Olympus Pen E-PL7 Kit

- Support for interchangeable lenses: lens mount Micro 4/3

- Type autofocus: contrast

- Camera type: mirrorless interchangeable-lens

- Size: 115x67x38 mm, without lens

- Maximum resolution: 4608 x 3456

- The type of matrix: Live MOS

- The total number of pixels: 17.2 million

- Flash: built-in, up to 7 m, the suppression of red eye, Shoe, synchrocheck


Dec 5, 2014 by

It's a fair review for the most part, but I think it misses the point of the PEN range a little. These cameras are incredibly versatile. They can be a very compact point and shoot option for family days out, say. Then you can fit an EVF and perhaps a legacy lens and indulge in more conventional photography with a body that handles very well. You don't even need to take the camera from your eye to shoot and can control shutter speed or exposure compensation with the control dial around the shutter button (assuming legacy lens with aperture ring and being aware of what click stop it's on) Something that is hard to quantify, but I got from the E-PL5 before it and now even more so from the E-PL7, is the enjoyment factor. Photography is FUN with the PEN Lites! :-) Seeing the likely result as you shoot (very handy with the ART filters) and moving the focus point around with a touch of the screen is a great way to work. You don't need an EVF for this kind of photography as the AF is very accurate and really does work well in low light, especially compared to the previous PEN Lites (I haven't seen the issue you mention of shutter beating AF to the shot but will look for it now!) I even shoot wildlife with the VF-4 and an old 300 2.8 hooked up to it (you handle the lens more than the body here so there's no stress on the mount). Here the IBIS and the EVF combine to make it a very feasible exercise and it's already turned me out some shots I was very happy with, even handheld in not so good light. So this camera can be a pocket job or a camera bag filler, and that is the beauty of the design of these bodies. IQ is excellent too. The JPEGs seem to have less artefacts than the previous models and even with the noise filter set to "off" I've had some surprising results at ISO6400. Downsides? Can't fit a flash and an EVF. If you need to, then from Olympus you need an E-P5 or an OM-D variant. I also have a Panny GX7 so I'm OK there! Yes it's quite small but the main controls are actually quite well placed. Make sure the Super Control Panel is activated to get the best experience though. Continuous AF is still not too hot compared to Phase Detect systems of course. And the video mode isn't a patch on the Panasonic models. And a mention for the Focus Peaking - it's virtually useless. I can focus better with the VF-4 fitted and the Peaking turned off. Plus the Peaking mode darkens the viewfinder AND turns off at half press of shutter button. Completely defeats the point of having it for stills in the first place. Sony and Panasonic (particularly Sony) do it MUCH better. The price is pretty good, for the feature set. People mention the E-M10 of course and that is a great camera. But add a VF-4 to the E-PL7 (you can get them for £150-ish on ebay) and you have a BETTER EVF and can take it off when you don't want it. Of course not everyone wants this in a camera, and at that point I'd go for the E-M10. For me there's a real benefit to being able to make the camera small and pocketable when I need one like that. I really think Olympus want shooting for their marketing campaign. Versatility should have been the selling point, NOT the selfie screen! It does work well for the 1% of the time you might take a selfie, mind..... 8/10 is probably a fair score if you consider the other options out there. I might score it a 9 personally though as currently it's (almost) every camera I need in the one body. Hope that's some useful input! I think the E-PL7 really is a great little camera. Just waiting for the 300 f/4 now to get a really compact wildlife outfit with great quality output (I don't do birds in flight, btw).

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