Olympus E-PM1

Olympus PEN E-PM1 front
  • 12MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 12800
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 265g - 110 x 64 x 34mm
  • Announced November 2011
  • Later Model is Olympus E-PM2
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Olympus E-PM1 summary

Olympus E-PM1 is Olympus's Entry-Level Mirrorless digital camera originally announced on November of 2011. The camera uses a 12MP, CMOS Four Thirds size sensor with a full resolution of 4032 x 3024.

Olympus introduced the newer Olympus E-PM2 (Read Full Comparison) to replace this model.

The E-PM1 stands at #98 out of 117 in Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras and over all #445 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our database. Please test our Advanced camera search to get camera ratings based on your custom factors.

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The following is a diagram of specific factors used in the rating system.

Olympus E-PM1 history

The Olympus E-PM1 comes with a history of related digital cameras. Here, you can take a look at all past and current models alongside important specifications.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Olympus-PEN-E-P7 front thumbnailOlympus E-P7
E-PM1 vs E-P7
20MPFour Thirds8.7 fps2021
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-IV front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 IV
E-PM1 vs E-M10 IV
20MPFour Thirds8.7 fps2020
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Olympus-PEN-E-PL9 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL9
E-PM1 vs E-PL9
16MPFour Thirds8.6 fps2018
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-Mark-III front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 III
E-PM1 vs E-M10 III
16MPFour Thirds8.6 fps2017
Olympus-PEN-E-PL8 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL8
E-PM1 vs E-PL8
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2016
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-II front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 II
E-PM1 vs E-M10 II
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2015
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Olympus-PEN-E-PL7 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL7
E-PM1 vs E-PL7
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
Olympus-PEN-E-PL6 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL6
E-PM1 vs E-PL6
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10 front thumbnailOlympus E-M10
E-PM1 vs E-M10
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
Olympus-PEN-E-P5 front thumbnailOlympus E-P5
E-PM1 vs E-P5
16MPFour Thirds9.0 fps2013
Olympus-PEN-E-PM2 front thumbnailOlympus E-PM2
E-PM1 vs E-PM2
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2013
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Olympus-PEN-E-PL5 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL5
E-PM1 vs E-PL5
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2012
Olympus-PEN-E-PM1 front thumbnailOlympus E-PM112MPFour Thirds6.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-PL3 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL3
E-PM1 vs E-PL3
12MPFour Thirds6.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-P3 front thumbnailOlympus E-P3
E-PM1 vs E-P3
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-PL2 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL2
E-PM1 vs E-PL2
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-PL1s front thumbnailOlympus E-PL1s
E-PM1 vs E-PL1s
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
Olympus-PEN-E-PL1 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL1
E-PM1 vs E-PL1
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
Olympus-PEN-E-P2 front thumbnailOlympus E-P2
E-PM1 vs E-P2
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
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Olympus-PEN-E-P1 front thumbnailOlympus E-P1
E-PM1 vs E-P1
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2009

Olympus E-PM1 Pros and Cons

Here is a selection of advantages and disadvantages of the Olympus E-PM1 based on criterias which are often regarded as necessary in a digital camera.

decent sized screen (3 inches)
delivers RAW files
features face detection focus
features tracking autofocus
focusing manually
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
includes HDMI port
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
swap lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
very good minimum ISO (100)
video res high (1920 x 1080 pxls)
does not contain selfie friendly screen
does not have external mic port
does not have headphone port
does not have Time Lapse mode
has no phase detect auto focus
low frames per second (6.0 frames per second)
screen does not articulate
screen has low resolution (460 k dot)
sensor resolution not great (12MP)
Photography Glossary

Olympus E-PM1 Sensor specs

The Olympus E-PM1 is powered by the TruePic VI chip. The measurement of the sensor on the Olympus E-PM1 is 17.3mm x 13mm (Four Thirds). The 225 mm² sensor can capture 4032 x 3024 pixels using aspect ratios of 4:3. The camera has got Image Stabilization (Sensor based). Sensor stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization since the latter may produce cropping.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 12MP and supports a standard ISO range of 100 to 12800. RAW files are supported therefore the user has more margin for error.

