital cameras, including this camera. The codec is installed automatically along with the OLYMPUS ib HD Edition for Windows and OLYMPUS Viewer 2 HD Edition for Windows applications that are packaged with this camera.

Macintosh users do not need, and cannot use, the Olympus AVCHD Codec or its update.

This update module improves the stability of playback operations when viewing AVCHD-formatted movies. (It does not affect playback of AVI-formatted movies.) Full HD movies use the AVCHD format, so the update is recommended for those who record Full HD movies, especially for playback on a high-definition television (HDTV).

For more information about the udpate, please review the readme file. To download the OLYMPUS AVCHD Codec Update, please click here.

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What are SDHC and SDXC?

SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity)and SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity) are types of removable flash memory cards that are an outgrowth of the SD (Secure Digital) format. SDHC and SDXC cards have the same form factor as SD cards, although they can store much more data - up to 32 GB for SDHC and 32 GB to 1 TB for SDXC.

SDHC and SDXC cards come in a variety of capacities and speed classes. A speed class refers to how quickly data can be written to the card.

The E-PL3 can support SD, SDHC and SDXC media up to 64 GB. Cards must have a minimum speed class of 6 in order to record movies with the E-PL3.

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Can this camera be used for time-lapse photography?

This camera's ANTI-SHOCK function, located in Custom Menu E (Custom Menu E), can be used in conjunction with the sequential shooting Drive mode to shoot time lapse photography sequences. The series of captured images can later be converted into movies using third party software, such as QuickTime Player Pro.

Anti-shock is used to delay firing the shutter after the shutter button has been pressed. This allows any vibration to dissipate before the exposure is made. Anti-shock allows intervals of up to 30 seconds to be preset.

When combined with sequential shooting, Anti-shock can be used to command the camera to shoot at preset intervals much like the way an intervalometer can control a camera. In this configuration, the camera will take the first picture when the shutter button is pressed and then it will continue to capture images at the preset interval – for example, every 5 seconds – until one of the following occurs:

  • The shutter button is released.
  • The memory card capacity is reached.
  • The camera records the maximum number of images. The limit varies depending on the selected record mode and the speed of the memory card.

Using the optional Remote Cable Release (RM-UC1) will be more convenient because the remote can be locked once the button on the remote control is pressed and the camera will continue to shoot unattended. To purchase the RM-UC1, click here.

Notes: Olympus recommends mounting the camera on a tripod or securing it with a camera clamp when shooting time lapse sequences. It is also recommended to use Manual Focus to prevent focus from shifting during the sequence. A lower quality record mode may have to be used to reduce the size of the frames when creating a movie.

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What is the PP-1 PENPAL?

The PENPAL (PP-1) is a Bluetooth® standard-compliant transmitter/receiver/storage device that mounts in the hot shoe and Accessory Port 2 of certain Olympus PEN digital cameras, including this one. It can wirelessly interface with smart phones, laptop computers, or even another PEN camera that supports the PENPAL. The PENPAL formats images to be sent so that they are Internet-ready, so you don't have to worry about resizing or reformatting your pictures. Just send your picture to a mobile phone and it's ready to post on your social network. Plus, you can store up to 2,600 pictures on the PENPAL's internal memory.

The PENPAL is enabled and connectivity established through the camera's menu.

For more details on the PENPAL and to purchase the PENPAL, click here.

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Is my smartphone compatible with the PP-1 PENPAL wireless transfer accessory?

Please refer to the PENPAL Smartphone Compatibility table to see if your specific model is compatible with the PP-1 and to view any special considerations required for pairing with your device.

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What lenses are compatible with the MMF-1 and MMF-2 Four Thirds to Micro Four Thirds adapters?

For a list of Four Thirds lenses that are compatible with the MMF-1 and MMF-2 Four Thirds-to-Micro Four Thirds lens adapters, please click here.


