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


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.

  • 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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