Olympus E-P2: All the informations you need continually updated inside this post!


Hands-on by Lori Grunin form CNET US


This page will be continuely updated!

preorders:
– Amazon US: Olympus E-P2 with 17mm f/2.8 Lens and Electronic View Finder $1,099.99!
– Amazon US: Olympus E-P2 with 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens and Electronic View Finder also for $1,099.99!

previews (cronological order – newest on top!):
forum-olympus-france.com (in french only)
digitalcamerareview.com (with Autofocus Tracking test-video)
quesabesde.com( hands on video in spanish)
Hands-on by Lori Grunin form CNET US
DCresource
fourthirds-user.com
PhotoReview Australia
pekkapotka.com
The Digital Story
Quesabesde Click here for the google english translation
Imaging Resources
CNET ASIA

First image samples:
dpinterface
43rumors image samples
43rumors E-P2 press photos
mycen.com

Official announcements:
Engadget
Photoscala.de. Google english translation available here.
Photographyblog – E-P2
Photographyblog – new Lenses
dpreview
British Journal of Photography

Videos made with the E-P2
youtube

Everything else:
Dave Etchells (Imaging Insider) talk with Sally Smith Clemens of Olympus about the new E-P2 Digital Pen.

Interesting comments:

Imaging Insider:Autofocus. Only one other problem came to light with the Olympus E-P1 in my shooting, and that was a tendency for the AF system to miss focusing on smaller foreground objects in favor of the background. That still happens with the Olympus E-P2, something I wish they’d addressed with a finer AF point, as is included on the Panasonic GF1.

CNET Asia: As with the GF1, the new Pen digicam has a port below the hotshoe for users to attach the VF-2 EVF. This accessory has a super-high resolution of 1.44 megapixels, almost seven times that of the Panasonic’s. and “On its own, the E-P2 is able to record stereo sound, though often it captures ambient noise as well.” and “The ports for the EVF on the GF1 and E-P2 are different, so they are not interchangeable.” and “The unit we tried was a prototype, so we weren’t not able to find out whether Olympus has fixed the slow focusing problem which plagued the E-P1.

Photoscala.de: E-P2+EVF = 899 Euro
Thanks everyone for sending me the links!

The Lens roadmap…Fisheye, wide and macro lenses also coming!
zuiko_lens_eng

click on the image to enlarge it!

Olympus E-P2 officially announced on dpreview!

London, 5 November 2009 – Welcome back to the PEN story and the next chapter: “Back to Black”. This latest retro-chic digital Olympus PEN builds on EISA’s 2009/2010 “Best Camera of the Year”, an icon of style and quality. To enrich photographic potential, the new E-P2 includes a port for an electronic viewfinder or external microphones. Two additional Art Filters combine with the new i-Enhance function for yet more creativity and image enhancement. Two new Micro Four Thirds lenses are due in the first half of 2010: the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 (18-36mm*) super wide-angle zoom and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 (28-300mm*) high-power telephoto zoom lenses. Cloaked in classic black, the hybrid photo and HD movie Olympus PEN boldly brings fun and simplicity back to SLR quality. It’s the next exciting chapter in a photographic story that is set to run and run. Available from January 2010 for £850 including the electronic viewfinder.

Building on brilliance
The new generation of PEN (E-P2) boasts an enviable pedigree. It comes hot on the heels of Olympus’ award-winning first Micro Four Thirds System camera inspired by the revolutionary Maitani design of the original PEN series. This second digital model takes usability and functionality even further by with diverse fresh features:

  • Accessory port for accessories like viewfinder and microphones
  • Two additional Art Filters (Diorama and Cross Process)
  • Colour-boosting i-Enhance function
  • AF tracking
  • Remote slideshow control (via HDMI)
  • HD movies in M-mode

Experience true framing freedom
A dedicated accessory port on the back of the camera extends flexibility. The first compatible device, an electronic viewfinder is included with the E-P2. Enjoy bright, high-resolution depictions under all conditions and a 100% field of view. Tiltable by up to 90°, reminiscent of medium format camera viewfinders it also promotes shooting from unique perspectives. Viewing picture information and adjustments as you go is a given. More accessory port attachments starting with an external microphone adapter for a variety of microphones will also follow soon.

Click for creativity
Inspiring creativity, two new Art Filters join the six already introduced by the E-P1. Use Diorama to create the illusion of a model world or flip colours around with Cross Process, both available for use in still or HD movie mode. Meanwhile, the new i-Enhance function boosts specified colours within the frame to add even more punch to the image if you so desire. Like its predecessor, the E-P2 offers the choice of aspect ratios and multiple exposures. Also remaining on board is the level gauge, i-Auto mode, and the flattering e-Portrait option.