  • When taking pictures in C-AF mode using a Four Thirds lens and either lens adapter, the camera will use S-AF mode instead.
  • It is recommended to update the firmware in the lens to the latest version. Visit the following website for more information:
    Joint Update Service for Olympus E-System

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Does the image stabilizer function on the E-PL3 work with my Olympus OM-Series lenses?

The Image Stabilizer function in the E-PL3 can be applied to OM-series manual lenses.

The Image Stabilizer function must know the focal length of the attached lens in order to apply the correct compensation to the sensor when the camera senses camera shake. Zuiko® Digital lenses, being "smart" lenses, automatically provide this information from the firmware in the lens to the firmware in the camera body. Manual lenses contain no electronics, so focal length information must be entered manually by the photographer.

The MF-2 OM Lens Adapter is required to attach an OM-Series lens to the Micro Four Thirds® mount on the camera. To purchase the MF-2 OM Lens Adapter (Item 260051) from the Olympus Store, click here.

The focal length can be manually entered using the  menu or, if enabled, the Live Control or Super Control Panel views.

To set the focal length using the  menu, do the following:

  1. Press the [MENU] button.
  2. Rotate the wheel controller to the left to select , and then press [OK] again.
  3. Rotate the wheel controller to the left to select Image Stabilizer, and then press [OK] again.
  4. Press the  (right arrow) button on the arrow pad.
  5. Rotate the wheel controller to select the focal length, and then press [OK] to register the setting.
  6. Press the shutter button halfway down to return to the shooting mode.

To set the focal length using the Live Control or Super Control Panel view, activate the Image Stabilizer function and then do the following:

  1. Press the [INFO] button. The focal length value in the lower right corner of the screen becomes active.
  2. Rotate the wheel controller to select the desired focal length, and then press [OK] to register the setting and return to the shooting mode.

The available focal length settings are shown below:

8 mm 10 mm 12 mm 16 mm 18 mm 21 mm
24 mm 28 mm 30 mm 35 mm 40 mm 48 mm
50 mm 55 mm 65 mm 70 mm 75 mm 80 mm
85 mm 90 mm 100 mm 105 mm 120 mm 135 mm
150 mm 180 mm 200 mm 210 mm 250 mm 300 mm
350 mm 400 mm 500 mm 600 mm 800 mm 1000 mm

Do not take into account the 2x magnification factor applied in the Four Thirds system; enter the actual focal length of the lens being used. If the attached lens has a focal length that is not shown on the chart, please select the closest value.

The focal length setting cannot be entered manually when a Four Thirds or Micro Four Thirds system lens is attached.

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I have a third-party flash. Can I use it with the E-PL3?

Flash units that are not specifically identified by Olympus to be compatible with this camera may pose problems if used on this camera.

Thyristor-type flash units can be used with the E-PL3’s Manual shooting mode as long as the sync voltage does not exceed 24 VDC. Third-party TTL flash units will not have TTL capability but possibly may be used with Manual exposure control. Olympus can only guarantee the operation of Olympus flash units.

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Can I use a shutter sync spreed higher than 1/160 second with the E-PL3?

The optional FL-50R, FL-36R, FL-50 and FL-36 flash units have a Super FP Flash mode which enables flash sync at shutter speeds higher than 1/160th of a second. This is accomplished by the flash emitting what is essentially a very high-speed stroboscopic “flicker” flash, rather than a single flash of light. Situations in which this would be desirable would be fill-flash outdoors in bright sunlight where high shutter speeds would be needed.

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Can I use the E-PL3 with studio flash equipment?

The E-PL3 uses an electronic rather than mechanical sync circuit that is rated at 6.5 VDC maximum sync voltage. Also, the polarity of the studio flash sync pulse may be opposite the polarity of the E-PL3 sync circuitry.

Studio flash equipment should be connected to the E-PL3 using the Safe Sync Hot Shoe to PC Sync Adapter. The adapter protects the camera from excessive sync voltage up to 400 VDC, and automatically corrects sync pulse polarity.

