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Olympus PEN E-PM1 12.3MP Interchangeable Camera with CMOS Sensor, 3-inch LCD and 14-42mm II Lens (Black) (Old Model)
Overall score: 71%
See review summary and sample images
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Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.
- Fast Shutter Response. Never miss a shot again with the E-PM1's Fast Shutter Response time of less than 60 milliseconds. The TruePic VI feature allows for reduced shot-to-shot time by shortening the black-out time between shots.
- Professional Audio Sound Capture. Take Videos that are able to capture uncompressed CD-quality 16bit/44.1kHz Linear PCM stereo recording or AC3 Dolby Digital audio.
- 12 MP with 3.0" LCD Screen
- Face Detection with Eye Detect
- Full 1080 HD Video Shoot up to 29 minutes of 1080 60i HD Video and stereo sound in either AVCHD or AVI formats. A Direct HD Movie Button switches you from still to movie mode with just the press of a button.
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|Auto Focus Technology|
|Battery Average Life||330 Photos|
|Compatible Mountings||Micro Four Thirds|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||5.5 fps|
|Display Fixture Type||Fixed|
|Display Resolution Maximum||460,000|
|Display Size||0.12 inches|
|External Memory Included||No|
|Flash Memory Type||SD/SDHC/SDXC|
|Flash Sync Speed||1/160_sec|
|Flash Type||Clip-on FL-LM1 included, Hot-shoe|
|Focus Description||Contrast Detection|
|Focus Type||automatic with manual|
|Form Factor||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|HDMI Type||Mini HDMI type-C|
|ISO Range||Auto (200 - 1600), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800|
|Image Aspect Ratio||4:3|
|Item Dimensions||2.52 x 1.34 x 4.33 inches|
|Item Weight||0.58 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||7.8 Watt Hours|
|Lithium Battery Voltage||7.2 Volts|
|Lithium Battery Weight||8.42 grams|
|Manufacturer Warranty Description||limited 1 year parts and labor|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000 of a second|
|Maximum horizontal resolution||4,032|
|Metering||Multi, Center-weighted, Spot|
|Minimum Shutter Speed||60 seconds|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||12 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||MOS|
|Photo Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Processor Description||TruePic VI|
|Remote Control Description||Optional RM-UC1|
|Sensor Cleaning Method||Supersonic Wave Filter|
|Shipping Weight||2.15 pounds|
|Supported Battery Types||Lithium-Ion BLS-5 rechargeable battery & charger|
|Video Capture Format|
|Video Capture Resolution||1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic (optional)|
|Water Resistance Level||Not Water Resistant|
Review summary from DPReview
The Olympus PEN E-PM1 offers good image quality and manual control in a small, compact body. The E-PM1 offers nearly the same level of customization as its siblings, which should appeal to enthusiast shooters, but for compact upgraders it is easy to use in its out-of-the-box configuration.
Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
Sample images from DPReview
Sample images for Olympus PEN E-PM1
From the Manufacturer
Never miss a moment with the small and stylish PEN E-PM1. The smallest and lightest PEN features a new and simplified user interface as well as a streamlined button structure for superior ease-of-use. Its small size and portability make it the ideal camera to document life’s fun and spontaneous moments.
Olympus PEN E-PM1 Highlights
Operating the camera is more intuitive with the newly designed user interface. The innovative screen activates popular menu options such as Art Filters, iAuto, Scene Modes, and Movie. The on-screen graphics have also been updated with a sleeker font design and an automatic pop-up guide in the menu screen.
The E-PM1’s Live Guide system allows you to preview effects as you adjust them – before the image is even captured. Simply select Live Guide and turn the wheel on the back of the camera to slide through numerous photographic effects, such as brightness, color saturation, tone, etc.
Excellent Shots, Effortlessly
iAuto automatically identifies the scene you're shooting – portrait, landscape, night portrait, macro, or sport – and adjusts the settings to optimize results. The E-PM1 is also equipped with 23 Scene- Select modes for effortless picture taking, including new 3D mode, Fireworks, Sunset, Children, Macro and Panorama, to name a few. There are even three scene modes that are specific to shooting with Olympus’ conversion lenses to optimize the performance of those lenses.