AF tracking is added making the sharp capture of moving subjects easier than ever and when it’s time to take a look at the results, just kick back and relax as high-definition slideshows and HD movies can be viewed using the remote of a TV set connected to the camera via HDMI.

A legacy of chic styling and SLR quality continues
The latest PEN inherits the inimitable looks and ultra-compact form of its critically-acclaimed sister model in addition to all its outstanding technologies. Photographers benefit from a defined high-end standard based on the Micro Four Thirds System that guarantees SLR quality results. The large pool of compatible interchangeable lenses provides tremendous versatility – from the ultra-slimline M.ZUIKO DIGITAL Pancake to the complete Four Thirds lens line-up (with adapter). Attachment of an external flash unit, such as the retro-styled Olympus FL-14, extends the possibilities even more.

Reliably crisp images are secured through the 12.3 Megapixel Live MOS sensor combined with a dust reduction system and high-performance in-camera image stabilisation giving protection against shake to 4 EV. And at the core of this PEN is the guarantor for fast, top-quality image processing, even at up to ISO 6400: the state-of-the-art TruePic V engine. The Live Control GUI simplifies operation while the effect of functions can be monitored in real time – on both the 7.6cm/3.0” HyperCrystal LCD and the 1,440,000 dot electronic viewfinder.

HD movie magic
Capable of recording AVI format movies in 30fps 1280x720p HD resolution and boasting immaculate PCM sound quality, the PEN also lets users discover the magic of movie making. Seven minutes of footage can be recorded in a single shot. Furthermore, many still photography functions and options; including the application of Art Filters, depth of field, angle of view and AF tracking, remain operational in movie mode. Another new perk is the ability to film using the M-mode, good news for those with a creative touch. And because shooting is possible using any attached lens, a whole new world of framing potential emerges. Users can also capture high resolution still shots while filming at the touch of a button.

The Olympus E-P2 builds on its coveted predecessor’s wealth of high-performance temptations. “With the first PEN, many journalists and experts already told us that we had defined a totally new camera segment. Adding superb new features like an accessory port, viewfinder and new Art Filters has made an already incredible camera even better” explains Mark Thackara, National Marketing Manager at Olympus UK. This retro-cool model is finished in classic black and will become available from January 2010 at a price of £849 including the electronic viewfinder. An optional, matching black leather body jacket will also be on offer.

Pricing:

Full UK pricing on all kits is yet to be confirmed. The E-P2 14-42 Zoom kit with viewfinder included is expected to have an RRP of £849. This and the other kit prices will be confirmed nearer the availability date.

The Olympus E-P2 – main features:

Small & stylish design

  • Extremely small and light-weight Micro Four Thirds System
  • Stylish design with black metal finish
  • Accessory port to clip-on electronic viewfinder and microphone adapter

SLR image quality

  • 12.3 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
  • TruePic V image processor
  • Built-in IS with max. 4 EV steps efficiency
  • Adapter for all ZUIKO DIGITAL & OM lenses

Easy operation

  • Live Control GUI for intuitive handling & real-time views of effects
  • Automatic recognition of common scenes possible with i-Auto
  • i-Enhance function to boost colours
  • Clear skin with e-Portrait
  • AF Tracking
  • Two dials for easy handling
  • Face Detection and Shadow Adjustment Technology
  • 20 shooting modes (5 exposure, i-Auto, 14 scene modes)

Creativity & HD Movie

  • HD Movie with stereo sound featuring depth of field and Art Filters now available in M-mode
  • 8 Art Filters, Multi-Aspect ratios
  • Multi Exposure function
  • Art Filters can be applied to previously taken RAW images in the camera and with Olympus software
  • Enhanced creativity with special lenses e.g. fisheye is available via Four Thirds lens adapter

Additional features of the Olympus E-P2:

  • Based on the Micro Four Thirds Standard
  • HDMI interface
  • Linear PCM sound recording
  • Level gauge
  • Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface
  • 3fps with sequential shooting (max. 10 in RAW mode)
  • ISO 100-6400
  • Bracketing functions for white balance and exposure
  • Supersonic Wave Filter dust reduction system
  • Wide dynamic range in highly lit areas
  • Simultaneous writing of RAW and JPEG
  • SD memory card slot (SDHC compatible)
  • High-speed data writing and lossless RAW compression
  • 7.6cm/3.0” HyperCrystal LCD
  • AE/AF lock functionality
  • Auto gradation adjustment to prevent blown highlights and
    blocked-in shadows
  • Remote release possible via the optional remote cable RM-UC1

New accessories:

  • M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 super wide-angle zoom lens (first half of 2010)
  • M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 high-power telephoto zoom lens (first half of 2010)
  • Leather strap in black
  • Leather body jacket in black


AF Tracking
This system tracks the moving subject automatically and keeps it continually in focus for pictures that are optimally focused and exposed. It also memorises subject data even when the subject goes out of frame and resumes tracking when it reappears.

