Can I adjust the sound level the shutter release makes?
This model has a true Focal Plane Shutter so the sound you are hearing is the actual sound of the shutter physically opening and closing. It is not possible to alter the volume of the shutter sound.
When recording movies I can hear the sound of the lens focusing, how can I reduce this sound?
When recording sound in a movie, the sound made by the lens and camera operating may be recorded. This is due to the proximity of the microphone to the lens. If desired, you can reduce these sounds by shooting with [AF Mode] set to [S-AF], or by limiting the amount of times you press the buttons. If your camera has the ability to use an external microphone this would allow you to extend the microphone away from the lens. If you are using a non-MSC lens, you may want to consider a lens with this type of mechanism which is near silent during AF operation.
What are the main features of the E-PL2?
The OLYMPUS PEN E-PL2 is tailor-made for people who live active lives online and offline. It blends the high-quality imaging of a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera with High Definition (HD) video capture, stereo Linear PCM audio recording and creative in-camera multimedia tools into an ultra-compact, yet stylish, retro black metal body. No longer must you choose between powerful and portable; the E-PL2 will make you re-think what a small camera can do.
The E-PL2 retains the best technologies from the acclaimed PEN Digital series -- a 12.3-megapixel Live MOS image sensor; 11-point autofocus (AF) system; intuitive, Live Control operation; in-camera image stabilization; the proven Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF®) dust-reduction system; creativity-boosting Art Filters, which can be applied to still images and movies alike; and a 3-inch, color, HyperCrystal LCD screen -- and efficiently packages them all into a miniature frame. It also introduces some bellwether features and technologies of its own.
The E-PL2 adds an accessory port that accommodates the VF-2 electronic viewfinder (included), the optional external microphone adapter (SEMA-1), the MAL-1 Macro Arm Light or the PenPal Blue Tooth Adapter.
In addition, the Imager AF Live View autofocus system now features continuous autofocus (C-AF) tracking and AF target registration. Now you can lock your subject into focus, and the camera will constantly adjust focus and brightness on your subject whether you or your subject is moving. This mode helps you to keep fast-moving and unpredictable subjects in focus – from left to right and from back to front – automatically.
The E-PL2 also includes a new picture mode called iEnhance that automatically selects the correct exposure settings for subjects such as close-ups, sports and action scenes, landscapes, portraits and night scenes, and then applies additional adjustments to color or contrast, as needed, to make good images exceptional.
The E-PL2 alos offer six ART Filters that automatically process images using special effects and 22 Scene Modes that apply camera settings for specific shooting scenarios.
The E-PL2’s manual movie mode (30 frames per second at 720p) allows for independent control of aperture and shutter for expanded creative control. This fine control allows you to express your vision exactly how you want in your HD videos.
Once you’ve captured your works of art, seamlessly mix your still images and videos in-camera to create a multimedia slide show. Dub in one of the available background music options to provide a soundtrack for your cinematic creation, and play it back in the camera or on any HD television. (HDMI cable not included.) When connected to an HDTV, you can use the television’s remote to navigate camera menus and perform playback operations by activating HDMI CONTROL.
Finally, like all of Olympus’ PEN digital cameras, the E-PL2 supports all Micro Four Thirds-compliant lenses natively. With the addition of optional lens mount adapters it can also support Olympus’ Four Thirds-compliant E-System lenses and OM-series film lenses – as well as legacy lenses from a variety of manufacturers. No matter which lens you choose, the E-PL2’s in-body image stabilization ensures you’ll have Olympus’ best anti-blur protection.
What differentiates the E-PL2 from the E-PL1?
The major differences between these two models are summarized here.
What differentiates the E-PL2 from the E-P2?
The major differences between these two models are summarized here.
What types of memory cards does the E-PL2 accept?
The E-PL2 accepts Class 6 and Class 10 SD and SDHC memory cards up to 32 GB capacity.
Memory cards are optional accessories and must be purchased separately. Olympus does not manufacture SD or SDHC media. For a list of memory cards that have been tested and are known to be compatible with the E-PL1, please click here.
What is the composition of the camera body?
The front panel is aluminum; thr rest is constructed from engineering grade plastics.
Is the E-PL2 body splashproof?
No, the camera is not designed to be used in extreme environmental conditions. The Olympus E-5 would be more appropriate for use in severe conditions.
The E-PL2 features Live View. What is it, and how does it work?
Live View is the technology that allows you to use the LCD monitor to compose shots or to shoot while viewing an enlarged display on the monitor.
Live View uses the Imager AF system to secure focus. Using IMAGER AF, autofocus is acquired via contrast detection. The camera searches 11 AF targets to find the one that contains the greatest contrast and then focuses on it. Typically, this will identify the subject nearest to the lens.
The shooting sequence is as follows:
- Pressing the shutter button halfway activates contrast detection using the image on the sensor.
- When the focus is locked, the AF confirmation mark is displayed briefly in the upper right corner of the LCD. If the AF confirmation mark blinks, focus could not be obtained. Re-compose the shot, then press the shutter button halfway to try again.
- When the shutter button is fully depressed, the shutter fires, and the image is captured.
- The image is displayed on the LCD screen.
- The shutter reopens, and Live View is restored.
IMAGER AF can only be used with Micro Four Thirds system lenses and Four Thirds system digital lenses that have compatible firmware.1Compatible lenses can be identified by their AF confirmation mark. For compatible lenses, the AF confirmation mark looks like this: . The AF confirmation mark used with other Four Thirds system lenses looks like this: .
It is possible to pre-select a specific AF target. Doing so reduces shutter lag2 because the camera does not need to search for a subject in all AF targets. When selecting an AF target, choose one that contains an area of contrast. If the camera is unable to detect contrast (e.g., if the selected AF target is facing a stark white wall), it may not be able to take a picture.
To select a specific AF target, use the AF AREA function, which is accessible from the menu and the Super Control Panel. (The Custom menus and the Super Control Panel are not displayed by default; the user must configure the camera to use these navigation options.)
While using Live View, it may be desirable to magnify the subject on the LCD monitor. This is especially useful when using a Four Thirds system lens that is not compatible with IMAGER AF and/or when focusing manually because it makes focus confirmation and adjustment easier. If necessary, adjust the focus by rotating the focus ring. (AF MODE must be set to S-AF + MF or MF).
To view an enlarged display while using Live View, first press the  button. A green box will be displayed in the center of the LCD screen. Using the arrow buttons to move the box around the screen, select an area to enlarge. Press  to enlarge the selected area, and press it again to return to the normal display. To return the green box to the default position, press and hold the [OK] button.
While viewing an enlarged display, the degree of magnification can be set to 7x, 10x or 14x by pressing the [INFO] button and then pressing the Up and Down arrows. Press the [OK] buton to register the setting. Press [OK] again to cancel the enlarged display.
1 To view a list of compatible lenses, click here. Depending on the date of the purchase, a compatible model may require a firmware update in order to support high-speed IMAGER AF. In the future, Olympus may add high-speed IMAGER AF support to other Zuiko Digital lenses via firmware updates.
2Shutter lag can also be minimized by acquiring and locking the autofocus prior to pressing the shutter button.
Why doesn't the E-PL2 have a built-in optical viewfinder?
The E-PL2 does not offer a traditional viewfinder because of its compact size. The VF-1 and VF-2 are available accessory viewfinders that attach to the hot shoe of the E-PL1. The VF-1 is an optical viewfinder, intended for use with the M.Zuiko Digital 17mm lens. The VF-2 is an electronic viewfinder that attaches via the hot shoe and accessory port.
Can I preview the adjustments I make to camera settings on the Live View LCD monitor or the VF-2 viewfinder?
While setting up a shot, changes made to the (exposure compensation) and WB (white balance) settings are displayed on the Live View LCD monitor so their effects can be checked before shooting. The effects are previewed in all shooting modes, including those in which the camera automatically adjusts exposure and/or white balance. LIVE VIEW BOOST must be set to OFF.
When LIVE VIEW BOOST is set to ON, the camera automatically adjusts the brightness level and displays the subject on the monitor for easier confirmation. The effects of exposure compensation adjustments are not shown on the monitor.
The LCD screen and the VF-2 cannot be used simultaneously -- it is either one or the other.
What are the advantages of lenses that are designed specifically for digital camera use?
Although the small size of the individual pixels in CCD, CMOS, and Live MOS image sensors enables them to capture even more detail than film, the sensitivity of the sensor elements is highly directional. That is, they respond best to light that strikes the elements straight on. With lenses designed for use with film, the light rays passing through the periphery of the lens strike the image sensor at an angle, and this tends to degrade picture quality at the periphery of the image area. On the other hand, lenses developed specifically for digital cameras are designed to match the imaging characteristics of CCD, CMOS and Live MOS sensors, ensuring high image quality at both the center and the periphery of the frame.
What is the origin and meaning of the Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF)? Where does the dust go?
The filter is so named because it shakes dust off the image sensor using supersonic wave vibrations. The displaced dust is affixed to dust-collection components around the filter.
Is it necessary to clean or change the dust-collection components?
It is not necessary to clean or change the dust-collection components under normal use for several years. The dust-collection system can easily deal with the particles that are a shaken off using the dust-reduction system.
