It's not a big thing but every video maker worth their salt wants to be able to use the right microphone for the job. On my last video we made good use of a Sennheiser shotgun microphone to get decent sound without showing the microphone. The SEMA-1 consists of two parts. The important one is the EMA-1 adapter which has the same plug interface as the EVF finder. It replaces the EVF finder and provides you with a mini plug that accepts stereo microphones.
Some will wail about the tragic loss of the beautiful EVF finder and while I will mourn the loss while making videos I knew that was the deal when I purchased the camera. With one of the Hoodman 3.0 Loupe wedged up against the back LCD it's not really that big of an imposition.
The other part of the package is a nifty little stereo microphone with an extension cable and a tie clip for attaching the microphone to people's clothing. Nice touch. I used the microphone to record some audio in the the studio with the mic clipped to my shirt. And while there is some hiss this comes totally from the ALC (auto level control) on the camera side. Canon's 5D was also ALC when first launched but yesterday they announced a firmware upgrade that brings up the camera to professional standards by adding manual level controls. I don't expect that Olympus will do that on a consumer level product but we can always ask.......
In my mind it will be enough for countless crossover video/photographers to consider using the EP2 as a professional video tool. In my mind I'll be able to use the EMA-1 and my choice of microphones for most of my interview jobs. If something is really "sound critical" I'll record it on a separate digital audio recorder, just to be safe.
The cable supplied is only six feet long but it's a standard termination on both ends and you can always pick up a longer and better shielded cable at you closest Radio Shack or from Amazon.com's endless resource of vendors.
Below is how the SEMA-1 looks all packaged together. My take? I think it is a simple and elegant solution that let's me get back to work. If you are at all interested in recording good sound with your EP2 or EPL you'll want the EMA-1. I'm almost certain that it will only come packaged with the microphone but that seems to be the way marketing committees work. I may come to like their little microphone. Time will tell.
Now I'll get to work and put the camera and a shotgun mic through the torture test and report back. For now we have achieved a state of happiness. Of sorts.