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Olympus US announces PEN Mini (E-PM1) pricing

By dpreview staff on Aug 25, 2011 at 05:00 GMT

Olympus has announced pricing and availability for its forthcoming PEN E-PM1 entry-level mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The camera with the latest MSC II R version of the company's collapsable 14-42mm kit lens will cost $499.95. The smallest of the PEN familiy of Micro Four Thirds cameras, the PEN Mini includes many of the features of the more expensive E-PL3 but with a simplified user-interface. It will be available in the US from September 2011.

Press Release:


Small, Easy and Stylish Compact System Camera Ships in September and
Fulfills the Promise of a Camera with Impressive
DSLR Image Quality and HD Video in a Mini Camera Body

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., August 25, 2011 – The wait is over! Starting next month, the smallest, lightest, and the most portable Olympus PEN camera – the PEN E-PM1 – will be available at the affordable price of $499.99. The Olympus “PEN Mini” comes in six stylish colors (purple, pink, brown, white, silver and black) to suit your personal style. The PEN E-PM1 packs a powerful punch with the same amazing image quality, lightning-fast speed, and 1080i high-definition (HD) video offered by the recently introduced PEN E-P3 and PEN E-PL3.

The “PEN Mini” is also the easiest PEN to use, with simple controls that enable you to effortlessly access the power of digital photography. A step up from a point- and- shoot camera, the Olympus PEN E-PM1 features a new user interface that takes the guesswork out of capturing the perfect shot. A simple one-touch button enables you shoot HD video. iAuto and scene select modes enable you capture images with ease and speed, and six built-in Art Filters enable you explore your artistic side. The Olympus PEN E-PM1 puts the portability of a point-and-shoot with the performance of a DSLR in the palm of your hands.

“The Olympus PEN E-PM1 is the ideal camera for those interested in DSLR quality in a compact camera design.  It’s fun to use, super powerful, and its small size means it’s the ‘goes anywhere you go’ PEN camera,” said Katie Roseman, senior product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Whether you’re recording your child blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, capturing an elaborate candle-lit table setting at your favorite restaurant or chronicling a vacation, you will never worry about missing a fun or spontaneous moment with the PEN Mini by your side.”

Operating the “PEN Mini” is more intuitive with the newly-designed user interface. Popular menu options such as Art Filters, iAuto, Scene Modes, and Movie are immediately available for your selection. On-screen graphics are easy to read on the 3” LCD and even include a handy pop-up guide to help you understand every setting. The Olympus PEN E-PM1’s Live Guide system allows you to preview effects as you adjust them before the image is even captured. iAuto mode automatically identifies the scene you're shooting; portrait, landscape, night portrait, macro, or sport and adjusts the settings to optimize results. Choose from 23 Scene-Select modes, including the new 3D mode, Fireworks, Sunset, Children, Macro and Panorama, and more that cover almost any shooting situation. The camera’s three-inch widescreen 460-dot high-resolution LCD is so big and bright it enables you shoot and share photos and HD videos with ease.

The new 12.3 megapixel sensor is the same size as those used in pro quality DSLRs. Olympus’ in-body image stabilization technology makes it possible to use any compatible lens from wide-angle to telephoto, for perfectly clear, crisp photos no matter what the shooting situation, even in low light. New Face Detection Auto Focus adjusts focus automatically on the subject's eyes for the best shot every time. You no longer need to worry about subjects appearing too dark against a light background with the PEN E-PM1's Advanced Shadow Adjustment Technology.

Shoot up to 29 minutes of full 1080i HD video with Dolby Digital stereo sound using the direct HD Movie Button. Add more flair to your photos and videos with six in-camera Art Filters (Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama and Dramatic Tone). Every Art Filter can be used in all shooting modes, including HD movie mode. Art Filters can achieve dramatic results on the go without the need for a computer or editing software, so you can spend more time shooting and less time computing. A variety of interchangeable lenses, accessories and flashes are compatible with the Olympus PEN E-PM1 to support all different photography needs. High-precision engineering and an improved internal focusing mechanism have enabled the Olympus MSC (Movie+Still Compatible) lenses to autofocus quickly, smoothly and silently; perfect for stills and HD movies in stereo with amazing clarity. In any mode, from close up to landscape, 3D technology brings your images to another dimension. The 3D data is processed in-camera for easy display on 3D televisions or laptops.

Capture the life of the party with the PEN E-PM1’s super luminosity AF Illuminator LED beam, which allows the camera to focus faster in low-light. Stunning night-time photos are a click away with a maximum sensitivity of 12,800 ISO. Additionally, the “PEN Mini” provides the flexibility of an optional slide-on flash included with camera.

