Olympus E-PL2 Review

January 26, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 Norway Photos

Looks like I will stay with EPL1, but I really agree that the next model needs some control dials. Coming from a larger DSLR I just can’t get 100% used to doing so much through the menu system.

12:37 pm - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#2 seoras

There’s an excellent professional hands on report here: http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2011/01/olympus-epl2-final-installment-kirks.html

1:48 pm - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#3 kurth

what´s this mean ? ...up late ?

The E-PL2’s 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot rear LCD screen has a very wide viewing angle and remains visible outdoors in the sunshine too, but only if you increase its brightness level to the maximum setting (which affects the battery life). The resolution is merely average for a screen of this size, resulting in a slightly grainy display, but it does offer 100% scene coverage. The colour temperature of the screen can be modified if you think it doesn’t match that of your calibrated computer monitor, but the contrast and gamma cannot be altered.

The E-PL2 has a much improved 3-inch, 460,000-dot rear LCD screen, the same as the one on the E-P2, which has a very wide viewing angle and remains visible outdoors in the sunshine too.

4:32 pm - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#4 Mark Goldstein

Thanks for spotting that… I’m always up late!

4:45 pm - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#5 Kiel


Just an editing note: I believe you accidentally wrote indiscrete when you meant discreet with regard to street photography.

Just an FYI!

6:00 pm - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#6 Mike

A friend of mine just purchased this camera and I must say the differences from the previous models are subtle however the larger screen area is a definite improvement.

3:43 am - Thursday, January 27, 2011

#7 kelsci

This unit takes extremely desireable photographs and video. It can shoot with stereo sound with an external stereo microphone,  This is one of those cameras of the very very few that give “image liveliness”.  What that means is that when you shoot objects at a distance they look lifelike and as sharp as objects photographed at close distance.  This camera bakes the cake.  I would not hesitate to own this in a moment

6:46 am - Thursday, January 27, 2011

#8 andrew

Now i must choose between this. samsung nx100, or sony nex5. Any advices?)

9:15 am - Thursday, January 27, 2011

#9 matt

is it silent or does the shutter make a sound?

9:25 am - Thursday, January 27, 2011

#10 Mark Goldstein

matt, no, it’s not silent - there is a clearly discernable shutter sound.

11:30 am - Thursday, January 27, 2011

#11 kai

I do not get it. The ISO performance is outstanding, seems much better than the much expensive E-5…What hell…

12:47 am - Friday, January 28, 2011

#12 Fabio

Both here and in the E-PL1 review you took shots using FINE setting, when SuperFine is available… is this the way you review cameras?
Sorry but you loose credibility.

9:41 am - Friday, January 28, 2011

#13 Warren Lyons

Well, at long last, I know why digital cameras still cost more than they should; The cost of coming out with new models every year that in most cases amount to little more than the yearly body style changes that the auto industry used to do.  Other than a somewhat better kit lens, this camera offers nothing that it’s predecessor, the EPL1 didn’t already have.  Makes me glad I picked one up around Christmas for $400.00, complete with a backpack and extra battery, but wondering if I hadn’t waited to the new model came out, I might have gotten the “leftover” for even less

5:26 pm - Friday, January 28, 2011

#14 james

subtle changes? it looks like the EPL2 totally owns in high iso. what the heck. i did side by side comparisons with the samsung NX10 and sony NEX 5 shots of noise from this website, and they are EXTREMELY comparable, the epl2 looks better actually.

i don’t get it either. how the heck did that happen?

11:23 pm - Friday, January 28, 2011

#15 Ricky Lee

How is the autofocus speed? Is it the same as E-PL1 or as fast as GF1?

8:47 am - Monday, January 31, 2011

#16 dubai-photographer

Got to try one oh those, feels very flimsy but nice attempt to make a compact slr. Viewfinder system must be improved

10:49 am - Tuesday, February 1, 2011

#17 Ron I

@ Ricky Lee

“How is the autofocus speed? Is it the same as E-PL1 or as fast as GF1?”

Covered in the review

2:42 pm - Tuesday, February 1, 2011

#18 mjruffell

I bought the E-PL2 kit with both the 14-42mm & 40-150mm Lens. No problems with zoom, noise, or focusing. I don’t have a lot of experience with removable lens cameras, but the lens seem very high quality and easy to use. I have been using the camera for about two days in all different conditions.

If you are capable and willing to adjust and optimize settings for certain photographic situations, then this camera will be fine. If you intend to share the camera with your wife that expects good indoor pictures in iAuto mode, then pass. The quality and color tone of the pictures in iAuto mode did not please my wife and I. Using iAuto mode indoors with overhead lighting without the flash we found that pictures had a distinct yellowish-beige hue. With the flash tuned on the colors were better but a bit washed out. In movie mode, there is no flash, and the indoor movies always had a yellowish-beige hue to them. Some of the advanced settings corrected this problem a little, but my wife did not want a camera that required setting adjustment in iAuto mode, and we take a lot of indoor pictures. Simply put it was difficult to render true white colors with this camera in an indoor atmosphere with moderate lighting conditions.

In natural outdoor lighting the pictures are excellent.

I question why people think Olympus JPEGs are so good. The JPEGs do not accurately represent colors in many conditions, especially moderate to low light. There may be some conditions where the Olympus JPEG “processing adjustments” works, but sometimes it makes pictures worse. It seems like Olympus is too often trying to “process and enhance” the JPEG instead of just rendering the RAW file with JPEG compression.

I am still looking for the perfect, small, DSRL quality camera. I do believe Micro Four Thirds is the future.

3:47 am - Thursday, February 17, 2011

#19 Jessy

I would like to hear more about how this camera is for portraits and indoor lighting.

5:10 am - Wednesday, February 23, 2011

#20 William Brennen

Editor,  paragraph 2 / Ease of use, “photographers looking for an indiscrete camera…”
- should read “discreet”

6:59 pm - Saturday, April 2, 2011

#21 Chris

#20 - William:

Depends on the color you purchase :)

6:37 pm - Tuesday, May 17, 2011

#22 Dmitry

Why Olympus kept it’s shutter sound mandatory on a digital E-PL2 camera?  It has no mirror like in a digital SLR, and still I can’t find how to switch it off.

2:18 am - Saturday, June 4, 2011

#23 Dmitry

Is it possible to switch off the shutter sound of Olympus E-PL2?  There is no mirror like in digital SLR.  I thought the shutter sound has to be optional and not mandatory.

2:28 am - Saturday, June 4, 2011

#24 Dmitry

Wow!  The shutter is mechanical on E-PL2. That’s why you can’t switch shutter off on Olympus E-PL2.

2:49 am - Saturday, June 4, 2011

#25 Arthur

I bought this camera now E-PL2, 14-42 + 40-150mm lenses, Can$ 669 at Newegg, hope I had a good deal and a lot of fun with it.

1:24 pm - Monday, June 13, 2011

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 720p, 12 megapixel, beginner, olympus, manual, micro four thirds, PEN, e-pl2, Olympus E-PL2 Review, ep l2, e pl2, epl2

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