Olympus PEN E-PL2 Review Summary
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.
|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||Good Good|
|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
|Imaging Resource||Steve's Digicams|
|Photography Blog||Trusted Reviews|
Olympus E-PL2 Facts
Sensor-Size: 17 x 13mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|12 Megapixels Mirrorless||ISO 200-6400|
|Micro Four-Thirds Mount|
|2-Axis Built-in Stabilization||Full 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 Reduction||Spot-Metering|
|3 FPS Drive, 12 Images||Hot-Shoe|
|1280x720 @ 30 FPS Video Recording||Lithium-Ion Battery|
|3" LCD 460K Pixels||Secure Digital Extended Capacity|
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