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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 1 February 2012
This is my second Olympus Pen camera and although this is the cheapest camera in the Pen range its a superbly made camera for the price. The improvements over the E-PL1 are smaller & nicer form factor and much better standard zoom lens the 14-42mm IIR which unlike the earlier design has a non rotating front end and is better made. The controls at first take some getting used to if you move from earlier Pen cameras but all the usual functions are there and the image quality from the combination of the camera & lens are great. I use the camera with the electronic viewfinder if using a tripod but this does reduce battery time and sits on the camera hot shoe, however in sunlight that tends to saturate the LCD screen of any digital camera its a god send. One gripe is not have a built-in spirit level it is easy to not get the horizon exactly right although this can be fixed in photoshop or iphoto.
The camera balance with longer lenses like the 40-150mm are OK and if you want a really small package the pancake lens is a good option. The Pen cameras have in-body image stabilisation unlike Panasonic as well as ultrasonic sensor cleaning which Olympus pioneered. In all a relatively simple camera for the price allows a lot of creativity whilst not challanging the photographer.
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on 14 February 2012
My initial attention was possessed by this camera body's size. At the time I got to know of the E-PM1, I wasn't exactly searching for a new camera. I own a compact Canon Powershot and an iPhone 4. Over time I had lost my passion for photography and thus had become lazy to carry my compact unit with me unless there was a significant reason to do so. I had vowed never to own a DSLR as I knew that if I did, it wouldn't be long before I became lazy to carry all that gear around with me wherever I went. When I started looking into the specifications, test photos, reviews of the E-PM1 it became apparent to me that it is possible to have such a compact camera that beats much larger DSLR systems. I learned that this mirrorless camera had the same sensor size as all of its larger Four Third mount cameras and that this body is compatible with the full range of micro Four Third and full size Four Third lenses. These facts were what impressed me the most because I then realised that I could be walking around with a stealthy camera body that's slimmer and smaller than many compact cameras in the market, yet have the capabilities to beat the older Four Third DSLR bodies.

One of the important decision criteria was the ability to carry a camera around without a bag that had to be opened to gain access. I searched online and found that there were some camera cases from China that fit this unit perfectly and some even had a bump on the top to accommodate the accompanying Flash unit. The discovery of these imitation leather cases provided the solution that I was looking for. I was then able to carry the E-PM1 around, hung from my neck with a case that can be easily unbuttoned, folded back, and closed again after the camera had been used. Although there are other mirrorless cameras on the market that have larger sensor sizes, they also necessitate using a larger lens and thus increase the bulk of the entire package. This criticism of the micro Four Third form factor was a compromise that I was willing to make due to the mobility and stealthiness that the Olympus E-PM1 offers.

I'm pleased to say that this has been one of the best purchases that I've made.
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on 28 October 2012
Took forever to arrive but I've been stunned by the results. This is the camera I've always needed. I was an OM user years ago and was most unhappy when Olympus effectively ditched that system. I then moved on to Canon equipment as they had the autofocus system Sussed but never came close on portability. The recent Olympus cameras are showing the kind of innovation that the OM system displayed. Look through an OM 1 or 2 viewfinder and you'll be amazed at the brightness of the screen, nothing else came close. This little camera kit is portable and gives stunning results. Forget the 12 'pixel count, the end result is brilliant compared to compact cameras with much higher pixel counts.
A great camera and hopefully a resurgence in Olympus. Am now looking at the OMD
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I have owned my E-PM1 for 6 months now and it has been heavily used. It is a micro 4/3 camera that takes interchangeable lenses made by Olympus and Panasonic. I use mine with the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm/F1.7 Pancake Lens which is expensive but brilliant. This combination fits inside a coat pocket and means I have a decent camera with me on every trip. Honestly, the difference in picture quality from this camera with a pancake lens and a compact is beyond compare.

But you don't have to buy expensive lenses to make use of this camera. The kit lens is an absolute wonder and collapses inward when not in use. Pictures made by this combination are very sharp and have superb colour.

The other thing that makes this camera so nice is the speed. It autofocuses faster than my SLR does - not bad for a compact camera.

Downsides, you have to use buttons to change the settings in manual mode, the flash is a fiddly little attachment and there is no viewfinder so you have to shade the screen in bright light. That said, you can buy big flashes and an electronic viewfinder if you want.

