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Outdoorphoto Blog » Up, up and away with the new Olympus PEN

Up, up and away with the new Olympus PEN

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It’s the digital age and, for Olympus, that means creating the ultimate lightweight, high output camera. Although it’s packed with professional options, the PEN is as easy to use as a compact. A helpful new Live Guide to set difficult SLR features was created with users in mind, and that’s not all the PEN has on offer. Effects ranging from i-Auto and i-Enhance to e-Portrait can all be viewed and framed in real time on the 2.7” LCD to ensure pictures look as if they were shot by a master.

pen010Inspired users find their fill with the PEN creative options. A selection of six Art Filters, such as the new Gentle Sepia, lets them explore their creativity in both film and still photography. HD movie fanatics are in for another treat: they can change depth of field and angle of view, vary the autofocus and snap high resolution images while they shoot. Previously unthinkable in consumer camcorders, a huge set of interchangeable lenses – including fast and ultra-light Micro Four Thirds models – provides even more possibilities.

Giving memories the stage they deserve, the PEN marries quality movie and photo shooting with simplicity. It is available in a choice of four colours starting.

The PEN E-PL1 – main features:

Small & stylish design

  • Extremely small and light-weight Micro Four Thirds System
  • Stylish design with metal finish
  • Four colours

SLR image quality

  • 12.3 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
  • TruePic V image processor
  • Built-in IS with max. 3 EV steps efficiency
  • Adapter for all ZUIKO DIGITAL & OM lenses

pen011Easy operation

  • New developed GUI for easiest operation via Live Control
  • Live Guide
  • Automatic recognition of common scenes possible with i-Auto
  • i-Enhance function to boost colours
  • Clear skin with e-Portrait
  • AF Tracking
  • Face Detection and Shadow Adjustment Technology
  • 25 shooting modes (5 exposure modes, i-Auto mode, 19 scene modes)

Creativity & HD Movie

  • HD Movie with sound, depth of field and Art Filters
  • 6 Art Filters, Multi-Aspect ratios
  • Multi Exposure function
  • Art Filters can be applied to previously taken RAW images in the camera and with Olympus software
  • Enhanced creativity with special lenses e.g. fisheye is available via Four Thirds lens adapter

Additional features of the PEN E-PL1pen012:

  • Integrated flash
  • HDMI TV interface
  • Linear PCM sound recording
  • Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface
  • 3fps with sequential shooting (max. 10 in RAW mode)
  • ISO 100-3200
  • Bracketing functions for white balance and exposure
  • Supersonic Wave Filter dust reduction system
  • Wide dynamic range in highly lit areas
  • Simultaneous writing of RAW and JPEG
  • SD memory card (SDHC compatible)
  • High-speed data writing and lossless RAW compression
  • Large 6.9cm/2.7” Hyper Crystal LCD
  • AE/AF lock functionality
  • Auto gradation adjustment to prevent blown highlights and blocked-in shadows
  • Remote release possible via the optional remote cable RM-UC1

The PEN E-PL1 is available in the following configurations:

  • PEN Kit in: black/black, champagne/silver, white/silver, red/black (PEN body & M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6)
  • PEN Double Lens Kit: black/black/black, white/silver/black,
  • champagne/silver/black (PEN body & M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 & ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150 1:4.0-5.6 & MMF-2)
  • PEN Body in: black, white and champagne

New accessories:

  • PT-EP01 underwater case
  • M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 ultra-wide angle zoom (late April)
  • M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 wide-angle to telephoto zoom (late May)

 


Notes (glossary)

AF tracking: This system tracks the moving subject automatically and keeps it continually in focus for pictures that are optimally focused and exposed. It also memorises subject data even when the subject goes out of frame and resumes tracking when it reappears.

Angle of view: Image angle recorded by a lens. The bigger the angle, the “wider” the picture or movie.

Art Filters: Enables special artistic effects to be created directly in the camera. The following Art Filters are available in the PEN.

Pop Art: Enhances colours, making them stronger and more vivid to create high-impact pictures that express the happy, light-hearted feeling of the pop art style.

Soft Focus: Creates a soft tone which gives pictures an ethereal, otherworldly atmosphere. It renders pictures as though they were veiled in heavenly light, without obscuring details such as the hair or flower petals.

Grainy Film: This effect recreates the feeling of reality evoked by grainy, high-contrast monochrome pictures. The strong presence and dramatic atmosphere make the subject stand out impressively.

