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Body & Design

The E-PL7 is a lightweight, yet solid-feeling compact mirrorless camera. The body is made mostly of metal, though the plastic buttons feel a bit cheap, and the cover over the battery/memory card door feels like it could snap off at any moment. The hinge mechanism for the articulating LCD (discussed further down the page) is most impressive.

Ergonomics are generally good. The grips (front and rear) are the right size, allowing for one-handed operation. The camera's sole control dial (which surrounds the shutter release) is perfectly placed, and the mode dial is right next door if you need to switch that quickly. That said, the buttons and four-way controller on the rear are quite small.

In your hand

While it doesn't have a large grip, it works well enough on this relatively small camera. The thumb rest is good-sized and keeps your hands from resting on any buttons.

Top of camera

Starting on the left, you can see the camera's speaker, followed by its hot shoe. Underneath the hot shoe is an accessory port, allowing the addition of add-ons such as electronic viewfinders. The camera comes bundled with a clip-on external flash takes over both the hot shoe and accessory port.

Around the hot shoe is the stereo mic, followed by the mode dial to its right. Next to that is the shutter release button, with the main control dial surrounding it. We like the placement of the control dial, as its a big improvement over the tiny, fiddly rear dial on previous models.

At the far right you'll find the E-PL7's power button.

Compared to E-PL5 / E-PL6

The E-PL7 is a nice improvement over its predecessors, the E-PL5 and E-PL6 (which are cosmetically similar, with the latter having additional software features). Where the E-PL5 was smooth and rounded (and slippery), the E-PL7 has a more traditional rangefinder-style body, complete with a built-in grip, rather than the older models' screw-in ones.

The main change on top is the addition of the control dial around the shutter release button. On the E-PL5, the dial surrounded the four-way controller and was prone to accidental rotation. We think Olympus made the right decision here.

The other big improvement is that the aspect ratios of the LCDs have changed. The one on the E-PL5/6 was 16:9 - great for video, not so great for stills - while the display on the E-PL7 is 3:2, meaning more of the screen is used when shooting with the camera at its native resolution. The articulation of the LCDs has changed as well. The display on the E-PL5 could tilt up by 180° and down about 45, while the E-PL7's screen literally reverses things.

Articulating LCD

The E-PL7 has a 3" touchscreen LCD with 1.04 million dots (720 x 480 pixels). Outdoor visibility is decent, though you may find you have to turn the brightness up a notch or two. If you're regularly shooting in bright sunshine, a range of electronic viewfinders is available.

One of the E-PL7's tricks is its articulating LCD, which can be folded downward by 180 degrees. Perfect for, you know, self-portraits.

The E-PL7's display has an impressive set of hinges, and can articulate in a number of ways. You can already see one of them above, which is a 180 degrees downward flip. It can also be pulled away from the back of the camera and tilted upward by about 80 degrees. Naturally, you can also put it in the 'traditional' position.

When you flip the LCD all the way down, the power zoom lens (if attached) will go to its wide end, so you can fit all in your friends in the picture. Why does the screen flip down instead of up? Olympus says it's to keep your hand from getting in the way of the lens or flash.

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18
I own it
26
I want it
2
I had it

Comments

Total comments: 494
123
BobFoster

However, the camera is fundamentally a Pen version of the E-M10 (something other commentators have rightly pointed out above). Other review websites have rated the camera quite highly. Maybe these have taken the trouble to look past the ‘girly’ advertizing into the actual photographic merits of the camera and come up with a more accurate evaluation than this review.

1 upvote
Richard Butler

Where in the article do you think we've criticised the 'photographic merits' of the camera?

What I thought I'd written was that it's a really capable camera but that (unlike the E-M10) it's pretty obscure how to get the most out of it.

1 upvote
David Smith - Photographer

"With a little bit of customization, the E-PL7 can be turned into a very nice camera to shoot with: one that puts key settings at your fingertips, to give a quick and enjoyable shooting experience. "

Exactly, this applies to most Olympus cameras. I feel this is one of the strong points of Olympus MFT cameras. Invest a little time and you will be rewarded.

2 upvotes
JohnClif

I bought one as an alternative to a digicam (insufficient image quality) or one of my dSLRs (not portable enough when on a business trip where photography is secondary... but I do want to take photos of the places I go), body only, plus a 14-40/2.8 m.Zuiko Pro lens.

The camera comes with a detachable flash, so it's just as practical as my Nikon FE2 was back in the day... and honestly I very seldom use flash nowadays. Digital cameras with decent-sized sensors and high ISO capability, along with image stabilization, are revolutionizing available light photography.

I'm very pleased with my purchase, and have also picked up the Gen 3 40-150/4-5.3 lens, figuring that I'll only use it in the daytime when light won't be as much of an issue. And, I'm waiting to see the 40-150/2.8 and compare it to the Pany 35-100/2.8... the latter is assuredly a better travel lens for the E-PL7, and with a 1.4x TC still gives a 35mm equivalent of 100-300/4.

The E-PL7 seems the perfect travel camera.

1 upvote
wine540

I respectfully disagree. I too have an unhealthy knowledge of Olympus menus having survived ownership of the an OM-D EM-5 and P5. Customizing this camera is child's play for me. I've used it for birding trips, scenics and casual Grandpa photography. What concerns me is that the sensor behaves as well or better than the EM-1. It is so easy to use and carry around. Pictures using the unlikely combination of camera+ Pany/Leica 25 mm are scary good. As a second camera of a MFT system user this is the best PEN yet!

