On paper the Olympus E-PL2 is a modest upgrade to the E-PL1. In your hands, that might be a completely different story. The more professional-grade build quality, the larger screen and the modest improvements in performance are compelling reasons to purchase the E-PL2.
Can I honestly recommend that current E-PL1 owners “upgrade” to the E-PL2? No. However, if you’re currently shopping for a new camera there are plenty of reasons to consider this one. The E-PL2 offers a small, light camera and plenty of features at a competitive price. If a compact, lightweight camera matters more to you than pure speed, then the E-PL2 makes perfect sense. If you haven’t already invested in lenses for another camera system then you have another reason to consider the purchase of the E-PL2.
The E-PL2 is the latest attempt from Olympus to create a “pocket-sized DSLR.” The only places where the E-PL2 fails to hit the mark are the same issues that other cameras in this class face (slow AF, limited burst shooting performance, and lenses that aren’t as “compact” as many people want). If you know about these issues in advance and can live with them, this camera can produce some fantastic photos.
- Excellent image quality in a tiny package
- Stylish and durable-feeling design
- Easy to use basic functions
- Slow AF performance compared to DSLRs
- Detail smoothing at high ISOs
- Difficult menus for advanced functions