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Olympus E-P2 Pen, Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera, 12.3 Megapixel with M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/2.8 ED Lens, Black

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Olympus : Picture 1 regular

About Olympus

The Olympus E-P2 is a 12.3-megapixel interchangeable lens camera and it blends the high-quality still images of a DSLR with High Definition (HD) video, stereo Linear PCM audio recording and in-camera creativity - all inside an ultra-portable, easy-to-use body.

The E-P2 also brings a new twist to the PEN lineup an accessory port which accommodates the included VF-2 electronic view finder or optional external microphone adapter (SEMA-1).

A wide-angle pancake lens with a convenient focal length (equivalent to 34mm on a 35mm camera) for shooting everything from landscapes and portraits to close-ups. A slim design with an overall length of just 22 mm ensures the camera remains compact and easy to carry even when the lens is mounted. With its digital-dedicated design and superior performance this lens maximizes the camera's performance for clear, high-quality imaging.

Olympus Features

  • Micro Four Thirds Mount : The Micro Four Thirds Mount on the E-P2 provides many key benefits, including the effectiveness of a digitally designed image sensor, an ultra-compact design and expandability.
  • Four Thirds System Lens Adapter : Other Four Thirds Format lenses can also be used on the E-P2 with an available MMF-1 Four Thirds System Lens Adapter, including extreme wide-angle fisheye and super-telephoto lenses
  • Truepic V Image Processor : In addition to more detail, the image sensor, combined with the next-generation TruePic V Image Processor, delivers excellent dynamic range, accurate color fidelity and reduced noise, all the way up to 6400 ISO
  • In-body Image Stabilization : The camera's In-body Image Stabilization system compensates for up to four shutter speed steps with any of the system's interchangeable lenses
  • Art Filters : A series of eight built-in Art Filters for replicating countless striking and dramatic effects can be easily activated for both still and video imaging. The innovative Art Filters include Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film and Pin Hole
  • Multiple Exposure : Multiple Exposure makes heightened creativity an easily-obtained objective. Two frames can be combined and portions of one can be combined with those of another in any of the shooting modes
  • Digital Leveler : The camera's Digital Leveler function is a highly functional and practical feature for such specialized requirements as architectural photography and other similar needs
  • Movie Mode : Shoot movies at 30 frames per second in 720p with available manual control over aperture and shutter speed. This new level of control allows you to express your vision exactly how you want in your HD videos
  • Electronic Image Stabilization : Electronic Image Stabilization compensates for camera shake while shooting in the movie mode
  • Dust Reduction System : A Dust Reduction System assures spot-free images. Every time you turn on the camera, the patented Supersonic Wave Filter silently vibrates, flinging and collecting dust so that it cannot interfere with the picture imaging at any time
  • Live View Autofocus : With the seamless precision and simplicity of a point-and-shoot, the E-P2's Live View Autofocus system displays the images to be shot in complete focus on the camera's bright LCD the moment the shutter button is pressed half way down
  • Mf Assist : For accurate manual focusing, MF Assist can be enabled during S-AF + MF operation. With it you can zoom in on the central part of the image by up to five times by turning the focus ring
  • Perfect Shot Preview : With Perfect Shot Preview, you can preview and select various photographic effects before you take the shot
  • Eportrait : The ePortrait mode is also useful for smoothing out the facial features of your subjects, which is a tremendous plus for High Definition playback
  • Shadow Adjustment Technology : Shadow Adjustment Technology corrects for extreme light variations with high-tech efficiency
  • Aspect Ratios : The E-P2 lets you select one of four Aspect Ratios (4:3, 3.2, 16.9 and 6.6) that help frame your images to whatever proportions you'd like, for everything from conventional enlargements to viewing on widescreen monitors
  • Full Manual Control : Full manual control for all programs and functions, including Aperture and Shutter. Shutter Priority, is at your fingertips whenever it is needed or preferred. Full automatic control is also a button-press away
  • Iauto : iAuto identifies your shooting intent (such as macro or action photography) and instantly adjusts the camera settings to achieve the best results
  • Slideshows : Slideshows have never been easier or more fun to create. The E-P2's enhanced playback functions allow you to employ effective fade-in/fade-out techniques, add captivating musical soundtracks and much more
  • Background Music : Choose from five separate background music files to add to your still images or video productions
  • Ultra-compact Body : The E-P2 is the definition of state-of-the-art optical engineering in an ultra-compact body. It weighs just 11.8 ounces and measures just 4.75" (W) x 2.95" (H) x 1.43 (D), so you can to slip into a pocket or purse and to take with you anywhere
  • M. Zuiko Lenses : The accompanying Olympus M. ZUIKO lenses are small, lightweight, powerful and precision engineered
  • Sdhc Media Cards : The E-P2 is capable of recording video to SDHC media cards to accommodate large files. (SDHC Class 6 cards are recommended.) Videos, stills and high-fidelity audio can also be output via HDMI cable-direct to any HD television
  • Live Control : Live Control, an advanced camera management system, allows you to see the image being shot and the camera's controls all at once, on the bright, colorful, high definition 3-inch HyperCrystal LCD
  • 19 Automatic Scene Modes : The E-P2 is equipped with 19 scene-select modes for effortless picture taking. Standard scene modes like Night-Scene, Portrait and Landscape