Pin Hole: Reduces the peripheral brightness like an image seen through a pinhole. Added to this is a unique colour tone that results in a style that has an air of secrecy or portrays the feeling of being lost in another dimension or space.

Diorama: Enhances a composition’s depth of field to give the image an unreal touch and model-like structure.

Gentle Sepia: Elegant filter which gives image a muted, soft tone but conserves its dark edge. The contrast between light and dark gives pictures a touch of class.

Built-in image stabilisation: Built directly into the camera, it enables the photo-enhancing effects of image stabilisation to be enjoyed irrespective of the attached lens. A gyro sensor detects the precise direction of the shake. Using the on-board Supersonic Wave Drive (SWD), the image sensor shifts to compensate for movement caused by camera shake.

e-Portrait: Touches up the appearance of subjects even while the shot is being taken. This feature recognises faces and automatically makes skin on the face and adjacent areas appear smoother, brighter and more youthful.

Depth of field: During movies or picture shooting changing depth of field varies the distance between the closest and most distant points at which a subject appears to be in focus.

HD Movie: High-definition video (HD video) delivers high-quality movies at a resolution of 1280×720 pixels and a rate of 30 frames per second.

i-Auto mode: This “intelligent-Auto” mode uses advanced automatic detection technology to allow the camera to recognise the six most commonly used scenes automatically. They enable the capture of perfect photos without any need for manual settings.

i-Enhance function: By invoking this function, the camera automatically enhances colours. In this way the saved results resemble the way we recollect memories more closely.

Micro Four Thirds Standard: Micro Four Thirds was developed to maximise the performance potential of digital imaging technology. It allows users to enjoy the same high image quality as the Four Thirds Standard’s 4/3-type image sensor in a much more compact body. The new Micro Four Thirds Standard enables the development of ultra-compact interchangeable lens type digital camera systems unlike anything seen before. It also incorporates a greater number of lens-mount electrical contacts for the support of new features and expanded system functionality in the future.

Multi-Aspect: The PEN lets photographers choose from four different aspect ratios that enable individualised framing of scenes. These provide a new means of adding expression to shots and the selected ratio can be seen directly on the camera’s LCD. The available aspect ratios include: 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, and 6:6.

Multi Exposure: With this function, two RAW images can be overlapped to create a new picture while shooting. Up to three RAW images can be combined in editing mode.

PEN: The PEN series was first introduced in 1959 as a half-frame camera. With its revolutionary design and price, this camera made photography available for a much bigger user group. The idea behind its design was pure and elegant – to create a camera that was as easy to carry and use as a pen. The PEN was designed by legendary Olympus designer Yoshihisa Maitani, one of the most famous product designers in the history of photography. In 1963 the PEN F was launched as the world’s first 35mm half-frame system SLR. By the time it was introduced, 16 lenses were available. 17 million PEN cameras were sold, making it one of the most popular and successful cameras ever. Today PEN cameras are a much sought after collector’s item and are traded for incredible prices on the second-hand market.

Supersonic Wave Filter: Dust entering digital cameras with interchangeable lenses can cause damage to photos. The Supersonic Wave Filter is a transparent filter which is located between the camera’s shutter and sensor. It shakes off settled dust particles by generating a series of ultrasonic vibrations. Olympus was the first to incorporate dust protection.

TruePic V image processor: Olympus’ latest image processing engine. It automatically enhances important aspects of image quality including: colour reproduction (colour range, saturation and brightness), picture sharpness (reduced image noise, improved edge reproduction), as well as providing faster processing speeds. Furthermore, it supports Art Filters, HD movie quality recording, and high sensitivity shooting at up to ISO 3200 to enable unprecedented creative expression.

The post Up, up and away with the new Olympus PEN appeared first on ODP Magazine.

About the Author:

Sean has been shooting since schooldays (started with a borrowed Pentax K1000 from His sister, also a photographer) but only became seriously involved with photography when he returned from living in Eastern Europe. While overseas he did shoot some non-profit editorial work and also made the big switch from Nikon to Canon. Today, Sean likes to shoot Stock. "Stock is the 'best of both worlds' industry, that requires creativity and very set guidelines to be successful..." Sean also teaches photography (basic, advanced & other Stock-related courses) and frequently arrange "shooting days" for photography clubs and individual groups.

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