Olympus Pen E-PL7 review: The ultimate blogger camera?

Olympus Pen E-PL7 review: The ultimate blogger camera?

*This is not a sponsored post. I was not paid by Olympus to write this review, and all opinions are entirely my own. I was not gifted or loaned this camera, I paid for it myself.

After many requests, here is my review of the nifty little camera that changed the way I blog, the Olympus Pen E-PL7

You may have spotted on my instagram and facebook that I recently switched up my photography kit. For the past year or so, I’ve been using a Canon 600D (with a 55mm lens) but I was getting a bit uninspired by my photography, and I wanted to switch things up a bit. After reading lots of reviews, I decided to purchase the much-hyped Olympus Pen E-PL7. There is so much buzz about the E-PL7 being the ultimate blogger camera, and I was dying to try it out for myself.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve been using the camera steadily for the past month or so, and I can honestly say that I love it, and it has revolutionised the way I blog. Rather than go on a long tangent about the specs and technical stuff, here are some of the main reasons why I love it. I’ve also included some photos I took with the camera, and for more examples of outfit shots, check out my recent style diaries here, here and here.

  • It’s so compact! The main reason I went for a smaller camera, was how easy it would be to take everywhere with me. Full frame DSLR cameras are not only large but very heavy and expensive-looking (which can make you a target for thieves) so I prefer to have my Pen neatly tucked away when I’m not using it.
  • Its easy to use. I find the Pen very easy to use. I started by shooting on auto, but I’m (slowly!) learning some of the manual settings which make this camera so special.
  •  Interchangeable lenses. Even though it’s so small, you can still switch up the lenses, which is a game changer for me. I am currently using the kit lens for everyday photos (flatlays, travel photos, instagram shots) and the 45mm lens for shooting outfits photos with that beautiful bokeh or “blurry background” that all us bloggers want.
  • Reasonable price. The Olympus is a lot cheaper than most DSLR cameras out there, which can cost €1,500 – €2,000 and up. You can pick up the EPL-7 kit for €500 from a German camera website called Otto (which is the cheapest price on a trusted website that I’ve found) and the extra 45mm lens, the 17mm lens and the 75mm lenses are also available there, but they vary in price.
  • Aesthetic. It’s obviously not the most important thing about the camera, but it’s by far the prettiest and most “instagram-able” camera on the market right now. I went for the cream/white colour, and I love how it looks in pictures and flat-lays, it’s just so cute! Every time I take it out with me, I’m asked questions about it. People often think its an old film camera, which is gas.
  • HD Video I haven’t gotten the chance to fully test out it’s video mode yet, but happy to know that it shoots in HD, perfect for any vloggers or youtubers out there. I will be testing out it’s video capabilities in some upcoming projects soon, which I’m excited about. It also comes with an additional flash that clips on the top, but I haven’t used that much either (yet!) as I only really shoot in daylight.
  • Great WiFi. The wifi on this camera is the best I’ve experienced. It works seamlessly with a downloadable Olympus smartphone app, and at at the touch of a button you can view all the photos on your camera, on your iPhone, and select which ones to download to your phone. It’s great for instagramming and sharing photos on the go.
  • Remote shooting. The Olympus app can also be used for remote shooting, a handy little trick for when there’s no one around to take your photos. Just pop your camera on a flat, steady surface, jump in front of it, and away you go.
  • Selfie-Mode. It has a flip down screen, which is perfect for selfies and filming.

For more specific details, you can check out the product description here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The only con:

Given the smaller size, this camera feels significantly more delicate than my previous SLR, which was much bulkier. The flip screen on the Pen, while amazing, is always exposed, which increases danger of it cracking or breaking. To prevent any damages, I have purchased a case on eBay, which does the trick! The warranty does cover for any damage or problems initially, but I will probably insure mine with some sort or gadget insurance, just in case anything happens to it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Overview:

Olympus claim to have designed the E PL-7 with bloggers in mind, and I really believe it. It’s perfect for my needs as a fashion blogger, and I couldn’t imagine being without it now. I’m so impressed with the quality of the photos from such a compact camera, and the addition of the 45mm lens lets you achieve that beautiful background blur (bokeh) that you’d usually need a more expensive camera to achieve. I’ll be taking my trusty Pen with on a few different adventures and trips I have coming up over the next few weeks, so be sure to stay tuned to see how I get on with it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


above photos were shot on an Olympus Pen E-PL7 using the kit lens, and a 45mm lens