This item (#200329) may be purchased from authorized Olympus dealers and also online directly from The Olympus Store. To order from The Olympus Store, click here.

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Can I use an accessory microphone rather than the built-in microphone when shooting videos?

The hotshoe and accessory port of the E-PL3 can accept the External Microphone Adapter Set (SEMA-1), which includes the SEMA-1 Adapter, the ME-51S Stereo Microphone, and an extension cable with a tie clip to hold the microphone.

The SEMA-1 Adapter has a 3.5mm stereo jack that can accept other microphones with 3.5 mm plugs or receivers for wireless microphones that have a 3.5mm stereo plug.

To order the External Microphone Adapter Set (SEMA-1) click here

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Is there a macro ligthing accessory for the E-PL3?

The Macro Arm Light (MAL-1) mounts into the hot shoe and accessory port of the E-PL3 and is powered by the camera. It has flexible arms that each have a directional LED lamp. Each arm has a three position slide switch on the mounting block to independently control the light intensity. It can be used as the sole light source or as fill light.

To order the Marco Arm Light (MAL-1) click here

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I had an Olympus digital camera that accepted wide-angle and telephoto accessory lenses. Are there any such lenses for the E-PL3?

Olympus released three optional lens attachments that attach to the bayonet mount on specific M.ZUIKO Digital Micro Four Thirds lenses.

  • Fisheye Lens Attachment (FCON-P01) -- Enables 120° fisheye photography when mounted on the M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II or M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II R lens. To purchase the Fisheye Lens Attachment (FCON-P01), please click here.
  • Wide Lens Attachment (WCON-P01) -- Shoots wide angle images equivalent to the field of view of a 22 mm lens in 35 mm format when mounted on the M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II or M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II R lens zoomed to 14 mm. To purchase the Wide Lens Attachment (WCON-P01), please click here.
  • Macro Lens Attachment (MCON-P01) -- Supports macro photography when mounted on the M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II, M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II R, M.ZUIKO 40-150 mm or M.ZUIKO 14-150 mm lens. To purchase the Macro Lens Attachment (MCON-P01), please click here.

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Do I need a voltage converter to use my battery charger outside of the United States?

The BCS-1 Battery Charger for the E-PL3 is rated at 100-240 VAC and automatically adjusts itself for the local electrical current. However, you may have to get a set of plug adapters for the different wall outlets used in foreign countries. Plug adapter kits are available at electronics and luggage stores.

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Does Olympus offer a remote control for this camera?

The RM-UC1 Remote Cable Release is compatible with this camera.

The RM-UC1 connects to the same USB port on the camera that is used to connect the camera to a computer via the bundled USB cable. The RM-UC1 has a sliding lock to lock the cable release for BULB exposures.

The RM-UC1 is available from authorized Olympus dealers and also online directly from The Olympus Store. To order the RM-UC1 (Item #260237), click here.

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After I mount a lens to the camera, the camera cannot secure autofocus. The problem is intermittent and can occur with any of my lenses. What is going on?

If the problem occurs with every shot taken with every accessory lens, the camera may be broken. However, if the problem occurs sporadically – and chiefly only after attaching a lens – then it is possible the lens(es) may not have been attached properly.

Remove the lens from the camera and look at the silver mount. Eleven gold-colored pins are arranged below the mirror in an arc. These pins must make firm contact with the gold-colored touch points on the back of the lens. This happens naturally when the lens is attached properly, but if the lens is not locked into place then one or more pins may not receive sufficient pressure to maintain contact during use.

To attach a lens to the camera body, align the lens attachment mark (red circle) on the camera mount with the alignment mark (raised red knob) on the side of the lens. Then insert the lens into the camera’s body. Rotate the lens clockwise and listen for a click. The click is an audible indication that the lens lock pin has snapped into place on the back of the lens and has secured the lens in the proper position. The lens lock pin is the small silver pin on the lens mount in between the mirror and the lens release button.

