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...

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Olympus PEN E-PL2

Overall score:87%
Image Quality:85%


  • Design, Build, Handling and competitive image quality


  • No viewfinder may put off some and performance not up to a similar priced DSLR


Olympus PEN E-PL2 Review


Price as reviewed:


Value & Verdict

Olympus PEN E-PL2 review – Value

At £479 for the standard kit at launch, the E-PL2 is competitively priced against the competition. It’s roughly £30 more than the equivalent Panasonic GF2 kit, and £30 less than the Sony NEX-5 kit, while the Samsung NX100 is the most affordable of them all at £299.

Olympus PEN E-PL2 review – Verdict

Olympus PEN E-PL2

There’s no denying that the E-PL2 is a welcome development over the E-PL1 and, in many ways, is the most rounded of the non-viewfinder Compact System Cameras.

Starting with its looks, it’s a balanced blend of retro and modern that eclipses its rivals, with a solid build that belies its price. There’s plenty of features to satisfy both beginners and enthusiasts alike, while the images from the 12.3MP sensor should please even the most discerning photographer, just as long as you recognise its ISO limits.

Unlike the touchscreen of the Panasonic GF2, the body-mounted controls of the E-PL2 may make it look a touch over-complicated, but that’s not the case. In fact, its all the better for it, making it intuitive and quick to use.

Overall, the Olympus PEN E-PL2 is a lovely little camera to take pictures with, both for first-time users upgrading from a compact as well as those looking for a more compact camera to partner their DSLR.


PC Socket:No
Compression:Yes, Small, Medium, Large
Viewfinder Type:N/A, optional electronic viewfinder available
Output Size:4032 x 3042
AF Points:11 points
Colour Temp Control:2000-14,000 Kelvin
Field of View:100% (LCD)
LCD:3in, 460K-dot HyperCrystal LCD display
White Balance Bracket:Yes (3 exposures in blue/amber axis or in magenta/green axis)
Sensor:12.3MP Live MOS
Max Flash Sync:1/180th sec
DoF Prview:Yes
Focal Length Mag:2x
Dust Reduction:Yes, Supersonic Wave filter
Metering System:324-zone multi-pattern metering system
Built-in Image Stabilisation:Yes, sensor shift
Movie Mode:Yes
Live Mode:Yes
Exposure Modes:MSAP, iAuto, ART, Scene (22 modes), Movie
Connectivity:HDMI, A/V Out
Power:BLS-5 Li-Ion
Dimensions:115(W) x 73(H) x 42(D)mm
File Format:Raw, JPEG, AVI Motion JPEG
Shutter Speeds:60 – 1/4000th second, plus Bulb
Focusing Modes:AF-S/AF-C/AF Tracking/MF
Drive Mode:Single, Continuous (3fps), self-timer
Colour Space:sRGB, Adobe RGB
Cable Release:Yes
Exposure Comp:1/3EV Step ±3EV
Memory Card:SD/SDHC/SDXC
Built-in Flash:Yes, GN 7
Lens Mount:Micro Four Thirds
White Balance:Auto, Sunny, Shadow, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Underwater, WB Flash & Custom
  1. 1. Olympus PEN E-PL2 review - Features
  2. 2. Design
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Image Quality
  5. 5. Value & Verdict
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