(Continually updated) Olympus E-PL2 and XZ-1 officially announced! (+ Panasonic compact cameras)



Olympus E-PL2 at Amazon.com (no preorders just notify)
Olympus XZ-1 at Amazon.com (no preorders just notify)

Interesting notes

Engadget has been the first to publish the new Olympus camera news. At the same time Panasonic announced a bunch of new compact cameras.
– XZ-1 costs $499 and E-PL2 $599!
– The collapsible M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II MSC is 25% lighter than the previous generation (but maximum magnification of 0.19x rather than 0.24x).
– MAL-1 Macro Accessory will retail for around $150 USD
– There is a very interesting kit les comparison (old vs new kit) at DSLRmagazine (See chart in the middle of their review).
– According to DSLRmagazine the E-PL2 has a slightly larger dynamic range than the Olympus E-PL1
– We now added a POLL at the bottom of this post. Participate! Let us know if you like the new Olympus cameras and accessories!
– 4 Reasons Why the Olympus EPL-2 and XZ-1 Will Dominate in Sales (ThePhoBlographer).
– the other m4/3 and the xzl1 can’t use the penpal accessory(Forum Olympus France)


Olympus XZ-1 Review . Part 1 at davidchuaphotography.com
Olympus E-PL2 Hands-on Preview (Imaging Resource)
Hands-On With Olympus’ Brand New E-PL2 Camera, 2011 Line-Up (Crunchgear)
First Look: Olympus E-PL2 review (Pocketlint)
E-PL2 First Take at CNET Asia
Olympus XZ-1 announced and previewed at Dpreview.
Olympus E-PL2 announced and previewed at Dpreview.
Olympus E-PL2: la Prueba (DSLRmagazine)
New Olympus Micro Four Thirds PEN E-PL2 Camera (Tvsmith.my)
New Olympus XZ-1 Flagship Compact (Tvsmith.my)
Quesabesde “Olympus XZ-1: toma de contacto”

Image samples

E-PL2 image samples at Letsgodigital.
Olympus XZ-1 image samples on Flickr.
E-PL2 Studio scene comparison (JPEG) + image samples at Dpreview.
Hands-on images at Engadget.
Olympus E-PL2 photos at Photographyblog.
Olympus XZ-1 Hands-On Photos at Photographyblog.

Video samples

Olympus Pen E-PL2 quick video test (Pocketlint on Youtube).
Olympus E-PL2 HD 720p video sample (DPnow on Youtube).

User impressions

Dale is in Las Vegas and tested the new cameras: “I played with both the E-PL2 and XZ-1 tonight here at CES.THe PL2 is quite lovely. IT feels amazing in the hands, and has a finish that is easy to love. Olympus had the PenPal on one of them. They told me that while it’ll Bluetooth send to a phone, it doesn’t necessarily work with a PC…yet. I told them they need to get on that.
The XZ-1 is less impressive than I hoped, but I think I like it better than my
LX5 Panasonic. It feels a bit light and cheap in the hand, but the glass is very nice, and I was able to take some nice test shots even in crappy casino ballroom lighting. This thing is going to sell like hotcakes.

Press release

The Pen lens converter presentation at olympus.
Systemkameraforum (german)
Pen and Tell blogspot (German)
Nouveau Olympus XZ1 : Ze bombe (Forum Olympus France)
Olympus PEN E-PL2 : encore plus mieux…(Forum Olympus France)
Introducing all new Olympus cameras (Olympusamerica).
4 Reasons Why the Olympus EPL-2 and XZ-1 Will Dominate in Sales (ThePhoBlographer).
Photoscala (german E-PL2 press release)
E-PL1.net forum
Dpreview (Panasonic unevils S series of budget compacts)
Dpreview (Panasonic introduces Lumix DMC-FH5 and DMC-FH2)
Dpreview (Panasonic announces Lumix DMC-FP7 and DMC-FP5)
Dpreview (Panasonic debuts Lumix DMC-FH27 and DMC-FH25)
Focus Numerique (Article about the new Paasonic compacts)

  • ggweci

    Wow, the black PL2 pictured looks great!

    Good job on the rumours Admin!

