Iniitial First Impressions - EP2 (former EP1 owner)

Started Dec 11, 2009 | Discussions
Steven Wandy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,494
Iniitial First Impressions - EP2 (former EP1 owner)

I got what I thought was for me a decent return on my EP1 and "upgraded" to the EP2. My main reason was the EVF - I love the Lensbaby Composer - and figured it would help with the manual focusing.

(1) While I love the look and feel of the black finish, I do sort of miss the retro look of the original silver/chrome, but not much.

(2) The AF seems slightly improved (possibly wishful thinking). Seems like there is not as much hunting. Tried the 14-42 kit, the Pana 20mm and two 4/3 lenses - the 40-150 (new version) and the 14-54 MKII. I do wish that Oly did allow to make the Single AF points smaller - still too large.

(3) The EVF is fantastic! I can really see using it for manual focusing and not actually needing to have the Manual Assist Magnification on. It is very bright and certainly looks larger than any of the Oly 4/3 OVFs that I have used (though never had the E3 - largest is on the E30). Quibles: you must push the button on the EVF if you wish to view images on the larger screen - yes you can view them in the EVF, but I prefer the screen. There should be a firmware update to allow for this. Also the exposure of the EVF and the White Balance don't seem to be exactly the same as the LCD - not off by much but definitely noticable. However, the resulting images look identical.

(4) There seems to be some improvement in the flash exposure. I have the FL36R and the FL20 and on both of them with my EP1 I was generally having to play with the flash exposure settings - generally slightly over exposed.

(5) Looked quickly at the two new Art Filters - will reserve judgement but so far they will not get nearly as much use as the Grainy B&W does. What I don't understand is why - if you are using the Super Info Menu is there no way of changing Art Filter without rotating the Mode Dial - should be on the menu like it is on the Live Menu.

(6) CAF Tracking - very interesting. Played with it a bit, but on something that was not moving. Lots of fun watching the little green square move around while tracking. What's nice is that it also works in Video Mode, but have not really tried it out yet.

That's it for now. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. Will try to post some initial shots over the weekend.
Regards,
Steve

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stimmer Veteran Member • Posts: 5,219
Thanks Steven...

When I get some time I will post some focusing videos for people as well.

Focusing seems fine to me.(Panny 20mm, haven't tried the kit lens yet.) I have an E3 and it doesn't seem THAT much slower. Certainly not as big of a deal as I was made to believe, and I do professional work.

My Zuiko 50mm focuses about exactly the same as my E3. It's always been slow though.

Hope you enjoy it. I personally really like the black finish. It's a little more subtle. It is definitely one good looking camera.

OP Steven Wandy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,494
You're welcome

stimmer wrote:

Certainly not as big of a deal as I was made to believe, and I do professional work.

I have always felt that the "AF Issues" with both the EP1 and EP2 were blown way out of proportion in my experience. Glad to see someone agrees.

Hope you enjoy it. I personally really like the black finish. It's a little more subtle. It is definitely one good looking camera.

It is certainly growing on me. When I first got the EP1 I wished it came in Black in the US. Then that grew on me also.
Steve

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Haris Contributing Member • Posts: 539
Re: You're welcome

Hi!

Thanks for your information Steven!

I fully agree with you on the "AF speed issues" really getting out of proportions. I have had my friends E-P1 for about a week and did some extensive testing and I really found AF to be fully satisfactory. And I have used and use few "big" cameras that I can relate to.

Remember that it is very dark here in Sweden this time of year so I didn't have any sunny or even bright days to use camera and I can only guess that it would perform even better in those conditions.

Local Olympus representative said that AF performance in E-P2 was faster than AF in E-P1 and I believe that the improvements are there but that it is hard to really "put a number" on how big they are.

Regards
Haris

Steven Wandy wrote:

stimmer wrote:

Certainly not as big of a deal as I was made to believe, and I do professional work.

I have always felt that the "AF Issues" with both the EP1 and EP2 were blown way out of proportion in my experience. Glad to see someone agrees.