Art Filters
Enables special artistic effects to be created directly in the camera. The following Art Filters are available in the Olympus E-P2:
Diorama: Enhances a composition’s depth of field to give the image an unreal touch and model-like structure.
Cross Process: Returns depictions with striking colour and contrast shifts akin to those achieved through the cross processing technique in silver halide film development.
Pop Art: Enhances colours, making them stronger and more vivid to create high-impact pictures that express the happy, light-hearted feeling of the pop art style.
Soft Focus: Creates a soft tone which gives pictures an ethereal, otherworldly atmosphere. It renders pictures as though they were veiled in heavenly light, without obscuring details such as the hair or flower petals.
Pale & Light Colour: The foreground is enclosed in flat, gentle light – similar to a flashback scene in a film – creating a sense of déjà vu.
Light Tone: Creates a picture with a gentle feel to it, similar to one taken under artificial lighting. Both the shade and highlight areas are rendered very softly to provide a sophisticated atmosphere.
Grainy Film: This effect recreates the feeling of reality evoked by grainy, high-contrast monochrome pictures. The strong presence and dramatic atmosphere make the subject stand out impressively.
Pin Hole: Reduces the peripheral brightness like an image seen through a pinhole. Added to this is a unique colour tone that results in a style that has an air of secrecy or portrays the feeling of being lost in another dimension or space.

Built-in image stabilisation
Built directly into the camera, it enables the photo-enhancing effects of image stabilisation to be enjoyed irrespective of the attached lens. A gyro sensor detects the precise direction of the shake. Using the on-board Supersonic Wave Drive (SWD), the image sensor shifts to compensate for movement caused by camera shake.

e-Portrait
Touches up the appearance of subjects even while the shot is being taken. This feature recognises faces and automatically makes skin on the face and adjacent areas appear smoother, brighter and more youthful.

HD Movie
High-definition video (HD video) delivers high-quality movies at a resolution of 1280×720 pixels and a rate of 30 frames per second.

i-Auto mode
This “intelligent-Auto” mode uses advanced automatic detection technology to allow the camera to recognise the six most commonly used scenes automatically. They enable the capture of perfect photos without any need for manual settings.

i-Enhance function
By invoking this function, the camera automatically enhances colours. In this way the saved results resemble the way we recollect memories more closely.

Micro Four Thirds Standard
Micro Four Thirds was developed to maximise the performance potential of digital imaging technology. It allows users to enjoy the same high image quality as the Four Thirds Standard’s 4/3-type image sensor in a much more compact body. The new Micro Four Thirds Standard enables the development of ultra-compact interchangeable lens type digital camera systems unlike anything seen before. It also incorporates a greater number of lens-mount electrical contacts for the support of new features and expanded system functionality in the future.

Multi-Aspect
The E-P2 lets photographers choose from four different aspect ratios that enable individualised framing of scenes. These provide a new means of adding expression to shots and the selected ratio can be seen directly on the camera’s LCD. The available aspect ratios include: 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, and 6:6.

Multi Exposure
With this function, two RAW images can be overlapped to create a new picture while shooting. Up to three RAW images can be combined in editing mode.

PEN
The PEN series was first introduced in 1959 as a half-frame camera. With its revolutionary design and price, this camera made photography available to a much bigger user group. The idea behind its design was pure and elegant – to create a camera that was as easy to carry and use as a pen. The PEN was designed by legendary Olympus designer Yoshihisa Maitani, one of the most famous product designers in the history of photography. In 1963 the PEN F was launched as the world’s first 35mm half-frame system SLR. By the time it was introduced, 16 lenses were available. 17 million PEN cameras were sold, making it one of the most popular and successful cameras ever. Today PEN cameras are a much sought after collector’s item and are traded for incredible prices on the second-hand market.

Supersonic Wave Filter
Dust entering digital cameras with interchangeable lenses can cause damage to photos. The Supersonic Wave Filter is a transparent filter which is located between the camera’s shutter and sensor. It shakes off settled dust particles by generating a series of ultrasonic vibrations. Olympus was the first to incorporate dust protection.

TruePic V image processor
Olympus’ latest image processing engine. It automatically enhances important aspects of image quality including: colour reproduction (colour range, saturation and brightness), picture sharpness (reduced image noise, improved edge reproduction), as well as providing faster processing speeds. Furthermore, it supports Art Filters, HD movie quality recording, and high sensitivity shooting at up to ISO 6400 to enable unprecedented creative expression.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0911/09110501olympusep2.asp

Interview with Yasuo Funakoshi (chief designer Olympus) – excerpts from an interview conducted in-house by Olympus’ own Pursuit magazine publisher


There are many factors that go into choosing a new camera – chief among them user friendliness and performance. But there is also something to be said for aesthetic elements such as good design and the use of color in making a choice.

