Olympus Pen E-PL7 Takes Selfies To New Heights: First Look



The Olympus Pen E-PL7 will be available from Adorama soon, and can be pre-ordered now. Orders will ship on a first-come, first-served basis. Credit cards will not be charged until orders are shipped.


Olympus today announced the Olympus Pen E-PL7, the latest generation o f one of the longest-running micro four-thirds sensor-based compact interchangeable-lens digital camera lines. The new model adds Wi-Fi and a flip-down high-resolution LCD monitor to this small, high-performance model that can shoot up to 8fps and has what Olympus says is the fastest AF system ever.

Olympus has also unveiled a black version of its popular M.Zuiko Digital 12mm f/2 lens and several accessories.

Olympus E-PL7 Key Features

  • 16MP Micro Four Thirds (17.3x13mm) CMOS sensor
  • RAW + JPEG Still Image Files
  • Built-in sensor-shift image stabilization for movies and still
  • 16-1/4000 sec shutter speeds
  • AF and manual focus with focus peaking
  • Face detection, Eye Detection
  • Scene Select Autoexposure
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • 3.7 or 8 fps
  • GPS
  • IMage Share
  • 3-inch, 1,037k dot resolution tilting/flip-down touch monitor
  • Auto HDR and HDR bracketing
  • Live Composite
  • 15 Art Filters, 10 Art Effects
  • Photo Story montage
  • Level Gauge
  • 1080/30p HD Video
  • Built-in Stereo Mic
  • Wireless Flash Control
  • External flash bundled with camera

Let's take a closer look at the Olympus Pen E-PL7.

LCD monitor and Selfies

The E-PL7 is the first camera of its kind to feature an LCD that flips down so users can point the cameras towards themselves and compose the image without their arms getting in the way while shooting selfies. The monitor is touch sensitive but has a 1-second "selfie" delay so you can press the shutter release then move your hand out of the way in time for a more natural-looking photo. Selfie Interval shooting sets the camera to shoot three selfies at one-second intervals, so the subjects can strike different poses. When an electronic zoom lens is attached, the zoom automatically adjusts to the wide-angle position so that the user can quickly take their shot, incorporating the background as well.


Connectivity and sharing software improvements

The Olympus PEN E-PL7 includes built-in Wi-Fi, and connects to a smart phone via the Olympus Image Share app. Use your smart phone to quickly scan the QR code displayed on the camera’s LCD; the smart phone syncs with the Wi-Fi network created by the camera. OI.Share shooting functions have evolved, making it possible to easily operate the custom self-timer for sequential and selfie interval shooting. Live View can be displayed on the smart phone, and the camera can be controlled by touching the smart phone display as if it were the camera itself, then users can send selected images to their smart device for immediate sharing on social media sites.

OI.Share has been enhanced with a number of remote shooting functions to expand the use of a variety of selfie options. Settings for single, sequential high and sequential low switching button, as well as controls for the timer bar and interval shooting, can all be easily accessed remotely on the user’s smart phone. A new movie button lets you quickly record a movie at customized settings, including customized time length for each movie clip. Live Bulb has been added to OI.Share, allowing users the ability to control and monitor the bulb photography process on a smart phone while the shutter is released. Images can also be geotagged through the OI.Share App.


Image quality

The Olympus Pen E-PL7 has the same sensor and processor that debuted on their OM-D lineup, a 16MP Live MOS sensor and TruePic VII image processor. According to DxOMark's independent lab tests on other cameras using this sensor, image quality approached APS sensors.

Image quality is further helped by built-in 3-axis VCM image stabilization, which deubted in the OM-D EM10. This compensates for horizontal and vertical angular shifts (yam and pitch) as well as camera shake along the optical axis (roll) which is especially common in one-handed shooting (think Selfies). With the in-body image stabilization mechanism, camera shake can be prevented with any lens, allowing users to take beautiful, dynamic images, all the time.  


Creative options

The PEN E-PL7 is equipped with several new creative features, including two new Art Filters. The “Vintage” art filter transfers everyday images into a photo that looks to have withstood the test of time, and “Partial Color“ enables users to utilize an intuitive color ring to leave certain colors in an image while other colors are converted to monochrome to emphasize specific parts of a photo or subjects (18 colors are available). “Shade Effect“ is a new art effect that adds bands of shadows on the left and right, or top and bottom of the image. Photo Story has also been expanded to include Layout mode for a photo-album-style arrangement. „Panning“ is a new scene mode that matches the E-PL7’s movement to the subjects so users can track it for the optimal panning effect. And finally, a new movie effect, “Old Film Effect," records video to look like old movies shot on film by adding noise, scratches and dust effects.

Art filters: Complete list

  • Pop Part
  • Soft Focus
  • Pale & Light Color
  • Grainy Film
  • Pin Hole
  • Diorama
  • Cross Process
  • Gentle Sepia
  • Dramatic Tone
  • Key Line
  • WaterColor
  • Vintage
  • Partial Color (18 selectable colors)
  • Soft-Focus
  • Pin-Hole
  • White Edge
  • Frame
  • Star Light
  • B&W
  • Pict Tone
  • Shade

For photographers who prefer composing their shots using an eyepiece, the E-PL7 is compatible with the optional high-definition VF-4 viewfinder that provides an impressive 1.48X magnification, a 2.36 million-dot LCD, eye-detect to turn it on at the right time, and intuitive functionality that enables real-time viewing of shooting conditions.

12mm lens now in black

In addition to the new camera, Olympus announced a black version of one of its most highly acclaimed lenses, the M.Zuiko Digital 12mm f/2 lens, which was previously only available in silver. It is a full-metal lens with a snap ring that lets photographers quickly toggle between auto and manual focus. Read our exclusive review of the silver version.

Underwater Kit

Olympus also announced a waterproof case for the Olympus Pen E-PL7, the PT-EP12 ($749 at Adorama) which is rated for use down to 45 meters. It works with the 14-42mm kit lens, and the 12mm f/2, 17mm f/1.8, 25mm f/1.8 and 45mm f/1.8 prime lenses. It is also compatible with the external flash. Macro and wide-angle converters are also available to expand choices for underwater photography, and a dedicated underwater flash, the UFL-3, is also available.

Pricing and availability

The Olympus Pen E-PL7 will be available from Adorama in black or silver body only for $599.99, or in black or silver with the 14-42mm kit lens for $699.99. The black version of the Olympus 12mm f/2 will sell for $799.99.


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