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Thread: Field Test: Olympus EPL-2 by nightwolf75

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Field Test: Olympus EPL-2 by nightwolf75

    like some of the mods here, i was kindly provided a Olympus EPL-2 to play around with for this past week. first of the bat - i am not an olympus user, strangely enough for a gear-head. i very briefly owned a E330 many many moons ago simply because i was keen to play with the 25mm/f2.8 pancake lens. but it was a brief experiment cos i wasn't entirely happy with the images and ergonomics of the camera.

    reason why i wanted to play with the EPL-2 is to see if it can be a good backup to my DSLR. i wanted to see if the EPL-2 can replace my current panasonic LX5 (which, while a fantastic camera, i am not entirely happy with the colour rendition in images).

    short version - almost.. but no cigar.

    see the difference in sizes?





    granted the EPL-2 is a m4/3 DSLR while the LX5 is a PnS. but, in my book (you can flame me if you want, all you fanbois), the EPL-2 is a high-end PnS with interchangeable lens. it is not a DSLR per se - it can't match the speed of the DSLR in AF and fps, among others. the EPL-2 is certainly compact and light. but, as a "slip into your pocket" kind of camera, it is not unless there is a smaller zoom lens available. yah... unrealistic, i know.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus EPL-2

    after a week of playing ard with it, i must say that the EPL-2 does kick the LX5's butt when it comes to nature-light shooting. it does benefit from the bigger sensor and the noise control is pretty good. during this week, i used the camera as i would with any PnS - shooting my kids at home sans flash. i can say that, up to ISO1600, it is actually pretty usable up to 4R prints.

    (ISO3200)

    (ISO1600)

    (ISO1000)

    however, there is a catch - you need to play around with the camera picture control settings (NOT the Art filters) to get the best results. for the first couple of days, i got pretty muddy-looking pictures with smeared colours at high ISOs. it was after some experimentation that i finally figured out what worked for me. so, some of the novice users might want to experiment yourself to find out what worked for you if you encounter the same problem.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus EPL-2

    in ed9119's thread, gooseberry was asking about the ability to show greens? i don't know if this is wat he meant? this was taken with the camera mounted on a tripod.

    (click on image for original size pic)

    the kit lens itself is pretty ok for general shooting. in fact, i think most users will be using it 90% of the time. it is certainly sharp enough for most purposes, quite flare resistant and it does pretty decent close-up shots.





    (shooting into the sun)

    those who want to have a look at the HD video capability, please go . i can't embed the video.

    i won't repeat the excellent work by some CSers who have already extensively reviewed their EPL-2, especially on the Art filters. they are fun to use, and i can already see it being the favourite among the facebook crowd. the catch is that it SLOWS down the camera as it has to edit all the info into the memory card. so, IMO, use it for non-critical shooting as it cannot take the next shot when writing all the info into the memory card.

    overall, the EPL-2 is a pretty good camera for the novice user moving up from the PnS crowd. the learning gap is not as steep as a full-fledged DSLR, and it has enough bells-and-whistles to satisfy the learning needs. but, it is NOT a DSLR. it won't do fast shots and certainly not clean high-ISO shots that we are so used to in DSLRs. advance users might be quite frustrated by the menu diving (a carry-on from the previous EPL-1?) just to change settings. advance users might be better off with the EP-2, or other m4/3 offerings, if they desire a small back-up camera.

    if you want something even smaller, then look at the advance PnS for those 'in pocket' kind of camera.

    you can download the original images here.
    Last edited by nightwolf75; 6th February 2011 at 12:05 AM.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

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    Senior Member ricleo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus EPL-2

    Quote Originally Posted by nightwolf75 View Post
    however, there is a catch - you need to play around with the camera picture control settings (NOT the Art filters) to get the best results. for the first couple of days, i got pretty muddy-looking pictures with smeared colours at high ISOs. it was after some experimentation that i finally figured out what worked for me. so, some of the novice users might want to experiment yourself to find out what worked for you if you encounter the same problem.
    share some of your settings if possible for what worked for you? I too find the images lacking contrast, so have been upping the contrast in the picture control settings in most of the modes i use.
    A7R3|V12|V15|FE28|MS17|MS35|MS50|50lux|50C|50Artis an|FD85L|FE85|90 cron|
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    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus EPL-2

    Quote Originally Posted by ricleo View Post
    share some of your settings if possible for what worked for you? I too find the images lacking contrast, so have been upping the contrast in the picture control settings in most of the modes i use.
    stupid as it might sound - shoot with lots of lights helps a great deal. i noticed when i shoot in my dinning area with 1 row of overhead lights (out of 3), the pics tend to smear even if the exposure is spot-on. i thot i had under-exposed my pics but they were not. in the end, i used 'natural' setting and +1 contrast for most pics. i suspect it smears cos of the bleeding of colours from the light to dark areas.

    firmware issue? i am not sure. probably the problem is with me.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

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    Senior Member ricleo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Field Test: Olympus EPL-2 by nightwolf75

    Quote Originally Posted by nightwolf75 View Post
    reason why i wanted to play with the EPL-2 is to see if it can be a good backup to my DSLR. i wanted to see if the EPL-2 can replace my current panasonic LX5 (which, while a fantastic camera, i am not entirely happy with the colour rendition in images).

    the EPL-2 is certainly compact and light. but, as a "slip into your pocket" kind of camera, it is not unless there is a smaller zoom lens available. yah... unrealistic, i know.
    Ha nightwolf, you can consider the xz-1, got it together with the epl-2, must say that i have been using it more then the epl-2. Image quality sure beats the LX5, and oly colors are nice on the xz-1 too
    A7R3|V12|V15|FE28|MS17|MS35|MS50|50lux|50C|50Artis an|FD85L|FE85|90 cron|
    Σ24|35L|Σ50|135L|70-200G2

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