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.

Return to Top

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 you 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.

Return to Top

What are the main features of the E-P3?

The OLYMPUS PEN E-P3 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, metal body. No longer must you choose between powerful and portable; the E-P3 will make you re-think what a small camera can do.

The E-P3 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, OLED touch screen -- and efficiently packages them all into a miniature frame.

The E-P3's accessory port accommodates 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 now features continuous autofocus (C-AF) tracking and AF target registration. Now 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.

The E-P3 also boasts the world's fastest autofocus when used with the new M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II R MSC, M.Zuiko Digital 12mm f2.0, and the M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f1.8 lenses.

A striking new feature in the E-P3 is an OLED touch screen monitor. Rather than using the shutter button, you can tap the subject that you want in focus and the camera will autofocus on and shoot that subject. The touch screen feature can also be used with the Live Guide in the iAUTO mode and to scroll through photos during playback.

The E-P3 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-P3 also offers 10 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-P3’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.

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-P3 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-P3’s in-body image stabilization ensures you’ll have Olympus’ best anti-blur protection.

Return to Top

Where can I find the documentation for this camera?

This camera is packaged with both a paperbound concise version of the instruction manual, which presents an overview of basic operations, and a complete, detailed instruction manual, which describes all functions. The detailed manual is stored in Adobe PDF format on the CD-ROM .

Detailed documentation 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.

Return to Top

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 concise version of the instruction 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 concise version of the manual are explained in more detail in the full instruction manual. In cases such as these, the concise manual references the page(s) in the full 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.

Return to Top

Please describe the composition of the camera body.

The top cover and the bottom cover are made of aluminum, and the side shell is made of stainless-steel.

Return to Top

What types of memory cards can be used with the E-P3?

The E-P3 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-P3 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-P3, please click here.

Return to Top

Is the E-P3 body 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.

Return to Top

The E-P3 features Live View. What is it and how does it work?

Live View is the technology that allows you to use the OLED monitor 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 OLED. 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 OLED monitor. 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, first press the [magnifying glass icon] button. A green box, the zoom frame, will be displayed in the center of the OLED screen. Using the arrow buttons to move the zoom frame around the screen, select an area to enlarge. Press [magnifying glass icon] to enlarge the selected area, and press it again to return to the normal display. To return the zoom frame to the default position, press and hold the [OK] button.

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.

Return to Top

Why doesn't this camera have a built-in optical viewfinder?

This camera does not offer a traditional viewfinder because of its compact size. The VF-1,VF-2 and VF-3 are compatible accessory viewfinders. The VF-1 is an optical viewfinder intended for use with the M.Zuiko Digital 17 mm lens; it attaches to the camera's hot shoe. The VF-2 and VF-3 are electronic viewfinders that attach via the hot shoe and accessory port.

Return to Top

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 VF-2 or VF-3.

Return to Top

What are the advantages of lenses designed specifically for digital cameras?

Although the small size of the individual pixels in CCD, CMOS and Live MOS image sensors enables them to capture even more detail than film, the sensitivity of the sensor elements is highly directional. That is, they respond best to light that strikes the elements straight on. With lenses designed for use with film, the light rays passing through the periphery of the lens strike the image sensor at an angle, and this tends to degrade picture quality at the periphery of the image area. On the other hand, lenses developed specifically for digital cameras are designed to match the imaging characteristics of CCD, CMOS and Live MOS sensors, ensuring high image quality at both the center and the periphery of the frame.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

Is it necessary to clean or change the dust-collection components?

It is not necessary to clean or change the dust-collection components under normal use for several years. The dust-collection system can easily deal with the particles that are shaken off using the dust-reduction system.

If the camera is used constantly in severe conditions, Olympus recommends that the camera body be sent to an authorized Olympus repair service center for cleaning approximately at an interval of three to five years.

Return to Top

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-P3 offers several record modes, whose benefits are outlined below.

  • RAW: This is the highest-quality record mode available in the E-P3, 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 Viewer 2, OLYMPUS Master 2 and OLYMPUS Studio 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-P3. Those marked with an asterisk (*) are available by default; the others are selectable from the camera menu.

    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-P3 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 the Function 1 Button icon, Function 2 Button icon or Direct Movie Record button icon, button. This can be accomplished via the Button Function item in the Custom Menu B submenu.

Return to Top

Why isn't there a TIFF record mode like in my older Olympus digital cameras?

TIFF files are very large files that take longer to write to the memory card and fill up the memory card more rapidly than RAW or JPEG files. A TIFF file in the E-P3 would be about 36 MB. It is more efficient to shoot in RAW and save the RAW conversion as a TIFF file, using the OLYMPUS Master® 2, OLYMPUS Studio® 2, Olympus [ib] or Olympus Viewer 2 applications.

Return to Top

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

The E-P3 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.

Return to Top

What are Art Filters?

