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
Olympus PEN E-PL2 review – Performance
Though it might only appear minor at first glance, one of the most welcome developments over the E-PL1 is the inclusion of a scroll dial at the rear of the camera. Compared to the 4-way button arrangement on the E-PL1, the scroll wheel makes life a lot easier for quick camera setting adjustments – such as shutter speed or aperture, though it’s possible to touch too much using wheel itself, though this is a minor niggle.
The main menu is relatively clear and easy to navigate, while hitting the OK button during composition will allow you to toggle through a range of settings, including ISO, WB, Metering and Image Quality. There are also dedicated buttons for AF, exposure compensation, flash and drive modes, making the E-PL2 a nice little camera to shoot with.
Olympus PEN E-PL2 review – click for full size image
AF is very responsive for a camera of this class (though not quite on par with that of a DSLR) and appears to be faster than the previous E-PL1. The 11-point AF arrangement occupies a broad area of the frame, though you may find you have to focus and recompose when want to isolate subjects towards the edge of the frame. Focus tracking also performs well, doing a decent job of keeping up with your subject. During manual focus, the display automatically zooms in on the point of focus, allowing you to confirm focus before reverting back to the full image before firing the shutter.
The rear screen sits flush with the body, but is crisp and bright, providing a decent coverage from a range of angles. There’s no viewfinder as already mentioned, so in bright sunlight this can be an issue but, on the whole, there’s not to much to quibble about here.
If you’re after video, then the E-PL2 supports 720p HD video at 30fps, with a built-in mono microphone, though a dedicated stereo mic can also be attached via the E-PL2’s accessory port. You can record in Aperture Priority and Manual modes if you wish, though all settings have to be set before you start filming.