Olympus E-P2

Last update (09 June’12):
– Review by ThePhoblographer

Olympus E-P2 is the successor of E-P1 which was launched only 5 months after the launch of E-P1 with some minor upgrade including the addition of a port for a new high resolution electronic viewfinder (or external microphone), two new Art filters and a pearlescent black finish. It also gains AF tracking and includes a new i-Enhance ‘colour boosting’ function.

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆| Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Olympus E-P2 Reviews

ThePhoblographer reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“In my opinion and conclusions, image quality is slightly better than the GF-1 and Panasonic’s cameras. However, it’s nothing to completely rejoice about.”
Rating: N/A

PCWorld reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“The Olympus Pen E-P2 serves up unique in-camera controls and an attractive, durable design, but it costs significantly more than an entry-level DSLR, lacks a built-in flash, and has autofocus issues.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

AmateurPhotographer reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“Results from raw files are much the same, with noise well controlled up to around ISO 400. By ISO 800, luminance noise is visible but still unobtrusive.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

InfoSync reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“So, we recommend the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 for advanced photographers. If you’re a PEN junky and need retro style in exchange for advanced architecture, then go for the E-P2, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. “

Rating: ★★★★☆

MacWorld reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“# Pros: Sturdier than other hybrids; excellent image quality; evenly exposed results. # Cons: Pricey for anyone buying into the new system from scratch; occasional white balance issues; kit lens has to be unfurled before powering the camera up”
Rating: ★★★★☆

RegHardware reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“The E-P2 is a great and versatile little camera, if a touch expensive. Olympus was fast to act on the concerns raised by the release of the E-P1 and the result is a much better camera than the original digital PEN ever was. Having addressed some if not all the main issues afflicting the E-P1, this new PEN can be a real alternative to a conventional DSLR”
Rating: ★★★★☆

PhotoFocus reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“In general, I do recommend the EP2. In fact, I bought one. I use it almost daily. It drives me a little crazy, but I really like shooting with this camera and usually have it and the beautiful 17mm pancake lens with me everywhere I go.”
Rating: N/A

Adorama reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“The image quality produced by the E-P2 is impressive and for a camera in the price range —a 15-megapixel Canon EOS 50D with IS lens only costs $30 more— but that should not be surprising. The camera’s TruePic V image processor automatically enhances color range, saturation, brightness, sharpness, as well as reduces image noise and improves edge reproduction, enhancing image quality.”
Rating: N/A

ImagingResource reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“ISO 200 and 400 shots are also usable at 20×30 inches, but ISO 400 shots tighten up a bit more to what we’d call tack sharp at 16×20… ISO 6,400 shots are a little too soft for 8×10, but look quite good at 5×7. Overall, a very impressive performance from the Olympus E-P2.”
Rating: N/A

CNET reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“The bottom line: For some, an elegant shooter’s design and high-quality low-ISO photos may more than adequately compensate for the Olympus E-P2’s sluggish performance.”

Rating: ★★★½☆

MacWorld.UK reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“Those looking for a very high-quality compact that will deliver near-professional pictures while being easy and fun to use will find much in the E-P2 to delight. Fortunately for those feeling the squeeze a budget option in the E-PL1 has been announced, and this arguably poses a bigger threat to mass uptake of E-P2 than anything rival brands can muster.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

DPInterface reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“Image quality produced by the Olympus PEN E-P2 was very good with bright, saturated colors (even with default settings) and good high ISO performance till 1600. The 14-42 mm lens of the camera is also what I consider one of the better, if not the best, “kit lens” you can find bundled with a camera – it’s very compact since it can be retracted and also produces fairly good image..”
Rating: N/A

T3 reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“The E-P2’s pictures are warm in tone, partly due to the new saturation-boosting i-Enhance setting, and plentifully sharp. They’re better than those from just about any bridge compact, but fall just short of DSLR quality.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

Wired reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“Is it worth it? Well, that goes back to the cartoon-sized sack full of cash. If you’ve got it, spend it, and get a new robust point-and-shoot, while helping rebuild the shattered economy. Everybody else (that’s pretty much you, me and really anyone who didn’t receive a government bailout) would be wise to hold off.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