Olympus Specifications

Camera Type
Interchangeable Lens Type Live View Digital Camera
Memory
SD Memory Card(SDHC compatible) Class 6 is recommended for Movie shooting
Screen size
17.3 mm (H) x 13.0 mm (V)
Lens mount
Micro Four Thirds Mount
Effective Pixels number
12.3 million pixels
Image Pick-up Unit
High speed Live MOS Sensor
Total no. of pixels
Approx. 13.1 million pixels
Aspect ratio
1.33 (4:3)
Filter array
Primary color filter (RGB)
LPF
Fixed type
IR cut filter
Hybrid type
Dust reduction
Supersonic Wave Filter (dust reduction system for image sensor)
Recording format Still
DCF, DPOF compatible/Exif, PRINT Image Matching III
File format
RAW (12-bit lossless compression), JPEG, RAW+JPEG
Recording image size
[RAW] 4032 x 3024 pixels
[JPEG] 4032 x 3024 pixels - 640 x 480 pixels
File Size Raw
4032(H)x3042(V) (approx. 1/1.5 lossless compressed) Approx. 13.9MB
Set1(LF): 4032(H)x3042(V) (1/4 compressed) Approx. 5.7MB
Set2(LN): 4032(H)x3042(V) (1/8 compressed) Approx. 2.7MB
Set3(MN): 2560(H)x1920(V) (1/8 compressed) Approx. 1.1MB
Set4(SN): 1024(H)x768(V) (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.3MB
File Size Large
4032 x 3024 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 8.2MB
4032 x 3024 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 5.7MB
4032 x 3024 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 2.7MB
4032 x 3024 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 1.8MB
File Size Middle
3200 x 2400 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 5.4MB
3200 x 2400 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 3.4MB
3200 x 2400 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 1.7MB
3200 x 2400 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 1.2MB
2560 x 1920 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 3.2MB
2560 x 1920 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 2.2MB
2560 x 1920 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 1.1MB
2560 x 1920 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 0.8MB
File Size Small
1600 x 1200 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 1.3MB
1600 x 1200 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 0.9MB
1600 x 1200 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.5MB
1600 x 1200 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 0.4MB
1280 x 960 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 0.9MB
1280 x 960 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 0.6MB
1280 x 960 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.3MB
Recording Movie Format
AVI Motion JPEG(30fps)
Movie Mode
HD: 1280(H)x720(V) Aspect 16:9
SD: 640(H)x480(V) Aspect 4:3(VGA)
Compression Ratio
1/12
File Size
Max 2GB(limited by AVI format)
Maximum Recording Time
HD: 7min, SD: 14min
Recording Sound Format
Wave Format Base
Stereo PCM/16bit, 44.1kHz
Live View Type
Image Sensor(High Speed Live MOS) type
Field of view
1
Display Mode
Normal Mode
Grid Line Mode
Histogram Mode(3 types)
Magnified View Mode
Comparable View Mode
OFF Mode (for OVF user)
Magnification Ratio
x7, x10
View finder information
Aperture value, Shutter speed, Auto Bracket, AE Lock, AF mode, IS, Shooting Mode, Battery Check, My Mode, Internal Temperature Warning, Face Detection, Histogram, Number of storable still pictures, Record mode, ISO, Sequential shooting, Self-timer, White Balance, Metering Mode, AF confirmation mark, Exposure Compensation Value, Spot metering Area
Only when E-system Flash attached : Flash Mode, Flash Status, Flash intensity Control, Super FP
Display of Face Detection
Max 8 frames of face detection can be displayed
AF
High speed imager AF
Image stabilizer System
Built in (Imager shift image stabilizer)
Image stabilizer Mode
3 modes (2 dimensional activation, 1 dimensional activation in landscape frame to vertical direction moving, 1 dimensional activation in portrait frame to horizontal direction moving ), OFF
Manual Function
input focal length 8, 10, 12, 16, 18, 24, 28, 30, 35, 40, 48, 50, 55, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 100, 105, 120, 135, 150, 180, 200, 210, 250, 300, 350, 400, 500, 600, 800, 1000
Effective compensation range
Approx.4EV steps (in maximum effect with 50mm lens)
