Summary: The Olympus PEN E-PL2 is one of the smallest interchangeable lens cameras yet packs plenty of advanced features despite its entry-level design. It includes image-stabilization and a popup flash. Its accessory port lets it use an optional high-resolution EVF or stereo microphone. Image quality from the E-PL2 is exceptionally free of noise with a good amount of details and good color accuracy. Tonality is highly controllable, as is white-balance.
Pros: Excellent control over image noise, Good image sharpness, Impecable custom white-balance, Good color accuracy, Controllable tone-curve, Instant video recording start and stop, Quite responsive, Extremely useful Spot Highlight metering mode, Selectable AE-L metering, Highly customizable, Good built quality, Optional high-resolution EVF, Optional stereo microphone without dangling cable, Result-oriented
Cons: Frequently slow autofocus speed, Imperfect focus, Automatic AF-point selection not so good, Unreliable AWB, Slow shot-to-shot speed, Disturbing AF during video recording, 1 Second blackout, Impossile to confirm focus on LCD without MF-Assist, Incorrect saturation on LCD preview, Control-dial too low, Indistinct buttons, Insufficient popup flash clearance, Entering playback mode always reverts to LCD, Difficult to use with gloves on
Excerpt: Itâ€™s been a while since Iâ€™ve seen the PEN E-PL1 and this one comes at the right time â€” and price â€” for an entry level camera following the Four Thirds plan. In keeping with the PEN format the camera is mirrorless, dispensing with the pentaprism and optical viewing. The review Olympus PEN E-PL2 was supplied with the f3.5/14-42mm and f4/40-150mm lenses.
Summary: If you frequently change your exposure settings or shoot a lot in low light you might want to try the E-PL2 out before you commit to a purchase but for everyone else the Olympus is a great combination of image quality and portability.
Pros: Good resolution and detail at base ISO, Compact camera/kit lens package, Nice screen with good resolution (460K dots), Good build quality and handling, Generally responsive and snappy operation, Reliable metering, Good AF speed with kit lens, Decent high ISO performance and good control over noise reduction, Abundance of customization options, Some manual control in movie mode, Small and quiet kit lens, Art filters are fun to play with and also work in movie mode, Aut...
Cons: Exposure control with the rear dial not great if you change settings frequently, Inefficient movie format results in very large file sizes, No orientation sensor means having to rotate every portrait image manually, Menu system can be a little overwhelming for novice users, Slightly underpowered built-in flash (but still better than having no flash)
Summary: In our opinion, the E-PL2 is one of the better ILCs on the market. It takes advantage of the now-wide array of lenses available for the Micro Four Thirds system while offering a compact and powerful body with the best features that Olympus has developed for this still-young format.
Summary: There's no denying that the E-PL2 is a welcome development over the E-PL1 and, in many ways, is the most rounded of the non-viewfinder Compact System Cameras. Starting with its looks, it's a balanced blend of retro and modern that eclipses its rivals, with a solid build that belies its price.
Excerpt: As International CES kicks off for 2011, Olympus has announced the 12.1 megapixel E-PL2 camera, the micro four thirds replacement of the E-PL1. The pixel count remains the same as its predecessor, but there are a number of cosmetic changes, feature upgrades, a new 14-42 f/2/5 -5.6 II kit lens, along with a handful of tandemly announced accessories for this fourth generation digital PEN .
Excerpt: Slotted right beneath the price of the PEN E-P2, the Olympus PEN E-PL2 ($599) is a more attainable priced rangefinder based on the Micro Four Thirds sensor. Olympus has piled on the features, including a newly designed body, 12 megapixel Live MOS sensor, 3″ LCD screen, improved autofocus with iDetect and Live Guide II, which displays real-time video and still image effects, ISO 6400, HD video capture, in-camera stabilization and a 14-42mm (28mm-84mm equivalent) f/3.5-5.6...
Summary: Despite that, the Olympus E-PL2 is a fantastic little camera. Photo quality isn't far off that of DSLRs, yet the packaging is a lot more compact and easy to carry round with you. The Olympus E-PL2 is well worth a look if you're in the market for a premium camera with interchangeable lenses.
Conclusion: The Olympus E-PL2 is the least-expensive compact interchangeable-lens camera you can buy. And while it offers very good image quality, some same-price cameras use even larger image sensors and deliver better low-light performance.
Pros: Beautiful image quality. Compact body. Large image sensor. Digital accessories port and hotshoe. Dual menu system tailored toward either beginners or seasoned photographers. Silent autofocus during video recording with kit lens.
Cons: Low light performance isn't as good as cameras with APS-C-size image sensors. Proprietary USB port.
Conclusion: Olympus's most recent introduction, the Pen E-PL2, now faces fierce competition from Panasonic, Samsung and Sony, with rumours constantly circling that the two big DSLR players, Canon and Nikon will enter the CSC fray soon. It means Olympus has a lot riding on the E-PL2.