Olympus Pen E-PL1 press release and full specifications



Capture the outside world, release the artist within

Olympus E-PL1: Great pictures for everyone

  • Our hands-on preview of the Pen E-PL1
  • Pen E-PL1 product image gallery
  • E-PL1425.jpg

    Hamburg, 3 February 2010 – In today’s world you’ve got to give the people what they want. And they’re going to want the new Olympus E-PL1. Not only does it deliver extraordinary digital images, it’s the perfect tool for anyone who hesitated to buy SLRs because they find them too complicated. The possibilities are virtually endless with this easy to use retro-cool model. With great features like HD movie shooting and impressive Art Filters, you too can take exceptional pictures. Its 100% stabilised body even lets you shoot blur-free with all lenses. Combining SLR performance and a lightweight design, PEN lets you create exciting, innovative shots, preserving those moments in life you want captured forever. The ultimate democratising force in quality photography, the E-PL1 is available from March 2010 at a retail price of just £549 for the single lens kit.

    The high-tech mirrorless construction of the PEN means it’s small and handy to use, yet it produces ‘big camera’ results. That’s the genius of the E-PL1, now fine-tuned with these new features:

    • Easy to understand, non-technical Live Guide
    • 4 bold colours to choose from: black, white, champagne, red
    • 6 intriguing Art Filters
    • Convenient integrated flash

    Rewriting the rulebook
    A hybrid of SLR performance embodying the latest technologies and compact comfort, PEN constitutes a new class of camera. The E-PL1 with integrated flash houses a 12.3 Megapixel Live MOS sensor, producing beautiful, razor-sharp photos and HD movies, and the TruePic V engine guarantees superior image quality at up to ISO 3200. Mechanical in-camera image stabilisation provides shake protection of up to 3 EV, effective regardless which lens you decide to use. The high definition AVI format movie option is available at 30fps and 1280x720p resolution – recording up to 7 minutes of film in a single shot. And all this top drawer technology comes in a neat pocket-sized camera.

    Helping you take your best photos the new Live Guide speaks plain language, making it easier than ever to change difficult SLR camera effects like depth of field. These can then be monitored on the 2.7” HyperCrystal LCD. i-Enhance, for example, makes sure all colours in your picture spectrum are vivid and rich. It is automatically applied in conjunction with i-Auto mode, which recognises what kind of scene or subject you’re taking and adjusts settings accordingly, or can be used alone. And e-Portrait gives your subjects a quick facelift by glossing over impurities. With the abundance of supportive features and excellent technology, feeling like a pro is a given.

    Draw your own creative conclusions
    Whether in the form of a high quality movie or an image, the Olympus E-PL1 helps you capture the outside world while setting free the imaginative world within. Select from a range of six Art Filters to compose your own creative images or HD films: for instance Pop Art lets you warp it like Warhol, and the new Gentle Sepia gives images a touch of class. Use AF tracking to focus shots on one moving subject or do something with your movies normal camcorders won’t allow: play with depth of field and angle of view for atmospheric movie shooting and snap in high resolution during shoots for spontaneous stills. Further widening the expressive spectrum of options is the Micro Four Thirds system. It facilitates a range of interchangeable lenses and can be extended through the use of adapters. Brand new are the ultra-wide angle M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 (18-36mm*) and M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 (28-300mm*) zoom lenses. These ultra-light lenses are 50 and 70% smaller (compared to the 18-180mm volume) than their Four Thirds cousins and achieve less noise as well as greater AF speeds. Ideally suited to the PEN body, they capture unique pictures and movies without weighing down your bag. They will be available in late April and late May.

    The accessory port offers even more imaging alternatives, such as attaching the VF-2 electronic viewfinder or Microphone Adapter Set, which is ideal to record high quality stereo sound in movies. When the work is done, relax and admire your handiwork from the sofa with a remote by connecting your camera to your TV via HDMI.

    Fun camera, serious results
    The E-PL1 is a quintessentially inclusive photographic tool: making it easier even for beginners to join the big leagues of quality movie and photo shooting. Available in March 2010, you can pick up your PEN in a choice of four colours for a recommended retail price of €599.

    The Olympus PEN E-PL1 – main features:
    Small & stylish design

    • Extremely small and light-weight Micro Four Thirds System
    • Stylish design with metal finish
    • Four colours

    SLR image quality

    • 12.3 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
    • TruePic V image processor
    • Built-in IS with max. 3 EV steps efficiency
    • Adapter for all ZUIKO DIGITAL & OM lenses

    Easy operation

    • New developed GUI for easiest operation via Live Control
    • Live Guide
    • Automatic recognition of common scenes possible with i-Auto
    • i-Enhance function to boost colours
    • Clear skin with e-Portrait
    • AF Tracking
    • Face Detection and Shadow Adjustment Technology
    • 25 shooting modes (5 exposure modes, i-Auto mode, 19 scene modes)

    Creativity & HD Movie

    • HD Movie with sound, depth of field and Art Filters
    • 6 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 PEN:

    • Integrated flash
    • HDMI TV interface
    • Linear PCM sound recording
    • Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface
    • 3fps with sequential shooting (max. 10 in RAW mode)
    • ISO 100-3200
    • 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 (SDHC compatible)
    • High-speed data writing and lossless RAW compression
    • Large 6.9cm/2.7” 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

