Olympus has debuted the Pen E-P1, which updates the classic Pen film camera of the 60s and 70s into a digital Micro Four Thirds model.

The Pen was based on a single idea: create a camera as easy to use and carry as a pen. It was designed by style guru Yoshihisa Maitani and went on to sell over 17 million units worldwide. The E-P1 is designed to offer the same small size, retro style, and ease of use -- but with the ability to capture digital SLR-quality images and a host of modern features.

The Pen E-P1 has a 12.3-megapixel Live MOS Sensor, with a TruePic V image processor and built-in image stabilization. The camera features a newly developed interface and a series of 20 shooting modes for easier photography - including the i-Auto mode that Olympus says automatically selects the correct shooting mode for the user. The camera can capture images with clear skin using the e-Portrait mode, and the camera offers Face Detection and Shadow Adjustment technologies.



Other features includes HD movie capture; a Multi Exposure function for capturing multiple shots a different exposures; 3fps sequential shooting (up to 14 images in RAW mode); ISO modes from 100 to 6400, bracketing functions for white balance and exposure, a Supersonic Wave Filter dust reduction system; simultaneous writing of RAW and JPEG images; a large three-inch HyperCrystal LCD; AE/AF lock functionality for individual customisztion; and auto gradation adjustment to prevent blown highlights and blocked-in shadows.

The Pen E-P1 supports Micro Four Thirds lenses -- plus a wide range of Four Thirds and OM lens types through adapters.


Available in a choice of silver or white, the Pen E-P1 body costs £520 plus VAT. It's available bundled with a Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 lens in either black or silver for £610 plus VAT, or with a Zuiko Digital ED 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake lens silver & VF-1 external optical viewfinder for £650 plus VAT. With both lenses and the viewfinder, the Pen E-P1 costs £740 plus VAT.