Olympus E-PM1 Review

October 5, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 Steve

Button customisation ? Which buttons can be changed ? What functions can be assigned ? This is so important with a cam with so few external buttons.

2:46 pm - Wednesday, October 5, 2011

#2 pete peterson

I still don’t get it: What’s the point in taking photos using f/10-f/16 with MFT?

Please learn to shoot photos first before spamming the internet with such useless reviews!

4:16 pm - Wednesday, October 5, 2011

#3 zebarnabe

I agree with pete peterson… I really doubt the camera would pick some of the settings automatically, stuff like f/11, ISO1000 is really not right at all. However not all photos are with such a wrong setup.

Some better taken photos would improve the analysis of the image quality.

Also, JPEG and RAW crop comparison looks the same :/

While it is good to release reviews early, please do not rush them, with that said, thanks for the review!

6:03 pm - Wednesday, October 5, 2011

#4 Terry

You can set 3 buttons I believe, the “right” button, “down” button, as well as the “record movie” red button.

8:21 pm - Wednesday, October 5, 2011

#5 Ed

I’ve had the camera for 3 weeks (I unloaded all of my Nikon DSLR gear) and spent some time studying the menu system and playing with the many features. This review is a very accurate appraisal of the camera. I am a very experienced amateur and do not regret my purchase one iota.

9:46 pm - Wednesday, October 5, 2011

#6 steve

Ed - didn’t fancy an NEX then ? You could have got an adapter and kept that lovely Nikon glass…

I see m43 as an addition to dslr, not replacement. NEX could be a replacement when they get more e-mount glass out.

10:55 am - Thursday, October 6, 2011

#7 Fullkoll

I tend to agree with the criticism about the photographer taking some bad pictures.

Look at the picture of M&S Simple Food for example.
Unless the signs move, it´s the photografer´s shaking the camera that creates a bad picture - not the camera!

5:37 pm - Thursday, October 6, 2011

#8 dj

Great looking little camera—why would anyone buy a canon g12 when you can get this for cheaper and beter IQ! M4/3 now has so many great choices from serious slr style camera to compact rangefinder styles. Great lens choices too!

5:50 am - Saturday, October 8, 2011

#9 DM

My E-PM1 arrived today. It’s a beautiful small camera and I’ve just spent the day with the kit lens getting used to the interface.

The good news is that there is a lot more customisability than some reviewers have realized - e.g. 2 of the 4 multi-directional control buttons can be customized - I have ISO assigned to one of them for example. And the record button can be assigned to quick delete images in play mode, and various other things aside from starting video recording in capture mode.
In fact, as far as manual controls go, it’s very good for such a small camera - unless your hands are massive - though it’s fine for me, and I’m 6ft tall, though my hands are quite slim I suppose…
The playback mode using the ring for photo navigation and the left/right button for zooming takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s ok after a while.
I was a little disappointed with noise levels at various ISO settings…but I’m sure I can get better results as I’m still finding my way round it, plus I’ll be ordering the f1.7 20mm pannycake soon which will help too.

12:56 am - Tuesday, October 11, 2011

#10 psbern

I have used the PM 1 for about 3 weeks including taking advantage of an offer to get the EVF and 40-150mm lens at deep discouts from Olympus (ends Oct. 31
I am a knowledgeable amateur, moving up from a point and shoot. The comments above sound as if they are more serious photographers.
I really like the images I am getting and some of the editing both in the camera and on software.  My biggest problem was getting used to the menu system and not pushing the video button which is under a natural thumb positions.
For the price this is a great upgrade for me

8:27 pm - Thursday, October 27, 2011

#11 Debbie Moore

Just got a great deal on an E-PM1 bundle! You would consider me a semi-pro, I suppose. I do photography jobs for pay, but not full-time. My other cameras include Canon 5d MII, t2i and an Oly E-P1. I chose the Pen Mini because it has all of the guts of the E-P3 for hundreds of dollars less. You can activate the Super Control Menu which let’s you change all the settings on one screen (look on the full manual on the included dvd for directions). My E-P1 has produced Featured & Challenging Top 10 images on Redbubble. I’m looking forward to the improved speed of the Pen Mini!

2:41 am - Monday, November 14, 2011

#12 alex

Sorry but these are not4.5 pictures…what the hell?the images view at 100%look’s very blurred with lost of detail,unpleasent…i’m only impressed by the look of this little camera…..it could have a better image quality…my opinion..regards!

5:55 pm - Wednesday, December 28, 2011

#13 alex

i don’t like the pictures at all…

5:57 pm - Wednesday, December 28, 2011

#14 Haruki

i purchased the emp1 about 2 weeks ago. I intend to use it as a back-up for my Nikon D7000 and D90. My decision to get this camera is solely on the fact that it has a very fast AF. Yes, i get beautiful pics from my Nikon but at times i missed out on the opportunity to shoot something at the spur of moment.
i believe when Oly produce this camera they were aiming at the market for those beginners and also those who want to upgrade from P&S to having a sytem without being intimidated by the array of functions that of a prosumer DSLR.
Having said that, i think the epm1 has done its job in satisfying that market segment supported further with its affordable price tag. Furthermore it has a metal body. Which other camera in its class has one?
If you are wondering, this camera is totally not suitable for professional nor enthusiast.
i’m one satisfied buyer and the pics (i’ve already took almost 2,000 shots) are great.

7:19 am - Wednesday, January 4, 2012

#15 Rick

I am not a photographer, I take snapshots. I got my e-pm1 3 days ago because I wanted to move up to higher quality photographs. I would ask all the “pros” out there to be gentle: I have a simple question. If this is a DSLR, does it have a shutter like an SLR. I thought it didn’t. Therefore, why does it make a sound like an SLR, and if this is just for nostalgia’s sake, how do I turn it off?