  • Wife

    Nothing exciting yet.

  • drooooooooooooool. :)

  • arash

    E-PL2 looks great
    exciting :)

  • James

    What’s the sensor size of the XZ-1? It can apparently blur the background for portraits, but I guess it’s smaller than m43?…

    • Henrik

      1/1.63″ or the same size as the LX5 if you are helped by that :).

    • There will always be situations when it’s possible to achieve blurry backgrounds with a compact camera. Just zoom in, and make sure the background is really, really far away from your subject. ;)

    • Voldenuit

      As Henrik said, it’s the same size as the LX5’s, which gives it a crop factor of ~4.3x.

      At full telephoto, the 24/2.5 is the equivalent of a 100/11 on FF for DOF. That should still be enough for background defocus at portrait distances (5-10 ft).

      • napalm

        if JPEG master Olympus thought it right, they should have a portrait function that slightly adds more bokeh in post-processing. i’ve seen it on other digicams though that properly implemented

  • Tom

    No flip screen? I was really hoping for a flip screen. After all, the Sony’s got ’em!

    Make the ep3 will have one.

  • Admin, you are a dude.

  • bilgy_no1

    Great stuff admin, catching this news already a long time ago.

    Reception of the E-PL2 seems very positive so far, and rightly so. XZ-1 also definetely of interest. Let’s hope Olympus continue this positive development with good and up-to-date products.

  • Reza

    1. The top panel on E-PL2 looks exactly like that of E-P1/2, but in molded plastic. This probably means E-P3 will look different? I don’t like the way the pop-up flash looks separate from the body in engadget pictures.

    2. E-PL2 has gained one dial. A good compromise perhaps, however I’m now too much used to the two dials on my E-P1 to let go.

    3. XZ-1 has two dials apparently. I hope the dial around the lens works like the dial on E-P1/2. Canon S90/95 also have that dial, but I don’t quite like the way it is used on those models.

    4. $599 for the E-PL2 is the right price point, but $499 for XZ-1 is a bit on the expensive side. If I was in the market for a m43 camera, E-PL2 would totally make sense, but XZ-1 has to go against LX5/S95.

    5. That said, if I didn’t already have an S90, I probably would be tempted by XZ-1 immensely. Maybe I’ll wait for XZ-2 in a year… The lens is really sweet on paper, but I’ll wait for reviews first.

    6. Finally a guess about the camera that shot the engadget pictures (there is no exif info on the pictures). Apparently a very fast (below f/2.0) lens was used without a flash, judging based on the bokeh. However, the pictures have a slight motion blur, which means the setup wasn’t stabilized, even though a high ISO was used. This shows the power and importance of IBIS, which is why I’m very impartial to Olympus (and Pentax) cameras.

    • Reza

      Another point about the pictures in Engadget. These are a great demonstration why you have to carry a white card around to set custom white balance!

  • Eric

    The E-PL2 is one good looking camera. It’s the best looking m4/3’s body to date IMO. I can’t wait to see what they come up for the advanced model.

    • Wife

      Agree. I like the look too. But feature-wise, I’ll stick with my plan to get the GH2.

      Though at this rate, by the time the GH2 is more available, the EP3 will probably come out.

    • Miroslav

      Best looking m4/3. Good to see retro styling tamed a bit.

      Now, just put an EVF in the top left corner, make that 3″ LCD with 16:9 aspect ratio so that the height remains the same and make it articulating. Oh, and OLED touchscreen wouldn’t hurt :).

      BTW, interesting to see an Olympus compact with Panasonic sensor and Samsung screen :).

  • inteliboy

    When do you think we’ll start seeing/hearing more news about the pro cameras (fuji x100, gf3, e-p3 etc) ? Or is CES only consumer focused?

    • luc chartier

      A Fuji X100 newsletter was mailed yesterday to all those who suscribed to be informed. Direct links to the updates on lens, viewfinder, design:




      I like what Fuji is doing. And the EPL2 looks fine, even finer when compared to the XZ-1, which is not that small and is too expensive for a compact camera when a clearly superior camera as EPL2 is only $100 more.