Art Filters enable the application of creatve effects in-camera while shooting. The Art Filters available on the E-P3 are:

  • Pop Art - Increases the saturation of bright colors
  • Soft Focus - Diffuses the image
  • Pale & Light Color - Lightens the color and reduces the saturation and contrast
  • Light Tone - Opens the shadows slightly
  • 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
  • Cross Process - Emulates the effect of color transparency film processed in color negative chemistry
  • Gentle Sepia - Shoots in a warm-toned sepia monochrome
  • 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.

Some Art Filters have options to modify the processing for variations on the appearance of the image at capture. When selecting an Art Filter, press the right arrow button to see the options available.

The E-P3 includes all of the variations and effects that have been released on other cameras in the Olympus PEN system. In addition, the following variations and effects are newly incorporated:


  • Pale & Light Color I (Bluish tone, same as previous models' "Pale & Light Color" Art Filter)
  • Pale & Light Color II (Reddish tone)


  • Starlight (Produces traces of light in a night scene)
  • White Edge (Defocuses the four corners of the image)

Return to Top

Is it possible to "undo" an Art Filter image after it is shot?

No. However, if the camera’s Record Mode is set to a RAW+JPEG mode, only the JPEG image will be processed by the camera using the selected Art Filter. The RAW image will not be processed by the camera other than to perform lossless compression. If you decide after taking the shot that you would prefer a different effect, you can configure the camera with different settings and then post-process the RAW image using the RAW Data Edit function in the Playback menu icon > Edit menu.

Return to Top

What is ART BKT?

ART BKT (Art Bracket) is an option that enables the camera to shoot an image and then automatically process the image to create additional images using a selection of enabled Art Filters and Picture Modes. The Art Filters and Picture Modes are disabled by default; each must be enabled individually in order to be included in the bracket processing.

To enable art bracketing, in the menu under Bracketing1, select ART BKT and then press the right arrow button. Set ART BKT to On and then press the right arrow button again. This will open a list of Art Filters and Picture Modes that can be selected for the post processing of the original image.

For example, you may have the camera set up to shoot in the Natural Picture Mode. If ART BKT is enabled you can have the option for the camera to shoot the original in the Natural Picture Mode, and by selecting a set of Art Filters and Picture Modes have the camera also process the original picture in Pop Art, Pin Hole, Diorama, Vivid and Monotone. The sub-settings of the Picture Modes (Sharpness, Saturation, Contrast, and Gradation) will be applied as they are configured in the Picture Mode menu.

1Bracketing is not available in the menu when the Mode Dial is set to iAUTO, ART, SCN and Movie.

Return to Top

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-P3 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-P3, 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 Master 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, OLYMPUS Master 2 or Olympus Viewer 2 software. The software may require an update to recognize the saved aspect ratio information.

Return to Top


MULTIPLE EXPOSURE and IMAGE OVERLAY are options built into the E-P3 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 sequence.)

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.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

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-P3 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-P3 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.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

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 330 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 297 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.

Return to Top

Has this model obtained the Color Universal Design certification?


Return to Top

What kinds of operations can be performed with the touch screen?

The operations available in recording mode include shutter release, AF display in an enlarged frame, selection/movement of AF points and operation of the Live Guide. Those operations available in playback mode include frame advance and image enlargement/reduction.

Return to Top

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. Use the Up and Down arrow buttons on the wheel controller to select (Setup Menu), and then press the Right Arrow button.
  3. Use the Up and Down arrow buttons to select MENU DISPLAY, and then press the Right Arrow button.
  4. Use the Up and Down arrow buttons to select Custom Menu icon MENU DISPLAY, and then press the Right Arrow button.
  5. Use the Up or Down arrow to select ON, and then press the [OK] button. The Custom Menu tab will appear in the menu.
  6. Press [MENU] to exit the camera menu.

Return to Top

How can I disable the touch screen?

At times, it may be advantageous to disable the touch screen operation. For example, when shooting with an optional optical or electronic viewfinder, it is possible that the touch screen may come into contact with the photographer's face, inadvertently activating camera operations.

To disable the touch screen operations, you must first enable the custom menu. After doing so, press the [MENU] button and then use the arrow buttons on the wheel controller to select the Camera Utility options menu.. From there, use the arrow buttons to select Touch Screen Settings, and then press the right arrow button. Use the Up or Down arrow buttons to select ON, and then press the [OK] button. When finished, press [MENU] to exit the camera menu.

Return to Top

What is the histogram, and how is it used?

The histogram gives photographers real-time feedback on the distribution of the light and dark tones in their images. It presents this information as a graph. The horizontal axis gives the tonal range -- that is, the degrees of brightness -- and the vertical axis shows the number of pixels of each tone in the image. The bars on the left side of the graph represent highlights; the bars on the right represent shadows.

