Remember that cute little Micro Four Thirds camera that Olympus unveiled in June? Well, we just got word that the PEN E-PM1 Mini will ship next month, with an equally petite $500 price tag -- including a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens. The company is positioning the 12.3 megapixel camera as an upgrade for point-and-shoot users, as "the easiest PEN to use," thanks to a new, simpler user interface and 23 Scene-Select modes. Still, the E-PM1 is a very capable interchangeable lens camera (ILC), and includes a 3-inch 460k-dot LCD, 1080i HD video capture, RAW shooting and a maximum sensitivity of ISO 12,800, along with Manual, Aperture Priority, and Shutter Priority shooting modes. The Mini will be available in purple, pink, brown, white, silver, and black -- our color of choice. Jump past the break for the full scoop from Olympus.
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The World'S Smallest Olympus PEN Is Also The Most Affordable: The PEN E-PM1 Packs Mega Power In A Micro Body For Under $500

Small, Easy and Stylish Compact System Camera Ships in September and Fulfills the Promise of a Camera with Impressive DSLR Image Quality and HD Video in a Mini Camera Body

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., August 25, 2011 – The wait is over! Starting next month, the smallest, lightest, and the most portable Olympus PEN camera – the PEN E-PM1 – will be available at the affordable price of $499.99. The Olympus "PEN Mini" comes in six stylish colors (purple, pink, brown, white, silver and black) to suit your personal style. The PEN E-PM1 packs a powerful punch with the same amazing image quality, lightning-fast speed, and 1080i high-definition (HD) video offered by the recently introduced PEN E-P3 and PEN E-PL3.

The "PEN Mini" is also the easiest PEN to use, with simple controls that enable you to effortlessly access the power of digital photography. A step up from a point- and- shoot camera, the Olympus PEN E-PM1 features a new user interface that takes the guesswork out of capturing the perfect shot. A simple one-touch button enables you shoot HD video. iAuto and scene select modes enable you capture images with ease and speed, and six built-in Art Filters enable you explore your artistic side. The Olympus PEN E-PM1 puts the portability of a point-and-shoot with the performance of a DSLR in the palm of your hands.

"The Olympus PEN E-PM1 is the ideal camera for those interested in DSLR quality in a compact camera design. It's fun to use, super powerful, and its small size means it's the 'goes anywhere you go' PEN camera," said Katie Roseman, senior product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. "Whether you're recording your child blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, capturing an elaborate candle-lit table setting at your favorite restaurant or chronicling a vacation, you will never worry about missing a fun or spontaneous moment with the PEN Mini by your side."

EASE OF USE

Operating the "PEN Mini" is more intuitive with the newly-designed user interface. Popular menu options such as Art Filters, iAuto, Scene Modes, and Movie are immediately available for your selection. On-screen graphics are easy to read on the 3" LCD and even include a handy pop-up guide to help you understand every setting. The Olympus PEN E-PM1's Live Guide system allows you to preview effects as you adjust them before the image is even captured. iAuto mode automatically identifies the scene you're shooting; portrait, landscape, night portrait, macro, or sport and adjusts the settings to optimize results. Choose from 23 Scene-Select modes, including the new 3D mode, Fireworks, Sunset, Children, Macro and Panorama, and more that cover almost any shooting situation. The camera's three-inch widescreen 460-dot high-resolution LCD is so big and bright it enables you shoot and share photos and HD videos with ease.

PROFESSIONAL IMAGE QUALITY

The new 12.3 megapixel sensor is the same size as those used in pro quality DSLRs. Olympus' in-body image stabilization technology makes it possible to use any compatible lens from wide-angle to telephoto, for perfectly clear, crisp photos no matter what the shooting situation, even in low light. New Face Detection Auto Focus adjusts focus automatically on the subject's eyes for the best shot every time. You no longer need to worry about subjects appearing too dark against a light background with the PEN E-PM1's Advanced Shadow Adjustment Technology.

CREATIVE FREEDOM

Shoot up to 29 minutes of full 1080i HD video with Dolby Digital stereo sound using the direct HD Movie Button. Add more flair to your photos and videos with six in-camera Art Filters (Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama and Dramatic Tone). Every Art Filter can be used in all shooting modes, including HD movie mode. Art Filters can achieve dramatic results on the go without the need for a computer or editing software, so you can spend more time shooting and less time computing. A variety of interchangeable lenses, accessories and flashes are compatible with the Olympus PEN E-PM1 to support all different photography needs. High-precision engineering and an improved internal focusing mechanism have enabled the Olympus MSC (Movie+Still Compatible) lenses to autofocus quickly, smoothly and silently; perfect for stills and HD movies in stereo with amazing clarity. In any mode, from close up to landscape, 3D technology brings your images to another dimension. The 3D data is processed in-camera for easy display on 3D televisions or laptops.

LOW-LIGHT PERFORMANCE

Capture the life of the party with the PEN E-PM1's super luminosity AF Illuminator LED beam, which allows the camera to focus faster in low-light. Stunning night-time photos are a click away with a maximum sensitivity of 12,800 ISO. Additionally, the "PEN Mini" provides the flexibility of an optional slide-on flash included with camera.

BLAZING SPEED

The Olympus PEN E-PM1 offers fast sequential shooting, enabling you to take up to five photos per second. Capture that perfect shot, even when your subject is moving. The new FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF System is able to focus at an incredible speed and offers 35 separate focus areas that are spread over nearly the entire sensor, which makes it possible for pin-point accurate focusing on small subjects wherever they appear in the frame. The TruePic VI image processor has been designed specifically for the Olympus PEN series, with two (dual core) processing engines for superb color and clarity.

AVAILABILITY

The Olympus PEN E-PM1 kit will be available starting in September 2011. The kit includes the PEN E-PM1 body, MSC M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm, FL-LM1 Flash, USB cable, video cable, BLS-1 Li-Ion battery pack, Li-Ion battery charger, shoulder strap, OLYMPUS [ib] software CD-ROM, manuals and registration card.

U.S. PRICING / PRODUCT CONFIGURATIONS
Olympus PEN E-PM1 Body with MSC M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED m14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 Zoom Street Price: $499.99

Journalists interested in more information, review units and high-resolution images of the Olympus PEN cameras and PEN lenses and accessories should contact Keith Gordon, Mullen Public Relations, 212-885-3218, keith.gordon@mullen.com, or Jennifer Colucci, Olympus Imaging America Inc., 484-896-5719, jennifer.colucci@olympus.com, or visit the Olympus website: http://www.getolympus.com.