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New member, New Camera (E-PM2). Anything I should know?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Evan614, May 6, 2014.

  1. Evan614

    Evan614 Mu-43 Regular

    May 6, 2014
    I have been eyeing a mirrorless cameras for a while but I finally pulled the trigger when ebay (flea-bay) had a daily deal of $199 w/ free shipping (USA) from newegg.
    wow a what a great deal.:smile: E-PM2 with 14-42mm lens (yeah standard kit lens)
    I have not put in the SD card yet. (looking for a spare one I would want to use) Last night; white balance looked a little off but I have not written an image yet, to know.

    With that aside. What things should I know about Oly's PEN line or specifically this line? what are little known short comings in design? Or little known tips or tricks to get the most out of this camera? (yes I plan to read the board more but some of those great posts (if they exist) are so old they may be buried)

    I just purchased a hot shoe to PC sync adapter so I can connect my strobe. At this point my main use will be inside studio shots of still items.

    Other thing(s): why does Oly make so many different PEN models (actively sold by suppliers) of such a similar camera? seems a bit confusing when trying to a side-by-side comparison. I would think two on the market at the time is plenty. Does the P vs PM vs PL have some distinction? ie M has xyz and L lacks abc plus does the numbers mean anything 5 vs 2 vs 6. seems like a 2 and 5 came out at the same time (Oct 2012)

    What software should I use to convert my RAW? looks like OV3 is free. Seems like they charge for Studio. I have not bothered to look on the dics, they included, for the fear of getting too much junk auto installed on my computer. (I had that with my last Oly )

    Thanks, in advance, for answering newbie question
  2. Timmy

    Timmy Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 3, 2013
    Wiltshire - UK
    Welcome & congrats on your new PEN! The 14-42 is a great lens.

    A couple of quick tips:

    - try turning "keep warm colours" off for better WB
    - Turn on the advanced menu, then turn on the "super control panel"
    - If shooting jpeg, I'd suggest turning noise filter to LOW or even OFF as the noise reduct can be a little aggressive
    - read the manual and get to know the settings buried in the camera
    - A couple of settings to experiment with as you get to know your camera are "anti-shock" and "IBIS" - these can affect the sharpness of your photos in certain conditions - do a forum search and you'll find plenty of threads on this topic here

    There is a long thread with more PM2 tips here: https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=62015

    I don't fully understand the Oly nomenclature either - believe the "L" means "light" / cut-down version (something like that) - but it is confusing as your PM2 has a much better sensor than my e-PL3 even though the series number is higher.

    In terms of RAW conversion, OV3 does an great job of conversion, although ultimately I ended up buying something like Adobe Lightroom as the workflow is so quick and I like to do a lot of post-processing.
  3. Kwekwe

    Kwekwe Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 17, 2014
    Gravesend Brooklyn NY
    If you are running Linux there's an open source combo of GIMP and Darktable that should let you edit raw images and costs nothing
  4. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    I'd recommend lightroom--it did a lot to help ME, at least.

    The confusion is that the PMs came out a lot later in time than the EP and EPL lines. My EPL2 I think is about the same generation as the EP2, while the EPM1 (I believe) was equal with the EP3.

    From my understanding, your PM has fewer physical controls than the other models but is smaller and more portable. I believe you can do most of what the other cameras can do in the menus though.
  5. kirschm

    kirschm Mu-43 Regular

    May 4, 2014
    This camera deserves shooting RAW... so simply forget all settings-tipps that relate to shooting JPG... which are roughly 90% of all Settings...
  6. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    Great suggestions! SCP is my #1. Sometimes I like keep warm colors, sometimes I don't, its good to play with it. I usually have it off and adjust auto WB to be slightly warm.

    I think you should shoot RAW, then play with OV3 to find settings you like as far as color, sharpness, contrast and WB, then push those changes back to the camera setting and shoot JPEG. Shoot all raw is a leftover idea from the days over cameras with crappy jpeg engines. Oly's excel at JPEGs.
  7. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    PM - "Pen Mini"....EPM-2 has latest sensor
    PL - "Pen Lite".....EPL-5 has the latest sensor
    P - "Pen"......EP5 has the latest sensor.