If the bars on the extreme left of the graph are very tall relative to those in the rest of the graph, the image is overexposed and there may be a loss of detail in the brightest areas of the image. If the bars on the extreme right are very tall, the image is underexposed and there may be a loss of detail in the darkest areas of the image. A balanced image will have a relatively even distribution of light and dark pixels, although photographers may choose to intentionally over- or underexpose a shot for creative or dramatic effect.

Photographers may adjust settings such as Exposure Compensation and Shadow Adjustment prior to shooting or reshooting to ensure that the tonal range of the histogram reflects the mood they wish to capture.

The histogram is one of several shooting information options that can be displayed on the OLED screen. Press the [INFO] button to shuffle through the options. (The number of screens depends on how many information display options have been enabled from the customization menu.)

The camera can also show the histogram of a captured image in the Playback Mode if this option has been enabled from the custom menu.

To enable the histogram in Playback Mode, first enable the custom menu. Then press the [MENU] button, and scroll to the Custom D menu. Use the arrow keys to select Index/Info Settings, and then press [OK]. Select Playback Info, and then press [OK]. Select the histogram icon, and then press [OK]. Finally, select ON and press [OK]. The histogram is now enabled for Playback mode.

To use the histogram in Playback mode, place the camera in Playback mode and then press [INFO] until the histogram appears. Press [INFO] again to exit the histogram view.

Return to Top

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

The CONTROL SETTING 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 SETTING 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 move a slider up or down with the arrow keys, you can preview the effect of the change on the OLED screen 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 OLED screen. 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 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 OLED screen. Use the arrow buttons to select a setting on the grid and press the [OK] button 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 SETTING value to ON. The CONTROL SETTING 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 when the Mode Dial is set to iAUTO. Because iAUTO is a fully automated shooting mode, some settings cannot be adjusted when using LIVE GUIDE.

Return to Top

What is the purpose of the filters in the Monotone picture mode?

In black-and-white film photography, different colored filters are placed in front of the lens to modify the tones in the final image. These are called contrast filters. One popular effect created with contrast filters results in a landscape photograph with majestic clouds against an almost black sky. This effect is obtained by shooting through a deep red filter, which makes the blue in the sky darker.

A general rule of thumb regarding the use of contrast filters is: The filter makes its own color lighter in tone and its opposite color darker in tone.

The E-P3 is able to create these effects without using physical filters by modifying the performance of the red, green and blue color channels in the MONOTONE mode.

The functions of the B&W filters are described below:

  • RED - The red filter darkens blues and greens and lightens reds. In landscape photography, it produces dark skies that make clouds look more dramatic. The red filter can also cut through atmospheric haze to some degree. It can be used in portraiture to diminish skin blemishes on light-skinned people.
  • YELLOW - The yellow filter darkens the blue in the sky so clouds separate from the sky without producing the dramatic effect of the red filter. Many black and white photographers routinely keep a yellow filter on their camera because the effects appear more natural than those of other filters. In copy photography of old documents, the yellow filter brightens the look of yellowed paper.
  • ORANGE - The effect of the orange filter falls midway between that of the red and yellow filters.
  • GREEN - The green filter lightens plants in images. It will also make red subject matter darker and add contrast to sunsets.
  • NEUTRAL - No adjustments are applied. 

The B&W Filter effects can be previewed on the Live View screen before shooting.

Return to Top

Does this camera have an AF Senitivity function like my Olympus DSLR does?

AF sensitivity refers to the size of the AF sampling area – that is, the portion of the subject or AF sensor that the camera will use to secure autofocus.

Some Olympus E-System DSLRs offer an AF Sensitivity function. It is available when shooting with phase detection AF when composing shots via the viewfinder. The options are Normal and Small. The Normal option causes the camera to focus using an area slightly larger than an AF target; the Small option uses only the area within the AF target.

On this camera, you can produce a similar effect when composing shots on the Live View OLED screen by adjusting the magnification ratio of the Zoom Frame AF function. When zoom frame AF is enabled, the square AF frame that would normally be displayed on the screen to assist with focusing is replaced by a zoom frame. The zoom frame is smaller than the AF frame and has the aspect ratio of the sensor, not of the square AF frame. As the magnification factor increases, the zoom frame decreases in size. Only the data within the zoom frame is evaluated when the camera tries to acquire autofocus. Therefore, a smaller amount of image data will be evaluated by the camera when it tries to acquire autofocus.

This function can result in finer precision focusing than is possible using the camera’s default settings.

Return to Top

How can I adjust the size of the AF sampling area the camera uses?

This camera obtains autofocus by sampling a portion of the image data in the scene and searching within that area for the subject with the greatest contrast. This AF sampling area is indicated on the OLED screen by the AF frame (standard operation) or the zoom frame (when shooting using zoom frame AF).