  • WT21

    These are both really gorgeous cameras! Oly may have a winner on their hands. I know the NEX is likely “smaller” but that Oly is much better looking.

    I just need some new lenses, and I still might wait to see the m43 “pro” body.

    Well played, though, by Oly.

  • WT21

    The kit lens looks more solid, too

  • Would be interesting to know how that:


    works in practice.

  • Reza

    Hmmm, where is the AE/AF lock button on E-PL2?

    • WT21

      Maybe programmable for the function key??? That does seem like an oversight.

      • Reza

        What I really like to see in their pro m43 camera is 7 buttons: AEL/AFL, play, delete, menu, info, Fn and zoom.

        In my daily use of E-P1 I use all the first 6, and sometimes (manual focus lenses) like to have the 7th.

        • Reza

          Oh and two dials!

          • TR

            For me that zoom button for focus is important

  • WT21

    I don’t suppose they quieted the shutter, though. That would be worth an extra $100 to me!

    • Steve

      Me too!

  • Voldenuit

    $499 is a ridiculous price for the XZ1. I’d rather get a m43 camera (E-PL1 now ~$400) or a good cameraphone for less. It needs to drop to $399 post-haste.

    • Boss

      It’ll drop to $400 eventually, just like my LX5 did. I paid $500, cause I wanted it immediately, but its $400 now, which is about the right price for either of these cameras…

  • Better looking than I thought it would be. I didn’t like the EPL1 looks but this is nice.

  • Voldenuit
  • What are the key differences with EPL1?

    1) slightly better ergonomy
    2) new accessory port (which I don’t need)
    3) new lens (which I don’t like: so far the only m43 lens I like is Panny’s 20mm)
    4) better screen

    Well, if they’ll have a kit with a 12mm lens only, I might consider it, but as is it’s very deluding for me: ergonomy should have been right from the beginning, 2 & 3 aren’t my cup of tea. And 4) alone doesn’t worth $200 premium compared to EPL1.

    See also here: http://dpreview.com/previews/olympusepl2/

    • Voldenuit

      Yes, the E-P2 is only $70 more than the E-PL2 at the moment, and comes with the VF-2 which retails for over $200 by itself.

      Both it and the E-PL1 are better value than the E-PL2, which is only to be expected for older, soon-to-be discontinued models.

      The problem is that the E-PL2 doesn’t carry enough of a technological upgrade over its older siblings to justify its purchase at the moment.

      If you’re in the market now, grab an E-P2, E-PL1 or GF1 while they’re still available, because they probably won’t be for long.

    • Miroslav

      5) 1/4000 shutter speed
      6) 1/180 flash sync speed
      7) scroll wheel
      8) SDXC card support
      9) ISO 6400
      10) Dramatic tone (HDR?) art filter

      We’re still waiting for AF speed and photographic tests, but these are enough for an upgraded model with the same starting price.

  • samshootsall

    I thought that OLY was suppose to come out with a TOP PEN model? Will that be saved for last? :(
    I wouldn’t mind getting the Xz-1. I use to have the C5050 & it was a good little cam back in the days :0
    “Keep shooting Away!”

  • lkm51
    • btw, the photos have the EXIF information.

  • Michael Meissner

    The E-PL2 goes back to supporting a wired shutter release (and wireless with the appropriate 3rd party release).

    The E-PL2 gets 1/4000 shutter speed like the E-P2 if you are shooting in bright light with a 20mm lens wide open.

    The new accessory port seems to be needed for the bluetooth option.

    It is claimed that the new 14-42mm focuses faster than the old one, and is 25% lighter, but I suspect you are not the customer for those type of lenses (or the add-on converters).

    The rumors are the E-P2 replacement won’t be coming until late February or March.

  • lkm51
  • I love the visual appearance of this model. It is very handsome. Much better looking than the EPL1 and on pare with the EP1 and EP1. It is still missing an iso button and I don’t like the circular wheel that much. The lens is very tempting, but I just traded in my EP1 for a $300 GF1. Very excited to see what the new high end Olympus and Panasonic will offer. Hopefully articulating display, all metal body, and more leather on the camera. I hope Olympus keeps up the good visual design of this camera and that Panasonic veers from the same old faux dslr look. I have to say that I like my hacked GF1 better than my EP1. Manual video control is a must. What are the video specs of the EPL2?

