Olympus PEN and OM-D Mirrorless System Cameras

silver olympus e-p3

If you'd like your digital camera to also have a sense of style, then Olympus has some cameras for you.

The line of Olympus mirrorless sytem cameras is based on two older film cameras: the Olympus PEN and the Olympus OM.

Olympus PEN film cameras only used HALF of a frame of standard film. This not only produced double the number of exposures on a single roll of film, it also allowed Olympus to reduce the size and weight of the cameras.

Today, Olympus has done the same thing in a digital format they they did with film back in the 1960s.

Defining Features

What's most notable about all of Olympus mirorless system cameras is their decidedly retro look.

The Olympus cameras of today look quite a lot like the cameras of old despite the bright fancy LCD screens stuck on the back of them.

This unique styling is paired with in-camera image stabilization on every model which helps ensure clear shots regardless of the lens you happen to be using.

Special lens adapters also make the Olympus mirrorless system cameras compatible with Olympus four thirds and even old OM lenses.

Olympus Mirrorless System Cameras - 2012

Release Date: April 2012

OM-D E-M5

Borrowing a camera body style that is 40 years old, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 re-creates the look of a classic film camera but packs in tons of modern technology. Two notable features are the high resolution electronic viewfinder and the flexible 3 inch OLED LCD screen.

Megapixels16.1
LCD3in. OLED Flexible
Movie Mode1080i AVCHD
StabilizationIn Body
ViewfinderElectronic
Built-in FlashNone
ISO Range200-25600
olympus om-d e-m5
Available at:  Amazon  •  Adorama  •  B&H Photo Video
List Price: $1,100 USD

Olympus Mirrorless System Cameras - 2011

Release Date: September 2011

E-PL3

Providing a little something for everyone, the E-PL3 has a flexible 3 inch LCD screen which allows for high and low-angle compositions. Like the E-P3, this camera is compatible with the Olympus VF-3 Electronic Viewfinder (as an optional accessory).

Megapixels12.3
LCD3in. Flexible
Movie Mode1080i AVCHD
StabilizationIn Body
ViewfinderOptional
Built-in FlashYes
ISO Range100-12800
olympus pen e-pl3
Available at:  Amazon  •  Adorama  •  B&H Photo Video
List Price: $700 USD
Release Date: August 2011

E-P3

If you've become used to using a touch screen, then you'll feel quite at home with the 3 inch OLED LCD on the E-P3. You can also customize the look of any image by applying one of 10 different art filters like Diorama, Pop Art, Soft Focus and Gentle Sepia.

Megapixels12.3
LCD3in. OLED Touch
Movie Mode1080i AVCHD
StabilizationIn Body
ViewfinderOptional
Built-in FlashYes
ISO Range100-12800
olympus pen e-p3
Available at:  Amazon  •  Adorama  •  B&H Photo Video
List Price: $900 USD
Release Date: August 2011

E-PM1

Also known as the "PEN Mini" the Olympus E-PM1 is the smallest, lightest and simplest of the 2011 PEN cameras. There is no optional viewfinder for this camera and there is no built-in flash.

Megapixels12.3
LCD3in.
Movie Mode1080i AVCHD
StabilizationIn Body
ViewfinderNone
Built-in FlashNone, Optional
ISO Range100-12800
olympus pen e-pm1
Available at:  Amazon  •  Adorama  •  B&H Photo Video
List Price: $500 USD

Olympus Mirrorless System Cameras - 2010

Release Date: May 2010

E-PL1

This third camera in the Olympus mirrorless lineup features the addition of a built-in flash AND the ability to control other remote Olympus flashes wirelessly. Plenty of art filters let you customize the look of your photos without needing a computer.

Megapixels12.1
LCD2.7in.
Movie Mode720p Motion JPEG
StabilizationIn Body
ViewfinderOptional
Built-in FlashYes
ISO Range100-3200
olympus pen e-pl1
No Longer Available New (Used Only)

Olympus Mirrorless System Cameras - 2009

Release Date: November 2009

E-P2

Mere months after the E-P1 arrived the E-P2 was announced. This model improves on its predecessor with the addition of an accessory port - where you can attach an optional viewfinder or an external microphone for recording video.

Megapixels12.3
LCD3in.
Movie Mode720p Motion JPEG
StabilizationIn Body
ViewfinderOptional
Built-in FlashNo
ISO Range100-6400
olympus pen e-p2
No Longer Available New (Used Only)
Release Date: July 2009

E-P1

The first mirrorless Olympus camera created quite a stir when it was first released due more to the way that it looked than any particular feature. A special feature is the built-in image stabilization that helps you get clear shots with any lens you attach.

Megapixels12.3
LCD3in.
Movie Mode720p Motion JPEG
StabilizationIn Body
ViewfinderNone
Built-in FlashNo
ISO Range100-6400
olympus pen e-p1
No Longer Available New (Used Only)
Page current as of: August 2012