NeutralDay compares the Olympus E-P2 to Panasonic GF1 JPEG Engine Comparison and writes;
“I’ll grant E-P2 fans that it does produce slightly more appealing JPEGs right from the camera, but the differences are very small, and some photographers will appreciate the GF1’s more natural approach.”
Rating: N/A

PopPhoto reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“…Anyone looking for a jacketpocket sized camera that delivers image quality on par with a DSLR, should consider the Olympus Pen E-P2..”
Rating: N/A

Biofos reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“…the E-P2 is a fantastic camera; it is small and reasonably light and can be just about be classed as pocketable. Its standard kit zoom is very capable, delivering sharp and quite contrasty images. The amount of customization available means the machine can be set to match your expectations or can simply be left at default and still produce very good results.”
Rating: N/A

CNET.uk reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“The enhancements that Olympus has made to the E-P2 over its E-P1 predecessor are worthwhile but hardly earth-shattering. It’s a good-looking camera and the quality of both its photos and movies is great. But it can be awkward to use and it costs much more than a digital SLR with comparable specs”
Rating: ★★★★☆

TechRadar reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“In our field test in winter daylight, and indoors, we found that this made you highly reliant on the camera’s high ISO settings. Fortunately, the quality of results taken at settings from ISO640 to 1600 looked extremely good.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

CameraLabs reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“It’s a tough choice and the Olympus E-P2 is certainly a compelling option with its built-in stabilisation, far superior electronic viewfinder and the chance to connect an external microphone. But then others will prefer the more detailed screen, popup flash, faster AF and longer recording times of the GF1, not to mention its cheaper price.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

TheOnlinePhotographer reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“The LCDs on the E-P1 and E-P2 are perfectly usable; however, I’m used to viewfinders. And therefore, the E-P2 is simply a better camera for me. I would buy it.”
Rating: N/A

PhotographyBlog reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“Overall the E-P2 joins the list of cameras that we didn’t want to have to hand back at the end of the review period. And incidentally, for Pen completists a black leather body jacket is being offered by Olympus for the E-P2.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Steve’sDigicams reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“is the E-P2 worth the extra $300 over the E-P1. This is a tough one to answer. With improved performance and features like the added Art filters, new iEnhance option, Continuous AF tracking in both still and movie modes, nice tilting VF-2 electronic viewfinder, manual exposure control in movie mode, and the upgraded MF assist options, I feel the increased price tag is fair.”

CNET.Australia reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“the E-P2 was only 0.2 second quicker than the E-P1, clocking in at 1.1 seconds. Start up to first shot was 2.4 seconds. Again, as we mentioned with the E-P1, this is definitely not a camera you will be able to use if you value quick SLR responsiveness.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

LetsGoDigital reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“Excellent picture quality, good resolution and a special photography experience is what the Olympus Pen E-P2 stands for. Therefore we have to look for the tiny differences that on the one hand have a large impact on the photo experience, and on the other hand are only minimally present. The electronic viewfinder is great, truly a very special accessory and quite unique in the market. The AF Tracking is also a great addition, giving just that bit of extra AF power the P1 lacks.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

LetsGoDigital reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“Excellent picture quality, good resolution and a special photography experience is what the Olympus Pen E-P2 stands for. Therefore we have to look for the tiny differences that on the one hand have a large impact on the photo experience, and on the other hand are only minimally present. The electronic viewfinder is great, truly a very special accessory and quite unique in the market. The AF Tracking is also a great addition, giving just that bit of extra AF power the P1 lacks.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

CNET.asia reviews the Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“The bottom line: Olympus second effort for Micro Four Thirds camera feels somewhat half-hearted, but users who wish to try their hands on this new format will find the E-P2 an attractive choice.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

User Opinions

Olympus E-P2 User Reviews

Terrific Camera
“Handsome looks. Very sharp and bright EVF. Convenient size (though not quite pocket-sized even with 20 mm lens). Great images from large sensor. Interchangeable lens beat a single zoom any day. Very nice build quality. Handy controls, if you are used to Olympus menus.” – By Busy Reader
Rating: ★★★★★

