Olympus Pen E-PM2
Price as Reviewed:£500.00
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...
Noise, resolution and sensitivity
While image resolution is good for a camera with 16.1 million pixels, it is noise that has previously been a problem with four thirds cameras. Overall, the new sensor is a big improvement. Colour noise in JPEG images is kept to an absolute minimum, even at high sensitivities, and is quite easily removed from raw images.
Luminance noise is also more subtle, although, as expected, luminance noise reduction does cause a loss of detail at high sensitivities. For most photographers, noise shouldn’t be an issue at all.
This is not to say that there isn’t noise visible in the usual ISO 200-800 working range of most photographers. Pixel peeping at images with a 100% magnification does occasionally reveal slightly sharpened edges that look like a small amount of luminance noise removal has been applied, along with edge sharpening.
Given that the intention of the E-PM2 is really to make sure that a photographer has a small discreet camera to get the shot they need, rather than worrying about whether they can make billboard-sized enlargements, I wouldn’t be overly concerned about the hint of luminance noise or its removal.
The sensor is very impressive, and those who were happy with the images from the E-PM1’s 12.1-million-pixel sensor will be very pleased with the images from the 16.1-million-pixel E-PM2 unit.
These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro lens. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution at the specified sensitivity setting.
- External mic: Optional via accessory port
- Video: Full HD 1920 x 1080 (16:9) 30p, 20Mbps
- White Balance: Auto, 7 presets, manual plus custom setting
- Built-in Flash: Yes – GN 10m @ ISO 200
- Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
- Shutter Type: Computerised focal-plane shutter
- Viewfinder Type: Yes, via accessory port – Olympus EVF2
- Output Size: 4608 x 3456 pixels
- Field of View: Approx 100%
- LCD: Fixed 3in touch screen LCD with 460,000 dots
- Focal Length Mag: 2x
- Max Flash Sync: 1/250sec (1/4000sec with Super FP mode)
- Sensor: 16-million-effective-pixel, Live MOS four thirds sensor
- White Balance Bracket: Yes, 3 exposures, 2,4,6 mired steps
- AF Points: 35-point on auto, or 800 manual magnified selection
- Exposure Modes: i-Auto, PASM plus 25 scene modes
- Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
- Drive Mode: 8fps in High Speed mode for 19 raw images, or 27 JPEG images. 3fps in Low Speed with IS on. Single-shot and self-timer
- Shutter Speeds: 30-1/4000sec in 1⁄3EV steps plus 30mins in bulb
- File Format: Raw, JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
- Power: Rechargeable BLS-5 Li-Ion battery
- Weight: 269g (with battery and card)
- DoF Preview: No
- Dimensions: 109.8 x 64.2 x 33.8mm
- Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI
- Metering System: 324-zone multi-pattern evaluative metering, spot, centreweighted, highlight and shadow spot
- Compression: 2-stage JPEG
- Exposure Comp: ±5EV in 1⁄3EV steps
- RRP: £499 (with 14-42mm kit lens)
- ISO: 100-25,600
- Lens Mount: Micro four thirds mount
- Focusing Modes: Manual, single AF, continuous AF, single AF + MF, AF tracking, touch target and face detection
- Tested as: Very good