Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Mirrorless EVF Cameras
Interchangeable Lenses Meet Maximum Portability
STANDOUT FEATURE: The Pen panache at a lower price.
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Olympus PEN E-PL1
ESTIMATED STREET PRICE: $599 (with 14-42mm zoom)
Like the E-P1 and E-P2 (and most of Olympus’ DSLR lineup), the E-PL1 features a Four Thirds-format 12.3-megapixel High Speed Live MOS image sensor. Like the EP-1 and E-P2 (but unlike Olympus’ DSLRs except the new E-5), the E-PL1 can do HD video: 1280x720/30p HD and 640x480/30p SD video. A new red video button starts video recording; press the shutter button to shoot a still image, and use those two buttons to toggle between still and video recording.
A new Live Guide lets you see the effects of various settings before you shoot; when you like what you see, press the shutter button to record it. Six Creative Art Filters (including a new Gentle Sepia one) let you add effects easily to still images and video. Sensor-shift image stabilization works with all lenses (albeit with just three shutter speeds of compensation vs. four in the E-P2) for still images, with electronic stabilization for video.
Other differences between the E-PL1 and its higher-priced brothers are a 2.7-inch LCD monitor (vs. 3.0 inches in the E-P1 and E-P2), a mostly plastic rather than metal body, a mono built-in microphone (stereo sound is available via the EMA-1 adapter and an external stereo mic), a top shutter speed of 1/200 sec. (vs. 1/4000 sec.), a top ISO setting of 3200 (vs. 6400) and no control dials. The E-PL1 does have a built-in flash unit (and will accept the same accessory flashes as the E-P1 and E-P2), and will accept the clip-on VF-2 EVF (unlike the E-P1).