Thursday, January 6, 2011
Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:12 AM
Now this is an upgrade! The E-PL2, while an upgrade over the E-PL1, makes a number of changes that make even the E-P2 look outdated. Right now, the only advantage of the E-P2 appears to be the design and construction, as well as having a thumb dial, which the E-PL2 removes. The 12 megapixel sensor remains the same, but now there is a new 3" HVGA LCD screen, a new grip that looks much better to hold, and of course, a much lower price at US$600, which includes the new 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 MSC (Movie and Still Compatible) lens, which focuses quickly and quietly.
A bit of a minor laugh comes where Olympus mentions the new lens is also compatible with three new conversion lenses; a macro, wide-angle and a fisheye. I thought the idea behind an interchangeable lens camera was to well, you know, change lenses. I do wonder if the macro and fisheye convertors are a response to keeping Olympus users from buying Panasonic lenses. If so, here's a hint: Make your own lenses Olympus.
Other features include 720p video, a built-in flash (which the E-P2 lacks) and even more Art Filters. One downside is that the camera uses a new battery type. Sorry, no bringing in your old batteries from the last camera.
Also introduced are two new hotshoe accessories. First is the MAL-1 macro light, which is essentially two LED lights with mini diffusers each attached to a gooseneck to allow adjustments. Second is the very interesting PENPal Bluetooth dongle to allow sending photos to mobile phones and computers. As I mentioned in my previous article, connected cameras are the way to go, and this is the first step. It does look a little bulky though, so Olympus needs to get ease of use and reliability of the connection right. If it is a UI nightmare or bug-filled mess, the idea will die a still birth.
The E-PL2 will be available this month. Once again, price is US$600 with the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 MSC lens.