Olympus E-PL2 first impressions

Just borrowed that camera with 20/1.7 lens from my friend DDB. First impressions:

User interface is very awkward. I had to read the manual in detail just to figure out manual exposure.

AF is very good. Face recognition and tracking work well. Playback controls also awkward.

LCD is good straight on, marginally useful at an angle.

The lens seems quite sharp at all apertures. Image detail and clarity is remarkably good, possibly because of lens-specific optimization. Colors seem muted though. Some sensor noise as expected but with very natural-looking “grain”.

Zoomed-in manual focus is quite effective.

Tightened strap works well for stabilization.

For my use, 20/1.7 isn’t long enough, would have preferred 45/2.8 macro. Not sure if lack of image stabilization in GF1 would matter a lot, but I expect its controls would be better laid out.

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4 Responses to Olympus E-PL2 first impressions

  1. Chris Wage says:

    Have you read at all about the fuji x100? i’m pretty intrigued by it.. obviously, the fixed lens is a dealbreaker for some, but I think it’d work for me..

    unfortunately I think it’s just too overpriced .. not to mention that it’s first generation for its segment..

  2. Matt Maynard says:

    My dad is a big fan of their OM series film cameras, as was I when I was into photography. We both really like their optics, but had problems with the layout of the controls from time to time. They were designed for smaller hands than either of us have.

  3. Camtec says:

    Olympus lenses are first rate. I don’t know about their digital cameras, but their film cameras were not so good. I would like to see the results at the smallest F-stop.

  4. Wookie EMT says:

    I assume the 20mm f1.7 was the Lumix variety? I stand by my E-P1 and that lens because my favorite film rangefinder was the Canonet QL17 GIII in 40mm f1.7 (equivalent field of view and all).

    I still use all my Canon FD lenses with the E-P1 with a personal favorite of the 50mm f1.4 that is oh so cheap and oh so sharp. I’ve managed to get some great portraits with it since I get 100mm out of it with the 2x conversion. It’s worth it, even if I do have to manually focus all the time.

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