Olympus Announces E-P2 & New Lenses

bjp Nov 4, 2009

The British Journal of Photography reports:

Olympus has updated its Micro Four Thirds E-P1 camera, introducing new features such as AF tracking and an electronic viewfinder to the E-P2, which now comes in a black finish

As with the E-P1, the E-P2 sports a 12 million pixel resolution sensor built around the new Micro Four Thirds (MTF) format, it can shoot up to 3fps and features an image stabilization system with four EV steps. It also has a 30 fps 720p HD video mode, with stereo sound and an AF live view. It also features ‘art filters’ for special effects such as monochrome shooting (that can also be used in video mode), variable aspect ratios and a multi-exposure mode.

The MTF format, co-developed by Olympus and Panasonic, uses a smaller sensor (17.3x13mm) than in other DSLR cameras, achieving the gains in compactness by doing away with a mirror box and TTL optical viewfinder. The size has also been reduced with a six-millimeter smaller lens mount.

However, the E-P2 adds new features such as AF tracking, making ‘the sharp capture of moving subjects easier,’ says Olympus. It also offers a 1.44 million dot electronic viewfinder with 100% field of view. The viewfinder is tilt-able by up to 90 degrees, ‘reminiscent of medium format camera viewfinders.’

Olympus will also release other accessory port attachments, such as an external microphone adapter to record sounds while shooting video.

Two new Art Filters have been added to the six already introduced with the E-P1. The Diorama mode creates the illusion of a model world, while the Cross Process mode flips colors around. Both filters can also be used in video mode.

Another feature introduced with the E-P2 is the i-Enhance function, which boosts specified colors within a frame to add ‘more punch to the image,’ says Olympus.

The E-P2 keeps the same retro design as the E-P1, which harks back to the innovative Pen camera, which was launched 50 years ago, and proved groundbreaking due to its compact size. The E-P1 and E-P2 share some similarities with the older Pen F and Pen FT cameras.

‘With the E-P1, many 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,’ says 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.’

‘All bodes well at the moment,’ says BJP contributor Jonathan Eastland in his first impressions of the E-P2. ‘One of the problems with this type of Micro Four Thirds mini cameras is that they try to be a compact model while offering DSLR image quality. But, in the end, they are compromised by the size of the camera. What it really comes down to is the user interaction. Now, that it’s in black and has a viewfinder, which is great news, I will have to look at it again.’

The E-P2 will be available from January 2010 at £849 with the 14-42 zoom lens. For more details, visit Olympus.com.

Olympus has also announced the release of two new lenses specifically designed for its Micro Four Thirds cameras – the E-P1 and E-P2

The two new lenses are the M. Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 super wide-angle zoom and the M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 high-power telephoto zoom.

oly lenses

These will complement the two lenses released with the E-P1 camera back in August. At the time, Olympus released a 17mm f/2.8 prime lens, which can be used with a detachable viewfinder, and the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens.

The 9-18mm and 14-150mm lenses will be released in the first half of next year. Pricing has yet to be communicated.

>Press Release (via DPreview)

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 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 yet more creativity and image enhancement. 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 lenses. 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 £850 including the electronic viewfinder.

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.


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

* 35mm equivalent