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.
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
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.
Pros: Excellent image quality (especially for the price!), with good color and dynamic range, thanks to the 16-megapixel sensor borrowed from the acclaimed Olympus OM-D E-M5, Great high ISO performance for its class, Sensor-shift image stabilization for stills, Extremely compact and lightweight design, with well-thought-out ergonomics and control layout, Overall speedy performance, including start-up, AF, shutter lag and shot-to-shot times that bests its predecessor, the E-...
Cons: Menus are confusing, frustrating and can take hours to figure out, Camera may be too small for some, No physical Mode dial; controls and menus are primarily accessed and operated by touchscreen, Autofocus isn't as fast and accurate as we'd like for shooting fast-motion action, Continuous shooting falls to a mediocre 3.5 frames per second when tracking AF is enabled, No built-in flash (but small external flash is bundled), Lowest available ISO sensitivity is 200, Thoug...
Excerpt: You can’t complain about the lack of variety in the current crop of mirrorless interchangeable lens compact cameras! This one will sure fit many people right down to the ground. Although I have to admit it’s not my style of camera, mainly due to the lack of external controls â€” it’s mostly menu driven â€” the Olympus PEN E-PM2 is agreeably small and light and, with lens detached, the body is pocketable.
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: That fantastic sensor coupled with some really great features makes this a very desirable camera. The fact that there are now so many compatible lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system is the icing on the cake.
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
Excerpt: Measuring 109.8 x 64.2 x 33.8mm and weighing 223g (body-only), the metal-bodied E-PM2 is marginally bigger and heavier than its predecessor, the E-PM1, but remains one of the smallest and lightest compact system cameras on the market.