GREAT knockabout small camera Rating: ★★★★★
“Bottom line: this camera represents a fantastic compromise between price, portability and picture quality. For those who can’t take their big DSLRs everywhere they want to take pictures, this is the best camera I’ve found. Folks who are moving up from point and shoots should get a “real” DSLR as their move-up camera; this thing is really for those who already have DSLRs and looking for a great 2nd camera. “ – Kaufman

Can’t live with it Can’t live without it Rating: ★★★★★
“I had been waiting for a camera like this for a few years and had tried what was already on the market but wasn’t happy with the quality of the image and kept returning those cameras. This camera meets or exceeds my expectations for a camera of this size and weight…. “ – William

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Olympus E-P2 Sample Photos

Olympus E-P2 Sample Photos @ RegHardware
Olympus E-P2 Sample Photos @ Dpreview
Olympus E-P2 Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
Olympus E-P2 Sample Photos @ CameraLabs
Olympus E-P2 Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
Olympus E-P2 Sample Photos @ Steve’sDigicams
Olympus E-P2 Sample Photos @ LetsGoDigital


Olympus E-P2 User Manual (PDF)

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– Download Olympus E-P2 User Manual (PDF – 14.3MB)


Olympus E-P2 Press Release

London, 5 November 2009 – Welcome back to the PEN story and the next chapter: “Back to Black”. This latest retro-chic digital Olympus PEN builds on EISA’s 2009/2010 “Best Camera of the Year”, an icon of style and quality. To enrich photographic potential, the new E-P2 includes a port for an electronic viewfinder or external microphones. Two additional Art Filters combine with the new i-Enhance function for yet more creativity and image enhancement. Two new Micro Four Thirds lenses are due in the first half of 2010: the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 (18-36mm*) super wide-angle zoom and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 (28-300mm*) high-power telephoto zoom lenses. Cloaked in classic black, the hybrid photo and HD movie Olympus PEN boldly brings fun and simplicity back to SLR quality. It’s the next exciting chapter in a photographic story that is set to run and run. Available from January 2010 for £850 including the electronic viewfinder.

Building on brilliance
The new generation of PEN (E-P2) boasts an enviable pedigree. It comes hot on the heels of Olympus’ award-winning first Micro Four Thirds System camera inspired by the revolutionary Maitani design of the original PEN series. This second digital model takes usability and functionality even further by with diverse fresh features:

* Accessory port for accessories like viewfinder and microphones
* Two additional Art Filters (Diorama and Cross Process)
* Colour-boosting i-Enhance function
* AF tracking
* Remote slideshow control (via HDMI)
* HD movies in M-mode

Experience true framing freedom
A dedicated accessory port on the back of the camera extends flexibility. The first compatible device, an electronic viewfinder is included with the E-P2. Enjoy bright, high-resolution depictions under all conditions and a 100% field of view. Tiltable by up to 90°, reminiscent of medium format camera viewfinders it also promotes shooting from unique perspectives. Viewing picture information and adjustments as you go is a given. More accessory port attachments starting with an external microphone adapter for a variety of microphones will also follow soon.

Click for creativity
Inspiring creativity, two new Art Filters join the six already introduced by the E-P1. Use Diorama to create the illusion of a model world or flip colours around with Cross Process, both available for use in still or HD movie mode. Meanwhile, the new i-Enhance function boosts specified colours within the frame to add even more punch to the image if you so desire. Like its predecessor, the E-P2 offers the choice of aspect ratios and multiple exposures. Also remaining on board is the level gauge, i-Auto mode, and the flattering e-Portrait option.

AF tracking is added making the sharp capture of moving subjects easier than ever and when it’s time to take a look at the results, just kick back and relax as high-definition slideshows and HD movies can be viewed using the remote of a TV set connected to the camera via HDMI.

