Olympus has been lauding its Pen series Micro Four-Thirds cameras for a while, offering interchangeable lenses and DSLR-like quality at sizes that don’t require an extra camera bag with wheels and one of those suave extensible handles. Now with the Olympus Pen E-PL1, the company is aiming to bring the price tag for Micro Four-Thirds quality down to earth: the 12.3 megapixel Pen E-PL1 will be priced at $599.99.
“Many of today’s consumers want a camera with the professional still image quality of a DSLR and HD video in a compact body that’s as easy to use as a point-and-shoot,” said Olympus Digital DSLR senior marketing manager John Knaur, in a statement. “Thanks in part to an image sensor that’s approximately eight times larger in size than what’s inside the average point-and-shoot camera, the E-PL1 delivers outstanding high-quality images.”
The Pen E-PL1 offers a 12.3 megapixel resolution, a 2.7-inch LCD display, and in-body image stabilization that keeps both stills and movies sharp—and it works with any Micro Four-Thirds lens connected to the camera. Speaking of movies, Olympus is keen to let potential customers know the E-PL1 shoots 720p video at 30 frames per second, with full manual control available for both aperture and shutter speed, enabling HD video auteurs to more readily “express their visions.” The Pen E-PL1 also features a built-in flash, multiple exposure capabilities, 19 scene modes, autofocus tracking, face-detection, in-camera editing and pop-art filters, and a dust reduction system. The camera uses SD/SHDC media, and the truly adventurous will be happy to know an underwater housing is available that can take the Pen E-PL1 down as far as 40m.
Olympus says the Pen E-PL1 will be available in March for a suggested price of $599.99 with a Zuiko Digital ED 14–42mm ƒ3.5/5.6 zoom lens; colors will include blue, gold, and black.