Olympus E-PL2

 
Olympus PEN E-PL2 front
 
  • 12MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 362g - 114 x 72 x 42mm
  • Revealed February 2011
  • Replaced the Olympus E-PL1s
  • Later Model is Olympus E-PL3
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
Portability
85
Imaging
49
Features
47
Overall
48

Olympus E-PL2 summary

Olympus E-PL2 is Olympus's Entry-Level Mirrorless camera initially revealed on February of 2011. The camera features a 12MP, CMOS Four Thirds sized sensor and has a full resolution of 4032 x 3024.

Olympus launched this camera to replace the earlier Olympus E-PL1s (Read Full Comparison) and then brought out the updated Olympus E-PL3 (Read Full Comparison) in an effort to update this model.

The E-PL2 is ranked #98 out of 111 in Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras and over all #439 out of 1428 for digital cameras in our collection. Please look at our Smart camera filter to get camera listings based on your custom requirements.

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Below is a graph of different factors used in the rating system.

Olympus E-PL2 family

The Olympus E-PL2 comes with a history of related digital cameras. Down below, you can view all earlier and most recent models alongside key features.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-IV front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 IV
E-PL2 vs E-M10 IV
20MPFour Thirds8.7 fps2020
Olympus-PEN-E-PL9 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL9
E-PL2 vs E-PL9
16MPFour Thirds8.6 fps2018
Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-Mark-III front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 III
E-PL2 vs E-M10 III
16MPFour Thirds8.6 fps2017
Olympus-PEN-E-PL8 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL8
E-PL2 vs E-PL8
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2016
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-II front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 II
E-PL2 vs E-M10 II
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2015
Olympus-PEN-E-PL7 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL7
E-PL2 vs E-PL7
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
Olympus-PEN-E-PL6 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL6
E-PL2 vs E-PL6
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10 front thumbnailOlympus E-M10
E-PL2 vs E-M10
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
Olympus-PEN-E-P5 front thumbnailOlympus E-P5
E-PL2 vs E-P5
16MPFour Thirds9.0 fps2013
Olympus-PEN-E-PM2 front thumbnailOlympus E-PM2
E-PL2 vs E-PM2
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2013
Olympus-PEN-E-PL5 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL5
E-PL2 vs E-PL5
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2012
Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
Olympus-PEN-E-PM1 front thumbnailOlympus E-PM1
E-PL2 vs E-PM1
12MPFour Thirds6.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-PL3 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL3
E-PL2 vs E-PL3
12MPFour Thirds6.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-P3 front thumbnailOlympus E-P3
E-PL2 vs E-P3
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-PL2 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL212MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-PL1s front thumbnailOlympus E-PL1s
E-PL2 vs E-PL1s
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
Olympus-PEN-E-PL1 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL1
E-PL2 vs E-PL1
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
Olympus-PEN-E-P2 front thumbnailOlympus E-P2
E-PL2 vs E-P2
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
Olympus-PEN-E-P1 front thumbnailOlympus E-P1
E-PL2 vs E-P1
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2009
Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month

Olympus E-PL2 Pros and Cons

Below is a shortlist of benefits and drawbacks of the Olympus E-PL2 based on aspects which are oftentimes regarded as useful in a camera.

above average minimum ISO (100)
built-in flash
comes with face detect focus
comes with HDMI socket
comes with tracking focus
decent sensor size (Four Thirds)
delivers RAW files
image stabilization (Sensor based)
manual focus
screen size is good (3 inch)
switch lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
does not posses selfie friendly display
has no phase detect auto focus
low video resolution (1280 x 720 pxls)
max frames per second very slow (3.0 fps)
megapixel count low (12 megapixels)
no headphone socket
no mic socket
no moving screen
no Time Lapse recording
pixelated screen (460 k dots)
terrible battery life (280 shots)
Instagram's $20 billion Ad success

Olympus E-PL2 Sensor details

The Olympus E-PL2 houses the Truepic V processor. The sensor spec on the Olympus E-PL2 is 17.3mm x 13mm (Four Thirds). The 225 mm² sensor has the capability to capture 4032 x 3024 pixels and aspect ratios of 4:3. The camera boasts Image Stabilization (Sensor based). Sensor stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization since the latter can easily lead to cropping.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

The CMOS sensor boasts 12 megapixels and includes a native ISO range of 100 to 6400. RAW format is saved so you have wider margin for error.

