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Fix Your Photos with The Olympus E-PL7 Selfie Camera

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast Thursday evening myself and 8 of my absolutely favourite bloggers attended an event organised by the grand-high blogger herself, Jane Cunningham of British Beauty Blogger.

The event was by Olympus for the Olympus E-PL7, designated as the ‘selfie camera’. Personally calling it the selfie camera is offensive, it’s so much more than that; in fact this is the best camera I’ve ever owned. A week later, I’m still mesmerised by new features yet its intuitive simplicity.

I’m not a good photographer

OK, it’s time for me to be honest. I’m a qualified (I have the papers somewhere) photographer and was a freelancer for a few years. I know cameras inside and out and can tell you at length about all the features and functions a basic SLR (single lens reflex) Camera can do; they’re the big black ones that make a ‘ka-chrrrrr’ noise. Below is an example of a piece of work way before starting MANFACE.

What if I were to tell you that I’m actually not all that of a great photographer and that the photos I produce aren’t worth the memory they take up on my SD card? What if I were to tell you that I’m just extensively skilled at Photoshop and each photo you see on MANFACE takes a good 40 minutes to an hour of photoshop?

Below is an image you may have seen on the site, and below that is the original; I have NEVER showed anyone one of my originals before, so this is a bit of a coming out moment… round 2.

VMV-Hypoallergenics-Illuminants-Plus-Treatment-Toner-125mlDSC_3087

I spend hours editing dust particles; OK, the Olympus can’t do anything about the fact I need to dust more or those bloody recycled Jiffy bags that shit paper all over your products. But I also spend hours of time brightening my photos (my Nikon V1 isn’t all that light sensitive); balancing the light and dark levels up so all photos are crisp and perfect and finally making sure colours reflect real life (again, my Nikon V1 light balance isn’t always the best) etc, etc, etc.

I will blame my camera by saying that if you use the camera settings to brighten photos such as opening the aperture, using a longer shutter speed (I ALWAYS shoot by hand, a tripod is so restrictive) and turn the ISO sensitivity up, it’s bloody speckly noise central, like a photo of the Loch Ness Monster.

It takes so long when I could be doing other things like drinking and crying in a darkened room, waiting for Christmas to pass.

The Olympus E-PL7

The Olympus E-PL7 is what’s called a compact camera. A ‘normal’ digital camera is referred to as a point-and-shoot, these are the most basic and rely on old digital photography principles. An DSLR is one of those big black cameras you see around a lot, often used by people who have no idea what they do and buy them as a fancy fashion accessory because they ‘blur out the background’.

The E-PL7 is a compact camera which means that it has the inner-workings of a DSLR inside the body of a point-and-shoot. Even today the ability to compress all that inside a small, compact body, boggles my mind.

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Selfies

The screen actually flips down which is mightily cool. They said that it goes down because when the screen flips up, people look in the wrong place. I didn’t get that because surely everyone just looks into the lens, unless they’re slightly slow in the head? I don’t know. This is good because you can take some quite fabulous selfies, but fear not, there’s a face detection setting that subtly gets rid of your flaws, pores, lines and wrinkles.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnly downside to the screen flipping down is that it’s crap for mounting on a tripod, as the screen goes down behind the tripod column; so for a tripod selfie or video that’s not handheld (using the selfie screen, other than that it’s perfect) it’s not 100% useful. This is the only negative thing I have to say on the camera.

All The Settings vs. iAuto

This camera has so many settings, I think there’s even one that helps you make lunch; but if you’re not adventurous and want the bare basics, then the Intelligent Auto mode will pick the best settings for you and it does a bloody incredible job, seriously.

So if you’re the techiest wizz out there, or, erm, my stepdad, then the Olympus E-PL7 is for you; it can be as complicated or as simple as YOU want it to be with the most incredible results every time.

Wi-Fi

This is f*****g cool. I mean, I giggle a little every time I use it. Using an app either for Android or iOS, you can wirelessly control your camera using your phone as the viewfinder. I will attempt not to get myself into any arrestable situations with it, but I can’t promise anything.

Secondly the Wi-Fi allows you to instantly transfer shots to your phone allowing you to upload them anywhere; this has opened up a whole new world of being able to quickly and instantly take some gorgeous Instagram shots.

Thirdly, which I love, you can also use the app to Geotag your photos, meaning you’ll always know the exact location you took a shot which is amazing for holidays.

If you’re a fan of shooting in RAW as I am – if that means nothing to you, your camera always shoots in RAW and then makes decisions as to the best image outcome and saves it as a JPG; RAW just means it’s all the data unprocessed and gives you far more editability but the files are enormous – then this can be a pain as for now, the Olympus Share app doesn’t allow you to import RAW files into iOS (even though it can read them).

