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Olympus PEN E-PM1 12.3MP Interchangeable Lens Camera with CMOS Sensor 3-inch LCD and 14-42mm II Lens (Brown)... by Review Summary ,  Oct 29, 2015

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Olympus PEN E-PM1 12.3MP Interchangeable Lens Camera with CMOS Sensor, 3-inch LCD and 14-42mm II Lens (Brown)...
Report Date: 10/29/2015
Based on 74 customer reviews
Overall satisfaction: 4.3
Returned or considering to return: 6.8%

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Frequently Mentioned by Customers:


Individual Feature Rating
Photo5.0   above average
Price4.7   above average
Image4.4   above average
Lens4.4   exceptional
Speed4.4   above average
Quality4.3   average
Size4.1   below average
Flash3.3   average
Light3.2   below average
Video1.8   mediocre


Quotes from the Reviews - What People Say about:

Control

Control:
"The burst rate is excellent and is much better for capturing action than the aforementioned E-PL1.Most of the controls are in the menu system, which may be a drawback if you are used to using more advanced DSLR cameras and like to tinker with the settings a lot while you are out shooting for the day."
_
"Once I did it, the whole thing became very capable all of the sudden, I was able to use the SCP or Super Control Panel to do many settings on one panel on the LCD screen, an extremely handy feature that was not turned on by default."
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"Easy as a point and shoot but you can fidget with the controls to get a better image quality."
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"I use this for freefall photography (skydiving) and it is a great mix of DSLR like features (no shutter delay, good sensor size, multiple lenses, good exposure controls) and weighs half of what my DSLR weights."
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"For casual snaps travelling light I have a Canon G9 P&S, which has good manual controls, but a very small sensor, a poor optical viewfinder and a non-interchangeable zoom lens."
_
"The camera allows greater and greater manual control as desired."
_

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Flash

Flash:
"I was a little worried about the lack of built in flash, but now I sort of like having the detachable one."
_
"Five more months later (May 2013), I have learned from Olympus Technical Support that the E-PM1 is not able to ask the FL-600R flash to light up its LCD light to augment the camera's little orange auto-focus lamp."
_
"The lack of built-in flash is kind of annoying, but I bought the 160 LED video light as a cheap way to get around using a flash."
_
"* Comes with a useful snap-on flash that I've really missed on the E-P1 at e. g. very dim party nights."
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"Another good thing is that you can actually set the sync speed for the flash and shutter to always fire at 1 160(its maximum for flash); I find that this always does a good job of freezing the action and you don't have to worry about the shutter speed adjusting because of the iso."
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"The little flash that comes with the camera does well for close shots (5-10 feet), but the reviews point out that, as with any camera, a much stronger flash is needed for long telephoto shots."
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"The second flash has to be able to see the little flash mounted on the E-PM1."
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"It has a hot shoe and supports standard flashes as well as wireless flashes (with bundled flash attached)."
_

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Focus

Focus:
"Comparatively, the 14-42mm has a worst case focusing time of about half a second in low light."
_
"The auto-focusing on this camera is very quick and accurate; I even find that the auto focusing of this camera is even good at night as it uses an assist lamp to help focus."
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"Finally, what sealed the deal for me was that micro 4 3 cameras (because of their very short flange-focal plane distance) can be fitted with adapters to use just about any DSLR lens you might already have (though of course the FOV will not be the same, except with 4 3 lenses).What I've learned since buying the camera:1) Handling is easy after a little acclimation;2) New users should check the micro 4 3 forum and other websites for user advice experience to help customize the settings for your particular preferences;3) An optional electronic viewfinder is really nice to have in bright sunlight, when composing (and even more so, manual focusing) using the LCD can be difficult;4) Cheap adapters for manual focus lenses work just fine (though expect the lenses to actually focus a bit beyond infinity);5) Autofocus with the kit lens is very fast, and this lens has a nice throw for manual focusing, too."
_
"Excellent camera, fast focusing, smart in many different situations to light."
_
"The auto focus and shutter response are very fast, color is excellent, and with a little tweaking and getting used to the sparse buttons and wheels, most of the settings you'll use a lot are within quick reach."
_

