I received the E-PM2 last night and took a few quick test shots just to scratch the itch...
I'm very impressed with this little camera. General first impressions of the E-PM2:
- This camera is VERY small. Easy to carry, not so easy to hold it, especially with the heavier 25mm f/1.4. I see a pancake lens in my future. Not surprising, D7000 ergonomics are unchallenged by the E-PM2 - they are not even in the same league :). The E-P3 that I tried over Thanksgiving was a lot more comfortable in my hands. I think I'll be selling the E-PM2 as soon as an E-P5 comes out.
- I'm VERY pleased with AF performance. For the first time IMHO it can no longer be said categorically that PDAF outperforms CDAF. Now they just perform differently with an edge in different situations. I actually prefer the E-PM2 "C-AF TR" behavior over D7000 3D-Mode C-AF PDAF on slowly moving subjects. I say this mainly because the tracking area dynamically adjust its size and moves smoothly on the E-PM2 across the entire screen, whereas on the D7000 it's constrained to the fixed locations of AF points and has to jump around and doesn't quite cover the whole frame there. I also thought the E-PM2 tracks faces better than the D7K, which totally makes sense if you understand how the technologies work. In my quick test shot below, in which the blue toy is stationary but I moved the camera around to simulate tracking, the E-PM2 focused more accurately (I was lazy and didn't fine-tune the D7K's PDAF system for the shooting conditions before this test, also I didn't want to use the much slower D7K CDAF; the PDAF still had my daytime tuning -- call it unfair if you like, I call it real-world testing).
- Noise performance is different from the D7000, but I have a hard time calling it better or worse. If you are pixel-peeping at 100%, the D7000 trounces the E-PM2 in terms of noise control. But interestingly for some shots I got at ISO 2000-8000, the E-PM2 colors seem more pleasing and accurate than the D7000 at normal viewing (resized to 1280x1024, my monitor size), despite the pixel-level noise. Especially with skin tones. This is a tough call, because it's a bit subjective, but I think the E-PM2 beats the D7K for family event pics intended for computer viewing, when ISO is above 2000.
- ISO 25600 yields the same puked-over look in both cameras, colors look weird with very narrow DR. For my tastes, anything above ISO 10000 requires monochrome post-processing.
- AWB is great once you turn off the "keep warm colors" option.
- Yes it's possible to get an out of focus background with the 25mm f/1.4. Nice.
- The flash could be left on the camera full-time if need be. It doesn't add that much bulk, and it locks in place and won't fall off easily.
Below is a comparison shot with the D7000, using the two most comparable lenses I have in my possession (both approximately 50mm FOV). Very unscientific, just grabbed the camera and shot with my preferred settings.
Nikon D7000, 35mm f/1.8, quick test-shot for focus, colors, background blur
Olympus E-PM2, Leica Summilux 25mm f/1.4, quick test for for focus, colors, background blur
Edited 6 months ago by Alex Notpro