Olympus announced the smallest interchangeable lens camera in their PEN line, the entry-level, yet 12-megapixel PEN mini E-PM1 Micro Four Thirds digital camera. In order to keep things slim the E-PM1 forgoes a built-in flash and the manual dials on top. However, it does come with a small external flash that attaches to the hot shoe.
The PEN mini E-PM1 represents the culmination of Olympus's quest to maximize the size/weight reduction advantages of the Micro Four Thirds System standard. The camera body alone weighs just 217 grams, 27% lighter than the E-PL1, previously Olympus's lightest camera. Volume has been reduced by 31%. Even when the camera is fully equipped for actual use with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II R, its removable flash, a rechargeable battery and a memory card, Olympus still claims the E-PM1 is the world's lightest interchangeable lens camera to date at 403 grams.
The PEN mini E-PM1 also boasts sequential shooting performance of 5 fps and image quality built on the same advanced technology that powers the E-P3, the just announced new flagship of the PEN series. Better-than-ever image quality is made possible by the new 12.3-megapixel High Speed Live MOS Sensor with 1080i HD movie compatibility and the new TruePic VI image processing engine. High-sensitivity shooting at ISO12800 is also possible.
Like its bigger cousin, the E-P3, the E-PM1 incorporates an all-new autofocusing (AF) system that has been completely re-designed to perform at unprecedented speeds. During AF, the Live MOS Sensor is driven at double the speed (120 fps) of the previous system, facilitating faster acquisition of the image signals required for AF. The speed of AF computation that generates the contrast signal from the image signal to determine the degree of focusing has also been doubled. The advantages made possible by these improvements are further enhanced by the increase in the speed of communication for controlling the lens motion and the synergy of the MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) mechanism, which facilitates fast, quiet movement of the AF system in the lens, as well as faster response time from shutter release to the start-up of AF system. Together, all of these improvements have resulted in a much faster autofocusing than previously.
This camera also features the Art Filters well acclaimed with other Olympus cameras so that anyone can easily enjoy photographic expressions that used to require complicated image processing. The E-PM1 incorporates six of the most popular Art Filters, allowing users to express their unique creative vision with both still images and movies.
- New control system for easier operation
- Ultrafast autofocus using new FAST AF system inherited from the E-P3
- 35-area multiple AF with group area selection
- High-performance 5.5 fps sequential shooting
- High image quality inherited from the E-P3
- New 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor with full HD movie compatibility
- New TruePic VI image processing engine
- Incorporates full HD movie shooting (AVCHD)
- Built-in stereo microphones
- Built-in sensor-shift type image stabilization
- Electronic movie image stabilization
- High capability removable flash (not built-in)
- Tone control for individual variations of the tones of bright and dark sections
- One-push digital teleconverter function
Olympus has generously endowed the E-PM1 with the same new 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS sensor and new TruePic VI image processing engine incorporated in the new flagship of the PEN series, the E-P3, due for release at the same time as the E-PL3. This has made possible full HD 1080i movie recording and improved the maximum sensitivity to ISO12800. The newly developed TruePic VI image processing engine achieves both improvement of image processing quality and reduction of processing time.
Price and Availability
The Olympus PEN mini E-PM1 will be available September 2011 for $499.99 in 6 color variations (white, silver, black, pink, purple, brown) while the Lens Kit is available only in three color variations (silver, white, black}.
The following body/lens color combinations are available:
- E-PM1 Lens Kit (3 color variations):
When the body color is Black, the lens color is Black.
When the body color is White or Silver, the lens color is Silver.
- E-PM1 Twin Lens Kit (6 color variations):
When the body color is black, both lenses are Black.
When the body color is White/Silver/Pink/Purple/Brown, both lenses are Silver.