Olympus has launched a new flagship model to its Four Thirds Standard based on its E-System DSLR system.

The new model, called the E-3, promises to give photographers "a high-performance tool that is primed for any assignment and satisfies the most stringent demands for D-SLR photography" according to Olympus.

According to the camera company, the E-3 features the world’s fastest auto-focusing speeds thanks to an advanced AF system and new ZUIKO DIGITAL SWD (Supersonic Wave Drive) lenses as well as shutter speeds of up to 1/8000th sec. and 5fps sequential shooting (with a 19 image RAW buffer in burst mode).

The new model also incorporates a built-in image stabilisation system which is capable of compensating against the effects of camera shake to the equivalent of up to 5 EV steps.

The camera will feature a 10 Megapixel High Speed Live MOS sensor and Olympus’ TruePic III image processing engine as well as featuring Live View capabilities as found on previous models.

It will sport a 2.5-inch multi-angle HyperCrystal LCD on the rear.

The Olympus E-3 will be available from the end of November 2007. The body only will be available for approximately £1099, the kit with the 14-54mm lens for approximately £1499 and the kit with the new 12-60mm lens for approximately £1699.

A full list of specs are:

- World's fastest autofocus* for quick and precise image capture
- Fully-biaxial high-speed 11-point AF system
- 1/8000th sec. high-speed and high-precision shutter control, X: 1/250
- 5fps sequential shooting with 19 image RAW buffer

Image Quality
- High-performance built-in image stabiliser to stabilise all lenses
(up to 5 EV steps) with two modes
- High Speed 10 Megapixel Live MOS sensor
- Qualified image processing with new TruePic III
- High image quality with a variety of bright dedicated-to-digital ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses

Live View
- 2.5"/6.4cm multi-angle HyperCrystal LCD for greatest flexibility
- Real-time effect monitoring
- Pre-control over white balance and exposure compensation
- Preview of Shadow Adjustment Technology (SAT)
- 5x/7x/10x magnified view for precise focusing – especially for macro shots

- Large viewfinder with professional-level coverage of 100% and 1.15x magnification for accurate image control
- Spotless photography with most effective dust reduction system (Supersonic Wave Filter)
- Splashproof body and lens system
- Professional quality shutter life of 150K operations

Additional features of the Olympus E-3:
- Based on the Four Thirds Standard
- Ergonomic design of body, control buttons and GUI for easy operation
- AE/AF lock functionality for individual customisation
- Second display for Super Control Panel
- ISO 100-3200 for wide-ranging sensitivity
- Accurate white balance with two sensors
- Built-in flash (GN13) and wireless flash control directly from the camera body.
- Wireless flash control in up to 3 groups (separate press release available for Olympus FL-50R and FL-36R flash units)
- High-speed USB 2.0 interface
- High-speed data writing and lossless RAW compression for quick processing
- Simultaneous writing of RAW and JPEG
- Dual memory slot for CompactFlash and xD-Picture Cards (incl. support for UDMA High-Speed CF cards and Microdrive)