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  1. #1
    Member Erik_Olympus's Avatar
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    Olympus E-PM2 Just Arrived

    Just got an E-PM2 on Saturday. I bought just the body as I wanted to try out my existing 4/3 lenses. My initial reaction is mixed.

    The camera was a bit smaller than I'd thought and initially I had some concerns over handling such a small camera, especially with a relatively large 4/3 lens attached. Although it seems a bit mismatched, I was able to get used to it pretty quickly. I'm using the MMF-1 adapter, which seems quite sturdy.

    I haven't had much time to use the camera but so far I find AF to be a bit slow. When photographing relatively stationary items, this isn't really a problem. However, I tried to photograph my son's 3rd grade basketball game and most of the photos were too out of focus to be useable. My previous E-520 did a much better job of capturing faster action.

    I also noticed a bit of shutter lag. The camera's reaction seemed more like a point and shoot than a DSLR. Not sure if this is typical of mirrorless cameras or if this is related to using the 4/3 lenses.

    One nice feature for sports/action is the sequential shooting. It's great in terms of the number of frames it can capture in a short period, which somewhat negates the slower shutter reaction. However I noticed that sequential shots and video take a long time to write to the memory card. This may be a function of the memory card and not the camera.

    My initial impression of the camera is positive. It's nice to be able to use my existing lenses, but I think I need to try out some native MFT lenses to really gauge what the camera is capable of. I had hoped that this could replace my older DSLR but at least from my initial impressions, I would say that in terms of speed and size, there is something to be said for a true DSLR camera. I'm hoping that once I get to use some MFT lenses, my opinion may change.

  2. #2
    Member Erik_Olympus's Avatar
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    Olympus E-PM2 - Test Shots

    At first I was a bit disappointed with the image quality and ability to focus with standard 4/3 lenes. However, I wasn't really taking advantage of the much better high ISO performance of the camera. This shot was taken with the 4/3 40-150mm at 1/30 sec, 40mm, F/4.0, ISO 640. As you can see there was quite a bit of motion blurring and focus seems to be on the ref and not the ball.


    P2090314[1] by erikzen, on Flickr

    As I realized that very useable images were possible at higher ISOs I was able to improve image quality although focus is still not ideal with 4/3 lenses. The image of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show below was taken with the Olympus 4/3 70-300mm, 1/200 sec, 120mm, F/5.6, ISO 1600.


    P2110621[1] by erikzen, on Flickr

    As I've seen mentioned before, the camera seems to be a bit heavy on the reds, at least using Auto WB. The following photos were shot under very adverse lighting conditions and are not pretty in the least. However, the first photo below shows a reddish tint using Auto WB.


    P2150647[1] by erikzen, on Flickr

    Switching to Incandescent yields more natural results.


    P2150649[1] by erikzen, on Flickr

    Despite somewhat slow auto focus, the 70-300 seems to produce very nice image quality. The following was taken outdoors at 1/500, 300mm, F/5.6, ISO 200.


    P2080034[2] by erikzen, on Flickr

    All in all I'm pleased with the camera although I don't think it's a direct replacement for a DSLR. I also think my plan of relying solely on my existing 4/3 lens collection is not really working out. I bought a used m4/3 14-42mm lens just to see if performance improved, and it did considerably. Yes, the 4/3 lenses fully work but when compared to native lenses, the autofocus is a real dog. For now, I will live with it as my main camera although I think I may eventually get another DSLR, but I'm going to give it a month or two to get used to the camera.

    One other point, I found focusing much easier when I changed from the overall grid that had 35 (?) focus points to a single focus point. Having all those focus points made it difficult to control where the camera was actually focusing.
    Last edited by Erik_Olympus; 02-18-2014 at 03:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Member Erik_Olympus's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus E-PM2 - Test Shots

    No response on this thread so not sure if anyone is interested in this camera. In any event, I thought I'd share the last of my first impressions, so to speak.

