Next month sees the release in Australia of the second Olympus Pen-series Micro Four Thirds System (M4/3) camera, the Pen E-P2.


November 5, 2009: Next month sees the release in Australia of the second Olympus Pen-series Micro Four Thirds System (M4/3) camera, the Pen E-P2.
Building on the success of the Pen E-P1, which was released in July, the new model comes with a stylish black finish. Like the E-P1, the E-P2 features a mirror-less design for go-anywhere portability and the same metal casing for a premium, high quality feel. It also comes with the same built-in sensor-shift image-stabiliser (IS), which claims to be effective for up to four f-stops of shutter speed advantage for handheld photography. This stabiliser can also be used with non-Olympus lenses and users can optimise settings by simply inputting the focal length shown on the lens.


The Pen-E-P2 will be offered as a kit with one or two lenses and the new VF-2 Live Viewfinder. (Source: Olympus.)


Front view of the Pen E-P2 with 14-42mm kit lens. (Source: Olympus.)


Rear view with the VF-2 Live Viewfinder plugged into the accessory port above the LCD monitor. (Source: Olympus)
Key features carried over from the E-P1, which will continue to be sold, include the 4/3-inch, 12.3-megapixel high-speed Live MOS image sensor and TruePic V image processing engine, the 3-inch, 230,000-dot Hypercrystal LCD with 176 degree viewing angle. The High-Speed Imager AF system from the E-P1 is also provided in the new model, along with the Live Control function with icons that correspond to the camera’s buttons and dials. When shooting, a horizontal/vertical level gauge can be displayed on screen to aid composition. The four aspect ratios provided in the E-P1 are also offered in the E-P2.


Top view of the E-P2 (without a lens) showing the mode dial and hot shoe. (Source: Olympus)
New features introduced with the Pen E-P2 include:
– An accessory port, which is located just above the camera’s LCD monitor and expands the camera’s possibilities. The accessory port can also be fitted with devices such as external microphones, which can be attached via the new EMA-1 microphone adapter.
– An adjustable, super high-definition electronic Live Viewfinder (VF-2) with 1.44 million-dot resolution and a 100% field-of-view that plugs into the accessory port. This viewfinder, which features sophisticated aspheric optics to ensure high clarity, is supplied with the camera.


The new VF-2 Live Viewfinder, which clips into the accessory port and provides a bright, high-resolution view of the subject with 100% field-of-view coverage. (Source: Olympus.)


Side view of the E-P2 with VF-2 Live Viewfinder and M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/2.8 wide-angle lens, which will be offered with the new camera body. (Source: Olympus.)
– The addition of new Diorama and Cross Process filters to the six Art Filters provided on the E-P1. The Diorama filter reduces the plane of focus and enhances colour and contrast to create the look of a miniature diorama. The Cross Process filter simulates the appearance of a colour slide film processed in colour negative chemistry, providing interesting colour transpositions and a distinctive appearance.


An example of the effect of the Cross Process Art filter (shown on the right with unprocessed image on the left). (Source: Olympus.)


The Diorama Art filter effect is shown on the right with an unprocessed image on the left for comparison. (Source: Olympus.)
– A new picture mode, i-ENHANCE, analyses the colours and brightness in the central area of the frame and controls exposure to preserve maximum highlight and shadow detail. This mode can be used in the P, A, S and M shooting modes and operates automatically in the Intelligent-Auto (iAUTO) exposure mode, where the camera automatically chooses the optimum scene mode (Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports, Night Scene, or Night Scene & Portrait) by analysing the scene in frame.


An example of the effect of the i-ENHANCE mode is shown on the right with an unprocessed image on the left for comparison. (Source: Olympus.)
– A new e-Portrait scene mode that processes the image to help make a subject’s skin appear smoother. It only works for JPEG capture and the image size is limited to 2560 x 1920 pixels. When shooting in e-Portrait mode, both processed and unprocessed images are recorded. In addition, e-Portrait processing can be applied after an image has been taken.
– A new Continuous-Tracking AF function that can automatically track subject movements within the frame. Users can ‘lock-on’ to a subject by pressing the AF dial as they half-press the shutter button. Continuous-Tracking AF will then follow the subject’s movement within the frame.
– When the Olympus PEN E-P2 is connected to a compatible TV set by an HDMI cable (sold separately), the HDMI Control function allows users to control the camera’s playback functions via the TV set’s remote control unit.
The new camera offers the same Face Detect & Shadow Adjust Technology as the E-P1 along with the same MF Assist function, which automatically magnifies the centre of the frame by 7x or 10x whenever the focus ring is rotated. It also provides the same multi-exposure functions with in-camera automatic gain correction. Slideshows can be easily created from a mix of still images, movies and sound. Five background music files are included with controls for fade-in, fade-out slide transitions, volume adjustment and audio post-recording.
Like the Pen E-P1, the Pen E-P2 can record widescreen movies with a 16:9 aspect ratio (1280 x 720, 30fps), as well as standard-definition clips with 4:3 aspect ratio (640 x 480, 30fps). The new camera adds full manual exposure control for movie capture to the support for adjustments in the P and A shooting modes provided in the E-P1. Electronic image stabilisation applied when shooting movies is effective with all compatible M4/3 lenses. The Art Filters can also be applied to movies and still frames can be captured while movie clips are being recorded. Audio is recorded in linear PCM format with high fidelity and a dynamic presence.
The Olympus Pen E-P2 is due to go on sale in Australia in December. RRPs have still to be determined. For more information, visit