Hope you enjoy it. I personally really like the black finish. It's a little more subtle. It is definitely one good looking camera.

It is certainly growing on me. When I first got the EP1 I wished it came in Black in the US. Then that grew on me also.
Steve

LaFonte Senior Member • Posts: 2,875
It depends...

The speed is best judged on a subjects that actually require speed. A normal travel style photography is pretty fine with EP1 and I was also quite ok with it.. but then I tried to take pictures of my kids and that become really problematic to the extent that after few dozens I actually took out my old dslr. I hoped the EP2 would be rather improved in this area as I really like the form of EP1.

I also had the GF1 at the same time as EP1 and after few hours with both you can really feel the speed difference for certain style.

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Jeff Tokayer Veteran Member • Posts: 6,289
14-54 MkII...

How is the AF performance with this lens?

Jeff.

rurouni Regular Member • Posts: 427
Re: Iniitial First Impressions - EP2 (former EP1 owner)

Hi Steven,

Thanks for the quite 1st impression. As you get to use your new camera more (congrats btw!) could I check with you if:

i. Is it possible to overlay a live histogram display on the focusing screen of the EP-2 (together with the focus box?)

ii. Are you able to get successful manual focus using the EVF in a dim environment (E.g. a pub) without the EVF gaining up too much?

Thanks!

OP Steven Wandy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,494
Re: It depends...

I completely agree that the nature of the subject (and it's movement) will definitely be a determining factor as to whether either EP camera (or any non-DSLR) will be successful. I have never used any of the Pana cameras and can only go by what I have read - that their AF is faster. My point was that (1) the AF on the EP1 is nowhere as bad as people have stated and (2) the EP2 seems better. But if someone were to tell me that one his major interests was faster moving kids/pets/etc, I would certainly tell him that either of the Oly cameras might not be the best choice.

Have only had it for a few hours and (1) it seems to hunt less in lower light and (2) the CAF Tracking seems to do what it is supposed to do - but have not really played with it for more than a few minutes.
Steve

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OP Steven Wandy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,494
Re: 14-54 MkII...

Better than it was on the EP1. Not nearly as good as it is on the E30 (duh). But I would not hesitate to use it in place of the kit lens if I wanted better IQ. (At least to my eyes the sharpness and contrast is better.)

But it still does not AF as quickly as the dedicated m4/3 lenses do, but I was very happy with it on the EP2.
Steve

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OP Steven Wandy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,494
Re: Iniitial First Impressions - EP2 (former EP1 owner)

rurouni wrote:

i. Is it possible to overlay a live histogram display on the focusing screen of the EP-2 (together with the focus box?)

Not that I can see. The Live Histogram and the focusing screen (I assume you mean the magnified view) are separate screen selections.

ii. Are you able to get successful manual focus using the EVF in a dim environment (E.g. a pub) without the EVF gaining up too much?

Not sure how dim pubs get (I would assume pretty dark) and in those types of shots I think it would be easier not to use the magnification view. And yes - it does still get grainy in low light, even using the Live View Boost. The EVF makes it easier to manual focus, but not perfect in low light. Have to test it a bit more.

Thanks!

You're welcome.

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Teski
Teski Forum Pro • Posts: 13,060
Good info Steven...

On your point 3, I agree that there should be an option to use the EVF for taking the pic, but have the image review come up on the LCD without having to push the button.

Good info on the E-P2..Should be helpful for those thinking about buying or upgrading.

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cjeng Contributing Member • Posts: 543
Re:Art filter change in Super Info Menu

Steven Wandy wrote:

What I don't understand is why - if you are using the Super Info Menu is there no way of changing Art Filter without rotating the Mode Dial - should be on the menu like it is on the Live Menu.

On the E-P1 at the Super In Menu, to change the Art Filter all you do is navigate to the ISO option and press the up arrow once more and you can change the art filter, is it any different on the E-P2?

Thanks for the post..

Regards,
Steve

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OP Steven Wandy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,494
Re:Art filter change in Super Info Menu

cjeng wrote:

Steven Wandy wrote:

What I don't understand is why - if you are using the Super Info Menu is there no way of changing Art Filter without rotating the Mode Dial - should be on the menu like it is on the Live Menu.