The graphic underneath illustrates the E-PM1's sensor size compared to other popular sizes. The E-PM1 sensor comes with a crop factor of 2.1 and is presented in green.

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To get a sense of specific aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Olympus E-PM1 dimensions

Olympus E-PM1 weighs 0.58 lbs (265 grams or 9.35 ounces) and features outer proportions of 110mm x 64mm x 34mm (4.3" x 2.5" x 1.3"). The weight of average Entry-Level Mirrorless camera is 329 grams and the Olympus E-PM1 is less heavy as compared to other competitors.

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Down below is a picture of the Olympus E-PM1 with a softdrink to help you to have a sense of its size.

Olympus PEN E-PM1 dimensions scale

The top view just below will highlight the button arrangement on the E-PM1.

Olympus PEN E-PM1 topview buttons dials

Olympus E-PM1 Lens details

The E-PM1 uses the Micro Four Thirds mount and has 162 lenses to select from. Here is a few of the lenses we have in our collection that will work with the E-PM1.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Samyang-Reflex-300mm-f6.3-ED-UMC-CS-Micro-Four-Thirds lensSamyang Reflex 300mm f6.3 ED UMC CS300mmf/6.3 318g
Lensbaby-Burnside-35-Micro-Four-Thirds lensLensbaby Burnside 3535mmf/2.8374g
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Panasonic-Leica-DG-Summilux-25mm-F1.4-II-ASPH lensPanasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm F1.4 II ASPH25mmf/1.4205g
Panasonic-Lumix-G-X-Vario-35-100mm-F2.8-II-Power-OIS lensPanasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 II Power OIS35-100mmf/2.8 357g
Venus-Laowa-Argus-33mm-F0.95-CF-APO-FourThirds-Mount lensVenus Laowa Argus 33mm F0.95 CF APO33mmf/1590g
Voigtlander-Nokton-25mm-F0.95-Type-II-Micro-Four-Thirds lensVoigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 Type II25mmf/0.95 435g
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Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-17mm-f1.8 lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f1.817mmf/1.8 120g
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Olympus E-PM1 Connectivity

The E-PM1 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras that come with NFC or Bluetooth connectivity can easily be controlled wirelessly with smartphones. You are able to transfer files and at times adjust camera settings without the hassle of connecting directly with the camera.

A few apps also stream a Liveview and release the shutter if you are not near the camera. If the camera has a HDMI out, it could be connected to an external monitor. Virtually all cameras enable you to recharge the battery pack using the USB port.

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Olympus E-PM1 Video details

The highest possible video quality on the Olympus E-PM1 is 1920 x 1080 and it can record in AVCHD and Motion JPEG file format. 1080p quality offers a decent balance between video quality vs file size but 1080p is not going to leave you with much room to crop. The body does not offer a mic or headphone jack which means that you get absolutely no control over your audio. It is perhaps best to consider a different model if you require decent audio in your videos.

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Olympus E-PM1 Weather Sealing

There is no environment sealing in the Olympus E-PM1 so you have to be careful in wet and dusty conditions.

Olympus E-PM1 Screen and Viewfinder

The Olympus E-PM1 houses a 3" fixed screen having a resolution of 460k dots.

Unfortunately the screen isn't a touch screen.

Olympus PEN E-PM1 screen and viewfinder Photobucket discusses licensing 13 billion images with AI firms

The ViewFinder specifications regarding Olympus E-PM1 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Electronic (optional)

In those sunny outdoor conditions that make the camera displays washed out and challenging to view, viewfinders will be very valuable.

Olympus E-PM1 Shutter details

Olympus E-PM1 can shoot continuously at 6.0 frames per second. The highest shutter speed is 1/4000 seconds.

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Olympus E-PM1 Flash and Hot shoe details

Olympus E-PM1 has got external flash support but with missing integrated flash. The maximum flash sync is 1/160 seconds.

Olympus E-PM1 Autofocusing details

Olympus E-PM1 has got only Contrast Detect Autofocus and does not have Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot faster and accurate as compared to Contrast Detect focusing. The camera boasts Face detection making it useful for taking portraits of people.

The AF system boasts 35 focus points to choose from. It also features Tracking Autofocus for things that move. Olympus E-PM1 comes with manual focus if needed during low light or you want to have more exact focus control.

