10 Jul
image of Olympus PEN E-PM1

Olympus PEN E-PM1

The Olympus PEN E-PM1 is billed as the smallest and lightest of the company’s PEN-series camera models, as of late June 2011, and we’d believe it. While its svelte metal body doesn’t quite reach into the same territory as the recently-announced, that’s hardly surprising, given that it sports a sensor with roughly eight times the surface area. That it even comes close to the size of Pentax’s competitor given the huge disparity in sensor size shows how much effort Olympus has put into reducing size and weight.

Overall, when compared to the Pentax Q, the Olympus E-PM1 is approximately 12 millimeters wider, 6mm taller, and 3mm thicker than the Pentax camera, and 67 grams (approx. 34%) heavier when loaded and ready to go, but without a lens attached. Compared to Olympus’ current PEN-series flagship, the E-PM1 is smaller by a similar margin. It’s about 12 mm less wide, 5mm less tall, and of nearly identical thickness. Loaded body weight of the E-PM1 is around 40% below that of the P3, quite a significant margin. Sony’s Alpha NEX-C3 bests the E-PM1 by a slight 4mm in height and 1mm in depth, but is around 7% heavier than Olympus’ camera with battery loaded.

When one considers that the Olympus E-PM1 is based around the same image sensor, processor, and speedy autofocus system as the P3, it starts to look pretty attractive. To be sure, it lacks some of the higher-end features of the P3, such as its touch screen, Organic LED panel and built-in popup flash, but with a body that’s nearly indistinguishable from that of its closest competitor in terms of size and weight, and what looks to be a really swift contrast detection AF system, fans of the PEN series (and truly compact interchangeable-lens cameras) will definitely want to give the E-PM1 some consideration.

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Posted by on July 10, 2011 in cameras


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