Home » Camera » Digital SLRs » Olympus » OLYMPUS PEN E-P2 12.3 MP MICRO FOUR THIRDS INTERCHANGEABLE LENS DIGITAL CAMERA WITH 17MM F/2.8 LENS AND ELECTRONIC VIEW FINDER

  • 12.3-megapixel transmutable lens digital camera; Micro Four Thirds format
  • Includes 17mm f/2.8 lens as well as Electronic View Finder
  • 3-inch HyperCrystal LCD with Live View function; Continuous Autofocus (C-AF) tracking system
  • Record HD video with high-quality audio; Full Manual Control of shutter/aperture in Movie Mode
  • iEnhance to automatically regulate tone as well as contrariety for the some-more thespian effect
  • Capture images as well as video to SD/SDHC mental recall cards (not included)

Product Description
OLYMPUS 262828 12.3 Megapixel E-P2 Pen Camera Kit (Includes M.Zuiko 17mm lens)

Olympus PEN E-P2 12.3 MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with 17mm f/2.8 Lens as well as Electronic View Finder



3 Reviews

  1. Dave Essel says:

    I am a long-time amateur photographer. I gave up on digital SLRs for the simple reason that I always ended up only carrying them and their accessories on big occasions or holidays. Result was, I had a camera, but few pictures.

    Next I bought a good pocket cameras, e.g. Panasonic etc and most recently the Ricoh GX200 which the E-P2 is replacing. These were nice. Picture-taking resumed but slow response compared to DSLRs and overall quality of the finished product always left a slight feeling of disappointment. With imaging chips of the size they use, this is only to be expected (just as compact cassettes by definition could not deliver decent audio).

    Enter the E-P2 with its much larger sensor. I have had my E-P2 with 17mm pancake lens for a week now and simply love it. Responsive as an SLR, chunky but hardly larger than the Ricoh, it works like a dream in auto and more manual modes. (And who needs a zoom with this kind of resolution? – Just crop the bit you want from the immense pictures it takes).

    In brief, and avoiding tech talk, this is a quality piece of kit. Looks like quality. Feels like quality. Works like quality. It’s an SLR in a pocket camera body. (And – with apologies to the reviewer above – I love the quiet chunky sound and feel of the shutter.)

    I think I’ve found ‘my’ camera at last – at the end of long, dollar-strewn trail!.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Enche Tjin says:

    Olympus `PEN’ E-P2 is Olympus second micro four third system camera which is an improved version of Olympus PEN E-P1 12.3 MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with 17mm f/2.8 Lens and Viewfinder (Silver). Both cameras has very similar body design and features. The main different is E-P2 has optional electronic viewfinder and external microphone while E-P1 does not. Because they are very similar, Many part of this review is applicable to E-P1 as well.

    Olympus E-P2 main specs (shared with E-P1)

    * 12MP Live Mos sensor 4/3 sensor
    * HD 720p video at 30 fps with stereo sound recording
    * Built In Image Stabilization
    * Dust removal mechanism (SSWF)
    * Eight Art filters for creative processing and fun (E-P1 has six)
    * 3 frames per second continuous shooting.
    * No built-in flash nor AF assist light

    Below are new features that added to Olympus E-P2

    * Manual focus and aperture control in video mode
    * AF tracking (focus lock for moving objects)
    * Magnified Focus Assist
    * Tiltable hi-res electronic viewfinder with 100% coverage and 1.15X magnification
    * Optional microphone adapter for better sound

    BODY & CONTROL

    Olympus E-P2 weights 385 g with memory card and battery. The dimension is 4.74in (W) x 2.75in. (H) x 1.37 in (D) / 120.5 mm (W) x 70mm (H) x 35mm (D) (excluding protrusions). It is significantly smaller than regular DSLR camera. Camera body is around 120g lighter than beginner DSLR camera. It feels solid and dense. If you are coming from compact camera, you will feel this camera a bit heavy. It is around 2-3 times heavier than advanced compact camera. If you are coming from DSLR camera especially from Olympus DSLR camera, you will love the reduction in size. However, this camera is not light. For comparison, E-420 weights 370g and E-620 weights 475g body only.

