Refinements to Micro Four Thirds show a system worth investing in.
Make Moving Pictures
You may be better off taking video of that soccer game, as the E-P2 can capture 1280x720p, AVI Motion JPEG video at 30 fps for up to 7 minutes. Sound is stereo, thanks to a pair of builtin microphones that straddle the Olympus logo above the lens. If you want to use an external stereo mic, the optional SEMA-1 ($90, street) adds a stereo minijack input, thanks again to the accessory port.
In our field tests, the E-P2’s footage matched that of most mid-level HD camcorders currently available. The continuous AF also works when recording video, although it might not be able to keep up with a particularly fast-moving subject.
But we’re pleased that you can get such high-quality video and still-image quality, with the versatility of interchangeable lenses, in such a small body
The Bottom Line
The second Micro Four Thirds model from Olympus is a step forward in the company’s efforts to serve the market for this new format. The accessory port lets it compete more effectively with Panasonic’s DMC-GF1, as does its sleek metal body, which gives it a classy look that the GF1 doesn’t have.
It’s too bad the E-P2 lacks the Panasonic’s built-in flash. You can purchase the accessory shoe-mount FL-14 flash ($140, street), but you can’t use both this and the EVF simultaneously, which is a big drawback in situations where you need to use both of them.
But the flip side to this competition is that the Micro Four Thirds lenses Panasonic plans to deliver in the future will only help make this Olympus more attractive. With the lenses in Oly’s current lineup and those to come later this year, the Micro Four Thirds system starts to look like a genuine system and not a boutique novelty.
Anyone looking for a jacketpocket sized camera that delivers image quality on par with a DSLR, should consider the Olympus Pen E-P2.