Olympus has announced three new Micro FourThirds cameras. Set to go onsale in the UK from August, the 12.3Mp Olympus PEN E-P3 will be the flagship model and will retail for £799 with a 14-42mm lens kit.

The Micro FourThirds camera has 35 separate focal points, 10 art filters, a range of manual and automatic scene and focusing modes and claims the fastest autofocus speed of any interchangeable lens camera. Olympus credits the TruePic VI image engine with the lightning-fast focusing. The Olympus PEN E-P3 has a 3in OLED screen on which images can be framed and reviewed. An electronic viewfinder is available as an optional extra.

A Live Guide helps with composition. This feature is available across all settings on the camera including the 1080i video capture mode. There is a choice of capture settings too, from 30fps and 60fps to AVCHD rather than Mpeg4.

Next in the Olympus PEN line-up is the PEN E-PL3. Also known as a ‘PEN Lite’, the EPL-3 has the same retro styling as the other models in the PEN range but is aimed at less experienced photographers. It has a built-in electronic viewfinder, an easy shooting mode and a tiltable 3in display. As with the E-P3, it is a 12.3Mp camera. Pop-up tips appear onscreen to help the user get the best possible shots. As with its bigger sibling, the E-PL3 has a Live Guide, an AVCHD and Mpeg4 video capture mode and supports RAW image capture. Olympus includes six art filters to the E-P3’s 10 on this model. Pricing for the E-PL3, set for sale from August, has yet to be announced.

Finally, there’s a new chassis to consider. Olympus has designed a PEN Mini, known as the E-PM1. For details of the PEN E-PM1, click here

Olympus first launched a Micro FourThirds camera, the E-P1, in June 2009. The mirrorless technology was developed in tandem with Panasonic, which also makes Micro FourThirds cameras.