Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1 review

Is the smallest Olympus CSC as easy to use as it promises?

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Olympus pen mini e pm1

Five metering options are provided on the Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1, including ESP multi-segment, centre-weighted, spot, spot highlight and spot shadow. The ESP multi segment metering performs well in a wide variety of conditions, but just like any averaging system, care may need to be taken when metering high contrast scenes. Three stops of exposure correction either side of the metered value can be applied, which is a larger range than many cameras provide.

Auto white balance strikes a good balance between correcting colour casts under various lighting conditions without ruining the atmosphere of the ambient conditions. Shots taken in daylight are occasionally a little cooler than is preferable, and images taken under tungsten lighting benefit from using the dedicated preset.

The TruePic VI image processor does an excellent job of producing sharp, colourful JPEG images straight from the camera with good detail in both shadows and highlights.

There is little discernible difference between JPEGs straight from the camera and raw files processed using the software supplied in the kit in terms of quality and detail levels. Slightly more dynamic range is recorded in raw files, but (as usual) noise levels are better controlled in JPEG images at high sensitivities.

As far as noise control and dynamic range are concerned, the Four Thirds format Live MOS sensors used in Olympus and Panasonic cameras have improved noticeably over the last year or so. This improved performance can be seen in the Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1, with images taken up to ISO 800 showing no significant signs of noise with plenty of fine detail still retained.

The autofocus system generally performs well and is very speedy in good light. When light levels fall, however, it slows and becomes more hesitant.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution12.3 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyPEN
HD Movie ModeYes
3D Type3D
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom10.7x
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesFace Detection, Self-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Live View, Blink Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI), AVCHD
Weight (Approximate)217 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Image Sensor Size17.30 mm x 13 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4032 x 3024
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height63.7 mm
Width109.5 mm
Depth34 mm
Focal Length14 mm to 150 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelE-PM1
Product NamePEN E-PM1 Mirrorless Camera
Product LinePEN
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV20601ESE000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

Life is too short for ugly cameras. Or fiddly menus. Or lousy pictures. So it's good to know there's the new drop-dead gorgeous Olympus PEN Mini. One of the world's smallest and lightest system camera with interchangeable lenses, the E-PM1 is beautiful, takes stunning Full HD movies and stills and couldn't get any easier to use.

Package Contents
  • PEN E-PM1 Mirrorless Camera
  • Body Cap
  • Strap
  • USB Cable CB-USB6
  • AV Cable (Monaural) CB-AVC3
  • Flash Case
  • Instruction Manual
  • Software CD-ROM
  • Warranty Card
  • Flash FL-LM1
  • Lithium ion Battery PS-BLS1 (BLS-1)/BLS-5
  • Lithium ion Charger PS-BCS1 (BCS-1)/BCS-5
  • Lens 14-150mm
Limited Warranty2 Year