2 upvotes
Richard Butler

It sounds like we agree on more than we disagree on.

My point was that it's a really good camera if you're familiar enough with Olympus menus to get the best out of it.

0 upvotes
Dayd3

I don't get it why shooting experience is mostly about not so good default settings? I mean, camera is very customizable and can be used as quickly and in the same way as DLSR if user takes some time to change default behavior in a menus.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler

Because the default settings are much further away from being photographer-optimized than most DSLRs, and because it's harder to customize than most other cameras.

0 upvotes
Dayd3

Thanks

0 upvotes
Danlo

Shutter shock issue resolved yet?

1 upvote
Dayd3

Yes, completely resolved when Anti-shock "0 seconds" is used, only it can't be used for sequential shooting (burst mode). In the same way shutter-shock is resolved too on E-M1, E-M10 and E-P5.

1 upvote
David Smith - Photographer

My E-M10 never had shutter shock problems.

1 upvote
S B McCue

The First Impressions article leaves the distinct impression that reviewers consider the E-PL7 a mediocre camera. I am heavily invested in MFT; I already own an E-M5 and a stable of Oly lenses. So I took the plunge anyway.

This little camera is a genuine jewel. I can carry it all day without noticing, which was my goal. The only real bother is the clip-on flash. I intend to buy a VF4, so having the hot shoe free for that means I'll be switching back and forth a bit ... but I'm trading the bulk of the not-always-needed EVF for considerable size savings.

Autofocus speed is very good, even in some challenging indoor environments. I first took the camera on a trip to New Orleans and found the fold-down screen somewhat useful, which surprised me since I expected not to use it at all. When I go back overseas with my E-M5, I will also take the E-PL7. I wouldn't be surprised to have the E-PL7 around my neck most of the time.

4 upvotes
fx3000se

ignoring video capabilities, can the e pl7 compete in any way with the
a) sony rx100m3
b) pana lx100

0 upvotes
Pablom

Depending on the lens you mount on it, the E-PL7 can be as good / not as good / better than the above mentioned.

1 upvote
cprevost

The stabilization system during video shooting is astonishing. Can't believe how well it does. Great for hand held panning.

0 upvotes
Zeegee

Having worked for a Japanese company for 25+ years I am never surprised at the baffling approach to "improvements" of an existing design. In the company I worked for the original engineering group was not consulted on the improved design and almost never are consumer complaints given serious consideration. Even suggestions from company technicians who interface with frustrated consumers were regularly dismissed.......very, very frustrating!

1 upvote
gLOWx

Not so simple ;) Page 6
"Olympus has done a really good job of addressing the hardware concerns we had about previous models: shutter shake, battery life and poorly-chosen LCDs, meaning the E-PL7 has it within it to be one of my favourite cameras in its class. And yet..."

0 upvotes
photofreak985

Good Camera! I want to own one!

1 upvote
bebgsurg

I'm sorry, but no flash = no buy. How Olympus could have designed a camera for the point and shoot crowd just moving up from cellphone cameras, and left off an embedded flash is beyond me. Inside or outside, sometimes you need a flash !!

1 upvote
cprevost

In that case the em10 is a better buy. In my case I can count on one hand the number of times I used the built in flash on my EP-3. No flash is no problem for me.

1 upvote
G1Houston

"No flash is no problem for me."

May be you should look at your photos to see if fill-in flash (to fill in the shadow, balance back-lighting, ... etc) can greatly improve some of them.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
cprevost

I understand the use of fill flash. I just don't like to use it. Not my thing.

2 upvotes
Miron09

Got used to the stick.-on flash. In combination with a FL300 (or/and Slow2 mode) quite powerful

0 upvotes
88SAL

Clip on flash with my epl-3 was fine! Also its free with the camera.

0 upvotes
tedolf

Well, I had the opportunity to try this camera (and the e-p5) this weekend. The first thing I can say about the e-pl7 is that the buttons are really tiny-really tiny compared to the buttons on my e-pl1. So small that I have no idea how you are going to operate them by feel when using the VF-2 at eye level. Seems like they were made for a tiny Japanese lady who will be looing at the back of the camera. The p5 is better but still, I wish it had bugger buttons. Next, the 3:2 screen is a disaster. Why they think it is necessary to supplicate video people is beyond me. The image is actually smaller than my e-pl1, and the icons are much smaller-so much so I have a hard time seeing them.

Otherwise it is an OK camera. The e-p5 impresses with a very quiet shutter release-Leica like. The twin dials are nice but the single dial of the pl7 works fine if you are using legacy lenses with aperture rings. The pl7 is definitely a fiddly camera-it would take some getting used to.

Tdolph

1 upvote
datiswous

So the shutter release on the E-Pl7 is not so quiet?

0 upvotes
tedolf

I didn't notice that it was really loud (like the old GF-1) but the p-5 is very, very quiet. Like the M-5 is quiet.

TEdolph

0 upvotes
datiswous

I agree on the 3:2 aspect ratio screen (still better than 16:9 though), but I think the higher resolution makes up to it somewhat.
Btw. You can set aspect ratio to 3:2 and the full screen will be used. What I really find bizarre strange is that the viewfinder is actually of 4:3 aspect ratio, screen and finder aren't compatible I might think.