The Olympus PEN E-PM1 offers fast sequential shooting, enabling you to take up to five photos per second. Capture that perfect shot, even when your subject is moving. The new FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF System is able to focus at an incredible speed and offers 35 separate focus areas that are spread over nearly the entire sensor, which makes it possible for pin-point accurate focusing on small subjects wherever they appear in the frame. The TruePic VI image processor has been designed specifically for the Olympus PEN series, with two (dual core) processing engines for superb color and clarity.

The Olympus PEN E-PM1 kit will be available starting in September 2011. The kit includes the PEN E-PM1 body, MSC M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm, FL-LM1 Flash, USB cable, video cable, BLS-1 Li-Ion battery pack, Li-Ion battery charger, shoulder strap, OLYMPUS [ib] software CD-ROM, manuals and registration card.

Olympus PEN E-PM1 Body with MSC M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED m14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 Zoom Street Price: $499.99

I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 36
By oluv (Aug 30, 2011)

if it's under 500$ why does it cost 550€ in Europe?

By santaman (Sep 19, 2011)

The same reason as the price of cars We in the eu are daft enough to pay it.Suply and demand may also come into it.

By Bhiromography (Aug 29, 2011)


By jj74e (Aug 26, 2011)

so does this mean companies will finally sell their high end compacts for a reasonable price? (like the LX5, S95, XZ1, etc). The fact that mirrorless cameras can sell sub 500 means the high end compacts should easily sell for sub 400 at the least.

By Kirppu (Aug 26, 2011)

Of course it doesn't mean that. :)
Many people find interchangeable lens cameras compilicated and companies keep selling them high end compacts with great profit.

My theory ;)

Daniel Lowe
By Daniel Lowe (Aug 28, 2011)

This thing is all about photography for dummies, the LX5 has manual control.

I find these stripped down M4/3rds utterly boring.

SW Anderson
By SW Anderson (Aug 26, 2011)

I'm sure Olympus is offering this in hopes of up-selling cameras to people who would otherwise buy a point and shoot for $100 to $200 less. But that's not all. I'm equally sure Olympus hopes to sell more interchangeable lenses, to consumers who otherwise would never consider buying an interchangeable lens.

I can appreciate why Olympus wants to do this, but I'm skeptical about the company's chance of succeeding with it.

As a practical matter, I suspect many consumers in this bad economy will make comparisons and decide one of the better travel zooms or bridge cameras can do every they want, with more than enough bells and whistles, with more than enough image quality — and with plenty of zoom range, no added expense of buying a pricey interchangeable lens involved.

Meanwhile, camera enthusiasts will look at this model's simplified interface and anorexic physique, and conclude it belongs in the hands of snapshooters with more money than good sense.

Bruce McL
By Bruce McL (Aug 26, 2011)

I wonder what percentage of buyers will ever use a second lens. Probably about the same percentage as the number of SUv buyers who take their vehicles off road.

A 4/3 size sensor, a built-in flash, and a built-in lens. I think that's a more honest camera - it better fits needs of the people who will buy this one. It would probably be less expensive, and it would definitely be lighter.

By Sumicron69 (Aug 25, 2011)

Seems like a cool piece of kit. I use both Panasonic and Olympus bodies. The one thing Olympus has going for it is that when it brings out a new product it is not like trying to get blood from a stone. I mean when Olympus brings out a new product I can usually find it to buy it. Unlike Panasonic who develops great products but then good luck finding them.

By Lan (Aug 25, 2011)

I hope there's an advanced mode to let us use all the features that we usually use on our main camera, and that they're merely hidden from the user unless the camera is in advanced mode.

We can but dream...

By justmeMN (Aug 25, 2011)

The press release states "The new 12.3 megapixel sensor is the same size as those used in pro quality DSLRs." What "pro quality DSLR" uses a Micro Four Thirds sized sensor? Big liars...

Tim in upstate NY
By Tim in upstate NY (Aug 25, 2011)

The E5 is a pro quality DSLR that uses a sensor that's the same size as the one in the E-PM1.

By sensibill (Aug 25, 2011)

Olympus has been putting the 4/3 sensor in their DSLRs for several years. Might want to do a spot of research before trotting out big words like 'LIARS'.

By justmeMN (Aug 25, 2011)

How many professional photographers use Olympus DSPRs, rather than Canon or Nikon? Yes, I should have known that Olympus uses substandard-sized sensors in their DSLRs; since they are a marketshare failure in that area.

By mister_roboto (Aug 25, 2011)

They've been refining the sensor for quite some time, it is however at it's base, the "same."