3-Inch, Bright Widescreen LCD
This 460 dot high-resolution screen is big and bright enough to let you shoot and share photos and HD video with ease.
No need for cables or even a computer. Upload or email images directly from your camera with an optional PP-1 PENPAL or Eye-Fi card. The E-PM1 is also capable of recording stills and video to SD, SDHC, SDXC and UHS-I media cards.
The new 12 megapixel sensor is optimized to maximize the performance of all mZuiko digital lenses in any shooting condition. Improvements in the sensor makes shooting in low light and Full HD movie recording possible.
Stabilization Technology in the Body, Not in the Lens
Say goodbye to blurry images. Olympus’ in-body image stabilization technology makes it possible to use any Micro Four Thirds lenses (or Four Thirds lens), from wide-angle to telephoto, for perfectly clear, crisp photos no matter what the shooting situation, even in low light!
Face Detection with Eye Detect
Nail the focus for every portrait photo, every time. The new face detection AF employs an "Eye Detect AF" that adjusts focus automatically on the subject's eyes during portrait shooting and can even be adjusted to focus on the right, left or near-side eye. The Face Detection function captures up to eight faces, reducing the chance of blurred subjects when shooting several people at once.
Advanced Shadow Adjustment Technology
You no longer need to worry about the extreme contrast between dark and bright areas in your images. The E-PM1's Shadow Adjustment Technology corrects for extreme light variations with high-tech efficiency either before image capture or during post-capture edits.
Full 1080 HD Video
Shoot up to 29 minutes of 1080 60i HD video and stereo sound in either AVCHD or AVI formats. A Direct HD Movie Button switches you from still to movie mode with just the press of a button.
In-Camera Art Filters
Six in-camera Art Filters (Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama and Dramatic Tone) can be used in all shooting modes as well as filming HD movies. The E-PM1 also includes bracketing up to seven images, each image with a different applied Art Filter. Since they’re built into the camera, these Art Filters can achieve dramatic results on the go without the need for computer or editing software.
Wide Variety of Lenses and Accessories
A range of interchangeable lenses, accessories and flashes are compatible with the E-PM1 to support all different types of photography needs.
New 3D Shooting
Add a new dimension to your photographs in any mode from macro to landscape with Olympus’ 3D technology. By simply selecting the 3D Photo Mode, releasing the shutter, and slowly panning, the camera will automatically take a second image from a slightly different perspective. The 3D data is processed in-camera for easy display on 3D televisions or laptops.
The addition of this super luminosity LED beam allows the camera to focus faster in low light up to almost 10 feet.
Increased ISO Sensitivity
Stunning low light photos are a click away with an increased ISO sensitivity to 12,800.
Attachable Flash Included
This camera provides the flexibility to attach a flash to your camera via the accessory port, or leave it at home for maximum portability.
5fps Sequential Shooting
With the E-PM1 you can take up to five photos a second, allowing you to easily capture that perfect shot, especially when your subject is moving.
Fast Auto Focus
The new FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF System is able to focus at an incredible speed and offers 35 separate focus points that are spread over nearly the entire sensor, which makes it possible for pin-point accurate focusing on small subjects wherever they appear in the frame. Selectable 3x3 groups within the 35-point area are especially effective when shooting active subjects.
Improved Color Reproduction
The new TruePic VI Image Processor, designed specifically for the Olympus PEN, features Real Color Technology for improved color reproduction (especially colors such as emerald green, yellow, and gold) and color gradation. The faster processor also allows for a shorter recovery time between shots.
Improved Lens Technology
High-precision engineering and an improved internal focusing mechanism have allowed the Olympus MSC (Movie+Still Compatible) lenses to auto focus quickly, smoothly and silently, perfect for stills and movies.
Top Customer Reviews
1. The image stabilization is only good up to 4 fps, but the default multi shot modes are 5 fps or 3 fps. To get 4 fps, you have to use a custom menu setting.
2. Always shoot in multi shot mode. Single shot mode will cause camera lag (my guess is that it waits for the SD card to finish writing in single shot mode). This lowers your shot to shot times down to about 1.5 fps as the camera will just ignore your shutter press. Shooting in multi shot mode solves this problem, at the expense of not always seeing your next shot.
