Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Some E-PL2 Observations

E3177553
Some observations about the Olympus E-PL2.
  • When used with the Lumix 1:2.5/14mm, it is extremely quiet. No aperture chatter, no focus noise. The only other lenses this quiet are the M.Zuiko 45mm, 14-42mm II, and the 40-150mm II R. Even the Lunux 1:1.7/20mm isn't this quite (aperture chatter), and the M.Zuiko 1:2.8/17mm is the noisiest (aperture chatter, focus motor noise). What I've noticed about the 14mm is that it appears to have internal focusing like the three Olympus MSC lenses I have. It also seems to have benefited from yesterday's firmware upgrade which was intended to make it focus quieter on Panasonic cameras.
  • When I put the E-PL2 in an aspect ratio other than 4:3 and it's saving Raw stills, the Raw files are saved in the "true" or "proper" aspect ratio. With the other two Pens (E-P2 and E-PL1) Raws are always saved 4:3, with metadata saved with the Raw for Olympus' post processing software to read and produce JPEGs in the "proper" aspect ratio. This metadata was always ignored by Lightroom.
  • When I put the E-PL2 in an art filter mode and I'm only shooting Raw, the E-PL2 will automatically save the image as both Raw and JPEG. The older Pens would not do this.
  • I can select an art filter from live control (what some refer to as super menu). The art filters start after the custom selection of the picture mode. If you want to adjust an art filter or add a border, you have to put the E-PL2 in explicit art filter mode via the mode dial.
  • The E-PL2 can use SDXC cards like the E-P3 and E-M5. The latest firmware upgrade "stabilises" the use of SDXC cards greater than 48GB. I have a pair of Sandisk 64GB SDXC cards I picked up heavily discounted from B&H earlier this year when I planned on pre-ordering the E-M5. Think I'll give one of them a whirl in the E-PL2.
Overall the E-PL2 is small, highly responsive, and seems to be the fastest of the three Pens, especially with the Olympus MSC lenses. With the Lumix 14mm mounted it just looks wildly handsome.

Technical

I was too tired/lazy, so I shot with the E-3 in Raw + JPEG and just took the JPEG straight out of the camera. I used an FL50R with a Flashbender wrapped over it as a snoot. I sat the E-PL2 in front of the flash on my Nook Tablet leather cover on the dining room table. Kirk Tuck is right (as usual): pre-processing with light always beats post-processing with Lightroom.

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