Just got the new Olympus PEN E-PL2

Started Jan 27, 2011 | Discussions
Triumph Steve
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Just got the new Olympus PEN E-PL2
Jan 27, 2011

As an Olympus DSLR shooter (E-3 and E-5) and a PEN E-P2 user as well (just love it), today I was glad to find the new E-PL2 available in my local camera store, and I bought one. In a few days I'll be able to test it's image quality, and with it's weaker anti-alias filter and reportedly sharper and more detail-oriented image quality, and the newly designed lens, I know I will be pleased with it. I elected to get the black one, and another buyer is leaning toward getting a white one in stock.

I can report the camera's construction is superb, and it is very nice to hold, with the best grip of any PEN series camera I've held. The new button placements on the back are now nearly identical in look and function as the E-P1 and E-P2's layout. There is something about it in the hand that just feels right.

The battery is the same size as the E-P2's, but has a different nomenclature number, so I don't yet know if it's the same or not in terms of charge. Probably is. But I can say the batteries in my E-P2 and E-PL2 can be switched and both cameras seems to work OK. I need to look in to this and see if that is true or not. There is a slightly different design in the battery charger between my E-P2 and the new E-PL2. I also need to determine if they and the batteries are interchangeable in terms of correctly charging. Not sure at the moment till I call Olympus tech support and ask them.

The newly designed kit zoom lens is lighter and a bit smaller, and extends without the lock button needing to be pressed, unlike the first version 14-42mm lens on the earlier PEN cameras. The aperture is the same. But the lock button is required to be pressed only to compact the lens back in. Also, the new lens, which Olympus told me is sharper, seems to turn/rotate through the zoom settings very, very smoothly compared to my E-P2's kit lens. The filter size is a little smaller than the previous PEN's 40.5mm size, and, a slightly smaller lens cap, at just 37mm now. The new lens does have a plastic lens mount, however, unlike the E-P2's stainless steel lens mount. I assume that when Olympus eventually releases the next generation E-P2 (the E-P3?), it will come equipped with an identical new kit lens, but one that has the stainless steel lens mount.

The anti-alias filter on the E-PL2, as with the E-PL1, is weaker than the E-P2's (and weaker than my pro level E-3's), and is said to be about the same as the new pro level E-5 DSLR's sensor and it's weaker anti-alias filter. I anticipate finding the E-PL2 to give some very sharp images, as a result, probably very similar to my E-5.

I find the menu of the E-PL2 to be a little bit more sophisticated than my E-P2's menu, and even a little more involved than the E-5's menu selection. I thought it would have not needed to read the manual for the E-PL2, but I do need to do so after finding some new things. This is due to a new ability to increase or decrease some of the art filter effects, or add a frame border to some images, if desired, plus some other things I will need to read the manual to understand, like an art live mode. There are new features related to the wifi ability of this E-PL2 to send images to something called an Olympus Penpal Album, and an Olympus Penpal Share - not exactly sure what they are till I read the manual fully. The menu also has a nice help feature that can be called upon to give short explanations about certain functions.

The screen is larger, at a full 3 inches, and has double the resolution of all previous PEN cameras. A nice improvement. I've already put a nice quality protective screen over it.

Another improvement for me is the newly written instruction manual for the E-PL2. Finally, Olympus has made it a lot easier to understand, much more clear, as compared to any of my other Olympus pro DSLRs or my E-P2. Much easier to speed read through the manual now, with some good illustrations. But it has no index that I can find, which is unfortunate.

I have swapped my EVF-2 viewfinder off my E-P2, and it fits on the E-PL2 as it should, and is not in the way of the pop-up flash. Works great.

I think this new E-PL2 is a clear winner, and offers many good reasons for Olympus DSLR owners to add one as a second body (using the micro 4/3 to 4/3 adapter and pro level Zuiko lens), and is a good upgrade to any previous PEN series camera, even the E-PL1. Regards.

My Olympus images can be found here: http://triumph.smugmug.com/

Regards.
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Steve in Chapel Hill, NC
Hebrews 11:1

Personal photo web site: http://triumph.smugmug.com/

Gethenderson
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Re: Just got the new Olympus PEN E-PL2
In reply to Triumph Steve, Jan 27, 2011

I think the EPL2 looks great, but having the E-P2 already I can't justify it myself, also, the kit lens I have does not require using the lock button to extend it? How many different versions are there of this lens! Seems a lot. Hope you enjoy taking pictures with it.