If the camera is used constantly in severe conditions, Olympus recommends that the camera body be sent to an authorized Olympus repair service center approximately at an interval of three to five years.
What are the purposes of the different record modes?
Record modes allow photographers to quickly and conveniently vary the quality settings used to capture and save images in-camera. While it is possible to always shoot at the higher-quality settings and process the images down to lower file sizes later using a computer, it may be more convenient in some situations to shoot at other than the higher-quality settings. For example, it may be preferable to shoot using a lower-quality settings when the shots are intended for use on the Internet, where small size is more important than rich detail.
The E-PL2 offers several record modes, whose benefits are outlined below.
RAW:This is the highest-quality record mode available in the E-PL2, and it allows the photographer the most creative control in post-production. Images are saved to the memory card from the camera sensor with minimal image processing. Factors such as white balance, sharpness, contrast, and color are unchanged so they can be modified later on a computer. Some photographers prefer to shoot RAW all the time for all subjects, while others may shoot RAW in situations that pose complicated exposure problems.
Each camera manufacturer has its own version of RAW tailored to its cameras; therefore, special software is required to process RAW files and convert them to other image file formats such as JPEG and TIFF. The OLYMPUS ib, OLYMPUS Master® 2 and OLYMPUS Studio® and Olympus Viewer 2 applications contain RAW processing and conversion software for the Olympus RAW format, which bears the file extension *.orf. Third-party imaging software and operating systems may use RAW plug-ins or updates to process Olympus RAW files. Without them, they would not be able to read RAW images from Olympus digital cameras. Most photo kiosks, printers and photo labs cannot read unconverted RAW images.
JPEG: Four record modes create compressed JPEG image files. When the camera processes a captured JPEG image and saves it to the memory card, it uses algorithms to discard some of the data to make the file size smaller. The process of mathematically reducing a file's size by discarding some of its data is called compression. The greater the compression ratio, the more data will be discarded and the smaller will be the file size. When the image is opened on a computer, the JPEG algorithms reconstruct the discarded data.
The camera permits customization of the JPEG record modes by mixing and matching their quality settings. The factors that define a JPEG record mode are image size (determined by the number of pixels in the image) and compression ratio.
The table below shows all of the combinations of image size and compression ratio available in the E-PL1.
Customization of the quality settings is performed via the option, which is found in the menu. The controls on this screen are used to set image sizes as either L (Large), M (Middle) or S (Small) and to set compression ratios as SF (Super Fine), F (Fine), N (Normal) or B (Basic). The PIXEL COUNT menu item, also in menu , further customizes the Middle and Small image size settings by offering a choice of display resolutions.
RAW+JPEG: Four record modes in the E-PL2 save both a RAW and a JPEG image when a picture is taken. This can be advantageous when shots are intended for use in multiple media or when the medium in which the images will ultimately be published has not been determined.
The quality settings used to process the JPEGs in the RAW + JPEG record modes are tied to the quality settings defined for the corresponding JPEG record modes on the menu. The first RAW + JPEG record mode uses the JPEG settings of the first registered JPEG record mode; the second RAW + JPEG record mode uses the JPEG settings of the second registered JPEG mode; and so on. Changing the JPEG quality settings via the and PIXEL COUNT menus affects both a JPEG record mode and its RAW + JPEG record mode "counterpart."
To activate a Record Mode, use the function in the menu or select the record mode directly from the display in the Live Control or Super Control Panel control view. You can also quickly toggle between a JPEG record mode and its corresponding RAW+JPEG mode if you pre-register that function to the button. This is accomplished via the item in the submenu.
Why isn't there a TIFF Record Mode like in my other Olympus cameras?
TIFF files are very large files that take longer to write to the memory card and fill up the memory card more rapidly than RAW or JPEG files. A TIFF file in the E-PL2 would be about 36 MB. It is more efficient to shoot in RAW and save the RAW conversion as a TIFF file, using the OLYMPUS Master®, OLYMPUS Studio® Olympus [ib] or Olympus Viewer 2 applications.
What is the purpose of the SCN (Scene) mode?
The E-PL2 has a SCN (Scene) mode that optimizes the camera settings for specific shooting conditions. All of the settings applied in the 22 available Scenes can also be applied via controls in the camera menu, but applying them manually can be time-consuming. In addition, amateur photographers may not have a deep enough knowledge of photography to select the appropriate settings for some situations that advanced amateur and professional photographers would employ.
What are Art Filters?
Art Filters enable the application of creatve effects in-camera while shooting. The Art Filters available on the E-PL2 are:
- POP ART - Increases the saturation of bright colors
- SOFT FOCUS - Diffuses the image
- GRAINY FILM - Simulates the look and contrast of high-speed black and white 35mm film
- PIN HOLE - Simulates the look of a pinhole camera with soft edges and vignetting
- DIORAMA - Simulates the look of photographing a miniature model by narrowing the depth of focus
- DRAMATIC TONE - Simulates the look of High Dynamic Range (HDR) digital photography
Art Filters can be applied to still images as well as movies. When Art Filters are in use, the Super Control Panel is not available.
Is it possible to "undo" an Art Filter after it has been shot?
No. However, if the camera’s Record Mode is set to a RAW+JPEG mode, only the JPEG image will be processed by the camera using the selected Art Filter. The RAW image will not be processed by the camera other than to perform lossless compression. If you decide after taking the shot that you would prefer a different effect, you can still use the RAW image to post-process the shot to your taste.
What is the purpose of IMAGE ASPECT?
The IMAGE ASPECT function is used to change the aspect ratio (horizontal-to-vertical ratio) of captured images. The default aspect ratio is 4:3, which is the aspect ratio of the imaging sensor.
The E-PL2 provides four aspect ratio options. This allows the photographer to pre-visualize and shoot for specific print formats. For example - if the assignment were to shoot an event that will be printed as albums of 4 x 6 inch prints, the image aspect ratio would be set to 3:2. If the assignment were to shoot cover art for a CD sleeve, 6:6 would be selected since this would yield square images.
The table below shows the aspect ratios that are available in the E-PL2, the image size options for JPEG images captured using each ratio, and usage recommendations. The image that follows illustrates the shapes of images captured at each aspect ratio. Select the one that best fits the expression and purpose of your images.
||4032 x 3024 / 2560 x 1920 / 1280 x 960
||Default; the aspect ratio used by the imaging sensor|
||4032 x 2688 / 2544 x 1696 / 1296 x 864
||The aspect ratio of 35mm film; 4 x 6-inch prints|
||4032 x 2272 / 2560 x 1440 / 1280 x 720
||The aspect ratio of HDTV and widescreen TVs|
||3024 x 3024 / 1920 x 1920 / 960 x 960
||Square aspect ratio, medium format camera|
When a non-default aspect ratio is selected, JPEG images are cropped and recorded using the selected aspect ratio. When the JPEG images are reviewed in Playback mode or in OLYMPUS ib, OLYMPUS Studio 2, OLYMPUS Master 2 or Olympus Viewer 2 software, they are displayed at the cropped dimensions.
RAW images are not cropped, but the aspect ratio information is recorded to the digital files with the image data at the time of shooting. When a RAW image is reviewed in Playback mode or in OLYMPUS ib, OLYMPUS Studio 2 or OLYMPUS Master 2 software, the uncropped image data is shown overlaid by a template, or frame, based on the selected aspect ratio. The frame is provided as a reference so you can preview the effect of applying the crop.
Note: The aspect ratio information stored with RAW images can be used to crop the images in the camera (via the EDIT menu) or in the OLYMPUS ib, OLYMPUS Studio 2, OLYMPUS Master 2 or Olympus Viewer 2 software. The software may require an update to recognize the saved aspect ratio information.
What are MULTIPLE EXPOSURE and IMAGE OVERLAY?
MULTIPLE EXPOSURE and IMAGE OVERLAY are options built into the E-PL2 that enable multiple images to be combined and saved as a single image (two images and up to three images, respectively).
MULTIPLE EXPOSURE, located in the menu, is used at the time of image capture -- for example, to add a telephoto shot of the moon to a night skyline shot. Two RAW or JPEG shots can be combined into one image. (The record mode is fixed after the first shot in the sequene.) When the function's frame setting is set to 2, you can also select a stored RAW image and shoot additional RAW or JPEG exposures to overlay onto the stored image. The record mode used to capture the overlaying exposure(s) will determine the file format of the final, combined image. If JPEGs are shot, the combined image will be a JPEG; if RAW is selected, the combined image will be a RAW file.
IMAGE OVERLAY, located in the > EDIT menu, is used to combine up to three RAW images previously saved on a memory card.
In the White Balance (WB) menu, what do all of those numbers followed by a "K" mean?
The color balance of different light sources in the color spectrum is rated numerically by color temperature in the standard Kelvin (K) temperature scale. A color temperature value is expressed as a number followed by a “K,” for Kelvin.
The chart below shows approximate values of different light sources in the E-PL2's White Balance menu:
- 5300K - Use for shooting outdoors on a clear day, or to capture the reds in a sunset or the colors in a fireworks display.
