Customer Review

74 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A seriously good camera for its niche, February 12, 2011
This review is from: Olympus PEN E-PL2 12.3 MP CMOS Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with 14-42mm Lens (Black) (Old Model) (Electronics)
I am quite surprised at how good the images are that I'm getting, especially jpegs. I'm used to shooting raw because I get better files and can squeeze a bit more juicy goodness out of my photos that in-camera jpeg processing does. Surprisingly, this camera does a great job with jpegs in good light situations. That's the important idea to keep in mind, good light. Kirk Tuck gives this camera a fine review, but realize that he's a lighting pro, who has written several (good) books on the subject.

IMO this camera is targeted toward two markets. For those moving up from a point and shoot, it's wonderful. It's familiar and less intimidating than an SLR. It can create better images than even the best point and shoots. The price is reasonable. It's attractive and it's a lot lighter than an SLR. Those people wouldn't consider shooting in bad light without a flash. They wouldn't consider deliberate long exposures to smooth motion effects. Those last two areas are not the camera's strengths as Brad R. points out. From the things he's asking the camera to do and not getting satisfaction he is a more knowledgeable photographer and demands more than the main target market for this camera. If you want low light capability or low ISO speed then this isn't the best camera around, though it isn't that bad, either.

The other market is more experienced photographers looking for a light and compact second or third camera. They have cameras for low light or fast action shooting. But there are reasons for not carrying around a big, heavy, professional looking camera but still wanting quality image files. That's my reason. My aging back hurts lugging around a fully sealed and rugged SLR. I've also found that I've been questioned about photos when in many tourist places: No pros allowed. Pros need to pay a fee. I don't want a reporter taking my picture. Guess what? The EP-2 doesn't get that kind of response. It looks like a tourist camera and tourists aren't as intimidating as professional looking photographers, pro or not. Stick a big camera with vertical grip in a room and people tense up. Hold your camera a foot in front of your face and few people care. I love that about this camera. I guess you can tell that I like street photography with it.

How much do I like it? A lot. It's tolerably light, fits in a smallish fanny pack. handles great, takes great photos in good light, has well though out controls, and works fine with flash systems. Will I be shooting at night with this for available light? No. Is it a great camera for portability? Absolutely. It's light. Its lenses are lighter than any larger sensor camera's. I can take excellent quality images when I work with rather than against the camera. All in all I very pleased.

The other nice thing about this camera is that it will take accessories and a remote shutter release. You can, and probably should add the attachable viewfinder. It will also take external microphones, which helps with much higher audio when recording video. That sounds strange, but it's true. As a video camera, it's pretty equivalent to current entry level SLRs.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 24, 2011 3:10:33 PM PDT
Many thanks for this review, esp. re: the image/jpeg quality (I have heard and am concerned the editing of Olympus' RAW files is awful, but could be easily satisfied if the jpegs need only minimal post-processing).
On the other points, I'm confused if you are reviewing the E-PL2 (which is where this review is listed) or the E-P2, which is what you referenced in the review. I bring this up mostly because I have heard that the E-P2 does great in low-light situations (esp. w/ the 17mm pancake lens) but have not learned yet if this is the case with the E-PL2 (which only comes with the 14-42mm zoom lens).

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 24, 2011 3:19:25 PM PDT
It is the E-PL2. I'm using the Panasonic 20mm for low light. That's the beauty of getting an interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras have the same sensor so it's only the lens that concerns low light ability.

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2012 12:11:33 PM PDT
Rico says:
A note on editing the E-PL2 RAW (ORF) files. I started using the camera for jpgs, but I've recently been shooting for raw plus a small proof/e-mail jpg. I'm happy with the Olympus Viewer 2 editing software that came with the camera. It lets me apply the same effects that I can apply in the camera, and even a couple more that are available only in Olympus's higher-end hardware. The software also lets me back out of some choices, such as noise reduction, that I made on the camera when I took the photo.

I've also processed the raw files with Lightroom and AfterEffects Pro, and everything went smoothly.
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Location: Port Townsend, WA United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 801