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Image

Image:
"First, the image stabilization does not work good for video."
_
"I bought this camera for a trip, not wanting to carry my Nikon DX DSLR around, but I was worried about image quality with a four-thirds, so I took it out and shot about 50 or 60 pics with it, and the same ones with my Nikon before my trip."
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"Pros for Olympus E-PM1--------------------------------------------------------------- Compact size (smaller than other micro four thirds)- Good Image Quality (comparable to dSLRs)- Fast auto focus speed- large number of available lenses (micro four thirds)- Available Hot Shoe; you can use external flashCons for Olympus E-PM1--------------------------------------------------------------- no built-in flash (having something is better than nothing)- not pocketable, unless you are talking about your winter jacket- Limited availability of button control; it's ok but for some this would be strong 'con- Video format (ACHVD MTS format is not for computer... Mac software not as widely available)- Built-in image stabilization may not work perfectly for the video; it works well for still images."
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"Firstly, this camera is solid and well built and is a definite step-up in image quality compared to compact cameras."
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"asking why to review an old equipment is probably a good way to start since there are already a new version of it (e-pm2) and is probably going to start to get hard to buy onethe thing is: is an awesome camerai bought together with an panasonic lx7 and needs to say that although i like the lx7 i pretty much need to force myself to use it instead of the olympusi got it refurbished (the warranty was the same standard 1 year) and in the purple version (good for street photography cause nobody pays attention to this silly person with this seemingly silly camera) and it is well built (better than the e-pm2), light, small and ergonomicsincerely im too lazy for raw and after producing efforts but normally im happy with the results recognizing then and then that a beautiful photo i took in jpeg only could receive a little extra care to get even betteris well built."
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"The quality of the images and performance it's amazing like every pen series camera, so you can improve your photograph skills and build a nice kit with accessories and lenses."
_
"for the price the image quality is fantastic."
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"It is amazing how such a cheap camera is able to produce images with such a great quality."
_

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Lens

Lens:
"I was going to send the lens to Olympus, but I decided to do a search for this problem before contacting them."
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"The second video feature that is probably the most annoying is the noise that the lens makes when auto-focusing during movies."
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"the kit lens broke and i can see the inside parts but i covered it with tape and still worksi like the special effects for funonly complainsmy camera came with a little problem: the internal battery dont work so the files are saved without date and time."
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"Over all I am very pleased with camera but displeased with the kit lens."
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"The 14-42 mm lens is a good compromise to maintain a portable size of the camera, while still being able to take all kinds of shots - there is no doubt that a strong tele lens (which can of course be purchased seperately later on) would be a valuable addition, though."
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"Which is why I was a little disappointed in the kit 14-42mm f 3.5-5.6 lens."
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"She's totally in love with this and the three lenses she now has."
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"great camera for the money...but photos quality was a bit lower than i was hoping for...great choice if you have some old lenses laying around"
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"Changing lenses is easy, just don't loose the back cap."
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"I bit front heavy with the slim body and attachable lens but did not take long to get comfortable with it."
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"The quality of the images and performance it's amazing like every pen series camera, so you can improve your photograph skills and build a nice kit with accessories and lenses."
_

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Light

Light:
"Only weakness is low light handling which is a bit warm for me."
_
"Five more months later (May 2013), I have learned from Olympus Technical Support that the E-PM1 is not able to ask the FL-600R flash to light up its LCD light to augment the camera's little orange auto-focus lamp."
_
"The one downside is performance in low light, especially at the higher ISOs -- anything over 1000 and you can pretty much expect some noise."
_
"The lack of built-in flash is kind of annoying, but I bought the 160 LED video light as a cheap way to get around using a flash."
_
"I heard E-P3 IBIS is way better - different implementation).I sold Panny 20mm because this lens is slow and noisy to focus (especially in low light it's often inaccurate) and it doesn't take advantage of E-PM1's fast AF at all."
_
"asking why to review an old equipment is probably a good way to start since there are already a new version of it (e-pm2) and is probably going to start to get hard to buy onethe thing is: is an awesome camerai bought together with an panasonic lx7 and needs to say that although i like the lx7 i pretty much need to force myself to use it instead of the olympusi got it refurbished (the warranty was the same standard 1 year) and in the purple version (good for street photography cause nobody pays attention to this silly person with this seemingly silly camera) and it is well built (better than the e-pm2), light, small and ergonomicsincerely im too lazy for raw and after producing efforts but normally im happy with the results recognizing then and then that a beautiful photo i took in jpeg only could receive a little extra care to get even betteris well built."
_
"Good for light but appropriate in low light."
_
"For casual snaps travelling light I have a Canon G9 P&S, which has good manual controls, but a very small sensor, a poor optical viewfinder and a non-interchangeable zoom lens."
_
"The one downside is performance in low light, especially at the higher ISOs -- anything over 1000 and you can pretty much expect some noise."
_