- 7500K - Use for shooting outdoors in the shadows on a clear day. The light in shadows areas is bluer, so this setting compensates for the color shift.
- 6000K - Use for shooting outdoors on a cloudy day. This setting makes the color slightly warmer in tone.
- 3000K - Use for shooting under tungsten light. This setting keeps the images from coming out with a yellow color cast.
- 4000K - Use for shooting under white fluorescent lighting.
- 4500K - Use for shooting under a neutral white fluorescent lamp.
- 6600K - Use for shooting under a daylight fluorescent lamp.
- 5500K - Use for flash shooting.
Color temperature settings can be applied in situations for which they are not intended for creative effects. For example, a tungsten setting can be used on a cloudy day to produce a surreal effect suggesting cold.
The Custom White Balance (CWB) settings in the White Balance menu allow photographers to select more accurate color temperature settings. Many commercially available lamps are labeled with color temperature ratings that fall between 3000K and 4000K, so a photographer is able to set up the camera for more accurate color rendition.
With so many White Balance settings available, why and when should I use One-Touch White Balance?
There are many light sources and situations that are not covered by Auto White Balance or the other settings in the White Balance menu. There are many noncontinuous light sources that do not have all of the colors of the spectrum, such as fluorescent, mercury vapor, and sodium vapor lights. There are also situations in which many different types of lights are used in one environment. These do not neatly fit into what the camera firmware knows about white balance, so it is necessary to “educate” the camera about the specific light balance by shooting a white reference subject such as a white card and saving the data in the White Balance menu as a One-Touch White Balance.
Where can I find documentation for this camera?
The E-PL-2 is packaged with a printed Instruction Manual. The documents can also be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.
Adobe Reader® is required to view the PDF files. The software is available as a free download from Adobe's web site.
What is the purpose of the CONTROL SETTING function?
CONTROL SETTING is found in the D tab in the camera's menu.
The CONTROL SETTING function determines which camera navigation options are available in each shooting mode. While the hierarchical menu is always available by pressing the [MENU] button, CONTROL SETTING presents convenient short-cut options to help you quickly access frequently used controls. The control view options are LIVE GUIDE¹, LIVE CONTROL and SCP (Super Control Panel).
The LIVE GUIDE view, designed for novice photographers, lets you fine adjust photographic effects such as brightness, color saturation, color balance and background blur using convenient and intuitive slide bars. As you move a slider up or down with the arrow keys, you can preview the effect of the change on the LCD monitor before you snap the picture. A technical understanding of photography concepts and jargon is not necessary.
The LIVE CONTROL view presents narrow banners along the right side of, and at the bottom of, the LCD monitor. The banner on the right is filled with icons that represent camera settings such as White Balance and ISO; use the Up and Down arrows to select a setting you wish to edit. The bottom banner contains icons that represent the options available for the selected setting; use the Left and Right arrows to scroll through the options and select a setting. Press the [OK] button to activate the new setting.
The SCP view presents the Super Control Panel, a grid that overlays the image on the LCD. Use the arrow buttons to select a setting on the grid and press the [OK] button to activate it.
Before you can access a control view from a particular shooting mode, it must be activated for that mode by changing its CONTROL SETTING value to ON. The CONTROL SETTING function is located in the submenu.
Once a control view is activated, you can access it by pressing the [OK] button. If multiple views are activated for a particular shooting mode, pressing the [INFO] button repeatedly will cycle through the enabled views. To exit any control view, press the shutter button halfway down.
¹ LIVE GUIDE is available only when the Mode Dial is set to iAUTO. Because iAUTO is a fully automated shooting mode, some settings cannot be adjusted when using LIVE GUIDE.
How can I access the Super Control Panel on the E-PL2?
Before you can access the Super Control Panel, you must activate it using the CONTROL SETTING function in the Custom Menu.
When enabling the panel, you must specify which shooting modes will be able to display it. The options are iAUTO, P/A/S/M and ART/SCN. iAUTO turns on support for the Super Control Panel when shooting in the iAUTO shooting mode. P/A/S/M permits the Super Control Panel to be used in the Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual shooting modes. ART/SCN makes it available when shooting using Art Filters or Scenes. It is possible to enable the Super Control Panel for all three options, but each option must be set individually.
To activate the Super Control Panel, do the following:
- Press the [MENU] button to display the menu.
- Press the Left arrow button on the keypad once, and then use the Up and Down arrows to select .
- Press the Right arrow to enter the submenu.
- Use the Up and Down arrows to select DISP//PC, and then press the Right arrow to continue.
- Use the Up and Down arrows to select CONTROL SETTING, and then press the Right arrow to continue.
- Use the Up and Down arrows to select the option that corresponds to the shooting mode(s) for which you wish to enable the Super Control Panel, and then press the Right arrow.
- Use the Up or Down arrow to select SCP, and then press the Right arrow.
- Use the Up or Down arrow to select ON, and then press the [OK] button.
- Press [MENU] twice to exit the menu system.
Repeat this process if you wish to enable the Super Control Panel for additional shooting modes.
To access the Super Control Panel while shooting, do the following:
- Set the mode dial to a mode for which you have previously activated the SCP setting.
- Press the [OK] button.
If the Live Control view is also available for the selected shooting mode, the Live Control view will be displayed on the LCD. Press the [INFO] button again to view the Super Control Panel.
If the Live Control view is not available (i.e. LIVE CONTROL is set to OFF), the Super Control Panel will be displayed on the LCD.
In the PICTURE MODE > MONOTONE menu feature, what is the purpose of the B&W filter options?
In black-and-white film photography, different colored filters are placed in front of the lens to modify the tones in the final image. These are called contrast filters. One popular effect created with contrast filters results in a landscape photograph with majestic clouds against an almost black sky. This effect is obtained by shooting through a deep red filter, which makes the blue in the sky darker.
A general rule of thumb regarding the use of contrast filters is: The filter makes its own color lighter in tone and its opposite color darker in tone.
The E-PL2 is able to create these effects without using physical filters by modifying the performance of the red, green and blue color channels in the MONOTONE mode.
The functions of the B&W filters are described below:
- RED - The red filter darkens blues and greens and lightens reds. In landscape photography, it produces dark skies that make clouds look more dramatic. The red filter can also cut through atmospheric haze to some degree. It can be used in portraiture to diminish skin blemishes on light-skinned people.
- YELLOW - The yellow filter darkens the blue in the sky so clouds separate from the sky without producing the dramatic effect of the red filter. Many black and white photographers routinely keep a yellow filter on their camera because the effects appear more natural than those of other filters. In copy photography of old documents, the yellow filter brightens the look of yellowed paper.
- ORANGE - The effect of the orange filter falls midway between that of the red and yellow filters.
- GREEN - The green filter lightens plants in images. It will also make red subject matter darker and add contrast to sunsets.
The B&W Filter effects can be previewed on the Live View screen before shooting.
Does this camera have an AF Sensitivity function like my Olympus E-System DSLR does?
AF sensitivity refers to the size of the AF sampling area – that is, the portion of the subject or AF sensor that the camera will use to secure autofocus.
Some Olympus E-System DSLRs offer an AF Sensitivity function. It is available when shooting with phase detection AF when composing shots via the viewfinder. The options are Normal and Small. The Normal option causes the camera to focus using an area slightly larger than an AF target; the Small option uses only the area within the AF target.
On this camera, you can produce a similar effect when composing shots on the Live View LCD monitor by adjusting the magnification ratio of the Zoom Frame AF function. When zoom frame AF is enabled, the square AF frame that would normally be displayed on the LCD to assist with focusing is replaced by a zoom frame. The zoom frame is smaller than the AF frame and has the aspect ratio of the LCD screen, not of the square AF frame. As the magnification factor increases, the zoom frame decreases in size. Only the data within the zoom frame is evaluated when the camera tries to acquire autofocus. Therefore, a smaller amount of image data will be evaluated by the camera when it tries to acquire autofocus.
This function can result in finer precision focusing than is possible using the camera’s default settings.
How can I adjust the size of the AF sampling area that the camera uses to autofocus?
This camera obtains autofocus by sampling a portion of the image data in the scene and searching within that area for the subject with the greatest contrast. This AF sampling area is indicated on the LCD screen by the AF frame (standard operation) or the zoom frame (when shooting using zoom frame AF).
The AF frame has fixed dimensions; however, the size of the zoom frame can be reduced by adjusting the magnification factor of the zoom frame AF function. As the magnification is increased, the size of the zoom frame decreases. Because the camera only considers the picture information within the zoom frame when it sets autofocus, the result is that the camera uses a smaller area of the scene to determine focus. This configuration makes the camera achieve autofocus with greater precision than when sampling using the AF frame.
To change the size of the AF sampling area, please do the following:
- Press the Zoom button once. The zoom frame is displayed on the LCD screen. Notice that the zoom frame has the aspect ratio of the LCD screen, not of the square AF frame. The first time this function is used, the zoom frame is configured to use a magnification factor of 7x.
- Press the INFO button once. The magnification factor will be displayed in the bottom left corner of the LCD screen.