Photography Glossary

Olympus E-PM1 Battery life

The battery life (BLS-5) in the Olympus E-PM1 is built to last for 330 images according to the CIPA measurements making it on par with its competitors. The average Entry-Level Mirrorless camera battery life is 343. Fujifilm X-S20 offers the best (750) battery life within this category of cameras.

Underneath is a list of Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras having the highest battery life:

Olympus E-PM1 for varying types of photography

The following diagram gives a rundown of the Olympus E-PM1 for varying types of photography. To understand more, visit the specific paragraph underneath.

Olympus E-PM1 as a Portrait photography camera

The Olympus E-PM1 has a points tally of 60 which is reasonable, and means the camera is relatively suitable for portrait images. Taking portrait images favors greatly towards sensor size, support for RAW files together with the option to use off-camera lighting.

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you can focus manually
good sensor size (Four Thirds)
includes face detection autofocus
supports RAW formats
low resolution sensor (12MP)

Olympus E-PM1 as a Street photography camera

Having a nice score of 75, the Olympus E-PM1 is a respectable pick to buy for street photography. A very good street photography camera gives a fine balance of image quality plus portability.

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built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
decent sensor size (Four Thirds)
saves RAW files
no moving screen

Olympus E-PM1 Sports photography details

A modest sports photography points total of 49 means the Olympus E-PM1 is somewhat appropriate for shooting sports. A camera really should have excellent tracking and fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is good (Four Thirds)
features tracking focus
max frames per second low (6.0 fps)
low MP (12 megapixels)
lack of phase detect autofocus

Olympus E-PM1 as a Travel photography camera

Portability is pretty critical when getting a camera for travel. All things considered, the Olympus E-PM1 gets a dreadful 45 as a travel camera which is not acceptable to take on your holidays.

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no Time Lapse mode
low megapixels (12MP)
doesn't feature selfie friendly display

Olympus E-PM1 as a Landscape photography camera

For anyone looking to purchase a digital camera for landscape pictures, the most critical factor will no doubt be image quality. The Olympus E-PM1 and it's nice rating of 65 as a landscape camera is a good pick in the current marketplace.

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has manual focus
change lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
screen size is good (3 inch)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
delivers RAW files
sensor resolution low (12 megapixels)
does not have Time Lapse function

Olympus E-PM1 Vlogging advice

A camera for vlogging ought to have a articulating display, microphone port and if possible IBIS. Taking everything into account, the Olympus E-PM1 is not acceptable for vlogging as it receives a dreadful score of 34.

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built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
has face detect focus
high quality video (1920 x 1080 pixels)
display isn't selfie friendly
missing mic port

Olympus E-PM1 Alternatives

If you are searching for alternatives to the E-PM1, here is a selection of the highest rated cameras which fall into the class of Entry-Level Mirrorless.

The line chart here provides you a summary of the E-PM1 compared to it's top ranking competitors mentioned earlier.

There are a bunch of cameras you might see as alternatives. To browse through a extensive comparison, simply click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Olympus PEN E-PM1
Entry-Level Mirrorless
Body design
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Powered by
TruePic VI
Sensor size
Four Thirds
Sensor dimensions
17.3 x 13mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
12 megapixels
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
Highest Possible resolution
4032 x 3024
RAW format
Maximum native ISO
Min native ISO
Focus manually
AF touch
Continuous AF
AF single
AF tracking
AF selectice
AF center weighted
AF multi area
Live view AF
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Number of focus points
Lens mount
Micro Four Thirds
Number of lenses
Focal length multiplier
Range of screen
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
3 inches
Resolution of screen
460k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch capability
Screen technology
HyperCrystal LCD AR(Anti-Reflective) coating
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Electronic (optional)
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Minimum shutter speed
60 secs
Fastest shutter speed
1/4000 secs
Continuous shutter speed
6.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Change WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash range
no built-in flash
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync, Manual (3 levels)
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
White balance bracketing
Fastest flash sync
1/160 secs
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video data format
Mic jack
Headphone jack
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
265 gr (0.58 lb)
110 x 64 x 34mm (4.3" x 2.5" x 1.3")
Battery life
330 photographs
Form of battery
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse feature
Storage media
Storage slots
Cost at release