    Main different with Mini and Lite is the Lite adds a tilt-able LCD and one extra dial. The last is less of an issue because of the touch screens (previous versions did not have touch screens).
  8. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    PS EPM-2 has the same sensor as the OMD EM-5 and EM-10 and is one if the best currently available in m4/3. Enjoy your new camera:) :) 
  9. Evan614

    Evan614 Mu-43 Regular

    May 6, 2014
    Thank you for the feedback.
    I have changed the suggested settings, a few of you have posted about. Hardest part was realizing I needed to set the camera in P (ie no longer in iAUTO) before everything was available to me. presently shooting in M mode. I still haven't figured out how to get SCP to pop up. need to read more.

    I have CS5.5 I will look and see if my ACR handles these RAW files. I have other work a-rounds, if I skip the OV3. I have an older version of Lightroom hanging around but I think I'll hold off from installing it.

    I quickly noticed:
    1)I can tap the screen to take the photo. wow that is a new experience for me. I wonder if, where you tap also becomes the focus spot. I switched the camera over to where I tap is where it focuses (since auto focus seems to be doing an amazing job). I could not be happier.
    2) The playback screen is brighter than the image really is. I will need to calibrate this closer so I don't judge the playback as the end results. I had the same problem with my Sony WX300. I never had this issue with any DSLRs I owned.
    3) A small gripe I have with this camera along with many camera makers. SD card door is on bottom. Arg :frown: I dislike this. For anyone that mounts on a tripod with a plate. This makes it difficult and cumbersome to get to your SD card. :frown:
    4) kit lens may be 'slow' but with strobe I can shoot at ISO 200 no problems. I think I am around f/9, right now.
    5) Looks like camera can sync to a flash up to 1/250.(based on owner's manual and shots taken) Wow 7 years ago they would of laughed at you if you wanted a camera for under $400 that could do that.
    6) I think a larger lens on the front would make this camera awkward to carry around/ hold. I little too much weighted in front. Don't get me wrong it still is light!

    Am I right: I think I passively read that I can put a Panasonic lens on this camera.... and all functions should work?
    Any aftermarket grips for this body?

    So far the best $200 I spent, to date. (any camera in that price range with this size sensor with a hot shoe mount is :eek:  shockingly good. not even factoring in the removable lens aspect.) Those days of noisy Canon G10/11 images are gone. Funny thing, I sold it for more than I paid for this camera. :cool:  :thumbup:
  10. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    Yes and yes. The difference is that Olympus has image stabilization in the body and Pana has it in the lens. So, Oly body + Pana lens = image stabilization. Pana body + Oly lens = no image stabilization.
  11. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    1. Yes the camera should use the touch point for focusing (unless you have changed something from the default.

    2. You can adjust the brightness (and other settings) of the LCD - it's called the monitor in the manual.

    3. Some of higher cost m4/3 cameras have the slot on the side but the bottom is common to many of the smaller bodies.

    6. Some lenses P14 and P20, O25 and O45 handle really well on the small body.

    7. Yes you can use nearly all the Panasonic lenses (not 3D one).

    8 Lots of options for adding grips through third party half cases to full blown grips with arca Swiss plates in them.

    The sensor in the camera is capable of unbelievable shots (just have a look through some of the image sections) and more than good enough for publication.

    Welcome to the world of options that is m4/3.
  12. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    GIMP runs fine on Windows; I use it, and RawTherapee currently for RAW/ORF processing.
    LightZone runs on Windows too.

  13. rolfen

    rolfen Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 3, 2014
    Invest $15-20 in a proper class 10 fast card. I have a transcend ultra.
    This camera can shoot about 8fps... RAW, and is generally very responsive but all that needs a fast card.

    The interface on the camera is horrible (depends on your expectations, to be honest). You must have figured it out by now. Beware: setting ISO auto silently sets ISO to 200 in modes where ISO auto is not supported, that is Movie M and M (depending on your settings). Also the live preview and histogram are not reliable in some low light, and high contrast situations especially when using spot metering.

    I've found a bunch of other quirks.

    The bundled software is also painfully slow and generally a chore to use. I've replaced it by RawTherapee, although it doesn't seem to have a profile for the E-pm2. I'm using the one for E-M5 since it supposedly has same sensor.
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