OLYMPUS intros PEN E-PL1 Micro Four Thirds camera

Olympus Imaging Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of the OLYMPUS PEN E-PL1 Micro Four Thirds System interchangeable lens digital camera. Positioned as an entry-level model, the OLYMPUS PEN E-PL1 is equipped with a Live Guide interface makes it easy for users to get the results they want even if they have little previous experience with photography. It is scheduled to go on sale in Japan on March 5, 2010.

Main Features

  1. Live Guide user interface for easy, intuitive adjustment of brightness, hue, background defocusing, and other image parameters.
  2. dedicated Movie mode button for seamless access to movie shooting at any time.
  3. Go-anywhere portability in a light, compact body with built-in flash and image stabilization; offered in white, champagne gold, and black.
  4. Six Art Filters, including Gentle Sepia, for enhanced photographic creativity.

OLYMPUS PEN E-PL1

The OLYMPUS PEN E-PL1 is the third model in the OLYMPUS PEN series of Micro Four Thirds System interchangeable lens digital cameras.

It’s predecessors, the OLYMPUS PEN E-P1 and E-P2, introduced last year, were widely acclaimed for their light, compact form, distinctive design, and superior image quality.

Featuring a interface specifically designed to be more friendly to compact camera users, the E-PL1 is an entry-level model that makes PEN series photographic quality accessible to an even wider range of consumers than before.

OLYMPUS PEN E-PL1

In addition to delivering high-quality photos with full-auto ease, the E-PL1 features a Live Guide interface that makes it easy for users to exercise their creativity. With the Live Guide, even users who have only used point-and-shoot cameras can easily and intuitively adjust brightness, hue, background defocusing, and other image parameters—and get the results they want without learning a lot of SLR-class photographic techniques.

Light, compact, Micro Four Thirds System design and a built-in flash assure an easy transition for first-time interchangeable lens camera users. A choice of white, champagne gold, and black body colors are also being offered to suit a broader range of customer preferences.

OLYMPUS PEN E-PL1

New features include a dedicated Movie mode button that enables 720p HD movie recording at a moment’s notice, and i-ENHENCE Picture mode (originally introduced on the E-P2), which delivers images with exceptional clarity and heightened realism that fully communicate the excitement of the moment. Six Art Filters are also offered, including a Gentle Sepia filter, and they can be applied to movies as well as still-image shooting. Like the E-P2, the E-PL1 is equipped with an accessory port that can be used to attach a high-definition VF-2 Live Viewfinder or SEMA-1 Stereo Microphone Set 1.

For imaging, a 4/3-inch, 12.3-megapixel high speed Live MOS Sensor and TruePic V image processing engine assure quality that rivals that of advanced digital SLR systems.

Moving forward, Olympus will continue to expand its Micro Four Thirds System product lineup, and the growing market that it serves.

Other Features

  • 4/3-inch, 12.3-megapixel high-speed Live MOS image sensor and TruePic V image processing engine for high-quality, SLR-class imaging
  • Large, easy-to-operate controls with a high degree of customizability
  • i-ENHENCE Picture mode for clear imaging with a heightened sense of realism
  • In-camera image stabilization 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 4 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 Control function for balanced exposure of foreground subjects and background scenery
  • Gradation Auto to prevent blown highlights and blocked-in shadows
  • Image browsing and organizing software [ib]

OLYMPUS PEN E-PL1

Main Feature Details

1. Live Guide user interface for easy, intuitive adjustment of brightness, color balance, background defocusing, and other image parameters

  • Live Guide user interface
    With the E-PL1, users can get truly high-quality photos simply by leaving the mode dial set to iAUTO, and letting the camera select the optimum shooting mode automatically. And when they want to add their own creative touch to an image, they can use the convenient Live Guide user interface to quickly and easily achieve the desired result.
    The Live Guide lets users select icons from a menu bar to quickly and easily adjust parameters for color vividness, color balance, image brightness, depth of field, and subject motion, enabling them to get the results they want if they have no knowledge of advanced SLR-class shooting techniques.
  • Live Guide i-ENHENCE Picture mode for heightened realism
    When iAUTO is selected on the mode dial, i-ENHENCE is applied as the default Picture mode to assure a heightened sense of realism in the final image. In iAUTO mode, the camera automatically analyzes the scene and selects the appropriate shooting mode (Portrait / Landscape / Macro / Sports / Night Scene / Night Scene Portrait) according to the primary subject. Then, by applying i-ENHENCE Picture mode, it renders the scene with a sense of heightened realism that captures all the excitement of the moment.

