I got a chance to try firsthand PEN Lite E-PL1, a new model of the Olympus PEN line of digital cameras, in the camera store I often visit on Teramachi Dori, Kyoto.
My impression? Well, it sure is a negative one to be honest. It is much bigger than I expected, and I think it is actually bulkier than E-P1 or E-P2.
The 2.7″ HyperCrystal LCD monitor is smaller than the 3.0″ monitor on E-P1/E-P2 and leaves too much wasted space on the back panel around it. The plastic outer case makes the camera look too ordinary and uninteresting.
I’ve read somewhere that the auto focus performance of the camera has been improved, but I think it is only a slight enhancement. It is still slow.
The PEN Lite is supposedly meant to compete against Panasonic Lumix DMC GF1, but I don’t think it would outsell GF1 or its predecessors, E-P1 and E-P2. It might just deteriorate a somewhat prestigious image of the Olympus PEN line of MFT cameras.