I just enjoy having a brilliant camera at a cheap price that can use some of the best lenses around.

Check the customer photos for a side by side size comparison with my Nikon D3100. I sold the Nikon and kept this one as pictures - real world pictures are better with the Olympus.
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on 18 May 2013
The camera itself is great, easy to handle and the lack of buttons turned out not to be a problem at all. The LCD is not the most responsive so a wee bit of ghosting will be visible. Menu is great once you learn how to use it (you need less than an hour to get used to it).

The kit lens however is not necessarily something to write home about. It's good but for indoors you will run into situations when you'll really want a faster lens, especially without the use of the provided flash.

Later Edit: I feel that it's really hard to decide how good this camera is. I ended up sending the entire kit back, and the reason for that is not the camera itself but the kit lens which provided way lower quality images than I would normally expect. I compared the images with my Finepix HS-10, and the difference is, well... almost non-existent, and that is solely because of the lens. The camera paired with a much more expensive lens (ballpark of £250), will produce breathtaking results, however, my aim was not to end up spending over £500 on camera + lenses.

Conclusion: if you want to spend less than £300 on photography and you really know how a good quality photo looks like, then this camera with this lens, will not get you that, so go for an expensive point & shoot. If however, you have around £500 to spend, then this camera with the Panasonic Pancake Lens will do miracles, and it is the pocketable camera you want and need.
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on 5 April 2012
I brought this camera with the 150mm lens deal...I'm no photographer but I wanted to learn though and was looking for a camera capable of capturing sports shots of my son and have low light capabilities. The other consideration was quick start up. It has satisfied all the requirements and more... totally recommended for the money and with the cash back deal it really has little competition. Look at the cameralabs web site his was the review that swayed my choice.
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on 13 April 2012
great piece of kit, will be much better when I have had more practice with all the settings. It is easy enough to follow the instructions and once tried easy to replicate. Will look forward to lots of quality shots from this kit.
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on 16 February 2013
I've been using SLR's since the 1970's and have owned a number of very good cameras and lenses. This is one of the best I've owned.

The micro four thirds system is a game changer. In absolute terms it's not up there with the best DSLR's but then again it was never meant to be.

It's so compact. I bought the twin lens kit. It gives me coverage from 28 mm through to 300 mm. All of that fits into a very small case that's easy to carry and weighs next to nothing. It's got HD video recording, image stabilisation and a good system of accessories.

it's built down to a price but still feels well built. The screen is difficult to see in bright sun light, but that's par for the course. This can be rectified via an electronic viewfinder. Olympus is a brand I've found very reliable previously which is good as so many of the made in China products being produced for Japanese companies are of poor quality.

A great little camera that get used much more than my DSLR because it's so compact. Results are first rate, with lots of detail and good colours.
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on 1 October 2014
We bought this as a second camera, to use alongside an Olympus E-620. With this in mind, I bought a micro Two Thirds to Two Thirds adapter so we could use the lenses for the larger camera. This setup is unfortunately rather bulky, which negates the major benefit of this camera - I've tried to wean the wife off the Two Thirds lenses, back to the micro 2/3 18-44 lens it came with... but she is too fond of the big zoom lenses we own. This arrangement does have another disadvantage, in that the camera often struggles to focus correctly with these slightly unusual lenses - in low light it can hunt for ever.

I have one major gripe with this camera, which is that the red 'video record' button is right next to the shutter button, and so we've ended up with quite a few unwanted video clips; maybe this is a function of having to hold the camera in a particular way because we have an enormous lens attached to it, I don't know.

However, we have got some lovely photos from this camera, and I don't think we've even scratched the surface of its capabilities. It is very compact and light, and it does get taken to places the SLR doesn't... but it still isn't as small as a full compact. I'd like to get a micro Two Thirds pancake lens for it, which would truly make it pocket sized - but that's more money I can't really justify.
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on 16 May 2014
Bought this little Olympus Pen in May 2013 (one year ago) and payed just £179.99 for it!! I was looking for a better quality compact without viewfinder when I found this on Amazon. Its 'Micro Four Thirds' format meaning the image sensor inside the camera is bigger than the thousands of other relatively cheap digital cameras out there. Digital is very much like film in that generally, the bigger the format (film or sensor) the better the image (APSC format would be even better). Picture quality with this little camera is better than you might expect, and at £179.99, my bargain of the year.
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