Do not press or hold down the lens release button while attaching a lens to the mount. The lens release button forces the lens lock pin to retract into the camera so that the lens can be removed without breaking the pin. If the button is held down while attaching the lens, it may not align with the hole on the back of the lens after the button is released. This will result in a situation in which the lens is attached to the camera mount but is not locked into place. It is possible that this condition will prevent the lens from making and retaining a firm connection to the camera. This will inhibit autofocus and may increase the lag time between shots.

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When I am shooting closeups, I can see and hear the lens trying to autofocus but it fails to secure autofocus. What can I do?

If the lens seems to be unsuccessfully searching for a focus point, you may be too close to the subject matter for that particular lens. Lenses have a minimum focusing distance, and zoom lenses have different minimum focusing distances at different zoom settings. If you back away from the subject, the lens will focus at some point.

If you intend to do macro or close-up photography, you may wish to invest in a macro lens attachment or a lens specifically designed for macro shooting.

The Macro Lens Attachment (MCON-P01) fits onto a variety of Olympus lenses and instantly enhances their capabilities for shooting macro photography. With the MCON-P01 attached, the minimum focusing distance of the lens becomes 24 cm. The compatible lenses are the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42 mm 1:3.5-5.6 II (R), M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150 mm 1:4.0-5.6 and the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150 mm 1:4.0-5.6.

You may also wish to add the Macro Arm Light (MAL-1) for greater control over lighting conditions. The MAL-1 features two 17cm LED lamps set into flexible arms. The strength of the light from each lamp can be adjusted individually. The MAL-1 attaches to the camera's hot shoe and accessory port.

Another option is to purchase either of the available Olympus E-System macro lenses.

  • The Zuiko® Digital 35 mm f3.5 Macro has a 35 mm format equivalent focal length of 70 mm and focuses from 5.75” (146 mm) to infinity.
  • The Zuiko Digital ED 50 mm f2.0 Macro has a 35 mm format equivalent focal length of 100 mm and focuses from 9.45” (240 mm) to infinity.

A Four Thirds lens-to-Micro Four Thirds lens adapter is required to mount these macro lenses on this camera. Olympus makes two such adapters: the MMF-1 (silver) and the MMF-2 (black). To order an adapter from Olympus, please visit The Olympus Store.

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When my camera is connected to my TV, I don't see photos or movies. Why not?

Most televisions manufactured in the past decade provide a variety of input jacks so that multiple audio/visual devices (for example, a cable or satellite signal converter box, a movie player, a computer, a video game console and a digital camera) can display content on a shared screen. This eliminates the need to have separate screens for each device. Although many devices can be connected to the television simultaneously, the television screen usually can display content from only one device at a time. Therefore, when you connect your camera to the television, you must select the proper input source in order to view your images and movies.

The method for selecting input channels varies with brand and model, but in general the TV and/or its remote control will have a button for selecting a desired input signal. This button may be called "Source" or "Aux" or it may be a combination of various device labels, such as "TV/AV" or "TV/Cable/DVD." Pressing this button repeatedly will cycle through all of the input sources available to your television. Keep pressing the button until you see the camera menu on the TV screen. (The display on the camera LCD screen or electronic viewfinder will be blacked out.) If the camera menu does not appear, the signal is not reaching the television. Verify that the cable is properly connected.

If you have connected the camera to the television using the yellow and white AV cable bundled with the camera, look for source options named "AV," "Video," or "Aux." If your television has multiple sets of AV jacks, you may need to further choose between, for example, "Aux 1" and "Aux 2" or between "Front" and "Rear" jacks.

If you have connected the camera to a high-definition television (HDTV) using an optional HDMI cable so that you can view HD movies stored on your camera, look for a source option with "HDMI" in its name.

