Olympus PEN Mini / E-PM1 Review
Record mode displays
As usual Olympus allows you the option of defining how much information you want to see on the E-PM1's screen when shooting.
Sadly, though, the PEN Mini still forces you to cycle through multiple screens using the Info button, and you simply can't combine options even when it makes perfect sense to have them shown at the same time (for example the highlight/shadow warning with the histogram). This type of behavior dates back to Olympus's early live view DSLRs, and is now looking distinctly dated in the face of increasingly-slick interfaces from the likes of Panasonic. Luckily the various screens can all be enabled or disabled via the Custom menu, so you only have to cycle through the ones you actually use.
|From the simplest live view option which shows the image only...||...pressing the info button presents useful shooting details.|
|In addition, you have the option of displaying grid lines over the image preview to aid with composition and alignment.||You can view a luminance histogram; the white version represents the whole image, with the area under the active AF point shown in green.|
|There's also a shadow/highlight exposure warning screen. Blown highlights are shown in red, blocked shadows in blue. You can even customize the levels the camera will use as the cutoff (0-10 for shadows, 245-255 for highlights).||A 'Multi View' screen allows live on-screen comparison between a range of exposure (shown above) or white balance variants, so you can pick the one you like best.|
|Pressing the 'Magnify' button enters a new display mode for zooming-in to a selected region of the image. You can move the highlighted area freely around the screen with the arrow keys...||...then press Magnify again to zoom in. The rear dial is used to change the magnification, allowing you to check critical focus. You can autofocus on the selected area in this mode too.|
Live Control and Super Control Panel
In terms of its on-screen operation and controls, the E-PM1 works in almost exactly the same way as the E-PL3, with not just one, but two methods of providing quick access to commonly-used functions that don't have their own direct-access buttons. A 'Live Control' menu is on hand for rapid access to key shooting settings via a compact-camera-like interface.
The Live Control screen is activated by pressing the 'OK' button at the center of the camera's 4-way controller. Also available is the 'Super Control Panel' (SCP) which was first introduced in Olympus' E-series DSLRs. The Super Control Panel gives you a slightly expanded selection of camera settings in a single screen, overlaid semi-transparently onto the live view display. You navigate through the parameters using the 4-way controller, and can change their settings using the rear dial. Whether you prefer Live Control or the SCP is ultimately a matter of taste, as both provide an excellent interface for changing those less-accessible options. Live Control is active by default. Annoyingly though, the custom option which enables the SCP is bizarrely well hidden.
To enable the SCP, you must enter the main menu and scroll down to the custom settings line, then across to the 'D' section, which deals with display/live view functions, and then across again to 'Control Settings', then across to whichever exposure mode you want to allow the Super Control Panel to be visible in (you can't select 'all'), then across again, and down to the teasingly abbreviated 'SCP', and then - finally - across again and you'll see an option to turn it 'on'.
|By default, changing 'top level' shooting controls in PASM shooting modes is achieved using the 'Live Control' screen. Just press 'OK' to display the screen then navigate using the 4-way controller.||The Super Control Panel offers a DSLR-like at-a-glance status screen. Once enabled, pressing the INFO button cycles between this and any other options you've activated in the custom menu.|
Independent Shadow /Highlight Tone Control
As with the other current PENs, the PEN Mini offers the ability to tweak the shadow and highlight tone curves used by the camera's JPEG processing independently, with the result previewed live on screen. It's still a remarkably well-hidden feature, but one we could see being useful for dedicated JPEG shooters. Shadow and highlight adjustments can be freely combined, which can result in some odd combinations if you're not careful.
|To access the tone curve adjustment controls, you first have to press the Exposure Compensation button and then press 'Info' to bring up this tiny tone curve adjustment icon. Initially the control changes shadow tone.||You can change the tone curve to either open or deepen the shadows, with a wide range of adjustment from +7 to 7. Your chosen adjustment value is displayed below the icon.|
|Press 'Info' a second time to access the highlight tone control. Its adjustment value sits above the tone curve icon.||You can change the tone curve to either brighten or darken the highlights, with a range of adjustment from +7 to 7. Your chosen adjustment value is displayed above the icon.|
Aug 20, 2012
Jan 19, 2012
Nov 23, 2011
Nov 22, 2014
|Moon 99% D55 C14 St-Zénon 20170806 DP by MarioSS|
from Best Picture of the Week
|Reeds on lake by kkardster|
from Abstracts in Nature
|Florence & the Machine by Dutch Newchurch|
from Second chances..
NASA photo editor Joel Kowsky didn't just capture the solar eclipse from his vantage point in Wyoming, he also managed to capture the ISS buzzing across what remained of the sun.
In these videos, talented photographer and filmmaker Daniel DeArco breaks down several tips that will help flash photography newbies start experimenting with artificial light.
Photographer and master potter Steve Irvine makes incredibly intricate, functional ceramic pinhole cameras that look like robots and monsters.
Chinese gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has released a firmware update for its Moza Air that lets you control the direction and angle of the head remotely just by moving a small handlebar-mounted control unit.
Curious how the Sony a9 performs underwater? Our friends at Backscatter took the camera diving off the Baja California coast, to find out how it handled shooting great white sharks.
While most of the DPReview crew put away our cameras and just watched the celestial event, Rishi decided last-minute to hack together a rig and capture a few shots.
Defunct Russian camera maker Zenit is making a comeback, and they're planning to release a full-frame mirrorless camera in 2018.
The days where you're more or less locked into premium or first-party flash units has gone. They're less than $50 now, so there's one less excuse not to get one. Here's our case for adding one to your kit, and a few pointers to get you going.
If you're shooting the solar eclipse here's a hint: don't fry your camera's sensor. Use a proper solar filter that offers at least 16 stops of light filtration, along with UV and IR filtering. More important? Don't look at it unless you've got solar filters. Sensors can be replaced, your retinas can't.
Photographer Rick Wenner recently captured an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen with a rather odd camera: The Phase One XF IQ3 Achromatic, the world's only 101MP black-and-white digital back.
Buying used is a good way to save some dough, and with the right precautions you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam.
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.