Olympus E-PL2 Review
The Micro Four Thirds system turned two years old last October, and a lot has happened since Panasonic debuted the DSLR-inspired, but mirrorless Lumix DMC-G1. What was then a brand new system has had time to mature, and mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs) now make up one of the fastest-growing and competitive segments of the consumer digital camera market.
Although the Micro Four Thirds system got in first, Panasonic and Olympus haven't had everything their own way. After a decent head start, Panasonic's G-system and the Olympus PEN-series have been joined by Samsung's small-but-growing NX range, and Sony's innovative NEX-3 and NEX-5. All this competition has resulted in a rash of new releases from both 'original' mirrorless ILC manufacturers in recent months, as Panasonic and Olympus attempt to consolidate their early lead and grab as much market share as possible.
Part of that strategy is to aim lower, at novice rather than solely enthusiast consumers. The Olympus E-PL1, released in February 2009, was designed to appeal to precisely this market, filling the gap between high-end compact cameras and enthusiast-oriented, mostly DSLR-inspired, ILCs. The E-PL1 dispensed with the control dials of the E-P1 and E-P2, but retained the same sensor (albeit with a lighter AA filter), in a smaller, considerably more compact-like body. It also boasted - gasp! - a built-in flash; something which Olympus opted to dispense with in both the E-P1 and E-P2.
The E-PL2 has the same sensor as the E-PL1 and doesn't officially replace it, but sits above it in the product line, beneath the E-P2. As well as a physical makeover (the E-PL2 reminds us slightly of the rather beautiful Stylus Verve) its ergonomics have been refreshed too. The all-button operation of the E-PL1 has been ditched, in favor of a more conventional combination button/dial approach, with a rear plate that's much closer in design to the E-P2 than the E-PL1. The LCD screen is better too - its size has increased to 3 inches and it doubles in resolution, topping out at 460K dots. Indeed with its 3:2 aspect ratio and deep blue anti-reflective coating, it bears a startling resemblance to the unit used on Panasonic's DMC-GF2, although without that model's touch-sensitivity.
There are a couple of specification and firmware tweaks, too. The available ISO range now covers 200-6400, with the low-noise but limited-dynamic range ISO 100 option dropped. There's also an intriguing extension of the familiar face-detection AF mode, in the shape of 'iDetect' that aims to focus specifically on your subject's eyes. Some of the Art Filters gain a number of variations, plus the ability to add a stylized border.
The E-PL2 also comes with a new kit lens, that made its debut alongside the Japan-only E-PL1s late last year. The collapsible M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II MSC is 25% lighter than the previous generation, but boasts three aspherical elements rather than two. Its mechanism has also been modified, with one extending barrel section rather than two, making for a more solid construction than its notoriously-wobbly predecessor. It also gains a bayonet fitting at the front which can accept not only a lens hood, but also a new series of add-on lens converters - fish-eye, wideangle and macro.
Perhaps most significantly, though, the lens now gains the 'Movie and Still Compatible' (MSC) designation, signifying a much faster and quieter internal-focus design. According to Olympus, this makes the AF speed of the E-PL2 and 14-42mm II combination on a par with the best cameras in its class. However it does come at a slight cost to the lens's macro capability, with a maximum magnification of 0.19x rather than 0.24x.
It is worth noting that E-PL1 users will see a significant leap in AF performance from the new 14-42mm II. With the new lens mounted, we found that AF acquisition is typically around 0.2secs faster than when using the original kit zoom. This amounts to an increase in AF speed of almost 30% in some circumstances - a substantial boost. Back to the E-PL2 though, and the impression of better AF speed is aided by the silent focusing of the 14-42mm II. Not only does this make the lens feel swifter in use, but crucially it also means that movie footage from the E-PL2 is not marred by the sound of the lens' AF motor racking back and forth.
- 12 megapixel Four Thirds sized sensor
- In-body image stabilization
- 'Live Guide II' interface works in still and movie capture modes
- 3" LCD screen (460,000 dots)
- Built-in flash
- Eye-detection AF
- Direct record movie button
- 720p 30fps HD video (AVI Motion JPEG format)
- ISO 200-6400
- Accessory port for add-ons such as electronic viewfinder and new 'PENpal' bluetooth transmitter
E-PL2 vs E-P2: Key differences
Although the E-PL2 is a less expensive camera than the E-P2 that sits above it, it gives very little ground to its big brother in terms of specification, and is better specified than the E-PL1. The biggest differences between the E-PL2 and E-P2 are in fact cosmetic and ergonomic: the E-PL2's more compact-camera-like interface, the simplified construction and of course the slightly more compact, more 'styled' body shell.
- One control dial (vs. 2 on the E-P2)
- Built-in flash (external flashes only on E-P2)
- Compatible with PENpal PP-1 bluetooth accessory (the E-P2 is incompatible).
