More Fun with the Olympus E-P2!

Happy New Years Eve! It is almost 2010 and I can hardly believe it. Time is just flying by lately isn’t it? But hey, I am having a blast. Just yesterday I was out in the cold shooting with three pretty cool cameras: The Leica X1, the Nikon D3s, and the Olympus E-P2 with the basic kit zoom lens. All three cameras did great, but no joke, that D3s started to hurt my back after 2-3 hours of walking on the street with it strapped around me. I also did not feel comfortable with it and came to the conclusion that the D3 series of camera is best suited for pro use. It is NOT a casual grab-n-go, take everywhere camera.

On the other hand, the Leica X1 and Olympus E-P2 are take anywhere cameras and both of these are terrific tools for a photographer who wants to keep it light, but keep the quality fantastic (especially with the X1). But tonight I wanted to post more samples from the E-P2 because it was so fun to shoot today. My wife also shot it (it is actually HER camera), and she also had loads of fun with it. She was really digging the grainy film art filter and this is one of the cool things I love about this camera. Even if you are new to digital cameras, the E-P2 can give you great results in IAuto mode or if you want to get more creative, you can set one of the art filters up for some fun and surprisingly good results!

I am enjoying this little camera and plan to review some of the m4/3 lenses really soon. I think an E-P2 (or Panny GF1) with a 7-14, 20 1.7, 45 MACRO 2.8
and a tele, like the cheap 45-200, would be a great lightweight kit. The main draw to this camera though, for me, is the fun factor. While it may not give you Leica M9 file quality, it is very impressive for its size and cost. I actually preferred shooting the E-P2 to the Nikon D3s today, so that has to say something! My M9 has also been getting a short break today!

Anyway, enough of my rambling. On to some images!

While out today with my wife (she was driving) I snapped this one from the car window using the “pinhole” art filter. I converted this to B&W in CS4.


One thing I have been wanting to try with the E-P2 is to get that miniaturization effect of the DIORAMA Art filter. From up in my hotel room, I snapped a few shots and whatta ya know, this mode works as advertised. Check out how the cars look like miniatures! Very cool!



So while the effect is pretty cool, I do not really see myself using this mode very often. Still, it’s nice to have it available. While in the room, my wife took the camera and shot off a few in the grainy film mode. Here I am framing a shot through the window of the 15th floor at our hotel.


I do not look so happy here and I am not sure why. I was actually having a blast.


Here is one she took and I really liked the way this captured the snow falling and blowing with the John Hancock building in the background.


What I also like about these is that they are at ISO 1600, but have the look of film in many ways. The contrast and grain are great. After a few minutes. she wanted to give the Nikon D3s a spin…


and finally, just before dinner, I shot this in pinhole mode and converted to B&W


After these shot,s we went out to get some dinner and I brought the D3s, but we left the E-P2 in the room. By the time we got back to the room, I wished we would have brought the E-P2 and X1 instead because the D3s I did bring was pretty heavy. I did manage to get some decent night shots with the big Nikon, but it is not a camera that I could bond with long-term, like my Leica M9, and even this E-P2 and Leica X1.

I strongly feel there is a change a comin’ in the camera world and we will soon see more and more small and light bodies with larger and higher quality sensors. I know so many people are looking for a small camera solution, but in the past there were always quality compromises. It’s getting closer to the day where you will be able to buy an E-P2, G-F1, or X1-type camera with NO compromises. The next few years should be fun in the digital camera world and I can not wait to see what is next. 2010 should be a pretty interesting year.

I have had a few people asking me to compare the E-P2 with the Panny GF1. I do not currently have a GF1 here, but may be able to get one soon. If so, I will do some side-by-side stuff of the same subject, tripod mounted, etc. I am curious as well, as I never even had the E-P1 and GF1 side-by-side.

BTW, the Olympus E-P1 prices have been slashed. You can now pick up a SILVER E-P1 with Kit Zoom (same one I used for these images) for $673 at B&H Photo. The E-P1 has the same body, and same image quality as the E-P2 and it is currently $300+ less expensive than the E-P2, but you do not get the EVF with the E-P1. Still, great buy! Check it at the B&H site HERE if you like.

Thanks for reading/looking and stay safe!


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  1. I stumbled upon your site as I was looking for reviews on the E-P2. I just got my camera today and while im waiting for the battery to charge up, i’m reading all your positive remarks on the camera. I am dying to get out and take some photos. I do have a question for you though, and it was hard for me to find an answer online, but how well does the E-P2 perform in very low-light situations? I would like to get out and get some pictures of the stars, and i was just wondering if that was possible with the E-P2. Novice photographer here.

    I enjoy your reviews very much, thanks!!

  2. Hey Suraj!

    It’s not an easy choice but it can be easy. Just sit down and figure out which sounds better to you:

    E-P2 – Better EVF (and its included), ART filters and better movie mode (manual operation).

    GF1 – Better LCD, faster AF and comes with 20 1.7 as a kit but EVF is extra.

    Still stuck? Which body “speaks” to you more? Go with your heart. Either one is wonderful.

  3. hello!

    love your reviews.
    I am actually relying on your reviews for a buying decision. i cannot decide wether to purchace the Panasonic Lumix GF1 or the Olympus E-P2. From your reviews both have their pros and cons and i cannot afford a Leica or i would have already made my decision. Gf-1 with the 20 1.7 sounds the most attractive and is also in my price range……

    (from Bangalore, India)

    ps- keep up the good work 🙂

  4. Steve,

    Thanks for bring up so many great stuffs. I suppose you’ve already known that M lenses (and actually most lenses) could be used on the M 4/3 bodies with an adapter ring. Here is a related question: How accurate is the manual focus through EVF?

    Thanks again and Happy New Year!


  5. Hi Steve,

    Love to read your reviews.

    Have a question and maybe I am to fast while you still are buisy preparing your X1 review.
    I had a D-LUX4 (just sold it) and I am considering buying a PEN E-P2, GF1 or X1. The PEN with another brand lens (Panasonic) or the X1?
    De new one really should be better than the D-LUX4.
    Which one would you suggest is far out the best?

    Kind regards, Ronald

  6. I’m most curious about the AF speed between the GF1 vs EP2 and the interface, which camera is easier/faster to shoot with (in manual)?

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