Pen Lite gets 16-megapixel sensor, faster frame rate, and front facing LCD


posted Monday, September 17, 2012 at 5:03 AM EDT


Tiny and feature-rich as they were, Olympus saw fit to revamp their two smallest Pen cameras just fifteen months after their introduction. The higher-end model, the Olympus Pen E-PL5, is still about the same size, but it gains a few features from both the E-P3 and the OM-D E-M5, both of which have some cool stuff to offer. The most obvious addition is the removable grip from the E-P3. What isn't quite as obvious is the inclusion of the very fine 16-megapixel sensor handed down from the OM-D E-M5. Sitting up now? You should be, because that's a very good sensor, now available in the tiny, mid-priced Olympus E-PL5.

Expected to retail for $650 body-only and $700 with a 14-42mm kit lens, the Olympus E-PL5 will ship in October 2012. The other camera introduced at the same time has almost the same set of features for about $100 less, and it's the E-PM2. They're similar enough that the two stories will be derivative of one another.

Alongside the E-PL5 camera body, Olympus has announced several new lenses. These include the unusual BCL-15 Body Cap Lens (a 9mm-thick, three element f/8, manual focus pancake), the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 ($500), and a limited-edition black version of the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12mm f2.0 (US$1,100). The latter two lenses ship from early October. Development of a M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 prime has also been revealed.

For more information on the Olympus E-PL5, take a look at our hands-on preview!

The Olympus PL5 inherits the same sensor and processor pairing as the popular OM-D E-M5.