First there was the iconic film based PEN, which brought SLR type performance to photography without the size. Fifty years on and Olympus re-launched the PEN design into the digital era with the E-P1, this was followed by the enhanced E-P2. On Wednesday 3rd March a new baby was born, in the form of the E-PL1.
This brings together the best of the great features of the previous two, adds a built in flash and some user interface changes along the way. Olympus have put a new Live Guide feature into the E-PL1 which takes all of the guess work out of producing great looking photos. For many needing to know things like ISO, shutter and aperture settings (have I lost you there) is enough to put them off buying anything more than a compact point and shoot camera. With this new feature, you get all the same controls in an easy to use interface without the daunting terminology.
To mark the launch of the E-PL1, Olympus invited me up to their launch event in Brick Lane, London, where I got to spend the day with an E-PL1 in one hand and a wonderful guide in the other, on a walk through the historical streets. The purpose of the day was to realise exactly how effective the Live Guide was and to experiment with the awesome Art Filters that can be applied to both photos and HD video footage. Check out my video above and come back soon on the Geekanoids website for the full hands-on review.