Olympus E-PL2 Review
Body and Design
The E-PL1 was, arguably, a fairly ugly camera. Lacking the smoother lines of the E-P1 and E-P2, it looked squat and boxy, an impression magnified by the rectangular buttons that covered its rear. The E-PL2 is a considerably more elegant beast, inheriting many of its design cues and lines from its more expensive siblings. It's not just better than the E-PL1 to look at, though, it's also better to use, thanks to the more pleasantly sculpted hand grip and the addition of an E-P2-inspired rear control dial.
Build quality is excellent, exactly as we'd expect from a camera in the PEN range (and any camera at this price). The E-PL2 is solid and well-built, and most of its control points have a positive, high-quality feel. The only exception, sadly, is the rear dial, which (like the E-P2's) is rather small and fiddly. Despite its lower-end billing E-P2 users interested in the E-PL2 as a second body certainly won't feel like they've taken a step downwards.
In your hand
The E-PL1 wasn't bad, but the E-PL2 definitely feels nicer to use. The rear control dial makes a lot of difference to the camera's operational efficiency, and the remodeled hand grip makes it more comfortable to hold, especially single-handed. The E-PL1's slightly-too-small shutter release has also been replaced by a larger button. All of the major controls fall easily to hand, just like the E-PL1, and the direct video shooting button is very well placed for grabbing quick movie clips, or - once reassigned - for accessing other key functions.
|The E-PL2 has an accessory port, so can mount the same optional VF-2 electronic viewfinder as used by the E-P2 (shown here on an EPL-1). It's one of the best EVFs on the market, offering a large, bright, detailed preview with an excellent 60 Hz refresh rate.|
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