Summary: The Olympus PEN-EPM2 is a point-and-shoot mirrorless camera which does exactly what a novice will need it to. For more adventurous users, there's a lot of functionality hidden beneath the skin (including the image quality of the OM-D) making the E-PM2 a potentially very attractive second camera.
Pros: OM-D image quality in smaller, lighter, cheaper body, Excellent JPEG color and exposure, Suprising level of customizability with several user-assigned function buttons, Raw shooting and in-camera processing, Small but functional handgrip, Flash accessory included, Fast 8 fps burst shooting mode, Touch-sensitive screen available for those who want it; enough physical buttons for those who don't, AF is very fast and accurate - among the best AF systems out there for sin...
Cons: Flash competes with other potential accessories for single accessory port, Image on LCD is difficult to see in bright sunlight, No external dials for exposure mode/shooting parameter setting, Sparse controls and compact layout may be too cramped for some
Excerpt: In late 2012, Olympus announced two Micro Four Thirds PEN series cameras, the "Mini" E-PM2 and the "Lite" E-PL5. Spec-wise, both cameras are virtually identical, and we'll get to that in a moment, but let's start out with why they're different and how.
Conclusion: Like the stepup PEN E-PL5, the PEN E-PM2 inherits the excellent 16-megapixel sensor from the groundbreaking OM-D E-M5, one of our all-time favorite cameras. Bolstered by this sensor and the TruePic VI image processor (also borrowed from the E-M5), the image quality we saw from the E-PM2 proved to be nothing less than stellar -- demonstrating accurate colors, an impressive dynamic range and tons of detail.
Summary: This new sensor delivers quality images combined with a speedy performance. Image noise is very low, delivering clean images until ISO 1600 and usable ones until 12800. Both white-balance and metering systems are very reliable. Colors are not perfect but can be reasonably close for general use. The E-PM2 outputs images clearly ahead of its predecessor and improves speed in all areas except video.
Pros: Very low image noise, Reliable metering, Good white-balance, Quick shot-to-shot speed, Fast contrast-detect AF, Short shutter-lag, Generally responsive, Effective built-in stabilization, Excellent automatic, High level of customization
Cons: Poor color accuracy, Focus hunts in low light, Long black-out, Display not always, Low contrast LCD, Modal EC interface, 1s Video record delay, Uncomfortable strap eyelets, Flimsy battery and memory door
Conclusion: Both cameras performed well and gave us crisp, focused photos. We were finding it difficult to justify the $100 to spring for the E-PL5 over the E-PM2. But then we started tilting the screen out to review photos or framing the best angle for a shot, and it became a “must have” feature.
Pros: Fast autofocusing system, Takes very good photos, Special effects and filters allow you to take fun pictures, A slightly more affordable option to the similar E-PL5
Cons: Requires playing around to learn features and settings, Lens is a bit big on what is otherwise a compact camera, LCD real estate is eaten up by the menu options
Summary: Don't be put off or fooled by the rather simplistic menu layout and the art filters, which may not be to everyone's taste. The Olympus Pen E-PM2 is a very capable little camera, and would be ideal for someone looking for a CSC for occasional use alongside a more advanced DSLR. It will be interesting to see how the new Pen E-PL5 (Pen Lite) fares in our test in a few weeks' time, and to see exactly what features it adds to the Olympus Pen range.