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Olympus PEN E-PL2 Review Summary

12 Megapixels12 MegapixelsElectronic View FinderElectronic View FinderHigh ISO: ISO 6400 or more is available at full-resolution.High ISO: ISO 6400 or more is available at full-resolution.Stabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Stabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Continuous DriveContinuous Drive720p HD Video: 1280 x 720 resolution or more but less than 1920 x 1080.720p HD Video: 1280 x 720 resolution or more but less than 1920 x 1080.Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Spot MeteringSpot MeteringAccepts Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), SDHC and SD memory.Accepts Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), SDHC and SD memory.Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed reviewDiscontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.Discontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.

Olympus PEN E-PL2 Assessment

The Olympus PEN E-PL2 is one of the smallest interchangeable lens cameras yet packs plenty of advanced features despite its entry-level design. It includes image-stabilization and a popup flash. Its accessory port lets it use an optional high-resolution EVF or stereo microphone.

Image quality from the E-PL2 is exceptionally free of noise with a good amount of details and good color accuracy. Tonality is highly controllable, as is white-balance. Only the autofocus system causes serious issues with this camera. While the E-PL2 is quite a responsive camera, the focus system is too slow for action photography.

Video is well-implemented via a dedicate mode that lets the camera start recording instantly and preview video framing. Manual exposure and focus for video make this model surprisingly capable. The 720p HD output from the Olympus PEN E-PL2 is top-notch.

Direct competition for the E-PL2 is thin. There is the higher-level E-P2
Olympus PEN E-P2
which has dual control-dials and a dual-axis digital-level but no popup flash. A larger model is the excellent Sony Alpha SLT-A55
Sony Alpha SLT-A55
which offers unique features in its class such as Phase-Detect AF, 10 FPS continuous shooting, full 1080p video, a built-in stereo microphone and a built-in GPS. These features can be quite tempting but one cannot easily ignore the size advantage of the E-PL2, particularly since the SLT-A55 has a larger sensor which requires larger lenses.

Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed review Read the Olympus PEN E-PL2 review.

PROS CONS
Excellent control over image noise Frequently slow autofocus speed
Good image sharpness Imperfect focus
Impecable custom white-balance Automatic AF-point selection not so good
Good color accuracy Unreliable AWB
Controllable tone-curve Slow shot-to-shot speed
Instant video recording start and stop Disturbing AF during video recording
Quite responsive 1 Second blackout
Extremely useful Spot Highlight metering mode Impossile to confirm focus on LCD without MF-Assist
Selectable AE-L metering Incorrect saturation on LCD preview
Highly customizable Control-dial too low
Good built quality Indistinct buttons
Optional high-resolution EVF Insufficient popup flash clearance
Optional stereo microphone without dangling cable Entering playback mode always reverts to LCD
Result-oriented iAuto mode Difficult to use with gloves on
GoodGood Good

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Related Information

Sister Models
Olympus PEN E-PL1
Olympus PEN E-PL1
- ISO 100 Minimum, 1/2000s Max Shutter-Speed, 2.7" LCD 230K Pixels
Olympus PEN E-P2
Olympus PEN E-P2
- Dual Control-Dials, Digital Level, No Built-In Flash, ISO 100 Minimum, 3" LCD 230K Pixels
Olympus PEN E-PL2
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By on 2011/04/07
2

Olympus E-PL2 Facts


Mirrorless digital camera

Sensor-Size: 17 x 13mm

Four-Thirds Sensor

Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI

12 Megapixels MirrorlessISO 200-6400
Micro Four-Thirds Mount
2X FLM
Shutter 1/4000-60s
2-Axis Built-in StabilizationFull manual controls, including Manual Focus
0.20" Optional EVF 1.4 Megapixels (0.58X)Custom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning
Built-in Dust ReductionSpot-Metering
3 FPS Drive, 12 ImagesHot-Shoe
1280x720 @ 30 FPS Video RecordingLithium-Ion Battery
3" LCD 460K PixelsSecure Digital Extended Capacity
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