2. dedicated Movie mode button for seamless access to movie shooting at any time

  • Dedicated Movie mode button
    The E-PL1 is equipped with a dedicated Movie mode button to enable instant activation of 720p HD movie recording at any time. Even if the mode dial isn’t set to Movie mode, a quick press of this button allows users to switch seamlessly back and forth between still image and movie shooting.
    Recording is supported at a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9 (1280 x 720, 30fps), as well as a standard aspect ratio of 4:3 (640 x 480, 30fps). As a Micro Four Thirds System camera, the E-PL1 is equipped with a much larger sensor than most handheld camcorders. As a result, it offers superior image quality, the ability to defocus the background by controlling aperture, and all the other creative advantages of interchangeable-lens photography. Built-in electronic image stabilization can be used when shooting movies, and is effective with all Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds System lenses, as well as other lenses.
    Manual controls (exposure, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity) and Art Filters can also be used when shooting movies.
    Audio is recorded in linear PCM format — an uncompressed digital format noted for its super sound quality. Drawing on Olympus expertise in digital IC recorder technology, it assures outstanding fidelity and dynamic audio presence. After-the-fact audio and sound memos can also be easily added to previously taken photos.

3. Go-anywhere portability in a light, compact body with built-in flash and image stabilization; offered in white, champagne gold, and black

  • Light, compact, go-anywhere portability, with built-in flash and image stabilization
    Micro Four Thirds System design eliminates the need to incorporate a mirror box inside the camera, making it possible to reduce the flange back distance (the distance from the lens mount to the sensor) by about half while still enabling the use of a full-size Four Thirds System image sensor. Even though the camera has a built-in image stabilization system and GN10 flash (ISO200), it is significantly more compact than conventional SLR cameras.
    A dedicated M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14–42mm f3.5–5.6 L lens (avail. in silver/black) is being simultaneously introduced as part of the E-PL1 Lens Kit and Double Zoom Kit. Based on the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14–42mm f3.5–5.6 introduced with the OLYMPUS PEN E-P1, it offers comparable performance and image quality with a low weight of just 133g.
  • A choice of white, champagne gold, and black body color
    The camera is offered in white, champagne gold, and black body colors to suit various customer style preferences. In addition, a wide range of optional camera cases and straps is available to carry, protect, and fashionably coordinate with the E-PL1.

4. Six Art Filters, including Gentle Sepia, for enhanced photographic creativity

  • Art Filters, including Gentle Sepia
    Like other recent Olympus interchangeable lens system cameras, the E-PL1 is equipped with an Art Filter function that allows users to easily express their creativity and get the results they want. A total of 6 Art Filters, including a Gentle Sepia filter, can be applied to both still images and movies.
    Gentle Sepia

    Gives images the look of a vintage sepia-tone print, with gentle contrast and well-defined shadows.
    Pop Art

    Enhances colors, making them stronger and more vivid to create high-impact images with a pop-art feel.
    Soft Focus

    Gives images a dream-like quality that creates a romantic and mystical atmosphere.
    Grainy Film

    Recreates the classic grainy look and tonality of black & white photography, imparting a dramatic feel to images.
    Pin Hole

    Adjusts color and reduces brightness at the periphery, recreating the distinctive look of photos taken with a pinhole camera.
    Diorama

    Creates the look of a miniature diorama by enhancing color and contrast, and blurring the periphery to distort distance perception.

