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on November 9, 2010
If you're a camera enthusiast taking pictures of vacations, pets and kids' birthday parties and willing to spend a few extra bucks on your gear, this camera is a marvel. (The video it shoots is so good that several filmmakers have made films with the E-P2 as their only camera). At its tiny size, which is comparable to high-end P&S cameras, you can't beat it. Good image stabilization, decent resolution at 12+ MP, good low-light performance, a growing range of decent interchangeable micro 4/3rds lenses. In general, the image quality is closer to a low-end DSLR than a high-end P&S if you factor in the lenses that the low-end DSLR shooter is going to purchase. The small size spares you a lot of the misery of taking a decent photographic outfit through the gauntlet of modern air travel. If you want to take decent flash pictures, you can get into the rather silly situation of using an on-camera flash unit that's bigger than the camera itself, but even that can be more convenient than dragging around a full-size black-brick SLR setup.

Note on image quality: you clearly cannot expect a camera like this to match the image quality of a high-end professional DSLR with a $3,000 lens attached to it. But you definitely can compare this camera to a low-end DSLR with its bundled el-cheapo kit lens. Given the choice between the E-P2 and the low=end DSLR, I would go for the E-P2 for convenience reasons. If on the other hand you're planning to build up a collection of top-quality lenses, then this camera is not a candidate.

My particular E-P2 tends to over-expose a little, but if you shoot RAW that's not always a bad thing. If you're into tweaking parameters, there's pretty complete manual control over everything in addition to a million geeky bells & whistles like reliable face-detection focus.

In general, I've found myself driving to the airport with this camera in my bag and my much fancier DSLR sitting at home recently, quite a few times. Broad generalizations are dangerous, but my feeling after decades of photography with film and then digital is that this camera or its successor would make a lot of amateur photographers happier than the low-end DSLR they've had their eye on. At this point it may cost a few extra bucks, but it takes great pictures, has a lot of features, and is feather-light and fits anywhere.

Highly recommended for anyone who needs a small, reasonably priced camera that takes excellent pictures and video. In my opinion, greatly preferable to an entry-level DSLR with a bundled kit lens--and worth the few extra bucks.

But this technology changes so fast that reviews like this are worth what you pay for them.
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on June 30, 2011
I've been an Olympus user since the mid-70's. This little beauty is reminiscent of the legendary OM-1, and at a glance (without the lens extended) it could be mistaken for it. I have always been happy with Olympus cameras due to their uncompromising quality, functionality, size, and razor sharp optics. As a Fine Art Photographer, I've often wondered why Olympus didn't come out with a 6x7 format 120 film camera, though I've been satisfied with my Pentax 6x7. This little Olympus suits me just fine. I'm impressed with the video sound quality as well. Once again, as expected, Olympus came through with a wonderful little gem. I enjoy the convenience and quality of the HD video..amazing, really.
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on June 6, 2011
It took me a while to decide on which micro 4/3 I was going to get. However, I am really pleased with the purchase of the Olympus ep2. The camera body feel is unmatched - it feels very solid and well built. The photographs are simply astounding, and I really enjoy the art filters. I would definitely recommend this camera to those stepping up from point and shoot cameras.
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on August 29, 2011
About me: First time upgrade from regular point and shoots.

About my experience with DSLR's: First time ever using it.

Over all experience: Love it, got a book on basic photography and I have to say I am ready to just shoot the world, there is so much one can do with this, first thing only shoot in Manual mode, you will learn so much more than priority modes etc. (if you dont understand what I just said - you are like me when i got the camera) Dont worry the manual with this product does a very good job of explaining how things work. The Kit lens is good, plus i did not know any better when i got it. Now I barely use it but for the first few months that is the only lens I had and loved. Since then I have upgraded to few better lenses same price as the camera infact and man the results look great.

