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E-P2/E-PL2 in-hand comparison

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by the.growler, May 6, 2011.

  1. the.growler

    the.growler Mu-43 Regular

    I had the opportunity to play with an E-P2 recently and compare it against my E-PL2. For those trying to make a decision between the two cameras, I thought I’d post my observations.

    Fit and finish: Both cameras are superbly assembled and look and feel like quality products. I actually preferred the matte black finish of the E-PL2 over the glossy finish of the E-P2, as the matte finish seemed to hide wear better. Small scratches and fingerprints clearly stood out on the E-P2 body. Other than the brushed finish of the E-P2, there is no way to tell that the body of one camera is metal as opposed to plastic.

    In your hand: The E-P2 feels substantially heavier than the 20 gram difference quoted by Olympus. I put that down to the flat body profile and thin hand-grip of the E-P2, which made it harder to grip securely. The body of the E-PL2 is more contoured and the hand-grip more pronounced, which makes it easier to pull the camera body securely into the palm of your hand and lessen the apparent weight. I always felt as if the left side of the E-P2 was drooping and that the camera was less secure.

    Controls: The thumb-wheel of the E-P2 is much easier to use than the control dial of the E-PL2 and the dedicated exposure compensation button on the E-P2 was welcome; these were the main reasons I wanted to try the cameras back to back. After a day of shooting, however, this was less of an advantage for the E-P2 than I originally thought, as I tend to shoot static subjects where rapid changes in settings are not crucial. I also found the arrangement of the control buttons on the E-P2 less convenient than those on the E-PL2, since I zoom the focus frame on every shot and tend to move the focus frame around a lot (tasks that are very easy to accomplish with the dedicated control buttons of the E-PL2). Having said that, both cameras would benefit from a Nikon-style front control wheel or a Canon-style lens ring controller.

    AF: Auto focus on the E-P2 was noticeably slower than the E-PL2 using the same lenses (Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm Mark II, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f2.8).

    Screen: My vision is far from perfect, so both LCD screens looked about the same to me.

    Art Filters: I know the E-PL2’s “Dramatic Tone” filter is just faux-HDR tone-mapping with way too much local contrast but, gosh darn it, I’ve grown to like it. The cross-process filter that takes its place in the E-P2 just looks like bad fluorescent white balance to me – sorry. To each their own.

    In summary: I expected to like the E-P2 more, primarily on account of the thumb-wheel and the dedicated exposure compensation button. But the E-PL2 just felt more comfortable in my hand and fit my style of shooting better. YMMV.
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  2. everythingsablur

    everythingsablur Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 4, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    Thanks for doing the in-hand comparo! AF speed/accuracy and hand feel were the ultimate decisions for me to take the GF1 over the E-P2 (with build quality, speed, and control winning out over the E-PL1), but I've been interested in a second body for quite a while. The E-PL2 looks like a nice split between the E-P2 and E-PL2.

    As for the LCD, Olympus did increase the resolution to 460k, but if it looks the same to you it's possible they didn't clean up/upscale their UI. Shame really as it was never the prettiest to begin with (on any Olympus camera IMO, and I've had plenty over the last decade).
  3. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    I have done a hand to hand experience with my E-P1 and the E-PL2.

    Grip: E-PL2
    Screen: E-PL2 (better in brighter light, better resolution for manual focusing)
    Controls: E-P1. I love the thumbwheel.
    Build: E-P1, by a hair
    Weight: The E-PL2 feels much lighter than the E-P1. This could be simply because the grip distributes the weight better and makes it easier for me to hold. I think the E-PL2 could take a longer lens easier because of it. However, if I just slap the 17mm, the E-P1 is slimmer in profile.

    So, I agree with the original comments, except for the screen. The E-PL2 has a better screen.
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