A legacy of chic styling and SLR quality continues
The latest PEN inherits the inimitable looks and ultra-compact form of its critically-acclaimed sister model in addition to all its outstanding technologies. Photographers benefit from a defined high-end standard based on the Micro Four Thirds System that guarantees SLR quality results. The large pool of compatible interchangeable lenses provides tremendous versatility – from the ultra-slimline M.ZUIKO DIGITAL Pancake to the complete Four Thirds lens line-up (with adapter). Attachment of an external flash unit, such as the retro-styled Olympus FL-14, extends the possibilities even more.

Reliably crisp images are secured through the 12.3 Megapixel Live MOS sensor combined with a dust reduction system and high-performance in-camera image stabilisation giving protection against shake to 4 EV. And at the core of this PEN is the guarantor for fast, top-quality image processing, even at up to ISO 6400: the state-of-the-art TruePic V engine. The Live Control GUI simplifies operation while the effect of functions can be monitored in real time – on both the 7.6cm/3.0” HyperCrystal LCD and the 1,440,000 dot electronic viewfinder.

HD movie magic
Capable of recording AVI format movies in 30fps 1280x720p HD resolution and boasting immaculate PCM sound quality, the PEN also lets users discover the magic of movie making. Seven minutes of footage can be recorded in a single shot. Furthermore, many still photography functions and options; including the application of Art Filters, depth of field, angle of view and AF tracking, remain operational in movie mode. Another new perk is the ability to film using the M-mode, good news for those with a creative touch. And because shooting is possible using any attached lens, a whole new world of framing potential emerges. Users can also capture high resolution still shots while filming at the touch of a button.

The Olympus E-P2 builds on its coveted predecessor’s wealth of high-performance temptations. “With the first PEN, many journalists and experts already told us that we had defined a totally new camera segment. Adding superb new features like an accessory port, viewfinder and new Art Filters has made an already incredible camera even better” explains Mark Thackara, National Marketing Manager at Olympus UK. This retro-cool model is finished in classic black and will become available from January 2010 at a price of £849 including the electronic viewfinder. An optional, matching black leather body jacket will also be on offer.


Full UK pricing on all kits is yet to be confirmed. The E-P2 14-42 Zoom kit with viewfinder included is expected to have an RRP of £849. This and the other kit prices will be confirmed nearer the availability date.

The Olympus E-P2 – main features:

Small & stylish design

* Extremely small and light-weight Micro Four Thirds System
* Stylish design with black metal finish
* Accessory port to clip-on electronic viewfinder and microphone adapter

SLR image quality

* 12.3 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
* TruePic V image processor
* Built-in IS with max. 4 EV steps efficiency
* Adapter for all ZUIKO DIGITAL & OM lenses

Easy operation

* Live Control GUI for intuitive handling & real-time views of effects
* Automatic recognition of common scenes possible with i-Auto
* i-Enhance function to boost colours
* Clear skin with e-Portrait
* AF Tracking
* Two dials for easy handling
* Face Detection and Shadow Adjustment Technology
* 20 shooting modes (5 exposure, i-Auto, 14 scene modes)

Creativity & HD Movie

* HD Movie with stereo sound featuring depth of field and Art Filters now available in M-mode
* 8 Art Filters, Multi-Aspect ratios
* Multi Exposure function
* Art Filters can be applied to previously taken RAW images in the camera and with Olympus software
* Enhanced creativity with special lenses e.g. fisheye is available via Four Thirds lens adapter

Additional features of the Olympus E-P2:

* Based on the Micro Four Thirds Standard
* HDMI interface
* Linear PCM sound recording
* Level gauge
* Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface
* 3fps with sequential shooting (max. 10 in RAW mode)
* ISO 100-6400
* Bracketing functions for white balance and exposure
* Supersonic Wave Filter dust reduction system
* Wide dynamic range in highly lit areas
* Simultaneous writing of RAW and JPEG
* SD memory card slot (SDHC compatible)
* High-speed data writing and lossless RAW compression
* 7.6cm/3.0” HyperCrystal LCD
* AE/AF lock functionality
* Auto gradation adjustment to prevent blown highlights and
blocked-in shadows
* Remote release possible via the optional remote cable RM-UC1

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