This is an unpaid review of the Olympus PEN E-PM1 micro SLR camera. Dadtography was not paid to write this review. We were selected to participate in the Olympus PENREADY project and received a camera as part of this project. The opinions in this review are 100% mine and are 100% authentic.

The PENREADY Project Explained

On Friday, September 16, 2011, Olympus partnered with JetBlue to launch the new, revolutionary PEN E-PM1 camera. To prove that anyone can take extraordinary photos and videos, travelers aboard Flight #001 from New York to Fort Lauderdale were given the camera to keep. In return, we asked them to upload 20 of their best photos or videos when they land at their destination. You can see them at http://PENReady.com, home of The PEN Ready Project. It’s a giveaway like no other—over 1,000 cameras, more than 1,000 people. And here’s what happened. This video was shot entirely with a PEN.

Connect with Olympus on Twitter: @GetOlympus

First Impressions of the PEN E-PM1

This thing is small – it’s the same size as JenB’s point and shoot, with the exception of the SLR-style lens. The camera arrived with its matching Olympus carrying case along with the 14-42mm lens, a small flash attachment and with all the software, documentation, camera strap, etc. It looks just like an SLR, only smaller! JenB says she thinks it’s ‘cute’. Well, I think it looks like it won’t kill me to carry it around the Orlando parks with me all day. That DSLR of mine is heavy enough to dislocate my shoulder after 8 – 10 hours at a theme park. If nothing else, the PEN E-PM1 is definitely more theme park friendly.

First Impressions – Ease of Use

I’ve had the camera for a little less than a week but I already feel like I’ve learned a good 75% of the functionality. The PEN E-PM1 has a very good learning curve. My favorite feature so far (and one of the most simple) are the ‘Art’ settings. You can change filter of the photo on the fly using these settings. The best part? You can see what the picture will look like on the screen with the art setting before you even take the photo.

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