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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:00 am 
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Hi everyone, Olympus has officially announced the E-P2, with a smart black finish.

UPDATE! See our Olympus E-P2 review!

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As rumoured, there's an accessory port, and the first accessory is an electronic viewfinder. An external microphone adapter is also expected soon. There's also two new art filters, but beyond these and the accessory port, it's essentially based on the E-P1. Anyone hoping for a higher resolution screen will be disappointed, and we won't know if the AF speed is any quicker until testing a final production sample.

Speaking of which, the E-P2 should be available from January 2010.

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There's also two new lenses which should work on any Micro Four Thirds body, due during the first half of 2010.

M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 super wide-angle zoom lens

M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 high-power telephoto zoom lens

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The UK press release is below:

London, 5 November 2009 – Welcome back to the PEN story and the next chapter: “Back to Black”. This latest retro-chic digital Olympus PEN builds on EISA’s 2009/2010 “Best Camera of the Year”, an icon of style and quality. To enrich photographic and video potential, the new E-P2 includes a port for an electronic viewfinder or external microphones. Two additional Art Filters combine with the new i-Enhance function for even more creativity and image enhancement.

Cloaked in classic black, the hybrid photo and HD movie Olympus PEN boldly brings fun and simplicity back to SLR quality. It’s the next exciting chapter in a photographic story that is set to run and run. Available from January 2010 for around £850* including the electronic viewfinder.

Adding to the range of compatible optics, two new Micro Four Thirds lenses are due in the first half of 2010: the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 (18-36mm*) super wide-angle zoom and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 (28-300mm*) high-power telephoto zoom. Prices to be confirmed.

Building on brilliance

The new generation of PEN (E-P2) boasts an enviable pedigree. It comes hot on the heels of Olympus’ award-winning first Micro Four Thirds System camera inspired by the revolutionary Maitani design of the original PEN series. This second digital model takes usability and functionality even further by with diverse fresh features:

• Accessory port for accessories like viewfinder and microphones
• Two additional Art Filters (Diorama and Cross Process)
• Colour-boosting i-Enhance function
• AF tracking
• Remote slideshow control (via HDMI)
• HD movies in M-mode

Experience true framing freedom

A dedicated accessory port on the back of the camera extends flexibility. The first compatible device, an electronic viewfinder is included with the E-P2. Enjoy bright, high-resolution depictions under all conditions and a 100% field of view. Tiltable by up to 90°, reminiscent of medium format camera viewfinders it also promotes shooting from unique perspectives. Viewing picture information and adjustments as you go is a given. More accessory port attachments starting with an external microphone adapter for a variety of microphones will also follow soon.

Click for creativity

Inspiring creativity, two new Art Filters join the six already introduced by the E-P1. Use Diorama to create the illusion of a model world or flip colours around with Cross Process, both available for use in still or HD movie mode. Meanwhile, the new i-Enhance function boosts specified colours within the frame to add even more punch to the image if you so desire. Like its predecessor, the E-P2 offers the choice of aspect ratios and multiple exposures. Also remaining on board is the level gauge, i-Auto mode, and the flattering e-Portrait option.

AF tracking is added making the sharp capture of moving subjects easier than ever and when it’s time to take a look at the results, just kick back and relax as high-definition slideshows and HD movies can be viewed using the remote of a TV set connected to the camera via HDMI.

A legacy of chic styling and SLR quality continues

The latest PEN inherits the inimitable looks and ultra-compact form of its critically-acclaimed sister model in addition to all its outstanding technologies. Photographers benefit from a defined high-end standard based on the Micro Four Thirds System that guarantees SLR quality results. The large pool of compatible interchangeable lenses provides tremendous versatility – from the ultra-slimline M.ZUIKO DIGITAL Pancake to the complete Four Thirds lens line-up (with adapter). Attachment of an external flash unit, such as the retro-styled Olympus FL-14, extends the possibilities even more.

Reliably crisp images are secured through the 12.3 Megapixel Live MOS sensor combined with a dust reduction system and high-performance in-camera image stabilisation giving protection against shake to 4 EV. And at the core of this PEN is the guarantor for fast, top-quality image processing, even at up to ISO 6400: the state-of-the-art TruePic V engine. The Live Control GUI simplifies operation while the effect of functions can be monitored in real time – on both the 7.6cm/3.0” HyperCrystal LCD and the 1,440,000 dot electronic viewfinder.

HD movie magic

Capable of recording AVI format movies in 30fps 1280x720p HD resolution and boasting immaculate PCM sound quality, the PEN also lets users discover the magic of movie making. Seven minutes of footage can be recorded in a single shot. Furthermore, many still photography functions and options; including the application of Art Filters, depth of field, angle of view and AF tracking, remain operational in movie mode. Another new perk is the ability to film using the M-mode, good news for those with a creative touch. And because shooting is possible using any attached lens, a whole new world of framing potential emerges. Users can also capture high resolution still shots while filming at the touch of a button.

The Olympus E-P2 builds on its coveted predecessor’s wealth of high-performance temptations. “With the first PEN, many journalists and experts already told us that we had defined a totally new camera segment. Adding superb new features like an accessory port, viewfinder and new Art Filters has made an already incredible camera even better” explains Mark Thackara, National Marketing Manager at Olympus UK. This retro-cool model is finished in classic black and will become available from January 2010 at a price of £849 including the electronic viewfinder. An optional, matching black leather body jacket will also be on offer.

Pricing:
Full UK pricing on all kits is yet to be confirmed. The E-P2 14-42 Zoom kit with viewfinder included is expected to have an RRP of £849. This and the other kit prices will be confirmed nearer the availability date.

