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Olympus Releases Fourth Generation of PEN Cameras

Olympus Pen E-PL2 Olympus Pen E-PL2

Version four of the Olympus PEN camera line, the E-PL2, came out in January with a couple of notable improvements including in-camera advancements, alternate lens options and 720p HD video.

In-camera features include "live guide" playback for reviewing and editing video and stills in real time, the ability to overlay multiple creative filters, a higher ISO sensitivity (6400) for lower-light shooting. New "eye detect" autofocusing reduces blur by tracking up to eight sets of eyes before releasing the shutter.

This new model is also compatible with several new auxiliary lenses, most notably the MSC (move and still compatible) ED m14-42mm f3.5/5.6 zoom lens. Equivalent to a 28-84mm lens on this PEN body, this particular lens enables the user to have high-speed, silent autofocusing, an ideal feature when shooting video. With this new zoom lens, PEN users have a total of six M.Zuiko compact four-thirds lenses to choose from; however, the body is compatible with other four-third lenses from Sigma, Panasonic and Leica, or OM-film lenses with the use of a convertor.

The new ED lens can also be mounted with conversion lenses to take pictures with a fisheye, wide-angle or macro perspective.

Other accessories available for the PEN include a close-up spotlight and a PENPAL Bluetooth.

The new PEN unit has a 3-inch LCD monitor. Like its predecessor the E-PL1, the E-PL2 maintains its ease point-and-shoot camera, yet takes relatively high-quality images with its 12.3-megapixel sensor. Retailing at $599, the E-PL2 kit comes with the camera body and the MSC ED m14-42mm f3.5/5.6 zoom lens.

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