- Press the Up button on the circular keypad once to select a 10x magnification factor, or press it twice to select 14x. As the magnification factor increases, the zoom frame shrinks. Once the zoom frame reaches the desired size, press the [OK] button to register the setting. The area within the zoom frame becomes the new AF sampling area. Only the image data within the zoom frame will be considered when the camera sets autofocus.
The zoom frame can be positioned anywhere on the LCD screen by using the arrow buttons on the keypad. When the zoom frame is displayed, pressing the zoom button will enlarge the image data contained within the zoom frame until it fills the LCD screen. Pressing the zoom button again will end the zoom AF display, and the zoom frame will again be visible on the LCD screen. Note that the zoom frame AF function only magnifies the image on the LCD screen; it has no effect on the resulting captured image.
To return to the default autofocus operation, press [OK] while the zoom frame is displayed.
When the camera is powered down, the size of the zoom frame and its accompanying magnification factor remain registered. Therefore, if you prefer to shoot with a minimal AF sampling area, you may register a smaller zoom frame and invoke it at any time by pressing the zoom button. Press [OK] to toggle back to standard autofocus.
Zoom AF settings are remembered even when the camera is powered off, but they are not default settings. Each time the camera is powered on, the camera will initially use the standard autofocus operation and the AF frame. To switch back to your registered zoom frame AF settings, simply press the zoom button.
Does the E-PL2 have a programmable Custom Function button?
Actually, there are four buttons on the E-PL2 that can be programmed for custom functions. The Fn and the movie RECORD buttons can be programmed with the most options. The UP and RIGHT arrow buttons can also be programmed but with more limited options. To program button functions:
- Press the [MENU] button.
- Press the [Down] arrow button three times.
- Press the [Right] arrow button and select BUTTON/DIAL.Press the [Right] arrow button and select BUTTON FUNCTION.
- Press the [Right] arrow button to select which button to program and press the [Right] arrow button again to display the options.
- Scroll through the options using the [Up] and [Down] arrow buttons.
- When you arrive at the selected option, press the [OK] button to register the function option.
The available functions are:
- OFF - This option disables function allocation.
- FACE DETECT - This the default factory setting for the [Fn] button. Press the [Fn] or [RECORD] button to turn on FACE DETECT and press the button again to turn it off.
- PREVIEW (electronic) - This setting is used to check the depth-of-field while viewing the image on the Live View LCD screen. The Custom Function button is pressed, the camera will stop down to the selected f-stop.
- (One-Touch White Balance) – This function is useful when you need a more precise white balance than preset White Balance can provide. When this function is registered to a Custom Function button, the optimum white balance for shooting conditions can be saved by photographing a white piece of paper under a light source that will be used in your shot. While holding down the Custom Function button, press the shutter button once. Press the [OK] button to register the white balance. The setting is retained until a new custom white balance is registered by repeating the procedure.
- HOME - Press the [Fn] or [RECORD] button to switch to the registered AF home position> Press the button again to return to the original AF target mode.
- MF - Press the [Fn] or [RECORD] to switch AF mode to manual Focus. Press the button again to switch to the original AF mode.
- RAW - Press the [Fn] or [RECORD] button to switch the record mode from JPEG to RAW+JPEG or from RAW+JPEG to JPEG. You can change the record mode by turning the Control Dial while holding down the [Fn button.
- TEST PICTURE - This enables a photographer to shoot a picture and see it on the monitor without saving it to the memory card. This can be useful in a studio situation where it would be desirable to shoot setup tests and not use up space on a memory card. Simply hold down the [Fn] or [RECORD] button while shooting.
- MYSET 1-4 - If a photographer has registered special settings in one of the MYSET options, this option allows the photographer to apply the settings without having to go into the menu. Simply hold down the [Fn] or [RECORD] and shoot.
- Underwater SCN - Press the [Fn or [RECORD button to toggle between the scene modes when the camera is used in a underwater housing.
- AEL/AFL - Press the [Fn] or [RECORD] button to lock focus and exposure.
- RECORD - Press the [Fn] or [RECORD] button to record a movie. If this option has not been assigned to either button, movies can be recorded using the shutter button in MOVIE MODE.
- BACKLIT LCD - Press the [Fn] button to turn the LCD off. This function is useful when using the optional optical viewfinder VF-1. Press the [Fn] button again to turn the monitor back on.
The [Up] and [Right] arrow buttons can also be assigned custom button functions. The [Up] arrow button can be assigned Flash Mode, Exposure Compensation, White Balance and ISO. The [Right] arrow button can be assigned Drive, Self-Timer, Flash Mode, Exposure Compensation, White Balance and ISO.
What are the differences among the three Image Stabilizer options?
The Image Stabilizer has the following three options:
- I.S. 1 - The Image Stabilizer corrects for camera shake on both the horizontal and vertical planes.
- I.S. 2 - The Image Stabilizer only corrects for vertical camera shake. This is to allow a photographer to use a low shutter speed and pan horizontally for creative effect. Situations in which this technique can be applied include tracking rapidly moving subjects such as flying birds, running wildlife, racing cars and athletes with the intention of blurring the background for a visual effect in the image. The result would be a sharply defined subject against a blurred background that might otherwise appear cluttered.
- I.S. 3 - The Image Stabilizer corrects for horizontal camera shake when the camera is being panned up or down, such as when following a diver from a diving board to a pool.
When attaching the camera to a lens other than a Micro Four Thirds or Four Thirds lens, the Image Stabilizer corrects the camera shake based on the focal length of the lens. You must manually set this value. The focal length can be set from 8 mm to 1,000 mm. Set the focal length to the value (or the nearest value) that is displayed on the lens.
- The image stabilizer cannot correct excessive camera shake or camera shake that occurs when using an extremely slow shutter speed. Use a tripod so your camera remains steady when shooting.
- When attaching the camera to a lens with its own image stabilizer function, turn off the image stabilizer function of either the lens or the camera.
- The image stabilizer will not operate when you shoot with a shutter speed of greater than 2 seconds.
For how many steps of shutter speed does the Image Stabilizer compensate?
The effect of the Image Stabilizer is equivalent to up to four shutter speed steps, according to Olympus' testing conditions. The value varies depending on the lens and shooting conditions. For example, when you shoot at a shutter speed of 1/15 second, the Image Stabilizer compensates for camera shake equivalent to 1/250 second.
Note: Image stabilization may not be possible at very slow shutter speeds or when the camera is severely shaken.
How do I update the firmware in the E-PL2 camera body and Micro Four Thirds System lenses?
Firmware updates of Olympus Micro Four Thirds system-compatible digital camera bodies and lenses are performed using OLYMPUS [ib]® 2 or OLYMPUS Viewer 2® software. Each version of the software has an Update Camera function that is used to initiate the update procedure.
Below are the locations of the update functions in the various software versions:
- OLYMPUS [ib] In the menu bar, Cameras will open the OLYMPUS Digital Camera Updater applet.
- OLYMPUS Viewer 2.x: In the toolbar, clicking on the Update Camera icon will open the OLYMPUS Digital Camera Updater applet.
Before updating, mount an Olympus M.Zuiko Digital lens to the camera body and set the camera body’s USB MODE to STORAGE. Connect the camera to a computer via its bundled USB cable. The computer must be connected to the Internet because the download and installation are managed online from an Olympus server. The camera battery should be fully charged. When these prerequisites are met, launch the software and click on the update function.
The update process will first poll the camera and lens to determine what firmware versions are currently installed. It will then ask if you want to search for newer versions. If a newer version is found, you will be prompted to perform the update. Step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process.
Follow the on-screen instructions carefully. If you deviate from the instructions, the firmware installation may not complete and the firmware may become corrupted. If this occurs, the camera will have to be sent to an Olympus Repair Service Center to have its firmware replaced. Do not do a firmware update during a storm or when there is a risk of losing power because this will also cause a corrupted firmware installation.
Once the firmware is updated, it is not possible to go back to a previous version.
You can check the firmware version of your camera and lens at any time when the camera is not connected to a computer. Open the menu, go to the menu, scroll to FIRMWARE and toggle right. The LCD will display the firmware version for the camera body and the currently mounted lens.
Lenses can be upgraded individually using the same update process even if the camera body already has the most current firmware. Mount a different lens on the body and repeat the update process as though you were updating the camera body.
Can I use the E-PL2 to update the firmware of any Micro Four Thirds System-compliant lens?
The answer depends on what company manufactured the lens.
Olympus Imaging Corp., Panasonic Corporation and Sigma Corporation offer a joint firmware update service that makes it possible to download and install firmware for one another's Micro Four Thirds System-compliant and Four Thirds System-compliant lenses when the lenses are attached to any of the companies' Micro Four Thirds System-compliant cameras. The service is not available for Four Thirds System-compliant lenses manufactured by other companies, such as Kodak, Fuji and Sanyo.
Panasonic/Leica and Sigma lenses mounted on this camera can be updated using the OLYMPUS Digital Camera Updater software. For details on how to acquire the software and how to update the firmware of a Micro Four Thirds or Four Thirds System lens or camera, please click here.
For more information on the joint firmware update service, please click here.
Sometimes when I turn off the camera, I feel a slight vibration or hear a noise. Why is that?
