Olympus E-PL2 – Part 3 – Initial Handling Notes

Continued from the last post!

It’s not easy deciding whether the Olympus E-PL2 is a significant or a minor upgrade from the E-PL1. It doesn’t help that Olympus doesn’t seen to be phasing out the E-PL1 yet at the moment, and letting the two models sit side by side on the same shelf.

Functionally, they’re pretty similar. In fact, I didn’t even bother with the E-PL2’s Instruction Manual. From the first pick-up at the Funan Center outlet of Alan Photo, I found myself instinctively navigating through the menus to toggling modes and options to make sure the camera was working properly before handing over the money for the camera yesterday morning.


Here’s a list of my small notes; ranting off and in no particular order:

– I went with the Black edition this time, just for a change. And I’m starting to have mixed feelings about the color. Sigh. Should had gone back to the Champagne Gold one, like my old E-PL1.

– Out-of-camera JPGs remain outstanding. I took a few shots outside at The Rivervale and they look just great. This is one camera I have no problems shooting in JPG.

– Flash recycling times have improved – nice!

– The hotshoe cover slides off easily. I took it off first thing and left it in the box, lest it slips off accidentally when in actual use!

– The new MSC Mark II kit lens focuses internally, silently, and very briskly (hooray!!!). Even Ling was impressed.=)

– The new kit lens however uses a different lens diameter. 37mm. Gaaah. What am I gonna do with the 40.5mm filters I bought for the E-PL1 now?

– On the other hand, the new kit lens feels a little more plasticky. Maybe it’s the color.

– The 3 inch 460,000 dot rear TFT LCD is gorgeous. Not as pixel-dense as the D300, but definitely an upgrade from the 260,000 dot 2.7 inch LCD on the E-PL1.


– The rear four button controller on the E-PL1 has been replaced by a control dial that supposedly offers faster navigation through menu options. I didn’t care much for this though as the control dial itself is still too small to make rotation easy.

– Whatever happened to the volume control of the focus-beep? It’s on or off now only in the new camera.

– Rotatable Ring strap eyelets included now as a design improvement over the E-PL1. I actually prefer the rectangular metal ones from the old E-PL1 instead. These new rotatable ones rattle.

– The UI really looks antiquated. It’s functional yes, but not particularly pleasing aesthetically. Having seen the Sony NEX-5 and Samsung NX100 UIs, the Olympus one looks like it’s from a 2000’s rather than 2011 line of digital cameras. Maybe it’s the font or the color scheme, or both.

– The E-PL2 feels more robustly made than the E-PL1. It’s still a large plastic construction, but exhibits no flex at its joints.

In all; I’ll put it somewhere between a significant and a minor upgrade from the E-PL1. The faster focusing is the singularly most important benefit for me, with the larger and higher resolution LCD following next. More and final notes to come after I’ve spent a bit more time using the camera. =)

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