The Olympus E-P2 – main features:

Small & stylish design
• Extremely small and light-weight Micro Four Thirds System
• Stylish design with black metal finish
• Accessory port to clip-on electronic viewfinder and microphone adapter

SLR image quality
• 12.3 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
• TruePic V image processor
• Built-in IS with max. 4 EV steps efficiency
• Adapter for all ZUIKO DIGITAL & OM lenses

Easy operation
• Live Control GUI for intuitive handling & real-time views of effects
• Automatic recognition of common scenes possible with i-Auto
• i-Enhance function to boost colours
• Clear skin with e-Portrait
• AF Tracking
• Two dials for easy handling
• Face Detection and Shadow Adjustment Technology
• 20 shooting modes (5 exposure, i-Auto, 14 scene modes)

Creativity & HD Movie
• HD Movie with stereo sound featuring depth of field and Art Filters now available in M-mode
• 8 Art Filters, Multi-Aspect ratios
• Multi Exposure function
• Art Filters can be applied to previously taken RAW images in the camera and with Olympus software
• Enhanced creativity with special lenses e.g. fisheye is available via Four Thirds lens adapter

Additional features of the Olympus E-P2:
• Based on the Micro Four Thirds Standard
• HDMI interface
• Linear PCM sound recording
• Level gauge
• Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface
• 3fps with sequential shooting (max. 10 in RAW mode)
• ISO 100-6400
• Bracketing functions for white balance and exposure
• Supersonic Wave Filter dust reduction system
• Wide dynamic range in highly lit areas
• Simultaneous writing of RAW and JPEG
• SD memory card slot (SDHC compatible)
• High-speed data writing and lossless RAW compression
• 7.6cm/3.0” HyperCrystal LCD
• AE/AF lock functionality
• Auto gradation adjustment to prevent blown highlights and
blocked-in shadows
• Remote release possible via the optional remote cable RM-UC1

New accessories:
• M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 super wide-angle zoom lens (first half of 2010)
• M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 high-power telephoto zoom lens (first half of 2010)
• Leather strap in black
• Leather body jacket in black


Last edited by Gordon Laing on Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:04 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:03 am 
Hmmm ... no mention of faster auto focus ... the pessimist in me leads me to conclude that it won't be at least as fast as the Panny m4/3's. Aargh.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:48 am 
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Wow, "Chapeau" to Olympus. Time will tell on the AF front but I note from the Olympus UK E-P2 web page that the VF-2 electronic viewfinder is included in the price.
The Four-thirds User hands on preview states:
    the VF-2 certainly offers a viewing experience that is very reminiscent of the G1 and GH1 viewfinders, and that's a big compliment
This is looking very good indeed. The preview is worth a read and also contains a smattering of product images. My favourite is one which neatly demonstrates
how compact the E-P2 actually is, even with the VF-2 viewfinder attached. 8)
    Image
Not bad at all for an APS-C 2x crop factor camera. And the EVF allows one to keep the other eye open to take in what's happening outside the frame,
a benefit also touted as valuable for rangefinder cameras. All that remains is to persuade someone to do what Luigi has done for the Leica M-cameras
and produce some fine hand-crafted leather cases. 8)
    Image
Bob.

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Last edited by Bob Andersson on Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:08 am, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:54 am 
I definitely don't feel that the upgrades are worth the 300 extra. It does look nice in black though.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:42 am 
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I'm not quite sure why Olympus seem to like this micro-evolution in their product lines. The e510-e520 and e410-e420-e450 were barely any different.

At least I presume this means that the EP1's price will drop, but then it is already much cheaper than the EP2....

I think Olympus may focus on this niche market, together with their entry-level lines. I'm not sure what they'll do with the E3's successor or whether there will be one.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:16 pm 
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Hi kimchi,

I'm not at all sure I agree with you that the provision of that EVF is an example of "micro-evolution" and the same socket also provides for an external stereo microphone. But I agree that if the new features aren't wanted then the E-P1 is the better option.

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:04 pm 
How long ago was the EP 1 released ? a few months ?
What next, a new version every month . :D


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:17 pm 
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The E-P1 was first buyable in July some time. Given expected availability of E-P2 is January at the earliest, that's about half a year gap.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:21 pm 
From what I've seen, the high iso shots look good.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:32 am 
buy.com list E-P1 at $675. shocking price that might not last long.

In my opinion, the additional features won't change the game for Olympus especially vs Panasonic GF1.

The only thing that can change the game is improvement of AF speed.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:54 am 
These Olympus' are focus-by-wire anyway so there is nothing they would have done to the motor to improve AF speed. Seems to me like it's a firmware update/refinement that is the cause for the improvement and for to the E-P1 to not have this, the E-P1 being less than 1 year old, is a bit mean of Olympus.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:16 am 
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I love that leather case for the Leica above. Would be nice to have all my electronic gizmos in such a smart outfit.

*Bring out the gimp*

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:45 pm 
Enche Zein wrote:
buy.com list E-P1 at $675. shocking price that might not last long.

In my opinion, the additional features won't change the game for Olympus especially vs Panasonic GF1.

The only thing that can change the game is improvement of AF speed.


The $675 did not last long. Was there yesterday, but gone today.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:29 am 
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Maybe it's just in my part of the world, but the GF1 is impossible to find at local retailers. Not because it is sold out, but because of zero retailer presence to begin with, just like the G1 and the GH1.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:54 am 
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I've been to two electronics markets in Seoul. Each has literally 100s of camera shops - all selling the usual suspects; Nikon, Canon & Sony. It took me ages to find a guy who sold an E520, and I bought his only one. I haven't been able to see the EP1, and I doubt the EP2 will be available anywhere either.

It's strange because I tried to buy the E510 in the UK for a while and gave up because everywhere had sold-out. Is it an Olympus distribution problem, or a production capacity problem?

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