Olympus Revamps Digital Pen Lineup Plus New Flagship Compact

Photokina 2012

olympus at Photokina unveiled two new Digital Pen cameras, the Olympus Pen Lite E-PL5 and the Olympus Pen mini E-PM2, both of which are built on the same 16MP sensor found on the Olympus OMD-EM5. Olympus also introduced an intriguing pair of new Micro Four Thirds lenses, and a second-generation flagship compact camera, the Olympus Stylus XZ-2.



Note: Adorama is currently accepting pre-orders for the Olympus Pen Lite E-PL5, Olympus Pen mini E-PM2 and Olympus Stylus XZ-2. Orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Credit cards will not be charged until orders ship.




Olympus Pen Mini E-PM2


Olympus says the E-PL5 and E-PM2 (above) will have the same fast shutter responsiveness—they claim 0.2 second AF acquisition—as the OM-D. The new Pens are also the first Olympus cameras to offer Wi-Fi connectivity to the Internet via the bundled FlashAir card, and transfer from camera to smartphone using PENPAL app.

Both the Olympus Pen Lite E-PL5 and Olympus Pen Mini E-PM2 share the following key features:

  • Touch AF Shutter on touch screen with anti-fingerprint coating
  • Same 16MP sensor as OM-D
  • Claimed world’s fastest AF
  • All Art Filters (Pop Art I/II, Soft Focus, Pale and Light Color I/II, Light Tone, Grainy Film I/II, Pinhole I/II, Diorama, Cross Process I/II, Gentle Sepia, Dramatic Tone I/II, Key Line I/II, new Water Color I/II)
  • Olympus Image Share via FlashAir card
  • Top ISO 12800
  • New brighter, better image quality in LCD monitor, claimed to be easy to view outdoors
  • 8fps burst rate/3.5fps with tracking AF


Olympus Pen Lite E-PL5


In addition, the Olympus Pen Lite E-PL5 (above) offers:

  • Changeable Grip
  • Small target AF for small subjects
  • Movie tele-converter for 4x magnification with HD quality
  • Touch AF during video recording
  • Art Fade switches Art Filters during movie shooting
  • HDR bracketing +2 or 3 EV
  • BGM download
  • New RAW image editing in camera
  • “My Sets” now on Mode Dial
  • Full resolution ePortrait
  • Lens IS Priority

The Olympus Pen E-PM2 will be available at Adorama for 549.99 body only; the Olympus E-PL5 will be available at Adorama for $649.99, body only. Adorama is accepting pre-orders now and will deliver the cameras on a first-come, first-served basis.


Olympus Stylus XZ-2


Olympus Stylus XZ-2

Olympus first announced that its entire compact camera lineup will carry the Stylus name, and then introduced the new flagship, the Stylus XZ-2. A premium system camera with a 1/1.7 inch back side illuminated CMOS sensor, it features the same 11 art filters as in the OM-D, an f/1.8-2.5 zoom lens with an analog-type lens ring with click detents for adjustment of focus or exposure, a touch AF shutter on the 3-inch LCD monitor with improved construction that Olympus  says will be easier to see outdoors, a flip-out monitor for low- and high-angle photography, and macro focusing down to within 3 inches.

The Stylus XZ-2 is Flash Air compatible and uses the new Olympus Image Share smartphone app. It has a built-in filter, full HD movie with multi-motion IS, a detachable grip and accessory port for flash or an eye-level electronic viewfinder.

The Olympus Stylus XZ-2 will be available at Adorama for $599.99 Adorama is accepting pre-orders now and will deliver the cameras on a first-come, first-served basis.

New Micro Four Thirds Lenses

Olympus also announced two new lenses as well as a third that is under development: the Olympus M Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro, the intriguing Olympus 15mm f/8 Bodycap Lens, and the development of a 17mm “high-grade snap lens.” Let’s take a closer look at each lens:


Olympus M Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro

Olympus M Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro

Olympus has announced the next generation of its Micro Four Thirds macro lens, the Olympus M Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro, replacing the 50mm f/2 Macro lens. Upgrades include improved image quality, a longer focal length, internal focusing  so the working distance doesn’t change, a focus limit switch, all in a smaller package thanks to the 1/3 stop slower aperture. The lens focuses to true 1:1 macro, has rounded aperture blades for pleasing bokeh, is ruggedized against dust and splashes, and has 5-axis Image Stabilization when used in combination with the OMD.


Olympus 15mm f8 Bodycap Lens

Olympus 15mm f/8 Bodycap Lens

At 9mm it’s not much thicker than a lenscap: the Olympus 15mm f/8 Bodycap is a simple 3-element lens with a fixed aperture but which can be focused manually up to 30cm via a focus tab; slide the tab all the way in one direction and an internal cap protects slides in to protect the front element. This could end up being an interesting lens for street photography, although the fixed aperture is limiting. But for an expected price of less than $100, it should sell like pancakes.

Finally, Olympus announced that a new high-grade “snapshot focus function” lens is in development: A 17mm f/1.8 prime (35mm equivalent: 34mm) with a metal exterior, possibly similar to the highly-rated 12mm lens that came out last year.

Availability at Adorama will be announced soon. All of these products can be pre-ordered now; see links on the right side of this page.


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