On the E-P1 at the Super In Menu, to change the Art Filter all you do is navigate to the ISO option and press the up arrow once more and you can change the art filter, is it any different on the E-P2?

Thanks for the post..

Hi Cjeng - actually I was about to post two "corrections" to my initial post.

One is I found out what you stated above that you can change Art Filters. (Sort of found it by accident.) Never realized it with the EP1 either.

Also - there is an adjustment buried in the menus to make adjustments to the EVF for brightness and color balance. (Guess it helps to read the manual first.) Have not played with it yet to see if I can get the EVF to match what I see from the LCD.
Thanks,
Steve

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OP Steven Wandy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,494
Re: Good info Steven...

Thanks Teski. The more I play with the EP2 the more I am enjoying it.

And yes - it is a minor quibble and I am sure that some like the idea of viewing the images while their eye is still on the EVF, but I would rather have an easier way to switch. (Sort of like Sony and I think Panasonic has that the EVF is only activated when your eye is near it.)
Steve

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rrr_hhh Veteran Member • Posts: 6,023
Re: It depends...

Steven Wandy wrote:

I completely agree that the nature of the subject (and it's movement) will definitely be a determining factor as to whether either EP camera (or any non-DSLR) will be successful. (...) My point was that (1) the AF on the EP1 is nowhere as bad as people have stated and (2) the EP2 seems better. But if someone were to tell me that one his major interests was faster moving kids/pets/etc, I would certainly tell him that either of the Oly cameras might not be the best choice.

I have had few problems focusing with the E-P1 even in the dark; problems however arise with moving targets. This can be with children playing or other type of action photography, but that can also occur if you are trying to focuse on moving waves or from a fast driving vehicle (like a high speed train). One can always find some workaround, by prefocusing the camera on somehting lying more or less at the same distance, while usinig a smaller aperture in order to have a bigger margin of error... but this is not always possible.

That said, I love the E-P1.. however if a really improved AF is implemented in a new body, I'll upgrade (I don't think the E-P2 will be the one however).

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markpsf Senior Member • Posts: 2,732
How Good are the Manual Controls and....?

...how well does it lend itself to zone focusing?

I realize that in this respect it may be no different than the EP-1 so perhaps this question applies to both.

For AF the GF-1 is likely to remain the champ but I'm interested in how the Olympus cameras lend themselves to street shooting use with manual pre-set controls.

Thanks.

Mark

markpsf Senior Member • Posts: 2,732
Answering my Own Question

I found a thread that includes this response from Godfrey and essentially answers my question:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=33043311

There are other entries on this thread that also address the question.

Barring some significant change in the EP-2 this probably remains true.

At the same time it would appear that the new viewfinder may improve manual focusing.

Mark

markpsf wrote:

...how well does it lend itself to zone focusing?

I realize that in this respect it may be no different than the EP-1 so perhaps this question applies to both.

For AF the GF-1 is likely to remain the champ but I'm interested in how the Olympus cameras lend themselves to street shooting use with manual pre-set controls.

Thanks.

Mark

OP Steven Wandy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,494
Re: Answering my Own Question

Aside from the fact that none of the m4/3 lenses to my knowledge have distance scales, I agree with what you read in the other thread.

However - for me at least - the EVF makes a world of difference for manual focusing. First the camera is more stable leaning against your face and the resolution of the EVF is better than the LCD (not that ever really bothered me). When using the EVF, I almost feel I can turn off the Manual Assist/Magnification mode at times.
Steve

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Teski
Teski Forum Pro • Posts: 13,060
Panny does only for the G1/GH1

I have the GH1 as well as the GF1 + EVF. The GH1 is awesome with the sensor on the EVF that will auto switch. That's why I'm spoiled and want something similar in my GF1 EVF. I can see not putting the sensor in there, but it'd be awesome if you could have a menu item that says, in EVF mode play images back on LCD. Sure it'd probably drain even more battery, but that's my choice.

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