Other Features

  • 4/3-inch, 12.3-megapixel high-speed Live MOS image sensor and TruePic V image processing engine for high-quality, SLR-class imaging
    The OLYMPUS PEN E-PL1 is equipped with a 12.3-megapixel high-speed Live MOS sensor for ultrafast, high-resolution image capture. Thanks to this large sensor, which is the same size as the sensors used in Four Thirds System cameras, the OLYMPUS PEN E-PL1 fully rivals conventional digital SLR cameras in resolution, dynamic range, color fidelity, and fine subject detail.
    In addition the TruePic V image processing delivers clearer, higher-resolution images by exploiting the full performance potential of the lens. Sophisticated noise reduction technologies enable high-sensitivity shooting at ISO 3200 without sacrificing image detail, making it possible to capture delicate nuances of color even when shooting in low light without using a flash.
  • Large, easy-to-operate controls with a high degree of customizability
    Simple, intuitive control layout with large buttons assures operating ease even for users who have never used an interchangeable lens camera before. A high degree of customizability enables more advanced users to access frequently used settings quickly.
  • i-ENHENCE Picture mode for clear imaging with a heightened sense of realism
    i-ENHENCE Picture mode delivers exceptionally vibrant and clear images, with a heightened sense of realism that fully captures and communicates the excitement of the moment.
  • In-camera image stabilization that supports a wide range of lenses
    A high-performance image stabilization system is built into the body to help prevent blurring caused by camera shake. The system works with all Micro Four Thirds System lenses, and — via an optional MMF-1/2 Four Thirds Mount Adapter — all Four Thirds System lenses. It is effective even during horizontal panning, and can be used with older OM-system lenses — via an optional MF-2 OM Mount Adapter — simply by entering the appropriate focal length.
  • One-touch Enlarge button for easy detail confirmation
    A convenient Enlarge button makes it easy to check subject details when focusing an OM series or other lens manually. When using a lens without MF Assist, a single press of the Enlarge button shows the enlarged view, and a third press returns to a 100% full-frame field of view.
  • Wide-area AF for easier framing and focusing
    As an aid to focusing in difficult shooting situations, the area of the frame selected for enlargement can be used as an AF target, and the area can be selected from wider field than the 11-AF points. The target area size can be set in 3 levels.
  • Multi-exposure shooting with Live View display of current scene and previously captured image
    Images previously captured and recorded in RAW data format can be displayed on the Live View monitor while framing the current scene, making it easy to create artistically balanced multi-exposure compositions. Automatic gain correction can be performed in-camera, and even non-consecutive shots taken at different times and places can be used superimposed on each other via the play/edit menu (RAW data only, up to 3 images).
  • Supports high-quality VF-2 Live Viewfinder and SEMA-1 Stereo Microphone Set 1
    Like the OLYMPUS PEN E-P2, the E-PL1 is equipped with an accessory port to enable use of the externally mounted VF-2 Live Viewfinder, which offers high-contrast, 1,440,000-dot resolution and a 100% field of view. The VF-2’s live view functionality enables users to confirm the effect of camera settings before the shutter is released, so they can capture the scene precisely as they see it in the viewfinder. Dioptric correction is also provided to ensure a clear view.
    The accessory port can also be fitted with a Microphone Adapter to enable high-quality, off-camera audio recording using a third-party microphone. The Microphone Adapter will be bundled with the ME51SW Stereo Microphone Set (for Olympus digital recorders) and offered as the SEMA-1 Microphone Set 1 (avail. late Feb. 2010).
  • Choice of 4 aspect ratios
    Images can be captured at any of four aspect ratios: standard 4:3; widescreen 16:9; 6:6, which is used by medium-format cameras; and 3:2, which is the same as the standard 35mm film format. Subjects can be viewed at the selected aspect ratio in the Live View monitor to confirm that the result suits the user’s creative intention and purpose.
  • HDMI output for high-quality image and movie playback
    The camera can be connected to an HDMI-equipped TV set via a commercially available HDMI–HDMI Mini cable to view high-quality HD movies and still images with stereo audio. And when the E-PL1 is connected to a compatible TV set by an HDMI cable (sold separately), the HDMI Control function enables users to control image playback via the TV’s remote control unit. It’s a great way to enjoy slideshows with the ease and convenience of regular TV programming.
  • Multi-Mix Slideshow playback with background music
    Slideshows that mix still images, movies, and sound can be created right in the camera. Five background music compositions by the well-known Japanese music creator DAISHIDANCE are included, with controls for fade-in, fade-out slide transitions, volume adjustment, and audio post-recording.
  • e-Portrait mode for smooth rendering of skin texture
    e-Portrait scene mode uses special processing to helps make skin appear smoother. When shooting in e-Portrait mode, both processed and unprocessed images are recorded.* In addition, e-Portrait processing can be applied after the fact, so you can use it to further improve the look of the best shot in a series.

