Previous page Next page
Buy on GearShop$293.52

Conclusion - Pros:

  • OM-D image quality in smaller, lighter, cheaper body
  • Excellent JPEG color and exposure
  • Suprising level of customizability with several user-assigned function buttons
  • Raw shooting and in-camera processing
  • Small but functional handgrip
  • Flash accessory included
  • Fast 8 fps burst shooting mode
  • Touch-sensitive screen available for those who want it; enough physical buttons for those who don't
  • AF is very fast and accurate - among the best AF systems out there for single AF

Conclusion - Cons:

  • Flash competes with other potential accessories for single accessory port
  • Image on LCD is difficult to see in bright sunlight
  • No external dials for exposure mode/shooting parameter setting
  • Sparse controls and compact layout may be too cramped for some

Overall Conclusion

Despite its small size, the E-PM2 has plenty to offer. At the top of the list is very good JPEG image quality, and though it's unlikely to be a key feature for the camera's target audience, RAW shooting is available. The now-standard (and lest we forget - Olympus-originated) Art Filters are on hand too, and they're a lot of fun to play with. For those just learning to use an advanced camera and eager to tweak settings, Olympus' Live Guide mode is available at the press of a button. And of course, advanced photographers can find manual exposure modes in the camera menu.

The Mini was introduced to appeal to point-and-shoot owners wanting an upgrade that wouldn't weigh them down. It certainly satisfies this requirement. But as well as this main target audience, experienced shooters who just want a decent small camera as a second body should also pay attention to the E-PM2. It's small and compact, and it's still very much a point-and-shoot with a lot more options. But with a touchscreen, some ergonomic tweaks and the inclusion of some top-notch imaging components, the E-PM2 is definitely a more mature product than its predecessor the E-PM1. Essentially it's a slimmed-down OM-D - a camera we like very much indeed.

The EMP2 is still missing a few things that advanced photographers might look for, like a built-in viewfinder, but the AP2 port does offer the option of adding one (along with other accessories, although not at the same time) if your ambitions start to outgrow the E-PM2's 'out of the box' capabilities.

If you're interested in the E-PM2, for an extra $100 (~£100, going by street price in the UK), you could spring for the tilting LCD, external mode dial and removable front grip of the E-PL5. Photographers with larger hands may also find the ergonomics of the E-PL5 a better fit than the decidedly 'Mini' E-PM2, but there's not much in it.

As well as the E-PM5, if you're shopping around for a small ILC and you're not committed to the Micro Four Thirds system, Sony's NEX-series is worth a close look. Most significantly, the NEXs offer a larger image sensor, which some photographers will appreciate for the sake of slight gains in depth of field control and low-light shooting. But for casual photographers and enthusiasts looking for a lightweight secondary camera, the E-PM2 is definitely worthy of serious consideration.

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category.
Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean.

Olympus PEN E-PM2
Category: Entry Level Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Value
PoorExcellent
Good for
Everyday 'auto everything' photography where speed, responsiveness and great JPEGs are what you need.
Not so good for
More involved, critical work where the lack of external controls can make more 'hands-on' operation a little difficult.
Overall score
77%
The Olympus PEN-EPM2 is a point-and-shoot mirrorless camera which does exactly what a novice will need it to. For more adventurous users, there's a lot of functionality hidden beneath the skin (including the image quality of the OM-D) making the E-PM2 a potentially very attractive second camera.

Review Samples

There are 25 images in our Olympus PEN E-PM2 review samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it. Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. Because our review images are now hosted on the 'galleries' section of dpreview.com, you can enjoy all of the new galleries functionality when browsing these samples.

Olympus PEN E-PM2 Review Samples

25 images • Posted May 2013 • View album
Sample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photo

Recommended links

Want to make sure you don't miss out on any future articles?
Sign up for our free weekly newsletter!

Enter the 'Micro Four Thirds Talk' Discussion Forum

Previous page Next page
165
I own it
11
I want it
25
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 5
Rolfens
By Rolfens (2 months ago)

I've lost more than a couple of shots already due to the un-intuitiveness and hidden secondary effects within the interface. If you're the type who like to fiddle with settings and have some amount of control over exposure, expect to waste shots during the first months as you get acquainted with the interface and it's traps, quirks, limitation and bugs. It can be a real concern, and it's hard to trust this camera. If you can pay $100 - $200 more take a good look at what Panasonic has to offer, it might be worth it. If you're more the type to shoot full auto or only use a small subset of the camera's interface (ex: always shoot aperture priority and not use video) or only shoot landscape or are not interested at all in low light or action photography then this does not apply to you.

The bundled software is very slow as well.

Yes, it very fast and responsive for a camera of this class. It is compact, the image quality is great, and it's a bargain.

But don't take the rest for granted.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
namssurt
By namssurt (3 months ago)

The fact is that I looked at a lot of options and have just ordered this camera. Current pricing is $400 with 2 zooms, which is quite a price. Why did I pick this camera?
1) light weight is important due to neck & back problems. Carrying a bigger format all day would be a BIG problem.
2) I wanted something better than a 1/2.3 sensor that is what most compact or bridge cameras use. APS-C increases the weight of both body and lenses that I would need to cover the focal length range See 1)
3) I wanted a good focal length range without having to carry around 30# in lenses. I could get that in a compact or travel zoom like the hx50v from Sony, but that sensor is just too small and the lens's f-stops are pitiful. The package that Olympus/Amazon is offering covers that range quite nicely in just 2 lenses, although I wouldn't mind starting at lower than 14.
4) the image quality is not perfect but is an improvement and the price/quality ratio is excellent.

0 upvotes
Rolfens
By Rolfens (3 months ago)

Ergonomics are not so good, the software is counter-intuitive and buggy, in the sense where it's very quirky. Many functions and options are fighting each other over a couple of customizable buttons. They shou've allowed for the other buttons to be customizable! The delete button, for example, just sits there and does nothing in shooting mode. One and only one dial used for shutter speed, aperture, iso (or any other setting, actually), browsing photos, browsing the settings menu, dialing in EV compensations, and all the rest. Not that great.
Aside from that, one has to say: it delivers.

2 upvotes
ulfie
By ulfie (11 months ago)

Pretty sharp with el cheapo kit zoom lens. Slap on the Panny 20/1.7 and you could lacerate your eyeballs.

3 upvotes
il_alexk
By il_alexk (8 months ago)

Yeah, this Panny 20/1.7 toy is amazing even with the old E-PM1. IT should be the perfect match for the E-PM2 or GM1.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 5