Would you use legacy lenses in Aperture-mode and use the dial for compensation?

I was looking at it and concluded that the E-P5 is the real upgrade for me. It has a lot more to offer (for me). Also I often have a beard and look like the guy on the Olympus site with an E-p5 ;).

1 upvote
tedolf

I use the vf-2 a lot so I am happy in 4:3 aspect ratio land.

As for the mode that is interesting. I was experimenting last night using S mode for manual focus legacy lenses. The rear dial adjusts the shutter speed and the front dial adjusts exposure comp which in reality just moves the ISO around to give you the exposure you want. The aperture ring on the lens is well, the aperture ring on the lens. If you think about it, this is exactly the set up on the Fuji X cameras with a prime lens.

With the VF-2 it is very Leica-esque.

Throw the 2x2 lever and you have ISO and WB on the dials.

Pretty neat!

Tedolph

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Dayd3

Image is not smaller than E-PL1. I have both cameras at home and compared images on the LCD. E-PL1 has 2.7" LCD while E-PL7 has 3″ LCD. 3:2 LCD aspect ratio makes E-PL7 images look same size as E-PL1 or just slightly bigger, not smaller for sure. While resolution is huge advantage for E-PL7.

Buttons are smaller, but not hard to use blindly. Icons are smaller also, but at the same time there are more of them.

E-PL7 can be configured to use PASM modes very quickly and without repositioning hands. What I did is to customize two buttons on the top back of camera to change exposure and ISO while holding them with thumb and moving control wheel. Only WB and Shooting style are assigned to 4-way button on the back which can't be used without repositioning hands.

0 upvotes
tedolf

I don't have both in front of me but here is what I know. The E-pl1 screen is 44mm tall. The E-p5 screen (same screen as aon E-pl7) is certainly not any taller than that and a 4/3 image does not fill the screen top to bottom so it seems to me that the pl7 4/3 image is indeed smaller.

You have both, measure both and tell us the results.

As for the buttons, I can't see how I could work the E-pl7 at eye level with gloves on. THe e-p5 is doable as some buttons (e.g. magnifying glass) stick out more than others and the 2x2 switch is easy to work by feel.

TEdolph

0 upvotes
Dayd3

They are both of the exactly same height (42mm). Even if my meter is off I used same for measuring both images. Width of images is also same, only e-pl7 due to wider screen shows black strips on both side of 4:3 image.

It's hard to use camera with gloves but two buttons near the top can be used. At least it can be used much easier than e-pl1 which doesn't have command wheel but only buttons.

What's most important to me is that using e-pl7 is like using DSLR with one command wheel and even better because of Olympus customization ability. Two buttons near the top together with command wheel can be used blindly and quickly.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
datiswous

Olympus Camera design team: "Hey look, now that we don't include an integrated flash that space can be used for the wifi, so we can still provide the grip-options on the right... Naah!"

They could at least put two extra fn-buttons in that left-spot.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Ben O Connor

I HATE ADD ON FLASHES !

So hard to make it built in ? At least you can make it wireless capable, That It would deserves t carry with it !

5 upvotes
datiswous

What I also find stupid is that you can't trigger a wireless flash without flash on the camera. If I trigger a wireless flash with my E-p3 and don't want to include the light of the included flash, I have to use my hand, or some other way to hide that light.

1 upvote
cprevost

clip on flash can trigger external flash. Also, you can put a radio flash trigger on the hot shoe to trigger external flash.

0 upvotes
Ben O Connor

Both solutions occupy the hot-shue ! So where can EVF attached ? The IQ or Buck/bang ratio decreasing.

Anyway, I have a GM1 now and stres of "carry a flash in anywhere of me" (pocket etc.) has gone! And no evf but built in wifi keeps these two cameras eaqual in my evaluation.

After all , Its just my personal opinions.

0 upvotes
cprevost

Doesn't bother me because when I'm doing off camera flash trigger the LCD is way bright enough to see. Usually on a tripod in those circumstances as well. Really, when flash is required the LCD gives a bright clear view.

0 upvotes
tedolf

So, is the only meaningful difference between this camera and an E-pm2 the ability to have a stabilized view while focusing and the control wheel?

Tedolph

0 upvotes
datiswous

it has a fold-out screen. And it probably has faster autofocus

0 upvotes
Zedex10R

I think this camera is good value for money, £349 for a body in the UK that gets you the truepic VII image processor, in body i.s wi- fi and i think it looks smart too. I'm getting one just cant decide what colour.

0 upvotes
G1Houston

Does it still show banding when the Panasonic 20/1.7 is used at high ISO? Could someone please check to see if they have finally go this issue under control?

1 upvote
digifan

Why is this Olympus' problem? has panasonic incorporated CA correction for Olympus lenses?
They are competitors within the same format. I don't think Olympus is keen on you buying a Panasonic 20mm, they'd rather have you buy an Olympus 25mm F1.8.
I agree it would be nice if they fixed it, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

0 upvotes
G1Houston

"They are competitors within the same format. I don't think Olympus is keen on you buying a Panasonic 20mm,"

That will be one less sale for them and I am sure they care. Most likely this is a sensor related issue that cannot be fixed until the next gen sensor arrives.

