Today Olympus announced its third PEN digital camera, just three months after the E-P2 and eight after the original EP-1. Like those models, the new (and widely leaked) E-PL1 is based on the Micro Four Thirds standard, which packs a DSLR-sized sensor and removeable lens mount into a compact form factor.
The E-PL1 is the smallest of the digital PENs and the first to boast a built-in flash. It also features the accessory port of the EP-2, allowing it to use the optional high resolution viewfinder and external microphone adapter.
Retro styling has been switched for a more modern appearance, the controls and UI simplified and the screen shrunk to 2.7in, but crucially it's the most affordable model yet at $599 USD including a 14-42mm kit lens. It's due in March 2010.
We'd love to hear what you think!
Olympus Australia E-PL1 product page
Olympus Imaging Corporation (President: Masaharu Okubo) is pleased to announce the introduction of the new Olympus PEN E-PL1 Micro Four Thirds System interchangeable lens digital camera.
Positioned as the entry-level model of the PEN series, the Olympus PEN E-PL1 joins the widely acclaimed Olympus PEN E-P1 and E-P2 digital cameras to equip even the most inexperienced of photographers with the ability to take high quality images through its Live Guide interface.
Boasting a compact, light weight form, distinctive design and superior image quality, the new PEN E-PL1 is available in black or champagne gold and is scheduled to go on sale in Australia in March 2010. Pricing is yet to be announced.
• New Live Guide: Specially designed interface that allows for the intuitive adjustment and instant preview of image brightness, colour tone, background defocusing
• New dedicated Movie mode button: For instant access to movie recording in still shooting modes
• Go-anywhere portability: Light, compact body with built-in flash and built-in image stabilisation
• Six Art filters: Includes new Gentle Sepia for enhanced photographic creativity
The new Live Guide screen interface makes it simple for consumers accustomed to using point-and-shoot cameras to apply control over images by providing an intuitive way to adjust brightness, tone, background defocusing and other frequently set image parameters. Users can easily adjust the camera to create pictures to suit their individual style, without having to learn detailed SLR-class photographic techniques and terminology. The light, compact, Micro Four Thirds System design with a built-in flash assures a stress-free transition to a system-camera for ‘first-time’ interchangeable lens camera owners.
Significant new features include a dedicated Movie record button that instantly activates movie recording when the camera is in still shooting mode enabling simple switching between normal picture shooting and movie capture. The i-ENHANCE Picture mode (originally introduced on the PEN E-P2) takes pictures with exceptional clarity, helping to capture the full excitement of a moment. Six Art Filters are also available including a new Gentle Sepia filter that can be applied to movies as well as still-images. Just like its predecessors, the Olympus PEN E-PL1 is equipped with an accessory port that can be used to attach a high-definition VF-2 Live Viewfinder or the SEMA-1 Stereo Microphone Set.
At the heart of the camera, a 4/3-inch, 12.3-megapixel high speed Live MOS Sensor and TruePic V image processing engine provides image quality that rivals that of advanced digital SLR systems.
Features at a glance:
• 4/3-inch, 12.3-megapixel high-speed Live MOS image sensor and newly developed TruePic V image processing engine for high-quality, SLR-class imaging
• Large, easy-to-operate controls with a high degree of customisability
• i-ENHANCE Picture mode for enhanced clarity of main subject in photo
• In-camera image stabilisation that supports a wide range of lenses
• One-touch Enlarge button for easy detail confirmation in Live View
• Wide-area AF for easier framing and focusing
• Multi-exposure function with simultaneous LCD monitor display
• Supports high-quality VF-2 Live Viewfinder and SEMA-1 Stereo Microphone Set
• Choice of four aspect ratios to suit users' creative objectives and display format preferences
• HDMI output for high-quality image and movie playback
• Multi-Mix Slideshow playback with background music
• e-Portrait function for smooth rendering of skin texture
• MF Assist function for manual focusing with auto image magnification
• High-precision 324-zone evaluative metering system
• Proven dust reduction system for worry-free lens changes
• Continuous-tracking AF that locks onto subject and tracks movement in the frame
• Shadow Adjustment Technology to prevent blown highlights and blocked-in shadows