They are the long awaited (if not anticipated) OLYMPUS E-P3, OLYMPUS E-PL3 and OLYMPUS E-PM1 & 2 Zuikos, the Olympus MZ12mm and Olympus MZ45mm lenses.
This is Part 3 of a series of 4. I am covering or rather duplicating what was sent to me from Olympus’s Press Releases as I am in not in the position to comment or review the camera until I tested it.
I am going to share about Olympus E-PM1 in this episode.
2. Popular Live Guide user interface for easy, intuitive adjustment of brightness, colour balance, background defocusing and other photographic parameters
3. Six popular Art Filters that make it easy for anyone to express their photographic creativity
With the new “PEN mini” series,Olympusis bringing the concepts of ultracompactness, simplicity and stylishness to SLR photography, aimed directly at first-time interchangeable lens digital camera users.
The first in this new line of new generation system cameras, the OLYMPUS PEN E-PM1 is an interchangeable lens type digital camera that conforms to the Micro Four Thirds System, which is targeted at the fashion-sensitive younger generation.
The E-PM1 represents the culmination ofOlympus’s quest to maximise the size/weight reduction advantages of the Micro Four Thirds System standard. The ultra compact and light interchangeable-lens type camera, the camera body alone weighs just 215 grams, while the total in actual usage (with the standard zoom lens, flash, memory card and rechargeable battery) is still the world’s lightest at 401 grams. Available in a choice of six different colours, this model will appeal to a wide range of users with many different needs and requirements.
This camera also boasts sequential shooting performance of 5 fps and image quality built on the same advanced technology that powers the Olympus PEN E-P3, the just announced new flagship of the PEN series, continuing withOlympus’s policy of “providing the maximum image quality performance to all PEN models”. Better-than-ever image quality is made possible by the new 12.3-megapixel High Speed Live MOS Sensor with 1080i HD movie compatibility and the new TruePic VI image processing engine. High-sensitivity shooting at ISO12800 is also possible.
This camera also features the Art Filters well acclaimed with otherOlympuscameras so that anyone can easily enjoy photographic expressions that used to require complicated image processing. The E-PM1 incorporates six of the most popular Art Filters, allowing users to express their unique creative vision with both still images and movies.
Another example of Olympus’s commitment to relentlessly enhancing and advancing its line of new generation system cameras, this new camera is certain to expand today’s fast growing market for lens interchangeable type digital cameras.
– New control system for easier operation
– Ultrafast autofocus using new FAST AF system inherited from the E-P3
– 35-area multiple AF with group area selection
– High-performance 5 fps sequential shooting
– High image quality inherited from the E-P3
– New 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor with full HD movie compatibility
– New TruePic VI image processing engine
– Advanced movie recording
– Incorporates full HD movie shooting (AVCHD)
– Built-in stereo microphones
– Built-in sensor-shift type image stabilization plus electronic movie image stabilisation using the multimotion-compatible movie IS system
– High capability removable flash
– Tone control for individual variations of the tones of bright and dark sections
– One-push digital teleconverter function
– Menu Guide to clarify menu items
– New scene mode: 3D Photo Shooting
– Proven, reliable dust reduction system
Main Feature Details
The same Art-class SLR quality as the flagship E-P3 condensed in the world’s smallest/lightest body*1 weighing only 215 grams. Six body colour variations*2
Ultra compact and lightweight body with a stand-alone weight of 215 grams* The E-PM1 is the result of Olympus’s commitment to maximising the advantages of the Micro Four Thirds System standard, one of which is size/weight reduction while maintaining the high image quality of an SLR. Weighing just 215 grams, the E-PM1 is 27% lighter than the E-PL1 and E-PL1s (296 grams), previouslyOlympus’s lightest cameras. Volume has been reduced by 31%. Even when the camera is fully equipped for actual use with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II R, its removable flash, a rechargeable battery and a memory card, the E-PM1 is still the world’s lightest at 401 grams.
In addition to the traditional colours of Silver, White and Black, the E-PM1 is also available in Pink, Purple and Brown. From cute to classic, these variations make the PEN series even more attractive. Already, the PEN series is to have triggered the “camera girl” phenomenon with which more young girls and now, with even more styles and colours to choose from, the “PEN mini” should attract even more users.
