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Thread: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

  1. #1

    Default E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    Hi everyone, I just purchased E-PM2 for my wife as Vday gift and just want to do a short, non professional review of this camera to share with fellow Clubsnappers.

    Due to work I probably need some time to do a thorough review, so if you are interested in my review I hope you will be patient with the progress.

    Last but not least this review is mainly targeted at photographers who wish to upgrade from a point and shoot (that's where my wife falls into) and a simple system to serve more advanced users during casual shoots.

  2. #2

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    Mirrorless cameras have grown at a very fast speed, with new models being introduced probably a year or less. Basically I am looking for a camera that produces good image quality from a usual pns, as my wife complains about her Fujifilm F200EXR's noise at high ISO.

    I was looking at mirrorless systems due to their size and I didn't want to spend too much money on a system too as it is just used for casual shots.

    I had shortlisted 2 models due to being 'mini': Panasonic GM1 and EPM2. EPM2 may be a older model but judging by the price ($349 from Qoo10) vs $800+ and above for GM1, I decided to go for EPM2 as I believe it will be more worthy per dollar. Also I have read great reviews of the EM5 sensor so EPM2 will probably be bang for bucks in IQ.

    Some introductory photos:
    It comes with 14-42 kit lens and a mini external flash as there is no popup flash to save space.


    When flash and lens are equipped with lens in 'locked' mode.


    A comparison with Samsung S3. Sorry for a little misalignment

    It is quite pleasant to have a grip in front as it really makes me feel secure holding on to the body. The body and kit lens feel plastic but it is light too. I am alright with it due to the price and all one needs is to be careful with the equipment.
    Last edited by gundamseed84; 24th February 2014 at 01:09 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    rear view
    The number of buttons are around the same as one would find in a pns. Sufficient for general purpose but probably not enough for advanced users who want to tweak with settings without looking at the lcd screen. However I feel the "INFO" button is a little redundant as you can always view the basic information when you review the photo. Even for slightly more advanced user I don't really look at histogram. Hence if this button is replaced with ISO setting it would probably make it nicer for me.

    The buttons and dial are kinda small but no major problem for a user of my size (1.73m 80+kg).

    Top view
    One can customise "Fn" button such as ISO setting but I would prefer ISO to be at the rear than at the top. External hotshoe slot for flash or EVF is available.

    Bottom view

    The cover for battery and SD card is quite filmsy. And the cover does not auto lock when you close it. You have to push the lever to close it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    side view: hdmi and usb port


    Length of lens when it is in 'unlocked' mode


    Menu mode by pressing "Menu button"
    To keep the size down, EPM2 has lost a mode dial on top so one has to access the modes through the Menu Button. Personally it is not too bad as most of the time I will just choose Aperture Priority mode and shoot. I believe this is fine with beginners also as in majority of the situations they probably do not need to switch from Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority mode very often and at the quickest time. The SETUP sub-menu is for adjustment such as time/ date, memory card etc.

    Another menu through centre "OK" button
    This menu mainly deals with image settings such as ISO, White balance, AF mode etc.
    It takes a little used to it as at the beginning I thought they were located at the "MENU" button instead of the "OK" button. The four buttons surrounding the dials are Exposure Compensation, Flash, Timer and Frame rate, AF points.
    Last edited by gundamseed84; 24th February 2014 at 01:42 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    AF points
    There are 35 AF points for you to choose. The AF points cover the majority of the screen and the size of each point is reasonable, though smaller would be better for tiny objects.


    The good thing about EPM2 is the touch screen which allows you autofocus like by simply touch the region you want it to focus. There are 2 modes for "touch screen AF": One is to touch and just focus, you have to press the shutter button to snap the shot. The other mode is touch and focus with immediate shot taken. I kinda like the second mode as it is very useful when you only have split seconds to take a shot, and using this mode is faster than using mobile phone. Of course the risk is that you cannot check if the system focuses correctly before shooting, but sometimes by the time you check the photo opportunity is gone. You can adjust the two modes via a touch screen button or simply shut the touch screen mode off.

    The AF speed is really really fast for single shot AF. I believe it is faster than my Canon 6D under good lighting conditions. AF is generally accurate but it is not known if accuracy is as good as 6D as more testing has to be done. Below is just a very simple demo of the "touch af". The writing speed is kinda slow if you use a normal class 4 SD card, probably you need class 10 card such as Sandisk Extreme.

    A simple test of af under shadow


    I have manually adjusted the lens so that it is at the exteme end of out of focus.

    A quick video on af
    Last edited by gundamseed84; 24th February 2014 at 07:53 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    Comments on continuous AF:

    1) I tested it out at a swinging pedal at a workout station. Took 3 burst shots as shown below:




    Not sure what is considered as good continuous AF speed but I think for E-PM2 it's probably not too good for moving objects. Horizontal panning should be ok because the change in the focal plane distance is not as drastic as an object moving towards / away from you.

    2) Took a very short video of a kid sliding down. Seems smooth and fast enough.
    Last edited by gundamseed84; 25th February 2014 at 06:14 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    ISO performance (RAW converted to JPEG)
    No adjustment done, except conversion of format and adjustment of alignment. Taken using 14-42 kit lens, at f8. Apologies for ISO 200 shots as there seems to be some blur by accident. However this is mainly to test the noise level rather than sharpness of the kit lens.

    ISO 200



    ISO 400

    Last edited by gundamseed84; 24th February 2014 at 01:59 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    ISO 800



    ISO 1600

    Last edited by gundamseed84; 24th February 2014 at 02:00 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    ISO 3200




    ISO 6400


  10. #10

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    ISO 12800


    I did not bother testing ISO25600 as personally I would not even use ISO12800 for normal purpose unless emergency situations.

    General comments: I will be very comfortable with using up to ISO3200. ISO6400 is alright for web uploads and when I would be happy to trade some noise with motion blur. But honestly if you don't pixel peep ISO 6400 is fine too and ISO 12800 is also "ok" if we just want to post some photo online whereby IQ isn't that important, such as showing the world the movie tickets you bought through facebook, etc.

  11. #11

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    Below are ISO shots of OOC Jpeg.

    ISO 200



    ISO 400

    Last edited by gundamseed84; 24th February 2014 at 07:56 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist


    ISO 800




    ISO 1600

    Last edited by gundamseed84; 24th February 2014 at 07:59 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    ISO 3200



    ISO 6400

    Last edited by gundamseed84; 24th February 2014 at 08:00 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    ISO 12800

    Last edited by gundamseed84; 24th February 2014 at 08:01 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    Some actual field test with kit lens

    F5.2 ISO 800 70mm(35mm terms) 1/20s
    RAW converted to Jpeg no processing
    Neutral colour setting
    Last edited by gundamseed84; 25th February 2014 at 06:15 PM.

  16. #16
    Moderator keithwee's Avatar
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    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    thanks for doing this up. EPM reviews aren't easy to find. and , nice color for the body

  17. #17

    Default Re: E-PM2 review by a hobbyist

    Some more sample shots after I went for a short jog
    All photos are OOC, no editing except for some cropping







    Grainy film filter


    Pinhole filter


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