    * e-Portrait image size limited to 2560 x 1920; effectiveness varies according to subject
  • MF Assist function for manual focusing with auto image magnification
    When focusing manually with any compatible Micro Four Thirds System or Four Thirds System lens, MF Assist automatically magnifies the central portion of the frame by 7x, 10x, or 14x whenever the focus ring is rotated, making it easy to confirm fine focus adjustments on the LCD monitor or Live Viewfinder display. And even when using OM System lenses via an OM Mount Adapter (sold separately), magnification can still be effected manually.
  • High-precision 324-zone digital ESP metering
    Three metering modes are offered: high-precision 324-zone digital ESP metering, center-weighted metering, and spot metering. The high-precision digital ESP mode divides the image area into an 18 x 18 grid, metering each of 324 separate areas to obtain optimum exposure with high accuracy even under complex light conditions.
  • Reliable dust reduction system
    When changing lenses, a digital camera’s image sensor is inevitably exposed to contamination by airborne dust particles. And if any of those particles adhere to the camera’s low-pass filter or image sensor, they appear as spots and blemishes in every photo. Olympus was the first to offer a solution to this troublesome problem with its pioneering SSWF (Super-Sonic Wave Filter), and it has continued to evolve the technology to meet the more stringent dust-protection needs of the mirrorless Micro Four Thirds System standard. The shape of the SSWF has been changed from circular to rectangular, and the supersonic oscillator has been divided into two vertically arranged sections. The resulting system is extremely compact, but remains highly effective at removing all types of dust, whether held by electrostatic forces or intramolecular bonds.
  • Continuous-tracking AF that locks onto subject and tracks movement in the frame
    The E-PL1 features a Continuous-Tracking AF function that automatically tracks subject movement within the frame. When the function is active, users can ‘lock-on’ to a subject by pressing the shutter button half-way; Continuous-Tracking AF will then follow the subject’s movements within the frame, adjusting the focus as necessary.
  • Shadow Adjustment Technology for beautifully exposed portraits and group photos
    Advanced face detection technology enables the camera to detect up to 8 faces and optimizes focus. The Shadow Adjustment Technology optimizes the exposure to ensure that faces in the foreground and scenery in the background are both properly exposed. Even in backlit situations, auto gradation adjustment can brighten the faces without over-exposing the background, making it easy to capture the scene just as it appears to the human eye. In addition, face detection can be used during image playback to quickly select and magnify subjects to check their facial expression.
  • Graduation Auto to prevent blown highlights and blocked-in shadows
    When gradation is set to Auto, Shadow Adjustment Technology optimizes settings to ensure that the camera captures the scene as closely as possible to the way the user sees it, with no blown highlights or blocked-in shadows.
  • image browsing and organizing software [ib]
    To help people make the most of the possibilities of digital imaging, Olympus has developed a powerful software solution called [ib] to connect “images” and “humans” based on the concepts of “easy”, “safe” and “fun”.
    The software automatically classifies the pictures according to their recording date when uploading to the PC. It is also capable of recognizing the persons shot as subjects and classify the pictures accordingly. In addition, it can assign recording location information for each classified event or each picture. By making classification and organization of multiple pictures simple and easy, [ib] enables you to easily find the pictures you’re looking for. Viewing, printing or even RAW development is also possible.

Source: Olympus

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