Olympus Expands Micro Four Thirds Lineup With The New E-P2

Less than six months after the launch of its first PEN E-P1 Micro Four Thirds camera, Olympus is introducing the E-P2. Calling the new PEN "the world’s smallest 12.3-megapixel interchangeable lens system with In-body Image Stabilization," Olympus says the camera blends the image quality of a DSLR with High Definition video capabilities, stereo Linear PCM audio recording, and In-Camera Creativity controls.

Key specifications of the E-P2 include a 12.3-megapixel image sensor, in-body image stabilization, fast Imager Autofocus, 3-inch full color HyperCrystal LCD, Olympus Dust Reduction System, and the TruePic V Image Processor. The image sensor in the E-P2 is the same one used in the E-30 and E-620 DSLRs.

In comparison to its predecessor, the E-P2 adds an accessory port for a new high resolution electronic viewfinder or an optional external microphone adapter, two new Art filters, and a stainless-steel all-black body. The E-P2 also received a newly-developed Continuous Autofocus (C-AF) Tracking System and a new i-Enhance color boosting function.

The included detachable VF-2 Electronic View Finder (EVF) provides 1.15x magnification and a 100% field of view. To help minimize image ghosting on fast-moving subjects, the viewfinder refreshes quickly. For your convenience, the VF-2 can rotate up to 90 degrees, allowing you to look down into the viewfinder. This is especially useful when shooting subjects from challenging angles. The optional EMA-1 external microphone connector will accept the optional Olympus ME-51S stereo microphone as well as other microphones.

When capturing movies, the E-P2 now supports full manual shutter and aperture control. After connecting the camera to an HDTV via HDMI, you'll be able to control the camera's playback functions using the TV Remote.

Accessories for the E-P2 include the previously released 14-42mm and 17mm Micro Four Thirds lenses as well as a MMF-1 Four Thirds System Lens Adapter which makes the E-P2 compatible with all Four Thirds System lenses. Using the MF-2 OM Lens Adapter, you'll be able to attach Olympus OM film-based lenses to the E-P2 as well. Finally, an optional FL-14 flash unit is available.

Olympus also announced two new Micro Four Thirds System lenses today that will be available in the first half of 2010. The new super wide-angle zoom M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm f4.0-5.6 lens (18-36mm equivalent) and high-power wide to telephoto zoom M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 lens (28-300mm equivalent) are designed for use with the Olympus PEN E-P1 as well as the E-P2.

The Olympus E-P2 will be available in December and will come with the VF-2 electronic viewfinder and either the 17mm f2.8 Zuiko Digital pancake lens or the 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens for a suggested retail price of $1,099.99. Olympus plans to sell the E-P2 alongside the original E-P1.