    After playing around with the camera for the last 2 or 3 weeks, I've learned that it lends itself very well to using legacy lenses. I am lucky enough to still have my first ever camera lens, a Konica Hexanon AR 50mm/1.7. All it too was a $10 Konica to m4/3 adapter.

    As you probably realize, this means the camera is in full manual mode but I found doing so, surprisingly easy. Maybe that's because it's how I started in photography, like many of us, or it might just be the way the E-PM2 is designed.

    The buttons on the camera can be reassigned, and I assigned one to switch to manual focus and the other to magnify the focus area. Using the LCD it's relatively easy to accurately focus, fairly quickly. Given that with my "compatible" lenses, it can sometimes take a second for autofocus to stop hunting. So the loss of autofocus is not really a big deal at the moment as I only have one native lens for the camera (14-42mm II R).

    However, I also broke down and purchased the VF-3 electronic viewfinder. Even without the magnify function, the viewfinder makes manual focus much easier, and with magnify, as long as you have the time, you can always nail the focus. Great little tool and although I was loathe to buy it (come on, shouldn't it be included or is that just wishful thinking?) and very happy I did, especially for manual focus.

    At first, I was skeptical I'd be satisfied with this as my only camera, but as I learn it's strengths and weaknesses, I think I could "survive" with this camera as my only system for a while. Especially when older film lenses, like the Konica Hexanon ARs or the Yashica MLs, are readily available and relatively cheap.

    Here's a shot from the balcony of a small theater, The Capitol, during a performance by Dweezil Zappa - Zappa Plays Zappa.


    Dweezil abd the Boys by erikzen, on Flickr

    And here's a 100% crop:

    100 Percent Crop - Dweezil and the Boys by erikzen, on Flickr

    I'm not an expert, but this looks pretty sharp to me although I do see some noise. For my purposes I'd say this is quite satisfactory.

    Another nice thing about the camera is the small size. The concert policy on cameras was "point and shoot only". If I tried to bring in a DSLR it would have been a problem, but the little E-PM2 looks very unassuming, especially when I had the native lens on it (with the 50mm in my pocket).

    At the very least I have to say that the camera has been inspiring and has gotten me to look it photography in a new light (pardon the pun). For example, I'm not someone who would ever use "art filters" but with this camera I feel like it's OK, like I don't have to take things too seriously, and as such I've opened up more possibilities to capture interesting images.


    P3011039 by erikzen, on Flickr

  4. #4
    Liz
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    Re: Olympus E-PM2 - Test Shots

    Hi Erik....It's great that you're happy with the camera. You've worked to get it exactly where you want it! It does have a lot of different options that many cameras don't have.

    Great shots too! Looks like it does quite well in very low light situations. Of course, it's the photographer first and foremost!

    Thanks for sharing - and keep us up to date. Things are a bit slow on PR lately - so you're not alone!

    Liz
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  5. #5
    Member Erik_Olympus's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus E-PM2 - Test Shots

    Thanks for your feedback, Liz. The more I use the camera, the more I like it. It has its limitations but unless you have an unlimited budget and can afford multiple camera systems, there are always going to be compromises.

    I've become very comfortable pretty quickly using manual focus. Maybe because that's how I learned photography in the first place. In any event, this means using cheaper legacy lenses is a real possibility, and not just a novelty.

    Here is a shot from a 3rd grade basketball game. The shot was taken with a Konica Hexanon AR UC 80-200mm that I purchased for $60.


    Contesting the Shot by erikzen, on Flickr

  6. #6
    Liz
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    Re: Olympus E-PM2 - Test Shots

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik_Olympus View Post
    Thanks for your feedback, Liz. The more I use the camera, the more I like it. It has its limitations but unless you have an unlimited budget and can afford multiple camera systems, there are always going to be compromises.

