updated 09:56 am EDT, Mon September 17, 2012
OM-D bodies continue to shrink
Olympus has introduced several products, including two PEN mirrorless cameras, a Micro Four Thirds macro lens, a body cap lens and a new color option for an existing lens. The PEN E-PL5 and E-PM2 represent the evolution of the company's compact system cameras, utilizing the same 16.1-megapixel OM-D sensor and TruePic VI processing engine as the E-M5 but in smaller bodies characteristic of the PEN series.
Both PENs feature an ISO range up to 25,600, with support for 1080p video and 8fps still bursts in Single AF mode. The autofocus system, also inherited from the EM-5, provides a Touch AF mode that takes advantage of touchscreen input to lock onto subjects.
The E-PM2 is aimed at newcomers to the interchangeable lens system, as the smallest and lightest model in the broader PEN lineup. Most controls can be found on the three-inch touchscreen, rather than scattered around the body as dedicated buttons or dials. The E-PL5 provides the same basic features, along with a swiveling display that rotates upward by 170 degrees and downward by 65 degrees.
The company's Micro Four Thirds lens offerings now include a 60mm f2.8 macro option, a single-focal-length lens with 1x magnification and a focusing distance of 19cm. The splash-proof lens utilizes 13 elements in 10 groups, including extra-low dispersion, high refractive index and extra-high refractive-index materials that are claimed to eliminate chromatic aberration and improve overall image quality.
A black version of the existing ED 12mm f2.0 larger-aperture wide-angle single-focal-length lens has also been added to the catalog, while a 17mm f1.8 lens is said to be in development. On the other end of the spectrum, the BCL-15mm f8.0 "body cap lens" maintains a 9mm profile and serves as a basic wide-angle lens.
The E-PL5 body with basic accessories, including a modular flash, is expected to ship in October for $650, while the ED m14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 kit lens brings the price up to $700. The E-PM2 body carries a $550 retail sticker, or $600 when paired with the same kit lens. The macro lens will also ship in October for $500, alongside the black 12mm f2.0 lens that retails for $1100.