0 upvotes
texinwien

AFAIK this is no longer a problem in the newer Olympus m43 models. It's an issue on the E-M5 and may be an issue on some of the other Oly m43 cameras that use the Sony sensor, but it's not an issue on the E-M1 (Panasonic sensor), and I'm pretty sure they've figured out how to avoid the issue on their more recent camera models. I certainly haven't heard any complaints about it on later m43 models.

(E-M5 & Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 owner, here)

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
John Driggers

WTF is wifi remote control in the specs? Is it remote release or is it really remote control (as in more or less "tethered", but wireless)?

0 upvotes
cprevost

True remote control. You can change camera settings such as shutter, aperture, exposure compensation, white balance etc. with a smartphone.

0 upvotes
John Driggers
0 upvotes
davidjohnson87

nice products, but one question can it be connect to my HDTV.

0 upvotes
tedolf

yes.

Tedolph

0 upvotes
LaFonte

Hopefully it is build a bit better than other PLs. My PL-2 lost its shutter button after a week. Fortunately I did found it and then superglue it back, but seriously...

0 upvotes
datiswous

I think the E-pl2 wasn't a very good camera anyway (at least sensor issues). It didn't last long till they presented the E-pl3.

0 upvotes
Alan2dpreview

I have an E-PL1 with 14-42mm lens and VF-2. Will this lens and viewfinder work on the PL7?

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
JYC2

Yes, of course.

0 upvotes
tedolf

yes.

Tedolph

0 upvotes
datiswous

It works, and probably give better view in low light (not noisy)

0 upvotes
tedolf

Does anybody know what the shutter sounds like on this thing? I was very impressed with how quiet the shutter is on the EM-5. Very Leica like. Not so impressed with the way the shutter sounded on the EM-10.

Tedolph

1 upvote
Len_Gee

I think it will be a great camera for taking selfies. :)

Out of curiosity how many of you "serious" photographers take selfies?

4 upvotes
datiswous

I don't think Olympus sees this as their "serious" camera. Personally I don't care what Olympus thinks. As long as it works for me

2 upvotes
datiswous

But I think a selvie is an underestimated thing for photographers. Definitively an important part of your connection with the world. Showing yourself.

0 upvotes
Len_Gee

Because some reviewers or pros get loaned samples before the actual release date to your ,pubic , and. Then have to return the product back.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
j b cooper

I was wondering how someone can already have had this camera? as it isn't released yet!

0 upvotes
ChrisM908

They possibly did what I did just a moment ago: clicked on "had it" to view possible comments and the system registered me as having had the new Leica M.

1 upvote
Sam Spark

Essentially, much of the E-PL7 is carried over from the E-M10, which runs about $100 more -- as a result, you're essentially paying that for the viewfinder and more physical controls.

Compared to similarly priced models, it's competitive for the money, but not a slam-dunk; Olympus generally doesn't deliver terrific video quality and I find the larger APS-C sensors still eke out better photo quality than their consumer Micro Four Thirds peers. But the flip-down LCD sounds like it might be a useful feature to have if you take a lot of self-portraits.

1 upvote
datiswous

All Micro Four thirds camera's share the same sensor (at least from the same present-time) and all system camera's are made for consumers.

The E-pl7 is a pen camera that is the main difference (smaller, lighter, less direct controls). Also, while you don't get the viewfinder included as on the E-m10, you CAN add the optionally VF-4 which is much bigger than the one on the E-m10 (and yes that is a huge difference in photographing experience) and it can tilt.

0 upvotes
datiswous

Nice upgrade for my E-p3, when the price drops..

I'm just curious about the size of the grip on the E-pl7, I think it's a lot smaller than the optional larger grip I have on my E-P3. This is also the issue on the E-p5.

1 upvote
declan79

same with me, nice upgrade from E-PL2, in terms of better handling and grip i'll using the half case

0 upvotes
cprevost

The optional grip on the EP-3 was really great. Too bad Oly ditched it with later models. The grip on the EPL-7 is not as nice as that one for sure. Not bad though once you get used to it.

1 upvote
NZ Scott

I also love the optional grip on my E-P3.

One reason I haven't upgraded the camera is that all the new Pens have fixed grips, and therefore worse handling.

I might upgrade to the Panasonic GX7 instead, as that camera has a proper grip. Unfortunately, it won't take my VF-4.

1 upvote
eddr

Thanks for the review

it would be nice to have a comparison to the competitors in the same price-range
Also, can't you call Olympus and tell them to fix that? it sounds funny, but isn't there anyway that actually listens?

0 upvotes
Mike FL

For better IQ in the same price-range or even better price , go for APS-C sensor, and here is a list of most of people are buying:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/electronics/3109924011/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_e_1_4_last

Comment edited 58 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Eugene232

I had an EPL5, it is a nice camera,
but for legacy lenses Sony NEX is much better.
for native lenses I'd take.. also NEX

3 upvotes
tedolf

I can't understand this. Oly has IBIS which is huge for legacy lens use.

Tedolph

4 upvotes
Eugene232

- Focus peaking!! it is a great for legacy lenses
- crop factor
- grip
- VF
- IQ, yes, tried the same lens. IQ on nex is better

2 upvotes
tedolf

Oly has focus peaking too. Anyway, I don't like it on Sony, Oly, or Fuji. I think it is a gimic. As for crop factor, I think this is in u4/3 favor. A "nifty fifty" becomes a fantastic 100mm f/1.8 on u 4/3. On Nex it is a so so 75mm lens.