3. Buy the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens if you want to take any indoor shots without a flash. The kit lens, at f3.5, is just not fast enough indoors. Your shots will come out at 1600 ISO and contain blur or noise, depending upon your noise filtering setting, usually both, because f3.5, just doesn't cut it. Okay, that might be a little harsh - if you reduce the photos down to 25% of their original size, they will be good enough to put up on a web page, but you wouldn't want to print them. In comparison, the 20mm f1.7 lens takes great indoor shots.
4. Nearly all the pictures you see on websites that review this camera required custom menu settings. Custom menu settings require information from the manual before you figure them out. I must have played with the custom settings for a solid two hours with the manual by my side, before I got things close to the way I wanted them.
5. The auto focus speed using the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens is slower than with the 14-42 kit lens. While the 20mm focuses nearly instantly in bright light, it can take up to 2 seconds to focus in low light.Read more ›
Note about Olympus service. It turns out that my camera had an issue with taking picture at fast shutter speed (1/4000s). I called the service and sent it in. It was fixed by week's end, and was shipped it out by 2nd Day Air. It was all for free as my camera is still under warranty. I did not get a refurbished unit; I got mine back. When I tested my 'fixed' camera, I found everything was working as expected and no more problems at high shutter speed. Big kudos for Olympus service!
One key feature I forgot to mention is the in-body image stablization (IBIS). Olympus has the IBIS whereas Panasonic only supports the IS built into the lens. There are PROs and CONs of IBIS. However this comes in handy in many cases, and I prefer camera having IBIS where some lenses do not come with IS built-in (OIS). Some of my lenses do not have OIS, and if I do not use IBIS on Olympus, images would not be as sharp. On the other hand, people say that IBIS is not ideal for the video recording. I have not noticed much, but I can see how.
On the other hand, Olympus will announce E-M5 (OM-D family) this week. This one will support 5 axis IS (still an IBIS) which is expected to be much better than the IBIS that current models have. Some on the DPREVIEW forum say that this one will be better than OIS... we'll have to wait for some product review for the verdict.
Important Update (11/21/2011)
Firmware version 1.1 is now available from Olympus. It was surprising from a company that is going through a financial trouble :) The firmware version 1.1 is supposed to address an issue with EyeFi (Wifi SD + memory) card.Read more ›
Overall, great little camera with super fast AF (incl. continous AF in HD video), fast buffer clearing with a huge number of customizations available. 5.5fps burst mode and art filter bracketing is really cool. So far my basic settings: Noise filter off, "keep WB warm" off, Sharpening -1, Natural picture mode, right button - ISO, down button - WB, LSF jpeg, Rec button set as AF/MF switch, LCD set to max brightness. Also, don't forget to enable SCP (Super control panel) by clicking OK, then pressing Info in live view mode. This will allow you a one-click access to all important settings for changes on the go. E-PM1 feels like a very thoroughly designed camera with well thought out menu. It does require some setting up to do initially for best resutls. It has a hot shoe and supports standard flashes as well as wireless flashes (with bundled flash attached). Buil-in Image stabilization is very effective especially with Panasonic 20mm lens you can easily shoot sharp pictures of non-moving objects at 1/10s w/o any blur.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is my second E-PM1. I use the first one mainly in an underwater housing and bought this second one as a spare in case something goes wrong with first one. IPublished 20 days ago by Johannes G. M. Dohmen
We bought this as a gift for friends expecting their firstborn child. They reported that they absolutely love the camera; it is fast and portable and sturdy enough to stay in the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by two kids and a dog
Mom LOVES it! It's Olympus, so of course it's great! She's totally in love with this and the three lenses she now has. Great Mother's Day present!Published 18 months ago by LSM
you save hundreds of dollars for this camera, get the quality of one of the best camera yet for pictures and videos, very user friendly, fun to play with, long battery life,... Read morePublished 20 months ago by clyde
This review is from a proud father that loves taking pictures of his kids, so it probably is for parents looking to do the same. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Franky Franks
I love this camera! The only "issue" is the silver paint around the shoot button wears easily. I haven't given my camera that much use and it's wearing a little. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Sean R.