The AF frame has fixed dimensions; however, the size of the zoom frame can be reduced by adjusting the magnification factor of the zoom frame AF function. As the magnification is increased, the size of the zoom frame decreases. Because the camera only considers the picture information within the zoom frame when it sets autofocus, the result is that the camera uses a smaller area of the scene to determine focus. This configuration makes the camera achieve autofocus with greater precision than when sampling using the AF frame.

To change the size of the AF sampling area, please do the following:

  1. Press the Zoom button once. The zoom frame is displayed on the OLED screen. The first time this function is used, the zoom frame is configured to use a magnification factor of 7x.
  2. Press the INFO button once. The magnification factor will be displayed in the bottom left corner of the LCD screen.
  3. Press the Up or Down buttons on the circular keypad to select a magnification factor. The options are 5x, 7x, 10x and 14x. As the magnification factor increases, the zoom frame shrinks. Once the zoom frame reaches the desired size, press the [OK] button to register the setting. The area within the zoom frame becomes the new AF sampling area. Only the image data within the zoom frame will be considered when the camera sets autofocus.

The zoom frame can be positioned anywhere within the scene by using the arrow buttons on the keypad. When the zoom frame is displayed, pressing the zoom button will enlarge the image data contained within the zoom frame until it fills the screen. Pressing the zoom button again will end the zoom AF display, and the zoom frame will again be visible on the screen. Note that the zoom frame AF function only magnifies the image on the screen; it has no effect on the resulting captured image.

When the camera is powered down, the size of the zoom frame and its accompanying magnification factor remain registered. Therefore, if you prefer to shoot with a minimal AF sampling area, you may register a smaller zoom frame and it will be set when you next turn on the camera.

Return to Top

Does the E-P3 have a programmable function button?

Actually, there are five buttons on the E-P3 that can be programmed with custom functions. The number and assortment of functions that can be allocated varies depending on the button and the current shooting mode.

The Fn1, Fn1 and Movie Direct Record buttons can be programmed with the most options. The Flash (Right arrow) and DriveSelf-Timer (Down arrow) on the arrow pad can also be assigned custom functions, although the options are more limited.

To assign a function to a custom button, do the following:

  1. Press the [MENU] button.
  2. Press the down arrow button on the arrow pad three times, and then press the right arrow button.
  3. Using the arrow pad, select Custom Menu B BUTTON/DIAL, and then press the right arrow button.
  4. Using the arrow pad, select Button Function, and then press the right arrow button.
  5. Using the arrow pad, select the button that you wish to program and then press the right arrow button again to display the options.
  6. Scroll through the options using the up and down arrow buttons.
  7. When you arrive at the desired selection, press the [OK] button to register the function option.

The following is a list and brief description of the functions that are available to be assigned:

  • Off - This option disables function allocation.
  • Exposure Compensation (Exposure compensation) - Rotate the main dial or subdial while pressing and holding down the assigned button to rapidly adjust the exposure value.
  • AEL/AFL - Press the assigned button to lock focus and exposure.
  • Movie Direct Record REC (Movie recording) - Press to record a movie, and press again to stop. If movie recording is not currently assigned to a button, movies can be recorded by turning the mode dial to and pressing the shutter button.
  • Preview (electronic) - This setting is used to preview the depth-of-field (the distance behind and in front of the focus point that appears to be in focus) on the Live View screen. If Preview is assigned to a custom function button, press and hold down that button to stop down the aperture to the selected f-stop.
  • (One-Touch White Balance) – When this function is registered to a  custom function button, the optimum white balance for shooting conditions can be saved by photographing a white piece of paper under a light source that will be used in your shot. While holding down the custom function button, press the shutter button once. Press the [OK] button to register the white balance value. The setting is retained until a new custom white balance is registered by repeating the procedure.
  •  - Pressing the assigned button selects the registered AF home position previously saved using the AF Set Home icon Set Home function. Pressing the button again selects the original AF target mode. (If the camera is turned off when a custom home position is selected, the home position will be reset to the default.)
  • MF - Press the assigned button to select the MF (Manual Focus) mode. Press the button again to restore the previously selected AF mode.
  • RAW Record Mode - Press the assigned button to switch the record mode from a JPEG mode to its corresponding JPEG+RAW mode. Press it again to switch back. To select a different record mode, turn the Main Dial while holding down the assigned button.
  • Test Picture - This option enables a photographer to shoot a picture and see it on the monitor without saving it to the memory card. This can be useful in a studio situation where it would be desirable to shoot setup tests and not use up space on a memory card. Simply hold down the assigned button while shooting.
  • Myset 1-4 - If a photographer has registered special settings using the MySet options, this selection will allow the photographer to apply the settings without having to go back into the menu. Simply hold down the assigned button and shoot.
  • Backlit LCD - Press the assigned button to turn the OLED screen off. This function is useful when using an optional viewfinder. Press the button again to turn the monitor back on.
  • I.S. Mode - Press the assigned button to adjust image stabilization settings.
  • Live Guide - Press the assigned button to display the Live Guide interface.
  • Digital Tele-converter - Press the button to digitally zoom into the image by a factor of 2x.

