4/3 Rumors has a full leak of the new Olympus E-P3, and wow. I'm absolutely amazed. Amazed at how boring the announcement finally is.
We now have confirmation that the sensor in the new E-P3 and, assumingly, E-PL3 is just the old 12MP sensor we've come to know and tolerate. That means no boost in dynamic range or color depth, and a microscopic, at best, decrease in noise.
The ONLY new thing is the autofocus trick which uses infrared detector sites at the focus points on the sensor. This means that you will only gain an autofocus performance gain with new lenses, and any gain will be eliminated if your use a filter on the front of your lens.
I see this autofocus trick as nothing more than a gimmick, just like Fuji tried with their stupid S-Series of digital cameras. Hey Olympus, here's an idea, instead of throwing crappy gimmicks at us, use a current-generation sensor, bump up the size of the buffer, stop relying on massaged JPEG processing to fake better noise results, make each one of your camera models more than slightly different from the others. Or how about a pro-level body? More manual controls? An extended battery? Thethering? Get rid of the ridiculous flash and put a fucking viewfinder there.
Oh right. I forgot. Olympus has big plans to release this as their "pro" camera and charge more than anyone is willing to pay. Man. Canon and Nikon are shaking in their boots.
The most important thing about any system is its lenses. Where is the 12-60mm? Where is a good ultra-wide angle? Where's the 200mm that doesn't suck? Think about it. Would you rather spend $800 on this crappy new body, or spend the money on lenses.
If you're already in the system, this body has absolutely nothing to tempt you away from your current camera. If you're new to the system, the newest camera is the best, so it's a no-brainer. If you're thinking about changing systems, this does nothing to tempt anyone from anything. And if this is Olympus' plan for the next year, their market share slide is only going to get uglier.