Olympus PEN E-PL1 Review

olympus epl1 prev

Here’s my review of the Olympus PEN E-PL1, an entry-level addition into Olympus’ PEN Micro Four Thirds camera range. In this more affordable model in the PEN series, Olympus took away several things but also added a few features. Find out if the PEN E-PL1 still offers good value or if it’s wiser to step up instead. Also head on to the Olympus PEN E-PL1 photo gallery for full-sized photos taken using the camera.

Read the E-PL1 review

Sony Alpha A290 and Alpha A390 announced

Sony just announced two updated entry-level digital SLR models. The new Sony Alpha A290 and A390 cameras released today are successors to the last year’s Alpha A230 and A330/A380 respectively.

Compared to their predecessors, it seems not much has changed, the only obvious ‘change’ being the increase in megapixels to 14 megapixels for both the A290 and A390, as well as a $50 decrease in recommended retail price versus their 2009 counterparts.

Between the two newborn siblings today, the differences between the two are the presence of live view (At the cost of a smaller optical viewfinder) and a tilt-out LCD screen on the higher end A390. Neither camera has any sort of movie recording capability.

sony a390

Sony Alpha A290/Alpha A390
(Entry-level digital SLRs)

  • 14.2 effective megapixels (APS-C sensor, 1.5X crop)
  • Sony/Minolta lens mount (1.5X crop factor))
  • Dust reduction
  • In-body sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Alpha A290: 2.7 inch fixed position LCD
    Alpha A390: 2.7 inch inch dual-hinge, tilt-out LCD
  • Alpha A290: 95% viewfinder with 0.83X magnification
    Alpha A390: 90% viewfinder with 0.74X magnification
  • ISO speed range of 100 - 3200
  • Alpha A290: NO live view
    Alpha A390: Live view; uses secondary CCD sensor inside viewfinder chamber
  • 2.5 FPS continuous shooting mode
  • Full manual controls with RAW mode and hotshoe; wireless flash control
  • 9 point AF
  • No movie mode
  • Dual memory card slots for SD/SDHC and Memory Stick Duo
  • Uses a lithium-ion battery (NP-FH50)
  • Alpha A290: Available in July for $500 (with 18-55 mm kit lens)
    Alpha A390: Available in July for $600 (with 18-55 mm kit lens)

Panasonic announces new Lumix FX75 AKA FX70

Panasonic just made a standalone announcement of a lone compact camera today. The new Lumix FX75 (AKA the Lumix FX70) is Panasonic’s latest touchscreen camera. The camera doesn’t feature any manual controls (a change from their old FX500 and FX550 touchscreen cameras) but does have a brand new ultra-wide angle lens that starts at 24 mm and with a very “bright” wide-angle aperture value of F2.2.

pana fx75

Panasonic Lumix FX75
also known as Lumix FX70 in some places
(Compact camera)

  • 14 effective megapixels
  • 24 – 120 mm (f2.2 – f5.9) 5X optical zoom lens
  • Optical image stabilization (Power OIS)
  • 3 inch touchscreen LCD
  • No manual controls: point-and-shoot functionality with scene modes
  • Touch shutter and cosmetic mode with skin softening and digital tanning
  • 720p (1280 x 720) 30 FPS movie mode with sound
  • Takes SD/SDHC memory cards (SDXC compatible too)
  • Uses a lithium-ion battery
  • Availability and price to be announced
  • Comes in your choice of silver or black (pink and purple available in select places)
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