The following table details which of the assignable functions can be allocated to each of the customizable function buttons.

Function Fn1 Fn1 Movie Direct Record Flash DriveSelf-Timer
Off Check Check Check    
AEL/AFL Check   Check    
Preview Check Check Check    
Check   Check    
Check Check Check    
MF Check Check Check    
RAW Record Mode Check Check Check    
Test Picture Check   Check    
Myset (1, 2, 3, 4) Check   Check    
Backlit LCD Check Check Check    
IS Mode   Check      
Live Guide Check Check Check    
Digital Tele-converter Check Check Check    
Exposure Compensation   Check   Check Check
Movie Direct Record REC Check Check Check    
ISO       Check Check
WB       Check Check
Main Dial Lock Lock       Check Check
DriveSelf-Timer         Check

Return to Top

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 1000 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 using a tripod, set IMAGE STABILIZER to OFF.
  • 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.

Return to Top

How do I update the firmware in the E-P3 body and Micro Four Thirds lenses?

For complete instructions, please download this file.

Return to Top

Can I use the E-P3 to update the firmware of any Micro Four Thirds system-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.

Return to Top

Sometimes when I turn off the camera I feel a slight vibration and hear a noise. Why is that?

When the camera is powered down, slight vibration and noise occur as the Image Stabilizer motor resets the image sensor to its default position. The camera takes this action when shooting with the Image Stabilizer function set to I.S. 1, I.S. 2 or I.S. 3. In these modes, the camera moves the sensor during shooting in order to counter the effects of camera shake. When the power is turned off, the camera moves the sensor back into the default position.

When Image Stabilizer is set to Off, the sensor does not move during shooting and so does not need to be reset. However, if shooting with a zoom lens, some noise may still be heard when the camera is powered off as the lens resets its focus to infinity.

If both Image Stabilizer and Reset Lens are set to Off, the camera will power down in silence.

Return to Top

I have a lens from another manufacturer that has built-in optical image stabilization. Will I get more image stabilization if I turn on the image stabilization function 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 may not be able to arrive at a stabilized image.

Return to Top

What are the P, A, S and M modes and how are they used?

The P, A, S and M modes are exposure modes. These exposure modes allow the photographer creative flexibility by enabling more control over shutter speed and f-stop settings while shooting. The exposure modes enable total access to the menu options, unlike the AUTO and Scene exposure modes found in Olympus consumer DSLRs. They are also the modes required for use with E-System flash accessories.

Briefly, the exposure modes and their applications are as follows:

  • P (Program/Program Shift shooting) – This is an automatic exposure mode that accepts input from the photographer. It is useful when you require more creative control. When powered on with this mode selected, the camera displays P in the lower left corner of the screen.

    In P mode, the exposure is set by the camera. However, holding down the Exposure Compensation button while rotating either dial allows the photographer to adjust the exposure selected by the camera.

    For even greater control, rotate the main dial or subdial until the P changes to Ps. This is the Program Shift mode. Program Shift permits the selection of alternate aperture and shutter speed combinations while maintaining the exposure selected by the camera. If a higher shutter speed is selected, a wider aperture will be set. If a slower shutter speed is selected, a smaller aperture will be set. To cancel Program Shift, rotate the dial in the opposite direction until Ps is no longer displayed. Program Shift is not available when using the flash.

  • A (Aperture Priority shooting) – This mode allows the aperture to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over depth-of-field, that is, the area in front of or behind the subject that appears to be in focus. This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any aperture in the range of the lens by rotating the main dial or sub dial. The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the shutter speed automatically as the f-stops are changed. If the shutter speed/aperture combination will result in under- or overexposure, the exposure values will blink on the monitor display and on the Super Control Panel (if enabled).

  • S (Shutter Priority shooting) – This mode allows the shutter speed to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over stopping action or reducing camera shake. This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any shutter speed in the range of the camera body by using the main dial or sub dial. The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the aperture automatically as the shutter speed is changed. If the shutter speed/aperture combination will result in under- or overexposure, the exposure values will blink on the monitor display and on the Super Control Panel (if enabled).

  • M (Manual shooting) – This mode allows the photographer to set the shutter speed and aperture independently. Program Shift is not applied in this mode. Manual mode is invaluable to photographers using studio electronic flash systems and manual hot shoe electronic flashes because it allows the user to set the correct sync speed for flash and set an f-stop determined by a flash meter reading or testing. It also allows for use in exotic photographic situations such as scientific and engineering photography beyond the parameters of the camera firmware. In the Manual shooting mode the shutter speed is set using the main dial and the aperture is set using the sub dial.