To resolve this, which again, is so f-ing cool, the E-PL7 can process your RAW photos ON THE CAMERA; this is just… gah! No words as to how much easier this makes life.

If you get this camera, they kept saying at the event that you have to set the connection up each time on the iPhone. This is wrong. Turn on the Wi-Fi on the camera, go to your Wi-Fi menu in Settings on your iPhone and select your camera from the list (something like E-PL7 and then a load of letters and numbers). Then you’re connected; easy-peasy.

Battery

The battery life is pretty good providing you’re a little cautious on the Wi-Fi use. I am currently looking for a spare battery and regardless, if photography is any part of your working life, you should always carry a spare.

Viewfinder

There isn’t a viewfinder on this in favour of a very large and ultra-HD display. For me this is a pain as I like to block out light when shooting photos so I’m seeing ONLY what’s in the shot and can micro-adjust my levels accordingly. However, a viewfinder accessory can be bought from Olympus, so fear not, but they’re not cheap. But because the screen can be angled, you can see it well from most positions.

Art Settings

Usually filters and so called art-settings on cameras are pretty crappy, but these are extremely noteworthy and not just by their sheer amount and customisation options. I’ve put one using the fabulous vintage filter below of a random photo I took yesterday.

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The Results

So I wanted to share 4 images I took today for a gorgeous watch I was sent by JORD wood watches in the US. These photos I took in seconds, using the Programmed Auto setting meaning the camera did most of the work. These shots are completely unedited.


This was taken and edited using VSCO Cam (I cannot believe I just let that little secret out) at the Manchester Christmas Markets on Saturday. Again, from shooting to posting on Instagram, it took minutes. This received more likes than I’ve ever had on Instagram!

Christmas lights at the #ManchesterChristmasMarket #OlympusPENgeneration

A photo posted by Thom // MΔNFΔCΞ (@facecollective_) on

In Conclusion

It’s no surprise that I love the Olympus E-PL7 and you’d be absolutely insane not to.

If you’re looking to really enhance your blog photography, want a solid compact DSLR to last you for many years or even want to *cough* start a YouTube channel *cough* then this is the one for you.

The Olympus E-PL7 Camera Body + 14-42mm Lens + Flash Unit is available from John Lewis at £499.95 with free delivery.

Keep looking out for my tweets or Instagrams featuring the hashtag #olympusPENgeneration showing off the true versatility and power of this fab piece of kit.

The other fabulous bloggers at the event and who are well worth checking out (plus will also be reviewing the Olympus E-PL7) are:

Comments
Harvey Specter
Posted at 13:38 December 17, 2014
Charlotte
Reply
Author

Olympus were nice enough to let me borrow one of these for the day and it is incredible! Look at my results using it on these posts. It was one of the best cameras I have used and one I am saving up for! xx

http://pixipicks.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/the-clothes-show-live-2014-what-i-did.html#.VJF2TCusX_M

http://pixipicks.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/the-clothes-show-live-2014-what-i-saw.html#.VJF5HiusX_N

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 19:17 December 18, 2014
    Thom Watson
    Author

    I totally agree. The results, un-edited, are just the best. Super pleased to be using it and definitely worth saving for! Thanks for the comment Charlotte x

Harvey Specter
Posted at 12:38 December 17, 2014
Charlotte
Reply
Author

Olympus were nice enough to let me borrow one of these for the day and it is incredible! Look at my results using it on these posts. It was one of the best cameras I have used and one I am saving up for! xx

http://pixipicks.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/the-clothes-show-live-2014-what-i-did.html#.VJF2TCusX_M

http://pixipicks.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/the-clothes-show-live-2014-what-i-saw.html#.VJF5HiusX_N

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 18:17 December 18, 2014
    Thom Watson
    Author

    I totally agree. The results, un-edited, are just the best. Super pleased to be using it and definitely worth saving for! Thanks for the comment Charlotte x

Harvey Specter
Posted at 02:59 December 17, 2014
Josh @ The Kentucky Gent
Reply
Author

That sounds like quite the camera indeed. AND I must say, I’m quite impressed with your photoshop skills. I’d almost rather poke both eyes out than fux with photoshop.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 19:16 December 18, 2014
    Thom Watson
    Author

    Haha thank you. It’s so much easier now though and I’m less reliant on Photoshop than I was. Definitely worth checking out if you’re thinking of getting yourself something nifty for blogging!

Harvey Specter
Posted at 01:59 December 17, 2014
The Kentucky Gent
Reply
Author

That sounds like quite the camera indeed. AND I must say, I’m quite impressed with your photoshop skills. I’d almost rather poke both eyes out than fux with photoshop.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 18:16 December 18, 2014
    Thom Watson
    Author

    Haha thank you. It’s so much easier now though and I’m less reliant on Photoshop than I was. Definitely worth checking out if you’re thinking of getting yourself something nifty for blogging!

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