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Olympus Pen E-P2

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Wasting no time at all, Olympus has updated its Pen E-P1 camera just five months after it was released. Richard Sibley tests the Olympus Pen E-P2 to find out what has been changed


Like the Olympus Pen E-P1, the E-P2 has a Four Thirds-format, 12.3-million-pixel Live MOS sensor. It also uses the same TruePic V imaging sensor that is capable of capturing and saving images as both JPEGs and raw files, as well as 1280×720-pixel resolution HD video.

There is one major addition, though: the accessory port. This is a small electronic socket below the E-P2’s hotshoe, which allows electronic accessories to be attached to the camera. At its launch, there are two such items available. The first of these is the EMA-1 microphone adapter. This adds a stereo jack socket so that an external stereo microphone can be used. Olympus supplies the EMA-1 adapter in the SEMA-1 kit, which also includes the ME-51S stereo microphone. Although the E-P1 has the facility to record in stereo, the microphone is too close to the lens’s autofocus so it records the sound of the motor moving.

The second accessory, the VF-2 electronic viewfinder, should prove popular and in my opinion should have been a feature on the original E-P1. With a 1.4-million-dot screen, the VF-2 is on par with the EVF of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1. It is an improvement over the Olympus VF-1, which is an optical viewfinder designed for use with the Olympus M Zuiko 17mm f/2.8 pancake lens.

However, only one accessory can be used at a time, so you will have to choose between stereo recording and using the viewfinder. Of course, as the accessories fit onto the flash hotshoe, you won’t be able to use an external flashgun at the same time. Obviously, this isn’t a problem if you are shooting video as chances are you won’t be using the viewfinder or need flash. However, if you are shooting still images you must choose between having a viewfinder and flash capability. Sadly, the E-P2 does not feature an internal pop-up flash.

  • White Balance: Auto, 8 presets, plus custom setting and Kelvin adjustment
  • Built-in Flash: No
  • Dioptre Adjustment: -3 to +1
  • Viewfinder Type: VF-2 EVF with 1.4 million dots
  • Memory Card: SD/SDHC
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled, vertical-traverse focal-plane shutter
  • Output Size: 4032x3024pixels
  • Field of View: Approx 100%
  • LCD: 3in with 230,000 dots
  • AF Points: 11 points, auto or manual selection possible, plus face detectionDoF preview
  • White Balance Bracket: Yes, over 3 frames in steps of 2, 4 or 6 mired
  • Sensor: Live-MOS with 12.3 million effective pixels
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/180sec
  • Focal Length Mag: 2x
  • Exposure Modes: iAuto, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, plus 19 scene presets and 8 Art Filters
  • Weight: 335g (without battery or card/s)
  • File Format: Raw, JPEG, raw+JPEG simultaneously
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery BLS-1 supplied
  • Shutter Speeds: 60-1/4000sec in 1⁄2 or 1/3EV steps plus bulb
  • Drive Mode: Max 3fps for unlimited JPEGs or 11 raw files
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1⁄3, 1⁄2EV or 1EV steps
  • RRP: £849.99 (body-only), £899.99 (with 14-42mm kit lens)
  • Lens Mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • ISO: 100-6400
  • Focusing Modes: Manual (with focus assist magnification), AF-S, AF-C, AF tracking
  • Dimensions: 121x70x36mm
  • DoF Preview: Yes (on LCD screen)
  • Metering System: Digital ESP, centreweighted and 2% spot, plus highlight/shadow spot metering
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
  • Compression: Three-stage JPEG
  • Tested as: Entry-level hybrid

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