When the camera is powered down, slight vibration and noise occur as the Image Stabilizer motor resets the image sensor to its default position. The camera takes this action when shooting with the Image Stabilizer function set to I.S. 1, I.S. 2 or I.S. 3. In these modes, the camera moves the sensor during shooting in order to counter the effects of camera shake. When the power is turned off, the camera moves the sensor back into the default position.
When Image Stabilizer is set to Off, the sensor does not move during shooting and so does not need to be reset. However, if shooting with a zoom lens, some noise may still be heard when the camera is powered off as the lens resets its focus to infinity.
If both Image Stabilizer and Reset Lens are set to Off, the camera will power down in silence.
I have a lens from another manufacturer that has built-in optical image stabilization. Will I get more image stabilization if I mount it on the E-PL2 and enable its image stabilizer?
In such a scenario, it is recommended to use one or the other, but not both image stabilizers simultaneously. If both lens and body image stabilization are being used at the same time, the combination may be counter-productive because the camera image stabilization would be trying to compensate for the lens image stabilization and not be able to arrive at a stabilized image.
What are the P,A,S and M modes and how are they used?
The P, A, S and M modes are exposure modes. These exposure modes allow the photographer creative flexibility by enabling more control over shutter speed and f-stop settings while shooting. The exposure modes enable total access to the menu options, unlike the AUTO and Scene exposure modes found in Olympus consumer DSLRs. They are also the modes required for use with E-System flash accessories.
Briefly, the exposure modes and their applications are as follows:
- P (Program shooting) – This mode allows shooting using an aperture and shutter speed set by the camera. However, the Program Shift function allows some creative control. When powered on with this mode selected, the E-30 displays P in the upper left of the Control Panel screen. Rotating the main dial or the sub dial changes the P to Ps, which is Program Shift. This permits the selection of a shutter speed or aperture other than the default while maintaining the same exposure. If a higher shutter speed is selected, a wider aperture will be set. If a slower shutter speed is selected, a smaller aperture will be set. In effect, it is an AUTO mode that accepts input from the photographer.
- A (Aperture Priority shooting) – This mode allows the aperture to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over depth-of-field. This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any aperture in the range of the lens by rotating the main dial or sub dial. The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the shutter speed automatically as the f-stops are changed. If the shutter speed/aperture combination will result in under- or overexposure, the exposure values in the viewfinder and on the Control Panel screen will blink.
- S (Shutter Priority shooting) – This mode allows the shutter speed to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over stopping action or reducing camera shake. This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any shutter speed in the range of the camera body using the main dial or sub dial. The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the aperture automatically as the shutter speeds are changed. If the shutter speed/aperture combination will result in under- or overexposure, the exposure values in the viewfinder and Control Panel screen will blink.
- M (Manual shooting) – This mode allows the photographer to set the shutter speed and aperture independently. Program Shift is not applied in this mode. Manual mode is invaluable to photographers using studio electronic flash systems and manual hot shoe electronic flashes because it allows the user to set the correct sync speed for flash and set an f-stop determined by a flash meter reading or testing. It also allows for use in exotic photographic situations such as scientific and engineering photography beyond the parameters of the camera firmware. In the Manual shooting mode the shutter speed is set using the main dial and the aperture is set using the sub dial.
The E-PL2 has five focusing modes. Which should I use?
The five focusing modes are provided to offer the photographer greater flexibility in setting up the camera for diverse shooting situations. Any of the focusing modes that have an MF in their designation allow the photographer to adjust the focus by turning the focusing ring on the lens.
- S-AF (Single AF) – Every time the shutter button is pressed halfway, the camera focuses. This mode is suitable for taking pictures of still subjects or subjects with limited movement.
- C-AF (Continuous AF) – The camera continuously refocuses as long as the shutter button is held down halfway. When the subject is in motion, the camera focuses on the subject in anticipation of its movement using Predictive Autofocus technology. When shooting in the Sequential Shooting Drive mode, Continuous AF resumes after a burst of images when the shutter button is returned to the halfway position.
- MF (Manual Focus) – The lens is focused manually by rotating the lens focus ring. Still life and landscape photographers may prefer this focus mode as it allows more creative control. Turn the focus ring and the view will switch to zoom display automatically. You can de-activate the zoom display in the Custom Menu. You can select the rotational direction of the focus ring to suit your preference for how the lens adjusts to the focusing point.
- S-AF+MF (Simultaneous use of the S-AF and Manual Focus) – This mode allows the photographer the option of fine adjusting the focus using the lens focus ring after the shutter button has been pressed halfway and autofocus has been locked. This mode allows the photographer more creative control over the autofocus to focus on a specific area the autofocus may not have selected. If the shutter button is pressed again after fine-adjusting the focus with the focus ring, the AF is activated and your adjustments are cancelled.
- C-AF+TR (AF Tracking) - This autofocu mode uses Continuous Autofocus and track a subject once the camera gets a focus lock on the subject. Press the shutter button halfway to focus. The camera then tracks and maintains focus on the current subject while the shutter button is held in this position. The AF target is displayed in red if the camera can no longer track the subject. Release the shutter button and then frame the subject again and press the shutter button halfway.
The subject I want in focus doesn't line up with any of the AF targets in the LCD screen. How do I get the camera to focus on the subject?
The Focus Lock function enables the photographer to prefocus on a specific subject, lock the focus, and then re-compose the image and shoot the picture.
- Position the AF frame on the autofocus subject and press the shutter button halfway until the AF confirmation mark lights up. The focus will be locked.
- While holding the shutter button in the halfway position, recompose the image and press the shutter button all the way to shoot the picture.
At first this may seem cumbersome, but with practice it can become a fluid movement.
The focus does not change when I turn the focus ring on the lens. Why not?
The manual focus ring will only function if it is activated. Choosing a focusing mode with MF options such as MF or S-AF+MF, will activate the manual focus ring.
Is there a way to shoot if I don't want to wait for autofocus to lock or the flash to recycle?
Normally, the camera will not shoot while autofocus is operating or the flash is charging. However, situations may arise where the photographer would want to override the camera and force it to fire under marginal shooting conditions when the camera may not be ready to shoot.
The Shutter Release Priority function will permit the camera to shoot even though normal shooting requirements are not met. The function is found in the menu under RELEASE (Custom Menu C). Two options are available:
- RLS PRORITY S: Set to ON to enable the camera to fire immediately, without waiting for focus confirmation, in the S+AF autofocus mode.
- RLS PRIORITY C: Set to OFF to force the camera to secure focus before firing in the C+AF autofocus mode.
Be advised that overriding the camera creates special considerations. Shooting before the flash has recycled may cause images to be underexposed if ambient light is insufficient to illuminate the subject. Shooting before autofocus has locked may result in blurry images, particularly when the subject is in motion. To compensate for the loss of autofocus, increase the depth of field by shooting with the smallest aperture that is practical for acquiring the shot.
In the CARD SETUP menu, the options are ALL ERASE and FORMAT. What is the difference between these settings?
ALL ERASE deletes all of the images from the memory card directory except for those that have been protected. FORMAT deletes all of the images from the memory card directory and overwrites the directory. In both cases, the actual digital images are still on the memory card until new images are shot that overwrite the old images. Therefore, if images are inadvertently erased or formatted, it may be possible to retrieve them via image recovery software.
If ALL ERASE is used exclusively to delete images, over time a buildup of artifacts in the directory may corrupt the memory card. The FORMAT option is recommended to preserve the integrity of the memory card and extend its useful life.
How do I use the different metering modes?
The E-PL1 provides several metering options that allow the photographer to have greater creative control over exposure. The metering modes can be set via the Live Control screen, the Super Control Panel or the camera menu.
Descriptions and applications of the metering modes are detailed below:
||Digital ESP metering is recommended for general use. The E-P2 measures and calculates the light differences in 324 separate areas of the image. |
||Center Weighted Averaging metering provides average metering between the subject and the background lighting, placing more weight on the center of the frame. Use this mode to prevent the light level of the background from affecting the exposure value of the main subject.|
||Spot metering meters an area of about 2% of the frame around the center AF frame. This mode can be used to meter a backlit subject. Spot metering must be used very carefully because the brightness of the subject area that the metering spot is centered on can dramatically influence the final exposure.|
||HI Spot metering performs the same as Spot metering but compensates toward overexposure, allowing accurate white reproduction. For example: with normal Spot metering, snow would be captured as grey rather than white. The HI Spot Metering compensates so that the snow would appear whiter in the exposure.|
||SH Spot metering is the inverse of HI Spot metering and compensates toward underexposure to keep dark areas from exposing lighter toward grayness. An example would be photographing a black cat on a light background. SH Spot metering would underexpose the cat so that it would expose as black rather than gray. |
What is the purpose of Exposure Compensation?
Metering systems in cameras measure light but do not have a way of determining what the subject matter is, so the exposure decisions the metering system makes may not always be appropriate for the subject matter. This phenomenon is called subject failure. As with Spot metering, the human touch may be required to arrive at correct exposures. Exposure Compensation allows the photographer to set up the camera to under- or overexpose in specific situations.
The Exposure Compensation scale is displayed on the LCD’s control panel.