I thought picking this camera i could shoot like a pro, little did i realize pros spend a lot of time shooting in raw and then spending hours touching up their Pic, I dont have that much time or patience so I just do mild touches here and there using usual stuff like Aperture (software in MAC) and i get results which are pretty much 80% of those highend 3000 dollar kits.

Overall Love it..only issue I have is the strap it comes with is flimsy, So good place to start, save the extra dough for lenses and also make sure you take good care of it, It can and will last a long time. It is solid, heavy - compared to what you expect for its size. It does a very good job at what it is supposed to do. Overall- it is not the arrow its the Indian,but this still makes a pretty good arrow.
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on September 4, 2011
I am a Nikon shooter but felt the need for a second smaller and lighter body to carry around for casual occasions - or when carrying a 10Kg bag filled with a Nikon D300 DX 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) and assorted lenses is not an option (trekking or long walks comes to mind).

When Olympus released their new Olympus PEN E-P3 12.3 MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with MSC M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 Zoom Lens (Silver), The price of E-P2 dropped to a tantalizing $499 (with the 14-42 lens). I jumped at the opportunity to get on to the m4/3 bandwagon. A Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter, Nikon G-type lens to MFT Micro 4/3 four thirds cameras, Olympus Pen E-PL1, E-P2, E-P1, E-PL2, Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, G2, GH2, GF1, GH1 G10 adapter that helps me mount my existing Nikkor lenses also helped me make the final decision.

The camera looks and feels solid - with lots of buttons for common functions (just the way I like it).

What I like about this camera:
a. The price
b. Small form factor without compromising on image quality
c. Ability to mount Nikkor lenses with the adapter (focusing is manual only)
d. Physical buttons for common tasks
e. Sleek retro design with all metal construction.
f. HD movie (720p) with great sound quality.
g. Good low-light performance (especially when paired with the Panasonic LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 Aspherical Pancake Lens for Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Cameras)

What I wish it had:
a. A built in EVF (the optional Olympus VF-2 Electronic ViewFinder (Black) costs an atrocious $250)
b. A built in flash
c. A faster auto-focus. This has been addressed in the E-P3 and to some extent with a firmware update in E-P2, but it struggles in low-light situations.

But for now, I am very happy with my purchase. Highly recommended for someone who wants to upgrade from a P&S experience, or as a second body that is much easier on your shoulders and neck.
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on March 20, 2012
the E-P2 appears simple. People on the street have asked me if it's a retro film camera. The working size with a 17 mm lens ( yep purchased separately and worth it ) tucks into a jacket- no bulk and simple controls- that admittedly take some studying to learn all the options available. Give it time . Soon it all becomes very workable, even if you don't need all the functions supplied. Great camera for unobtrusive city shots. No flash, no distraction - indoor shots work well- have taken great shots while subjects are unaware- very much looking forward to traveling this Spring and pushing all the possibilities.
The newer P3 has differently placed controls and I understand is faster - but for half the price with the same pixel count the P2 was the best cholce for this amateur photo bug.
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on February 13, 2012
I am super happy with my Olympus Pen EP2 -- which I bought about 2 weeks ago. I am just like 80% of the micro 4/3 buyers. I saw that I had an SLR that would stay at home and would catch myself taking shots on my iphone without great quality... just because its actually portable. Now the Pen matches the portability and the quality of an SLR.

Biggest upside: I love the video quality. Even in candlelight settings, the sensor manages to capture amazing light and the camera captures good sound. I have even done a few improvised music videos on this already.