The picture underneath illustrates the E-PL2's sensor dimensions compared to other common sizes. The E-PL2 sensor comes with a crop factor of 2.1 and is displayed in green.

Olympus PEN E-PL2 sensor size Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

To get a sense of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Olympus E-PL2 dimensions

Olympus E-PL2 weighs about 0.80 lb (362g or 12.77 oz) and the measurement of the camera is 114mm x 72mm x 42mm (4.5" x 2.8" x 1.7"). The weight of average Entry-Level Mirrorless camera is 325g and the Olympus E-PL2 is heavier when compared to other rivals.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

Underneath is a shot of the Olympus E-PL2 beside a soft drink so you're able to have a feel for its scale.

Olympus PEN E-PL2 dimensions scale

The top view under will show you the button design on the E-PL2.

Olympus PEN E-PL2 topview buttons dials

Olympus E-PL2 Lens specs

The E-PL2 fits the Micro Four Thirds mount and has 151 lenses to pick from. Below is a few of the lenses we have in our database which will fit the E-PL2.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-ED-12-45mm-F4-Pro lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm F4 Pro24-90mmf/4254g
Rokinon-35mm-f1.4-Four-Thirds lensRokinon 35mm f1.435mmf/1.4 660g
400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
Voigtlander-Nokton-25mm-F0.95-Type-II-Micro-Four-Thirds lensVoigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 Type II25mmf/0.95 435g
Samyang-24mm-f1.4-ED-AS-UMC-Four-Thirds lensSamyang 24mm f1.4 ED AS UMC24mmf/1.4 580g
Panasonic-Lumix-G-Fisheye-8mm-F3.5 lensPanasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm F3.58mmf/3.5 165g
Samyang-10mm-f2.8-ED-AS-NCS-CS-Micro-Four-Thirds lensSamyang 10mm f2.8 ED AS NCS CS10mmf/2.8 580g
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
Olympus-Zuiko-Digital-35mm-f3.5-Macro lensOlympus Zuiko Digital 35mm f3.5 Macro35mmf/3.5 165g
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Olympus E-PL2 Connectivity

The E-PL2 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras that incorporate NFC or Bluetooth connectivity can be controlled wirelessly with smartphones. You can send photos and usually adjust settings with no need to connect straight to the camera.

Several applications even stream a Liveview and release the shutter if you are not close to the camera. If the camera features a HDMI out, it can be hooked up to an external monitor. The majority of cameras enable you to charge the battery pack through the USB socket.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

Olympus E-PL2 Video specs

The highest possible video quality on the Olympus E-PL2 is 1280 x 720 and it can shoot in Motion JPEG format. 720p is terrible by today's standards. You should aim for at least 1080p quality for video recording. The camera does not offer a mic or headphone jack so you get little control over your audio. It is probably a better idea to look into a different model if you want better audio in your video clips.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone

Olympus E-PL2 Weather Sealing

Olympus E-PL2 does not include environment proofing so wet conditions may ruin the camera.

Olympus E-PL2 Display and Viewfinder

The Olympus E-PL2 features a 3" fixed display supporting a resolution of 460k dots.

Sadly the display is not a touch screen.

Olympus PEN E-PL2 screen and viewfinder Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

The ViewFinder details regarding Olympus E-PL2 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Electronic (optional)

In those sunny outdoor conditions which make the camera displays washed out and tough to view, viewfinders are very useful.

Olympus E-PL2 Shutter specs

Olympus E-PL2 continuous shooting rate is 3.0 fps. The highest shutter speed is 1/4000 seconds.

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Olympus E-PL2 Flash and Hot shoe specs

Olympus E-PL2 boasts both in-built flash plus external flash support. The max flash sync is 1/160 seconds.

Olympus E-PL2 Autofocus specs

Olympus E-PL2 boasts just Contrast Detect AF and is missing Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot snappier and accurate when compared to Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera features Face detect which can be helpful for portraits.

It features 11 focus points to select from. It also has Tracking AF for objects on the move. Olympus E-PL2 supports manual focus if required for low light or you require more precise control on focus.

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Olympus E-PL2 Battery life

The battery life (BLS-5) on the Olympus E-PL2 is fashioned to last for 280 shutters according to the CIPA measurements which is lower when compared to its competitors. The average Entry-Level Mirrorless camera battery life is 338. Samsung NX mini has the best (650) battery life for this class of cameras.

