With a good number of new features, including a 16.1-million-pixel sensor and a touch-sensitive screen, Olympus’s Pen Mini range may have grown up. Richard Sibley finds out just how good the diminutive E-PM2 really is. Read the Olympus Pen E-PM2 review...
Perhaps the most significant feature of the Olympus Pen E-PM2 is the four thirds-sized, 16.1-million-pixel, Live MOS sensor. This is a significant upgrade on the 12.1-million-pixel, Live MOS sensor found in the first generation of Pen cameras. The sensitivity range of the E-PM2 has also been increased by 1EV, from ISO 200-12,800 in its predecessor, to ISO 200-25,600. However, the processing engine remains the same TruePic VI system used in the previous generation of Olympus micro four thirds models and the more recent OM-D E-M5. No doubt the system has undergone some tweaks to help tackle the data from the new 16.1-million-pixel sensor.
Don’t be fooled by the size and looks of the E-PM2. Like its predecessors in the Pen range, it has a full range of features for advanced photographers. The camera shoots both JPEG and raw images, with a full range of manual-exposure modes. Exposure compensation and bracketing are available, as are HDR and ISO bracketing.
Another new feature inherited from the OM-D E-M5 is the new live bulb shooting mode. This allows the photographer to use bulb mode with the rear LCD screen updating the live view image every few seconds to show the current exposure. This takes much of the guesswork out of long exposures. Although it is quite a creative, specialist mode, it is fun to experiment with, and it is a credit to Olympus that it has been included in what is its entry-level CSC.
With Wi-Fi connectivity as one of the must-have features this year, it is no surprise to see it included on the E-PM2. Sadly, however, it isn’t built into the camera, although in-camera compatibility is possible with both Eye-Fi and Toshiba Flash Air cards. These will allow images to be transferred from the camera to a laptop computer, smartphone or tablet via the appropriate software or app on the external device.
There are other notable new features and changes to the new camera, but more about these later in the test.