Popular Live Guide user interface for easy, intuitive adjustment of brightness, colour balance, background defocusing and other photographic parameters
Updated Live Guide lets users easily obtain the results they want
Since the E-PL1 (launched on March 2010),Olympushas been incorporating a new user interface called the Live Guide. Designed for users who do not have expert knowledge of photography but want to have creative control over their pictures, Live Guide lets users shoot the pictures they want by selecting an icon and operating a slide bar to control the major factors for the SLR photography including “colour vividness”, “colour balance”, “image brightness”, “depth of field (blur background)” and “subject in motion”. The names of these factors are expressed in daily, easy-to-understand languages without any jargon.
Six popular Art Filters that make it easy for anyone to express their photographic creativity
Ever since the E-30 was introduced (December 2008),Olympushas been supporting the creativity of photographers by incorporating easy-to-use Art Filters in its interchangeable-lens digital cameras. The new E-PM1 incorporates six of the most popular Art Filters. These Art Filters allow the user to enjoy unprecedented creative possibilities with both still images and movies*1.
– Pop Art
Enhances colours, making them stronger and more vivid to create high-impact images with a pop-art feel.
– Soft Focus
Gives images a dream-like quality that creates a romantic and mystical atmosphere.
– Grainy Film
Recreates the classic grainy look and tonality of black & white photography, imparting a dramatic feel to images.
– Pin Hole
Adjusts colour and reduces brightness at the periphery, recreating the distinctive look of photos taken with a pinhole camera.
Creates the look of a miniature diorama by enhancing colour and contrast, and blurring the periphery to distort distance perception.
– Dramatic Tone
Represents real space in a more imaginary way by applying unrealistic tones of light and darkness based on local changes in contrast.
*1. When shooting a movie using an Art Filter, the number of frames and the presence/absence of audio recording are variable depending on the type of the Art Filter.
Art Filter bracketing for recording multiple Art Filtered pictures with a single shot
The Art Filter bracketing function can generate multiple pictures with different Art Filters with a single shot, making it possible to experiment with several different photographic effects at the same time. In addition to the Art Filters, this function can also be used to select multiple picture modes including Vivid, Natural, Flat and Portrait.
3D Art Filter compatible with 3D Photo Shooting scene mode
When the scene mode is set to 3D, the Art Filter can be applied to 3D photos. 5
Other Feature Details
New control system “stripe screen” for easier operation
Designed to be easy for anyone to use, the E-PM1 features a new control system with fewer control buttons and no mode dial. Operation steps have been reduced for maximum simplicity. Changing shooting modes is easy thanks to the new GUI’s “stripe screen”, which can be displayed by pressing the MENU button.
Ultrafast autofocus using new FAST AF system inherited from the E-P3
Like its bigger cousin, the E-P3, the E-PM1 incorporates an all-new autofocusing (AF) system that has been completely re-designed to perform at unprecedented speeds. During AF, the Live MOS Sensor is driven at double the speed (120 fps) of the previous system, facilitating faster acquisition of the image signals required for AF. The speed of AF computation that generates the contrast signal from the image signal to determine the degree of focusing has also been doubled. The advantages made possible by these improvements are further enhanced by the increase in the speed of communication for controlling the lens motion and the synergy of the MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) mechanism, which facilitates fast, quiet movement of the AF system in the lens, as well as faster response time from shutter release to the start-up of AF system. Together, all of these improvements have resulted in a much faster autofocusing than previously.
35-area multiple AF with group area selection
The number of focus selection areas has been increased from 11 to 35, enabling detailed, pinpoint AF across a wider area than before. To capture a moving subject accurately, the group area selection can apply AF to a limited region compose of 3 vertical and 3 horizontal areas.
High-performance 5 fps sequential shooting
A more compact high-speed shutter mechanism has been developed newly to be accommodated in the smaller body. The new shutter succeeded in improving the sequential shooting performance from the previous 3 fps to 5 fps.
High image quality inherited from the E-P3
New 12.3-megapixel High Speed Live MOS Sensor with full HD movie compatibility
New TruePic VI image processing engine
Committed to “providing the maximum image quality performance to all PEN models”, Olympus has generously endowed the E-PM1 with the same new 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS sensor and new TruePic VI image processing engine incorporated in the new flagship of the PEN series, the E-P3, due for release at the same time as the E-PL3. This has made possible full HD 1080i movie recording and improved the maximum sensitivity to ISO12800. The newly developed TruePic VI image processing engine achieves both improvement of image processing quality and reduction of processing time.
Advanced movie recording
– Incorporates full HD movie shooting (AVCHD)
In addition to the popular Motion JPEG (AVI: approx. 30 fps) format*1, which can be easily played back and edited on a PC, the new E-P3 can record movies in both full HD (AVCHD: 1920 x 1080/59.94i) and HD (AVCHD: 1280 x 720/59.94i) movie formats*2 for extended recording and playback on a large-screen high-definition TV set.