Shutter speed range
2 - 1/4000 sec. (Not available when Bulb is selected)
IS for Movie
Shifting electronic image (so called Digital IS)
Monitor Type
HyperCrystal LCD AR(Anti-Reflective) coating
Size
3.0 inches
Playback field of view
100%
Brightness control
+7 levels and -7 levels
Color balance
A-B: +7 levels and -7 levels, G-M: +7 levels and -7 levels
AF system
Imager Contrast Detection AF system
When non High-speed imager AF compatible lens is used, it works as AF assist
Focus mode
Single AF (S-AF) / Continuous AF (C-AF) / Manual Focus (MF) / S-AF + MF / AF tracking (C-AF + TR)
Focusing point
11-area multiple AF with the contrast detection system (Auto, selectable in option)
Focusing point selection
Auto from all 11 area, Single area from 11 area
Auto from 25 area when Face detection is ON
Free selection (from 225points) when Magnified View Mode is selected
AF illuminator
Not available
AF lock
Locked at first position of Shutter button in Single AF mode
Focus tracking
Available
Manual Focus Assist
When rotation of focus ring is detected under S-AF+MF or MF mode, LV is magnified automatically
Metering system
TTL Image Sensor metering system
(1) Digital ESP metering (324-area multi pattern metering)
(2) Center weighted average metering
(3) Spot metering (approx. 1% for the viewfinder screen. Highlight / shadow bases are available)
Metering range
EV 0 - 18 (Digital ESP metering, Centre weighted average metering, Spot metering)
(At normal temperature, 50mm f2, ISO 100)
Exposure mode
(1) i Auto (2) P: Programme AE (Programme shift can be performed) (3) A: Aperture priority AE
(4) S: Shutter priority AE (5) M: Manual (6) Scene select AE (7) Art Filter
Scene select AE
Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sport, Night + Portrait, Children, High Key, Low Key, DIS mode, Nature
ISO sensitivity
AUTO: ISO 200 - 6400(customizable, Default 200-1600) / Manual ISO 100 - 6400, 1/3 or 1 EV steps, Movie ISO 160-1600
Exposure compensation
±3 EV in 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV steps selectable
AE lock
Available
Exposure bracketing
3 frames in 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1EV steps selectable
Metering standard value adjustment
1/6 EV step, +/- 1EV range
Auto WB system
High speed Live MOS sensor
Preset white balance
8 settings (3000K - 7500K
Lamp (3000K), Fluorescent 1 (4000K), Fluorescent 2 (4500K), Fluorescent 3 (6600K), Daylight (5300K), Flash (5500K), Cloudy (6000K), Shade (7500K)
White balance compensation
±7 steps in each A-B/G-M axis (in Auto WB / Preset WB mode / One touch WB)
CWB (Kelvin setting)
1 setting can be registered at Kelvin temperature (2000K - 14000K)
One-touch white balance
1 custom setting can be registered
White balance bracketing
3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in each A-B/G-M axis.
Color space
sRGB, Adobe RGB
Picture Mode
i-Enhance, Vivid, Natural, Portrait, Muted, Monotone
Adjustment parameter
Contrast, Sharpness and Saturation level available in 5 steps for i-Enhance, Vivid, Natural, Portrait and Muted
Contrast and Sharpness level available in 5 steps for Monotone. Effect level available in 3 steps for i-Enhance
Filter effect
Yellow, Orange, Red or Green filter available for Monotone
Picture tone
Sepia, Blue, Purple or Green tone available for Monotone
Gradation
4 levels (Auto, High key, Normal, Low key)
Shutter Type
Computerized focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed
60 - 1/4000 sec
Bulb: up to 30 min. (selectable longest time in the menu. Default: 8 min)
1/3, 1/2, or 1EV steps selectable
Self-timer
Operation time: 12 sec., 2 sec. (cancel available)
Remote cable release
Available (with optional RM-UC1 Remote cable.)
Wireless remote control
Not Available
Drive mode
Single-frame shooting, Sequential shooting, Self-timer
Sequential shooting speed
Approx. 3 frames/sec. in sequential shooting
Max. recordable pictures
RAW mode: Max. 10 frames.
On sequential shooting
JPEG mode: Depends on compression ratio and no. of pixels (Large normal mode: approx. 12 with Toshiba Super High Speed type "Class 6" 4GB)
Built-in flash
Not available
Compatible external flash
E-system Flash(FL-50R, FL-36R, FL-50, FL-36, FL-20, FL-14)
