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Olympus PEN E-P2


Before introducing the camera it’s worth having a look at the PEN camera range.
The PEN, developed by legendary Olympus designer Yoshihisa Maitani, was first introduced in 1959. The camera gained popularity quickly and spread on the market: - 17 million items were sold altogether. Its success is mainly due to its attractive design and compactness. Now a big jump forward in time. In June 2009 Olympus announced the first ever digital E-P1, then in November came E-P2 and in February 2010 the E-PL1 appeared as the third cam in this standard.
Photo: © Tamás Imre

Being the biggest in the Olympus PEN range, E-P2 targets both beginners and advanced users. The new apparatus will be known as the tiniest and lightest digital camera with replaceable objective lens and due to the striking aspect of being easily portable, it might become widely popular. The E-P2 suits into particularly all bags – a small portmanteau or a lady’s purse – but still provides the user with all the options that a digicam with replaceable objectives can have. This is why it can be a worthy partner for travellers, hikers and portrait photographers but don1t forget about those who appreciate portability, unparallel design, excellent performance and unbelievable price-quality ratio.
The E-P2 proves that whatever knowledge the photographer might have, good quality photos are guaranteed.
The customer can choose from several exposure control programs. The automatic, semi automatic and manual functions allow for a wide range of choice. The high-performance 12,u megapixel Live MOS sensor provides appropriate resolution to take sharp and detailed pictures. It is supported by a TruePic V image processor that guarantees extremely life-like image reproduction while decreasing noise and enhancing processing speed. Further, E-P2 cams are equipped with a pioneering dust-protection solution, Olympus’ Supersonic Wave Filter system.
Due to the constant live image function, the user can compose the pictures on a 3.0” HyperCrystal LCD screen that provides 100 % field of vision and allows for the easy setting of contrast, brightness and colour. Thanks to the perfect LCD, settings made on the camera such as exposure, white balance, tone and the picture mode effects can be checked direct from the screen. The E-P2 applies a contrast – AF system that allows a more convenient focus and on the top of that, using the new AF tracking system even motions can be composed directly on the screen.
The first PEN cams received much criticism as photos could not have been taken through viewfinder, but this problem has been eliminated by an electronic view finder. While testing I got caught by the multiexpo option and that I could choose sensitivity from a range of ISO 100 to ISO 6400.
Photo: © Tamás Imre

I got the PEN E-P2 and went to capture the details of the National Theatre. I exploited the lightness and compactness of the camera, I felt like travelling as a tourist, cheerful I took pictures with the camera held up in front of me. It was a little weird for me but I soon caught the spirit. I took pictures with various ISO settings that left for the city centre, the underpass in Nyugati Square where I took portraits in rather poor lighting conditions.
In my experience the PEN can be used very easily and with much creativity further, the LCD in the back makes composing easy. As the camera’s objectives provided less chance for teleobjective photography I took the E-system’s objectives to the test but they didn’t work properly with the AF.
After all I can say that it has been fun to work with this light camera compared to the stone heavy DSLR I’ve been used to.
The camera is capable for HD video recording, too. The AVI motion pictures are made at 30 images per minute, in 1280x720 pixels and with a stunning PCM sound quality. Above the distinguished resolution and PCM sound quality, the PEN provides motion picture experience. In one session a maximum seven-minute video can be recorded. Also, several other functions are available to video recording that are normally used with photography such as artsitic filters, DOF, view angle and AF tracking functions. Something new is filming in M-mode, which helps realise creative ideas. Furthermore, as filming is possible with each and every objective, the possibilities of themes and compositions are virtually infinite. In addition, freeze frames can be shot by pushing a single button while shooting a film.
Photo: © Tamás Imre

To sum up

The new Olympus E-P2 is a compact, easy-to-use 12,5 megapixel digital camera with 4:3 ratio and replaceable objective. It is suitable for capturing travelling moments, portraits as well as simpler macros and landscapes.
The E-P2 camera was provided by Olympus Hungary.
Text and photos: Tamás Imre
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