A New Camera From OM Digital Solutions: The Olympus PEN E-P7

Olympus recently announced a new interchangeable lens camera. Check out what you can expect. 

Along with the recent unveiling of the new M.Zuiko 8-25mm f/4 Pro lens, this new camera is leaping from the Olympus stables at the end of the month.

Specifications

The original Olympus PEN was introduced in the 1950s, back when design was still considered important alongside functionality. The PEN E-P7 continues that legacy with both good-looking and functional design. This camera is aimed at photographers who don't want to carry a DSLR or larger mirrorless camera around, but want something  that is easy to use, compact, stylish, and more versatile than smartphone cameras.

Not to be confused with the old E-PL7, the E-P7 carries across some advanced tech from the likes of the E-M1 Mark III, such as its 5-axis image stabilization, which is great for low-light and close-up shooting. It has both Bluetooth LE, so it will automatically upload images to the phone in your pocket or bag, and wireless for connecting with the Olympus Image Share app, which allows its operation remotely from your smartphone. It has USB charging too, negating the need to carry a separate charger.

One nice addition is a switch on the front that changes the image picture mode from color to black and white. As well as auto and scene modes, it still has Manual, Aperture, and Shutter priority, plus Program, Movie, and Bulb modes as you would find in a more advanced camera system, giving you full control over your images. It has a built-in level gauge to help you get your horizons straight and a pop-up flash as well as a hot shoe.

Measuring just 118.3mm (4.6 inches) wide, 68.5mm (2.7 inches) tall, and 38.1mm (1.5 inches) deep, it weighs only 337g (11.9 ounces) including the battery and memory card. But the PEN E-P7 is no lightweight when it comes to performance. Featuring the same 5-axis image stabilization as in the pro-end models, it also has a 4/3” 20.3 megapixel sensor and the same TruePic VIII processor as is in the OM-D E-M1 Mark II.

The camera includes Olympus' unique Live Time and Live Composite Modes too. Live Time allows you to watch a long exposure gradually build up on the screen, while Live Composite creates a single frame, just adding new light (e.g. lightning, light painting, car headlights, etc.) to the image as it appears.

The camera has 121 focus points, with face and eye detection and continuous autofocus with tracking. It is, of course, compatible with the full range of Micro Four Thirds lenses and buyers should look out for offers. Here in the UK, if bought on pre-order, the well-respected M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 lens comes with it for free.

Who Is the E-P7 For?

The small, light profile means the camera is aimed at travel photographers, party-goers, hikers, outing snappers, day cyclists, and anyone who wants to shoot better quality images than they can achieve with their phone. For vloggers and home movie-makers, it shoots 4K video and has a screen that hinges upwards and flips down.

Because of the advanced features, I can also envision experienced photographers owning one of these to carry in their pocket or bag for causal use when they are not using their main camera.

Availability

The camera is available in Europe and Asia and will be released in the USA at a later date. 

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15 Comments

Michael Krueger's picture

Is it confirmed to be coming to the US at a later date? I read elsewhere there won't be a North American release.

I've been interested in getting an Olympus camera for awhile, I already own Panasonic M4/3 gear and I'm curious how they compare.

Ivor Rackham's picture

The only information available at the moment is this model is only released elsewhere in the world. Here in the UK, Olympus have a scheme called Test and Wow where you can borrow a camera or lens to try. I think it's available in the US too. I think the big difference you would notice first is the faster phase detect focusing with the OM-D E-M1 and 5.
Then there's Pro Capture for action shots, Live Time for long exposures where you can see the image and histogram develop on the screen, and Live Composite which takes a single shot then adds only new light to it, e.g. lightning, light painting etc.

Thanks for commenting.

Charles Mercier's picture

Looks like a great camera. However, E-P7 and E-PL7? Really?

Ivor Rackham's picture

I do agree. Right across the industry, camera naming is a bugbear of mine. Why can't manufacturers name their cameras in the same way most motor manufacturers name their cars? The Olympus Lightning, Fujifilm Colt, Canon Vectra. It would be so much easier to remember and differentiate between models.

Charles Mercier's picture

Because they sell them in so many countries around the world. Some names can be downright embarrassing in other languages. It's happened before.

Ivor Rackham's picture

That's very true, but they could rename them for different language markets, as they do with cars. Canon do it with their cheap camera already, and they aren't even proper names.

Peter Vlutters's picture

No real improvements (rewarmed old pen) but most for all No EVF....So No Go🤔

The positive news though...It seems that OMD may keep the name Olympus for Cameras 👍

Call me pointlessly nostalgic but as A Lumix Photographer Id rather see the name Lumix disappear (love the cameras but no real Heritage) as long as the good old Olympus brand 📸stays🤗

Peter Vlutters's picture

Do not get me wrong here...

I'm not saying that I would like to see LUMIX cameras disappear...

As long as they keep making excellent cameras

I wouldn't care of Lumix was sold to an Indian Company and would be called

CURRY MIX instead of LUMIX😂

(Curry mix has a long tradition and a great legacy🥘🤣)

But if course I hope they stay in Japan

Ivor Rackham's picture

Peter, I was thinking about that and whether to include the lack of EVF as a criticism of the camera. But then I thought that most people these days shoot images with phones, and they have no EVF. The market this camera is aimed at is mainly those who want to progress onto something a bit more advanced than their phone, but don't want a huge camera.

Also, I thought that when I am out shooting landscapes and seascapes, or products in a tent, or video, I don't use the EVF either.

Additionally, the IBIS in Olympus cameras is that good, for most shooting, the instability of holding the camera out in front is negated. Plus, having a screen that flips enables the camera to be held down low and viewed from above like a TLR.

I guess, like everything in photography, there is a compromise, this time between size and not having an EVF. As this camera isn't aimed at wildlife or wedding photographers where an EVF is used most of the time, but a completely different market, it is a compromise OMD considered worth making.

Peter Vlutters's picture

I understand you there... But will the smartphone photographers pay extra for that?

I think the cameras is lovely but i would still wish for at least an optional EVF

A smartphone bus nice to alway carry around but horrible in bright daylight....

So maybe not my camera but still hope it will be a succes for olympus📸👍

Ivor Rackham's picture

Fingers crossed for the PEN-F Mark II? :)

Peter Vlutters's picture

Yes👍 and not just for the Pen F mk2 but to Olympus Cameras as a whole too 📸🤞

John Nixon's picture

I use a Sigma FP and that has no EVF (yes, you can buy one but at £600 I’ll give it a miss). When shooting outside, a lot of the time you can’t see the screen well enough to frame accurately but that’s about the only downside - you just have to shoot in a different way.
Obviously, for fast-moving, long-lens subjects an EVF (or better still, a DSLR’s optical viewfinder) is better but neither the Olympus or the Sigma are meant for that.
Basically, if you need a camera with an EVF, buy a camera with an EVF. I don’t see that the lack of one would be a subject for criticism.

Joaquin Gonzalez's picture

Honestly, I'm just waiting for the PEN-15...

Ivor Rackham's picture

Not a PEN-F Mark II?