Saturday, July 30, 2011

Olympus Pen EP-2, best buddy on the road

I am not going to do a typical camera review here, so don't turn away yet. But if you want to know more about f-stops, aperture ratio, shutter speed or graininess of higher ISO setting, then feel free to go on a search engine and look for numerous review on this camera. There's never short of review nowadays of almost about anything electronics, but you won't find it here. What you will read here is a satisfied customer of a stylish and useful product that has made me re-looked into what photography is all about. I have been using this camera for a little more than about a year and a half, so that carries some credibility there.

First question: Why do you like it?

Simple, it looks good, aesthetically more attractive than the typical SLR. In terms of function, it works extremely well and easy to operate. Point and shoot easy and have the extra little function for me to control the quality of my pictures. Many people stopped me in my tracks to ask what "what is that you're using?" followed by, "it looks so retro!". Great way to start a conversation. There you go, my social life has improved by a margin.

Next: Is this a serious camera? Can it take good pictures?

Well, as mentioned before, it has all the function I need for a good picture taking experience. You know what, I'll just let the pictures speak for itself.

Non-of the above has been photoshop-ed or in anyway digitally manipulated, using a standard setting. Happy? I rest my case... and these are not my best stocks...

Next: But the size, its so.... small (to be serious)?

When here is where I say, I'm all for lightweight alternative to brick-weight SLR systems. I have been lugging my Nikon FM-2 for years and I KNOW what is weight, and I don't miss it. For my travels, I need to be practical and have the mobility to enjoy myself. With the EP-2, I can rest assure I have not compromised the quality of pictures that I will be taking.

NEXT: Is it durable?

Well, unless I'm walking into a warzone, I think I have nothing to worry about. It has survived few bumps and have dropped it a couple of times. Beside some scratches and cosmetic wear, seems to work perfectly fine! Magnesium alloy body, if you must know, a higher grade than the other Olympus PEN cousins out there, but still lightweight. It's in my backpack to work everyday.

NEXT: But you can't change your lens like and SLR, or can you?

HAA! You can! and Olympus has released several new lenses, and as how attractive as they are getting, I have not purchased any of them yet. Mind you, I have 4 lenses for my Nikon previously. I find that the packaged standard lens is already good enough for everyday use.

Alright, now that I have made my point, nothing is perfect, so I'll just lay out some negative points for the sceptics:
1. Battery life is pathetic - One day of intense use, and it's dry. There are alternative brands out there though. It's a good idea to bring a spare or just don't leave your charger at home when you travel.
2. Low light focusing is slow - relatively compared to full SLR specs...
3. Processing Speed is slow - again this is relative compared to SLR specs, but I don't find it hindering 99% of the time. Not worth loosing sleep about.
4. No built in flash- I need to carry an external flash around for those occasions

Well, there you go. It has been announced that EP-3 has just been released that deals with the issues above PLUS a touch screen panel. Tempting. But I think I will skip one generation as the EP-2 is already a wonder for me to work with.

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