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Looking back on the E-P2

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Lawrence A., Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    Because good cameras remain good cameras, I thought I'd say a few words about the "slow, high iso challenged, noisy, cramped dynamic range" E-P2. As it was my favorite digital camera until the E-M5 came along and is still a camera I use as a second m4/3 body, I wanted to say a few kind things about it.

    First off, though much slower to focus than later models with more up to date lenses, the E-P2 served me quite well doing street shooting on my trip last year. "Slow" is a relative term, and even with the original iteration of the kit lens it was fast enough. With the Pannie 20mm f1.7, another piece of hardware called "slow" to focus, I did a considerable amount of night time street shooting with it without significant problems. The E-M5 is blazingly fast in comparison, but we sometimes make the mistake of thinking older, slower hardware is now unusable, or would only be used by a penurious fool, to cheap, too poor, or too foolish to buy something better. Not true.

    As for the iso myth that anything beyond iso 400 was unusable, I just did not find it true. I used the camera without hesitation up to 1250 iso and got good shots at 1600. They might have needed a little extra post-processing, but they were hardly unusable. Here are a couple of samples:

    At iso 1600, Peggy is as beautiful and silly as ever:
    PA142101copy.jpg

    At 400 at the State Fair it worked well. In fact I rarely had to use it above 400 for well lit night time shots.
    P9231793.jpg

    The gorgeous fish (the fish not the photo), shot at iso 640, does not seem to suffer unduly from noise:
    PA212287_cc_cropped_copy.jpg

    None of these are straight from the camera jpegs, and I frankly forget what treatment I gave them. For me, at least, that is not important. I'm interested in the data a camera can give me to turn into a photo; I don't use OOC jpegs, but I recognize that those who do will find the newer cameras even more wonderful.

    I'm not suggesting that I'd give up my E-M5 to keep the E-P2; the newer camera is in some ways a dream machine for me, beside which the older machine pales. But the E-P2 was and is a quite useable camera capable of producing high quality shots, even if my examples do not rise to that level.
     
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  2. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    I agree the ISO 1600 is fine, and as processing develops so the noisy backgrounds get easier to sort out.
    The e-P2 is the only solid, thumbwheel-equipped ISO100 Jpeg model from Olympus.
    Personally I find this important.
     
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  3. BobBill

    BobBill Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Dec 29, 2010
    MN USA
    Bob Hively-Johnson
    +1 Lawrence and Ulfric.

    Nothing wrong with the EP-2...

    A few added features are fine, but often unnecessary. As a matter of fact, most go unnoticed or unused.

    I have a GX-1 also. I think it has a much better interface, but is not as good a tool generally, still, I use both as the whim takes me and arrive at the same point, regardless.

    Digital remains a tough transition for me. I liked the artistic simplicity of my Nikon 3s.

    Lots of digital in-camera bells and whistles to learn, instead of practiced darkroom wizardry, which is more art than knowledge, you get my drift.

    Maybe that is why gadgetry does not impress.
     
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  4. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    Hi BobBill: I find I use my digital cameras much like I used my film cameras, shooting either in manual mode or in aperture priority, usually the former, not because I'm a stubborn reactionary, but because it's how I like to work. My main 35mm camera was (and is) an OM-1, a fully mechanical machine that needed batteries only for the meter, and which is fully operational for taking pictures without them.

    I enjoy the craft of the darkroom too -- choosing a developer, two bath development, compensating development, choosing the paper for the image, developing by factors, etc. Working with graded fiber papers to get just what you want is a very satisfying endeavor. It's why I shoot raw in digital and "develop" my digital negative in Lightroom, then make a "print" in Photoshop. I like the control, and I like the process of taking information on the photosensitive medium and working it to my taste. It's not a wet darkroom, but it does provide many of the same satisfactions, except I like being on my feet instead of sitting at a desk.

    I still shoot a fair amount of film, and have acquired a Bessa R rangefinder and (once again!) a Hasselblad in the past year. And I still use my OM-1.

