Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 review

Small but mighty

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Because the Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 has the same sensor and processor as the fantastic Olympus OM-D, we had pretty high hopes for it, and happily we weren't disappointed.

Images straight from the camera are great, with lots of detail, vibrant, punchy colours and low image noise.

There's a good range of shooting modes to help you get the most from that excellent sensor. For instance, you could choose to shoot in Vibrant mode if you want to emphasise colours and contrast, or in Neutral for when you want more accurate colours - such as when shooting portraits for instance.

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

Autofocusing speeds are one of the key selling points of cameras such as this, and as already mentioned, Olympus and Panasonic have ongoing debates about who has the fastest.

The difference is probably microseconds, and needless to say the Olympus PEN E-PM2 does indeed deliver extremely quick speeds, especially in good light.

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

We've found in previous cameras that the sensor inside the Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 is capable of delivering some incredibly detailed shots, and so the same is true here.

JPEGs straight from the camera are very sharp, and you can apply your own sharpening to raw format files if you choose to capture them.

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

In the majority of instances, the automatic white balance does a good job of accurately reproducing colours. It struggles ever so slightly when indoors, under artificial lights, but changing the white balance setting is relatively quick to do via the quick menu.

Olympus pointed out the improvements it had made to sensor technology when the Olympus OM-D was first launched, which it claimed boosted the low light performance of the camera. Since this is the same sensor, we can report very similar low light capabilities.

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

Image quality does start to drop off from about ISO 1600, but some images shot all the way up to ISO 10,000 and beyond are certainly good enough to be used online or when printing small sizes.

Noise control at ISO 1600 - the probable top end of the most commonly used range - is more than acceptable.

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

Fans of digital art filters will find plenty to like on this camera. When Olympus launched the original PEN Mini E-PM1, it was light on some of the filters found on other cameras in the range.

Now, however, the Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 has all of those on the OM-D, with the addition of a new Watercolour filter. This brings the total up to 12, with many of them being customisable or having different options to expand that number further.

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

Of course, digital filters are usually a matter of taste, but there are some here that are particularly good, such as Cross Process, Pinhole and Dramatic Tone. The new black and white version of Dramatic Tone is our favourite.

One of the best features about the PEN and OM-D series is that these digital filters can be deployed when shooting in raw format, meaning you retain a "clean" version of the image should you change your mind later down the line.

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

It's also great that you can still retain full manual/semi-automatic control when using art filters, something that isn't true of Panasonic cameras.

The new touchscreen is a good performer in all but the brightest of sunlight, avoiding glare and reflections, making the need for a separate electronic viewfinder fairly minimal.

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

Olympus PEN Mini E PM2 review

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.