Olympus Pen Mini E-PM2 – an underated camera


Olympus have been on the money with their Micro 4/3 range of cameras, the Pen series and the OM-D have all hit the spot perfectly in terms of features vs price. Unfortunately due to very aggressive marketing of the low end D-SLR cameras, one Pen model flies under the radar in terms of specs vs price and ease of use. This model is the Pen Mini aka the E-PM2.



The Pen Mini 2’s spec list reads pretty darn good

16.1 megapixel LiveMos sensor, built in stabilizer, 3 inch LCD touch screen, accessory shoe, RAW, 1080/60i HD video,  8fps still shot burst, SD memory cards incl SDXC, FlashAir and EyeFi cards.  There are many different modes including 13 different art filters, and 20+ scene modes, plus the standard iAuto, P, A,S,M. This makes the camera incredibly customizable.

Externally, the biggest difference between the Pen Mini 1 and Pen Mini 2 is the addition of a small grip on the front and back of the camera, this makes the Mini 2 much easier to get a good hold of, which also makes it more steady to use. Me, i have big hands, and have issues with smaller cameras holding them and having fingers all over the place trying to get a good grip on the camera. with the Mini 2, thanks to the thumb rest on the back and the grip on the front i find it really nice to hold, and have caught myself shooting one handed at times, so its comfortable.

Weight is not an issue with the Mini either, the camera, with battery, flash and standard 14-42mm lens attached weighs 406 grams  or if you prefer old money weights, 14.3 ounces which is about 0.9 pounds. This makes it a camera that can be carried all day.

Check out the size comparison between the Sony A390, Olympus OM-D and Pen Mini 2



L-R Sony Alpha A390, Olympus OM-D, Olympus Pen Mini 2











L-R Sony Alpha A390, Olympus OM-D, Olympus Pen Mini 2

The other neat thing i do like about the Mini is the touch screen, you can control the AF and release the shutter by tapping the screen when touch control is enabled.

Lens wise, the range of micro 4/3 lenses is increasing all the time too, Olympus and Panasonic are busy creating a range of superb lenses to fit, and now companies like Tamron, Sigma and Tokina are now manufacturing lenses in Micro 4/3

I really like this camera, ok there are a couple of things i would have liked, such as a built in flash, but having said that, having the small clip on flash which is included in the box (here in NZ) is actually a pretty neat little unit.

The other thing i would have liked, is an eye level finder or an accessory finder in the box, but adding such a thing would  make the camera more expensive.

Accessory wise, Olympus have thought of lots, there are accessory viewfinders that use the hotshoe, and accessory port directly under the flash,  there are also different flash units them selves, everything from small compact units to small LED Macro lights on flexible arms or dedicated macro lights.

Movie shooters have also not been forgotten, the cameras AP2 Accessory port allows an external microphone to be attached for better quality audio recording.

The Pen Mini will also accept the Olympus PP-1 Penpal Bluetooth adapter, this allows wireless transmitting of images to a bluetooth enabled device like a smart phone or tablet.

Wireless communication can also be achieved using FlashAir or EyeFi SD cards, these allow wireless transmission across a Wifi Network to a PC/Smartphone or tablet.

I could wax lyrical for ages about how good this camera is, and i could get really technical about the review too, but there are many good websites out there that do such things so i won’t.

What i will say that Olympus have produced a very compelling camera for someone who wants to step up to a more advanced camera with a lot more versatility than high end compacts, but dont want the bulk of a DSLR camera.

Overall i give the Olympus Pen Mini 2 E-PM2 two thumbs up


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