External Flash control mode
TTL Auto, Auto, Manual, FP-TTL-AUTO, FP-MANUAL
Flash mode of External Flash
Auto, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction slow sync., Slow sync at 1st curtain, Slow sync at 2nd curtain, Fill-in, Manual (1/4, 1/16, 1/64), Off
Synchronization speed
1/30-1/180
Flash intensity control
Up to ±3 EV in 0.3, 0.5, 1 EV steps
Art Filter Mode
Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale&Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Process
Multi Exposure Picture
2 frames
Multi Exposure Functions
Auto gain, Live View, Exposing on Recorded picture
Multi Aspect Ratio
4:3(Default)/3:2/16:9/6:6
Multi Aspect Process Raw
Aspect ratio is recorded as Exif data, JPEG: JPEG image is produced based on the aspect ratio
Level Gauge Detection
2-axis
Level Gauge Display
Rear LCD monitor
Color Universal design
Only White version is approved by Color Universal Design Organization
Super control panel Shooting
Battery information, Shooting mode, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure compensation value,
Exposure compensation indicator, Exposure indicator, Flash intensity compensation indicator, Date,
NR setting, WB, WB compensation value, Record mode, Flash Status, Record mode, Image size,
Drive mode, Flash intensity compensation value, Metering mode, Recordable still image number, Fo
Playback mode
Single-frame
Information Display
Index Display(4/9/16/25/49/100 frames, Calendar)
Close-up (2 - 14X)
Movie (w/sound, FF/REW/Pause)
Picture rotation (auto mode available),
Slideshow(Still/Movie/Still+Movie, Slide show w/BGM/BGM+Sound/Sound)
Information display
Japan: Japanese, English (Additional one language is possible to download.)
Others: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Czech, Dutch, Danish, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Croat, Slovenian, Hungarian, Greek, Slovakian, Turkish, Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Rumanian, Indonesian, Malay, Thai
Reset & custom setting Mode
2 setting recordable
Erasing function
Single frame, All, Selected frames(from Index)
Protect function
Single frame, Selected frames, All Frames, Release protect (Single/All selected)
RAW picture editing
RAW development based on settings of the camera(including Art Filter)
JPEG editing
Shadow adjustment, Red-eye fix, Trimming, Monotone, Sepia, Saturation (color depth), Resize (producing another file, 1280x960, 640x480, 320x240), e-portrait
Image Overlay
Up to 3 RAW images
Print function
Print reservation (DPOF), Direct print (PictBridge compatible)
PC interface
USB 2.0 High Speed for storage and camera control through Multi-connector(MTP mode is available
TV interface
HDMI(HD/Stereo Sound), VIDEO-OUT(SD/Mono Sound)
USB/Video connector
Dedicated multi-connector (Video: NTSC/PAL selectable, Optional Remote cable RM-UC1 is available
HDMI
Mini HDMI type-C(1080i/720p/576p/480p)
Flash attachment
Hot shoe
DC-in
No
Accessory attachment
Accessory port
Battery
BLS-1 Li-ion battery (included)
Sleep mode
Available (1, 3, 5, 10 min., off selectable)
No. of recordable pictures
Approx. 300 shots (with BLS-1 and Toshiba Class 6 SDHC 4GB card under CIPA testing standard)
Power battery holder
Not Available
Operating Environment Temperature
0 - 40 Deg (operation) / -20 - 60 Deg (storage)
Operating Environment Humidity
30 - 90% (operation) / 10 - 90% (storage)
Splash proof
No
Lens : Focal Length
17mm (35mm equivalent focal length 34mm)
Lens : Construction
6 Elements in 4 Groups, including Aspherical Lens
Lens: Angle of View
65 Degree
Lens : Closest Focusing
0.2m
Lens : Maximum Image
0.11x (35mm equivalent Maximum Image Magnification 0.22x)
Lens : Minimum Field Size
118.2 x 158.3mm
Lens : Number of Blades
5 (Circular Aperture Diaphragm)
Lens : Maximum Aperture
F2.8
Lens : Minimum Aperture
F22
Lens : Filter Size
Diameter 37mm
Dimensions (Camera)
4.74in (W) x 2.75in. (H) x 1.37 in (D) / 120.5 mm (W) x 70mm (H) x 35mm (D) (excluding protrusions)
Dimension (Lens)
Diameter 57 x 22mm
Weight (Camera)
11.1oz/335g (body only), 13.6/385g (body, battery and media)
Weight (Lens)
71g
Warranty
Olympus 1 year warranty
Mfr #
262828
SKU
IOMEP2B17