Following is a listing of Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras which have the highest battery life:

Olympus E-PL2 for different kinds of photography

The following chart gives a outline of the Olympus E-PL2 for different kinds of photography. To learn more, have a look at the specific section underneath.

Portrait photography with Olympus E-PL2

The Olympus E-PL2 gets a points tally of 61 which is very good, and means the camera is a very decent fit for portraits. Taking portraits leans greatly towards sensor dimension, RAW support in addition to the option to utilize off-camera flash.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
focusing manually
decent sensor size (Four Thirds)
provides face detect focusing
supports RAW formats
MP count low (12 megapixels)

Street photography with Olympus E-PL2

Coming in at a above average score of 74, the Olympus E-PL2 is a good option to use in street photography. A decent street photography camera offers a perfect balance of image quality plus portability.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
image stabilization (Sensor based)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
saves RAW files
screen does not articulate

Sports photography with Olympus E-PL2

A dreadful sports photography score of 45 suggests the Olympus E-PL2 is not really suitable for shooting sports. A camera should have good focusing and fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
provides tracking autofocus
painfully slow continuous shooting (3.0 frames/s)
low megapixels (12MP)
not so great battery (280 per charge)
doesn't have phase detect AF

Olympus E-PL2 Travel photography information

Weight is super important in getting a camera for travel. Overall, the Olympus E-PL2 gets a moderate 51 for a travel camera which makes it relatively suitable for your journeys.

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built-in flash
missing Time Lapse function
bad battery life (280 CIPA)
low resolution (12 megapixels)
does not offer selfie friendly display

Olympus E-PL2 as a Landscape photography camera

If you're planning to purchase a digital camera for landscape photos, the most important factor is going to be image quality. The Olympus E-PL2 with it's very good score of 61 for a landscape camera is a fine pick compared to it's competitors.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
manual focus
change lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
pretty good screen size (3")
image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
saves RAW files
low MP (12MP)
not so great battery (280 per charge)
lack of Time Lapse mode

Olympus E-PL2 Vlogging advice

A camera for vlogging should really posses a moving screen, microphone input and if possible image stabilization. Taking all things in to account, the Olympus E-PL2 is not really suitable as a vlog camera as it delivers a dreadful rating of 29.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
image stabilization (Sensor based)
supports face detect focusing
screen is not selfie friendly
video res low (1280 x 720 resolution)
missing microphone support

Olympus E-PL2 Alternatives

If you want replacements to the E-PL2, below is a collection of the top placed cameras that fall within the class of Entry-Level Mirrorless.

The graph underneath gives you a summary of the E-PL2 versus it's top ranking competitors listed earlier.

Following are additional cameras you may take into account as alternative options. To read through a thorough comparison, visit the "compare" link.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Specifications

General Information
Company
Olympus
Model
Olympus PEN E-PL2
Type
Entry-Level Mirrorless
Revealed
2011-02-11
Physical type
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
CMOS
Processor
Truepic V
Sensor size
Four Thirds
Sensor dimensions
17.3 x 13mm
Sensor surface area
224.9mm²
Sensor resolution
12MP
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
4:3
Highest Possible resolution
4032 x 3024
RAW data
Maximum native ISO
6400
Min native ISO
100
Autofocusing
Focus manually
Touch focus
AF continuous
Single AF
Tracking AF
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
Live view AF
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Number of focus points
11
Lens
Lens mounting type
Micro Four Thirds
Available lenses
107
Crop factor
2.1
Screen
Display type
Fixed Type
Display sizing
3 inch
Display resolution
460k dots
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch function
Display technology
HyperCrystal LCD AR(Anti-Reflective) coating
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder
Electronic (optional)
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
55
DXO Color Depth score
21.4
DXO Dynamic range score
10.2
DXO Low light score
573
Features
Minimum shutter speed
60s
Fastest shutter speed
1/4000s
Continuous shutter rate
3.0fps
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Yes
Change WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range
10.00 m
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync, Manual (3 levels)
Hot shoe
AEB
WB bracketing
Fastest flash synchronize
1/160s
Exposure
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Maximum video resolution
1280x720
Video format
Motion JPEG
Mic port
Headphone port
Connectivity
Wireless
None
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
None
Physical
Environment sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
Weight
362g (0.80 pounds)
Dimensions
114 x 72 x 42mm (4.5" x 2.8" x 1.7")
Other
Battery life
280 pictures
Battery type
Battery Pack
Battery model
BLS-5
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
SD/SDHC
Card slots
One
Price at release
$0