Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 – the mini system camera

What is it?

The E-PM2 builds on the design of the E-PM1, with a few changes to the button configuration and a hike in megapixels from 12.3Mp to 16.1Mp.

As the name suggests, it’s small for a compact system camera and if you’re new to interchangeable lens cameras it’s a gentle introduction, with some of the more familiar point-and-shoot style scene, art and auto modes alongside manual settings.

The E-PM2 isn’t a leap away from it’s predecessor the E-PM1 – Olympus has upped the megapixel count and put in a new processor which should speed things up a bit.

There’s no built-in flash, but it comes with a flash accessory you can attach to the hotshoe – although this adds to the size. To keep it small it’s also without a viewfinder.

To get a closer look at the E-PM2 in action, watch our first look video:

Below are our first impressions based on a short time with the product, not a full review. Read our Digital SLR reviews for full reviews of the latest DSLRs and Compact system cameras and to see which produce the sharpest shots and sport the quickest speeds. Read about how we test digital SLRs for an in-depth breakdown of all our DSLR and compact system camera tests.

Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 – Katie’s first impressions

Just holding it, the E-PM2 has a compact feel about it. It’s slim – with the exception of the kit lens poking out of the front – there’s no viewfinder and the small dials give it a pocket camera feel.

The controls are a little on the small side for comfort, but no doubt you’d get used to them if the size of the camera is the driver when making your camera choice.

The live guide mode – accessed via a button on top of the camera – adds to the ‘introductory level’ feel of the E-PM2. Pros are unlikely to delve into these sorts of features, but if you’re new to system cameras they ease you in to taking more creative control of your shots – using onscreen sliders to make colour and focus.

The price initially feels a little high, because it’s such a compact model, but taking into account its versatility and full manual options adds some perspective. However, if you prefer a mode dial, take a look at the similar specced new Pen Lite E-PL5.

When can I buy it?

It will be widely available from mid-October, priced at around £500 with the 14-42mm kit lens. The flash is also provided in the box.

View images of the E-PM2 and shots taken on it, including using one of the art filters:

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