Olympus E-PL2 vs Panasonic GF2

by Enche Tjin on March 21, 2011

Olympus E-PL2 and Panasonic GF2 belong to the same system which shares similar size sensor (micro four thirds) and lens mount. They have many similarities such as compact size (relative to DSLR cameras), use LCD screen to compose picture instead of optical viewfinder (like in DSLR) and can interchange lenses.

olympus-epl2-frontThere are also some notable differences such as:

Olympus E-PL2 advantages:

  • Olympus E-PL2 has built-in image stabilization, GF2 and all Panasonic G series do not (it use lens stabilization)
  • Olympus E-PL2 optional electronic viewfinder is much more pleasing to look at because of its high resolution
  • Image quality / JPG output looks better than Panasonic GF2’s
  • Art filters are more artistic than Panasonic presets.
  • Optional accessories such as bluetooth communication and macro arm light is available
  • Camera looks better and the newly designed grip is great to handle

panasonic-gf2-frontPanasonic GF2 advantages:

  • No nonsense, sturdy industrial design
  • More compact than Olympus E-PL2
  • Panasonic GF2 is a more responsive camera, better start up time, instaneous AF, almost no shutter lag
  • Touchscreen LCD to change setting and auto focus
  • Record Full HD video

It will be hard to decide which camera is better to get. You can’t really go wrong with both. However, I think Olympus E-PL2 is more geared to those who are more beginner, who demand a great image everytime you press the shutter. The Panasonic GF2 jpg output tho is average. To get the best of GF2, you need to shoot and edit in RAW images.

Olympus E-PL2 also offers built-in image stabilization, which is helpful to combat camera shake during shooting in low light condition. Panasonic also has image stabilization but not every lenses has it.

On the other hand, Panasonic has touchscreen LCD which is enjoyable to use, especially to auto focus. GF2 is also slightly responsive. It starts up about 1 second while E-PL2 needs 1.3 second. Auto focus is blazingly fast although E-PL2 auto focus is no slouch either.

Design and handling wise, Panasonic is more solid and has dedicated ISO and WB buttons, the dial is sturdy and great to use. E-PL2 on the other hand, looks better aestethically, but the round dial is small, plasticky and flimsy. The button size is relatively small too.

In conclusion, I think Olympus E-PL2 is more suited to beginners who want good looking images out of the camera, and nice looking camera. While Panasonic GF2 is more suited to more serious / enthusiasts photographer who demand simple but sturdy, responsive cameras, and don’t mind to shoot in RAW, and tweak the images afterwards.

Panasonic GF2 vs Olympus E-PL2 specs

Features Panasonic GF2 Olympus E-PL2
Image 12 MP m43 sensor 12 MP m43 sensor
EVF 202,000 dots 1,440,000 dots
Video FULL HD 1080p 60i HD 720p
LCD Screen 3″460k touch screen 3″460k
Size and weight 4.4 x 2.7 x 1.3 in. (113 x 68 x 33 mm)

12.9 oz (367 g) include battery and 14mm kit lens

4.5 x 2.9 x 1.7 in.(115 x 73 x 42 mm)

16.8 oz (476 g)

includes batteries, kit lens 14-42mm

ISO 200-6400 (recommended up to 1600) 100-6400 (recommended up to 1600)
Continuous shooting 2.6 fps 3 fps
Other built-in image stabilization, penpal, macro arm light
Price $700 with 14mm f/2.5
$599 with 14-42 lens
$550 with 14-42mm lens

olympus-epl2-vs-panasonic-gf2-back

Top: Olympus E-PL2 body only, Bottom: Panasonic GF2 with 14mm lens

Top: Olympus E-PL2 body only, Bottom: Panasonic GF2 with 14mm lens

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