I was pretty excited last month when I received and email form Olympus Cameras saying they really enjoy my photography and asked if I would like to be a Camera tester for them.
Well of course the answer was easy…Yes. They said I could choose any of there cameras to test out and any accessories that I needed.
To tell you the truth we were already fans of Olympus. You see a few months back, when we were in Fiji, white water rafting we were asked why we don't have a waterprooof camera. Hmm. I don't know why. I had always been reluctant to purchase one because in my opinion most waterproof cameras lacked any sort of image quality. Sure you could use them in extreme situations, but if the image quality was no good what was the use. After looking around we decided to purchase the STYLUS TOUGH-8010. What a great purchase. It was tough enough for all of our New Zealand adventures and came in especially handy when swimming with Dolphins. How we lived without this camera before I will never know.
Now it was time to add another camera to the arsenal. After spending some time looking through their site and deciding what kind of camera I would like to test out I finally chose the Olympus EP-2. I had previously looked at this camera when I was buying my Panasonic GH1 since I was going to use it for mainly video I chose the Panasonic. The Olympus EP-2 looks like the perfect compliment to my kit at the moment. I was looking to try out something that did not take up a lot of space in my camera bag but also produced quality results. Looks like I may have found it.
I chose the EP-2 over the newly released EPL-2 simply for the build quality. I need something that can take a licking and keep on going. The EPL-2 is a little lighter and has a few improved features but I assume there will be a new version of their EP series coming out soon and want to do a direct comparison.
The next question I had to answer was what lenses should I get. The first one that really jumped out at me was the 17mm 2.8. I love a fast lens and the 17mm Pancake lens (which is equivalent to 34mm on a 35mm camera) is fast, compact and sharp. I think this will be the lens I will use most. The fact that it only weighs 71 grams and is only 22mm thick helps a lot as well.
Secondly I opted for the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6. I wanted something on the wide end of the spectrum. The beauty of these lenses and the Micro four thirds system in general is how compact and light the whole system is. This lens is the 35mm equivalent of 18-36mm giving me just what I need for some great landscape shots.
I will also be putting the video to use on this camera as well. Although it does not shoot 1080i, It shoots good enough video for what we will be using it for. The in body image stabilization and Manual movie mode wil allow for great creative control and sharp images.
All in all I am looking forward to testing out the EP-2. I have been lacking in a quality compact for some time and think I will enjoy the interchangeable lens system. There is just something liberating about walking around a city without a backpack full of camera gear that suddenly appeals to me and my back.
I did take it out for a little test drive the other day and this is what the first image looked like. Pretty impressive.
We will be bringing this puppy on the Mongol Rally with us. So we will see how it stands up to the harsh shooting conditions that will be placed upon it. The lighting conditions will be tricky so I hope the metering is accurate and ease of use is always a high priority for me.
Thanks again to Olympus and I can't wait to put this camera to the test!