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Ilse Jurriën : December 25th 2011 - 11:00 CET

Olympus PEN Mini review

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OlympusOlympus PEN Mini review : The current Olympus PEN camera assortment is made up of three system cameras, the Olympus PEN Mini (E-PM1) being the most compact. The 12 megapixel Olympus PEN Mini has a stylish appearance, however, its weight is especially noteworthy, as the Olympus PEN Mini only weighs 216 grams. The Olympus PEN Mini Micro Four Thirds camera, next to high quality photos, can also shoot Full HD videos in AVCHD format, with stereo sound. Furthermore, the camera is full of creative possibilities, such as art filters and special effects. We brought the Olympus PEN Mini with us to Tunisia in order to examine it in an extensive practical test.
Olympus PEN Mini review

Olympus PEN Mini review
By looking at the menu, it quickly becomes clear that the Olympus PEN Mini is ideal is for beginner, enthusiastic photographers. For each menu item, if desired, there is an extra explanation available. You can easily read all photo tips and the Live Guide menu gives direct access to important settings, such as aperture and depth of field. The camera itself indicates what you should adjust in order to achieve the best result; moreover, you immediately see which effect the adjusted setting has. The Live Guide menu works easily and is can be applied to both photo and video recordings.

PEN Mini review

Review Olympus PEN Mini - Operation
Due to the compact format, it takes some getting used to how best to hold the Olympus PEN Mini. On the back to the right, there is a rubber grip, which contributes to better hand placement. The Olympus PEN Mini has a limited amount of buttons; the lack of a dial is immediately noticeable. The dial’s functionality (P, A, S, M, iAuto, Art, Scn, Video) is at hand via the menu button. Remaining functions can quickly be found via the Live Guide function or via the menu. Part of the menu is normally switched off. If you want to change settings or use the accessory port, then you will have to apply the menu itself.

Olympus PEN Mini gallery

Olympus PEN Mini image quality
The Olympus PEN Mini, just like the other PEN system cameras, has a new shutter system. Thanks to the renewed auto focus, with a mere 35 focal points, the Olympus PEN Mini can focus rapidly and accurately. Further, the Olympus PEN Mini can take high-speed shots up to 5.5 shots per second, which is ideal for photographing playing children or sports events. Additionally, we must not forget the image stabilization. Since the Olympus PEN Mini uses image stabilization via a sensor-shift, it does not matter which lens (with or without stabilization) you use, unintended camera shake is always compensated. The Olympus PEN Mini has a relatively large image sensor with an ISO range from 200 to 12800. This Micro Four Thirds camera delivers good image quality, with extra sharp contrasts, true-to-life colors and intense brightness.

Olympus PEN Mini photo gallery

Olympus PEN Mini creativity
The Olympus PEN Mini has a mere 23 different scenes. Next to the usual scenes, think of portrait, landscape, macro and candlelight, the Olympus PEN Mini also has a Panorama and 3D function, and fish-eye and wide-angle effects. Additionally, the Olympus PEN system cameras are known for their creative Art filters. The Olympus PEN Mini has about six Art filters so that you can give your photos a personalized, artistic touch: pop-art, soft-focus, grainy film, pinhole, diorama and dramatic.

Mini review

Olympus PEN Mini accessories
The back of the Olympus PEN Mini is dominated by the 3" LCD screen with 460,000 pixels. The Micro Four Thirds camera does not have an electronic viewfinder, making the LCD screen an important part of the camera. The Olympus PEN Mini can be expanded with an optional viewfinder. The Olympus PEN Mini comes with a 14-42 mm kit lens. It also comes with an external flash, to compensate for the lack of an internal flash. Furthermore, there is an accessory port directly under the hot shoe, in order to connect several accessories. Think of the SEMA-1 stereo microphone, the RM-UCI remote operation cable, the MAL-1 Macro arm lighting and the PENPAL PP-1 Bluetooth-transmitter.

Olympus PEN Mini

Olympus PEN Mini review conclusion
The Olympus PEN Mini is ideal for people that truly value good quality photos and video recordings, but find a digital SLR camera much too heavy and complicated. The Olympus PEN Mini is easy to operate and offers good image quality, thanks to the relatively large sensor, the fast auto focus and the built-in image stabilization. Furthermore, the creative filters are a fun addition in order to make photos and videos artistic. There are enough extension possibilities, think of the external flash that comes included or the optional electronic viewfinder. With a retail value of approximately 450 Euros, the Olympus PEN Mini offers a good price/quality ratio and with a choice of six different colors, everybody is satisfied.

Olympus PEN Mini review rating
• User-friendliness : 85
• Features : 80
• Image quality : 85
• Design : 80
• Price : 80
• Rating : 80 out of 100

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Olympus PEN Mini Test photos

Olympus PEN Mini photo

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Olympus PEN Mini picture

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PEN Mini photo

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PEN Mini picture

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Olympus Mini picture

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Olympus PEN Mini sample photo

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