Olympus PEN E-PL1 Micro Four Thirds camera available now for $599

Olympus' PEN E-PL1 Micro Four Thirds camera, announced earlier this month, is officially available and on sale today for $599. Though its being touted as a lower-end MFT camera, the E-PL1 is still a stellar piece of work, nonetheless.

Olympus' PEN E-PL1 Micro Four Thirds camera, announced earlier this month, is officially available and on sale today for $599.

Though its being touted as a lower-end MFT camera, the E-PL1 is still a stellar piece of work, nonetheless.

The kit starts at $599, which includes the camera body plus a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko zoom lens. Along with the interchangeable lens design, Micro Four Thirds cameras are usually advertised as compact cameras that still pack the power of a digital SLR.

The E-PL1 should pass that test, given its 12.3-megapixel image sensor, manual shooting modes and HD video recording capability (720p at 30 fps). The new model also steps it up a bit from its predecessor, the Olympus E-P2, with a built-in, pop-up flash and a slightly more compact frame - although the LCD screen on the E-PL1 is a tad smaller.

And it doesn't hurt that the PEN E-PL1 is a very attractive camera with a stylish and sleek body that comes in three colors (black, blue and gold). It's also got a bit of that popular retro touch with its box-like, aluminum frame - but its defintely modern on the inside.

If you can't tell, I really want one. Right now.