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Old Mar 26, 2011, 5:48 AM   #1
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Default GF2 first impression and the new ETC mode

The 14mm/f2.5 lens is so fast, an eye opening to those who are used to consumer-grade f3.5 zoom. It is a must-have to match the tiny body of GF2.

However, I can easily tell that it is not up to the same manufacture standard as the 14-45mm. It is in the same class of the 14-42mm. Glass surfaces are visibly not so clean compared to the 14-45. Left edge is soft, while the 14-45mm @14mm is sharp from edges to edges even before any in-body correction.

Video is light years better than EPL1 and GF1, especially on low-light noise control. Continuous focusing is fast and accurate with very minimum hunting in and out, barely noticeable; even slightly better than GF-1 which is already very satisfactory, while EPL1's hunting is still quite often and noticeable even with the great 14-45mm.

As I'm used to EPL1's warm and reddish colors, its indoor photos do look cold as I expected. This might be the only downside about this baby. Need to take more photos to see, haven't done any outdoor shots yet.

The Extra Tele Convertion feature is what I went for and it works extremely well. After it is enabled, it won't be active. When I do need to use this feature, I change image size from L to M or S, screen live view and still photos will be zoomed correspondingly. The less image size, the more zoom. For video, if resolution is reduced from 1080p to 720p, the 14mm becomes 43mm and video still look very good, still way better than GF1 and EPL1.

So you don't have to enable and disable this feature back and forth, just leave it enabled. Then use quick menu to change image size or video mode to not use it or get the zoom ratio you want. The size (resolution) icons that offer extra zoom have "ex" prefix (see photos below); so you can easily see if the size you select will get you into the extra zoom or not. Very convenient, no hassle. I have no idea why dpreview simply ditched this great feature entirely in its review. Without it, MFT will never get popular.

True, this feature is too new for video and still have room to improve, mostly can be done in a new firmware. For example, after you change video mode from 1080p down to 720p, the screen does not show a 3.1x zoomed live view until you press down the movie button. Not a deal breaker, not at all, not even a big deal about the usage of this great feature.

With this ETC mode, the 14mm can reach 43mm, very handy. Now a pocket MFT can really have great reach, no lens swapping hassle. When I put the 14-45mm on it, man, it becomes 14-140, saving me $800 for the large and heavy equivalent. OIS is still very effective even at the longest end, i.e., 140mm, for stills and video.

Although it is not for serious macro, the 14mm takes great close ups. For those close ups that I don't care much about the highest resolution possible, I can even use the ETC mode to get much closer. Even at the lowest S size, close ups still look as good as life can be, easier and better than post cropping.

The removal of the mode dial is actually a good thing, I don't miss it. The touchscreen actually make access much quicker and more direct. I can select only few buttons to stay on the screen, no much blocking of the view.

The position of the video rec button is ideal while the EPL1's is hassle to use. The push-left-right power switch is nice, better than EPL's push-down and push-again type.

Overall the best camera so far, a keeper, no doubt, easy decision. I'll keep the EPL1 as well, as I did not pay much for it and it won't sell for much money (I already sold its kit lens), just in case I'll miss its warm photo color. Unless Oly will be able to implement the ETC feature and 1080p avchd video, I won't buy another PEN.

GF2, 14mm (ETC, S size):

EPL1, 45mm:

Last edited by sdcs; Mar 26, 2011 at 6:30 AM.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 10:02 AM   #2
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Default GF2 ETC mode on a 16-64mm f/2 TV lens

So if I use the ETC mode, will it get rid of the vignetting on a c mount 16-64mm f/2 TV lens?

Thanks in advance!
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