Olympus PEN E-PM2 Camera Review – Part 2

Part two of my Olympus PEN E-PM2 Camera Review – a cross between a point-and-shoot and a digital SLR. Perfect for camera novices because it’s easy to use.

Have you read Part 1 yet?


The first thing I noticed when I received my Olympus PM2 was how stylish it is.  Gone are the days of heavy, bulky cameras with hard lines and boxy profiles.  And also say goodbye to basic black; the lightweight camera comes in four colours: white, black, red, and grey.


I set aside the afternoon to tackle the instruction manual and learn the basics of the camera.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the entire English manual is only 31 pages long, and was a relatively easy read for a camera novice.

For three weeks, I took my new camera with me everywhere I went; I traveled to Toronto and Seattle, went on a boat ride, sipped afternoon tea, attended a graduation, snapped four fashion events, took countless outfit photos, and visited with family.

It took some trial and error to learn how to use all the features of the camera, but it became very apparent that this is exactly the camera that I’ve been looking for.  It feels like a cross between a digital SLR and a point-and-shoot.  The menus and options are set up in a way that you can take SLR-style photos (blurred background, close-up, crisp motion shots etc.), without mastering the art of finding the perfect balance of SLR settings.

Blurred Background
This photo was taken on automatic mode.  As you can see, the camera automatically focuses on the subject of the photograph and the background is slightly blurred.


This photo was also taken in automatic mode, but I chose the “Blur Background” option and used the slider on the camera’s touch screen to apply the severity of the blur.  No fiddling with numbers, changing the depth of field, or trying to recall what I learned in my camera class.


This, by far, is one of my favourite features of this camera.  The PM2 comes standard with 12 art filters that range from Pop Art to Soft Focus.  Unsure of what filter would look best for your shot? Apply all 12 filters by using the Art BTK option and you’ll get one of each.  Unlike other cameras I’ve tried in the past, these filters are not just gimmicky add-ons.  They actually enhance your photos and depending which one you use, highlight elements of the photo you’re trying to emphasize.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUsing the Watercolor Filter


Adjusting the Brightness
The first photo was taken on automatic mode without adjusting the brightness.  The second photo was taken on automatic, but I chose the “Lighten” function and used the slider on the camera’s touch screen to adjust the brightness of the photo.

Finding the perfect balance between underexposed and overexposed was a task that could sometimes take me up to 10 minutes, but the slider allows me to do it within seconds.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABefore Adjusting the Brightness

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter Adjusting the Brightness

Action Shots
One of the most important features for me is the ability to take photos of moving objects like runway shows or media preview presentations.  At eight frames per second, the camera’s burst mode captures the runway, or in this case, a herd of pugs.


I took this photo while using the I-Auto function, which chooses the best settings for your photo based on your surroundings.  No manual adjustment required – just point, and shoot.


From its stylish look to the simple interface and touchscreen, it’s clear that the Olympus PEN E-PM2 is the camera for me.  A happy medium between a point-and-shoot and a digital SLR, it’s ideal for someone that wants a simple camera, a variety of features, and high quality photos.

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