If you’re still asking yourself  “should I buy the Olympus Pen, or invest in a more advanced, DSLR camera?” then here is my final advice to you:

Overall, I think that if you want to have the best possible photography for your fashion blog, and your willing  to invest the money (€1,500- €3,000+) into a full frame DSLR with all the latest specs and lenses, as well as dedicating the time to learning how to operate, shoot and edit your photos like a professional photographer, then by all means, do it. You will ultimately get the best photos possible this way, no doubt about it.

But, if you are someone who tends to switch their camera on auto (guilty!) before handing it to their boyfriend/sister/blogger friend/patient stranger to take their photo, then maybe an super advanced/expensive camera isn’t for you. Why spend thousands on something if you’re never going to learn how to use properly in the first place?

For me Olympus Pen E-PL7 is absolutely perfect. It takes great, great professional-looking photos for my website and social pages, and it’s so compact, that I can take it literally anywhere. I’m so happy I invested in it, and I would strongly recommend it to any bloggers out there looking for the same.

As I learn how to get the most out of this camera, I might do an updated tutorial series showing you guys exactly how I use it. If that’s something you’d be interested in, let me know in the comments below!

Have any of you bought or used the Olympus Pen EPL-7? If so, what did you think of it?

Happy Snapping,

Love,

24 Comments

  1. Irene
    August 17, 2015 / 14:49

    Hi Ciara, loved the review of the Olympus as I’ve been dying to hear your thoughts! Do you use a photo editor on your computer to edit the photos and is there one you recommend? Also is it easy to use the bokeh feature on the Olympus – is it automatic or an added feature? I have a Canon and don’t have a clue how to use it properly? This sounds like such a breath of fresh air in comparison!

    • ciara
      November 12, 2015 / 18:22

      Hi Irene,

      I edit my blog photos very little, if at all, but when I do it’s with Lightroom, and I just increase the warmth a tiny bit with the dial, that’s about it!

      As for the bokeh, It’s an automatic thing, the 45mm is a fixed lens, so once the subject/person is in focus, the background is all blurred. It’s super easy to use! Hope this helped 🙂 xxx

  2. August 20, 2015 / 12:00

    Cannot wait to get my hands on this. Love the app for ease of use too…my Samsung was great but didn’t pair well with an iPhone and I’m all about making life easier. Thanks for all the info!

    • ciara
      November 12, 2015 / 18:22

      Hi Nadia, yes the app is SO handy! The photos transfer really quickly, and it’s super easy to use, so great when you’re in a rush! xxx

  3. Vanity
    October 20, 2015 / 16:25

    Love your review! I own a Canon 600D as well and was looking into this one. It really helped! How many lenses do you have? I was looking into the 40mm lens instead of the 45mm, now I am in doubt, because of your review. Haha.

    • ciara
      November 7, 2015 / 18:29

      I’m not too sure about the 40mm, but I do love the 4mm, I use it to get all my blurry background shots! I am really interested in using the new 35mm lens too though, have you looked into that one! It looks faaaaaab, I think that will have to be my next camera-investment! 🙂 xx

  4. November 29, 2015 / 02:25

    Hey Ciara,
    thank you so much for this review. I’ve been looking a lot into it as Im thoroughly deciding to get an additional camera. as someone who does youtube videos a LOT , im trying to expand and a fantastic way of doing that is by vlogging, and my last one went down incredibly well.

    for someone that has used the 45mm lens, (or any other if you have!) i’d love to ask which one you would recommend for that selfie-angle / vlogging shot. holding it at arms length with lovely depth of field is something i’m after, and i’m unsure at which kind of lens may be suitable without having tested them!

    Thanks
    Christina

    • ciara
      April 28, 2016 / 15:20

      Hi lovely, I wanted the EXACT same thing and after researching I went with the 17mm lens, as it claimed to do just that! So that’s the one I use for all my video filming on my youtube channel, you can see a travel vlog I filmed with it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_blwZwuYlw and I used it in selfie/vlogging mode and it was perfect! Hope that helps x

  5. January 10, 2016 / 19:53

    Hello!
    I’ve just found your article because i am thinking about buying myself the Olympus because my Canon is way to heavy for always carrying around. Do you use it as the main camera?

