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Field Review: Olympus EPL-2 (Day 2)

by Chris Gampat on 02/25/2011

In Day 1, I got my hands dirty with the EPL-2. For the most part, it is so far living up to my expectations. The EPL-2 and I went along the street of NYC and into cafes with my friend Sal from Geek.com. And for once, I shot nothing else but JPEGs. Keep in mind that this review is being done in the viewpoint of a professional looking for a small, carry-around camera. So why JPEGs then? Less work in the end, that’s why!

Gear Used

Olympus EPL-2

Olympus 17mm f/2.8 Lens

Image Quality


Olympus seems to have done some serious tweaking with their white balance system this time around. With the Olympus E-5 that we reviewed (and that would have won our shootout) the color balance shifted heavily towards the bluer end of things. This time around, the colors captured were very true to life. I was pleasantly shocked.

In fact, these colors are perhaps the truest to life that I’ve ever seen captured straight out of camera as a JPEG.

When I was hanging out in the basement of a cafe trying to get some freelance writing work done for Digital Camera Review, I played with the EPL-2 a bit and photographed my food. The colors seen in the photo above are very true to how it actually looked down there in the dark and dim basement.

Even this photo of Sal was captured very accurately.

Now, would I necessarily want it to look this way? I’m not quite sure. These weren’t shot in RAW, so I can’t test the dynamic range, but the color depth is once again very good. Hopefully, Olympus has improved the dynamic range in their sensors.

When out and about in the Lower East Side, the white balance once again didn’t fail. It was set to Auto and all of these photos were shot in Aperture priority. To be fair, it was a fairly bleak day.

Hell, it started to snow a bit actually.

With that, there really isn’t much else to say where the photos can’t speak for themselves.

As a semi-professional looking for a camera to deliver great images, the EPL-2 didn’t fail at all with the JPEGs. However, I know that there are times that I would like to shoot RAW images and if the camera has a RAW shoot mode, it should be totally utilized.

And it will be. Coming soon, we will do a better analysis of the dynamic range, RAW files, features, ISO noise, etc. However, I’m actually quite satisfied with the output considering I wasn’t shooting seriously.

With this said, I should also mention that my boss just went on vacation and shot all JPEGs with his Canon 40D. If you’re going on vacation and only want to shoot JPEGs, then the Olympus EPL-2 seems like a great choice. Also please see my guide to photographing NYC for tourists.

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