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Triumph Steve
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Re: Just got the new Olympus PEN E-PL2
In reply to Gethenderson, Jan 27, 2011

I believe the original 14-42mm kit zoom lens on the E-P1, E-P2 and E-PL1 have a lock button to extend and close the lens, but the newly redesigned 14-42mm lens on the E-PL2 only needs to the lock button pressed in order to close the lens, but not to open it. Perhaps your camera lens opens easily without the lock button pressed?
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Steve in Chapel Hill, NC
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Personal photo web site: http://triumph.smugmug.com/

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mikejmccar
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Re: Just got the new Olympus PEN E-PL2
In reply to Triumph Steve, Jan 27, 2011

Triumph Steve wrote:

I believe the original 14-42mm kit zoom lens on the E-P1, E-P2 and E-PL1 have a lock button to extend and close the lens, but the newly redesigned 14-42mm lens on the E-PL2 only needs to the lock button pressed in order to close the lens, but not to open it. Perhaps your camera lens opens easily without the lock button pressed?

Actually, the original 14-42 kit lens also used the lock button only to retract the lens, not to expand it.

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amalric
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Re: Just got the new Olympus PEN E-PL2
In reply to Triumph Steve, Jan 27, 2011

Triumph Steve wrote:

I believe the original 14-42mm kit zoom lens on the E-P1, E-P2 and E-PL1 have a lock button to extend and close the lens, but the newly redesigned 14-42mm lens on the E-PL2 only needs to the lock button pressed in order to close the lens, but not to open it. Perhaps your camera lens opens easily without the lock button pressed?

Yes, mine does on the PL1.

Could you please do a test for me? Mount the new 14-42 on the E-P2 and see if it focuses as fast as on the PL2?

I'd like to understand if the new lens is worth buying separately. Might get one later this year.

Thanks,

Am.

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Helen
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Re: Just got the new Olympus PEN E-PL2
In reply to mikejmccar, Jan 27, 2011

mikejmccar wrote:

Triumph Steve wrote:

I believe the original 14-42mm kit zoom lens on the E-P1, E-P2 and E-PL1 have a lock button to extend and close the lens, but the newly redesigned 14-42mm lens on the E-PL2 only needs to the lock button pressed in order to close the lens, but not to open it. Perhaps your camera lens opens easily without the lock button pressed?

Actually, the original 14-42 kit lens also used the lock button only to retract the lens, not to expand it.

I second that - based on experience of three examples (one the metal mount as supplied on the E-P1, the other two the plastic-mount L version for the E-PL1). They all only need to have the button touched for collapsing the lens, not extending it (its intended function is, as on the new lens, purely to stop the lens being collapsed accidentally whilst in use).

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Marla
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Re: Just got the new Olympus PEN E-PL2
In reply to Triumph Steve, Jan 27, 2011

Thank you for your first impression comments on the E-PL2. I too am upgrading from the E-PL1 - as soon as Amazon gets their shipment! I pre-ordered it about a week ago.

I'm looking forward to getting the E-PL2, although I am happy with the E-PL1. There are enough upgrades for me to make this decision. The easier-to-read and understand the manual is certainly something I will like - had a hard time getting through the E-PL1 manual.

Enjoy your camera - and post some pics when you get a chance.

Maria
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flashalan
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Re: Just got the new Olympus PEN E-PL2
In reply to Triumph Steve, Jan 27, 2011

Hi
I have mine coming in from BH on MOnday.
Does it come with a camera strap?
I cant seem to find that info anywhere.
Thanks
Alan
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Marla
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Re: camera strap
In reply to flashalan, Jan 27, 2011

flashalan wrote:

Hi
I have mine coming in from BH on MOnday.
Does it come with a camera strap?
I cant seem to find that info anywhere.
Thanks
Alan
--

B&H usually lists "contents of box" - you're right......not listed.

I have the E-PL1 - and it came with a neck strap....I assume the E-PL2 would be the same.