  • Admin, I guess you won the bet from a couple posts before. Make sure he buys you that new kit lens like he said he would. Thanks for all your work. This is a very exciting site with all of these cool cameras coming out often!

  • Paulo

    Oh my God, this is my future cam!!! Perfect!!!

    DSLR, bye bye!!

  • Robbie
    • Wild guess, but non-members can’t see what displayed there.

  • FYI your link to the Panasonic GF1 body only for $299 is over, its now $449

  • AR

    Such a great camera- let down by a paltry selection of crap overpriced lenses. :-(

    • napalm

      why? you can always use Pany lenses right?

    • Valk

      Compared to what lenses? I don’t know about your region in the world, but the Oly lenses in Australia represent outstanding value for money for us consumers!

      For example:

      The 14-150 is AUD$799. If you’re comparing this to canon & nikon equivalents (so the 18-200 IS or VR), you’re looking at $1099 and $1199 respectively. (In addition to that, you can actually buy the E-PL1 kit with the 14-150 for $1199 which is currently attracting a $150 cashback, so you even can get a camera body as well as a lens for less than what you’d pay for an opposition lens!) Many reviews have shown that the 14-150 is just as if not a bit sharper than those other lenses.

      The 9-18 is also AUD $799
      Canon 10-22 AUD $1199
      Nikkor 10-24 AUD $1499

      Like I said, don’t know what region you’re living in, but in Australia, crap, overpriced lenses? I think not.

  • napalm

    IQ comparison from dpreview:

    compare it with the E-5… seems the E-PL2 is a little more detailed at ISO3200-6400? (although a bit underexposed)

  • the black one looks lovely
    available in kits in Jan-11 (earlier than the Mar-11 GF2 already announced, and factor in Pan supply performance)

    looking forward to body only version street prices, but am still very happy with my EP1 (mmm, tempting though)

    good to see the black 17/2.8 on body … but not a kit mentioned on the launch

  • that LCD is HUGE!
    and the viewfinder port looks more designed in than the after-thought lump we have on EP2 & EPL1 … interesting note that there is mention on DPR that this does not replace the EPL1 just sits between the EPL1/EP2

  • Reza

    Ok, so the movie button can be customized to AEL/AFL. That makes it much better.

    I still want the second dial though, will wait for the pro version.

  • Reza

    XZ-1 is as large as LX5, much bigger than S95. For me this is a huge disappointment. My S90 lives in my jeans pocket, which can’t be said for XZ-1 or LX5. If I want to have the camera on a strap around my neck, I’ll take a m43.

    I still need to see samples though, as I’m not completely satisfied with the S90’s lens sharpness.

    • Voldenuit

      I don’t see the point of the accessories for the XZ-1. By the time you stick a VF-2 or FL-36R on the camera, you might as well be packing a m43 camera – it won’t be much bulkier, and the pictures will be a hella lot better.

      You know what I’d like to see in m43? A compact flash with bounceable head like Canon’s 270EX. I’m sick of lugging my FL360 on my GF1.

      • Ulli

        did you check the video about the e-pl2?
        the built in flash is bouncable!

        • Yeah… Very useful feature for a GN8 flash. :/

        • Voldenuit

          Bouncable on the internal flash is not that useful because of:

          1. Low power (as Miklos Rabi said)
          2. No TTL metering

          It may be better than nothing, but a dedicated flashgun with TTL metering is better still.

          • Ulli

            i misread your prev message..ofcourse a dedicated flash is more versatile, but the little one in the pen is enough for close shots and i think that its main purpose anyway.

          • Miroslav

            Of course a dedicated flashgun is better, but to rephrase your post:

            By the time you stick FL-36R on the E-PL2, you might as well be packing a DSLR.

            m4/3 is all about portability.

        • Miroslav

          That’s great news, they’ve kept all the good E-PL1 features.

  • Aisha

    hmm, it looks more like a gf1 now, less retro.

  • Aisha

    ok, black is not for me, but I like silver version :D
    Im guessing $599 will be €599.. ?