    Thanks a lot 🙂
    Rebecissima

    • ciara
      April 28, 2016 / 15:17

      Hi Rebecca, yes I use it as my main camera! I use it for all my outfit posts, as well as my youtube channel video camera, and everything in between! x

  6. January 28, 2016 / 17:10

    I’d love to know how you use it! I’m looking for the next step in my fashion blogging career and I think this it is! Xx @beautyrewritten

  7. February 15, 2016 / 22:50

    Hi I have just purchased the Olympus PL7. Love the size, the weight and the look of it. However I am having difficulty taking certain photos. I was at a party at the weekend taking photographs of groups of people it looked ok , it clicked took the photo but the slightest movement anyone made, there head or hand or hair, was then blurry. I don’t know what to do , I had the setting on Auto . What am I doing wrong, as I never had this problem with my old camera. I’d appreciate feedback.

    Thank you.

    • ciara
      April 28, 2016 / 15:22

      Hi Jacqueline, I’m not too sure why it’s doing that, you must have it set to a certain function, something to do with the exposure maybe? I suggest having a look at the manual (it’s available online) which should definitely have the anwser, and if that doesn’t work, then I would try bringing it into your local camera shop and they will definitely be able to fix it for you! xxx

  8. March 5, 2016 / 07:43

    Hi Ciara, just a quick one to say I’m so glad I found your review and that you stated it was unpaid etc is EXACTLY what I wanted to see/hear. I’ve had my eye on this camera for a while and an honest review from a fellow blogger has made my decision making process so much easier!! THANKS HUN! x

    • ciara
      April 28, 2016 / 15:23

      You’re so welcome Nicky, I think lots of people assume I am paid by the brand as I rave about it so much, but I just love the camera! I has made my life so much easier and improved the content on my blog, I adore it! xx

  9. March 20, 2016 / 10:22

    I’ve been tossing up whether or not to get this camera for a while now and I think this has sold me on it. I have a DSLR but I’m looking for something lighter to travel with and I think this would be perfect!

    http://www.thesundaymode.blogspot.com.au

    • ciara
      April 28, 2016 / 15:24

      Glad to have helped lovely, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! xx

  10. Arnile
    April 11, 2016 / 00:38

    Hi Cara,

    Thanks for your review on the Olypmus Pen E-PL 7. I just recently got this camera and haven’t used yet but I will soon! Thanks to your recommendation i will purchase the 44mm lens I can get the bokeh effect! 🙂

    • ciara
      April 28, 2016 / 15:24

      Hi Arnile, you’re so welcome lovely! Yes the 45mm is great for the bokeh effect, it’s a brilliant lens! x

  11. Hannah
    April 28, 2016 / 12:58

    Hello I am about to buy an Olympus pen e-pl7 and want some advice on lenses. So I have heard lots about the 45mm lens and for the same price as buying the pen with the lens it comes with, online I have found just a body (without a lens) for quite cheap where I could just get the 45mm lens instead and it would come to the same price- however is it essential to have the normal lens too? I mainly want it for travel pics and outfit posts/ selfies! So does the 45mm lens do the same as the normal (and more) or would it just be better to have as an extra lens? Thanks xxx

    • ciara
      April 28, 2016 / 15:28

      Hi Hannah,
      So the 45mm would be lovely for fashion photos or portraits where you want that lovely blurry background, but it is a fixed lens (you can’t zoom in or out with it) and to get that blurry background it has to be very zoomed, so it wouldnt work for selfie mode, as our arms just arent long enough! You wouldn’t be able to get your whole face in, if that makes sense? You can’t shoot close-range with the 45mm, so really you need a non fixed lens with the camera or your limiting the type of photos you can take with it, which is not good. The kit lens is needed for any close range photos, (you could also use the 17mm for this) so I wouldnt recommend just having the body and the 45mm lens, you’ll need two lenses! Hope that makes sense! xx

  12. Feby
    October 29, 2016 / 15:57

    Hi Ciara,
    I need some information about the equipment of this camera. I know that this camera is great for selfie. But can we used a tripod when the screen is flip down? Do u have any idea of it? I can’t find any answer.
    Thanks for you review.
    Have a nice day

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