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

PEN E-PL2
8.0
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

PEN E-PL2
6.3
Focus lag and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

PEN E-PL2
8.2
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

PEN E-PL2
9.0
Reviews from 43rumors.com, trustedreviews.com, techradar.com, photographyblog.com and 1 more

8.4

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

PEN E-PL2
8.4

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Olympus PEN E-PL2

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

PEN E-PL2
573 ISO
D3300
1,385 ISO
Alpha ILC-3000
1,068 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

PEN E-PL2
2,400 LPH
D3300
3,000 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

PEN E-PL2
434 ms
PEN E-PL1
820 ms
Nikon 1 J2
94 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

PEN E-PL2
68 ms
Leica M9
125 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

PEN E-PL2
1,300 ms
Alpha ILC-3000
2,200 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

PEN E-PL2
3 fps
Nikon 1 J2
60 fps
NX1100
8 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

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


9.0
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.

8.0
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.

6.0
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.

Overall

7.9 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Lens

Although it delivers on its primary aim of helping novice photographers make adjustments to the aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation, white balance and colour saturation without them realising they are doing so, the Live Guide doesn't go far enough.
by TechRadar (Apr, 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)

Sensor

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)

Focus

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)

Screen

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)

Photography

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)
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)
There are six Art Filters in total and they're identical to the ones offered by the even smaller XZ-1 compact, another possible competitor for the E-PL2 if you don't need the ability to swap lenses.
by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Type NMOS
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
Codecs
  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

shutter

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

features

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

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

display

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

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror None
Viewfinder None

performance

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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