    The Olympus PEN E-PL1 is available in the following configurations:

    • E-PL1 Kit in: black/black, champagne/silver, white/silver, red/black

    (E-PL1 body & M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6)

    • E-PL1 Double Lens Kit in: black/black/black, white/silver/black, champagne/silver/black

    (E-PL1 body & M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 &
    ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150 mm 1:4.0-5.6 & MMF-2)

    • E-PL1 Body in: black, white and champagne

    New accessories:

    • PT-EP01 underwater case
    • M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 ultra-wide angle zoom (late April)
    • M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 wide-angle to telephoto zoom (late May)

    * 35mm equivalent

    Click here to see more information about the PEN Accessories


    AF tracking
    This system tracks the moving subject automatically and keeps it continually in focus for pictures that are optimally focused and exposed. It also memorises subject data even when the subject goes out of frame and resumes tracking when it reappears.
    Art Filters
    Enables special artistic effects to be created directly in the camera. The following Art Filters are available in the Olympus E-PL1:
    Pop Art: Enhances colours, making them stronger and more vivid to create high-impact pictures that express the happy, light-hearted feeling of the pop art style.
    Soft Focus: Creates a soft tone which gives pictures an ethereal, otherworldly atmosphere. It renders pictures as though they were veiled in heavenly light, without obscuring details such as the hair or flower petals.
    Grainy Film: This effect recreates the feeling of reality evoked by grainy, high-contrast monochrome pictures. The strong presence and dramatic atmosphere make the subject stand out impressively.
    Pin Hole: Reduces the peripheral brightness like an image seen through a pinhole. Added to this is a unique colour tone that results in a style that has an air of secrecy or portrays the feeling of being lost in another dimension or space.
    Diorama: Enhances a composition’s depth of field to give the image an unreal touch and model-like structure
    Gentle Sepia: Elegant filter which gives image a muted, soft tone but conserves its dark edge. The contrast between light and dark gives pictures a touch of class.
    Built-in image stabilisation
    Built directly into the camera, it enables the photo-enhancing effects of image stabilisation to be enjoyed irrespective of the attached lens. A gyro sensor detects the precise direction of the shake. Using the on-board Supersonic Wave Drive (SWD), the image sensor shifts to compensate for movement caused by camera shake.
    Touches up the appearance of subjects even while the shot is being taken. This feature recognises faces and automatically makes skin on the face and adjacent areas appear smoother, brighter and more youthful.
    HD Movie
    High-definition video (HD video) delivers high-quality movies at a resolution of 1280x720 pixels and a rate of 30 frames per second.
    i-Auto mode
    This “intelligent-Auto” mode uses advanced automatic detection technology to allow the camera to recognise the six most commonly used scenes automatically. They enable the capture of perfect photos without any need for manual settings.
    i-Enhance function
    By invoking this function, the camera automatically enhances colours. In this way the saved results resemble the way we recollect memories more closely.
    Micro Four Thirds Standard
    Micro Four Thirds was developed to maximise the performance potential of digital imaging technology. It allows users to enjoy the same high image quality as the Four Thirds Standard’s 4/3-type image sensor in a much more compact body. The new Micro Four Thirds Standard enables the development of ultra-compact interchangeable lens type digital camera systems unlike anything seen before. It also incorporates a greater number of lens-mount electrical contacts for the support of new features and expanded system functionality in the future.
    The E-PL1 lets photographers choose from four different aspect ratios that enable individualised framing of scenes. These provide a new means of adding expression to shots and the selected ratio can be seen directly on the camera’s LCD. The available aspect ratios include: 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, and 6:6.
    Multi Exposure
    With this function, two RAW images can be overlapped to create a new picture while shooting. Up to three RAW images can be combined in editing mode.

    The PEN series was first introduced in 1959 as a half-frame camera. With its revolutionary design and price, this camera made photography available for a much bigger user group. The idea behind its design was pure and elegant – to create a camera that was as easy to carry and use as a pen. The PEN was designed by legendary Olympus designer Yoshihisa Maitani, one of the most famous product designers in the history of photography. In 1963 the PEN F was launched as the world’s first 35mm half-frame system SLR. By the time it was introduced, 16 lenses were available. 17 million PEN cameras were sold, making it one of the most popular and successful cameras ever. Today PEN cameras are a much sought after collector’s item and are traded for incredible prices on the second-hand market.

    Supersonic Wave Filter
    Dust entering digital cameras with interchangeable lenses can cause damage to photos. The Supersonic Wave Filter is a transparent filter which is located between the camera’s shutter and sensor. It shakes off settled dust particles by generating a series of ultrasonic vibrations. Olympus was the first to incorporate dust protection.

    TruePic V image processor
    Olympus’ latest image processing engine. It automatically enhances important aspects of image quality including: colour reproduction (colour range, saturation and brightness), picture sharpness (reduced image noise, improved edge reproduction), as well as providing faster processing speeds. Furthermore, it supports Art Filters, HD movie quality recording, and high sensitivity shooting at up to ISO 3200 to enable unprecedented creative expression.

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