Overall Rating:


Olympus Pen E-P2

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Price as Reviewed:


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

Build and handling

Being an upgrade of the Olympus Pen E-P1, the E-P2 shares a nearly identical body. The only difference is the addition of that accessory port under the hotshoe on the rear of the camera. Without the addition of an optical viewfinder and a mirror box, the E-P2 is small and sleek, being around the same size as the Canon PowerShot G11.

As small as it is, the E-P2 is a slightly awkward size. With the supplied M Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens attached, it is still a little too big to fit in all but the largest coat pockets, yet it’s too small for most over-the-shoulder cases. It left a lot of space in my shoulder bag, and while it seemed excessive having just the camera and kit lens in a shoulder bag, it did leave enough room to carry a full complement of Micro Four Thirds lenses. This would require a much larger bag if it were an APS-C system, and would have been far heavier. Those who do want a very slim, pocketable camera should consider the Olympus M Zuiko 17mm f/2.8 pancake lens. This combination makes for a perfect travel companion.

The menu system is unchanged since the E-P1 and I found it straightforward to use. My only complaint is that while the camera is capable of taking Superfine JPEG images, to select this option in the shooting menu you must first set it to be made available via a setting in the custom menu. This was also true of the E-P1 which seems odd, because most users want the default setting to allow them to take the best possible images. Reducing image quality to save space shouldn’t be an issue.

  • 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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