Lots of grips for m4/3 cameras. The VF-2/VF-4 are as good as anything NEX has. IQ is better but only about ISO 3200 and I don't shoot there. With IBIS you don't have to.

And again, no IBIS

TEdolph

7 upvotes
kaktlak

IBIS is a very good thing for legacy lenses, but there are other factors even more important as focus peaking (fortunately this is available on new Olympuses) and built-in EVF, which stabilizes the camera better than IBIS, and allows you to set focus in sunlight.
As for crop factor, if you take into account that new APS-C cameras have larger sensor and greater pixel density, 4/3 clearly lags behind. APS-C gives you wider field of view and cropped allows you to see more details than 16MPix 4/3.

1 upvote
tedolf

All the Oly's have either a built in EVF or an EVF option. A nice thing about the external add on EVF' is that the tip up for macro work.

As for crop factor it cuts two ways. If you are shooting landscapes and displaying on a 9x16 monitor the 3:2 aspect ratio is an advantage. If you are shooting portraits and printing, the 4:3 aspect ratio is an advantage.

TEdolph

Tedolph

1 upvote
pkosewski

I'm tried the PL5 body a while ago and thought: if only it had a dial for aperture.

PL7 seems great, but the price is simply to high. M10 is only $100. If PL7 had a better sensor, this might be somehow attractive.
With the same sensor it is just a bit smaller, a bit cheaper, but a seriously inferior camera.

With DSLRs, we pay a lot for features (eg. D3300 vs D7100).
With Olympus the base price for getting into the system is very high, but a very serious "prosumer" body (M5) is not even twice as expensive as a basic PL5/7. But if Olympus manages to earn money this way, then this is what they should do.

5 upvotes
tedolf

In what way is it "seriously inferior"? Compared to the M10: same sensor, same JPEG engine, same screen, same battery, same IBIS, same shutter, etc.

It doesn't have the VF-2 built in and the flash (included) is removable.

How is it "seriously inferior"?

Tedolph

3 upvotes
pkosewski

And what about everything else?

Manual cameras had the same "sensor", the same JPEG engine (in a basement), no IBIS, no screen. Many had no battery at all and the shutters were mostly pathetic (compared to expensive cameras then and all cameras today).

Still, some people preferred to spend few times more on a better body.

Keywords: handling, buttons/dials, built quality.

For me PL5 was totally unacceptable even though it had the same sensor and very good IS, JPEGs and battery. The dial in PL7 makes it a usable camera, but at this price I'd easily put in another $100 and get the M10.

That said, PL models usually get a lot cheaper over time (OM's don't), so maybe I'll find a PL7 under $500 in a year or so. Maybe....

0 upvotes
tedolf

You are not going to be able to fit twin EM-10 style dials on the top plate, right side of the hot shoe E-pl7. The body is too short. The build quality seems similar. So there are your differences. If you want the smaller body you are going to have to give up one of the top plate control dials.

Now, there is a lot of real estate unused on the other side of the hot shoe. That was used in the pl5 for buttons but not on the pl7.

I wonder why?

Tedolph

0 upvotes
pkosewski

Product positioning. 2 dials would be to much in this segment. It's just like with cheaper DSLRs - they have 1 dial even though there is place for the second one (and a few more for that matter...).

Earlier PM and PL were rather similar and OM was much more advanced.

They pushed PL slightly upward with specs and price, which is a good move, because people like me (possibly switching from a DSLR, expecting decent and swift operation) will at least consider buying the camera.

That said, for me this camera is to expensive. I don't mind the slightly bigger size of M10 - especially when this size really comes from features (EVF, dials/buttons, grip), not from poor design. I would get the M.

That said, maybe Oly justs wants PL to be to M10 what P is to higher M's: smaller, stylish and simpler alternative. Possibly a good idea. Again, I'd choose M5 over P5. :)

0 upvotes
tedolf

Not if you already had an EVF.

tedolph

1 upvote
pkosewski

You can't buy better ergonomics, more dials (some cameras offer this) and performance.
M10 is a joy to use. I'm really looking forward to trying the PL7. Let's hope the quality will match the price.

0 upvotes
Dimitris Servis

E-PL5 has an aperture dial...

0 upvotes
tedolf

Ok, I'll bite.

Where?

And don't tell me it is the fiddly dial on the back.

Tedolph

0 upvotes
Dimitris Servis

Absolutely. Which works great and you can compensate exposure in A/S quite easily by just tilting upwards. For me it is ideal both with the LCD and VF-4.

0 upvotes
tedolf

I hate that little dial.

tedolph

0 upvotes
Dimitris Servis

So far it has proven surprisingly robust (as the whole camera) plus I cannot understand the ergonomics of having a primarily LCD based camera with the dial elsewhere than the back. As I said, I really wish all cameras could make it that easy to change aperture and compensate in one dial.

0 upvotes
pkosewski

For me the dial in PL5 is unacceptable.

Of course it's very nice when you try it in a shop. Or if you live in California, south Italy or Australia.

It isn't so nice when you're wearing gloves (4 months per year where I live). So it's also not that great for high mountains, skiing and so on.
That said, while the dial might be hard to use with gloves, the touchscreen is unusable. And you can't really use this camera without the LCD interface.

