CES: Olympus announces six new accessories for PEN E-PL2

Olympus shows off innovative new accessories for its new E-PL2 compact interchangeable lens camera.

CES 2011

Olympus has announced six new accessories to complement the newly announced PEN E-PL2 Micro Four Thirds interchangable lens compact camera: Three add-on conversion lenses, a Bluetooth communication unit, an underwater housing, and a really cool little close-up spotlight accessory.

Macro Arm Light MAL-1 My favorite of the new accessories is the totally awesome Macro Arm Light close-up spotlight. It's essentially two LED lights attached to flexible arms that mount on the top of the E-PL2's Accessory Port. The arms extend up to 17cm and allow you to create very specific lighting scenarios for shooting close-ups of small items. It's such a great but simple idea that I can't believe there isn't already something like it on the market. The only downside to the light is that it can only be used with the new Olympus Accessory Port. My husband, a professional photographer who teaches travel-based photography workshops, is already jonesing for something like this for his dSLR since it would be ideal for the jewelry and food shooting he teaches. The spotlight could even be helpful in low-light situations when you don't have enough light to activate autofocus. Plus, because it stays on (unlike a flash), you can see how the lighting will affect your shot before you snap the picture. The Macro Arm Light will be available this month for $59.99.

Add-on Lens Converters The add-on conversion lenses work with the bayonet mount on the new 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) lens as well as the recently released 40-150mm lens. There's a 120-degree Fisheye Lens Converter (FCON-37), a Wide-angle Lens Converter (WCON-37), as well as a Macro Lens Converter (MCON-58) which lets you capture close-ups as near as 24cm. The lens converters will be available in February and should sell for $199.99 (Fisheye), $99.99 (Wide-angle), and $59.99 (Macro).

PENPal

The PENPal is a small Bluetooth-enabled communication unit that stores up to 2,600 images and then transfers them to other Bluetooth-enable devices. This allows you to easily send photos to a smartphone or PC for emailing or sharing on social networking sites, or even transfer them to another camera with a PENPal device installed. The PENPal will be shipping this month for $89.90.

PT-EO3 Underwater Housing Pricing and details on an underwater housing for the E-PL2 were not yet available.