    I've become very comfortable pretty quickly using manual focus. Maybe because that's how I learned photography in the first place. In any event, this means using cheaper legacy lenses is a real possibility, and not just a novelty.

    Here is a shot from a 3rd grade basketball game. The shot was taken with a Konica Hexanon AR UC 80-200mm that I purchased for $60.


    Contesting the Shot by erikzen, on Flickr
    Wow! That is one sharp photo! Amazing for the lens you're using - especially the fact it is an action shot.

    Thanks for sharing Erik! You've got a winner combo - and as I said before, it's the photographer!

    Liz
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    14mm/f2.5

  7. #7
    Ken ksbryan0's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus E-PM2 - Test Shots

    Looks like you really nailed the focus in that last shot Erik! And with your low investment in glass, that is a pretty great result.
    Ken

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  8. #8
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus E-PM2 - Test Shots

    That's some really nice shooting Erik. Are you using your 4/3rd lenses via the 4/3rd to m4/3rd adapter? if so that is why focus is slow. It's been a long time since I used a E-PMX camera but from memory the focus was fairly good. Keep us posted.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

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  9. #9
    Member Erik_Olympus's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus E-PM2 - Test Shots

    Thanks for the compliments everyone.

    I have a variety of lenses I've tried with the camera, but yes, the 4/3 lenses are slow to auto focus. I feel that in some cases I can manually focus just as quickly as the 4/3 lenses can AF.

    Using the EVF and magnify function makes it fairly easy to get accurate manual focus. 3rd grade boys playing basketball indoors can be a challenge but the shot above wasn't my only "keeper".

    All in all a great little camera and it really lends itself well to using legacy lenses adding to the fun and versatility.

  10. #10
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    Re: Olympus E-PM2 Just Arrived

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik_Olympus View Post
    However I noticed that sequential shots and video take a long time to write to the memory card. This may be a function of the memory card and not the camera.
    I am curious if you figured out if it was the camera or the memory card that was slow.

  11. #11
    Member Erik_Olympus's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus E-PM2 Just Arrived

    I've been living with my micro SD card with adapter and just ordered a faster card. I'll be sure to update you once I receive it.

  12. #12
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    Re: Olympus E-PM2 Just Arrived

    Just before the summer, I picked up the e-pm2 with the 14-42mm kit lens, but the set also included the 40-150mm zoom lens, which is actually a lot more useful than I would have imagined. It was my first foray into mirrorless cameras, and I'm pleased with the results thus far.

    Most local camera shops have stopped stocking it in favor of newer cameras, but the weather proofing of the OM series was not enough to sway me to part with 3x more money considering I was a newbie with the format.

    I was going to Europe this past summer and wanted a reasonably compact camera that could actually capture DSLR-type photos without having to actually buy a rig and carry around a crapload of gear. Results were always mixed, but mostly due to my unfamiliarity with the camera, not the lenses. I've since picked up a Lumix 14mm f/2.5 prime lens and also the 9mm Olympus body cap lens because price really is an issue with me. I wasn't about to drop $400 on a Samyang fisheye or $500 for a Leica prime just yet.

  13. #13
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    Re: Olympus E-PM2 Just Arrived

    Just before the summer, I picked up the e-pm2 with the 14-42mm kit lens, but the set also included the 40-150mm zoom lens, which is actually a lot more useful than I would have imagined. It was my first foray into mirrorless cameras, and I'm pleased with the results thus far.
    ahsna

  14. #14
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    Re: Olympus E-PM2 Just Arrived

    It's same case with me... thank's for all information

  15. #15
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    Re: Olympus E-PM2 Just Arrived

    Just before the summer, I picked up the e-pm2 with the 14-42mm kit lens, but the set also included the 40-150mm zoom lens, which is actually a lot more useful than I would have imagined. It was my first foray into mirrorless cameras, and I'm pleased with the results thus far.
    ahsna

  16. #16
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    Re: Olympus E-PM2 - Test Shots

    This photo looks great!

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