- Direct record movie button vs. movies as position on E-P2 mode dial
- Mono mic with option to add stereo using adapter vs. built-in stereo mics
- No orientation sensor on E-PL2
Feb 7, 2014
Jan 31, 2014
Feb 12, 2011
Mar 3, 2011
|scrum break away by al booth|
from Sport competition
|Chinese Acrobat by lim yau tong|
|Parking Deck by Olaf R|
from Your City - Parking Garage
|Communication Tech by alberto_b|
|With & without by OBellini|
from Empty - Full
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II brings more resolution, better autofocus and faster continuous shooting to Canon's entry-level full-frame camera. And we've had the opportunity to shoot with one.
The Canon 6D Mark II will ship to consumers in August, but we've been able to do some shooting with a pre-production unit well in advance.
Rumors have been swirling around for a while, and Canon has just unveiled the long-awaited successor to the popular and long-serving EOS 6D. Read all about it in our hands-on preview.
Canon's latest entry-level DSLR is here. The new Rebel SL2 (EOS 200D) is the belated successor to 2013's Rebel SL1, billed at the time as the smallest and lightest DSLR on the market.
Nearly five years after the announcement of the EOS 6D, Canon has finally replaced it with the EOS 6D Mark II. The Mark II features an all-new 26.2MP Dual Pixel AF full-frame sensor, 6.5 fps burst shooting, a fully articulating touchscreen, 1080/60p video and much more.
Canon has announced the EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D), which replaces the aging SL1. This ultra-compact DSLR features a 24MP sensor, DIGIC 7 processor, Dual Pixel AF system and a 3" fully articulating touchscreen LCD.
When one of his friends got a filter stuck on his $1,700 Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L, former MythBuster Adam Savage removed it using an unlikely, terrifying tool: a band saw.
The New Yorker asked Magnum's famed photographers, in town for the agency's 70th anniversary, to go out and capture 'the fleeting beauty of New York City's golden hour.' This is what they shot.
Roger Cicala is a difficult man to impress, but he's been waxing lyrical over at Lensrentals about Sony's new 12-24mm wide zoom.
Glassware is one of the most challenging subjects to photograph, especially against a white background. This tutorial shows you how to do it with hardly any gear.
Handevision is now shipping its all-metal Iberit 90mm F2.4 short telephoto lens for Leica M-mount 35mm and full-frame cameras.
Isocell comprises four sub-brands: Bright, Fast, Slim and Dual which are tailored to specific mobile device market demands.
The new store will be located at the Fotografiska center for contemporary photography in Stockhom, Sweden and carry the full range of Hasselblad products.
A recent vacation gave Richard a chance to think about the needs of travel photography – and how our reviews might recognize the perfect travel camera.
Need more evidence that 2017 is the year analog begins its comeback? Well, welcome another new film stock to the world.
The winners of the 10th annual iPhone Photography Awards have been announced, and they're striking.
If you were disappointed by reports that the Sony a9 struggles with adapted Canon glass, you might be able to take some comfort from Metabones' latest update.
Blackmagic Design has dropped the prices of its Video Assist external monitor/recorders for a limited time. Prices of the SD card-based recorders will be reduced in all markets, while supplies last.
Instagram has started testing a new feature called 'favorites' that enables users to share photos with only certain people. Only a small number of users have access to the feature at this time, though it may roll out to everyone in the future.
Lensbaby has announced the Velvet 85 F1.8 for interchangeable lens cameras. The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, Sony A, Pentax K, Samsung NX, Fuji X and Micro 4/3 mounts.
It's the end of an era. Parent company Micron has announced that they are discontinuing the Lexar retail brand. This includes 'memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives.'
Youthful trainspotter turned adult photographer, John Sanderson has traveled across the United States, documenting the country's railroads. But you won't find any trains in his pictures.
Sony's new CMOS sensor is backside-illuminated and offers an all-pixel global reset function which should drastically reduce rolling shutter effect when panning.
Shoulderpod has converted its offerings into a lego-like modular system by offering all individual parts of existing products separately, allowing users to build exactly the rig they need for a specific project or simply replace a damaged part.
Photographer Felix AAA has spent the past ten years touring the world with a variety of musicians, capturing behind the scenes shots and portraits. He talks about some of his favorite images on the FujiFilm Blog.
A roll of film discovered in an Argus C2 from an Oregon Goodwill turned out to contain some incredible images – and has been re-united with the original owner's family.
Nikon's 28mm F1.4E ED appears to roundly complete the company's updated lineup of fast, professional prime lenses. We've already seen some initial images from a Nikon ambassador, but we've worked through a gallery of our own, with a lens of our own over the past week. Take a look.
Google is holding a competition that could see your Pixel photos gracing millions of screens.
Nikon's 100th birthday party continues worldwide as a distributor in Italy organized a one-of-a-kind feat: assembling the world's largest 'human camera' from over a thousand volunteers.
Ricoh has dropped the price of its Theta SC 360 spherical camera by to $199, a reduction of roughly $50. The camera features two 12MP sensors and can record Full HD video in addition to stills.