*1 Recording capacity per one file is limited up to approx. 2 GB; max. recording time is approx. 7 minutes.
*2 Recording capacity per one file is limited up to approx. 4 GB; max. recording time is approx. 22 min. in full HD mode, approx. 29 min. in HD mode. Image sensor output is approx. 30 fps.
Built-in stereo microphones
Olympus’s extensive experience in the field of IC recorders has made it possible to develop high-quality recording systems that offer extreme fidelity to the original sound and full presence. The camera body incorporates stereo microphones compatible with the linear PCM format (Motion JPEG mode) for high audio quality without compression, and Dolby Digital format (AVCHD mode). When high-quality external stereo microphones such as the SEMA-1 Microphone Set 1 (optional) is attached to the accessory port, audio input is switched automatically to the external stereo microphones facilitating higher quality stereo sound recording and effectively reducing wind noise.
Built-in sensor-shift type image stabilisation plus electronic movie image stabilisation using the multimotion-compatible movie IS system
The E-PM1 incorporates an image stabilisation mechanism based on image sensor shifting so handheld shooting with reduced image blurs is possible even in low-light scenes or telephoto shooting. This mechanism shifts the image sensor unit instantaneously and precisely, and is built into the camera body so image stabilisation is possible with any lens, including an M.ZUIKO DIGITAL lens as well as an old lens mounted using an adapter if the focal length is input manually.
Furthermore, an electronic movie image stabilisation function with multi-motion compatibility is incorporated to compensate for image blurs due to ordinary camera shakes to those caused by respiration and walking.
High capability Removable flash
A removable flash (GN10 (ISO200)) that can be attached only when needed is provided in the product package.
The E-PM1 is equipped with the wireless flash control capability so external flashes compatible with the Olympus Wireless RC Flash System such as the FL-300R can be controlled from the camera body on which the removable flash is mounted. In addition to the wireless control of three groups of flashes, the mounted flash can be fired as an independent group. The setting of manual firing can be set between 1/1 and 1/64 in 1-step increments to improve the convenience in macro flash shooting, for example.
Tone control for individual variations of the tones of bright and dark sections
As an extension of the brightness adjustment of the Live Guide, functions for individual adjustment of the brightness of only in the “bright section” or “dark section” is added to the exposure compensation function to enable adjustments equivalent to those available with the Live Guide even when this is not activated. These functions make easy the pictures with tight black with a taste of reversal film or advanced expressions for enhancing or eliminating the gradations of white of snow.
Menu Guide to clarify menu items
If two seconds pass without any operations during menu display, the camera enters the explanation display mode, popping up an explanation of each menu item whenever it is changed. As the user can find out what each function is used for and how it is used without the instruction manual, the explanation display is a big help for users who are not familiar with the camera or who have forgotten how to do some operations. Once the user is accustomed to the camera, pressing the INFO button turns the pop-up display off. Whenever an explanation becomes necessary, press the INFO button to start up the display again.
New scene mode: 3D Photo Shooting
The 3D Photo function has been newly added to the scene modes. After the first shot, simply sliding the camera following the guide takes the second shot and records a 3D file (MPO format). The recorded image can be played with powerful 3D playback on a 3D function-compatible PC or TV.
Proven, reliable dust reduction system
If dirt or dust penetrating the camera body during lens replacement attaches to the low-pass filter or image sensor, it will show up in the image. This problem is particularly important with the E-P3 because its mirrorless structure does not cover the image sensor with the shutter screen.Olympushas been aware of the critical nature of this problem since the beginning of development of lens interchangeable type digital SLR cameras and solved it properly. When the camera is turned on, the SSWF (Super-Sonic Wave Filter) installed in front of the image sensor is activated to blast dust away from the image sensor with supersonic vibrations. The tremendous power of the supersonic waves manifests reliable dust reduction performance by even removing dust that cannot be removed merely by shaking the image sensor or dust that is attached by intermolecular force and cannot be removed by merely discharging static electricity.
New Optional Accessories
Interchangeable Lens M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II R (Silver/Black)
The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II R is the new standard lens for the PEN series cameras. It has newly been designed to match the new line of PEN series while retaining the high performance of the previous M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II standard zoom lens. It incorporates the MSC mechanism and implements fast, quiet AF using the inner focus method. Despite the compact size and light weight, it is applicable in a wide range from street shooting to portrait shooting.
