Field Review: Olympus PEN E-P2 (Day 2)

On my second day with the Olympus PEN E-P2I just decided to do some casual shooting—taking pictures of various things around my house inside and outside. One picture that did come out very strong was a picture I took of my puppy. In daylight or areas with a good amount of lighting  the camera performs very strong. At this point I feel as though I have become totally comfortable with the camera as far ergonomics go. It is a really comfortable camera to use and every shot I was able to keep my eyes trained on the subject in the viewfinder without having to stray to make sure I was pressing the right button to take the shot or adjust the exposure, etc.

When it comes to low light areas the camera can still perform very well as shown above. This was taken at ISO 3200 which to me looked pretty clean in the RAW. I decided to test out each ISO to see which at which ISO settings things start to become messy. This I will be showing in the next posting. Facial recognition works nicely.

Editor’s Note: We later found out that Vince has processed these photos in Lightroom 3 afterward. We apologize for this error.

I also tested out the auto focus tracking which works if the subject is moving anywhere between very slowly and not at all. What I mean is if you want to take an action shot the camera is constantly trying to refocus on the subject which can result in an out of focus photo if you snap the shutter at the wrong time. I feel like using Sequential Shooting in these cases would be better especially since I was able to snap photos at about  photos a second, which is a lot faster than my Olympus E-510.

The video mode is very nice. As said in my first impressions posting the camera can shoot video at 720p. The video and sound quality is excellent—so excellent that when you turn on auto focus tracking that you can hear the camera refocus as the subject moves (video will be shown off in a later posting.) These two things I consider a hindrance. I never realized how loud a lens can be when focusing. What I mean is I know when the lens moves to focus it does make a sound, but I never expected it to be so prominent in video. Another con here is that even when the person you are shooting with the auto focus tracking is moving just to get comfortable or swaying their hips slowly to the music you can actually see in the video the camera refocusing every time. This makes me feel turned off to ever using the feature again. It would just be easier to put the camera in focus and just shoot the video so that way at least the audience you show this video to won’t be turned off by the constant readjusting of the lens.

One last thing I wanted to mention was the LCD screen as a viewfinder. I know a lot of point and shoots use an LCD screen as a viewfinder—I was never a fan however of this way of shooting until I used the E-P2. I’m not sure what it is, maybe its the fact that the screen displays at a constant 60 fps but it almost feels as natural as using a regular viewfinder. I am aware that this camera can use an optional electronic viewfinder but I just became so comfortable using it this way that I wouldn’t even bother.

The next posting will involve testing the ISO and actually taking the Art Filters for a spin which I expect to yield very nice results and I will include some last minute features of the camera that I didn’t include here.

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.