Olympus Announces E-P1 Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens System Camera

The wait is finally over. It is official, previewed during PMA 2009, Olympus Imaging Corporation is pleased to announce the OLYMPUS PEN E-P1, an interchangeable lens system digital camera compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard, together with associated accessories.

Olympus E-P1 Front Look

The OLYMPUS PEN E-P1 is an interchangeable lens digital camera that compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard announced in August 2008. The nickname “OLYMPUS PEN” comes from company’s legendary half-frame film camera, which was released in October 1959 and rapidly swept across the world, sold a total of 17 million units worldwide and forever popularizing the joy of photography with people everywhere.

We decided to give the new product the same product name because this new camera brings to digital SLR photography the same breakthrough in size reduction and convenience that the original PEN, as well boasting a stylish design that echoes the charm of the original. This naming expresses our commitment to making it possible for as many people as possible to experience the true pleasure of photography at its finest.

The nickname “OLYMPUS PEN” comes from company’s legendary half-frame film camera

Olympus E-P1 Top View

Thanks to the Micro Four Thirds system standard, this camera features an internal structure that does not use a quick-return mirror, thereby facilitating a radical reduction in size without degrading the advantages of traditional SLR cameras such as high performance and high picture quality. The body boasts an attractive metallic finish that expresses the high quality and sense of compressed power exuded by the original “OLYMPUS PEN” series cameras.

Olympus E-P1 Mount Open

For enhanced operability, the new OLYMPUS PEN is also equipped with the iAUTO function popular on our compact digital cameras, which automatically evaluates the scene and sets the optimum scene mode accordingly.

The imaging circuitry uses a 4/3-inch, 12.3-megapixel high speed Live MOS Sensor and a newly developed TruePic V image processing engine to provide high still image quality equivalent to traditional SLR cameras. In addition, possible the recording of 720p HD (High-Definition) movies. Stereo audio recording capability in the linear PCM format is also provided, making it easy to shoot movies with high quality. In addition, the Art Filter function – which applies exciting filter effects to images – can be applied to movie images as well as still images, expanding opportunities for creative expression.

Olympus E-P1 TruePic V image processing engine

The release of this Micro Four Thirds System compliant product is a key part of our strategy to promote a “OLYMPUS PEN E-P1” that will appeal to a wide range of users as both an introductory digital SLR camera for novices as well as a secondary camera for high-level amateurs and professionals.

Main Features

Dignified Exterior Design

MFTS’s unique mirrorless structure makes possible a compact, lightweight camera that can be taken anywhere. With its compact design and attractive metallic finish, this bold new camera expresses a sense of compressed power.

Mirrorless structure for compact, lightweight body that can be taken anywhere

With conventional SLR cameras, the image is captured through the lens, passed through a mirror and pentaprism, and viewed on the viewfinder screen. With the Micro Four Thirds System standard, on the other hand, the mirror has been eliminated. With no need to incorporate a mirror box inside the camera, the length of the flange back can be reduced by about half without changing the image sensor size or compromising the image quality. Compared to our E-420 — the world’s smallest* digital SLR camera — the width has been reduced by about 8.5 mm, the height by about 20 mm and the thickness by about 18 mm. As a result, the overall volume has also been reduced by approx.58%.

Olympus E-P1 Side View

Olympus E-P1 Top View

Easy of use

High-Speed Imager AF enhances comfort of Live View shooting. The Live Control function facilitates easy, intuitive camera setting by selecting icons displayed on the LCD, while the iAUTO function automatically evaluates the scene and adjusts settings accordingly.

* High-Speed Imager AF enhancing comfort of Live View shooting

The E-P1’s autofocusing system uses our High-Speed Imager AF, which detects the contrast values on the image sensor and drives the lens to the position where the peak values are obtained. This focus adjustment method enables Live View shooting with the same ease of use offered by compact digital cameras, so even a person unfamiliar with digital SLRs can easily take excellent pictures of SLR quality.

* Live Control function facilitates easy, intuitive camera setting by selecting icons displayed on the LCD panel

The newly developed Live Control function allows even a person unfamiliar with digital SLRs to start using the camera immediately after purchasing it, allowing them to adjust settings easily and intuitively while viewing the Live View monitor. Icons that correspond to all of the camera’s buttons and dials are displayed on the Live View monitor and can be easily selected and operated using the main and sub dials – all without the user having to take their eyes off the image on the monitor. Any changes made are applied to the Live View image in real time, allowing the user to concentrate on shooting pictures.

* iAUTO function automatically evaluating the scene and adjusting settings accordingly

iAUTO is a fully automatic camera setting mode, which automatically sets the optimum scene mode (Portrait / Landscape / Macro / Sports / Night Scene / Night Scene & Portrait) when the camera is pointed at the subject. This function ensures that the optimum shooting mode is set without the user having to spend time adjusting the camera when a momentary shooting opportunity arises.

Power to create

The 4/3-inch, 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor and newly developed TruePic V image processing engine offer high image quality equivalent to conventional SLR cameras. This new camera offers HD movie shooting, high-quality linear PCM audio recording, as well as versatile new functions for creative photographic expression such as the Art Filter.

