When I head out the door to shoot I usually have a Pen camera configured like this.
The VF-2 electronic finder is not an optional accessory to me. It should be part of every package.
It's small, light and unobtrusive. Perfect for the street.
Ergonomics. When you read through this keep in mind that I'm five feet, eight inches tall and have medium sized hands. If the camera feels just right to me it probably won't matter to you if you are six foot, six inches tall and have hands like big baseball gloves. Go to a store and handle it yourself if you know your build falls outside the general norm. Some people like big cameras and some like small cameras. If you are considering the EPL2 I hope you've sorted yourself into the second category.
Another happy benefit might be that you click thru a link to Amazon and buy something. If you click thru from my blog I'll get a small amount of money and you'll pay no more or less. But for all intents and purposes I'm putting this out there for free and that's the extent of my disclosures. I make the bulk of my income from photography assignments and I can't think of very many clients who come here to read about the latest cameras. I wish. So enjoy. Let's get started.
I passed on the EP1 camera, the first of the new Pens, for one reason: No electronic or optical viewfinder, and no provision to add an electronic one on. I've spent decades looking through viewfinders and I can't get used to using a rear screen as a focusing and compositional tool unless the whole deal is locked down on a tripod and I've got a loupe with me to block out the surrounding light. I bought the EP2 because it had the EVF and it was very beautiful. Of all the Pen cameras it feels the best in my hand, and, truthfully, it's the one I like to shoot with the most. Here's the rub: While the EP2 is the best designed and has the right heft the EPL1 obviously has a better sensor implementation. It's sharper and cleaner (in the image files) than the EP1 or the EP2 and it was priced so well I couldn't help myself.....I snapped one up. And less than a year later, along comes the EPL2. Styling that looks more like the EP2 but performance like the EPL1. Throw in a better screen and........?
The smaller sensor means that the lenses have different angles of view relative to what fussy old timers are used to from the 35mm days. Ostensibly, smaller lenses are easier to design and manufacture so that should mean good glass at a lower cost.
Why did Olympus create the Four Thirds and then the micro Four Thirds standards? Because in the early days of sensor design and manufacture it was ruinously expensive to make bigger sensors because the failure rate in manufacturing was so high. The catering analogy is caviar. You might get some on your deviled eggs or on your sushi but the unit cost would break a restaurant if they decided to chunk a few ounces on every plate. A bigger sensor is still more expensive and it still requires bigger optics but now we have choices again. Just like the film days we can choose a day in day out format that works well for everything that will go into electronic media ( the smaller than 35mm frame size) or we can choose cameras with sensors that are the same size as a frame of 35mm film and now more or less take the place of the medium format cameras of the film era, or we can take the bitter and frightening plunge and grab for all the gusto of a medium format digital system (for around the price of a nice car) and have the ultimate in resolution and dynamic range. 80 megapixels anyone?
But the thing that attracts me to smaller cameras is