Return to Top

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

The E-P3 features an OLED touch-screen. When you tap on a point on the screen, the camera will focus on that point and shoot automatically, so you can literally tap the subject, whereever it is located in the scene, and the camera will focus on the subject and shoot.

If you have disabled the touch-screen interface, you can use the Focus Lock function 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 down to shoot the picture.

Return to Top

Why doesn't the camera focus when I turn the 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.

Return to Top

Is there a way to shoot if I don't want to wait for an autofocus lock or the flash to recycle?

Normally, the camera will not shoot while autofocus is operating or the flash is charging. However, situations may arise where the photographer would want to override the camera and force it to fire under marginal shooting conditions when the camera may not be ready to shoot.

The Shutter Release Priority function will permit the camera to shoot even though normal shooting requirements are not met. The function is found in the menu under RELEASE (Custom Menu C). Two options are available:

  • RLS PRORITY S: Set to ON to enable the camera to fire immediately, without waiting for focus confirmation, in the S+AF autofocus mode.
  • RLS PRIORITY C: Set to OFF to force the camera to secure focus before firing in the C+AF autofocus mode.

Be advised that overriding the camera creates special considerations. Shooting before the flash has recycled may cause images to be underexposed if ambient light is insufficient to illuminate the subject. Shooting before autofocus has locked may result in blurry images, particularly when the subject is in motion. To compensate for the loss of autofocus, increase the depth of field by shooting with the smallest aperture that is practical for acquiring the shot.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

How do I use the different metering modes?

The E-P3 provides several metering options that allow the photographer to have greater creative control over exposure.  The metering modes can be set via the Live Control screen, the Super Control Panel or the camera menu.

Descriptions and applications of the metering modes are detailed below:

Digital ESP metering is recommended for general use.  The E-P3 measures and calculates the light differences in 324 separate areas of the image.
Center Weighted Averaging metering provides average metering between the subject and the background lighting, placing more weight on the center of the frame. Use this mode to prevent the light level of the background from affecting the exposure value of the main subject.
Spot metering meters an area of about 2% of the frame around the center AF frame. This mode can be used to meter a backlit subject. Spot metering must be used very carefully because the brightness of the subject area that the metering spot is centered on can dramatically influence the final exposure.
HI Spot metering performs the same as Spot metering but compensates toward overexposure, allowing accurate white reproduction. For example: with normal Spot metering, snow would be captured as grey rather than white. The HI Spot Metering compensates so that the snow would appear whiter in the exposure.
SH Spot metering is the inverse of HI Spot metering and compensates toward underexposure to keep dark areas from exposing lighter toward grayness. An example would be photographing a black cat on a light background. SH Spot metering would underexpose the cat so that it would expose as black rather than gray.

Return to Top

What is the purpose of Exposure Compensation?

Metering systems in cameras measure light but do not have a way of determining what the subject matter is, so the exposure decisions the metering system makes may not always be appropriate for the subject matter. This phenomenon is called subject failure. As with Spot metering, the human touch may be required to arrive at correct exposures. Exposure Compensation allows the photographer to set up the camera to under- or overexpose in specific situations.

The Exposure Compensation scale is displayed on the monitor.

It is important to set the compensation back to 0 before shooting subjects in other conditions so the subjects will be properly exposed. When the Exposure Compensation is set to 0, the scale is not displayed on the monitor.

Return to Top

How do I use Tone Control?

In imaging post-processing software, there is often a feature called Tone Control or Tonal Curves that 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-P3 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 (up arrow) button and then the [INFO] button. A new icon will appear in the lower right quadrant of the screen. The minus and plus values are selected using the left and right arrows on the arrow pad. 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.

Return to Top

Which ISO should I choose for my shot?

Think of 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 – at 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.

Return to Top

How does this camera combat 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. This camera uses a sensor that dramatically decreases noise. In addition, it combats noise via 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 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.

Return to Top

I shot in RAW format and I need a JPEG image, but I'm away from my computer. How can I convert RAW files to JPEG in the field?

This camera has a RAW editor in the camera menu that allows you to not only convert the RAW file to a chosen JPEG record mode, but also to apply contrast, sharpness, saturation, gradation and white balance adjustments to the converted JPEG image.

If you wish to configure the camera's JPEG settings, you must do so before editing the RAW file. The following steps describe how to adjust the settings.

  1. Press the [MENU] button. The  tab is selected by default. Press the [flash/right arrow] button to enter its submenu.
  2. If you wish to change the record mode, use the arrow pad to select (Record Mode), and then press [flash/right arrow] to enter its submenu. With Still Picture selected, press [flash/right arrow] again. Use the arrow pad to select a different recording mode, and then press the [OK] button to activate it.

    Remember that the options in this menu are subject to the Set and Pixel Count settings, located in the Custom Menu G menu. Configuring these settings will offer additional options that can be applied to the RAW image, if desired.