6:28 pm - Sunday, February 5, 2012

#16 Swede

“this camera is totally not suitable for professional nor enthusiast”

Your´re totally wrong here - once you get the grip of how to configure it, it can do everything you ever want in a very compact body!

6:55 pm - Sunday, February 5, 2012

#17 zebarnabe

This is not a DSLR in the sense of what a DSLR is supposed to be: Digital Single Lens Reflex, where there is a mirror box and a pentaprism that allow the user to look through the lens before the photo is taken. When the photo is taken, the mirror folds up, a 1st shutter curtain and a 2nd shutter curtain then pass over the sensor exposing for the set amount of light.

E-PM1 is a mirrorless camera where the lens are interchangeable, some people call it ILS (Interchangeable Lens System). It lacks the mirror box and pentaprism, making the user to look at an electronic image of the exposed sensor for framing. However it still has a mechanical shutter for proper exposing the photos you take, thus the mechanic noise is heard at each photo.

This camera may not please to an enthusiast in the sense that requires the user to mess with a touchscreen menu, instead of a PASM mode wheel for manual controls… however it does have manual controls and an image quality above a compact camera, so it can be used by an enthusiast if he can live with the touch menus (that are not exactly bad).

8:21 pm - Sunday, February 5, 2012

#18 DS

E-PM1 doest NOT have a touch screen!

You control everything with the buttons on the back side of the camera.

11:09 am - Monday, February 6, 2012

#19 zebarnabe

DS, you are correct, I must had it confuse it with the Panasonic GF3, an equally small camera of the same system :/

7:53 am - Tuesday, February 7, 2012

#20 searching

Honestly speaking, I never liked any of the sample photos posted in your reviews, don’t know why, so if some people don’t like the samples of this camera, maybe they should read the review and see the samples somewhere else, sir do your best with better images for reviews, its your weak point verdict 2.5/5

5:01 am - Sunday, March 25, 2012

#21 A. Ho

How would you play with the Bulb shutter of E-PM1
Although the camera can set the “B"shutter for as long as 30min.  However, I can’t imagine one can press your finger on the shutter button for that long without shaking the camera. 
Any thoughts about this, please share your idea.

5:32 pm - Monday, June 25, 2012

#22 wally

I purchased an E-PM1 in May. While it takes reasonable pictures, I don’t believe that the pictures that it takes are superior to the Canon SD 1400 which I also own. My gripe is that within the 6 months that I have owned the olympus camera, I am noticing that the finish and quality of materials that are used in the manufacture of this camera leave a lot to be desired. For example, the finish of the brushed aluminum plate surrounding the on/off button is wearing off. Also, the LCD screen scratches very easily. When I called Olympus to see if they would do anything for me, they basically blew me off. Their position was that unless the camera stopped working entirely, they wouldn’t do anything for me. For this reason, I will never purchase another product from Olympus as it is evident that they do not back their products

1:36 am - Thursday, December 20, 2012

#23 Michelle

Hi, I´m looking for a low- cost camera with housing for uderwater photography (which you know is very costly!), and I saw a preety cheap bundle made up of this camera with lens and housing.
Has anybody used this oe underwater? DFoes anybody know if the positive features this one has, make it a good option inside a housing?
by the way, is the removable flash included? Thank you!

6:19 pm - Friday, August 2, 2013

#24 Roman

I just got the camera today. second hand unwanted Christmas gift for 120 pounds, What a bargain. it is so light that I can have it every day in my bag to take any pictures driving or walking by. Besides I have Panasonic G3 so I can used different lenses, I still have a couple of other prime lenses from Minolta. to get the quality at this size and the price is lovely. I dont print bigger pictures than A4 and its just enough for me. I was looking at the new Fuji but not lenses, why didnt they used the four third format?

11:08 am - Wednesday, January 8, 2014

#25 Peter Phelan

I’ve had the camera for two years,but in use about one.I set it on A at the start and was happy with results.Now I want to change the ISO,and am going nowhere,read P22,48,84.The comments about it being aimed at beginners beats me.I was blinded by the good reviews before buying,ignoring lack of external controls.Never again.Can anyone help with my ISO?

12:11 pm - Sunday, April 19, 2015

#26 Will

Sorry about the slow response I just picked up one of these used recently and was reading all the reviews, etc. to learn usage tips when I saw you comment.

You need to activate the “super control panel” (SCP), page 91 of the manual.  You’ll find the ISO setting on it.  You can also define one of the control wheel sections as an ISO button, but you really want to activate the SCP in any event; it gives you quick access to all sorts of things.


2:00 am - Friday, May 8, 2015

#27 Iain

I bought this camera bundled with the 40-150 at the end of 2014 for just under 200 GB Pounds and regard it as superb value. It takes some time to understand the menus - it took me ages to get the exposure bracketing right -  but well worth it. One motive was to be able to use the flashes from my 35mm days, albeit in “manual” mode.
Recommended accessories: I went for a stick-on grip for the front and find it useful. Click-on lens hoods are useful, given that the front elements are hardly recessed. But, most of all, the device that’s left my DSLR gathering dust, is the VF-3 electronic viewfinder. It’s predecessor was priced well out of my range but, although this is of a slightly lower spec, it does everything I need.

10:03 am - Sunday, May 10, 2015

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact system camera, csc, 12 megapixel, RAW, olympus, DSLR, micro four thirds, 1080i, compact system, PEN, mini, e pm1, epm1, e-pm1, Olympus E-PM1 Review

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