Olympus PEN E-PM1

Released June, 2011
  • 12.2 MP
  • Four Thirds 17.3 x 13 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
The processed Raw (using a ACR 6.6 beta) likewise shows impressively fine resolution, and while there's a bit more color moiré, the narrower-radius sharpening we've applied results in a cleaner image without sharpening artifacts.
by DPReview (Nov, 2011)
8.5 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Olympus PEN E-PM1

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

PEN E-PM1
7.9
D7100
9.7
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

PEN E-PM1
7.4
D7100
7.4
Focus lag and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

PEN E-PM1
8.6
D7100
9.1
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

PEN E-PM1
9.0
D7100
9.2
Reviews from 43rumors.com, photographyblog.com, dpreview.com and reviews.cnet.com

8.5

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

PEN E-PM1
8.5
D7100
9.2

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Olympus PEN E-PM1

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

PEN E-PM1
499 ISO
D3300
1,385 ISO
D7100
1,256 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

PEN E-PM1
2,400 LPH
D7100
3,000 LPH
D3300
3,000 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

PEN E-PM1
246 ms
PEN E-PL2
434 ms
NX100
431 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

PEN E-PM1
75 ms
NX100
107 ms
D7100
54 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

PEN E-PM1
1,800 ms
D7100
300 ms
D3300
400 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

PEN E-PM1
5.5 fps
Nikon 1 V1
60 fps
NX100
3 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Olympus PEN E-PM1


7.1
The E-PM1's AF speed, camera responsiveness, and of course 'large sensor' image quality will be revelations for these users.

9.0
Noise is very well handled, being virtually absent from ISO 200-1600 and not being too obvious at the relatively fast speed of ISO 3200.

7.2
It seems independent of ISO sensitivity, and the camera can handle up to ISO 800 pretty well, depending upon image content.

Overall

7.9 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Lens

The Olympus PEN E-PM1 is available in brown, grey, pink, purple, white, or black for a retail price of £449.99 / $499.99 for the 14-42mm standard zoom lens and tiltable external flash.
by Photography Blog (Oct, 2011)
It's the same lens that ships with all Olympus' PEN models, but for some reason it irked me more this time around.
by c|net (Feb, 2012)
By default, pressing left and right on the four-way controller doesn't scroll between images, but zooms in and out instead.
by DPReview (Nov, 2011)

Sensor

The E-PM1's 12MP Micro Four Thirds sensor has been around for a while but it is still capable of very good low ISO output in both JPEG and raw mode.
by DPReview (Nov, 2011)
Overall the E-PM1's results are very good for a 12MP sensor, but naturally it can't quite match the resolution offered by the likes of the 16 MP Sony NEX-5N.
by DPReview (Nov, 2011)
As with the Panasonic model, the E-PM1 uses the smaller Micro Four Thirds image sensor, while the NEX-C3 employs a larger APS-C sensor which potentially gives better image quality, but conversely the Micro Four Thirds models benefit from smaller comparable lenses than the Sony NEX system can offer.
by Photography Blog (Oct, 2011)

Image quality

Basic image quality remains essentially unchanged, without making the lower-end unit feel like a stripped-down budget model.
by DPReview (Nov, 2011)
The E-PM1's various picture modes all use essentially the same tone curve, the difference between them being much more about color rendition than anything else.
by DPReview (Nov, 2011)
Just as when shooting stills, exposure, while balance and color rendition are excellent.
by DPReview (Nov, 2011)

Screen

Instead of touting the same high-contrast OLED screen found on the E-P3 the E-PM1 uses a more conventional 460k dot LCD screen.
by DPReview (Nov, 2011)
I just found myself missing features like a touch screen and tilting LCD, and the photo quality is a bit too inconsistent for my taste.
by c|net (Feb, 2012)
Similarly the inclusion of a fixed screen rather than the tilting variety is also acceptable, especially given that it offers exactly the same high resolution, as is the absence of a handgrip.
by Photography Blog (Oct, 2011)

Video

By default, the Movie record button allows one-press access to video recording or it can be programmed for another function if you prefer.
by DPReview (Nov, 2011)
Once the lens has been unfurled the camera is ready for its first shot (or video) in just under two seconds.
by Photography Blog (Oct, 2011)
Video quality is adequate.
by c|net (Feb, 2012)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Type CMOS
Megapixels 12.2 MP
Resolution 4032 x 3024
Size Four Thirds
Area 17.3 x 13 mm
Crop factor 2.1x
Pixel size 18.4 microns
Light sensitivity 200 ISO to 12,800 ISO
Codecs
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,400 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,400 LPH

focus system

Type Contrast detection
Focus points 35
Supports continuous No

shutter

Min 60 s
Max 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 110 x 64 x 34 mm
Thickness 34 mm
Weight 263 g
Is weather sealed No

features

Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR No
Automatic panorama Yes
Create realistic 3D images Yes
Image stabilization Sensor shift

video

Video 1920 x 1080 @ 60 fps
Shoots video in 24p No
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack None
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection
Autofocus type Contrast detection

display

Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 460 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen No
Supports live view Yes

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror None
Viewfinder None

performance

Max continuous shooting 5.5 fps
Battery life 330 photos
Continuous shooting 5.5 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 246 ms
Shutter lag 75 ms
Startup delay 1,800 ms
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