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Olympus unveils new PEN, accessories

January 6, 2011: Olympus Imaging Corporation has announced the PEN E-PL2, ‘a stylish entry-level compact interchangeable lens camera that shoots still pictures with genuine SLR quality and captures video in High Definition.’

The PEN E-PL2 retains the imaging system of the earlier E-PL1 and is equipped with a 12.3-megapixel High Speed Live MOS Sensor and TruePic V processing engine. Available in black, silver and red, the E-PL2 features a new 3-inch LCD screen with 460,000-pixel resolution plus hybrid-function input control dials to improve usability. An updated Live Guide user interface provides quick and easy access to settings like exposure, colour balance, shutter speed and aperture and is usable when shooting stills and video movies.

The E-PL2 sports a new M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm MkII kit lens, which features a retracting design and a new MSC (Movies and Stills Compatible) lens drive system. MSC technology enables fast and quiet auto-focusing for still photography and smooth continuous auto-focus tracking during video recording. The new lens barrel design enables the use of a trio of new and inexpensive lens converters for enhanced lens functionality.

Up to three f-stops of compensation is provided with the in-body stabilisation system and the SSWF (Supersonic Wave Filter) dust reduction system ensures dust-free lens swapping. Users can choose from four aspect ratio settings and shoot JPEG, raw or RAW+JPEG files. Multi-exposures are possible with simultaneous LCD monitor display and a new e-Portrait function provides smooth rendering of skin textures.

The new E-PL2 retains popular Art Filters, such as Pop Art, Soft Focus and Grainy Film filters and adds the latest Dramatic Tone filter. The Art Filters in the E-PL2 can be varied in mood and intensity (a ‘first’ for Olympus cameras), with the further option of ‘Effect’ customisation to combine Filters, or to add a special border. Multi-exposure capability with first-shot live picture overlay adds further creative options.

The E-PL2 comes with a new Accessory Port 2 that allows a growing range of accessories to be fitted. Among them are the high-resolution VF-2 Electronic Viewfinder; the SEMA-1 Stereo Microphone Set 1; and the newly announced Bluetooth-based Olympus Penpal PP-1 Communication Unit and the MAL-1 Macro Arm Light (pictured left). The FL-14 or the FL-36R flash units such as the can be attached via the hot-shoe.

Three new optional lens converters – the FCON-P01 Fisheye Converter, the WCON-P01 Wide Converter and the MCON-P01 Macro Converter – have also been released to provide photographers with extended capabilities when using the kit lens. The MCON-P01 Macro Converter can also be used with the M. Zuiko 40-150mm and M. Zuiko 14-150mm lenses.

A new PT-EP03 Underwater Case enables the E-PL2 to be used at depths up to 40 metres. Designed exclusively for use with the E-PL2, when used with the camera’s underwater white balance function, it allows users to record still images and movies with vivid colour reproduction even without auxiliary lighting.

The E-PL2 can also be used with the optional RM-UC1 Remote Shutter Release Cable. Images are recorded to SD/SDHC or SDXC cards and the pop-up flash supports Wireless Flash control. The new camera is scheduled to go on sale in late February 2011, with most of the accessories released late this month.

– Courtesy Photo Review Australia

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