Excerpt: A little over four months ago, Olympus released their first ever Micro Four Thirds, the E-P1 PEN. The E-P1â€™s features were perhaps not game-changing but its compact, rectangular form-factor (ala Olympusâ€™ E300/E330) made it a mouth-watering choice for those wanting a light, discrete interchangeable lens camera.
Conclusion: The E-P2 keeps up the Olympus tradition of churning out cameras that really are head and shoulders above the competition. Just be aware you’ll need to stump up a substantial amount for the basic camera and lens package, and that’s before you get the extras such as the viewfinder. It’s a winner, but one which will hammer your wallet hard.
Pros: Everything that made the E-P1 so easy to recommend remains on its successor. The black metal body will delight fans of retro camera style, but it’s about more than looks. The 14-42mm lens which comes as part of the basic bundle is great and gives it a DSLR style feel. Images look stunning, with the chance to take pin-hole and diorama shots using the on-board art filters. This is a camera aimed straight at arty, creative types.
Cons: At £899 for the basic package, you’ll need a lot of spare cash to get involved. That doesn’ tinclude the viewfinder which you’ll need to pay extra for. Also, the added features are barely different to the E-P1. That’s not to say this isn’t a stunning, sleek camera that takes truly luscious and detailed shots, just that it costs a tad too much for our liking.
Summary: A slightly revised version of the E-P1 sees changes in all the right places. A great JPEG engine, in-body stabilization, and the option to add one of the best electronic viewfinders we've seen combine to help it live up to its looks.
Pros: Excellent resolution with lots of detail in the shots, Appealing, bright and punchy out of camera results and well optimized JPEGs, Improved AF performance (though kit lens holds it back), Pretty retro design puts SLR quality into a compact body, Collapsible kit lens is small and offers decent quality, Superb optional viewfinder aids stable holding and shooting in bright light, Good high ISO performance up to ISO 3200 and lots of control over noise reduction, Superb b...
Cons: Some highlight clipping (and poor dynamic range at ISO 100), Low resolution screen that's hard to see in bright light, i-Enhance picture mode can't be disengaged when using iAuto, No built-in flash (and the optional flash is expensive and pretty basic), Complicated menu system not that easy to navigate, Preview image brightness doesn't always match the captured image brightness, No quick way to select AF point, Live view magnification implementation is awkward and inc...
Summary: While the price of the Olympus Pen E-P2 might make some of your bank managers choke into their morning coffee when asking for the loan you might need to buy one, this otherwise modest upgrade of the E-P1 still sees significant improvements over its predecessor. The image quality, HD movies and handling are all superb, as is the EVF and the build quality plus that retro design, which all makes the E-P2 a lovely camera to have and to use and one that performs well,...
Pros: Image quality, handling, Super Control Panel, Creative feature set, iAuto mode, Dust reduction system, Styling, Build, Art filters, Lens, EVF.
Cons: No (built-in) viewfinder, EVF needs hot shoe, No built-in flash, Price, Screen in brighter conditions.
Excerpt: The first time you take the lens off the new Olympus Pen E-P2 ($1,100, street, with 14–42mm f/3.5–5.6 or 17mm f/2.8 M.Zuiko Digital lens and VF-2 electronic viewfinder), people around you may stare in disbelief. After all, it’s not much larger than a compact camera, but you can swap out the optics, just as on a DSLR. But does the wow factor extend to its performance? Our tests say yes.
Conclusion: The E-P2, like the E-P1, should interest professional photographers on the quest for a small body camera but with comparable features and functions to a larger DSLR without the weight or the bulk. There aren’t too many reasons why someone would want to upgrade from their already-purchased E-P1, unless the additional shooting mode, the accessory port for an external mic, a few additional art filters, or the articulate optical viewfinder are of interest.
Excerpt: Just as this camera arrived on the reviewing desk another PEN was announced: the PEN E-PL1 . With three PENs now out there, I could almost hear the old song … ‘Every time it rains, it rains PEN-Es from heaven.” Sorry for the corn! Olympus first broke away from the crowd with its first Micro Four Thirds camera and was quickly followed by Panasonic with their MFT lineup, then Ricoh put its hand up with the GXR.
Excerpt: Following up on the rabid success of the E-P1, comes the Olympus E-P2, less than half a year later. Bound to irk some early adopters of the E-P1, the E-P2 continues with the retro goodness, but this time in a much sleeker all-black design, upgraded features that address all the problems and bugs with the E-P1, and upgraded price ($300+ premium over the E-P1).