Reviews about this item Powered by TurnTo®

Reviewed by 4 customers

 
4.0

Wanted Viewfinder: Found a Sweet Deal

By

I was looking for a small camera with a viewfinder. My now aging Oly EP-1 is fine, but very hard to see LCD in bright light, and just can't get into the arm's length holding thing; too shaky for critical focussing. Saw demo EP-2 with VF-2 electronic finder with A BONUS, the Oly 17mm f2.8 lens included! A great deal. Now have a viewfinder, and more stability when composing photos closeup, or with 40-150mm zoom lens. Quality of image in VF-2 is much better for manual focus and image viewing in any light situation. I was instantly impressed by the VF-2. Now I feel my carry-around kit is more complete. Being well-seasoned age of 64, I don't want to lug my DSLR and heavy lenses around unless I need them for critical bird photography. Now, I just grab the small canvas bag, go lite, and still have the flexibility to make great photos as I see them! The only non-perfect things are can't use external flash with viewfinder in place, but I can accept that, and not the perfect small camera for bird photography, but again, with the VF-2 to help with focus and giving the user three-point stability of having the camera at eye level, it is adequate for a light grab and go camera kit. Sorry folks, I can't give the kit 5 stars, but I'd rate it 4.5 stars if I could select a half star!

 
5.0

Excellent travel camera

By

I bought the EP-2 for travel as a small replacement to my DSLR. The size is perfect for carrying around all day. Image quality is as good as my DSLR when shooting jpg with very low noise up to ISO 800. Autofocus is fast and accurate in good light; but a little slow in low light situations. Battery lasts for about 300 shots, a little shorter life than my DSLR and P&S cameras. I have used Pentax 110 and LTM legacy lenses on EP-2 with excellent results. Manual focus assist with EV-2 is a real plus. I would definitely buy the EP-2 again.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Follow-up on First Impressions.

