Olympus PEN E-PL2 digital camera (preview)
We spend some time with the Olympus PEN E-PL2 Micro Four Thirds digital camera: Is this the perfect compact camera for shooting video?
- Video mode, autofocusing, extra Art filter, 3in screen LCD screen, high-resolution screen
- We'll be sure to discover any flaws when we give it a thorough workout in our Test Centre
The Olympus PEN E-PL2 Micro Four Thirds camera contains plenty of improvements over the PEN E-PL1, including much smoother video capture and better autofocus performance. We look forward to giving it a thorough workout once it's released.
The recently announced 12.3-megapixel Olympus PEN E-PL2 digital camera looks to be a doozy. We had the opportunity to briefly play around with it and we think it's likely to be one of the best interchangeable lens cameras available — especially for shooting video — once it's released in late February.
[Read our roundup of the best interchangeable lens/Micro Four Thirds digital cameras]
Olympus PEN E-PL2 front view.
The Olympus PEN E-PL2 digital camera retains the Micro-Four Thirds sensor and lens mounting design of the Olympus PEN E-PL1, as well as the same imaging system. However, there are some differences in the control layout on the body, the size and quality of the screen and the accessories shoe. There are even differences in the new lenses (including the kit lens) that will be available for the new camera. There have been many more changes made under the hood, too, with perhaps the biggest change coming in the way the camera shoots video.
With camcorder-like image stabilisation, the video that's shot with the PEN E-PL2 comes out very smoothly. The Live View display looks very smooth and the end result makes it look like you used a steady-cam to shoot the scene. Predictive algorithms are used to create this effect. From what we saw, the background doesn't bobble much (if at all) if you are on the move while you're shooting, and there isn't noticeable tearing in footage either. Focusing is very fast and reliable and you can even use autofocus tracking to home in on a particular subject and keep it in focus regardless of where it ends up in the frame (this works for stills as well).
The autofocus mechanisms in Olympus' range of lenses have also been improved. The new lenses (including the 14-42mm MkII kit lens) include what Olympus calls its Movies and Stills Compatible (MSC) drive system. The new drive system has shafts that have been created with micron-accuracy, and combined with smaller lens elements. The new lenses can focus faster and more smoothly than the older lenses. The kit lens that we saw also felt a lot sturdier than the kit lens that was provided with the E-PL1, and it's also slightly smaller. All the lenses in the new range except for the pancake lens will have the MSC drive system. In addition to current lenses, Olympus said it will also be releasing more prime lenses.
Accessories for the lenses will include converters that can be directly attached, such as a fisheye converter (FCON-P01), a wide-angle converter (WCON-P01) and a macro converter (MCON-P01). Some other cool accessories include a tentacle-like, two-arm macro light, and a Bluetooth module (called PENPAL) will also be available around March or April. These accessories plug in to the accessories shoe on the back of the E-PL2. This shoe is slightly different to the one on the E-PL1 so the new accessories won't work on the older camera, but the older accessories will work on the new camera.
The Macro Arm Light. Source: Olympus.
The Fish-eye adapter (FCON-P01). Source: Olympus.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG V50 ThinQ 5G review: Two bad
- 2 Oppo Reno 5G review: Big Deal
- 3 Huawei P30 review: How badly do you need a headphone jack?
- 4 Moto G7 Plus review: Better where it counts
- 5 Nokia 9 PureView review: A flawed, ambitious, endearing flagship
Latest News Articles
- We Got a Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay and Used It To Print Memes
- Panasonic's powerhouse Lumix S1H can shoot in 6K at 24 frames-per-second
- Panasonic expands LUMIX G Series with new content-creator camera
- Canon expand EOS R lineup with cheaper, compact EOS RP
- Panasonic drop the deets on their new Lumix S1 and S1R cameras
PCW Evaluation Team
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
- Best Australian Amazon Prime Day deals
- Oppo Reno 5G review: Big Deal
- Everything you need to know before you buy a 5G phone in Australia
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?