Olympus PEN E-PL7 Brief Review


REVIEW SUMMARY

Specifications

  • 16.1 megapixel Micro-Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • 3-axis image sensor shake reduction
  • Maximum shutter speed 1/4000
  • 8 fps continuous shooting (Max. 36 JPEGs or 16 RAW)
  • Maximum ISO 25600
  • 81-area multiple autofocus
  • Manual focus and manual modes
  • Scene modes and art effects
  • Photostory feature
  • RAW and JPEG shooting
  • Wi-fi
  • 3” tilting LCD touchscreen
  • 1080p HD video at 24 Mbps
  • Li-ion battery rated at 350 shots
  • Weighs 10.9 ounces
  • Release Date:
  • Final Grade: 92 4.6 Star Rating: Recommended

4.6 Star Rating: Recommended
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Olympus combines advanced features with a few extras for the selfie-lovers
Advanced doesn't have to mean it can't be fun--the Olympus PEN E-PL7 includes a little bit of both.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 9/9/2014

We enjoyed reviewing the Olympus E-PL5 and gave it high marks for image quality--its replacement keeps a lot of the solid interior while giving the exterior a much welcomed makeover. The Olympus PEN E-PL7 includes advanced features like interchangeable lenses, manual modes and RAW shooting--but tosses in wi-fi for social sharing and a flipping touchscreen designed for taking selfies. It's an interesting mix of features, but being among the more affordable Olympus mirrorless models, it certainly looks to have a place among consumer's hearts.

The previous model was a bit plasticy, but the E-PL7 takes on the now characteristic Olympus look, with leather and brushed metal that makes for a sturdier, retro-styled camera. The shutter release is surrounded by the control wheel at the top, right next to the mode dial. At the back of the camera is 3" touchscreen that flips 180 degrees for a selfie. Touchscreen functions keep some shooting options available from the front too. Add in wi-fi, and it's easy to see why it's a good camera for the social media lover.

We're fans of the image quality coming from Olympus mirrorless cameras, and the E-PL7 maintains a lot of what made the previous E-PL5 good. It houses a 16.1 megapixel Micro-Four Thirds sensor, with all the capability of manual modes and RAW shooting. The solid 81-point autofocus system remains the same, though the burst shooting has been improved to a nice 8 fps. For those that are more interested in the social media features, there's a good selection of scene modes and artistic features, though you're missing out if you don't eventually learn manual modes.

The battery is rated at 350 shots, a bit better than the older model. All of these features are wrapped up in a compact, 10.9 ounce body. At the introduction, the camera is $599 for the body only, or $699 with the 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens. All things considered, the Olympus PEN E-PL7 looks to be a good camera for beginners and enthusiasts on a budget, as well as consumers who want to step up their images while still easily sharing online.

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Olympus Reviews

Olympus is a long-time camera manufacturer, but lately they've been offering innovative, compact imaging options that are well worth a look. While Olympus doesn't have a camera in every category like Nikon or Sony, their focus on the cameras they offer shows.

Olympus' main, and best, cameras are their mirrorless line. The OM-D line offers mirrorless cameras that rival professional results while their PEN options offer the most portability and affordability. Most of their mirrorless cameras have simple, retro designs that work really well. Their kit lenses are often a bit higher quality than most. The Olympus mirrorless cameras we've been able to test have shown excellent image quality and usability.

While most of Olympus' focus seems to be on their excellent mirrorless line, we haven't been disappointed with any of their compacts we've put through our tests either. The TG-3 and TG-4 are among the best waterproof compacts on the market. And when we put the super zoom SP-100 to the test, we were quite happy with the image quality and performance.

Olympus may not have a camera in each and every category, but they've really put a lot into their existing cameras, making them excellent options.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.