By

Just wanted to post a follow-up to my first review here, having had the chance to work with the E-P2 a bit more and in different situations. First, right now the setup I've got on it is very quick and easy to use. I primarily use the E-P2 with an adapter and a manual focus 35mm format lens on it, so I need to switch lenses and do a little setup to make sure the camera will work best as I switch around with these lenses. You'd be shocked to see how many different adapters are popping up out there to use with the micro four-thirds mount...I've even seen adapters to put C-mount cine lenses on micro four-thirds cameras! You name the mount, from M42 screw mount to Contax bayonet to Leica screw mount, and you've probably got someone walking around out there now with the Olympus E-P2 effectively as a "digital back" with those lenses on it. I've found the "Ok" button and up, down, left, right buttons right underneath your thumb on the back of the camera can become very intuitive to use. They adjust the following: Up = ISO; Left = AF or MF modes; Down = single shot, multi shot, or timer modes; Right = white balance; Ok = brings up the mini menu item you last selected, which I leave right on the image stabilization mode and lens length input. Using that, it's easy to pop on a lens, make every adjustment I need to, and get shooting quickly. And the images you can get -- not to mention the experience of some of the finest lenses out there that give you that intimate control over your image -- is very, very good. I decided to add this follow up to point out the E-P2's most gaping failure: the fact that the electronic viewfinder, VF-2 I think it is, covers the TTL hotshoe and offers no flash connection. The problem is that you can't use a flash there without unplugging the viewfinder, so you now need to focus using the rear LCD, which has far less resolution than the viewfinder does. It works fine, but it's not the same as using the viewfinder, which you may find yourself preferring. It's silly that you can't use the camera's excellent viewfinder and also plug in some kind of flash at the same time. Now, I should say that the camera is so good in low light situations that I haven't really had the need to use flash at all -- haven't tried it once so far. But it would have been a simple matter for Olympus to have at least had a PC sync socket for flash built into the viewfinder, if not a TTL cable socket. Yes, that probably would have made the electronic viewfinder a bit larger, but Olympus could very easily make a new EVF that incorporates a PC sync socket or TTL cable socket. Right now, the EVF has only a plastic dummy shoe that slips over the E-P2's hotshoe plate; why not just have a thin TTL cable board wired at the bottom of it? Someone might even be able to do it aftermarket. For this reason, I had to return to tell you that the Olympus E-P2 is an extraordinary camera. But it's got a few things on it that Olympus chose somewhat stupidly on, and they could easily be fixed. No, I don't think Olympus should have gone the way Panasonic did with the GF1 and include a tiny pop-up flash...that detracts from the sturdiness of the chassis. Onboard image stabilization is by far more useful to you in the field than the Panasonic's little poo poo pop up flash. The E-P2 gets a lot of things right, but it needs just a little tweaking to make it juuuuuuuuuuuuust right. The hotshoe/flash issue is one of them. I wrote in my earlier review that I believed the E-P1 and E-P2 are able to remotely trigger Olympus flashes FL-36R and FL-50R, but no -- the Olympus remote flash system is an optical slave-type system, not a radio remote signal. So Olympus could have and should have found a way to include a PC or TTL socket on the EVF, which the company very well could do and I'll grudgingly pay the $300 or $400 it'll cost. The other thing I should reinforce is that the E-P2 is very like some old 35mm cameras of mine...slightly small vertically, and better with a "winder" if you're going to be using more substantial lenses. Winders and grips with those old cameras gave an additional measure of stability when holding the camera and any larger lens, and the E-P2 with the Olympus leather bottom case has a little more width and vertical length has the same sort of effect. So do add that and improve the tool you're working with. I've actually custom made a "grip" of my own for my E-P2 to build the camera out just a bit with a little protection and a much better tactile feel. It's very, very good to use, but because of Olympus's moment of stupidity in goofing somewhat with the flash conflicting with use of the electronic viewfinder, the camera deserves four and a half stars, not five. So I'll vote four this time to average it out there.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A Low-Light Warrior? For the Right User

