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The Olympus E-P2 is the company's second retro-styled foray into the Micro Four Thirds world. We take it out of its cardboard packaging and put it side by side with the Ricoh GXR to see just how compact it really is.

Well, this is what the E-P2 looks like once it's unpacked and out of the box. To go back to the beginning, click through our gallery.

The E-P2, announced just six months after the first E-P1, features the same Live MOS sensor and basic specifications, with a few cosmetic and operational alterations, the biggest one being the electronic viewfinder (pictured on top of the E-P2) and the black outer body. Stylish, and a good way to differentiate between the white/tan or silver/black E-P1.

Caption by / Photo by Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

All boxed up and nowhere to go, except to be unwrapped by our keen unboxers. The package for the E-P2 includes the electronic viewfinder, but no flash.

Caption by / Photo by Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Peeking tentatively from the first layer of cardboard are the happy coupling of the software CD and the requisite documentation.

Caption by / Photo by Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Another layer underneath and we begin to see the camera, lens and accoutrements all wrapped up. You can also see the battery sticking out rather curmudgeonly from an ill-fitting hole in the box.

Caption by / Photo by Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

This is the E-P2 unwrapped and let out to play with the 14-42mm lens. It's the same lens unit that also appeared as one of the kit configurations with the E-P1, but this time around Olympus has bowed to consumer demand and released the E-P2 as a body-only kit with the viewfinder, as well as this lens kit configuration with viewfinder.

Caption by / Photo by Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Side by side, the 14-42mm is almost as small (or the viewfinder is as big) as the VF-2 electronic viewfinder that comes with the camera. Note the cute little carrying pouch it's supplied with too.

Caption by / Photo by Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

All on its lonesome, the VF-2 has a lot to crow about, including a huge 1.44-million-dot resolution and 100 per cent field of view coverage (1.15x magnification). It's also got an adjustable dioptre for glass wearers.

Caption by / Photo by Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

The requisite "this is everything you get in the box" shot, including the battery charger, instruction manuals and AV cables that come with the E-P2.

Caption by / Photo by Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

This is where things start to become a little more interesting. Enter the viewfinder for the recently-announced Ricoh GXR (which is also in our testing labs at the moment). It's also named the VF-2, curiously enough, so does that mean that they are interchangeable?

They both slide onto the hotshoe in a similar configuration and attach into a communications port in the same way, but from looking at the connectors close-up, no swapsies allowed. Still, it was fun to try.

Caption by / Photo by Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

This is the GXR and the E-P2 side by side, looking similarly sized. They even feel roughly equivalent when held in the palm of the hand, but the GXR is a bit sturdier to hold thanks to the secure rubberised grip.

Caption by / Photo by Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

With the viewfinders perched upwards in a similar manner the two cameras could almost be sisters.

Caption by / Photo by Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia
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