Out for a walk with the EP2. Square lovers rejoice.

    A tree along the Austin hike and bike trail.  Just south of downtown.  EP2 with kit lens.

So, I mentioned that I really love the square.  The Olympus EP2 gives me back the square with elegance and ease.  I am satisfied with the camera.  I'll have to leave off my tests with portraits; it seems all the usual suspects actually had other things to do today.  Bereft of human models I took off on a walk around downtown.  I know it won't sound heroic to my friends in the frozen wastelands to the north but it was a chilly 31 degrees (f) when I left my car and started across the pedestrian bridge into downtown.

Here's a link to a small gallery of images from the morning:  morning with my square camera.

I set the new camera to mostly neutral settings.  Large SF Jpeg.  Color natural.  Aspect ratio: 6x6.  Single AF, etc. No more or less sharpening, contrast or saturation than the defaults.  I look through the viewfinder and see an wonderfully framed image with a bit of black on either side.  I can toggle through the "info" button until I get to screen with no numbers, letters or symbols on it and I'm free to compose unencumbered.

The camera is so small and discreet that everyone takes me for a tourist.  At times I feel like a tourist in my own life but I'm sure my mental health professional friends would label that as disassociative and worry.  Instead I'll say that I love cruising around the same downtown I've walked through almost weekly for 32 years.  I love to see what's new and who's hanging out at the coffee shops.  Lately we've seen some upscale stuff on the main drag from the state capital.  A Patagonia shop opened its doors.  There are three new restaurants.  A state office building is being rehabbed for commercial use. Downtown has two more steak houses.

I don't really know what to say about the camera.  I never had a missed focus.  If I needed exposure compensation it was usually on the order of +1/3 stop.  I tried out the ienhance setting in the colors menu and the tree above is from that group of frames.  I find the lens pretty sharp wide open.  The shutter, once locked in, is pretty fast.  In all you'd have to be a bit clumsy to mess up with this camera.

But for me, the ability to compose in the square with such a nice viewfinder is a treat over all else.  More to come after I get the studio thing figured out.  As you probably know, the finder sits in the hot shoe and the hot shoe is the only way to trigger any sort of flash.  Hello tungsten lights and HMI's.  More to report as I live with the camera.  Raw info:  272 shots with one battery, full time  EVF, and 31-38 degrees over the course of three hours.  Kit zoom lens.


Dave said...

Too many new,interesting,small cameras coming out fast & furious. I just bought the G11 from reading your blog. This looks like a very interesting camera. There needs to be some adapter made so you can have your viewfinder and Sync connection too.
I also love the Square Format. I need more self control or much deeper pockets ;) Thanks Kirk!

kirk tuck said...

Dave, I feel our pain. Too much good stuff, too little cash. Must freeze credit cards into a block of ice......arggggh.

mike said...

I like to think that what stands out about my wedding photography is that I shot on the street for years before shooting weddings. I've always wanted a camera like this for street work, small, unobtrusive, etc... this may be a nice bring along with my holga, 50 year old TLR, and D700 to weddings.

steveburns said...


I've considered Panasonic's version the Lumix GF-1, and their 20mm with Oly's on top view finder for the 17, for a small carry around camera.

Some what like the old M4P that I had for years with a 35 glued to it.

I'm longing for a light camera that can live with me. One that is fast, simple to use, well built and that fits into a some what limited budget.

I'm having a hard time warming up to the electronic type of view finder, though this may change with time.

Glad that you are enjoying the Oly!


nalax said...

How did you get a shot of the young Robert Zimmerman? Perhaps Apple will buy this shot of "Bob Dylan with Mac". A square camera with a zoom, sounds like fun!

kirk tuck said...

I've disliked all previous iterations of EVF's but I find the electronic finder on the Olympus to be nearly transparent. A very well done option.

ian said...

I am definitely interested to what your videos will look like with the EP2 and SHG glass. I am also interested in knowing what your experience will be like using legacy lenses on this camera (if you're planning on getting some adapters).

Paulo Rodrigues said...

What you want is some sort of cable for your EVF so you can wear it like a monacle and shoot from your hip or with your hands in the air or even behind you :)

jasonhindle said...

I'm looking at the E-P2 (plus kit zoom + Panasonic 20mm) and thinking I want one. I don't create my own light so flash + EVF is not an issue for me. I have the Panasonic G1 (yes, spending money is easier than earning it) but its shape meant it never really became the carry everywhere camera I'd hoped for.

Justin S. said...

Thanks for sharing this post and photos Kirk ... I am sooo close to ordering this EP-2 but also really want that 35-100. I have to see who wins on the internal debate between what is going to make me money versus something that will bring me some enjoyment and trying to figure out how my wife's business must have the EP-2.

Anonymous said...

I' ve got ready of my Panasonic G1. I hated the pop up flesh and swiveling
LCD Screen.
Now, I' ve owned Oly EP2 and it is almost perfect and it goes with almost any lens with dedicated Adaptor.
Download the the Adobe DNG Convertor, the latest version 5_ 6, or something, with Photoshop CS4/ORF- RAW Format/ and you are in the business.
Cheerz, Tomislav.