By

I ordered this little guy as soon as Adorama had it listed, so I got mine Dec. 15 and have had a chance to play with it a bit. Most people who are "in the know" realize that a lot of the excitement behind the micro four-thirds cameras is because the mount can be adapted to almost any kind of 35mm lenses... that means people are putting Leica M-bayonet and screw-mount lenses, old M-42 screw mount lenses of all kinds, and old manual focus Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax...many, many lenses can work on these. If, that is, you know a thing or two about what you're doing. Many people have whined that the EP-2 doesn't have much that's different from the cheaper EP-1. Nope...you can put those complaints to bed, because the differences between the cameras are very significant, especially for those who want to try old manual-focus lenses with it. First of all, it's black. That's just superficial, but it does match much better if you're going to happen to be using (and prefer) black lenses with it. Most important is its viewfinder. While it does take some getting used to (it looks a little odd sitting on the camera at first, but with the right lens looks great), it offers you superb resolution. Basically, pop on your lens adapter, mount your old lens, put the camera on center-weighted metering (I recommend) and aperture priority shooting, set the image stabilization to the focal length you're shooting, look through that viewfinder, and get shooting! I did a test of still indoor subjects (so yes, motion wasn't a factor) and shot a 135mm f/2.8 lens -- which works like a long 270mm f/2.8 with the smaller micro 4/3 sensor -- with razor-sharp results at 1/5 of a second. So basically, if available light photography is your game, there is very serious potential for this little camera to be your secret weapon. Get any fast, sharp 50mm from the 35mm film format and it will perform like a 100mm with the sensor crop factor, mount it on this little beast, and you are sporting an image-stabilized 100mm f/1.7, 1.4, etc. That just happens to be the "zone" I usually work in -- from 80mm to 135mm in many cases -- and the EP-2's viewfinder makes it a pleasure to use. It's very crisp and allows for precise focusing, if your manual focusing skills are up to snuff. In low light, I should note that the viewfinder will struggle to maintain brightness, but so will any regular prism you'll be looking through. I tested it in almost no-light situations to see if I could focus at all, and yep, I could. I managed to get very sharp, great color images doing exactly that. On that note, keep on top of the white balance. The auto white balance works well in some situations, but outdoors in shade I found the "shade" setting much more accurate and inside, it's often easiest to just go to "custom WB" and set the color temperature. Remember that the light colors people think of as "warm" -- orange tones and so on -- are actually "cold" in terms of indoor lighting temperatures, such as that incandescent lighting that gives you a very orange tone. So especially indoors, orange light = cooler temps around 3500-4000K, and warm light is actually bluish. Image quality looks very high so far. I haven't tested it to high-high ISOs like 3200, but you can move it incrementally in small steps, so just push it as far as you need to to get an adequate shutter speed for what you're shooting. In many cases, you won't have to go far...again, you've got the potential for using a very fast lens with in-body image stabilization that works quite well, and you can often shoot down to an eighth or even a fifth of a second hand-held. Practice your technique, and you might be amazed at what you can do with this... One drawback is that I'd thought this would be a typical electronic viewfinder camera, which doesn't have a real shutter in the traditional sense. With many of those, the shutter noise is simply a sound effect, which you can turn off and then be shooting very stealthily indeed. The EP-2 does have a real shutter, but I find the noise is pretty quiet and not obtrusive at all. The little thing definitely grows on you. Two bits of advice: get a second battery (battery life is good, but you'll burn through it with extensive shooting) and get either the Olympus or aftermarket bottom case. Much of the outer body is metal, but its bottom could be a weak point with the plastic battery/memory card cover and could use a little extra protection, in my opinion. The EVF attachment seems sturdy, but I'll have to figure out what kind of bag I want to throw this in and whether I'd take the EVF off for transport. It is much better to focus manual lenses with the EVF than the LCD screen, but the LCD screen responds quickly and is very useable in that respect (as owners of the EP-1 know, I'm sure). The external microphone could dramatically improve sound for video, and that expansion port on the EP-2 will allow for future expandability. What about flash? Well, I actually got this to focus mainly on available light photography, but flash is a consideration. Mounting a flash on the camera will force you to take off the EVF. Also, this camera is fairly small in that regard, so a big flash mounted on it will not balance well. I'm not sure about this yet, but I believe the camera can remotely trigger an Olympus FL-36R or FL-50R, I think in manual mode (not sure about remote TTL). So I might belt one of those onto my shoulder or something, remotely trigger and bounce a flash around, and just shoot the EP-2 otherwise as I have been. I'll try some different things to see what works best. How is the 17mm f/2.8 Olympus lens? How is the auto focus? Ask me again in awhile...I'll get to it sometime. I'm sure it's great, and it'll work well when I need a wider angle for general work. But in the meantime, I'm having too much fun popping a bunch of super-sharp old lenses on this thing and basking in the feel of quality manufacture from an earlier time. That may not be your shtick; I'm a bit of a nut and shoot 35mm film gear all the time. The bottom line is that this camera could be nothing that out of the ordinary...or, for the right user, it's a whole different ballgame. I'm sure having a great time.

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