Olympus PEN Mini / E-PM1 Review
Body & Design
The PEN Mini has fewer control points than most compact cameras, and as such you might be forgiven for assuming (mistakenly) that its rear LCD screen must be touch-sensitive. Four functions are assigned to the cardinal points of the rear control dial, and a degree of customization is available, but arguably the Mini is at its most well-behaved when you don't try to take too much control.
The shortage of external buttons is not really problematic when shooting (and the option to engage the Super Control Panel interface, while well-hidden, does make it possible to take control over key shooting parameters if you want to). Things do get slightly frustrating in playback mode, though. By default, pressing left and right on the four-way controller doesn't scroll between images, but zooms in and out instead. Scrolling through your shots is achieved by rotating the control dial, which took us some getting used to. This behaviour can be changed, but the relevant custom option is buried deep in the settings menu.
It won't take a reasonably seasoned photographer long to get to grips with the Mini's handling idiosyncrasies (especially if they're used to the Olympus 'way of doing things') but we do get the feeling that some of the functions that on the E-PL3 are controlled by physical buttons have simply been grafted onto the Mini's UI wherever Olympus's designers found room.
Add-on FL-LM1 flash unit (supplied)
*Note that this video was prepared as part of our original preview content on the PEN Mini
Aug 20, 2012
Jan 19, 2012
Nov 23, 2011
Nov 22, 2014
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