A short blog about why I think the Olympus EP2 is great.

This image was shot with a Hasselblad Camera and a 150mm Lens.  I like it because it is square, black and white and the lighting is fun.  What's this got to do with the tiny Olympus EP2?  Read on.

When I bought the e30 SLR camera I was excited about being able to choose a different aspect ratio.  The ratio I shot with for twenty odd years was that of the medium format square.  Called 6x6.  I love composing portraits in the square and one of the things I never liked about the transition to digital many years ago was the cold hard abandonment of divergent aspect ratios.  With 3:2 based systems everything became the 35mm look that I had consciously moved away from decades ago.

But the way the aspect ratio option was done in the e30 only really worked if you were shooting in the live view mode.  The time delay using live mode in an slr with a mirror was just too long.  Not being able to compose at eye level was just too different.  I could live with it when doing still life and landscape but....I don't do still life and landscape very often.  And when I do it's for money not for joy.  The joy comes from shooting portraits.

So, along comes the little black EP2 and it offers an electronic viewfinder.  That's its one major improvement over the earlier EP1.  But along with the EVF I get actual square aspect ratio in an eye level finder!  The joy!  And it works well.  The square factors out to about a 9 megapixel camera which is more than enough for me.

Once I set the camera into the monochrome mode and enabled the green "filter" I was in heaven.  I'm still in heaven.  Now I have the digital camera I always wanted at a very reasonable $1100.  This is my portrait, street, event, anything that doesn't require flash camera.  So far the files are looking good.  When I something half as good as the Hasselblad shot I posted above I'll do a more in-depth review and post it here.  I'm in the "breaking in" process right now.  Stay tuned.

Tomorrow I get the MMF-1 and we go to town shooting some video with the 35-100mm f2 lens.  Creamy out of focus and lots of juicy sharpness in the same frame.  New chapter of the digital revolution here we come!

Have fun shooting.


Anonymous said...

Great point, it hadn't occurred to me that the EVF allows for you to frame appropriately in any format you choose. As opposed to giving it a guess. I am sorely tempted to buy one.

Cant wait to see some of your stuff.


Paula said...

Fun! I'm putting my 35-100 on my E-P1 next week for a party I'm going to. It should be fun. :D Maybe I'll try video with that pair too. Look forward to seeing what you get out of it.

photoman said...

I got my EP-2 Saturday and it is a kick. I had not thought of the 6x6, eye level finder scenario, but as a old Rollie user I'll try it.
I have fallen in love with shooting again thanks to the EP-1 and now the 2 it is really a joy to go out and make images.

Simon said...

I've been using the Ep-2 for a week now, just sent it back to Oly, and must say it's a sweet camera.

David Ingram said...

Interesting Kirk. Shutter lag? Useful ISO range for low light and not too much noise?

Clay said...

I have the GF-1, sort of the same idea, but without the retro cool styling. But they are both micro 4/3 and have the square cropping option. And here is another fun trick when shooting square - get the micro4/3 to Leica M mount adapter and a leica M pinhole lens body cap. Set it for aperture priority and shoot away. If you set the ISO high enough, you can shoot handheld in daylight. You actually get a dim image of sorts on the rear LCD that makes framing a little better than the crap shoot you have with a traditional pinhole. Sort of fun. One way of finding out first hand what diffraction limited resolution is all about.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. I enjoy 4x3, 6x7 and 6x6. The EP2 makes all that work, plus I've been learning how to tweak the settings to give me what I want in an image. I had the EP1, just ordered the EP2. Didn't think I'd miss the EVF, but with some shots with odd angles I do. It is like the flexible LCD on my E30.

Jeffrey said...

After reading your review of the G11 I purchased one. So far it has proven to be a great camera in large part because I have it with me when I want to snap a photo - my dslr wasn't alway with me.

I am curious. It appears you are planning to use the EP2 in the much the same manner as your G11. Has the EP2 replaced the G11 in your shooting arsenal?

Jeff Smith

Has this replaced the G11?

Dwight said...

I have the same problem in reverse- I miss my Hasselblad X-Pan. Perhaps the widescreen format would be a reasonable substitute?

icouldbeahero said...

I really like the photo in this post!

Are the ill-defined border a characteristic of the camera or lens? (My medium format TLR has sharply defined borders, which are somewhat less nice to look at, but maybe better for enlarging?)

neil said...

Olympus has once again produced a nice little SLD (Single Lens Direct-view) digital camera, one with personality and pretty darn good image quality.

dsi r4

Adam said...

I love my E-P2 it's great to have a view finder and the camera is small enough to allow me to carry it around most of the time. I'll have to play around with the aspect ration some more.