Maria

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prospero
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Re: camera strap
In reply to Marla, Jan 27, 2011

Yes it comes with a neck strap. I bought mine at Park Cameras UK (at Amazon price!) last weekend and so far am quite delighted with it. I have used it almost exclusively with my Panny 20mm lens which works a treat. A/F is rapid and the menu system is very easy as long as you are just looking for the basic adjustments, i.e. you just press the 'OK' button and the main variables appear and you can scroll thru them rapidly with the wheel. I am not sure whether my big Panny flashgun will work with it but I assume that it is the same as the equivalent Oly flashgun. Does anyone know the answer to this?

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Richt2000
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question on noise
In reply to Triumph Steve, Jan 27, 2011

Hi,
Thanks for posting your thoughts and reviews.

The one area I was put off a bit was on this websites comments about jpeg noise.

These comparisons were taken with NR at STANDARD. If you change this to LOW or OFF, do the results improve greatly? These samples look absolutely horrendous at ISO200, never mind 800!

http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/content/Olympus-PEN-E-PL2-Digital-Camera-Review/Noise.htm

OK, Im sure shooting RAW solves this problem, but the Jpgs which come out of my EP1 are Sooooo good, I never need the RAW images!

Many thanks

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flashalan
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@r2000
In reply to Richt2000, Jan 27, 2011

My epl2 is coming Monday so no first hand results from me.

However did you check out the DPR comparisons with other cameras. Imo it looked pretty darn good. Check it out.

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/olympusepl2/page6.asp

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pedroboe100
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I was poised for it but
In reply to Triumph Steve, Jan 27, 2011

Since I also own an Ep2 and both pana 20mm and Oly kit, I decided to get GF 1 body for $299! This way I can shoot with both on trips, the panny with pancake and the oly with the kit.

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Triumph Steve
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Re: Just got the new Olympus PEN E-PL2
In reply to flashalan, Jan 28, 2011

Alan, yes, a nice Olympus camera strap is included.

flashalan wrote:

Hi
I have mine coming in from BH on MOnday.
Does it come with a camera strap?
I cant seem to find that info anywhere.
Thanks
Alan
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Steve in Chapel Hill, NC
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Personal photo web site: http://triumph.smugmug.com/

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Triumph Steve
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Re: I was poised for it but
In reply to pedroboe100, Jan 28, 2011

$299 for a GF1 is a steal.

pedroboe100 wrote:

Since I also own an Ep2 and both pana 20mm and Oly kit, I decided to get GF 1 body for $299! This way I can shoot with both on trips, the panny with pancake and the oly with the kit.

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Steve in Chapel Hill, NC
Hebrews 11:1

Personal photo web site: http://triumph.smugmug.com/

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Triumph Steve
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Re: question on noise
In reply to Richt2000, Jan 28, 2011

I always leave noise reduction set to OFF, and always set my PEN E-P2 to ISO 100, unless I have a very bright and contrasty day, when I would set ISO to 200.

Any four thirds and micro four thirds sensor will suffer more from noise as the ISO climbs, but I myself never shoot above ISO 500 or 800 anyway. The new PEN E-PL2 cannot be set lower than ISO 200. If noise reduction is set to low or normal, and it reduces some level of detail, then at least the lower anti-alias filter will promote more sharpness and detail.

Richt2000 wrote:

Hi,
Thanks for posting your thoughts and reviews.

The one area I was put off a bit was on this websites comments about jpeg noise.

These comparisons were taken with NR at STANDARD. If you change this to LOW or OFF, do the results improve greatly? These samples look absolutely horrendous at ISO200, never mind 800!

http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/content/Olympus-PEN-E-PL2-Digital-Camera-Review/Noise.htm

OK, Im sure shooting RAW solves this problem, but the Jpgs which come out of my EP1 are Sooooo good, I never need the RAW images!

Many thanks

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Steve in Chapel Hill, NC
Hebrews 11:1

Personal photo web site: http://triumph.smugmug.com/

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pedroboe100
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Re: I was poised for it but
In reply to Triumph Steve, Jan 28, 2011

Indeed, at Sammy 's camera. I am not saying is not worth getting the Epl2, but the difference in price may be bigger than the intended quality gain with a new model, especially if you shoot raw? Staying a generation behind has its advantages

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