Two New Kit lenses
The E-P1 ships in a kit with one of two kit lenses; a 14-42mm zoom and a 17mm f2.8 pancake. the lenses' full designations are:
- M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 (black or silver) - 28-84mm equivalent
- M. ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake (silver) - 34mm fixed wide equivalent
As mentioned earlier Olympus is also launching two new adapters for the E-P1, allowing the use of standard Four Thirds lenses (with full functionality including autofocus) and OM mount manual focus lenses (obviously you'll only get manual focus but you do get metering)
|E-P1 with its two kit lens options: 14-42mm and 17mm pancake. Note the 'PEN' branding on the lens boxes.|
With the 17mm F2.8 pancake lens attached the E-P1 really is very small (approaching pocketable if you're wearing an overcoat), but the zoom is, inevitably, a bit bulkier, although it does have a nifty trick up its sleeve; a collapsible barrel that almost halves it in size when it's not in use.
|Although it looks a little front heavy when extended, the E-P1 and 14-42mm combination is incredibly compact when collapsed, and the lens is very light and feels well balanced in use.|
When collapsed the M. Zuiko zoom is tiny - just over 41mm deep with diameter of about 59mm at its widest point. Press the unlock button and give the barrel about 1/8 of a turn, and the rest of the lens pops out from inside, almost doubling the length of the lens to 75mm (at the 14mm setting).
Micro Four Thirds (MFT) is an extension of the Four Thirds standard that Olympus, Leica and Panasonic have used for their recent DSLRs. At the moment the choice of MFT lenses is sparse (but growing); a couple of kit zooms and the lovely new 7-14mm from Panasonic (with a 20mm F1.7 pancake coming soon) and the two lenses announced with the E-P1, but the system is backwardly compatible with standard Four Thirds, and you can (via an optional adapter) make use of the extensive range of 4/3 lenses from Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma and others.
The ultra short flange back and small lens mount actually makes Micro Four Thirds, theoretically, the most 'lens compatible' system on the market - you could in principle produce physical adapters for just about any lens designed for 35mm (or larger), specifically manual focus lenses from older film SLRs. Olympus has already launched an adapter for its own legacy OM (manual focus SLR) lenses, Panasonic is promising one for Leica M and R lenses, and third parties are looking at a range of other options. It's not surprising camera geeks are excited by the possibilities offered by the new format.
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