Olympus Malaysia recently announced a user gathering last weekend at Sunway Giza to commemorate the launch of their new PEN series, namely the EP-3, EPL-3 (PEN lite) and EPM-1 (PEN Mini). Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the gathering because I had some assignments.
Fortunately, an Olympus rep turned up at my shop today to showcase the 3 latest models. It was indeed a joy for me to see the three models side by side. The 5th generation Micro 43rd mirrorless cameras are finally here!
L-R: PEN Mini + 14-42, EP-3 + 12/2.0, EPL-3 + 14-150
The PEN mini is indeed a sight to behold despite being a mock up unit. Simple and elegant in design, despite sacrificing some functionality that is evident in the flagship EP-3.
It looks cute on the back too. There's an EVF port for the VF-2 below the hot shoe. A movie record button is to the right, while a four way control and integrated thumbwhel is evident below it. Sleek, nice and simple. I like it!
The PEN lite packs in the same 12.3 MP high speed MOS sensor as its bigger EP-3 sibling. Indeed, manufacturers now are racing against the clock to create the smallest mirrorless camera in this market segment.
The amazing thing is that they've managed to make the PEN mini body fractionally smaller than their best selling compact, the XZ-1 (sans lens of course).
Here are some full resolution JPEGs from the EP-3. The new sensors in the PENs are a far cry from what the 43rds and M43rds system started off with.
I hope I'll be able to give the new PEN cameras a trial run if there's a loan unit available. In the very near future, come what may, the future photographer's work horse will be an Olympus PEN instead of the full frame monsters that some of us use.
A copy of the article is also available here on a newly launched website, the Zuiko Followers.