Olympus Pen E-PL7 Review
November 18, 2014
Olympus Pen E-PL7
- - Good-quality, 16.1-million-pixel Live MOS sensor
- - Metal frame with stylish design
- - Responsive touchscreen
- - Vulnerable and fiddly tilting screen
- - Small and tightly packed controls
- - No viewfinder
Price as Reviewed:£399.00 (Kit with 14-42mm zoom lens)
Targeting a very specific niche, the E-PL7 has a quality 16.1-milllion-pixel, four thirds Live MOS sensor and an unconventional design feature that should see it stand out from the competition. But is it just a gimmick? Jon Devo finds out in this Olympus Pen E-PL7 Review
Now in its sixth generation, this latest addition to the Pen ‘Lite’ family, the Olympus Pen E-PL7, continues Olympus efforts to reach out to those photographers who apparently appreciate the smaller, more refined design of the E-PL7’s rangefinder style, as opposed to the intentionally chunkier and retro (D)SLR-styled OM-D cameras that have pretty much stolen the show at Olympus in recent times.
This latest offering from Olympus features the 16.1-million-pixel sensor that has proved popular in the OM-D E-M5, but as well as the sensor, the E-PL7 shares many of the features of the OM-D E-M10, minus a viewfinder and built-in flash. Based on those features alone, if there are any enthusiasts in the market for a compact system camera but who as yet haven’t been tempted by the OM-D series, the E-PL7 may be precisely what they’re looking for.
Olympus Pen E-PL7 Review – Features
At first glance, the E-PL7 could be mistakenly written off as all style and no substance, described by Olympus itself as being wrapped in ‘an elegant skin’, and the very inclusion of its flip-out-and-under ‘selfie’ screen will undoubtedly turn off some photographers looking for something aesthetically befitting an enthusiast with more serious pursuits. However, this camera is powered by the current top-of-the-range TruePic VII image processor with Fine Detail II technology for Olympus lens-specific advanced aberration and distortion corrections, suggesting that its looks may very well be deceiving.
In the absence of a built-in viewfinder and pop-up flash, the camera’s top-plate gains a control dial over its predecessor, the Olympus Pen E-PL7, which was only released in the UK this summer. There is also a hotshoe and accessory port to allow photographers to use the optional pop-up flash provided in the box, as well as other additional kit. Besides the inclusion of a physical control dial and processing unit, other feature improvements over the previous model include an 81-point contrast-detection AF system and a higher-resolution 3in, 1.04-million-dot capacitive LCD screen that is capable of being positioned in the optimum place for taking the best selfies ever, according to Olympus.
The E-PL7 sports a full complement of manual and standard automatic modes as well as 25 scene modes and 14 art filters, a couple more than its older siblings. As seen on the E-PL6, its sensitivity range covers ISO 200-25,600, but an ISO Low (approximately ISO 100) setting in 1/3 or 1 EV steps is also available. For keeping up with fast-moving subjects, Olympus has made the E-PL7 capable of shooting 8 frames per second continuously, while three-axis image stabilisation will make it easier to capture steadier shots in low light as well as during video recording.
- Price: £399
- Sensor: 16.1-million-pixel, LIVE MOS sensor
- Output size: 4608 x 3456 pixels
- Lens mount: Micro four thirds
- Shutter speeds: 60-1/4000sec + bulb to 30mins
- ISO: Low (equiv ISO 100) - 25,600
- Metering System: 324-zone multi-pattern TTL digital ESP, spot, centre-weighted, highlight, shadow
- Exposure compensation: +3 to -3EV in 1/3EV steps
- Drive mode: Up to 8fps, or 3.7fps with continuous AF
- LCD: 3in, 1.04-million-dot tilting touchscreen
- AF points: 81-point system, touch focus, face and eye detection
- Video: full HD 1080p at 30p, mp4, H.264, MOV compression
- Memory card: SD, SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I
- Power: BLS-5 rechargeable Li-Ion (around 320 shots per charge)
- Dimensions: 114.9 x 67 x 38.4mm
- Weight: 357g (with battery and card)