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Olympus PEN E-PM2 Review

You can’t complain about the lack of variety in the current crop of mirrorless interchangeable lens compact cameras! This one will sure fit many people right down to the ground.

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Although I have to admit it’s not my style of camera, mainly due to the lack of external controls — it’s mostly menu driven — the Olympus PEN E-PM2 is agreeably small and light and, with lens detached, the body is pocketable.

With the f3.5/14-42mm kit lens fitted to the review camera, the distance from the back of the camera to lens front stretched to a lengthy 10cm … and that was with the lens at minimum ‘stretch’!

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Olympus PEN E-PM2 Features

Top deck controls: on/off button, shutter button, Function button, replay, trash.

Rear: video record, four way rocker (exposure compensation, flash options, single/continuous shooting, AF targets), menu and info buttons. And that’s all!
Menu 1.jpg

Choices of Program AE, aperture and shutter priority and manual shooting modes are selected via the menu system, which is initially graphics supported and then moves into the familiar lines of text. Five minutes practice with this and you will become familiar with it. I have to say that using menu driven exposure options does remove a major hazard of rolling the mode dial to your choice: on some cameras the mode dial can be easily knocked to an unwanted spot.

I found the touch screen LCD screen to be bright and clear and useable in bright daylight, although I regretted the lack of a vari-angle screen. A novel touch is that you can tap the screen to take a shot!

The maximum image size is 4608×3455 pixels, enough to make a 39x29cm print.

Movies in Full HD 1920×1080 pixel resolution are on hand.

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Those who have experienced Olympus’ Art Filters will enjoy the options of capturing an image with a Pop Art, sepia, grainy look, pin hole and other ‘looks’ in a total of 12 ‘looks’.

People who like the joys of connectivity with smartphones and tablet devices, will appreciate the PM2 which fully supports the new Flashair SD storage/wireless card that transforms the camera into a wireless access point.

The top accessory shoe can support a wide variety of optional accessories, such as the eye-level digital viewfinders VF-2 and VF-3, an external stereo microphone, and the PP-1 Bluetooth data transfer module.

Olympus PEN E-PM2 ISO Tests

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Excellent performance all the way to ISO 6400. At ISO 12800 noise is still down and definition acceptable. By ISO 25600 the noise level has gone too far but definition is OK.
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Olympus PEN E-PM2 Review Verdict

Quality: very good.

Why you’d buy the Olympus PEN E-PM2: small, easily carried camera.

Why you wouldn’t: you don’t like menu mining!

This is a MILC model that will take very good quality pictures.

Available in black, silver, red or white.

Olympus PEN E-PM2 Specifications

Image Sensor: 16.1 million effective pixels.
Metering: Multi zone, centre-weighted averaging, spot.
Effective Sensor Size: 17.3×13.0mm (22.5mm diameter) Live MOS.
35 SLR Lens Factor: 2x.
Shutter Speed: 60 to 1/4000 second, Bulb.
Continuous Shooting: 8 fps.
Memory: SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.
Image Sizes (pixels): 4608×3455 to 1024×768. Movies: 1920×1080, 1280×720, 640×480 at 30fps.
LCD Screen: 7.6cm LCD (460,000 pixels).
File Formats: JPEG, RAW, JPEG+RAW, MPEG4.
Colour Space: sRGB, Adobe RGB.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 200 to 12800.
Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI mini, AV, accessories.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, DC input.
Dimensions: 110x64x34 WHDmm.
Weight: 269 g (inc battery and card).
Prices: Get a price on theOlympus PEN E-PM2 at Amazon.

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Barrie Smith
Barrie Smith

is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

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