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Menu

Menu:
"I have found it hard to learn how to navigate all the menus when I want to use manual settings."
_
"The burst rate is excellent and is much better for capturing action than the aforementioned E-PL1.Most of the controls are in the menu system, which may be a drawback if you are used to using more advanced DSLR cameras and like to tinker with the settings a lot while you are out shooting for the day."
_
"The new menu wheel it's a great addition, i prefer the top wheel for the main programs but it's well design and fast."
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"It takes some time to go through the entire setup menu, but if you are an experienced photographer, it's easily understandable."
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"If you are upgrading from Olympus you'll have an easy time getting around the menu layout but for new comers to the M4 3 it will be a fun learning experience."
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"It takes some time to choose which settings you want to customize and to get used to how to change settings, but for the most part, the menu is easy to navigate."
_
"* Nicer menu interface (though menu layout is mostly unchanged)."
_

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Photo

Photo:
"Even though I know this camera is mostly for photos, it would have easily been the best all around camera if the stabilization and auto-focus noise were corrected, but hey, I purchased my brand new camera and kit for only $160 on craigslist, so I'm really not expecting the video to be professional, I just wanted to let potential buyers know my opinion on how the video works in case they were thinking of buying the camera strictly for video."
_
"great camera for the money...but photos quality was a bit lower than i was hoping for...great choice if you have some old lenses laying around"
_
"Once you view your photos shot in RAW(ORF), you'd be amazed in how beautiful the photos are, there are zero to very low loss of details in dark areas, and things just look absolutely stunningly beautiful, and are so good that the result rivals the much costlier DSLRs ( I have a Canon T4i and a Nikon D5100 and a D90)."
_
"It has better quality than my Nikon did, the sharpness of the photos as well as the lack of grain shocked me."
_

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Price

Price:
"The lack of built-in flash is kind of annoying, but I bought the 160 LED video light as a cheap way to get around using a flash."
_
"But if the price is more expensive than that, I would highly recommend that you take a look at the E-PM2."
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"great camera for the money...but photos quality was a bit lower than i was hoping for...great choice if you have some old lenses laying around"
_
"At this price point, the camera gives me amazing results (in RAW), I don't care much about not having a viewfinder, but even that I could buy as an add-on later if I really want one."
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"For an inexpensive camera and kit lens, it's very nice."
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"I came across a pre-owned Olympus E-PM1 at a fantastic price (cheaper than many P&S)."
_

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Quality

Quality:
"Very disappointed in the quality of the shutter and the camera."
_
"Not easy to use and picture quality is very poor in the auto modr, have not tried the manual but I should not have to do that."
_
"I bought this camera for a trip, not wanting to carry my Nikon DX DSLR around, but I was worried about image quality with a four-thirds, so I took it out and shot about 50 or 60 pics with it, and the same ones with my Nikon before my trip."
_
"The video quality isn't bad but a bit disappointing when you pan, I don't shoot much video anyway."
_
"you save hundreds of dollars for this camera, get the quality of one of the best camera yet for pictures and videos, very user friendly, fun to play with, long battery life, produce vivid clarity on your pictures."
_
"Firstly, this camera is solid and well built and is a definite step-up in image quality compared to compact cameras."
_
"great camera for the money...but photos quality was a bit lower than i was hoping for...great choice if you have some old lenses laying around"
_
"The quality of the images and performance it's amazing like every pen series camera, so you can improve your photograph skills and build a nice kit with accessories and lenses."
_
"It has better quality than my Nikon did, the sharpness of the photos as well as the lack of grain shocked me."
_

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Setting

Setting:
"Another great thing about the camera is the number of settings you can customize."
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"It takes decent picture on the simpler settings."
_
"But please adjust settings to the environment, as well as shooting mode IT DOES MATTER!"
_
"It takes some time to choose which settings you want to customize and to get used to how to change settings, but for the most part, the menu is easy to navigate."
_
"There is also a good quality easy to use movie setting."
_

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Shutter

Shutter:
"You can hear the shutter trying to open and fail."
_
"Changing to multiple shots(H mode), finally I saw the problem: the shutter is stuck."
_
"Very disappointed in the quality of the shutter and the camera."
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"But two bad shutters means this camera has a problem."
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"I use this for freefall photography (skydiving) and it is a great mix of DSLR like features (no shutter delay, good sensor size, multiple lenses, good exposure controls) and weighs half of what my DSLR weights."
_
"The auto focus and shutter response are very fast, color is excellent, and with a little tweaking and getting used to the sparse buttons and wheels, most of the settings you'll use a lot are within quick reach."
_
"I really liked this camera -- until the shutter froze."
_
"Controls:At first, I was hesitant to use a camera that didn't have individual wheels for shutter and aperture as well as a lack of other dedicated buttons, but I found the menu interface quite intuitive and I was able to change settings quite quickly."
_
"If you hold the camera like a DSLR (one hand near the shutter and the other underneath the lens), it is very easy and comfortable to hold."
_

