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Olympus PEN E-PL1 camera launched

Next-gen Olympus micro four-thirds model for £549

Olympus PEN E-PL1 MFT digital camera - front and rear

Olympus has announced its cheapest micro four-thirds camera so far – the Olympus E-PL1 – the third-generation successor to 2009’s Pen E-P1 and E-P2 models.

Available from March 2010, the E-PL1 has a 12.3Mp Live MOS sensor, integrated flash and 2.7-inch LCD display, and Olympus claims that this camera offers SLR performance with a lightweight design.

Olympus’ latest micro four-thirds (MFT) camera also has an HD movie mode with one-touch video capture button. It’s capable of recording video at 1280x720p resolution and 30fps, but only up to seven minutes in a single take.

For creativity, the E-PL1 has six art filters for still photos and movies, including Pop Art and sepia-toning filters.

Find out how other micro four-thirds models have fared in our lab tests by reading our digital SLR camera reviews

These include:

  • Olympus E-P1 review
  • Olympus E-P2 first look review
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 review
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 review

Olympus E-PL1 ‘guarantees superior image quality’

Olympus claims that the TruePic V image engine ‘guarantees superior image quality at up to ISO 3200’. Which? will put these claims to the test when we send the E-PL1 to our expert labs for a full review. 

Olympus have included some other tricks in the E-PL1’s arsenal. i-Enhance is claimed to make colours appear vivid and rich, i-Auto mode automatically adjusts camera settings depending on what type of scene or subject you’re photographing, and e-Portrait ‘gives your subjects a facelift by glossing over impurities’.

Finally, ‘Live Guide’ simplifies camera settings into plain language, and lets users preview their photos, so the E-PL1 should appeal to beginners looking for a versatile camera without the complexity of a DSLR.

Olympus is making the E-PL1 available in two bundles: a single lens kit which bundles the E-PL1 with a 14-42mm single zoom lens, and a twin lens kit which includes the E-PL1 and the 14-42mm lens, pls a MMF-1E system adaptor and 40-150mm E-TeleZoom (28-300mm equivalent) zoom lens.

The E-PL1 will be available in black, white, champagne and red colours, costing £549 with the single lens kit, or £699 for the twin zoom lens kit.

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