1 upvote
Dimitris Servis

I wear gloves for 4 months and carry around the E-PL5 on snowy mountains and sandy beaches.

http://www.amazon.com/Agloves-Touchscreen-Gloves-iPhone-Texting/dp/B005G5SPGK

0 upvotes
pkosewski

Sweet.
You wear them in -10*C or to the opera? ;)

Seriously, lets not make a joke from a serious matter.
I'm sure there will be a solution and proper gloves (made by all manufacturers - from Marmot to Versace) will work with touchscreens. But it isn't here yet.
There are different types of gloves for different occasions: cycling, skiing, mountaineering, working, elegant etc. They won't work with a touchscreen, but they might work with dials and buttons. Simple as that.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
s_grins

This camera does not worth to read review. Just check price tag with kit lens and without. Nothing more to say.

4 upvotes
darngooddesign

That says more about the len's value than the body's.

0 upvotes
Chris62

Nothing special.

2 upvotes
datiswous

So what is special?

0 upvotes
Acrill

'Special' would be putting the full E-M1 focusing system in this camera.

0 upvotes
caver3d

Oh, really , and at what price? Don't tell me - you want all the bells and whistles for $500, right? Another cheapskate.

0 upvotes
princecody

Selfie loaner program?

0 upvotes
marcphil

The E-PL7 is being launched at a cost of $599 body only and $699 with the retractable 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 zoom. Sadly Olympus has not announced a kit with the retractable power zoom 14-42mm lens, which pairs well with the PL7's compact form factor.....
this is unclear to me, whether there is such a kit ($699) or there is not??

2 upvotes
Richard Butler

Sorry about that. I've re-phrased that sentence to make it clearer.

In the US, at least, the camera is available body-only or with the manually retracting 14-42mm. There's no kit with the more compact power zoom lens.

0 upvotes
zarabo

Question, Can you add the VF-4 AND the supplied flash to the camera? How would that work?

0 upvotes
declan79

All VF can worked with PL7 and surely others flash can, just like others pen bodies

0 upvotes
zarabo

I meant can you have both installed at the same time?

0 upvotes
tedolf

No.

For that look to the P5.

Tedolph

0 upvotes
Cal22

If I'd go for an MFT camera I'd go for Olympus and I'd likely prefer the PL7 over the M10. Both of them are compact and capable of providing good IQ because of a comparatively big sensor. The M10 moreover has a built-in VF which is certainly welcomed by many a photographer. And yet - if you really like picture composing with a VF, you want the PL7 with the additional VF! The VF-4 is said to be great, and attached to the PL7 it's most likely a comfortable way to shoot with a compact. (Not only the left-eyers don't like pressing the face onto the rear screen of the M10 all the time)

Since the PL7 is more than a restyled PL5, it seems to be a package that's worth its price.

3 upvotes
LucasO

Totally agree. I own the OM EM5 and EM1, and while I love those viewfinders I actually prefer the attached VF-2 on my EPL5 because I can get my eye so much closer. Call me crazy, but I've even attached the VF-2 to my EM5 - it just really makes for a personal up-close experience I've never appreciated with cameras before.

If you've never had the experience of using the VF-2 or VF-4 attached to a Pen or an XZ series compact, it really is a treat. The side-mounted Nex-6 and Panny GX7 viewfinders come close to this experience but still not as nice.

A separate point, but my EPL5 gets as much use as my OMs for day-to-day because of it's size and convenience. With the same sensor as my M5 I don't think I'm missing much IQ-wise. I'm sure you'll be happy with either the EPL7 or OM10, but might prefer one or the other depending on how you'll use it and the overall gear package.

1 upvote
datiswous

Vf2/Vf4 experience with XZ-2 isn't great because of low refresh rate included with XZ-2. With Pen this is not an issue.

0 upvotes
Eugene232

" I've even attached the VF-2 to my EM5"

))

0 upvotes
pacnwhobbyist

Will someone please explain, objectively, why this camera is a better buy than the OMD-EM10? I just don't see the point.

4 upvotes
digifan

That's purely personal preference, like everything really is. The E-PL7 has a lower profile is a little smaller which could matter. But for someone else a built in flash and EVF could be important, so to each his/her own.

2 upvotes
tedolf

cheaper, smaller.

That is it. But, for some that is enough.

Tedolph

0 upvotes
john Clinch

In the UK its £350 not £500 and I suspect that gap will frow

Its alot slimmer

We don't all like the same things

1 upvote
datiswous

The OMD-Em10 doesn't have an accessory-port, so this gives less creativity in this part, also it's bigger and heavier.

0 upvotes
Athonline

It isn't a better buy; they are different categories imo.

This one is a cheaper and smaller camera; the E-M10 is more expensive and larger; making it better to use with bigger lenses and as a more "advance entry level" in my eyes.

0 upvotes
Marc J

I am horribly appalled by the marketing of this thing, and by the accompanying change in the marketing of the whole PEN line. I was fairly proud of my E-PL5, but with the current marketing, I should feel embarrassed to ever pull it out. What happened to photography? Anyone want to tell me that those who like to match their cameras with their purses have any clue of, say, sensor size? Or of a difference between lenses? And that they actually want to know about it?

