Olympus E-PM1 - digital camera

The Good The Olympus PEN E-PM1 has a relatively compact and appealing design, and operates similarly enough to a point-and-shoot that upgraders needn't be intimidated. Plus it's priced aggressively.

The Bad If you're picky, the image and video quality may not completely satisfy you.

The Bottom Line If you're looking for a step-up model that's still pretty compact, the Olympus PEN E-PM1 is a solid, affordable choice.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Image quality 7.0
7.2 Overall

Compare

Olympus PEN E-PM1 (with 14-42mm lens, Black)
Olympus E-PM1 - digital camera
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Olympus OM-D E-M1 (body only, black)
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Price $1,797 Amazon.com $599 Amazon.com $2,898 Amazon.com $999 Amazon.com $450 Amazon.com
Design
8
8
9
7
8
Features
7
8
9
9
7
Performance
7
8
7
9
8
Image quality
7
8
9
8
8

Review

Olympus E-PM1 - digital camera

Size and affordability remain the bane of the interchangeable-lens camera (at least here in the U.S.), but Olympus' PEN E-PM1 hits the closest to the target that I've seen thus far. It's not perfect, and in fact it's kind of hard to get excited about. But there's a lot to like if you want to upgrade to the speed and photo quality of an ILC but don't have a lot of cash to spend. Plus it comes in a handful of pretty colors.

The camera's photo quality rates as good-to-very good, but I think most of my issues with it stem from the kit lens. It's the same lens that ships with all Olympus' PEN models, but for some reason it irked me more this time around.

Of course, that helped drive home the attraction of using an ILC instead of a point-and-shoot; when I couldn't get any landscape shots out of the 14-42mm lens that didn't look muddy, I switched to a Lensbaby.

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Specs / Prices

  • Brand Olympus
  • Digital Camera Type mirrorless system
  • Weight 7.62 oz
  • Sensor Resolution 12.3 pixels
  • Optical Sensor Size (metric) 13.0 x 17.3 mm
  • Optical Sensor Type Live MOS
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