Today, Olympus officially unveiled the Olympus PEN E-PM1 camera.  It’s the smallest and lightest of the PEN cameras, but can still capture HD video and photos, and is compatible with Olympus’ interchangeable lens system.

Behind the lens is a 12.3 megapixel sensor supported by two (dual core) processing engines that is designed to capture photos in low light situations thanks to its 12,800 ISO.  However, it lacks a built-in flash, so you’ll need to purchase that separately if you really want to take night time portrait shots.

This particular model is devoid of a touchscreen, but still boasts a 3-inch 460k dot LCD, which should suffice for most consumers.  And much like the E-PM1′s bigger brothers, it boasts 23-scene select modes (3D mode, Fireworks, Sunset, Children, Macro, Panorama, etc) and an iAuto mode that that automatically identifies the scene at hand and adjusts the settings accordingly.

A dedicated movie button lets you capture full HD movies at  moments notice, while up to 5 photos can be captured per second.   And to add to the impressive list of features, Olympus says that the E-PM1 can not only focus at an incredible speed, but that it can offers 35 separate focus areas enabling it to focus on the smallest of subject throughout the entire frame.

So are there any caveats to this PEN camera?  Just based alone on the press release, there appears to be little to no manual options.  So the E-PM1 is largely targeted at the point and shoot crowd that wants the equivalent optics of a DSLR, but not the hassle of tweaking a variety of settings.

The Olympus E-PM1 will launch this September and retail for $499.99, which includes a MSC M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED m14-42mm II lens.

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."