My new best friend!
There is one basic difference between the E-P1 and E-P2 and that is the add-on Electronic View Finder - the VF-2. And boy is that difference significant!
This VF-2 is sharp and bright & in daylight it is difficult to realise that this is not an optical viewfinder.
For me its turned an ordinary camera (the E-P1) into a special one. Within an hour of getting the E-P2 out of its box, my E-P1 was on ebay since I knew I'd never use it again. It now has a new home. The E-P2 has one enormous advantage for me over its predecessor and indeed over all the other m4/3 cameras. Focusing manually now becomes much quicker and easier. Its not difficult to be better than the GF1 EVF, but it is in fact an improvement over the G1/GH1, which both have excellent viewfinders. The point of focus is now much easier to see and there's a real "snap" to it. This is the best viewfinder I've ever used for focusing a lens and I really can't think that there's ever been anything better.
For me this is a real bonus. I prefer using the smaller m4/3 cameras, but the E-P1 made me focus using the screen, which was very slow and a real bind. The GF1 was better, but the "tunnel" view made manual focus quite difficult. The VF-2 changes all that. MF has become a pleasure. I was debating whether to sell my Voigtlander 50mm f1.1, mainly because of the weight, but will now be keeping it as it works really well on the E-P2.
The addition of the VF-2, plus the leather case I have bought, combine to add a little weight to the camera. For me this improves the handling, as I don't like really light cameras. With the Voigtlander fitted, it becomes about 800g. Not light by any means, but I really like the feel of this combination.
Ideal camera/lens combinations are always personal and this combination would not suit everyone, but its almost perfect for me. I went out yesterday with the Voigtlander and the lumix 20mm f1.7. I really liked the combination, and the two fast lenses produced very sharp
I can't quite get over how much I like using this camera. I've been looking for a digital replacement for my previous favourite - the film Pentax MZ series + limited lenses. I think I've found it. Its very difficult to put the E-P2 down at the moment! I even like the raised viewfinder.
It is also very sexy! As you will be aware, I'm not a great fan a black cameras, but this looks gorgeous. The metal section of the body is very dark grey and looks much better in reality than it does in pictures. I like the design better than the Panasonics and I'm not constantly changing settings by mistake.
In terms of performance its almost identical to E-P1. Theres a few minor tweaks, but nothing much. Since all the m4/3 cameras use the same sensor, I find that they all pretty consistent. Olympus have a slightly different way of treating the files, but to me its not significant. The 20mm f1.7 did have a little CA, because of the lack of in-camera correction on the Olympus, but nothing that isn't easily fixable. I probably prefer Panasonic files, in terms of colour, but the difference is small.
I'm very pleased with the E-P2, its going to be my manual focus m4/3 camera.
Finally, the thought that Olympus really do have to come up with some decent lenses for this camera. The 14-42 zoom is OK but nothing special, and the 17mm f2.8 is somewhat disappointing. Panasonic have 3 great lenses, 7-14mm, 20mm & 45mm. Olympus have come up with a gem of a camera, but you need other companies lenses to get the best out of it.