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
To improve the focusing capabilities of the E-P2, in comparison to the E-P1, a few new modes and features have been added, the most important of which is perhaps AF tracking. When activated, this allows you to press the shutter button lightly to lock focus on a particular subject. As the subject moves around the scene, the camera will adjust the focus accordingly. Think of it working in the same way as face-detection technology, except on an object of your choice.
I found the tracking to be surprisingly fast for a contrast-detection AF system. You can hear and feel the AF moving, and when it stops you know the subject is in focus. While the system won’t be fast enough for certain types of photography, it is adequate for tracking moving vehicles from a distance or children playing. Manual focus has also been tweaked. Now, when in manual-focus mode, turning the focusing ring of the lens activates a full-screen magnification of the centre of the frame. Once you have finished focusing, the view reverts to the full-screen preview, allowing reframing to take place. This is a great way to focus the lens, particularly when used with the electronic viewfinder, as it replicates quite well the feel of focusing when using an SLR camera and lens.
I found the Single AF+Manual setting useful for automatically focusing, and then making any slight adjustments by quickly turning the focusing ring of the lens.
For precise automatic focusing, any one of 225 points can be manually selected when in magnified view mode. This will prove useful when taking landscape or still-life images.