It is dramatically different to compare the results of a E-520 and a E-P2.

By RestyF (Aug 27, 2011)

How can you say a sub-standard-sized sensor? and what is your guidelines to be a standard? 4/3 sensor are built from the ground-up and developed/optimized with digital in mind.

Being a small marketshare doesn't mean they don't have pro quality dSLR. Are you saying only Nikon and Canon has pro quality dSLR? How about Leica, Sony, Pentax, etc.

By ntsan (Aug 25, 2011)

The perfect combo to pancake zoom lens (14-42mm + 45+175mm) from Panasonic, unlike NEX lens which is humongous huge

1 upvote
By Peiasdf (Aug 25, 2011)

What pancake zoom lens? The rumored super lens? You should not compare rumor with existing product as current m4/3 zoom lenses are about the same size as their NEX counterpart.

By xMichaelx (Aug 25, 2011)

It stopped being a rumor when Panasonic released pics of it days ago.

By Patman888 (Aug 25, 2011)

Hilarious. The realization that the NEX 7 is sexy really shook up the M43 crowd. So much so that they resort to dissing the lens size on the epm1 news page. haha

By Nate21 (Aug 25, 2011)

funny a camera is just a camera why are photographers putting in so much effort about specs and appearance if i remember correctly a camera is nothing but a box, with a hole, and a shutter in front also good light manipulation tricks or good work flow experience are also needed i will always be an Olympus faithfully regardless of what the mass consumer and companies may think is right.

1 upvote
By PetarM (Aug 25, 2011)

I paid Sony NEX-3 with 16 mm pancake and flash 300 eur.

NEX is beating Oly at price...and IQ more and more. Oly products are a bit overpriced, thats why i bougth NEX instead of PEN.

By ThorKre (Aug 25, 2011)

You're comparing the street price of a 1 year old camera to the MSRP of a camera that's not even released? The C3 is 650,- with the kit zoom, 150 bucks more than the E-PM1.

By PetarM (Aug 25, 2011)

Nope, i bougth that Zoom 18-55 in advance, for 220 eur, so 16 mm, 18-55 mm and flash with body comes 520 eur.

Yes, its one year old, but i NEX-3 still outperforms these E-PL3. Sony just have to bring more lenses.

1 upvote
Jon Allison
By Jon Allison (Aug 25, 2011)

So how much would all that have cost new when it was just released?

By sensibill (Aug 25, 2011)

Too bad NEX glass is terrible.

By ThorKre (Aug 25, 2011)

"Yes, its one year old, but i NEX-3 still outperforms these E-PL3. Sony just have to bring more lenses."

Outperforms? APS-C will always have better high ISO and DR than mFT, but mFT has faster AF, you can't put an EVF on you NEX 3, and most of all, mFT has a lot of small, sharp, fast lenses, in every focal length. You NEED high ISO on you NEX because of your slow kit lenses.

As a system, mFT leaves NEX in the dust, no contest.

By fz750 (Aug 25, 2011)

The lens is not particularly fast, and the first thing my GF would say is" what, no built-in flash..?!" I think they've completely misunderstood what people "upgrading" from a P&S compact expect...

Given the similar criticism of the (more enthusiat oriented) E-P1&2, which they then changed with the (more consumer biased) E-PL1, it's really strange that they've now gone in the completely opposite direction with the E-P3 now having an in-built flash and the more consumer oriented products not...


1 upvote
By Nate21 (Aug 25, 2011)

i agree i own the epl-1 mass consumer dictate company products which is a shame but someone like myself i find using my original OM equipment flash and lens to be very sufficient fr many shooting needs and desires

NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (Aug 25, 2011)

Agreed. I think this would pair nicely with the Panny 20mm.

1 upvote
Camp Freddy
By Camp Freddy (Aug 25, 2011)

Nice size and okay price with the Mrk II zoom. A wonderful range of fast primes now, which actually fit in your pocket too.

By cheddargav (Aug 25, 2011)

Agree IcyVeins, photography is all about owning the best gear possible eh. When I go to the park or out for a day with my family, I always take the medium format and tripod ;)

By IcyVeins (Aug 25, 2011)

Yawn. Might make a decent gift for the girlfriend. I don't see anybody with so much as a passing interest in photography (as opposed to snapshooting) touching this camera with a ten-foot pole.

By Azfar (Aug 25, 2011)

lol. Why such hatred Icy veins. Camera hasn't even come out yet.

1 upvote
By ssebi_m (Aug 25, 2011)

Very nice:)

1 upvote
By Jayayess1190 (Aug 25, 2011)

Nice price.

1 upvote
Total comments: 36