    That being said, E-P1/2 is not a pocket-able camera (it will fits only in large jacket/coat pocket). You might find yourself carrying it around more than you carry a DSLR camera, but this camera can’t compete with compact camera in portability.

    Olympus E-P2 construction quality and design are worthy of praise. The outer shell are 85% metal. Plastic are still there for buttons and round dial. Design wise, it is very classy, retro style. I especially like the leather texture grip. However, some people might prefer more industrial design like Leica X1 or Panasonic GF1. It depends on each individual taste.

    Olympus E-P2 has one thumb dial, one round dial, and four-way controller and two customizable function buttons. To change major setting such as ISO, AF mode, WB are very easy because there are dedicated buttons embedded in four-way controller. You can also access quick menu by pressing OK button. Unfortunately, the quick menu is unlike super control panel that I find in Olympus DSLR cameras. It is more similar to compact camera function menu.

    Like E-P1, Olympus E-P2 does not have built-in flash. This is quite a blunder by Olympus because built-in flash is very useful for various scene, where you want to use flash to fill-in shadow or use it to light up an extremely dark room.

    Ergonomically, it is very pleasing. The curves are in the right place. The protruding leather grip is really nice. Buttons and dials are placed within reach of your right hand thumb.

    LCD SCREEN & ELECTRONIC VIEWFINDER

    Olympus E-P2 has 3 LCD screen with 230k dots. It is basic compared to many other DSLR and compact camera which has 460k or 910k. However, it is good enough for basic review and composition. It is also quite clear for manual focusing.

    The electronic viewfinder is very bright and big. It has more than 1 million dots. Manual focusing is very clear and easy, thanks to 10x full screen magnification. In low light condition, the viewfinder become grainy and it is harder to focus. Compared to viewing optical viewfinder, my eyes get tired faster when viewing EVF for a long time. In practice, you need to choose whether you want to use the rear LCD panel or viewfinder to compose a picture. You can’t activate both.

    Another criticism of the EVF is the built quality, it is has plastic shell which does not complement E-P2 metal body. It is also big and not very attractive. However, the EVF is stick to the hot shoe steadily. So you don’t have to worry about the EVF slipping away from camera body.The EVF as compositional tool is not ideal, but it is good and practical enough to use regularly.

    IMAGE QUALITY

    Image quality I get from the camera and 17mm f/2.8 pancake is not very stellar. It is hard to get tack sharp image in pixel size although I have use small aperture like f/8 or f/16. For web sharing, it is perfectly fine. Many says that the 14-42mm (I don’t have this lens for this review) is better than the 17mm f/2.8 which is disappointing because prime lenses are usually sharper.

    Image in high ISO quality is quality is similar to Olympus DSLR in general. It is generally very good up to ISO 800. However noise is also noticeable in low ISO setting such as 400 especially in shadow area. Noise reduction will help to smooth out the noise at the expense of detail and sharpness. I don’t recommend to use in camera noise reduction at all. ISO 6400 is available, but it there are too much noise and the image loss its fidelity.

    OTHER FEATURES

    One great feature Olympus E-P2 has is built-in stabilization. This is money saver and very practical to use. Unlike Canon, Nikon and Panasonic DSLR cameras, You can use image stabilization for any lens you mount with it. This is awesome for prime lenses. Although it has limitation such as you can’t freeze subject with IS, but it is awesome for low light still photography.

    When you record movie, there is also digital / electronic IS that help to keep the movie steady. You also can control aperture in movie recording mode. These are great in practice. The implementation of movie recording is better than some DSLR cameras with movie mode in the market.

    In addition, there are a few minor things that I don’t like about E-P2:

    * Menu interface is a bit confusing because many abbreviation and some even only use a symbol to represent a menu item.
    * Shutter sound is quieter than typical DSLR, but it is noticeable louder compare to compact cameras.

    AUTO FOCUS & GENERAL PERFORMANCE

    When Olympus E-P1 was launched, many people expect its auto focus speed will be as good as Panasonic m43 cameras. But it fell short. Unfortunately, E-P2’s AF is the same as E-P1. In practice, AF performance is about the same as compact camera. It takes around 1 second to focus in good light. In low light situation such as inside restaurant, it takes 2-3 seconds. On the other hand, AF speed in Panasonic m43 cameras are very close to DSLR camera, around .33 sec.