  • Voldenuit

    Oh yeah, $150 for the snap on macro accessory? What are they smoking?

    A Raynox is $50 and you can use it on a multitudinity of lenses.

  • Miroslav

    It’s not larger than E-PL1: excellent!

    If the flash can bounce as E-PL1’s and the upcoming high end m4/3 doesn’t come with all this + fullHD video + articulated LCD, this is going to be my next camera.

    And Oly please, make a kit with 14-150 lens …

  • tobi


    Nice one. I couldn’t care less for all the accessories, but the camera itself is a very nice offer.

    I hope it will fare well in the market, competitively priced and very accessible to new users as it is.

    While I would want an all out enthusiasts camera (if I’m honest I’m just to cheap to come up with the money for a Leica), this will be nice to have for families:

    It takes good pictures hassle free and if you suddenly develop a taste for the technical side it will have quite some untapped potential left.

    Very nice camera! I’m tempted.


    • tobi

      Oh…and admin:

      Well done! You’ve been spot on! Thank You!

  • DonTom

    Antone else spot the retro lens hood (E-PL2)? Very cool:


    @ Admin: thanks for being the first to show us this camera! I like it, but won’t treat myself to an upgrade from the E-PL1, because I am sure there is a more significant upgrade coming this year (and I’m cheap….).

  • Jonathan

    Not so bad! Competitive pricing (I was expecting $100 more for both cameras on introduction), nice features, nice selection of accessories.

    I really do not understand why the XZ-1 has the older accessory port. I think such a camera could really benefit from the Bluetooth functionality, for example, allowing users to update their facebook, twitter etc online.

    IQ wise, based on the dpreview comparator, I see no real difference between between the E-PL2 and the previous Pen models. They all seem to offer slightly better JPGs than the Panasonic GF2 across the ISO range.

    The Nex is no compatition is lower ISO but matches the Pen cameras in about ISO 800 and takes better stills from ISO 1600 upwards. All in all this is not so bad for cameras based on a smaller and older sensor. IMO the overall NEX package is no where as attractive as the Pen’s.

    I am really looking forward to the rumored ‘pro’ models based on Panasonic’s next generation sensors! Until then I am holding on to my trusty G1.

  • tttulio

    very disappointed, it is a great camera dumbed down by the marketing department.
    Not even 1080p video, any Xacty or GoPro can do that now.
    Unless the firmware is hacked it will never reach its true potential.

  • skent

    a photographer posted a user-review of a pre-production model here, along with some sample shots. the 100% ISO1600 crop looks impressive


  • The Master

    I don’t really see anything special just gimiky. If Olympus really wanted to make a lasting impression, then they would have made something like the Fuji X100 and got a Kodak sensor or made their own, instead of two or three year old hand me downs, from Panasonic. I bought the EP1 at launch and it left me with the feeling, that Oly was dumping stuff onto the market, that wasn’t ready for market. I won’t make that mistake again. I used to like Olympus, back in the film days and early digital years, but they remind me of Toys-R-US now.

  • safaridon

    Admin – Any comment or news yet whether or not the EPL2 has gone back to the better body build stainless steel lens mount of the EP1/2? Looks like it from this picture?

    Thanks for all your news

  • Do

    It seems that the Macro lens converter is desigend natively for the 40-150mm and the 14-150, and needs an adapter when used on the kit lens, other than the wide angle and fisheye converters. Also the telezooms seem to profit more, magnification rates are between 0,4 and 0,47 for them and just 0,28 x for the new kit lens (versus 0,19 without converter or 0,24 for the old kit lens). All informations are taken from german Olympus homepage.

  • ggweci

    For Canadians, it looks like the E-PL2 will MSRP for $599 up here too:


    Good news.

  • dpreview
    “Body material: Plastic with metal front panel”

    This is the ONLY thing that would stop me buying an EPL2 – or hesitate – I’d prefer all metal like my EP1. I’m super impressed Oly. I’ll think real hard about getting this EPL2. I might wait on the EP3 launch and then decide which is the better fit for me … or carry on with my original PEN EP1

    but, Oly did a real good job hear by the looks of things.

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