It is important to set the compensation back to 0 before shooting subjects in other conditions so the subjects will be properly exposed. When the Exposure Compensation is set to 0, the scale is not displayed in the Control Panel screen.
How do I use Tone Control?
In imaging post-processing software, there is often a feature called Tone Control or Tonal Curves which can be used to selectively control the brightness and contrast of images. The contrast of an image in tonal controls is called gamma and is represented by a slope in a square box. A 45 degree slope is a gamma of 1.0, which is considered normal contrast. However, tonal controls allow the slope to be pulled above and below the center line at selected points. At the bottom of the slope (the toe) are the shadows; pulling the slope upward lightens the shadows and pulling the slope downward darkens the shadows. At the top of the slope (the shoulder) are the highlights; pulling the slope upward lightens the highlights and pulling the slope downward darkens the highlights. In the middle of the slope, pulling the slope upward brightens the midtones, and pulling the slope downward darkens the midtones.
The E-PL2 has a Tone Control option that provides some limited options to select preset tonal curves to change the contrast and brightness of images when shooting, with preset one-step values of -7 to +7. The minus values primarily control the midtone to shadow portion of the slope and the plus values control the midtone to highlight portion of the slope, with the zero value representing the normal 1.0 gamma.
To enable the Tone Control function, press the UP arrow button and then the INFO button. A new icon will appear in the lower right quadrant of the LCD screen. The minus and plus values are selected using the LEFT and RIGHT arrow buttons. You will be able to see the effect of the various setings in the Live View before shooting. The effect is persistent from shot to shot until the control is reset.
How do I select the ISO setting to use?
Think of the ISO values as film speeds. Low ISOs such as 100 and 200 are better suited to situations in which there is a lot of light – outdoors scenes. ISOs 400 and 800 would be used outdoors where there is plenty of light and fast shutter speeds are desired – sports and air shows, for example – or indoors for available light shooting. ISO 1600 and above would be used where there are very low light levels, such as indoors or at night.
How does the E-PL2 combat noise commonly found at high ISOs?
Digital cameras vary the light sensitivity of the image sensor by varying the gain voltage applied to the sensor, much like turning up the volume on a stereo. When the gain voltage is increased, as it is when shooting with higher ISOs, the sensor becomes hot. Hot pixels perform differently under extreme conditions. The result is a graininess known as “noise.”
Noise occurs whenever sufficient heat has built up on the image sensor. Therefore, it can also be seen in images with long exposures, such as night photographs, due to the additional heat generated by charging the sensor for an extended period of time. All digital cameras include technologies to minimize the effects of noise. The E-P2 uses a sensor that dramatically decreases noise. In addition, it combats noise with two methods: NOISE FILTER and NOISE REDUCTION.
The NOISE FILTER function is found in the menu. It has four options: OFF, LOW, STANDARD and HIGH. The majority of digital cameras have a default noise filter that is always on. Some photographers feel that this reduces detail, so Olympus has included the option to not use a noise filter at all.
If NOISE FILTER is set to OFF, it is recommended to set the SHARPNESS setting to –2. If SHARPNESS is set to 0 it may exaggerate the noise when no noise filtering is being applied.
The NOISE REDUCTION function can also be enabled from the menu. After the first exposure, the camera makes a second exposure of equal length with the shutter closed. It then, in effect, overlays the two images, finds the hot pixels in the second image (essentially, any pixels that aren't black) and deletes the corresponding pixels from the first image. This doubles the shooting time. If the first exposure is 12 minutes 30 seconds, the second, black exposure will also be 12 minutes 30 seconds for a total exposure time of 25 minutes.
I shot in the RAW format and I need a JPEG image, but I'm away from my computer. How can I convert RAW files to JPEGs in the field?
The E-PL2 has a RAW editor in the camera menu that allows the photographer to not only convert the RAW file to a chosen JPEG record mode, but also to apply white balance, sharpness, contrast and color adjustments in the converted JPEG image.
To edit a RAW file in camera:
- Press the [MENU] button. Select the and then select the PICTURE MODE and (Record Mode) settings to be applied to the RAW image to be edited, if any.
- Exit the manu by pressing [MENU] again.
- Press the [WB] button. Set the white balance value to be applied to the RAW image, if desired.
- In the playback mode, select the RAW image to be edited.
- Open the menu, select the third tab (Edit), select EDIT and then toggle right. The RAW image to be edited will be displayed.
- Press the [OK] button,
- In the RAW DATA EDIT screen, select YES and then press OK.
A JPEG copy of the RAW image that reflects the settings selected in the menu will be saved to the memory card. The RAW image remains unchanged.
Where can I find information on how to use the bundled [ib] software?
Answers to the most frequently asked questions about [ib] are collected here.
Detailed documentation of the software's functions is available in the application's Help file. To access the Help file, launch [ib] and choose ib Help from the Help menu.
I am a Mac user. What software can I use to view my images and movies on my computer?
The [ib] software bundled with this camera is not compatible with Macintosh operating systems. Mac users who wish to transfer their images and movies to a Mac for viewing, editing and sharing have two options:
- Download and install OLYMPUS Master 2 from Olympus' Web site. This imaging software is compatible with Mac OS X 10.3 and later, and it provides many of the same functions as [ib]. To download the software, click here. Double-click the downloaded file to begin installation, and then follow the on-screen prompts.
- Connect the camera to the computer using the camera's bundled USB cable, and then manually transfer your files to the computer using standard copy/paste or drag and drop techniques. Once the files are on your computer, you can use any third-party application of your choice to view, edit and share them.
Olympus maintains this Tips and Tricks page to help you learn how to use the OLYMPUS Master 2 software. Additional information can be found in the application's Help file.
Can this camera be used for time lapse photography?
This camera's ANTI-SHOCK function can be used in conjunction with the sequential shooting Drive mode to shoot time lapse photography sequences. The series of captured images can later be converted into movies using third party software, such as QuickTime Player Pro.
ANTI-SHOCK is used to delay firing the shutter after the shutter button has been pressed. This allows any vibration to dissipate before the exposure is made. ANTI-SHOCK allows intervals of up to 30 seconds to be preset.
When combined with sequential shooting, ANTI-SHOCK can be used to command the camera to shoot at preset intervals much like the way an intervalometer can control a camera. In this configuration, the camera will take the first picture when the shutter button is pressed and then it will continue to capture images at the preset interval – for example, every 5 seconds – until one of the following occurs:
- The shutter button is released.
- The memory card capacity is reached.
- The camera records the maximum number of images. The limit varies depending on the selected record mode and the speed of the memory card. For example, when shooting with a Toshiba Super High Speed Class 6 SDHC 4 GB card, the camera can capture 10 sequential frames in the RAW record mode or 17 sequential images in the LN (Large size, Normal compression) record mode.
Using the optional Remote Cable Release (RM-UC1) will be more convenient because the remote can be locked once the button on the remote control is pressed and the camera will continue to shoot unattended. To purchase the RM-UC1, click here.
Notes: Olympus recommends mounting the camera on a tripod or securing it with a camera clamp when shooting time lapse sequences. It is also recommended to use Manual Focus to prevent focus from shifting during the sequence. A lower quality record mode may have to be used to reduce the size of the frames when creating a movie.
Which types of memory cards can I use with the E-PL2?
The E-PL2 accepts SD media, including SD, SDHC and SDXC cards in capacities ranging from 128 MB to 64 GB. It does not accept xD-Picture Card media or CompactFlash® cards.
To view a complete list of cards that were tested by Olympus and found to be compatible with the E-PL2, please click here.
Is my smartphone compatible with the PP-1 PENPAL wireless transfer accessory?
Please refer to the PENPAL Smartphone Compatibility table to see if your specific model is compatible with the PP-1 and to view any special considerations required for pairing with your device.
What is the difference between the MMF-1 and the MMF-2 Four Thirds-to-Micro Four Thirds adapters?
The MMF-1 and MMF-2 Four Thirds-to-Micro Four Thirds lens adapters differ in weight and color.
While retaining the function and performance of its predecessor, the MMF-2 attained a lighter weight by re-examining the inner structure of the adapter. The MMF-2 also provides a new color option that fits the design of Four Thirds lenses and PEN bodies.
The following table illustrates the differences between the MMF-1 and the MMF-2:
Which lenses are compatible with the MMF-1 and MMF-2?
For a list of Four Thirds lenses that are compatible with the MMF-1 and MMF-2 Four Thirds-to-Micro Four Thirds lens adapters, please click here.
- When taking pictures in C-AF mode using a Four Thirds lens and either lens adapter, the camera will use S-AF mode instead.
- It is recommended to update the firmware in the lens to the latest version. Visit the following website for more information:
Joint Update Service for Olympus E-System
Can I use my OM Series 35mm SLR lenses on the E-PL2?
Olympus OM-series lenses can be mounted on the E-PL2 with the optional MF-2 OM Adapter. OM-series lenses are unable to communicate with the firmware in the camera's body. Therefore, their use in this fashion has the following restrictions:
- Autofocus is not available.
- OM- series autofocus lenses cannot be manually focused.
- Stop-down metering is used.
- Spot metering does not work properly.
