Olympus PEN E-PL1

Olympus is positioning its new PEN E-PL1 Micro Four Thirds System interchangeable lens digital camera as an entry-level model, with a new interface specifically designed to be more friendly to compact camera users.

Known as the New Generation System Cameras, the PEN E-PL1, the camera is equipped with a new Live Guide interface, which allows users to intuitively image parameters without needing to know SLR-class photographic techniques.

The Live Guide lets users select icons from a menu bar to adjust parameters for color vividness, color balance, image brightness, depth of field, and subject motion. Adjustments can be made and the changes to the picture can be seen on the display.

However, users can still let the camera select the optimum shooting mode automatically by leaving the mode dial set to the iAUTO mode. In iAUTO mode, the camera automatically analyses the scene and selects the appropriate shooting mode according to the primary subject.

Additionally, when iAUTO is selected on the mode dial, i-ENHENCE is applied as the default Picture mode to assure a heightened sense of realism.

Another new feature includes a dedicated Movie mode button that enables 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 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).

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.

The E-PL1 also has six Art Filters, including new Gentle Sepia. The filters 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.

According to Tan Tick Boon, Managing Director of Olympus (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, "From the survey conducted by Olympus Japan a few years ago, out of 119 million digital camera users, 20 per cent or an estimated 21.7 million users had expressed the desire to change or upgrade their cameras to a DSLR. However, they hesitated due to reasons like bulky camera body, heavy lenses, hard to carry around and very complicated functions.

"The new generation system cameras, a joint effort between Olympus and some leading players, was designed and built to solve the problem of users from having to carry big and heavy lenses. It does not compete directly with the DSLR camera range as the Micro Four Thirds system is totally different from the current Four Thirds."

The camera is the third model in the OLYMPUS PEN series of Micro Four Thirds System interchangeable lens digital cameras to be available.

The PEN E-PL1 is expected to be available in March 2010 for RM2,499, which comes with a 14-42 mm lens.


  • Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens system camera
  • 12.3 megapixels
  • SD Memory Card (SDHC compatible)
  • 2.7-inch HyperCrystal LCD
  • 4/3" High-Speed Live MOS Sensor
  • JPEG, JPEG+RAW file formats
  • AVI Motion JPEG (30 fps) video recording (HD 1280 x 720, Aspect 16:9)
  • Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Gentle Sepia art filters
  • 114.6 mm x 72.2 mm x 41.5 mm (excluding protrusions)
  • Approx. 296 g (body only)
  • White, Gold and Black

Full specifications

Source : Olympus press release