Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7 Review

By

Review posted 11/12/2014

Quick Take
Pros
  • iAuto shooting mode is accurate and easy in all situations
  • Camera produces excellent overall image quality
  • Very compact and lightweight, easy to carry and operate
  • 3-axis IS is very handy and effective
  • High Res 3.0-inch LCD is great for shooting and viewing images
  • Screen tilts a full 180° for easy "selfies"
  • Great shooting performance
  • Built-in WiFi lets you share from anywhere
  • WiFi allows smart device to control camera
  • Good Battery Life
  • Competitively priced
  • HDMI output
  • Excellent collection of lenses available
Cons
  • No built-in flash. Possible to forget external unit at home
  • No built-in OVF/EVF, although there is an optional EVF
  • Occasionally iAuto produced unreliable exposures with face detection
Bottom Line
The Olympus E-PL7 is a compact and very portable ILC that provides very good image quality and performance. A great collection of lenses and creative shooting modes makes this camera a must see for the photography enthusiast. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
PENseries_right.jpg
Olympus introduced their newest entry in the PEN interchangeable lens camera series in late August of this year (2014), which includes many of the performance features found in the more expensive OM-D series. The PEN Lite E-PL7 builds upon the E-PL5, adding an all new graphic user interface (GUI), built-in 3-axis image stabilization, and the newer TruePic VII image processor. This new processor, when combined with the 16.05-megapixel Live MOS image sensor and the new 81-point "FAST AF" system, allows the camera to capture an unlimited number of full resolution photos in an 8 frame-per-second Burst Shooting mode as well as Full 1080p HD video.  The E-PL7 even offers up a new and improved battery that's capable of 350-shots per charge while using the bundled external flash 50% of the time.

The E-PL7's a 1.04-million dot, downward tilting LCD screen includes a Selfie Mode, with one-touch on-screen shutter button available as you're framing your shots as well as customizable "selfie interval shooting", which defaults to taking three pictures back-to-back (to back) at one second intervals to allow you and your friends to swap in and out a few different poses.

Built-in Wi-Fi teams up with the Olympus Share Image app to quickly pair the E-PL7 over a self-generating wireless network. From there, it's easy to share photos and videos, backup files, and turn your smartphone or tablet into a remote control and/or external monitor. Another nice feature on the app is Live Bulb mode, which allows you to take long exposures (helpful at night to properly photograph starscapes) with having to touch your camera, thus bumping it and ruining the photograph.

Lastly, the E-PL7 has been designed for the creative at art. All the older Art Filters and Scene Modes and HDR photography (for increased saturation and dynamic range) and interval shooting (for time-lapse), but Olympus has added two new Art Filters, a  new Art Effect, and even expanded the Photo Story function to include a Layout mode so you can arrange your pictures just like a real-world photo album.

Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7 Features:
  • 16.05 MP Live MOS image senator
  • TruePic VII image processor
  • 3.0-inch downward titling touchscreen LCD (1.04M dots)
    • "Selfie Mode"
      • One-touch on-screen shutter
      • Selfie interval shooting
    • An all new GUI (graphic user interface)
  • Built-in 3-axis VCM image stabilization
  • 81-point FAST AF (AutoFocus) System
    • Small Target AF
    • Super Spot AF
  • 8 frames-per-second Burst Shooting Mode
    • up to 20 frames RAW
    • or unlimited JPEGs
  • Full 1080/30p HD Video Recording
    • Old Movie Mode
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    • Olympus Image Share (O.I. Share) app
      • Movie Button
      • Live Bulb
      • Single, Sequential High, and Sequential Low Selfie Options
      • creates its own Wi-Fi network
      • Live View
  • 2 New Art Filters
    • Vintage
    • Partial Color
  • New Art Effects, including Shade Effect
  • Photo Story now includes Layout Mode
    • New Scene Modes, including Panning
  • Interval Mode
  • Live Composite
  • HDR
  • New BLS-50 Battery Pack
  • Rated up to 350 shots with 50% flash usage.
Optional Accessories
  • E-PL7 Genuine Leather Body Jacket (brown, black, or light brown) -- $59.99
  • 14-42 EZ Genuine Leather Lens Jacket (brown, black, or light brown) -- $44.99
  • PT-EP12 Underwater Housing -- $749.99
  • UFL-3 Underwater Flash -- $499.99

The Olympus E-PL7 comes in black/black, silver/black, or silver/white with a $599.99 body only edition, or a $699.99 kit that includes the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 I R lens. See our best price box at the top right of this page to see the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • E-PL7 Body
  • Flash FL-LM1
  • Li-ion battery BLS-50
  • Li-ion battery charger BCS-5
  • USB cable
  • Shoulder strap
  • OLYMPUS Viewer 3 (CD-ROM)
  • Instruction manual
  • Warranty card


Additional Product Views
E-PL7_BLK_left_M14422R_BLK_off.jpg
E-PL7_SLV_left_M14422R_SLV_off.jpg
E-PL7_WHT_left_M14422R_SLV_off.jpg
E-PL7_WHT_right-tilt-lside_M1442EZ_SLV_wide.jpg
E-PL7_SLV_leftside.jpg
E-PL7_SLV_rightside.jpg
E-PL7_BLK_back.jpg
E-PL7_SLV_top_M14422R_SLV_off.jpg
Optional Accessories
01_UFL-3_R.jpg
05_PT-EP12+E-PL7+14-42EZ_tilt.jpg
E-PL7_BLK_right_CS45B_BRW_LC60.5GL_BRW_CSS-S109LL2_BRW.jpg
E-PL7_BLK_right_CS45B_LightBRW_LC60.5GL_LightBRW_CSS-S109LL2_LightBRW.jpg
E-PL7_SLV_right_CS45B_BLK_LC60.5GL_BLK_CSS-S109LL2_BLK.jpg

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.