    When you are ready to proceed, press [MENU] twice to return to the menu.
  3. If you wish to change the picture mode, use the arrow pad to select PICTURE MODE, and then press [flash/right arrow] again. Select the desired picture mode and, if desired, press [flash/right arrow] once more to edit the constrast, sharpness, saturation and/or gradation settings for that picture mode. Use the arrow pad to select an attribute, press [flash/right arrow] and then use the arrow pad to modify the setting. Press [OK] to accept the new setting.

    When you are finished, gently press the shutter button halfway to return to the shooting mode.
  4. If you wish to edit the white balance settings, you may do so using whichever method is most convenient for you. You may manually set the white balance setting using the WB option in the Custom Menu G menu; you may access the same function using the shortcut in the Live Control view (if enabled) or the Super Control Panel (if enabled); or you can assign the WB function to a customizable function button (Flash or DriveSelf-Timer) and then press that button. When you are ready to proceed, press the shutter button halfway to return to the shooting mode.

Once you are satisfied with the camera's JPEG settings, you are ready to edit the RAW file. To do so, do the following:

  1. In the playback mode, select the RAW image to be edited.
  2. Press the [MENU] button. Use the arrow pad to select Playback, and then press [OK]. Use the arrow pad to select EDIT, and then press Flash. The RAW image to be edited will be displayed.
  3. Press [OK].
  4. On the RAW DATA EDIT screen, use the arrow pad to select YES and then press OK. The camera will save a JPEG copy of the RAW image that reflects the current camera settings. The RAW image will remain unchanged.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

Can this camera be used for time-lapse photography?

This camera's Anti-shock function 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.

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. For example, when shooting with a Toshiba SDHC UHS-I memory card (R95-W80, Premiugate series, speed class 10, 8GB), the camera can capture 17 sequential frames in the RAW record mode or up to the card capacity in the LN (Large size, Normal compression) JPEG record mode.

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.

Return to Top

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 -- that is, the same physical shape -- as SD cards, although they can store much more data - up to 32 GB for SDHC and from 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-P3 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-P3.

Return to Top

What is the PP-1 PENPAL?

The PENPAL (PP-1) is a Bluetooth® standard transmitter/receiver/storage device that mounts in the hot shoe and Accessory Port 2 of the E-P3 and certain other Olympus PEN digital cameras. It can wirelessly interface with smart phones, laptop computers, or even another compatible PEN camera. 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 or to purchase the PENPAL, please click here.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

What is the difference between the MMF-1 and MMF-2 Four Thirds to Micro Four Thirds lens adapters?

The MMF-1 and MMF-2 Four Thirds-to-Micro Four Thirds lens adapters differ in weight and color.

While retaining the function and performance of its predecessor, the MMF-2 attained a lighter weight by re-examining the inner structure of the adapter. The MMF-2 also provides a new color option that fits the design of Four Thirds lenses and PEN bodies.

The following table illustrates the differences between the MMF-1 and the MMF-2:

Color Weight
MMF-1 Silver 83 g
MMF-2 Black 41 g

Return to Top

Which lenses are compatible with the MMF-1 and MMF-2 lens 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

Return to Top

Can I use my Olympus OM Series 35mm lenses on the E-P3?

Olympus OM-series lenses can be mounted on the E-P3 with the optional MF-2 OM Adapter. OM-series lenses are unable to communicate with the firmware in the camera's body. Therefore, their use in this fashion has the following restrictions:

  • Autofocus is not available.
  • OM- series autofocus lenses cannot be manually focused.
  • Stop-down metering is used.
  • Spot metering does not work properly.
  • Although it is possible to use the A (Aperture priority AE) shooting mode in auto exposure, the aperture display is not available.
  • The aperture display in the M (Manual) shooting mode is not available.
  • In P (Program Auto) or S (Shutter Speed priority) shooting mode, the shutter releases, but the auto exposure control does not work.
  • The distance scale on the OM-series lens may not indicate the actual distance. Use the Live View screen (or optional viewfinder VF-1) for focusing.

Because the OM-series lenses were designed for film rather than for use with a digital sensor, the image quality may not equal that produced by M.Zuiko® Digital and Zuiko® Digital lenses.

To purchase the MF-2 OM Adapter (Item #260051) from The Olympus Store, click here.

Return to Top

Can I use my Olympus FL-40 flash with the E-P3?

The Olympus FL-40 external flash is not compatible with the E-P3.

Return to Top

I have a third-party electronic flash. Can I use it with my OLYMPUS PEN digital camera?

Flash units that are not specifically listed by Olympus as compatible with this camera may pose problems if used on this camera.

Thyristor-type flash units can be used with the E-P3’s Manual shooting mode as long as the sync voltage does not exceed 24 VDC (volts of direct current). Higher voltages may potentially damage the camera.

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.

Return to Top

Can I use a flash with a shutter sync speed higher than 1/180 of a second?

