Sunday, January 22, 2017

My new love - The Olympus Pen E-PL7!

Over the past few weeks, I've had a number of questions about my new camera, the Olympus Pen E-PL7 and what I think of it.  It's still early days and I haven't even scratched the surface when it comes to getting to grips with all of the features, but I thought a little first impressions overview might help anyone thinking of buying one, and by all accounts, there are a good few of you!

After about 6 months of research, googling, searching Youtube for reviews, switching back and forth between two cameras, I bit the bullet and decided on getting the Olympus Pen E-PL7!  My family got it for me for my birthday along with the 45mm lens (more on that later) and thanks to it, my blogging and photography mojo is back with a bang!  I've always been a Canon lover and was back and forth between the EOS M10 and this one, and I discovered a website which helped so much, where I was able to compare loads of different cameras.

I've been blogging for nearly 6.5 years now, starting off with a small Canon point and shoot camera, before investing in my Canon Rebel T3i (600D) over a year into the blog.  That was the best investment for me at the time and I can't see myself ever getting rid of it yet.

Why did I want a new camera?  Apart from the fact that I love the photography aspect of blogging so much, my DSLR is big and bulky and I want to be able to bring a decent camera with me to events and on holidays.  I was itching to get something new, to learn how to use it and up my Instagram big time.  I'd lost my photography mojo along with my blogging mojo and it's hard doing this sans any kind of mojo!  Also, I compared the E-PL7 to the E-PL8 which is the newer version, and didn't see any major differences in features to warrant spending the extra money on the 8.

As I said earlier, I'm still learning the basics of how to use the camera and I'm excited to be back creating lovely images for the blog and Instagram.  As I can't do a review of all features yet, here's a little list of pros and cons.

Actually, speaking of all of the features, I wanted to mention this quickly.  I know there are amazing photographers out there, bloggers and otherwise who are all about the ISO and aperture when it comes to photographs.  There are courses out there that can teach you all about it and if  you've the time, money and inclination to learn all about it, then that's fab.  I'll just say that every single photograph I've ever taken for the blog and Instagram has been taken with the auto settings of my camera.  Don't feel like you have to pay for one of these courses to teach you how to use your camera in order to get lovely photos.  Pick up a camera and click away.

Pros of the Olympus Pen E-PL7

I love the Pen because it's portable.  I can fit it in a little pouch along with my 45mm lens and carry it about with me.  And that's one of the main reasons I wanted it.  I've ordered myself a long shoulder strap on Amazon so I can bring it to London next month and not feel weighed down by the size of it!

The tilt screen.  For those who love their flatlays, this is a deadly feature because you don't have to stand on a chair to look down and stand over your flatlay.  The screen flips out meaning you can hold the camera directly over your flatly and you can see everything!  I love this feature and the screen can be moved easily no matter what your position.

I can use my phone as a remote.  I downloaded and installed the Olympus app which lets your phone act as the viewfinder and as the remote.  I can see myself on the screen and while I think this feature is handier if you're into your fashion shots, it's good if you're trying to do group shots too and couldn't be bothered trying to wrestle with the self timer

The screen flips down.  This is a pro and a con.  The pro is that it's less obvious when you're looking at the screen when filming (one of my biggest pet peeves is when people keep looking at themselves in their viewfinders instead of into the lens!).

I can upload photos directly to my phone.  This was a major feature that swung the vote for me.  Not having to take the photo on my camera, take the memory card out, put it into my laptop, upload the photo into Picassa, edit it, then email it to myself before opening it on my phone and saving it, is life changing!!  The camera has it's own wifi meaning you can connect your phone to it anywhere at any time, no home wifi needed.  All I do is upload the photos to my phone, edit a bit and boom, I've upped my Instagram game loads.

I can use the touchscreen to take photos.  This is handy if I have the camera on a tripod and don't want to use my phone as a remote.

Cons of the Olympus Pen E-PL7

The screen flips down.  I spoke about the pro above, but the con having a screen that flips down means I can't sit the camera on a flat surface if I'm filming and while I can attach it to a tripod alright, the screen is hidden by the tripod.  I've gotten around this by getting one of these for now, but have my eye on another one that doesn't hide the screen at all.

Not having a remote.  I'm in the process of researching external remotes because while using your phone as the remote and viewfinder, it's a bit slow for me.  When I'm doing photos of my face or eyes for a blog post, I take a lot of photos.  We could be talking upwards of 30-50, and quite often it's a bit more.  I want to be able to keep my eyes on the flip down screen and snap away, changing my angles to make sure I've too many shots rather than not enough.  While I can touch the flip down screen to take a photo, it's a bit faffy.  So I'll be getting an external remote like I have for my canon.

Not having a viewfinder as well as the screen.  Sometimes I love pretending I'm a fancy proper photographer and looking through the viewfinder!  This isn't a major con by any means.  It just sometimes helps me frame the shot when I'm taking photos.

The magic 45mm lens!

You know I love a bit of blur in my photos and the 45mm lens is the equivalent of Canon's 50mm lens which I still love loads.  It's a prime lens meaning it doesn't zoom, so if you're out and about taking photos, then have comfy shoes on because you'll be moving around lots!  For product shots, all I do is set up the photo, point and click.  I usually have an idea of what I want the photo to look like and the lens does all the work for me!  I took this photo as part of a TK Maxx campaign I was working on with them and it turned out exactly how I'd imagined it and all I had to do was point and click.  These photos were all taken on the auto settings and I just lightened them in Picassa.

Joanne got my camera in the Camera Centre in town after learning from a shop in the UK that there was a problem with production in the factory because of an earthquake last year.  I'm not sure how accurate that is, but from looking online, it's definitely hard to find!  It's around the €570 mark, so it's definitely not cheap, but I'm loving it so much.  It seems to be available to buy on Amazon through different shops, but half the reason why we got it in Ireland was if anything was to go wrong with it that we'd be able to go back to them to sort it out.

Camera Centre - from €529
Currys - €569.99 (currently out of stock)

The lens seems to be cheaper on Amazon at £189 but is a brilliant bit of kit for my camera!

So if you were thinking about investing in a new camera, I hope this helped.  Now, I'm off to get stuck into taking lots of photos for the next couple of weeks!


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