Overall Rating:

4

Olympus Pen E-PL7


  • Features:
  • Build/Handling:
  • Metering:
  • Autofocus:
  • AWB Colour:
  • Dynamic Range:
  • LCD viewfinder:

Pros:

  • - Good-quality, 16.1-million-pixel Live MOS sensor
  • - Metal frame with stylish design
  • - Responsive touchscreen

Cons:

  • - Vulnerable and fiddly tilting screen
  • - Small and tightly packed controls
  • - No viewfinder

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

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

Olympus Pen E-PL7 Review – Performance

PA230160I reviewed the Olympus OM-D E-M10 in March and considering the similarities between that camera and this, I was expecting the E-PL7 to perform well and I was pleased with it overall.

The camera’s 81-point contrast-detection AF system doesn’t hunt much for focus, but it does have a slight tendency to capture some out-of-focus shots for no obvious reason. Despite locking as though it were focused, it seems so eager to fire that it jumps the gun on occasion. This meant that I sometimes had to take a couple of security frames to ensure that I had the shot. In low light, the AF-assist beam does a decent job of finding the correct subject and locking on, and if I used touch AF results were quicker still, as well as being more consistent than half-pressing the shutter.
PA280099I forced the E-PL7’s 324-zone multi-pattern metering system to work in some difficult scenarios and was impressed by its ability to produce faithful colours and well-balanced exposures. Spot metering linked to the AF works well also, especially with the touch AF ability. Results were a little less consistent when using the removable flash that comes in the box, as it overexposed subjects intermittently, but when it metered correctly I was pleased with the results and would happily use the flash in low light scenarios, such as for taking a picture of a group of people 1-2 metres away from me.

Looking closely at images straight out of the camera, I was a little put off by the aggressive noise reduction, but you can get better results if you shoot raw and make your own noise reduction and sharpening adjustments in post-production. In good and in low light, the E-PL7 performed as I’d expected and surprised a few of the people that I showed its images to.
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Finally, the battery is CIPA rated to 350 images, 30 more than the E-M10, and I found it delivered close to its rating before running completely empty. When I was using the flash, however, the camera’s battery depleted noticeably faster and gave me closer to 250 images, or about 4-5 hours of frequent use.

  • 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)

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