CS-31B Leather Body Jacket
The CS-31B is a genuine leather body jacket designed exclusively for the OLYMPUS PEN Lite E-PL3/E-PM1 . It protects the sensitive parts of the camera body without detracting from its design. In addition to the practical aspect of camera body protection, the body jacket’s genuine leather and rugged construction exude a sense of both traditional craftsmanship and contemporary styling. The mounting screw is recessed to make the jacket bottom flat, thereby improving stability when the camera is set down and enhancing the sleek look of the camera. The grip is made of leather of the same quality as the body jacket, providing an excellent hold, while complementing the design. Naturally, shooting and playback is possible while viewing the rear-panel LCD without taking the camera out of the body jacket.
CSS-S109LLII Leather Shoulder Strap
The CSS-S109LLII is a genuine leather shoulder strap with an increased length adjustment range that makes it even more convenient than the CSS-S109LL shoulder strap. The strap length can now be made short enough to use as a neck strap and long enough to sling over the shoulder and across the chest.
The colour can be coordinated with the body jacket.
CSS-S114 Shoulder Strap
The CSS-S114 (launched on January 2011) is a beige-coloured shoulder strap that’s both fashionable and practical. Now available in brown and green as well, it features a warm, natural design that complements any of the new OLYMPUS PEN models, including the E-P3, E-PL3 and E-PM1. Made of luxuriously textured fabric, this strap can also be customized by attaching pin badges* or other items. The length is about 138 cm, the optimum length to sling the camera over a woman’s shoulder and across her chest.
PT-EP06L Underwater Cases
The PT-EP06L is genuine underwater case designed exclusively for the OLYMPUS PEN E-PM1. This underwater case can create a powerful underwater photography system capable of withstanding water pressure at depths up to 45 metres.
To support the compact, lightweight advantages of the Micro Four Thirds System standard, the thickness of the underwater case has been reduced compared to the PT-EP03 Underwater Case (released in January 2011) for the OLYMPUS PEN Lite E-PL2, which itself was significantly more compact than previous underwater SLR camera cases.
The PT-EP06L is equipped with a new LED light* on the front end of the lens port that is great for helping illuminate small creatures hiding in dark locations — behind a rock, for example — for macro shooting. The underwater case is provided with a diffuser that makes it possible to attach the removable flash on the camera. This flash incorporates a wireless flash control function, enabling operation of the UFL-2 Underwater Flash.
The PTWC-01 Underwater Wide Conversion Lens or PTMC-01 Underwater Macro Conversion Lens can be mounted on the front end of the lens port to facilitate underwater wide-angle or macro shooting.
The OLYMPUS PEN E-PM1 incorporates the same underwater white balance function as the OLYMPUS PEN Lite E-PL2. As this function detects the underwater colour balance, which varies due to various factors such as the depth, weather and seawater condition, and compensates for the image automatically, it is easy to shoot bright underwater pictures with vivid colours. Whether still images or movies, the resulting pictures are free of the bluish colour cast common in underwater shooting.
In addition, the cases can be used on land as well as underwater so troublesome white balance setting adjustment is not necessary before and after diving.
* Usable only when the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 IIR lens is used.
Body / Lens Colour Combinations Available
The following body/lens colour combinations are available.
E-PM1 Lens Kit (3 colour variations)
– When the body colour is Black, the lens colour is Black.
– When the body colour is White or Silver, the lens colour is Silver.
E-PM1 Twin Lens Kit (6 colour variations)
– When the body colour is black, both lenses are Black.
– When the body colour is White/Silver/ Pink/Purple/Brown, both lenses are Silver.
OLYMPUS PEN E-PM1 is available at Olympus authorised retailers. For more information please visit http://home.olympusimage.com.sg/contactus/authorised_retailers.asp 10
About Olympus ImagingSingapore
Olympus Imaging Singapore is the unparalleled industry leader in opto-digital technologies, delivering award-winning digital imaging products for the consumer and professional markets inSingapore. Driven by a strong commitment in providing innovative products and solutions of the highest quality, Olympus Imaging Singapore works closely with industry partners, customers and otherOlympusbusiness units in producing leading-edge products. These include analogue and digital cameras, professional SLR imaging systems, and voice recorders, amongst others. Olympus Imaging Singapore’s unrelenting efforts in superior customer service also bear testimony to its brand promise of delivering the best user experience to all consumers and professional users in the imaging field. For more information, please visit http://www.olympusimage.com.sg.