The PEN E-PL2 is the latest PEN offering from Olympus. Aimed at enthusiast consumers, the E-PL2 is designed to offer a host of creative controls and DSLR-like image quality in a compact body. So does it deliver the goods? The Olympus PEN E-PL2 review finds out...
Olympus PEN E-PL2 review – Design
The original PEN E-P1 sported a distinct, retro design that harked back to the first film PEN models of the 1950s, but this was diluted somewhat with the design of the PEN E-PL1. The design of the E-PL2 has been refreshed, taking some inspiration from the E-P1, but with a more modern twist that makes it, in our opinion, one of the best looking PEN-series camera yet, while also having the visual edge over the Panasonic GF2 and Sony NEX-5. That said, it’s a bit chunkier than both those cameras – it’s slightly taller and fatter, due to the protruding handgrip and mode dial on the top plate. This isn’t much of an issue, especially when you take into account the relatively compact 14-42mm kit lens compared to the larger Sony NEX 18-55mm lens that dwarfs the NEX-5’s body. The E-PL2 is also very comfortable to hold – the grip is a good size and finished with a high-quality rubberized coating, while the weighty construction of the camera adds to the overall solid feel.
Missing from its closest rivals, but nestling on the top of the E-PL2 is the inclusion of a mode dial, allowing you to quickly switch between shooting modes rather than dive into a menu, while the built-in flash is neatly stowed away in the body.