This is a none technical review of the new Olympus E-PL2. This review will be based on my previous experience with the first PEN, the Olympus E-P1.
The design of the E-PL2, like the E-PL1, is unique in the PEN family. It looks similar to the E-PL1 but it is more curved that the E-PL1. The grip has been redesigned in a way that it isnít a sudden bump but somewhat resembles a gentle slope which so far has been a joy to use, even with hands my size, it doesnít feel uncomfortable. This camera may lack the retro look of the E-P1 and E-P2, but it still has its own beauty to it. Comes in 4 colors. Black, silver, red and white. Thereís a tiny LED light used for self timer countdown.
The on/off button has been refined, it is now long, thin and recessed into the body and placed within reach of my index finger behind the shutter button. Unlike previous models which are circular in shape and a slight distance away except the E-PL1. The built in flash of the Olympus E-PL2 is similar to the E-PL1. Also being able to control 3 groups of wireless flashes. The shutter release button is bigger compared to the E-PL1.
This camera has more or less all the features and technologies of the older models as well as having new ones not found on any other PEN at the moment.
Like the E-P1 and the E-P2, it sports a large 3Ē screen unlike the E-PL1 which has a 2.7Ē screen. Unlike the previously mentioned models, it has a piece of tough plastic protecting the screen which gives more confidence in using the camera without fear of the actual screen underneath being scratched.
It has a data port like the E-PL1 and E-P2 but the one on the E-PL2 is the generation 2 version. Using this port, it is able to use accessories such as the new bluetooth PENPAL and the Macro Arm Lights. In addition to these 2, it can use existing accessories ie the stereo mic input as well as the electronic viewfinder. Like the E-PL1, it has a dedicated video recording button which is a very convenient way to start recording when in any of the still image mode. Rather than having to turn the dial to video model, simply press the record button.
The E-PL2 has the same dial as the E-P1 and E-P2 though it only has one. Coming from the E-P1, it was a little bit difficult to change aperture and shutter speed but itís easier than pressing buttons like the E-PL1. The advance menu setting by default is hidden so it requires to be shown before advance settings can be changed. Which is not really a deal breaker since the E-PL2 is considered as an entry level PEN. Having the menus shown might create unnecessary problems to new comers should they accidentally change settings.
The lack of a dedicated AEL/AFL button is no cause for alarm as you can simply program the FN button to work as one. As well as programming the other buttons to suit your needs. I left mine as default with the FN working as an AEL/AFL button. The lack of an exposure compensation button caught me off guard but I eventually got used to using the dial instead.
The buttons have changed slightly from the E-PL1 with the layout being similar to the E-P1 and E-P2.
The bottom is where door to the battery and memory card is located. With the new camera comes a new battery. The the old batteries can still be used though. The E-PL2 uses SD cards. Unlike the previous PENs, which takes SDHC, the E-PL2 is the first to take SDXC.