Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Olympus has announced the E-P2, the second generation of its Micro Four Thirds camera combining the form factor of a compact point-and-shoot with the interchangeable lenses and high-quality image sensor of an SLR.
A new iEnhance picture mode analyzes a scene’s colors and brightness to improve the photo’s tones. For moving subjects, the camera’s new Continuous Autofocus Tracking system continuously adjusts focus and brightness to track a subject throughout the frame.
Although offering many of the features of a traditional SLR, the E-P2 doesn’t use a mirror box. This omission allows the camera to be much smaller than an SLR, but also means there’s no optical viewfinder. However, the E-P2 does come with a detachable VF-2 Electronic Viewfinder, which slides into the accessory port and can tilt 90 degrees—making it easier the frame your shot at low angles.
The E-P2 comes in two bundles: with a 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 lens; or with a compact 17mm f2.8 lens. Both bundles include the new electronic viewfinder accessory and cost $1,100. The E-P2 will be available in December 2009.
Olympus also announced the development of two new lenses compatible with the Micro Four Thirds system: a super wide-angle M Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm (18-36mm equivalent) f4-5.6 lens; and a telephoto M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm (28-300mm equivalent) f4-5.6 lens. Both lenses will be available in the first half of 2010. Pricing for the lenses has not been announced.