    But I enjoy my E-M5 and the E-P2 and I did my E-300 and E-510. Lots to learn, but the challenge can be enjoyable!
     
  5. BobBill

    BobBill Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Dec 29, 2010
    MN USA
    Bob Hively-Johnson
    Lawrence. Interesting how we geniuses think alike. I do the same things. Sadly, I live in a small community and have to work a bit to obtain the chemicals and paper for dark work. It has been some time since I lit up my Kodak Florulite A (old 35mm press enlarger, with custom lensboard for a few Nikkors, that uses florescent illumination) but soon.

    I also just began playing other settings, besides Aperture Prioity and have my Nikon F3 here, but am slowly slipping away from it due to digital (filmless) convenience. I also have many many negatives I have not put on paper.

    We are doing the same things, in different places, together.
     
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  6. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
  7. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    523
    Sep 5, 2010
    E-p2, is my only camera. Always gets it done, better than I expect, when I do my part. But being an equipaholic, I catch myself "rubber-necking", looking for the next "perfect" photo machine. Meanwhile, the trusty E-p2, fits my hand just right. (I do wish for a top left corner VF)
     
  8. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    What, no love for the original, the ep1 :)
     
  9. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    523
    Sep 5, 2010
    Had the E-p1, but sold it. With my methods and goals, there is really not much difference. Both have served very well. I may eventually get another p1.
     
  10. BobBill

    BobBill Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Dec 29, 2010
    MN USA
    Bob Hively-Johnson
    Moi aussi-me too...re the EVF.

    Would have been the perfect pic machine, with internal EVF, so I keep it on all the time and use black rubber band to be sure it stays in place.

    As to the EP-1, cannot say, as I waited until EP-2 and have not used the 1.

    I will admit, however, that I use the Lumix 14-45 on the EP-2 always. The exceptions being my old Nikon lenses over bones adapter...I love the pics the old 105 Nikon non AF lens offers up.

    And, most of the pics end up B&W, though I take them in color. Have not figured out if I can go all green in camera.
     
  11. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    The E-P1 is a great little camera. I posted a b&w shot taken at 3200 with it on another thread to try to dispel the notion that it was useless at higher iso. I traded mine in for an E-P2 in order to use the VF2. Much as I wanted to be OK with the LCD only, I just find it an unnatural way to take pictures in most circumstances. I've used my E-P2 longer. It's my backup now, and I prefer the controls of the E-M5, with it's two top control wheels, but the E-P2 was my main shooter during a trip of a lifetime to Asia last year, and I have no reason to complain about my shots. It even handled street shots at night quite well. It's just a camera I've loved from the beginning, and which will become part of my permanent collection, like the slow, slow, slow but still rather capable C-5050Z, built like a tank (with an f1.8 zooms lens!) that I'll never part with.

    As for picture quality, I believe it is exactly the same between the two EP models.
     
  12. inuini2005

    inuini2005 Mu-43 Regular

    103
    Nov 17, 2011
    They are both good indeed.

    The EP2 feels more solid and the PEN styling and paint job is way better. The chrome is really nice. If someday the generations of the OMD gets the look of the real OM film series, I will definitely get a new one! The EM5 is good but when you put it next to the OM1, it seems to be too short, I expect the body to be wider. Anyways the OM is a true legendary camera and I always adore mine.
    The focusing speed is slow compared with EM5 but that depends on the lens as well. If you put the 12mm F2 on it can be quite speedy too.

    I also find the digital rendering of the EP2 more natural than the EM5. It seems like after you take a shot with the EM5, there would be a slight adjustment itself on screen, I am not sure if anybody has the same feeling.

    I now tend to carry the EM5 with me, but my EP2 sits on my glass cupboard and within each week I try to attach some lenses on it and enjoy my very first EVIL camera!

    Cheers!
     

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  13. BobBill

    BobBill Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Dec 29, 2010
    MN USA
    Bob Hively-Johnson
    Evil camera. I like that...evil...
     
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