|1. The clean top plate contains no dials and few buttons. 2. The accessory port under this cover will accept electronic flash units, an electronic viewfinder or the Olympus PENPAL Bluetooth unit. 3. Press the button with the red dot to start shooting a video clip; press it again to stop.
Olympus Pen Mini E-PM1
ESTIMATED STREET PRICE: $499 (with 14-42mm zoom)
The smallest and lightest PEN model, the new E-PM1 nonetheless offers many of the features found in the flagship E-P3, including the same 12.3-megapixel High Speed Live MOS image sensor and video/audio capabilities—and is available in six stylish colors.
Aimed primarily at those moving up from a point-and-shoot compact digital camera, the E-PM1 features a newly designed user interface, making it the easiest PEN to use. The E-PM1 lacks the E-P3's touch-screen OLED monitor, but nevertheless fits a 3.0-inch, 460,000-dot LCD monitor onto its tiny body.
The E-PM1 actually can shoot faster than the E-P3: 4.1 fps (5.5 fps with image stabilization switched off) vs. 3 fps for its big brother. Like the E-P3, the E-PM1 has Olympus' FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF system, under 60 ms shutter response, and shutter speeds from 60 to 1⁄4000 sec. (with flash sync up to 1⁄160 sec.). But there are just six Art Filters (vs. the E-P3's 10): Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama and Dramatic Tone.
Like most Micro Four Thirds cameras, the E-PM1 can shoot still images in several aspect ratios: 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 6:6 and 3:4. It doesn't have a built-in flash, but comes with a detachable one similar to the one built into the E-P3, and also provides wireless off-camera capability with compatible flash units.
You can shoot full HD, HD and SD video in program, shutter-priority or aperture-priority AE, or manual mode, with stereo sound via a built-in microphone, with the same ISO range as for still photos: 200-12,800. Accessories include all Micro Four Thirds System lenses, other lenses with adapters,
a detachable electronic viewfinder and the PP-1 PENPAL Bluetooth unit.