The Ultimate Solo Travel Camera: Olympus PEN E-PL7 Review

Olympus PEN travel camera

When I first started travelling full time I went out in search of what I thought would be the perfect travel camera – a digital SLR that claimed to be weather protected, included a video function with manual focusing, and most importantly took a damn good photo.
It served me well.
But it was just a few months into my trip that I realised I had failed to make one important consideration: it was as heavy as a tonne of bricks. Given that I also shoot with multiple lenses depending on what I’m shooting, I was robbing myself of a precious extra 5-6 kilograms in camera gear alone.
Convinced I could solve the problem, I started shopping around for the perfect compact travel camera.
Introducing the Olympus PEN EPL7 – the answer to my problems and what I’m officially dubbing the perfect solo travel camera. But before you rush out and buy one, let me explain why to ensure its the right camera for you…

Olympus PEN

OLYMPUS PEN EPL7 REVIEW

The biggest consideration for me in changing my camera gear has been to reduce the weight and size of my camera. The  PEN EPL7 changes this drastically, as the camera can fit inside one hand comfortably yet doesn’t sacrifice image quality for point and shoot enthusiasts. My next consideration was to have a good camera for my travel vlogs – for anyone not in with the interwebs lingo, thats a ‘video blog’. Typically for video blogs you turn the camera on yourself and speak to your audience as if you are speaking to an online journal. This camera is perhaps the best travel vlogging camera on the market, with a fold down lens that enables you to see yourself as you record (handy to ensure you’re in focus and in the frame – ha!). Also, the fold down screen enables you to look at yourself instead of the lens and the video will still show that you are looking into the lens and not checking yourself out (or simply checking you’re still in focus)!
IN BRIEF: Why I chose the Olympus PEN:
  • Lightweight & compact
  • High quality DSLR style shooting
  • Dubbed to be the world’s best selfie camera – great for vlogs!

Olympus PEN selfie camera

The Logistics:

So I’ve switched to the Olympus PEN EPL7- what are the specifics?
olympus specs

Olympus PEN EPL7

What I love / Don’t love

I’ve been shooting with the Olympus PEN EPL7 for a few months now and I have got to say, it has been a true lifesaver. The camera is so much lighter than my previous DSLR, as are the lenses I shoot with. The flip down selfie screen has completely changed the way I capture my travel vlogs and made it A LOT easier to capture great footage. I also love the wi-fi connection which enables me to send images and video straight from my camera to my iphone – a great little feature to upload quality images onto my instagram.
As much as I love my decision to make the switch, I’ll still be hanging onto my DSLR for a little while longer as I learn the ropes a little better. As with anything new, I’m having to learn from scratch how to take the photos I like with my new camera. Video has been a great success, but I’m still working on snapping the images I love with my new camera body and lenses (it’s a work in progress)!
Perhaps the only real criticism I have at this point would be the add-on flash, as I’m so used to operating with a pop-up flash on my DSLR. Luckily the flash comes included, its just that you have to go to the extra effort to plug it on each time (not really a big hassle, but worth mentioning).
 PRICE POINT: The Olympus PEN E-PL7 starts at $649 body only; $849 with 14-42mm lens from Olympus AU.
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