From 1959 until 1983 Olympus produced a series of compact 35mm cameras wearing the “PEN” nameplate. The earliest Olympus PEN series cameras were 35mm half-frame SLR cameras, while the later PEN cameras were ultra compact point-and-shoot cameras. In the summer of 2009, the “PEN” marquee returned, as the first micro four thirds system digital camera was announced, namely the Olympus PEN E-P1. With The E-P1, Olympus has successfully combined the performance and image quality of a digital SLR camera with the ease-of-use and compact form of a point-and-shoot digital camera, and Olympus did it with style – the award-winning E-P1 had a very beautiful retro design inspired by the original PEN series.
Now the second generation of “digital” PEN has been released, namely the Olympus PEN E-P2. The new E-P2 inherits the beautiful retro design and the excellent digital SLR-like qualities from its predecessor, of course with some improvements. It comes with a 12.3 megapixel Four Thirds Live MOS sensor, a 720p High Definition movie recording capability which allows you to adjust the exposure during movie recording, a 3.0 inch 230,000 dot resolution LCD display, and most importantly, a new additional accessory port at the back of the camera. Olympus has also launched two new lenses for the E-P2 as an addition to the existing two lenses which were launched alongside the E-P1, these include a 9-18mm f/4-5.6 wide-angle lens and a 14-150mm f/4-5.6 superzoom lens.
All those improvements put the Olympus PEN E-P2 a step ahead of most rivals. Moreover, Olympus has also been working hard in boosting the autofocus speed of its PEN series cameras, now the E-P2 promises the fastest focusing yet across the whole range. If you are a creative types out there, Olympus has also added two new art filters to the E-P2, namely ‘Diorama’ and ‘Cross Process’. We found that the Diorama mode is the thing that makes the E-P2 so hard to put down, it mimics the effect of a tilt-shift lens and makes full-size objects look like miniature models. It’s extremely fun to experiment with this mode, especially if you like city or landscape shots.