Please refer to the user documentation for your television or TV remote control for specific instructions and to verify that all source devices' cables have been connected to the proper input jacks.

Note: If the image quality on the screen appears to be distorted, the camera may be set to a video output format that is incompatible with the television. In the camera’s menu, check the VIDEO OUT setting. In North America, the setting should be NTSC. If it is set to PAL, change it to NTSC.

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Why can't I format or shoot images with my SD card?

The SD card body has a write protect switch. If the switch is set to the "LOCK" side, you will not be able to add, modify or delete data on the card. The card cannot be formatted. Return the switch to the unlocked position to enable writing.

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I have taken pictures using a number of memory cards. Now, when I try to download images into my computer, I see a message that says "Image file name_.jpg already exists. Replace it with the new file?" What's going on?

When saving image and movies, the E-PL3 creates folder and file names that include a numeric variable. The number in the file name changes with each shot so that the new image won’t overwrite a previous one saved in the same folder. The folder name may also change, depending on the configuration of the camera’s File Name function.

File Name has two settings that govern the naming of files and folders:

  • Auto – When a new card is inserted, the file name numbers are retained from the previous card. File numbering continues from the last number used on the previous card or, if the new card already contains files, from the number that follows the highest file number on the new card.
  • Reset - When a new card is inserted, the number in the storage folder’s name restarts at 100 and the file numbers restart at 0001. If a card containing images is inserted, the file numbers start at the number following the highest file number on the card. If the card has been formatted, the file names will start with 0001.

Reset can be useful for organizing files – for example, you may choose to use a separate memory card for each event or client. However, if you download all your files to the same folder on your computer and there is a file in the camera with the same name as a previously transferred file, the computer will see the duplicate file name and display the above message. In this scenario, the files with duplicate names will overwrite the original files when they are saved to the computer. The original images will no longer be viewable.

To avoid this costly mistake, save the new files to a different folder or manually rename the files before transferring.

Another way to avoid this problem is to change the first character of the file name using the Edit Filename function in the camera's Record/Erase menu. This has an added benefit of identifying which camera captured each image.

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I inserted a memory card that contains movies shot with another Olympus digital camera. The movies play, but there is no sound. Why?

The reason is that the audio sampling frequency in this camera is different from that in older models. Following the standard for the AVCHD format, this camera uses a sampling frequency of 48 kHz; previous Olympus models used a sampling frequency of 44.1 kHz.

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When I try to use the AE Bracketing function, why do I only get one shot instead of the number I selected?

The camera's Drive mode is set to  (Single Frame shooting). Configured this way, which is the default setting, the shutter button must be pressed for each bracketed frame. If the Drive mode is set to a sequential shooting option, then pressing and holding down the shutter button will cause the camera to shoot all the bracketed frames in one burst.

In the sequential shooting drive modes, images are captured at a predetermined frame rate for as long as the shutter button is held down. The frame rate is set in Custom C Menu (Custom Menu C). The "L" (low-speed) option can be set to 1, 2 or 3 frames per second (fps); the "H" (high-speed) option can be set to 4 or 5 fps.

To change the Drive mode, do the following:

  1. Press the [DriveSelf-Timer] (down button) on the arrow pad.
  2. Rotate the wheel controller to move the cursor and select or .
  3. Press the [OK] button to activate the selected Drive mode.

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The LCD screen displays "Internal camera temperature too high. Please wait for cooling before camera use." Then the camera shuts off. What causes this message to appear?

As a safety measure, the E-PL3 issues this message and shuts itself off whenever its internal temperature climbs too high. This may happen after frequent or continuous use of Live View or a shooting mode that captures many images in a short time, such as the Sequential Shooting drive mode. In these situations, the image sensor may not get a chance to cool off in between shots. The heat of the sensor raises the camera’s internal temperature. If it gets high enough, the camera must turn itself off. Once the camera has cooled for a few minutes, you will be able to resume shooting.

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