Field Review: Olympus PEN E-P2 (Day 5)

When I got the Olympus PEN E-P2 it came with the M. Zuiko Digital 17mm f2.8 lens. I already use the Zuiko Digital 25mm f2.8 lens on my E-510 so the only difference here for me is that its on a Micro 4/3rds camera and instead of having a focal length of 25mm, I have a focal length of 17mm.

Most of the shots I have taken with the lens have been either portrait or landscape shots. The first night I got the camera I brought it to a bar a few friends and I usually go to every week and the results were wonderful. Even in low light the photos were clear and full of color, very sharp too. Then the next day I took it out for a run during the day and again the shots were sharp, colorful, and clear.

The Olympus 17mm f/2.8 focuses very quickly. The camera barely, if at all second guesses if it has the target in complete focus. One qualm I do have about the lens is using it in video mode on the E-P2. While I was running my tests of the video mode with auto tracking I was able to tell every time the lens had to refocus on the subject. This you can’t really help due to the fact that if the subject moves of course you have to move with it. However when it comes to playing the video back I noticed that you could hear the lens refocusing on the subject which can become very annoying. I would recommend when using this lens with video mode is just turn auto tracking off, focus on your subject, and just let the camera record that way you don’t have to deal with the sound of the lens when your playing it back to family and/or friends.

The second lens I received was the Panasonic Lumix 7-14mm F4.0. One of the first things I noticed about this lens is how quiet it was compared to the Zuiko. Even in video mode when I played back what I had recorded I did not hear the camera auto focus at all. Immediately after that, I began to really appreciate the constant aperture of the Panasonic 7-14mm f/4.0 Micro Four Thirds Lensas it zooms in and out.

The images came our bright and full of color. The time it takes to focus is quick, as in you don’t event notice it has focused at all, it just alerts you that it is in focus. Another thing about the lens I had noticed is the f stop never changes.

Speaking of auto tracking I did some more testing with that in video mode and have come to several conclusions on it. For one it is not a bad system at all on the Olympus PEN E-P2 12.3 MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with 17mm f/2.8 Lens and Electronic View Finderproviding the settings are set accordingly. I spent the day tracking several subjects such as people, cars, animals, etc and the only time it would lose the subject in the cross-hairs is if an object came in between the camera and the subject, or if the subject was just simply moving too fast. One of the downfalls though as mentioned before is that with auto tracking every time the subject moves the camera has to refocus the lens onto the subject. This can become increasingly annoying especially if your trying to video a family event or a sporting event where there is a lot of movement. This is why I recommend just turning auto tracking off and just focus the camera and record. Like I said it isn’t a bad system, but it does have limitations.

Chris Gampat

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