The Olympus E-PM2: The PEN Mini is now the PEN maximum thanks to incorporating technology from Olympus' flagship OM-D E-M5
The beautifully conceived second generation PEN Mini E-PM2 camera is not just small, easy to use and very affordable, it also packs a punch that might not be expected of an entry-level device. This extra wallop comes courtesy of the E-PM2 incorporating a new Live MOS sensor from the Micro Four Thirds system flagship, the OM-D, along with another of that semi pro camera's key features in an ultra swift TruePic VI processor. What is surely expected by now is this Olympus' stand out styling, along with best-in-class digital imagery.
Along with a lovely all-metal finish and a stylish fixed grip, further standout features that separate this interchangeable lens compact from its competitors include body integral image stabilisation (IS), to ensure blur free results free from camera shake whichever lens is attached, plus creatively enhancing digital effects in the shape of 12 Art Filters. Factor in a direct wireless link to social media for sharing images via smartphone and you have a bang up to the minute device that at the same time doesn't forget its esteemed heritage.
Inspired by the head turning original PEN series designed by Yoshihisa Maitani, which sold over 17 million units worldwide, and aimed at fans of fuss free photography, the second generation E-PM2 continues the PEN tradition of classic looks yet bang up to the minute technological innovations. It's lightweight in design, yet heavyweight when it comes to features.
Cool, compact PEN design with the added power of OM-D
While the cool design of the E-PM2 delivers the eye-catching finish that camera connoisseurs expect, it is all systems go in terms of speed and delivery of images.
Offering up a swift recovery time, the PEN Mini E-PM2 also comes equipped with FAST AF, powered by the latest generation TruePic VI image processor as found in the lightning quick OM-D E-M5, thereby boosting auto focus performance to the level of that expected of a semi professional camera. This has also prompted a boost in resolution to 16.1 megapixels in order to guarantee exceptional stills, as well as Full HD movies, with great results even in low light, as light sensitivity now reaches all the way to ISO25600.
What's more, FAST AF with 3D tracking has allowed for improved moving object tracking, up to eight frames per second sequential shooting (8fps), while a Live Bulb/Live Time feature can update the Live View image on the rear panel monitor at pre-set intervals during long exposures.
Large, high resolution touch screen LCD monitor
Speaking of rear panel monitors, the E-PM2 features a 3-inch, high 460,000-dot resolution LCD screen for clear visibility giving rise to freedom of creative expression.
On the E-PM2 there is also the convenience of selecting shooting mode options via the touch screen rather than a mode dial.
Full HD 1080 video with stereo sound
The PEN Mini E-PM2 features 1080 Full HD stereo movie recording in the MOV format, with the options of watching footage back either on Full HD TV or your PC's monitor. Either way, the results will look great as, whether shooting video or 16.1 megapixel photos, the PEN Mini is precision engineered to deliver a consistently high performance. Naturally the E-PM2 features HDMI output, so it can be hooked up directly to that HDTV. Additionally, users can magnify a subject up to 4x as they record with no loss of radiant 1080 pixels High Definition resolution.
Social networking made easier via FlashAir compatibility
Ever wanted to link your camera with your smartphone? Now you can. Another major plus on the latest generation PEN Mini E-PM2 is FlashAir™ compatibility, and the free app that allows users to upload pictures to their favourite social network via the familiar interface on their smartphone. There are free iOS and Android software downloads for editing and sharing images via social networks with the aid of your smartphone and/or computer.
A camera for everyone, whatever your level of understanding, with knowledge and picture enhancing Live Guide
The philosophy behind the Olympus E-PM2 or PEN Mini remains that no matter how inexperienced you are with manual photographic settings, here is a camera that will allow you to get the settings just right. You may not understand how to alter aperture or depth of field yet, but via built-in Live Guide, the E-PM2 will allow you to view such adjustments in real time before applying them to an image.
Live Guide allows the real-time adjustment of the likes of colour intensity, Lighting Mood, Brightness, Background Blur and Motion Blur as well as allowing users to fulfill their ambitions as regards video recording as well as stills. Live Guide is accessible in Full HD movie mode alongside settings such as P/A/S/M.
As a further aid, there are also pop-up descriptions provided in the camera menus detailing what everything does, should you forget. The camera is also eminently suitable for shooting in lower light, due to not only built-in image stabilisation but also a top light sensitivity setting of an impressive ISO25600.
Creative magic guaranteed with 12 Art Filters
The amount of Art Filters provided by the PEN Mini E-PM2 has been increased when compared to its predecessor. Eye catching effects can be applied to movies as well as stills, and these can be tested in real time on the LCD before being applied at the point the shot is captured. A further innovation this time around is the ability in HD Movie Mode to blend from one Art Filter effect to another, using the Art Fade function.
The 12 new Art Filters in HD movie and stills modes include the new Watercolour, which can be combined with the likes of the new Monochrome setting. Art Filter Bracketing is also offered, to enable different multiple effects to be applied to the same subject with one squeeze of the shutter release button. HDR Bracketing meanwhile allows for capturing one subject with five different exposures, so you'll never be stuck for creative choice.
Extra buttons for added versatility
The new PEN Mini now scores over its predecessor by virtue of the fact that it now comes with extra buttons that make it even easier to replay and delete images. With the exception of a tilting monitor, it shares nearly all the features of the PEN Lite – one step higher in the range - including a practical self-timer that lets you take up to ten stills at customisable time intervals – a great feature for shooting self-portraits together with friends.
Double Axis Image Stabilisation built-in for consistent blur-free results
Another big advantage over competing compact system cameras remains the PEN Mini's built-in double axis image stabilisation, which means that whatever lens is attached, you're protected from the possible blurring effects of camera shake.
High quality lens for superb images every time
As the latest addition to the PEN camera range, the E-PM2 or PEN Mini comes with the sculpted and near silent M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R lens, providing a versatile equivalent of 28-84mm in 35mm film terms. This lens, one of 26 directly compatible Micro Four Thirds lenses available to E-PM2 users, has the advantage of not only providing faster focusing, but also preventing the audible whirr of the lens' mechanics that can otherwise ruin the audio track of your home movies.
In addition, 27 Four Thirds lenses and more than 500 other lenses can be used with the PEN Mini with the aid of an adapter.
Another advantage of the Olympus system is that its lenses are lighter than rivals', as they don't require built in image stabilisation or 'IS' of their own. What's more the supplied lens also features a swappable decoration ring, so you can match the lens to the body colour of the PEN camera you've chosen.
High capacity SDXC and Eye-Fi card compatible
The carry and shoot anywhere PEN Mini E-PM2 further takes the worry out of photography and offers almost unlimited memory expansion possibilities by providing compatibility with the new SDXC removable media card format.
This affords high storage capacities of up to a gargantuan 2TB to ensure photographers don't run out of space for those many thousands of photos and videos at an inopportune moment – thereby making the E-PM2 as 'future proof' as possible. Wireless transfer is also possible due to compatibility with (optional) Eye-Fi media cards.
Plenty of compatible accessories with which to expand your creative PEN universe
As this is a camera all about choice, the Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 is available in black, silver, white or red.
Optional extras include a super slim 15mm 1:8.0 Body Cap lens. When your regular lens is detached the Body Cap allows photographers to shoot spontaneously and benefit from a built-in barrier against dust.
The Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 is available in the following configurations:
- E-PM2 Kit with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R lens
- E-PM2 Double Zoom Kit with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 R lenses