|Red Light London, E-PM2 with Panasonic 20mm F1.7|
The E-PM2 is very similar in size to the E-PM1, but it is noticeably worse in build quality. It does not feel as solid. For me, it is not a big deal as it is still quite good. There is an additional Fn button which can be customised. This is very useful and a real improvement over the E-PM1 with one button that can be customised. The rear screen is the same 16:9 ratio but it is now a touch screen. I must say the touch screen is very good and I think it is a real improvement to the usability of the camera. The touch to focus function is a very useful feature during video recording when you want to change focus point. The touch shutter function is also useful, as it does not require you to go into the menu to select a new focus point. There is now a delete button which saves a lot of time if you are deleting a number of photos after a day of shooting. Overall, the camera is much easier to use than the E-PM1.
A feature I find very frustrating on the E-PM1 was the internal audio recording level during video. The recording level cannot be adjusted and most of the time it works well. Problem occurs when you’re in a very quiet or loud environment. When it is very quiet, it struggles to pick up any sound. On the flip side, when it is very loud, like shooting a live band, the recording level is easily saturated and you end up with distorted sound. With the E-PM2, the sound recording level can be change to Low, Standard or High. I’ve yet to fully test this, but the ability to adjust the recording volume is a must after my experience of E-PM1.
|London Underground - E-PM2 with Panasonic 20mm F1.7|
Another useful feature that is missing from the E-PM1 is an orientation sensor. After a day of shooting I hate to rotate each photo on the computer. That short coming is now fixed. Thank god.
|E-PM2 with Panasonic 20mm F1.7|
The biggest change is the imaging sensor. It now shares the senor with the OM-D EM-5, the flagship camera from Olympus right now. I’ve done some low light tests for noise and sharpness and I can say it performs basically the same as my Canon EOS 650D, maybe a little better at ISO 3200 and just as bad as each other at ISO 6400. You can see the comparison between the two cameras at an earlier blog HERE. This is significant as the E-PM1 uses a very old (by digital standard) sensor and noise level is noticeable above ISO 800. Now I am happy to shoot at up to ISO 1600 knowing there is very little and up to ISO 3200 knowing there will be some noise, but still happy.
|E-PM2 with Olympus 45mm F1.8|
Some people will rave on about M43 cameras will never outperform FF cameras because of its smaller sensors. They are right, but I don’t spend my life looking at every photo at 100%. Ten years ago I was using film SLR and ISO 400 film was the highest I shot with. Anything higher resulted in very grainy images. With my Panasonic 20mm F1.7 lens, I have a very portable set up I am happy to carry with me all day and get amazing results without flash. Since I bought an E-PL1 two years ago, I’ve not carried my Canon SLR gears around with me. I only use my SLR when I go to photo shoots in a studio environment or when I need fast focus tracking. The progress of digital technology is still marching on. In another ten years’ time, I am sure some people will moan about the noise level of M43 cameras at ISO 128,000. The E-PM2 is the first small camera that I am happy to carry around which has the image quality I am fully happy with. The E-PM1 was almost there and will now be used as a time lapse camera.
|E-PM2 with Panasonic 20mm F1.7|