The Olympus E-P1 ‘Digital PEN’ was launched with a great fanfare – an exciting new segment of cameras had arrived. Then the Panasonic GF1 arrived and dethroned the Digital PEN. The response from Olympus, less than 5 months after the E-P1 was launched (16th June), is the new E-P2.
The E-P2 is a good-looking camera; the black finish adds to the iconic look from the EP-1.
Two new Micro Four Thirds lenses have been announced alongside the E-P2: a 9-18mm f4-5.6 ZUIKO DIGITAL ED lens and a 14-150mm f4-5.6 ZUIKO DIGITAL ED lens. Both lenses are expected to arrive on retailer’s shelves in the first half of 2010.
E-P2 vs E-P1: What’s new?
- Electronic viewfinder & external microphone support
- Autofocus tracking for subjects in motion
- Two new Art-filters (Diorama and Cross-Process)
- i-Enhance function to boost specific colours
All of the Olympus E-P2 kits will include an electronic viewfinder, which offers a 100% field of view and can be tilted by up to 90 degrees. Just like the Panasonic GF1, the external viewfinder is mounted via the flash hot-shoe and connects using a port between the hot-shoe & LCD screen.
Adding electronic viewfinder & external microphone support is a step forward for the Olympus Micro Four Thirds system, however key features from the E-P1 remain unchanged; the 12 megapixel sensor, built-in image stabilisation, sensor cleaning system and 720p HD video mode are all present and correct. This begs the question:
Why didn’t the E-P1 feature this magical port?
The Olympus E-P2 is a strong contender against the Panasonic GF1, although the Panasonic offers twice the LCD screen resolution & a pop-up flash. However, the incredibly short time between the release of the E-P1 and E-P2 will be frustrating for the new breed of Micro Four Thirds aficionados.