TIPA Test: Olympus E-PL2

by valrac4_a3kqdy

Our associates at Betternet in Germany have posted their lab report on the Olympus E-PL2. Highlights:

Plus:

  • very compact and lightweight Compact System Camera
  • a lot of scene modes for beginners
  • Accessory Port accepts interesting devices, including Electronic Viewfinder module, macro light system and Bluetooth adapter

Minus:

  • only one accessory usable at a time through the Accessory Port
  • video compression with MJPEG (instead of AVC/H.264 or AVCHD, which are more efficient) and 30 frames per second (no option for 24 frames per second)

Handling

The Olympus E-PL2 is a very light and compact camera. Combined with the 17mm pancake lens it makes a very tidy system. The E-PL2 has a three-inch LCD with 460K dot resolution, a step up from the 2.7-inch, 230K dot screen of its predecessor, the E-PL1.

But like the E-PL1, it includes the special accessory interface in addition to standard interfaces like USB, TV-port and HDMI. It’s called the Accessory Port 2. The VF2 electronic viewfinder that was available for the E-PL1 will also be available for the E-PL2. But Olympus has introduced a few new — and interesting — accessories. The SEMA-1 is a microphone adapter that includes a 3.5 mm stereo microphone jack. When recording video with the E-PL2 (1280 x 720 pixels, 30 frames per second and MJPG compression) this microphone will help to record the additional sound in higher quality.

The MAL-1 is a close-up light that uses two LEDs mounted on two flexible gooseneck holders . The lights are powered through the camera interface. A Bluetooth module called the Penpal Communication unit stores images and allows them transferred wirelessly to another device (e.g., a computer) via Bluetooth.

The camera has standard exposure modes like P, S, A and M. To setup all parameters it offers a new (compared to the E-PL1) setup system. While the E-PL1 offered a standard 4-way cursor field on the back the E-PL2 uses a combination of a 4-way cursor field and setup dial. This allows you to change image parameters very fast. In addition it offers a special function button on the back to got directly access to the most important image settings.

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