- Although it is possible to use the A (Aperture priority AE) shooting mode in auto exposure, the aperture display is not available.
- The aperture display in the M (Manual) shooting mode is not available.
- In P (Program Auto) or S (Shutter Speed priority) shooting mode, the shutter releases, but the auto exposure control does not work.
- The distance scale on the OM-series lens may not indicate the actual distance. Use the Live View screen (or optional viewfinder VF-1) for focusing.
Because the OM-series lenses were designed for film rather than for use with a digital sensor, the image quality may not equal that produced by M.Zuiko® Digital and Zuiko® Digital lenses.
To purchase the MF-2 OM Adapter (Item #260051) from The Olympus Store, click here.
Does the Image Stabilizer function in the E-PL2 work with Olympus OM Series lenses?
The Image Stabilizer function in the E-PL2 can be applied to OM-series manual lenses.
The Image Stabilizer function must know the focal length of the attached lens in order to apply the correct compensation to the sensor when the camera senses camera shake. Zuiko® Digital lenses, being "smart" lenses, automatically provide this information from the firmware in the lens to the firmware in the camera body. Manual lenses contain no electronics, so focal length information must be entered manually by the photographer.
The MF-2 OM Lens Adapter is required to attach an OM-Series lens to the Four Thirds® mount on the E-P2. To purchase the MF-2 OM Lens Adapter (Item 260051) from the Olympus Store, click here.
To set the focal length of an OM-Series lens do the following:
- Open the IMAGE STABILIZER screen using the Live Control, Super Control Panel or camera menu.
- Press and release the  button.
- Set the focal length using the Sub Dial or the Up or Down arrow keys, and then press the [OK] button.
The focal length settings available in the E-P1 are shown below:
Do not take into account the 2x magnification factor applied in the Four Thirds system; enter the actual focal length of the lens being used. If the attached lens has a focal length that is not shown on the chart, please select the closest value.
The focal length setting cannot be entered manually when a Four Thirds or Micro Four Thirds system lens is attached.
What flash accessories are compatible with the E-PL2?
The following E-System flash accessories are fully compatible with the E-PL2:
- FC-1 Macro Flash Controller
- RF-11 Ring Flash
- TF-22 Ring Flash
The following E-System flash accessories may also be used with the E-PL2:
Can I use my Olympus FL-40 external flash on the E-PL2?
The Olympus FL-40 external flash is not compatible with the E-PL2 because it was not designed to work with the TTL firmware in the camera.
I have a third-party electronic flash. Can I use it on the E-PL2?
Flash units that are not part of the Olympus E-System may pose problems if used on the E-PL2.
Thyristor-type flash units can be used with the E-PL2’s Manual shooting mode as long as the sync voltage does not exceed 24 VDC. Third-party TTL flash units will not have TTL capability but possibly may be used with Manual exposure control. Olympus can only guarantee the operation of Olympus flash units.
Can the E-PL2 use a flash with shutter sync speds higher than 1/180 of a second?
The optional FL-36, FL-36R, FL-50 and FL-50R flash units have a Super FP Flash mode which enables flash sync at shutter speeds higher than 1/180th of a second. This is accomplished by the flash emitting what is essentially a very high-speed stroboscopic “flicker” flash, rather than a single flash of light. Situations in which this would be desirable would be fill-flash outdoors in bright sunlight where high shutter speeds would be needed.
Can I use the E-PL2 with my studio flash equipment?
The E-PL2 uses an electronic rather than mechanical sync circuit that is rated at 6.5 VDC maximum sync voltage. Also, the polarity of the studio flash sync pulse may be opposite the polarity of the E-PL2 sync circuitry.
Studio flash equipment should be connected to the E-PL2 using the Safe Sync Hot Shoe to PC Sync Adapter. The adapter protects the camera from excessive sync voltage up to 400 VDC, and automatically corrects sync pulse polarity.
This item (#200329) may be purchased from authorized Olympus dealers and also online directly from The Olympus Store. To order from The Olympus Store, click here.
Does the E-PL2 support the Olympus wireless RC flash system?
The E-PL2 supports the Wireless Flash System in which the camera's built-in flash acts as a controller that sends data commands to FL-36R and FL-50R electronic flash units
The system can control up to three groups of flash units. The camera and flashes have four control channels to choose from so the flashes and camera will not receive signals from other Olympus wireless RC flash systems operating nearby. The photo below shows the main setup screen for the wireless flash system in the E-PL2.
The flash group, channel and settings are then set up on the flash units. When the camera shutter is tripped, the camera’s built-in flash emits a very high-speed burst of data in a pre-flash that commands the performance of the flash units.
This diagram shows a placement of three flash groups using the Olympus wireless RC flash system:
For details on the operation of the wireless RC flash system operation, please refer to the manual for the FL-36R or FL-50R.
Olympus wireless RC flash system flashes can be purchased from authorized Olympus dealers or online directly from The Olympus Store. To order the FL-36R (Item #260115), click here. To order the FL-50R (Item #260116), click here.
Can I use an accessory microphone instead of the built-in microphones when I am shooting videos?
The hotshoe and accessory port of the E-PL2 can accept the External Microphone Adapter Set (SEMA-1), which includes the SEMA-1 Adapter, the ME-51S Stereo Microphone, and an extension cable with a tie clip to hold the microphone.
The SEMA-1 Adapter has a 3.5mm stereo jack that can accept other microphones with 3.5 mm plugs or receivers for wireless microphones that have a 3.5mm stereo plug.
To order the External Microphone Adapter Set (SEMA-1) click here
Is there a macro lighting accessory for the E-PL2?
The Macro Arm Light (MAL-1) mounts into the hot shoe and accessory port of the E-PL2 and is powered by the camera. It has flexible arms that each have a directional LED lamp. Each arm has a three position slide switch on the mounting block to independently control the light intensity. It can be used a the sole light source or as fill light.
To order the Marco Arm Light (MAL-1) click here
I had an Olympus digital camera that accepted wide angle and telephoto accessory lenses? Are there any such lenses for the E-PL2?
Olympus released three optional lens attachments with the advent of the E-PL2 that bayonet mount on specific M.ZUIKO Digital Micro Four Thirds lenses.
- Fisheye Lens Attachment (FCON-P01) -- Enables 120 degree fisheye photography when mounted on the M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II lens. To purchase the Fisheye Lens Attachment (FCON-P01) click here.
- Wide Lens Attachment (WCON-P01) -- Shoots wide angle images equivalent to the field of view of a 22 mm lens in 35 mm format when mounted on the M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II lens zoomed to 14 mm. To purchase the Wide Lens Attachment (WCON-P01) click here.
- Macro lens Attachment (MCON-P01) -- Supports macro photography when mounted on the M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II, M.ZUIKO 40-150mm, and M.ZUIKO 14-150mm lenses. To purchase the Macro lens Attachment (MCON-P01) click here.
What is the PENPAL?
The PENPAL (PP-1) is a Bluetooth® Standard transmitter/receiver/storage device that mounts in the hot shoe and Accessory Port 2 of the Olympus PEN E-PL2 digital camera. It can wirelessly interface with smart phones, laptop computers, or even another PEN camera that supports the PENPAL. The PENPAL formats images to be sent so that they are Internet-ready, so you don't have to worry about resizing or reformatting your pictures. Just send your picture to a mobile phone and it's ready to post on your social network. Plus, you can store up to 2,600 pictures on the PENPAL's internal memory.
The PENPAL is enabled and connectivity established through the camera's menu.
For more details on the PENPAL and to purchase the PENPAL, click here.
How many images can be shot on a single charge of the BLS-5 lithium-ion rechargeable battery?
Although the number of images that can be captured depends upon the shooting conditions and the camera functions used, a fully-charged BLS-5 battery should take approximately 280 images before it needs to be recharged.
Do I need a voltage converter to use my battery charger outside the U.S.?
The BCS-5 Battery Charger for the E-PL2 is rated at 100-240 VAC and automatically adjusts itself for the local electrical current. However, you may have to get a set of plug adapters for the different wall outlets used in foreign countries. Plug adapter kits are available at electronics and luggage stores.
Does Olympus offer a remote control for this camera?
The RM-UC1 Remote Cable Release is compatible with this camera.
The RM-UC1 connects to the same USB port on the camera that is used to connect the camera to a computer via the bundled USB cable. The RM-UC1 has a sliding lock to lock the cable release for BULB exposures.
The RM-UC1 is available from authorized Olympus dealers and also online directly from The Olympus Store. To order the RM-UC1 (Item #260237), click here.
What is SDHC?
SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) is a type of removable flash memory card that is an outgrowth of the SD (Secure Digital) format. SDHC cards have the same form factor as SD cards, although they can store much more data - up to 32 GB.
SDHC cards come in a variety of capacities and speed classes. A speed class refers to how quickly data can be written to the card.
The E-PL2 can support SD and SDHC media up to 16 GB. Cards must have a minimum speed class of 6 in order to record movies with the E-PL2.
After I attach a lens to the camera body, my camera seems unable to secure autofocus. This problem is intermittent but affects multiple lenses. Why is this happening?