The optional FL-36, FL-36R, FL-50 and FL-50R flash units have a Super FP Flash mode which enables flash sync at shutter speeds higher than 1/180th 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.

Return to Top

Can I use the E-P3 with studio flash equipment?

The E-P3 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-P3 sync circuitry.

Studio flash equipment should be connected to the E-P3 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.

Return to Top

Can I use an accessory microphone instead of the built-in microphone when shooting videos?

The hotshoe and accessory port of the E-P3 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 3.5 mm stereo jack that can accept other microphones with 3.5 mm plugs or receivers for wireless microphones that have a 3.5 mm stereo plug.

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

Return to Top

Is there a macro lighting accessory for the E-P3?

The Macro Arm Light (MAL-1) mounts into the hot shoe and accessory port of the E-P3 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 a the sole light source or as fill light.

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

Return to Top

I had an Olympus digital camera that accepted wide angle and telephoto accessory lenses. Are there any similar accessory lenses for the E-P3?

Olympus released three optional lens attachments with the advent of the E-P3 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.

Return to Top

How many images can be shot on a single charge of the BLS-1 lithium ion battery?

Although the number of images that can be captured depends upon the shooting conditions and the camera functions used, a fully-charged BLS-1 battery should take approximately 330 images before it needs to be recharged.

Return to Top

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

The BCS-1 Battery Charger for the E-P3 is rated at 100-240 VAC (volts of alternating current) 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.

Return to Top

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. 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.

Return to Top

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 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 (also a red circle) 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.

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.

Return to Top

When I'm 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.

Return to Top

When I enabled tracking AF and touched the target image, the tracking did not start. What must I do?

You must press the shutter button halfway down to secure focus on the subject when AF tracking is enabled. The camera will then continue to track and focus on the subject for as long as the shutter button is held in this position. Press the shutter button all the way down to take the picture.

Return to Top

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 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.

Return to Top

When I put a formatted card in my E-P3, the display showing the number of potential RAW images doesn't appear to be accurate. Why not?

When the E-P3 writes a RAW image file, it performs complex mathematical calculations to convert it to binary data to be saved and later retrieved. Since images are unique, each calculation is unique.

A RAW file recorded by the E-P3 will be approximately 14 megabytes, but individual file sizes will vary. For example, a winter landscape consisting predominantly of white snow and blue sky will produce a smaller data file than a scene such as Times Square at night. The richness of the latter scene will result in a larger file.

When the camera polls a formatted SD card, it is looking at a blank slate. It has yet to do the math for any images and is programmed to start out with a conservative capacity estimate. As the camera shoots more images, it recalculates the capacity as it “learns” about the image files it is creating. As the card fills up, the estimated capacity of RAW files on the display will become more accurate.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

I'm not able to apply the Starlight effect to my movies. Why not?

Unfortunately, because the Starlight effect takes time to process, it is not possible to incorporate the effect into an image moving in real time.

Return to Top

I have taken pictures using several different memory cards. Now, when I try to download images onto my computer, I see a message that says, " Image filename.jpeg already exists. Replace it with the new file?" What's going on?

When saving image and movies, the E-P3 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.

Return to Top

When my images are displayed in the E-P3's histogram screen during playback, why are there red and blue blinking areas in the thumbnail image?

What you are seeing are the highlight and shadow display option in the histogram screen. The blinking red regions identify areas in the image that have no detail due to overexposure and the blinking blue regions identify areas in the image that have no detail due to underexposure

The blinking display doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the camera. Like film cameras, digicams have a limited brightness range within which they can capture images. If the camera metering is weighted toward the highlights, there will be a lack of shadow detail. If the camera metering is weighted toward the shadows, there will be a lack of highlight detail. In bright sunshine, a picture may have areas lacking both highlight and shadow detail. On a grey, cloudy day, there may be detail throughout the image. The purpose of the blinking areas is to give the photographer feedback about the exposures. If necessary, the photographer can apply options such as AE Bracketing or Exposure Compensation to reshoot the image.

The histogram view is one of six Playback display options. Pressing [INFO] repeatedly cycles through the views, each of which displays different information about the selected image. Not all of the display options are enabled by default. To enable additional options, use the playback Info function in the Custom menu under Index / Playback/Info Settings.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

I inserted a memory card that contains movies I shot with another Olympus 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.

Return to Top

When I try to use the AE Bracketing function, why do I only get one frame rather than 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 the  (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 Sequential Shooting drive mode, images are captured at a rate of about three per second for as long as the shutter button is held down.

To change the Drive mode, do the following:

  1. Press the [DriveSelf-Timer] (down button) on the arrow pad.
  2. Using the Main Dial to move the cursor, select either or .
  3. Press the [OK] button to activate the selected Drive mode.

Return to Top

The LCD screen displays "Internal camera temperature is 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-P3 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.

Return to Top
  • Shop the Olympus Store Lifeproof.