Not long after Olympus introduced it first Micro Four-Thirds camera, the PEN EP-1, a second in the digital PEN series appeared. While the PEN EP-2 is essentially the same as the PEN EP-1 reviewed last year, it does have some extra features to entice seasoned photographers to the fledgling Micro Four-Thirds format. With Register …
Not really good enough...??
The camera body as opposed to the lens is good enough. However serious doubts have been raised about the 14-42mm M.ZUIKO lens in a review on the Imaging Resource website and in particular here:
This covers the lens on an E-P1 which uses the same lens but on a version of the body without the viewfinder etc.
Sorry to raise doubts but the evidence is out there.
The 14-52 mZD is good for the money
I struggle to understand why minor points made in lens reviews are so often blown out of all proportion by those who read them. The 14-42 mZD is very sharp for the money (a property of optical design they had to get right) while those issues that can be corrected in firmware (accept for CA, which is minimal) are corrected in firmware. I'm sure there are issues in a lens this price but I'm not pointlessly sad enough to examine a large print with a magnifying glass to find them.
It was not a minor point but an issue which Imaging Resource took a considerable amount of time and trouble to investigate very thoroughly. If I am 'pointlessly sad', an epithet which speaks volumes about the writer, I am very happy indeed to be so. Its another way of saying I am well informed. So thankyou.
Not quite that bad
In the speed range 1/100 to 1/200 and worse at 1/160 the shutter makes the lens vibrate slightly. The conclusion of the above article is that this is visible in prints larger than 19in.
A firmware update to the IS fixes some of this.
Final conclusion: "We went through a period of disappointment with the Olympus E-P1 when we first discovered this issue, but we're glad we took the time to pinpoint why and when the blur occurs. We can now resume liking and using the E-P1 as much as before."
e-p1 now a steal
Warning : I'm an e-p1 user, and as everybody knows, nobody likes to appear like a fool for his buying decisions, so feel free to think I'm prejudiced in favour of the e-p1.
So, just to address some lapses of the main article :
1) AF. The e-p1 has been brought to par with the e-p2 by the latest (1.4) firmware upgrade. The e-p2 is vastly superior to the originally released e-p1, but who would freeze his camera when bugs are corrected quickly by the manufacturer ? E-p1 still lacks AF tracking, though.
2) Art filters. While the 2 new filters were not ported in-body to the e-p1, Olympus newly released raw software 'Viewer 2' allows e-p1 owners to apply said filters afterward while post processing their pictures. Nice touch here Olympus.
3) MF focusing of legacy lenses is perfectly adequate on the back lcd. This lcd may not be as shiny a it is on competing bodies, but don't kid yourself, it's perfectly adequate and contrasts are better than most better spec'd lcds. This is a viewfinder, not a TV set. So if you have no vision troubles, there's no real need to pay 3 time the price (current discounts included) of an e-p1 for an e-p2.
4) Owners of an e-p2 I know are in love with the VF-2. To avoid sucking batteries dry quickly, they simply turn off the back LCD ; rocket science, I know.
5) Flash. For a long time, the small FL-14 was given free by Olympus with the e-p1 body. Another reason to have bought this camera soon. Does a correct job (ng 20 at 200 iso). Insoluble dilemma for e-p2 shooters who need to choose between flash and VF-2, not so much a problem for e-p1 users.
6) Conclusion : all olympus cameras (including the e-pl1) produce outstanding images with, at the moment, the widest range of adaptable lenses. Almost post-processing free. Out of camera jpegs are the best, full stop. You go shoot graphs, bar charts, curves all day long if you like, personally I'm out to capture real peoples with a revolutionary camera ideally suited to street shooting. Perfect it is not, but considering the only other model besting it in that field is the Leica M9 reviewed here, I'm happy.
Considering how small the sensor is on this camera, I'm impressed by the quality of the pictures. The E-P2 is definitely a major improvement over it's predecessor. The main thing I see counting against it is the cost.
As for how well these mirrorless "SLR" cameras will work out, time will tell. A lot of people forget that LCD's just simply aren't that visible in bright sunlight, it seems inevitable that an EVF would come along that would provide the same viewing quality as a mirror, just it shouldn't be an extra cost accessory.
The other is how tiny they keep making everything. I'd rather have a bigger battery and a faster operating camera than something so small I could lose it in a backapck, but that's just me.
I have owned my E-PL1 since April when it first became available in the states. I am very happy with it. I wish the factory lens was faster. I know, I am so old school about it. There are also two new lenses about to be released, and boy am I tempted to make the new 14-150 mm lens my new standard. I also like the little flash unit for fill jobs, but it is pretty useless otherwise.
I run a school Yearbook and this camera was/is a major upgrade to the point and shoots my students and school own. If I could, I'd buy a dozen, add a few flash units, and my students would take much better photos at a reasonable price compared to DSLRs.
I've just begun to use the video function a bit as a total newbie. This tool makes it easy with a built in mic. Of course the mic is no substitute for a one on a cable or a remote, but it does save a bit.
I wonder how your upcoming review on the E-PL1 will read?
I like this range of cameras - I have had the E-PL1 for a week or so and having come from a more typical compact digital camera I am amazed by the picture quality. There may be a problem with the sharpness of the 14-42mm kit zoom but I cant say I notice it. However I will say it seems a bit slow compared to the Panasonic 20mm lens. I also bought the VF-2 and it has a great picture but the rear LCD (even smaller than the one on the E-P1/2) is good enough for manual focussing so long as you use the zoom function. Unlike its bigger brothers the e-pl1 has a built in flash, but I cant say that I use it much - the 20mm pancake lens is good enough to avoid needing the flash in most conditions (plus I have never liked the look of photos taken with flash).
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