Olympus E-P1 sensor position

* 4/3-inch, 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor and newly developed TruePic V image processing engine offer high image quality equivalent to conventional SLR cameras

The image sensor uses a 4/3-inch High-Speed Live MOS Sensor featuring 12.3 megapixels and high-speed image processing. Exactly the same sensor size as the Four Thirds System standard, this sensor captures high-resolution images that accurately reproduce the intended composition with exquisite detail, rich gradations and natural colours.

The newly developed TruePic V image processing engine delivers clearer, higher-resolution images by exploiting the full performance of the lens. Sophisticated noise reduction that removes noise without obliterating details allows high-sensitivity shooting at ISO 6400 and beautifully reproduces delicate colour changes even in shooting without a flash.

* HD movie shooting and high-quality linear PCM audio recording

HD-quality movies can be recorded with the widescreen 16:9 (1280 x 720, 30 fps) aspect ratio, as well as with the standard 4:3 (640 x 480, 30 fps) ratio. Because the image sensor is much larger than those used in normal camcorders, this camera not only delivers higher image quality but also makes it possible to exploit a variety of effects unique to interchangeable-lens photography, such as the defocused image backgrounds produced by controlling the aperture or the arresting perspectives that can be achieved with different interchangeable lenses. The electronic image stabilization mechanism is built into the body so it can stabilize movie images and reduce camera shake regardless of the lens used.

Olympus E-P1 back view

Olympus E-P1 mounted with LUMIX-G VARIO HD 14-140mm F4-5.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S.

The Art Filters can also be applied to movies so stylish movies can be created with the user’s own personal stamp. In addition, the movie + still image shooting function automatically saves the last frame of the movie as a still image. The audio portion is recorded using the linear PCM format – a digital non-compressed recording format featuring high sound quality. Just like Olympus’s top-rated digital IC recorders, this camera delivers superior audio quality with high fidelity. Audio post-recording is also easy to do right on the camera.

When an Art Filter is used, the frame rate varies according to the Art Filter type..

 

* Versatile new functions for creative photographic expression such as the Art Filter

Versatile new functions for creative photographic expression such as the Art Filter Incorporating the same Art Filter function introduced on our E-30 and E-620 digital SLR cameras, the E-P1 makes it easy for anyone to create photographic images that reflect their own personal vision. The Art Filter effects can also be applied to previously recorded RAW images. This means that various effects can be applied to previously recorded RAW data using the camera alone.

The following 6 Art Filters are incorporated in this camera :

POP ART

Enhances colours, making them stronger and more vivid, creating high-impact pictures with a pop art feeling

SOFT FOCUS

Gives images a light, ethereal look and evokes a dreamy, mystical mood

PALE & LIGHT COLOUR

Utilizes muted colour tonalities to create a mood of reflection and nostalgia

LIGHT TONE

Subdues highlights and shadows to reflect the ambience of a perfectly illuminated scene

GRAINY FILM

Recreates the rich, grainy look and tonality of black & white photography, imparting a dramatic feel to images

PIN HOLE

Reduces the peripheral brightness, recreating the unique style and colouring produced by toy cameras

* Multi-Aspect function for selection from 4 aspect ratios

Four aspect ratios are available: standard 4:3; 16:9 for impressive, cinematic-style widescreen images; 6:6 – used by medium-format cameras; and 3:2, which is equivalent to the 35mm film size. The image obtained from the selected aspect ratio can be checked on the Live View monitor so that optimum one can be selected according to the intention and purpose.

* Multi-exposure function with Live View monitor display of current view superimposed on previously captured image

With multi-exposure, a previously recorded RAW data image is displayed as the base image on the Live View monitor while another image is shot and superimposed. The final result can be checked on the monitor before shooting and the gain is corrected automatically by the camera. Images stored on the memory card can also be superimposed via the play / edit menu (RAW data only, up to 3 pictures). This makes possible not only the multi-exposure of consecutive scenes but also synthesis of an image by superimposing images recorded at different times and places.

Other Features

* Built-in image stabilization mechanism with a correction effect up to 4 EV steps
* Reliable Dust Reduction system
* HDMI output for high-quality image playback
* Multi-Mix Slideshow playback with background music
* e-Portrait function for smooth rendering of skin texture
* Face detection system in combination with shadow adjustment technology
* Gradation Auto function to prevent over-exposure and under-exposure images
* MF Assist function supporting manual focusing with auto image magnification

* Accuracy 324(18×18) zone evaluated exposure measuring

More Photos

Olympus E-P1 with FL-14 External Flash

Olympus E-P1 (left) and Olympus E-420 (right) Side by Side

Olympus E-P1 (left) and Olympus E-420 (right) Top View

Olympus E-P1 Half Cut

Olympus E-3 Half Cut

 

Olympus E-P1 with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6

Olympus E-P1 Left View

Olympus E-P1 Right View

Olympus E-P1 with FL-14 and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6

Olympus E-P1 showcased during PMA 2009

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