If the problem occurs with every shot taken with every accessory lens, the camera may be broken. However, if the problem occurs sporadically – and chiefly only after attaching a lens – then it is possible the lens(es) may not have been attached properly.
Remove the lens from the camera and look at the silver mount. Eleven gold-colored pins are arranged below the mirror in an arc. These pins must make firm contact with the gold-colored touch points on the back of the lens. This happens naturally when the lens is attached properly, but if the lens is not locked into place then one or more pins may not receive sufficient pressure to maintain contact during use.
To attach a lens to the camera body, align the lens attachment mark (red circle) on the camera mount with the alignment mark (raised red knob) on the side of the lens. Then insert the lens into the camera’s body. Rotate the lens clockwise and listen for a click. The click is an audible indication that the lens lock pin has snapped into place on the back of the lens and has secured the lens in the proper position. The lens lock pin is the small silver pin on the lens mount in between the mirror and the lens release button.
Do not press or hold down the lens release button while attaching a lens to the mount. The lens release button forces the lens lock pin to retract into the camera so that the lens can be removed without breaking the pin. If the button is held down while attaching the lens, it may not align with the hole on the back of the lens after the button is released. This will result in a situation in which the lens is attached to the camera mount but is not locked into place. It is possible that this condition will prevent the lens from making and retaining a firm connection to the camera. This will inhibit autofocus and may increase the lag time between shots.
When I'm shooting close-up subjects, I can see and hear the lens trying to focus, but it does not secure focus. What can I do?
If the lens seems to be unsuccessfully searching for a focus point, you may be too close to the subject matter for that particular lens. Lenses have a minimum focusing distance, and zoom lenses have different minimum focusing distances at different zoom settings. If you back away from the subject, the lens will focus at some point.
If you intend to do macro or close-up photography, you may want to invest in a lens specifically designed for macro shooting.
The E-System has two macro lenses:
- The Zuiko® Digital 35 mm f3.5 Macro has a 35 mm format equivalent focal length of 70 mm and focuses from 5.75” (146 mm) to infinity.
- The Zuiko Digital ED 50 mm f2.0 Macro has a 35 mm format equivalent focal length of 100 mm and focuses from 9.45” (240 mm) to infinity.
A Four Thirds lens-to-Micro Four Thirds lens adapter is required to mount these macro lenses on this camera. Olympus makes two such adapters: the MMF-1 (silver) and the MMF-2 (black). To order an adapter from Olympus, please visit The Olympus Store.
My camera is connected to my TV, but I don’t see my photos and movies. Why not?
Most televisions manufactured in the past decade provide a variety of input jacks so that multiple audio/visual devices (for example, a cable or satellite signal converter box, a movie player, a computer, a video game console and a digital camera) can display content on a shared screen. This eliminates the need to have separate screens for each device. Although many devices can be connected to the television simultaneously, the television screen usually can display content from only one device at a time. Therefore, when you connect your camera to the television, you must select the proper input source in order to view your images and movies.
The method for selecting input channels varies with brand and model, but in general the TV and/or its remote control will have a button for selecting a desired input signal. This button may be called "Source" or "Aux" or it may be a combination of various device labels, such as "TV/AV" or "TV/Cable/DVD." Pressing this button repeatedly will cycle through all of the input sources available to your television. Keep pressing the button until you see the camera menu on the TV screen. (The display on the camera LCD screen or electronic viewfinder will be blacked out.) If the camera menu does not appear, the signal is not reaching the television. Verify that the cable is properly connected.
If you have connected the camera to the television using the yellow and white AV cable bundled with the camera, look for source options named "AV," "Video," or "Aux." If your television has multiple sets of AV jacks, you may need to further choose between, for example, "Aux 1" and "Aux 2" or between "Front" and "Rear" jacks.
If you have connected the camera to a high-definition television (HDTV) using an optional HDMI cable so that you can view HD movies stored on your camera, look for a source option with "HDMI" in its name.
Please refer to the user documentation for your television or TV remote control for specific instructions and to verify that all source devices' cables have been connected to the proper input jacks.
Note: If the image quality on the screen appears to be distorted, the camera may be set to a video output format that is incompatible with the television. In the camera’s menu, check the VIDEO OUT setting. In North America, the setting should be NTSC. If it is set to PAL, change it to NTSC.
When I put a formatted SD card in my E-PL2, the display shows a capcity of RAW files that doesn't appear to be accurate. Why?
When the E-PL2 writes a RAW image file, it performs complex mathematical calculations to convert it to binary data to be saved and later retrieved. Since images are unique, each calculation is unique.
A RAW file recorded by the E-PL2 will be approximately 14 megabytes, but individual file sizes will vary. For example, a winter landscape consisting predominantly of white snow and blue sky will produce a smaller data file than a scene such as Times Square at night. The richness of the latter scene will result in a larger file.
When the camera polls a formatted SD card, it is looking at a blank slate. It has yet to do the math for any images and is programmed to start out with a conservative capacity estimate. As the camera shoots more images, it recalculates the capacity as it “learns” about the image files it is creating. As the card fills up, the estimated capacity of RAW files on the display will become more accurate.
Why can't I reformat or record images to my SD cards?
The SD card body has a write protect switch. If the switch is set to the "LOCK" side, you will not be able to add, modify or delete data on the card. The card cannot be formatted. Return the switch to the unlocked position to enable writing.
I have taken pictures using several different memory cards. Now, when I try to download the images onto my computer, I see a message that says, "Image file-name.jpg already exists. Replace it with the new file?" What's going on?
When saving image and movies, the E-PL2 creates folder and file names that include a numeric variable. The number in the file name changes with each shot so that the new image won’t overwrite a previous one saved in the same folder. The folder name may also change, depending on the configuration of the camera’s FILE NAME function.
FILE NAME has two settings that govern the naming of files and folders:
- AUTO – When a new card is inserted, the file name numbers are retained from the previous card. File numbering continues from the last number used on the previous card or, if the new card already contains files, from the number that follows the highest file number on the new card.
- RESET - When a new card is inserted, the number in the storage folder’s name restarts at 100 and the file numbers restart at 0001. If a card containing images is inserted, the file numbers start at the number following the highest file number on the card. If the card has been formatted, the file names will start with 0001.
RESET can be useful for organizing files – for example, you may choose to use a separate memory card for each event or client. However, if you download all your files to the same folder on your computer and there is a file in the camera with the same name as a previously transferred file, the computer will see the duplicate file name and display the above message. In this scenario, the files with duplicate names will overwrite the original files when they are saved to the computer. The original images will no longer be viewable.
To avoid this costly mistake, save the new files to a different folder or manually rename the files before transferring.
Another way to avoid this problem is to change the first character of the file name using the EDIT FILENAME function in the camera's RECORD/ERASE menu. This has an added benefit of identifying which camera captured each image.
When my images are displayed on the E-PL2's LCD screen, there are blinking red and blue areas of the image. How do I get rid of them?
What you are seeing is the HIGHLIGHT&SHADOW display option. In the lower left corner of the LCD screen, you will see a box that says SHADOW/HILIGHT. The blinking red regions identify areas in the image that have no detail due to overexposure (HILIGHT) and the blinking blue regions identify areas in the image that have no detail due to underexposure (SHADOW).
The blinking display doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the camera. Like film cameras, digicams have a limited brightness range within which they can capture images. If the camera metering is weighted toward the highlights, there will be a lack of shadow detail. If the camera metering is weighted toward the shadows, there will be a lack of highlight detail. In bright sunshine, a picture may have areas lacking both highlight and shadow detail. On a grey, cloudy day, there may be detail throughout the image. The purpose of the black blinking areas is to give the photographer feedback about the exposures. If necessary, the photographer can apply options such as AE Bracketing or Exposure Compensation to reshoot the image.
The SHADOW/HILIGHT view is among five options that can be selected by pressing the [INFO] button while displaying images in Playback mode. Pressing [INFO] repeatedly cycles through the views, each of which displays different image information.
When I try to use the AE Bracketing function, why do I only get one frame instead of the three I selected?
The camera's Drive mode is set to Single Frame shooting. Configured this way, which is the default setting, the shutter button must be pressed for each bracketed frame. If the Drive mode is set to the Sequential Shooting option, then pressing and holding down the shutter button will cause the camera to shoot all the bracketed frames in one burst.
In Sequential Shooting drive mode, images are captured at a rate of three per second for as long as the shutter button is held down.
To change the Drive mode, do the following:
- Press the  button on the arrow pad.
- Using the Main Dial to move the cursor, select either or .
- Press the  button to activate the selected Drive mode.
The LCD screen displays this: "Internal camera temperature is too high. Please wait for cooling before camera use." Then the camera shuts off. What causes this message to appear?
As a safety measure, the E-PL2 issues this message and shuts itself off whenever its internal temperature climbs too high. This may happen after frequent or continuous use of Live View or a shooting mode that captures many images in a short time, such as the Sequential Shooting drive mode. In these situations, the image sensor may not get a chance to cool off in between shots. The heat of the sensor raises the camera’s internal temperature. If it gets high enough, the camera must turn itself off. Once the camera has cooled for a few minutes, you will be able to resume shooting.