Olympus Pen Mini – a review

I went travelling and decided that my big beast of a camera was too heavy to carry, and my pocket one was not going to produce the images I had in my minds eye.  So I went hunting for a baby DSLR, not knowing if there was such a thing, turned out there was.  I found the Olympus Pen Mini with a twin lens kit.

It is a camera that would suit those going from a point and shoot camera to their first DSLR, introducing you to interchangeable lens.  The mini has everything the larger PEN cameras have onboard, to look at it you wouldn’t know given it is able to sit in the palm of your hand.

With the zoom lens on.

I carted this around China, and the hubster took it to Vietnam last month. It was much lighter in our day packs that is for sure.  If you are a photographer who prefers to let the camera do the thinking for you when it comes to the settings, then this camera will make you look like an expert.  It does everything for you, in fact using manual on this camera is near on impossible.  There were a few occasions where I wanted to alter the depth of field and it just wouldn’t do it quick enough.  The manual control are there but you have to scroll through a few menu options to get them going, I’m more of a one switch person, especially if your trying to grab a moment.

It does however have very fast auto focus and HD video recording, and 12.3 megapixel live MOS sensor.  It has few buttons, excellent for the beginner, but a very shiny back display which is hard to see in direct sunlight.  I fixed this using a matt finish screen overlay cut down to size (meant for a smartphone).  It has some speccy build in effects too.

It can do this.

Out of the box you can get going very quickly and the battery life is pretty good, I can get a days touristy shooting done on one battery. I can rate the after sales service pretty high so far.  I cracked the LCD screen and needed it fixed, they did that and updated the software with just a weeks turnaround. And if you’re wondering what results you’ll get, check these out (click on the images to be taken to a larger version):

Lake George

 

 

 

Interested in my other camera type thoughts? I reviewed the latest Polaroid here.

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