Biggest downside: you just don't have as much control. Its hard to select where you want your focus point, the menu is a bit clunky, and shooting in manual mode can be confusing because the wheel's are smaller and tougher to handle. I like shooting manual and this can be a little bit frustrating if you are changing between lighting/subjects quickly. I have also noticed that the computer tells misreads the light balance and signals that you are "balanced" yet the photo is underexposed or over. I think this might be more of a settings problem... but the fact that I have not managed to change the setting speaks to some of the menu/navigation challenges (and some of the owner's weaknesses perhaps:)

Overall, if you are looking for a compact SLR with great video and photo quality, this is definitely a candidate that should make it into your finalists.
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on March 19, 2012
This tiny but durable camera is a great alternative to your large and bulky DSLR's. I took a beginning DLSR class recently and my camera could do everything the Big Cannon and Nikon DLSR's could do w/ in a smaller body. Like all DSLR's i think you should take a class if you are a novice b/c no matter whether it is a big camera or small you will never be able to use all teh functions to its fullest unless someone helps you. I would highly reccomend this product. It has art modes and a pretty easy display system. It has a metal casing which makes the camera feel much more sturdy.
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on July 16, 2012
I have been taking photographs with film SLRs and rangefinders using both full manual control and "program" modes for about 30 years, and I have also owned and used two digital cameras- a Nikon 950 and now this Olympus.

Overall, I am disappointed in the EP-2. I bought it because I wanted a mirrorless digital camera having full manual control, as well as HD video, and a zoom lens hopefully with macro capability. Basically I wanted an upgrade for my 10 year old Nikon 950.

On the plus side, the EP-2 is small and offers full manual control- although maybe even too small. I have small hands and I have to really struggle to actually take pictures with this camera without unintentionally depressing a button somewhere.

On the minus side the EP-2 has neither a built-in viewfinder or flash, and the kit lens is convenient but certainly not the quality I expected from Olympus - for example parts of the lens tubes that extend out of the lens during normal use are actually loose and with the lightest finger pressure will wobble back and forth in their fitting. No wonder this kit doesn't have near the sharpness of my 3 mega-pixel Nikon 950.

As for color saturation and color fidelity, and especially "dynamic range", again I am disappointed compared to my Nikon 950. When I bought the 950 (10 years ago!) I was - and remain today - thrilled with the sharpness, color fidelity, saturation, and especially "dynamic range" of the Nikon (by dynamic range I mean that the Nikon can usually maintain good detail in both the shadows and the highlights- the shadow areas don't turn solid featureless black, and the brightly lit areas don't turn featureless solid white). Silly me to think that a mid line Olympus could match my 10 year old Nikon 950 in *any* of those areas, because it doesn't. Even shooting at home in relatively evenly lit living room with overhead fluorescents, the EP-2 will have shadow areas solid black and brighter areas washed out featureless solid white - when the Nikon maintains detail in both extremes of the same shot.

After complaining about the image quality of the EP-2 I should mention that there are tons of adjustments that can be made to tweak the color, exposure settings, etc. of the camera. However, it is always best to start out with the best possible image data before tweaking in software - many things just can't be fixed in post processing. And I definitely don't want to have to go onto the computer using a 3rd party - probably expensive - photoshop type tool to try and make each shot satisfactory for color saturation, sharpness, etc. And for dynamic range, that is not even an option unless you take multiple photos of the exact same view with different exposure settings and "merge" them to get one good one!

I will probably return the EP-2. If for nothing else than the junky kit lens which has parts that are wobbly. But really, in just about every area the Ep-2 is a big let down compared to my 10 year old Nikon 950 and I never would have expected that. The EP-2 is asking me to give up too much in terms of photographic satisfaction just to add built in HD video.

I am a former printing professional- I spent 25 years in the printing industry, and I studied photography and used those skills in my career. I want image quality. A "point and shoot" type photographer looking for a camera to take shots of the family on holiday might be happy with the image quality of the Ep-2. But I am not.

It seems to me there is _much_ more variation found in image quality between supposedly "high quality" digital cameras than what I recall with film cameras. And maybe this is logical. After all, I could put the exact same kodachrome film in both a Nikon and and a Minolta 20 years ago. The same "sensor" in both cameras, so to speak. But in digital world, the image sensor and "capturing" software are always different and proprietary for each manufacturer.
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on November 16, 2012
Even though the instructions are difficult to understand, this camera takes the best pictures I've ever seen for someone like me an absolute amateur.
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