Olympus Pen E-PL7 Review: My Thoughts

Olympus Pen E-PL7If there has been an ‘IT’ camera for bloggers over the last year, it’s been the Olympus Pen E-PL7!  It seems that every blogger and her dog got one for Christmas… and I was also one of them.  I’d casually mentioned to The Northerner that I was going to pick one up in January after Christmas and was entirely taken by surprise when I unwrapped a lovely white one when we exchanged presents just after Christmas.  Tears were shed at the sheer generosity of this man!

Olympus Pen E-PL7

I’ve been using it for nearly six months now; I’ve used it for blog photos, weekly vlogging and even took it to Disneyland Paris and Disney World to really test it’s limits.  So I thought it was about time for a review and whether I would recommend it.  I think the reason that I want to ass my two cents is that I haven’t seen many reviews for when people have used it for blogging AND vlogging.

Design & Features

I guess the biggest pull of the was just how pretty it looks.  I have the white one with the beige trim but you can also get it in black and silver which I think are just as pretty.  It’s a lot smaller to carry round than my bulky Canon 600d but slightly bigger and heavier than my Canon G7X.   The Olympus Pen E-PL7 has interchangeable lenses (which is one of the reasons it’s heavier that the G7X).  The Northerner picked up the 14-42mm pancake lens with the body for mine and I recently purchased the 45mm which I gave a good road test at Disney World The 45mm is great for the blurred background photos that everybody seems to love.  Another great feature of the Olympus Pen is the selfie screen which flips out under the camera so you can see yourself in front of it.  It also flips up flat which is great for when you’ve got the camera lower than your eye line.  It is worth nothing that both the 14-42mm and the 45mm lenses don’t have a zoom feature on them – something I didn’t realise until I got them.

Another great feature of the Olympus Pen E-PL7 is the Wifi, meaning you can connect your camera directly to your phone.  You can download an app from the app store (it’s called OI.Share) and it has a multitude of uses.  The wifi connection means you can send pictures straight to your phone after shooting.  This is great if you love using an actual camera for your Instagram shots as it cuts down the process from getting the photos from your camera to your phone’s camera roll.

The wifi also allows for remote shooting (a feature also available on my G7X) meaning you can control your camera even if it isn’t in your hand.  You can control a number of features from your phone including the shutter and the zoom.

Picture Quality

Onto the most important aspect you look for from a camera: the quality of the pictures.  I can’t pretend I am a photographer but for what I use this camera for, I cannot fault the picture quality.  It’s also worth commenting that you can change the size of the pictures taken and 1:1 which is the perfect square of Instagram – Olympus really had bloggers in mind didn’t they? 

I’ve already mentioned the 45mm and it’s blurred background.  I’ve attached some sample photos from the 45mm lens so you can see what the picture quality is like.  One of my favourite features ins the touch screen which focuses and takes the picture at the same time without the need for touch buttons.

Olympus Pen E-PL7 45mm lens

Vlogging

I’ve been weekly vlogging for nearly a year now and have been using the Canon G7X for most of that time.  When I received the Pen I decided I’d give it a shot as it seems so popular with our bloggers when they vlog (In The Frow I’m looking at you 🙂 .  It’s not ideal to carry two cameras and as much as the G7X is fab for video, it’s picture quality is inferior to the Pen.  I was hoping that the Pen would mean that I could disregard my G7X altogether.  However, I much prefer vlogging on the G7X, and the reason is this: the Olympus Pen E-PL7 is heavier and a little more fiddle when it comes to the video function.  My arm would ache a lot quicker with the Pen.  I also have a wrist strap on the G7X which makes it a lot safer to use.  But he big decider for me was the flip down screen on the Pen (as opposed to the G7X flip UP screen) gets in the way of the little tripod I use to get a better angle.  If I use the tripod I can’t use the screen and that defeats the object of it.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I really love the Olympus Pen E-PL7 for photos and I take it everywhere with me.  Although I’ve gone back to the G7X for vlogging which means I still carry two cameras, I can’t deny the picture quality of the Pen far out weights that of the G7X.  I’m looking at investing in some more lens very soon.  I’ve been recommended the 12mm for food photography and the 17mm for more great blog shots.  The Olympus Pen E-PL7 is available from John Lewis with the 14mm – 42mm lens for £399 or from for £499 (and you can split the cost!)

olympus pen review

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