Maximum resolution,1600 X 1200, i.e., 1.9 mp. Maximum shutter 1/800 with a 1.8 inch 114,000 dot LCD and coupled with a 38-380 zoom.
It was a joy to shoot with. In our constant pursuit for technological advancements, whether in more megapixels, faster focusing systems, and superior lens coating, we may have neglected the obvious. As a tool, the camera must be fun to use and facilitate the photo-taking experience. The photographer should be motivated to capture the moments without hassle.
In that aspect, the E-PL2 is a triumph. Within a compact 362g but well built chasis, houses a reliable metering system coupled with six art filters. What more could you ask for in a sub-thousand DSLR body?
All RAW images, processed in Olympus Viewer 2 with Pin Hole Art Filter applied (unless otherwise stated)
I traveled to Kunming, China from 19th to 28th February. Instead of lugging my usual backup DSLR-body, I decided to bring the E-PL2 (Thank you Olympus Singapore for the kind loan). Furthermore, I have traded the kit lens for a 17mm pancake lens and save the zooms for my main body. In the end, it was the compact package of the E-PL2 which won me over after I fell ill during the trip. When you have to nurse a bad throat, a persistent cough and a running nose, the last thing you want to handle is a full-fledge DSLR system. The compactness and ease of use of the E-PL2 meant that I could still manage shots despite being drowsy from the medication and fatigued from the traveling. If the best camera is the camera you have with you, the E-PL2 served as an excellent travel mate for all seasons.
Despite its size (4.5 inch X 1.6 inch X 2.8 inch), the E-PL2 is a solidly balanced body to hold. Well-designed in its buttons layout, its only Achilles heel is perhaps, the relatively small and less robust rear-control.
I always wanted a digital lomo to eliminate the burden of film processing and scanning. Furthermore I want it to be RAW capable with an arsenal of easily applicable effects to minimize on post-processing effects. In other words, I want a discreet street photography camera capable of high quality images yet motivates me to bring it wherever I go. In short, it must be fun to use.
The E-PL2’s new 3” LCD with a resolution of 460,000 pixels proved a marked improvement for all framing and reviewing over E-PL1’s 230,000 pixels. Call me old school but I have always frowned on LCD framing, preferring the use of optical viewfinder. My other grievance is that nearly all LCDs are rendered of little use under harsh lighting conditions. Imagine my surprise after photographing hundreds of images, there were no inaccurate exposures. The E-PL2 metering system delivers beyond expectation even during the tricky lighting conditions of sunset and sunrise. Together with precise LCD feedback, I became very confident with the results.
The E-PL2 is not perfect. However, these are not major faults but two minor flaws that Olympus should take heed of.
- While the addition of a rear control dial (absent in the E-PL1) is handy for photographers who frequently change their camera settings, it could be difficult to work with. Besides being small, the dial serves a 4-way controller as well. In other words, the dial is prone to accidental adjustments. Though I seldom encounter the problem in our tropical climate, the issue did arise when shooting in the cold and windy climate of Kunming. If you plan to wear gloves to fight off the chill, this is definitely not the rear control dial you would want to work with.
- Perhaps the weirdest design flaw is the lack of an orientation sensor. In plain English, you have to rotate all portrait images manually. Even though I shoot almost 95% of my photos in the landscape format, the remaining 5% of manual orientation can be tedious. Portrait photographers and those who shoot thousands of images take note.