Mirrorless digital cameras are continuing to grow in popularity due to their low cost and simple design. One example of a mirrorless digital camera that you may have heard of is the Olympus PEN E PL7. The primary goal of our article is to serve as an in-depth Olympus PEN E PL7 review that will focus on several key areas. Some of the things that we will be focusing on include the cameras specs, its handling, and performance.
Olympus PEN E PL7 Specs
Olympus E-PL7 16MP Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD with 14-42mm EZ Lens (Black)
- Built-In Wi-Fi
- Expanded OI Share Capabilities
- 16MP Live MOS Sensor
- 3-Axis In-Body Image Stabilization
- 81 Point FAST AF with Small Target AF
We’ve decided to start off our in-depth Olympus PEN E PL7 review by giving you a breakdown of the most important specs. To get a basic understanding of what this product has to offer, check out these facts and figures.
Type: Digital mirrorless camera with AF
Resolution: 16.10 Megapixels
ISO: Native ISO: 200 – 25,600
ISO: Extended ISO: 100 – 25,600
Shutter Speed: up to 1/4000 to 60 seconds
Continuous Shooting Rate: 8.7 frames per second
Size: 4.5 x 2.6 x 1.5 inch (115 x 67 x 38 mm)
Weight: 309g (body), 469 g including kit lens and batteries
Media Storage: SD / SDXC / SDHC Memory Cards
Originally released in September of 2014 as an upgrade to the PEN E PL6, the Olympus PEN E PL7 still remains a popular choice for many different reasons. For starters, it features a compact design that is perfect for travel use and storage in small spaces. The camera also has a relatively modest 16-megapixel sensor that is ideal for both short and long distance shooting.
The camera also incorporates multiple autofocus points to improve image tracking and produce images that are clear in record time. When it comes to delivering both quality and performance, the PEN E PL7 still manages to shine.
Image Quality & Performance
No Olympus PEN E PL7 review would be complete without a section that primarily focuses on image quality and performance. This product features a modest 16 megapixel live MOS sensor type. Compared to many newer models this falls on the lower end in terms of quality.
However, you have to keep in mind that this camera was originally released in 2014 and that the sensor strength was considered on par with its competitors at the time. With this in mind, 16 megapixels should still prove to be more than sufficient for basic shooting needs at the amateur level. More experienced professionals may want to opt for a camera with a stronger sensor for improved image quality.
When it comes to ISO range, the camera does a great job in a wide range of lighting conditions. In low light levels, it still manages to focus fairly quickly and does a decent job tracking multiple subjects. However, the upper ISO range is still significantly lower than more modern options like the new Sony Alpha A7 III.
Design & Controls
The next section of our Olympus PEN E PL7 review is going to focus on the designs and controls of the camera. As soon as you pick up the camera, the first thing you will notice is how light it is. Weighing in at a mere 469 grams with the battery inserted, this camera is the perfect choice when it comes to portability.
As long as you have used a digital camera at some point in the past nine or so years, you will likely find that the back of the camera shares a layout that is similar to that of other cameras. On the lower right-hand side of the camera is where you will find the options to control features like flash and to set your desired scene mode. There is also a recording button here that is used to start and stop video recording as well.
At the top of the camera is where you will find two different command dials. These feature additional controls that are used to help control lighting and other more advanced controls. They are easy to use and the readings are easy to understand.
However, some users may feel that the camera’s small design actually makes it much harder to control. Due to its small size, it’s quite common for your palm to cover many of the controls while you are shooting. In addition, it’s very easy to accidentally push a button while handling it.
Even with its age, the Olympus PEN E PL7 is still able to deliver high-quality pictures. Some of its main strengths include:
- The touchscreen is quite responsive
- Multiple autofocus points help quickly identify subjects
- Lightweight design is perfect for travel use
- Controls are easy to understand and use
- Built-in wifi connectivity for easy photo sharing
- Image stabilization technology helps to reduce blur significantly
Although the Olympus PEN E PL7 does have a lot to offer, there are also a few glaring issues as well. Some of the things that you should look out for include the following:
- The sensor strength is modest when compared to more modern camera choices
- Users with larger hands may find that the small nature of the camera is a bit too hard to control
- Video recording quality is not that impressive
- The startup time is a bit more than that of some of the other choices
Based on the research so far, we feel that the Olympus PEN E PL7 camera is an excellent choice for users that value its portability. It’s a perfect companion for your next family vacation or get-together with friends. However, the poor video recording quality likely means that serious videographers will want to steer clear of this particular camera.
For users that are looking for a bit more sensor strength and better image tracking, the Sony Alpha A6000 is an excellent choice to consider. It offers an improved 24 megapixel CMOS sensor and 179 different autofocus points for better subject detection.
Based on our findings in our Olympus PEN E PL7 review, we feel that the camera has a lot to offer to the right person. For starters, it has a low purchase price and multiple autofocus points that makes it a great choice for simple point and click photography needs.
We also love that it supports multiple memory cards types as well. Just remember to take the poor video recording capability into account as well. For those of you who have already had a chance to try the Olympus PEN E PL7 out, we would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section.