Olympus PEN E-PL2

Released January, 2011
New: PEN E-PL3 (Jun, 2011)
  • 12.2 MP
  • Four Thirds 17.3 x 13 mm NMOS
  • 3" LCD
Although with a bit of effort the Art filter effects can be created more effectively post-capture, they are fun and if you shoot raw and JPEG images simultaneously you have the best of both worlds as the effects aren't applied to raw files.
by TechRadar (Apr, 2011)
8.4 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Olympus PEN E-PL2

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range


How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Focus lag and focus points


How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay


What do the experts think?

Reviews from 43rumors.com, trustedreviews.com, techradar.com, photographyblog.com and 1 more


Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews


Benchmarks Real world tests of the Olympus PEN E-PL2

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

573 ISO
Alpha A3000
1,068 ISO
Nikon 1 J2
363 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

2,400 LPH
Nikon 1 J2
2,000 LPH
2,000 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

434 ms
956 ms
820 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

68 ms
Alpha A3000
22 ms
91 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

1,300 ms
2,300 ms
Alpha A3000
2,200 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

3 fps
Nikon 1 J2
60 fps
Lumix DMC-GF3
3.8 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Olympus PEN E-PL2

The depth and weight increase when the supplied poly-carbonate mounted 14-42mm kit lens is fitted, making the E-PL2 instantly more DSLR-like, but fitting a pancake lens like Olympus' 17mm or Panasonic's 20mm creates a compact overall package that will particularly suit street photographers looking for an indiscrete camera.

We're at ISO400, usually the point at which some subtle image noise is creeping in, but here the image remains commendably clear and of little difference to what we've seen (or rather haven't) at ISO200.

As part of our image quality testing we shot our resolution chart with the Olympus E-PL2 and its M Four Thirds 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II MSC kit lens.


7.9 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


Image stabilisation via the camera body is a very useful feature that works well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range.
by Photography Blog (Jan, 2011)
The E-PL2 has a plastic construction with a metal lens mount, although it still feels reassuringly well-made with very little flex in the overall design.
by Photography Blog (Jan, 2011)
This means that the lens mount doesn't take up quite so much of the front of the camera, making room for the larger hand-grip, and it also makes the overall package slightly lighter and more compact.
by Photography Blog (Jan, 2011)


This suggests that, as is often the case with Olympus camera raw files, straight from the camera raw files will look quite different when opened in Adobe's Camera Raw (once an update is issued).
by TechRadar (Apr, 2011)
The maximum sensitivity settings has also been pushed 1 EV to ISO 6400, but this is accompanied by an increase in the minimum setting from ISO 100 to ISO 200.
by TechRadar (Apr, 2011)
Images may be captured as raw or JPEG files (or both simultaneously) in the usual PASM exposure modes.
by TechRadar (Apr, 2011)


With just 11 fairly large AF boxes, it can feel a little imprecise, in good light the E-PL2's AF system performs well and finds it subject quickly.
by TechRadar (Apr, 2011)
This performs well and provides a clear view even in quite bright lighting conditions, though as we would expect, in direct sun there isn't enough detail visible in the magnified views when focusing manually to be sure that the focus is absolutely accurate.
by TechRadar (Apr, 2011)
More importantly, the new optic is an MSC (Movie and Stills Compatible) lens so the auto focusing is quieter and faster than before.
by TechRadar (Apr, 2011)


The other option is Vivid of course, or simply opt for one of the Art Filters to provide some added punch if realism isn't your thing anyway.
by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
The six available Art Filters are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences.
by Photography Blog (Jan, 2011)
And by contrast here's an example of what's achievable using the E-PL2's creative filters if you are blessed with naturally colourful subject matter.
by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)


The most significant changes that the E-PL2 brings over the E-PL1's specification are a larger screen with greater resolution (3in and 460,000 dots rather than 2.7in and 230,000 dots), an expansion of the non-technical Live Guide available in the iAuto mode to include the HD Movie mode and the Dramatic Tone Art filter.
by TechRadar (Apr, 2011)
Unless the custom menu option to prioritise a smooth on-screen display (mode 2) is selected, rather than the option to accurately preview the effect of the filter (mode 1), the drain on the camera's processing power when using the Art filters also makes LCD display very jerky.
by TechRadar (Apr, 2011)
Instead, you can choose to buy the excellent detachable VF-2 viewfinder which slots into the E-PL2's hotshoe on top of the camera and is tilt-able to 90° so the camera can be used as you would a medium format model and with 100% field of view.
by Photography Blog (Jan, 2011)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Megapixels 12.2 MP
Resolution 4032 x 3024
Size Four Thirds
Area 17.3 x 13 mm
Crop factor 2.1x
Pixel size 18.4 microns
Light sensitivity 200 ISO to 6,400 ISO
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,400 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,400 LPH

focus system

Type Contrast detection
Focus points 11
Cross type focus points 0
Supports continuous No


Min 60 s
Max 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 115.4 x 72.7 x 42 mm
Thickness 42 mm
Weight 362 g
Is weather sealed No


Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR No
Automatic panorama Yes
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization Sensor shift


Video 1280 x 720 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p No
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack None
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection
Autofocus type Contrast detection


Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 460 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen No
Supports live view Yes


Viewfinder mirror None
Viewfinder None


Max continuous shooting 3 fps
Battery life 280 photos
Continuous shooting 3 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 434 ms
Shutter lag 68 ms
Startup delay 1,300 ms
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