DP Review Examines the Oly PEN Mini (and helps fight the urge to buy the Fujifilm X10)

The new Olympus PEN E-PM1is a camera that I've been toting for the last couple months with good results. DP Review has now put it through a full test. Their conclusion is similar to mine: you get the same image quality as with flagship E-P3, but for a lot less money and only a few less features. They gave the PEN Mini a Silver Award, which I also agree with.

Olympus PEN E-PM1 with Swiss Army Knife Olympus PEN Mini, 17mm f/2.8 lens, with Swiss Army Knife

Related, my satisfaction with the PEN Mini has helped me fight off the urge to invest in the Fujifilm X10 that's now available in the States for $600. It looks like a great camera with positive initial reviews. But the PEN Mini has interchangeable lenses, interchangeable viewfinders, a much larger image sensor, and... it costs less -- $450 with kit lens (PEN Mini)vs $600 with fixed mount lens (Fuji X10).

Ah, so many great cameras... so few credit cards.

Find great deals at the TDS Photography Store on Amazon.


Hey Derrick,

I've been tempted by the new range of PEN cameras (I still have the E-PL1), but being short on funds, I think the new lenses would be the way to go.

I'm very, very tempted by the 45mm f/1.8, and have only seen positive reviews of that lens.

But now I hear rumours of new Olympus lenses coming soon...


That, and with the whole Olympus management scandal in Japan, I don't know if it's a company that I want to pour my hard-earned cash into...

Your opinion, reviews and advice have shaped my buying decisions up until now, so I'm curious as to your position on all of this.

No doubt Olympus management is going through a terrible time. I don't think anyone knows the long term effect of that scandle.

For me, that affects my lens investment more than cameras. When I invest in a lens, I plan on getting a decade or more of use from it. I purchased my Canon 85mm 1.8 over 15 years ago, and love that lens to this day. So I think long term for glass.

Cameras, on the other hand, I turn over every 2-3 years, often selling older bodies to buy new ones. So I take more chances in this area.

I have 3 Olympus m 4/3 lenses right now, and will probably sit tight with them. But I like the Mini and Panasonic bodies, all of which work with my glass. So I feel it's a reasonable risk in the short term to buy Olympus cameras. When it's time to replace those bodies, I'll evaluate the situation and go from there.

Personally, I'm hoping that Olympus can weather this storm and continue to innovate in the compact system camera space. We'll see...

So, is the mini small enough to be considered over the Canon S100 as a backup to DSLR? I know they target different markets, but then so is x10. Like you said, so many cameras..... :)

You have to keep in mind that both the 4/3rds and the m4/3rd systems are ecosystems. There are other manufacturers making compatible systems.

I can't imagine that Olympus (the camera division) will be killed even if things go bad. They have to long of a heritage and some incredible engineering to just let it die. If nothing else I could see Panasonic buying up that heritage and carrying it forward as a worse case scenario.

Great Camera :)