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Marc J

With a cooler head than yesterday, I am still bothered, and even worried. If I were in the market for a compact system camera today, the current marketing would quite likely turn me away from Olympus Pen; while the crowd this is being marketed to cannot tell the difference from a 20MP 1/2.3″. That does not necessarily mean PEN cannot be sold to them, but it still doesn’t feel right. It makes Olympus look utterly desperate for any sales. Not good. I’d like to know wherefrom came the idea to market PENs this silly way.

3 upvotes
xMichaelx

"I was fairly proud of my E-PL5, but with the current marketing, I should feel embarrassed to ever pull it out."

I use my camera to take pictures. Why would I ever be embarrassed at the tools I choose?

If you really need your camera to be a fashion accessory that badly, either buy a Leica or just shoot with your iPhone.

And while you do that, I'll be busy taking pictures.

3 upvotes
digifan

Only wannabees would be embarrased at what they use.
Camera's are tools and there's almost always a flavour for everybody. I think you'd better buy a Canon or Nikon and join the lemmings :-).

My personal opinion is that forum members lay much to much emphasis on the dislike of how an LCD folds (selfy mode) there's much more to this camera. And yes it helps if more people buy it if that's obtained by marketing at the youngsters, more power to Olympus.

So get over you inferiority complex and look at the total package!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
tedolf

I have decided I will wait for the E-pm3.

Maybe it will have a 4:3 screen and buttons you can push with gloves on.

Tedolph

2 upvotes
Astrotripper

I don't think that will ever come. The marketing campaign for E-PL7 suggests that Olympus is desperate to try and find a place in the market for PEN cameras. They haven't been selling well for a while, and lets not kid ourselves, PL7 won't win with iPhone as a selfie camera. I will be very surprised if PL7 succeeds in the market.

This is probably the last PEN camera we'll see. Unless Olympus can get their act together and reinvent the line (or replace it with something else).

3 upvotes
tedolf

Sigh, maybe I should look at the Kodak Pixpro!

Tedolph

0 upvotes
Kevdog

The EPL5 actually sold quite well. It's the E-PM2 that didn't sell so well. So it is looking more like the EPL7 becomes the only PEN camera (unless there is an EP7 maybe) and the E-PM2 continues to be sold off at amazing prices (which make it a great buy really)!

0 upvotes
CNY_AP

PM2 is out of stock now and even getting harder to find on ebay as cheap as it was a month ago. I like the size and IQ of the PM2..and price. newegg had it with kit lens for $200 (the white version) Seems white did not sell well. Everyone was dumping them a month ago.

0 upvotes
tedolf

Amazon.com has them.

Grrrrr......if only Oly had put a mode dial on the PM2 (and a 4:3 screen) we wouldn't need the PL7!

Tedolph

1 upvote
CNY_AP

BTW, my first digicam was the 3MP (but had constant F2.8 lens) Oly C3000 (cheaper version of the C3030 but still paid around $600 for it is my recollection). I think that had to be back in 1999 (my son was a year old when I got it is my recollection). Only competitors were Nikon and Canon back then, and slightly less so, Kodak had a very good camera too (and fell behind not long after).
I think Steves-digicams (I preferred his site back then), dpreview, and imaging-resource were all around back then...started visiting the sites around a year earlier when I think they just started. Steve gave prizes if you got the 100,000 page hit, and 1m was a big deal back then - and it took awhile to hit 1m.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
47872Mike

"if only Oly had put a mode dial on the PM2 (and a 4:3 screen) we wouldn't need the PL7!"

Obviously you're sort of right, but in practice I find it reasonably swift to change between modes using the touch screen. If I did it many times per shooting session, I'd find the lack of a dial more of an impediment. About the screen proportions, yes, I'd prefer a screen of the same proportions as my images...that was a pretty weird feature...

0 upvotes
tedolf

I like to use the VF-2 and I don't want to take my eye away from the camera when I change modes. With a mode dial, I can do that by counting clicks of the dial as I turn it.

Tedolph

0 upvotes
47872Mike

Ah yes, the VF-2. I used to like to use it very much, but have pretty much adapted to screens now, and am enjoying the new-found sleekness of my E-PM2!

0 upvotes
tedolf

I shoot a lot with manual rangefinder lenses. The rear screen is not detailed enough for accurate focus without zooming. With the VF-2 I can manually focus without having to use the zoom feature. It is like using an old 35mm SLR except that the screen gains up if it gets dim. Also, it is more steady for really low hand held shutter speeds.

So, I can't give up the VF-2

I am really thinking about the E-pm2. The only thing leaning me towards the pl7 is that it can give a stabilized view for manual focusing with legacy lenses. Now that is a neat trick. Is it neat enough to justify another $300.00?

Tedolph

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
47872Mike

Yes, I am shooting much less with MF lenses these days, which was part of the reason I sold the VF-2.

In my view the E-PM2 is so good that the other Olympus cameras cannot, for me, be worth the multiples of its price that they now cost. The E-PM2 is an incredible deal just now!

1 upvote
Alexis D

Another compact camera with nothing special. Just wait 9 months and it will be sold for $499 with 2 kit lenses.

Olympus is so dumb not to issue a compact with built-in EVF and built-in flash. This E-PL7 will go down fast, just like their last mistake, the E-P5.

7 upvotes
Macx

Isn't the E-M10 the camera you're looking for?

6 upvotes
zarabo

E-M10 just needs a flip down or up screen, then it's perfect.

