Olympus Pen E-PL2 Camera Announced Jan 5th, 2011

Fisheye, wide-angle and macro lenses announced

 

 
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The Olympus Pen E-PL2 camera is a new micro-thirds camera that upgrades the Olympus E-PL1. The changes made to the E-PL1 are quite minor. More exciting are the new inexpensive accessory lenses announced.

 

 

olympus e-pl2 camera

Olympus E-PL2 highlights:

  • 12.3 megapixel Micro-four thirds sensor, same as the E-PL1 sensor
  • Kits lens is new silent-focus 14-42mm lens. The previous lens was a little noisy while auto-focusing.
  • 460,000 dot LCD increased the resolution over the E-PL1 LCD. The E-PL1 had a 230,000 dot LCD, which some people didn't like
  • Highest ISO has been increased from ISO 3200 to ISO 6400
  • Grip has been improved over the E-PL1, and a control wheel has been added
  • Max shutter speed increased from 1/2000th to 1/4000th - this will be a very welcome improvement when shooting into bright light
  • Available at the end of Jan 2011 for $599

Here is our Olympus E-PL1 review for topside and underwater use. Since the E-PL2 has only minor changes, everything in the E-PL1 review will apply to the E-PL2.
 

Here's the official press release from Olympus.

Accessory lenses:

  • Fisheye Lens - $170 - $199 retail, increased field of view to 120 degrees. An important question will be whether a port is offered that supports this accessory.
  • Wide-angle converter, increases field of view. Effectively changes 14mm lens to 11mm - $99
  • Macro Lens - allows closer focus distance - $59

The accessory lenses will bayonet onto the end of the new 14-42mm lens.

New Olympus E-PL1 PT-03 Underwater Housing

The new PT-03 Underwater housing looks quite similar to the Olympus underwater housing for the E-PL1. Since the button layout of the E-PL2 has changed, the old housing will  not work with the new E-PL2, and vice-versa.

Wide-angle lens options

The Panasonic 8mm fisheye lens is an excellent wide-angle lens choice for this camera, for underwater use.

About Micro-four thirds cameras

  • Allows interchangeable lenses like a dSLR
  • Very small, compact size due to not having a mirror, hence they are called "mirrorless" cameras
  • Take photos via live view instead of a viewfinder
  • Large sensor size means great image quality. Sensor has a crop factor of 2.0
  • No mirror means auto-focus is faster than compact cameras, but not always at the level of a dSLR
  • Read our complete overview of mirrorless cameras

Further Reading

Olympus PEN E-PL1 review

Olympus XZ-1 camera announced

Lens and Camera basics

 

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