    In addition, changing auto focus point is a hassle. You need to go to quick menu and then change the points. There are auto AF and 11 AF areas that you can select. Fortunately, manual focus is easy to use and very practical because of automatic magnification when you try to focus with MF mode.

    Other than AF performance, E-P2 general performance is very good. Start up and shut down is approx. 1 second. Shutter lag is almost none. Continuous shooting is similar to many beginner DSLR camera in the market, 3 frames per second.

    ART FILTERS

    Art filters create different effect or mood in the picture or video. It could really enhanced the picture / video if you choose it appropriately. For example, soft focus is great for beauty shot, diorama is good for landscape etc. Art filters are not photo processing after you take picture. The effect is immediate. You don’t get access to original file and control on how it is being processed. I think Art filters are quite fun, but it is not a deal breaker because you can always achieve those effects by processing the image in your image editing software.

    COMPETITORS

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 12.1MP Micro Four-Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 Aspherical Lens is definitely the main competitor of Olympus E-P2. GF1’s AF performance is better than E-P1/2 but it does not have built-in image stabilization. Panasonic has better prime lens in their bundle, while Olympus E-P2 has better optional electronic viewfinder. GF1 also has built-in flash which E-P2 lacks. It is tough to choose, but I am leaning towards E-P2 but with Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens.

    Panasonic DMC-GH1 12.1MP Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera with 1080p HD Video is also a four thirds system camera, but it is a lot bigger because it has protruding grip and built-in viewfinder which make this camera similar to beginner DSLR camera. Like GF1, it has better auto focus performance. The cool thing is this camera is bundled with versatile and quiet 14-140mm zoom lens.

    Nikon D90 DX 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S VR DX Nikkor Zoom Lens is not a micro four thirds camera, so it is not as compact as E-P2. But it has a similar price range. D90 is better in low light because it has bigger sensor, and faster auto focus especially when tracking moving subject. However, Nikon D90’s video feature is very basic and hard to use.

    Leica X1 12.2MP APS-C CMOS Digital Camera is a compact camera that has DSLR quality sensor and fixed 35mm lens. Leica X1 is significantly more expensive than Olympus E-P2. The main advantage of X1 lies in the construction quality, lens, image sensor and prestige.

    CONCLUSION

    Olympus E-P2 is a handsome camera with many things to like and dislike at the same time. I like the design, built-in image stabilization, but I hate the fact that the AF speed is not improved from E-P1 and low quality 17mm prime lens. Currently E-P2 is $300 more expensive than E-P1. If you are used to compose picture with LCD screen rather than electronic viewfinder, you can save money by getting E-P1. Compared to Panasonic GF1, I am leaning towards E-P2 because of the built-in stabilization and overall design. However, I am surprised that Olympus 17 mm pancake lens does not deliver quality image. Therefore, I recommend you to get Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens instead. With that combination, it will be a great tool even in the most difficult light condition.

    Subjective Rating – Relative to beginner DSLR cameras released in 2009

    Image Quality : 3/5 (with 17mm) 4/5 in general
    Features : 5/5
    Performance : 4/5
    Body and Handling : 4/5
    Value for Money : 3/5

    Please visit my blog (you can find the address in my profile) for iso comparison, art filters and samples images.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  3. Xu Xie says:

    It is a very nice camera, but i would only talk about what i do not like it about since there are already many good comments on E-P1.

    1. the back dial wheel is very hard to use unless you disable the up/down/left/right function.
    2. is part of the camera body made of plastic?
    3. shutter is a little bit noisy.
    4. focusing is kind of slow.
    5. last thing, i do not know how to carry the camera. I hope i can find a Zing pouch which can hold it.

    I did not buy E-P1 since i want a black camera body, and i had thought the EVF would be a must for my Leica M lenses. But when i got E-P2 i realized that EVF does not make it faster to use a manual lens compared to back LCD. And the plastic EVF is so big (and brittle maybe), this made the camera body not good looking and not good handling because your nose touches LCD all the time when using EVF.

    So if your budget is kind of tight, i would recommend E-P1 given the $340.00 ($450.00 price difference for the zoom lens kit!!!) price difference.

    Rating: 5 / 5

Post a Review



CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.
Amazon, the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.