0 upvotes
datiswous

The E-P5 was/is just totally overpriced, for the rest it's a nice camera.

1 upvote
Jim

IMHO, what a strange review. On one hand, the reviewer criticizes Olympus for producing a camera that is too point-and-shoot emphasized and then goes on to say that the camera can be customized to be very much acceptable to enthusiasts. I think he was a bit unfair by saying he was disappointed with his initial shooting experience without mentioning the customizing potential of the camera BEFOREmaking that statement.

Jim

9 upvotes
princecody

When is this shipping in US?

0 upvotes
zarabo

Ok, if this is intended for beginners, why not have a built in flash, while the more serious EM10 has one? I know they provide an external flash, but doesn't that make the whole thing bulky? I don't get it.
Also, if you have the flash installed, that means you can't install an EVF since the flash uses the hot shoe and the port?

2 upvotes
tedolf

Honestly, Oly lost their way with the PL series after the introduction of the PL2. Could we just have the PL2 (with a G.D. 4:3 screen) and the 16mp sensor?

That would be fine.

TEdolph

4 upvotes
Teru Kage

I've been saying this for some time now: ever since the introduction of the OM-D line, Oly should have eliminated the E-PL series. The E-PM covers the entry level crowd and the E-P series covers those who want performance in a company PEN body. I'd rather Oly had released this as the E-P6 with a built-in flash.

5 upvotes
Tony8232

Except if they do they will go bankrupt. The PEN line is their biggest seller.

0 upvotes
xMichaelx

I never thought I'd agree with Tedolph, but he's right. The EPL2 was nearly perfect in form factor and features. Give it a modern sensor, better screen, fast focus, and 5-axis IBIS, and you have the best PEN camera available.

This EPL7 is a step down, as far as I'm concerned.

(Then again, I just bought an E-M10, so I guess I don't care all that much.)

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
1 upvote
tedolf

I am so disappointed I am actually looking at Fuji's. The sensor looks better at ISO 3200, but no IBIS for manual lenses and the xa-1 can't take an EVF!.

Sigh.

Oly has got me.

Tedolph

0 upvotes
LarryLatchkey

it's really hilarious how the pl5–pl7 are marketed as fashion accessoirs while the p5 is marketed to semi pros. at least on the website. three girls with handbags and a artsy guy. with four different items representing one camera: champagne coloured high heels (pl7), a green purse (pl6), red sneakers (pl5) and a heavy silver watch (pl5) ^^
won't that mislead guys or girls who are interested in a pl model as a high quality photographic tool?

1 upvote
LarryLatchkey

for me the most remarkable change is the new control wheel around the shutter. it's new in this series if not mistaken.

1 upvote
Teru Kage

Based on the specs, the E-PL7 is basically the guts of the E-M10 stuffed into a PEN body, which is great news for us PEN users.

Have any tests been done on the focusing speed? The only reason why I considered upgrading from my E-PL5 to an E-M10 was because of the improved focusing speed. Also, I occasionally to studio shoot that require the hotshoe for the remote flash trigger, which means I can't use my EVF.

Also, I wonder if the E-PL7's LCD flips up? The problem with a down swiveling LCD is that it's useless on a tripod.

1 upvote
Klabautermann

Mount on a tripod you can use the self-timer for making selfies even w/o swivelling the display. I guess this mode is thought for the "real" selfies and maybe with less arm in the picture?

0 upvotes
john Clinch

I think it flips up 80 degrees. Which isn't perfect but would aid tripod work

0 upvotes
princecody

Does it have silent shutter mode?

2 upvotes
cprevost

does not

0 upvotes
LucasO

I've scoured the net for any reports that would indicate that the new shutter mechanism would allow it to be set to a silent mode. Can't find anything firm.

Would love to be able to use this discretely during live theater productions. Does anyone know if this is possible with the EPL-7?

I mean like the Panny GX-7 where there is no sound at all when taking a shot in silent mode. The GX-7 is hindered with ISO and shutter speed restrictions in silent mode, but at least it offers it. Wondering if the EPL-7 provides a better alternative.

1 upvote
cprevost

not possible

0 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS

http://newcameranews.com/2014/08/30/olympus-introduces-new-camera-we-think/

2 upvotes
princecody

In reality this camera is aimed @ women in my opinion. Its small & marketed with the infamous selfie mode. In addition this is better than the Sony M3 (which is also $100 more) with its keen ability to change lenses, faster focus, & bigger sensor, & great JPEG output. On 2nd thought this would be a great point & shoot camera for random shots.

1 upvote
Sean65

Yeah man, pink panty wearing woman or the larger beige Bridget Jones type?

3 upvotes
princecody

"Olympus are hoping that the E-PL7 will prove particularly alluring to women" via photographyblog

PS: Damn I'm good :)

1 upvote
tedolf

Beige Bridget Jones type?

Hubba Hubba!

Tedolph

0 upvotes
keith james taylor

From a page 3 photographer I will have to agree

1 upvote
cprevost

You are correct sir. I can't tell you how many women I attract while wearing this camera! Best fashion accessory I've ever bought.

1 upvote
bill nu

That is the most awkward place to put the screen for a selfie. It interferes with functionality. What if i wanted to put the camera on a tripod or table and use my phone or other remote device to take the photo? What if the camera slipped out of my hand and tapped my lap would not the screen be damage or wrapped?t?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Total comments: 494
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