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Beautifully made

Like its sister, the E-P1, the body feels very well-made, and is comfortable to shoot with. A switch on the kit lens (14-42mm) lets you retract it into a smaller footprint when not in use.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Compact design

The body alone is a similar size as compact enthusiast models like the Canon PowerShot G11 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Tiltable viewfinder

The optional viewfinder can tilt up to 90 degrees. Though I'm generally not a big fan of EVFs, and this design makes me feel like I'm looking through a microscope, it's amazingly fun and useful to have the tilt.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Sitting tall

One of the drawbacks to the viewfinder is that it vastly increases the height of the camera. It also uses the hot shoe, which means you can't use flash and the VF at the same time (or the VF and the optional mic, either).

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Traditional layout

Despite the retro design, the control layout and menus are typical digital camera. The four-way navigation buttons are part of a dial, and you can use the zoom scroller to navigate as well.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Mode dial

The tiny, recessed mode dial gives the top a nice clean look, and Olympus doesn't crowd it with more features than can comfortably fit. In addition to the standard PASM, auto, and scene modes, Olympus includes its Art Filters. The E-P2 adds two to the original six: Diorama, which simulates the effect of a tilt-shift lens, and cross-process, which shifts colors.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Optional mic adapter

The optional mic adapter slides into the hot shoe; a mic attachment then connects via the minijack.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Olympus America

Control panels

An info button at the bottom right cycles through a lot of (some might say too many) display choices. You can also pull up Olympus' typical Super Control Panel, an overstuffed display where you can adjust most frequently needed shooting settings plus some not-so-frequently used ones, like white-balance compensation and black and white filter. There's a much more useful simplified version in which you cycle around the outer edge of the display to adjust shutter speed, aperture, white balance, drive mode, image stabilization mode, aspect ratio, image size and quality, flash options, ISO sensitivity, metering, autofocus, face detection, and AF target (auto using all 11 AF areas or user selectable).

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET
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