At Olympus, our Design Centre is in charge of product design. The design of our new OLYMPUS PEN , an interchangeable lens system digital camera, is one more result of their efforts. Olympus Pursuit went to talk with Yasuo Funakoshi, the man who was in charge of designing the OLYMPUS PEN E-P1.

OLYMPUS PEN E-P1
OLYMPUS PEN E-P1
PURSUIT: So, I hear you’ve always thought about how great it would be if the PEN went digital.

Funakoshi: Back when I was in elementary school, the first camera I ever used was a PEN. I still can’t forget how happy I was at that moment and how the camera’s cold metal felt when I took it in my hands. I thought I’d love to create a camera like that if I ever had the chance.

As you know, the PEN is a high-profile camera that sparked the half-frame size boom and has sold over 17 million units. So, I thought that I could grab the attention of a host of camera lovers if I could go a step further and give them a digital SLR camera that was even smaller.
Neptan interviews Mr. Funakoshi, the OLYMPUS PEN E-P1 designer
Neptan interviews Mr. Funakoshi, the OLYMPUS PEN E-P1 designer
I wanted the countless Olympus fans out there to roar with delight at how the new camera felt in their hands and how the sensation when pressing the shutter button was just like the PEN they fondly remembered. I really wanted to stick faithfully to my design all the way, so that they would have something to get excited about beyond the product’s price.

PURSUIT: What were you particularly picky about in terms of design?

Funakoshi: I really focused on the mode dial. I gave it a slightly recessed placement in the body, but in doing so, I think it makes it look like it’s made out of a solid piece of metal, rather than a single sheet that was cut into a round shape.
I wanted to produce a sharp look, as if it had been carved out with a chisel.“I wanted to produce a sharp look, as if it had been carved out with a chisel.”
And then there’s the indicator groove of the mode dial. I had it scored with a cutting machine because I wanted to produce a sharp look, as if it had been carved out with a chisel. This produced the quality feel of a metal plate with substance, rather than a plate so thin that a hole could be made in it with just a little cutting.

Needless to say, this sort of detailed craftsmanship is difficult and takes a lot of time. But our manufacturing division responded to my demand, “Make it look good without any compromises!”

The user friendliness of the mode dial has also dramatically improved. You might feel that the dial would be easier to turn if it were made to protrude a bit more, but when you actually try it, it’s by no means difficult to turn with a finger. And you won’t find that the mode has accidently changed while carrying it in a bag. I think we’ve come up with a design that at first glance seems to put aesthetics first, but actually is user friendly.
I can't believe how cool it looks every time I see it.“I can’t believe how cool it looks every time I see it.”

PURSUIT: How did you feel now that you see how the E-P1 turned out?
Funakoshi: I can’t believe how cool it looks every time I see it. I was in charge of the design, but it takes more than a designer to make a camera. Our development and manufacturing divisions really did a great job. I really do appreciate the high level of perfection they achieved.

I truly hope people that think digital SLR cameras are too big give the E-P1 a try. I was shooting for a camera that would give users a little joy during their day, simply by having it there in their bag. I want them to carry it around and enjoy it everyday.

Rumor classification explained

As you have noticed I always try to classify our rumors. Some people still have not understood the classification and they are surprised when a rumor doesn’t come true. Time has come to explain you in detail how it works:

FT1  rumors (FT= FourThirds):
I rarely post FT1 rumors and only when they are funny. A FT1 rumor will never come true!

FT2 rumor:
These are new unknown sources. Most rumors I receive are from this kind of sources. I only post it when I have the feeling that the person who writes me is honest. You never know, he could know the truth.

FT3 rumor:
Mostly from unknown sources. In this case he tells me something I’ve already heard from trusted or other non trusted sources

FT4 rumor:
From trusted sources only.  Most of the FT4 rumors are doublechecked, that means another second source confirms the rumor.

FT5 rumor:
When many of my trusted sources do confirm a rumor.

Very important! These are all rumors and not official Olympus or Panasonic news. They can always be wrong! Trusted sources are the ones who where right with some of the rumors they gave me before.

Thanks!

Quesabesde interviews Michiharu Uematsu from Panasonic!

Read the article in spanish or very bad (and sometimes funny) english google translation.

The most intesting points are:

The budget and resources are limited, so you have to prioritize, and now is the time to focus on the Micro Four Thirds” -> No more FourThirds products?

Removed the mirror, it seems logical that the next victim will be the mechanical shutter…” -> Cameras with electronical shutter in 2011?