Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 review

Small but mighty

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The PEN Mini is the smallest camera in the range, and it does this by not having too many dials and buttons for direct access to key settings. It's not really aimed at advanced photographers, who might find it a little frustrating to use, especially when compared with those higher up in the range.

As there's no mode dial, to navigate through the various modes the cameras offers, this is done via the screen after a press of the Menu button. Here you can choose between fully automatic, semi-automatic and fully manual modes, along with art and scene modes.

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

Although it's small, a grip on the front of the camera, combined with a thumb rest on the back of the camera makes it feel secure in the hand, even when shooting with one hand.

In terms of usability, the addition of a touchscreen on the PEN mini is a big improvement, making it easy to alter the focus point, or even release the shutter for ultra quick shots. As the touchscreen is capacitive, it's very responsive to light touches, making it great to use.

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

Although it's not tilting, it boasts a good angle of view from a variety of positions, meaning you can still just about use it in some awkward positions reasonably well.

The size of the autofocus point can be altered to make it easier to select a small target, this can be done by moving a slider up and down on the touchscreen after selecting an autofocus point.

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

Like the E-PL5, the settings menu screens can't be navigated via the touchscreen, but the options that appear in Live Guide or art filter mode can be. It's a shame there's no on-screen quick menu as on the OM-D as this would have made navigating this camera, with its lack of buttons, quicker.

One slight annoyance is the mechanism for altering aperture or shutter speed, which requires first a press of the up button on the directional keypad, and then further presses up or down to make changes. This can get a little frustrating if you find yourself often wanting to alter the exposure.

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

There's no flash included on the body of the camera, but one that plugs into the hotshoe comes in the box as standard. This is another aspect that helps keep the overall size of the camera down.

Like the Olympus OM-D, the Olympus PEN E-PM2 has the innovative new "Live Time" feature, which is used when shooting long exposures. To access it, you need to switch the camera to fully manual, and then set the shutter speed to the Live Time option.

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

Then, when you press the shutter release, the screen displays the image building up, meaning you can stop it when the exposure is about right, rather than having to guess.

Unlike some of the other cameras currently on the market, the Olympus PEN Mini doesn't have inbuilt Wi-Fi, but it is compatible with Toshiba's FlashAir Wireless LAN cards.

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

A free downloadable app is available for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets that enables you to transfer images from the camera to your device.

You can't control the camera via the app, which is disappointing, but perhaps this is something Olympus can work on in the future.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution16.1 Megapixel
Product FamilyPEN
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I), Flash Air, Eye-Fi Card
Image StabilizationDigital, Optical
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesSelf-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Live View, Orientation Sensor, External Flash Shoe, Face Detection, Noise Reduction, 3D Shooting
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4 AVC, Motion JPEG (AVI), MOV
Weight (Approximate)223 g
Image Sensor Size4/3" (18 mm x 13.50 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height64.2 mm
Width109.8 mm
Depth33.8 mm
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG, MPO
External FlashIncluded
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelE-PM2
Product NamePEN E-PM2 Mirrorless Camera
Product LinePEN
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV206020BU000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

Creative power in a small package.

The Olympus PEN E-PM2 is all the proof you need that small and stylish can deliver impressive images. This compact technological wonder features an expansive 16 MP Live MOS sensor and TruePic VI Image Processor for powerfully vivid images that rival the quality of an SLR. Let the camera achieve photographic perfection with features like iAuto and 23 Scene Select Modes. Or take control using Direct Live Guide. Explore your creative side with 12 ready-to-use Art Filters. The PEN E-PM2 features technology to help you shoot brilliantly when light is hard to find. There's blazing speed with an incredibly responsive touch shutter and 8 fps sequential shooting. The PEN E-PM2. The camera you want when you're ready to leave compacts behind and capture your stories in spectacular fashion.