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FYI: E-PL2 red dot problem

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds' started by Djarum, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Djarum

    Djarum All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    There have been reports at dpreview that the E-PL2 exhibits a "red dot" problem. The problem is, when shooting into glare or at the sun at certain aperatures, that lens flare creates a "grid like" flare appearance around the source of light. Apparently other digital cameras in the past have had this problem. It is caused usually by a coating on the pixel microlens or the microlens itself, at least from what I have read.

    A thread was started here by a user who contacted Olympus service about the problem.

    Olympus Customer Service - E-PL2 red dots [Page 1]: Micro Four Thirds Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

    Here is one of the original threads that brought this issue up:

    e-pl2 red spot problem [Page 1]: Micro Four Thirds Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

    Also, here is a link to a chinese website with some photos that exhibit this phenomenon:


    I'm not posting this to start wars about the camera. I know some users here have the camera in hand and maybe able to shed some light on the issue. I know that none of the other PENs exibit this problem. I'm just posting this as an FYI. I even think Kirk Tuck had comments on the issue.

    If the problem does really exist, then its up to folks to determine if it is an issue for their regular shooting habits. Again, this is an FYI only.
    • Like Like x 3
  2. dcisive

    dcisive New Member

    Apparently with a direct defined light source (one guy tested with a laser) it is possible to elicit a shot with the so called red dot pattern in the frame. However in "normal" shooting it doesn't seem to manifest itself. Also it was accomplished via the use of a P1 as well, so it much NOT be unique to the PL2 as some think. I'm sure Olympus is looking into this and it will be interesting to see if they concur about the sensitivity of the AA filter to a direct defined light source causing some issues. Would be interesting to shoot the same shot with a Panasonic series camera to see if they are immune to it.
  3. Djarum

    Djarum All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Yes, I finally see someone was able to duplicate it in other PEN's, although seemingly harder to do(looking at the chinese website). My guess it is a difference in sensor coatings.
  4. Having a E-PL2 i have yet to see this but to be honest I'm not that bothered by it as i hardly shoot into light. Shame as i think this will put people off what is a fine camera.
  5. AzPete

    AzPete Veteran

    Dec 24, 2010
    wow that sucks. I have been shooting (epl2) sunsets and absolutely no dot patterns on the screen when shooting or in the file when viewed.
    hope its an isolated problem.
  6. I have just 1 shot into the sun but no sign of red dots at all.

    This shot is actually a reflection in a pond, cropped then flipped vertically.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andywest1/5430466173/" title="Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 by andywest1, on Flickr"> 5430466173_a429ce06b8_b.jpg "845" height="1024" alt="Panasonic 20mm f/1.7" /></a>
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Djarum

    Djarum All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL

    Google Translate

    from the translation, its the opposite. At f16 the grid pattern is there, and at f11, its barely noticeable. Users on dpreview are saying it is when the lens gets stopped down. My guess is that as the lens gets stopped down, diffraction increases causing light to bounch off of the sensor. The complaint that I see at dpreview is that people like to stop down the lens when shooting into the sun to create the spikes on the sun(artistic effect) and this enhances the grid pattern.
  8. deirdre

    deirdre Top Veteran

    Sep 26, 2010
    Ahh, okay. That makes more sense.
  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 3, 2010
    The DP1 has this problem. I used it occasionally for effect, and it never bothered me. I very much doubt that what they're showing with this camera would bother me either.

    Photographing incoming lasers is a really, really bad idea by the way. Search YouTube for laser and broken camera, and you'll find lots of clips of cameras dying painful deaths after lasers hit the sensor during a video clip (eg, concert footage).
    • Like Like x 2
  10. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    DPreview have just posted their review of the EPL2 and as far as I can see don't consider this an issue worth mentioning. What they do say is, 'During our studio testing and shooting of real-life samples with the E-PL2 in various conditions we could not identify any specific image quality problems.' I imagine this is more like the 'ghosting' hysteria on the DPR forums that accompanied the launch of the Sony A33/55.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. If shooting into the sun I would normally use a ND filter to maintain an aperture of f/8 to f/11.
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