Behind its simple looks and clean lines, the Olympus Pen E-PL2 compact system camera hides a number of DSLR-worthy features. Richard Sibley tests the 12.3MP, micro four thirds camera

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Olympus Pen E-PL2

AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:


Olympus Pen E-PL2 review


Price as reviewed:


Viewfinder, LCD, Live View and Video

Like the other Pen cameras, the E-PL2 does not have a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF). Instead, the Olympus VF-2 EVF is available separately and can be attached to the E-PL2 via the camera’s accessory port. This is the same EVF as is available for the Pen E-P2 and E-PL1. However, as useful as it might be, at around £180 it is a fairly expensive addition.

Most of the photographers at whom the E-PL2 is aimed will be perfectly happy using the camera’s rear LCD screen. At 3in, the display is slightly larger than the 2.7in screen found in the E-PL1, but at 460,000 dots the resolution has been doubled in the new monitor. This still lags a little behind the 921,000-dot screens we are now used to seeing on DSLRs, but it is still of a high enough resolution to check details and to use when manually focusing.

With us getting used to Full HD, 1920×1080-pixel resolution video, it is a little disappointing to see that the E-PL2 only has 1280×720-pixel HD resolution. The maximum recording time is also limited to just 7mins in HD mode, and the internal microphone only records in mono. That said, the camera is primarily aimed at entry-level photographers, not those who will be using it regularly for video capture. With this in mind, the video function is really a secondary feature, so the short recording time and standard HD resolution shouldn’t be of much concern for this level of user.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and Handling
  4. 4. White balance and Colour
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. Noise, Resolution and Sensitivity
  8. 8. Dynamic range
  9. 9. Viewfinder, LCD, Live View and Video
  10. 10. Our Verdict
  11. 11. Competition
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