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Size

Size:
"I bought this due to a small budget and having to replace my broken Nikon D3100."
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"It's small, and - except for the flimsy battery cover -- seems built for heavy use."
_
"The 14-42 mm lens is a good compromise to maintain a portable size of the camera, while still being able to take all kinds of shots - there is no doubt that a strong tele lens (which can of course be purchased seperately later on) would be a valuable addition, though."
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"I have not found a nice small case for it yet."
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"I like Nikon but I felt the lens collection + size sensor was disappointment at this time.4) Then there are Micro Four Thirds cameras... these include Olympus e-P1,P2,P3, e-PL1,PL2,PL3, and e-PM1 and Panasonic GF1, GF2, and GF3, and other G series cameras."
_
"asking why to review an old equipment is probably a good way to start since there are already a new version of it (e-pm2) and is probably going to start to get hard to buy onethe thing is: is an awesome camerai bought together with an panasonic lx7 and needs to say that although i like the lx7 i pretty much need to force myself to use it instead of the olympusi got it refurbished (the warranty was the same standard 1 year) and in the purple version (good for street photography cause nobody pays attention to this silly person with this seemingly silly camera) and it is well built (better than the e-pm2), light, small and ergonomicsincerely im too lazy for raw and after producing efforts but normally im happy with the results recognizing then and then that a beautiful photo i took in jpeg only could receive a little extra care to get even betteris well built."
_
"This is a big difference with the E-PM1 because it's too small, it doesn't give you enough confidence to shoot because there is no hand grip."
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"I expected to sacrifice a good bit of quality for the small size but that is not the case at all."
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"It's not the highest end camera, and the controls take a little time to work out, but it's a very inexpensive camera that performs surprisingly well for its tiny size."
_

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Speed

Speed:
"One concern I had was with action shots, because I read people complaining the camera wasn't fast enough."
_
"I heard E-P3 IBIS is way better - different implementation).I sold Panny 20mm because this lens is slow and noisy to focus (especially in low light it's often inaccurate) and it doesn't take advantage of E-PM1's fast AF at all."
_
"They reported that they absolutely love the camera; it is fast and portable and sturdy enough to stay in the diaper bag."
_
"Another good thing is that you can actually set the sync speed for the flash and shutter to always fire at 1 160(its maximum for flash); I find that this always does a good job of freezing the action and you don't have to worry about the shutter speed adjusting because of the iso."
_
"It is usually pretty fast, but in my last outing to the Rally in 100 Acres Wood, I somehow went from Sports (8 frames per second) to Landscape portrait without knowing it and ended up with a 2 second wait and a blurry picture of dirt and gravel and no car."
_
"The new menu wheel it's a great addition, i prefer the top wheel for the main programs but it's well design and fast."
_
"Finally, what sealed the deal for me was that micro 4 3 cameras (because of their very short flange-focal plane distance) can be fitted with adapters to use just about any DSLR lens you might already have (though of course the FOV will not be the same, except with 4 3 lenses).What I've learned since buying the camera:1) Handling is easy after a little acclimation;2) New users should check the micro 4 3 forum and other websites for user advice experience to help customize the settings for your particular preferences;3) An optional electronic viewfinder is really nice to have in bright sunlight, when composing (and even more so, manual focusing) using the LCD can be difficult;4) Cheap adapters for manual focus lenses work just fine (though expect the lenses to actually focus a bit beyond infinity);5) Autofocus with the kit lens is very fast, and this lens has a nice throw for manual focusing, too."
_

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Video

Video:
"First, the image stabilization does not work good for video."
_
"The only negative that I can find about this camera so far is the video recording feature."
_
"The second video feature that is probably the most annoying is the noise that the lens makes when auto-focusing during movies."
_
"The video quality isn't bad but a bit disappointing when you pan, I don't shoot much video anyway."
_
"you save hundreds of dollars for this camera, get the quality of one of the best camera yet for pictures and videos, very user friendly, fun to play with, long battery life, produce vivid clarity on your pictures."
_
"The art filters and the video features produce very nice results but not very useful to me."
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"There is also a good quality easy to use movie setting."
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"If I could, I would probably rate it 4.5 stars for the low light performance and vanilla video shooting, but the value overall is so high I can easily rounding it up."
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"I also liked that Olympus was considered to be the best when it came to color.> Video - 1080i, which now I don't use because of the larger file size and what I consider lower quality.> The look - I saw a picture of the silver Epm1 with a leather cover that made it look less like a digital camera and more like the old film bodies."
_

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