Before I start this review I’d just like to put out a little disclaimer to say by no means am I an expert, I am not an expert in cameras or have any otherly knowledge-I just thought I’d share what I know and my opinions on the camera that I have.
I’ve had my Olympus Pen EPL-8 for a couple of months now but I wanted to wait this long so I have a fully formed opinion on it and have used it on many different occasions for different purposes. I was drawn to the Olympus Pen mainly because it was marketed with bloggers as the target audience. I researched into the features of the camera all of which seemed to be perfect for what I wanted a camera for-I’ll get into the features soon and what I think of them now I’ve used most of them.
I think it’s important to see your camera in real life before you make the big jump and press buy. I come across mine by accident when strolling through Currys, I picked it up and had a little play with it and I knew it was ‘the one’. I always knew I was going to buy my camera online, I got mine from Very as they had an offer on at the time, if you’d like to have a mooch at it on their website click here. The camera is very expensive, it is an investment that needed a lot of thought into it before I made the decision.
I don’t think there’s a feeling quite like getting that box and unboxing your new camera. Even the box looks beautiful! In the box you get the body of your camera, the lens, lens cap, charger, strap and a hella lot of instructions. It is well worth giving the instructions a read, it just helps you to get to grips with your camera better and know things you wouldn’t necessarily know without reading that dreaded small text. I also recommend watching some Youtube videos on the camera and reading some blog posts (hopefully mine will help!), the best one I used was Lily Pebbles’ video here, it’s really useful if you’re using the camera for blogging.
It was really straightforward to set it up, there was nothing overcomplicated or too puzzling which was great. Please please remember to have an SD card to hand when you’re setting up your new camera, I read on Twitter recently someone didn’t have one when setting up a new camera which is gutting!
I think the most daunting thing about a new camera is the settings. There’s a hella lot on the Pen and it can be quite overwhelming. I still haven’t got my head round them all so I’ll redirect you to this post which is super helpful and covers all surfaces. But I will talk about the settings which I chose to use and are most suitable for what I use the camera for.
The setting that I use 90% of the time is ‘A’ on the dial which means ‘Aperture Priority Mode’. This means you can adjust the aperture which will adjust the background blur which is most suitable for taking product photos. The camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed when you’re on this setting also. This is the best setting that I’ve used for taking blog photos.
I used my camera briefly over Christmas to take photos of my family. When I was doing so I tended to have the dial on ‘iAUTO’ which is where the camera decides all of the settings for you, you just take the photo. I don’t tend to use this setting, only when I’m taking photos that aren’t for my blog and are for more personal use.
One of the popular features of the camera is the screen, which is touchscreen, reversible and flip down. The screen comes in handy so much when I’m taking blog photos. Bloggers I’m sure you’ll understand the lengths you go to when you’re trying to take the perfect flatlay and the screen is so useful when you’re getting in all angles to take those photos. Lily talks more about this in her video but I like to lift the screen out and above then angle it to where is most comfortable for me to shoot the photo. This is genuinely such a handy feature, I make use of it a lot more than I thought I would.
The screen flips underneath the camera which converts the camera into ‘selfie mode’. I’ve used this a lot too, it takes taking a selfie to a whole different level. The quality of the camera combined with the ease of taking a selfie is an absolute dream. You’ll have seen this in action in this photo from my ‘The Cost Of My Full Face of Makeup’ post, in which all of the photos are taken on my Pen.
As I mentioned the screen is touchscreen. This is another one of my absolute favourite features on the camera. I tend to take my photos 99.9% of the time by tapping on the screen, especially when I’m taking a photo of a product, by tapping on it, the camera focuses on what I’m tapping on and blurs the background. I adore this feature, it’s also so much easier than pressing the button, it tends to give you more control with the photo. I love the photo below, the candles have a nice amount of blur (not too much) and the focus is gorgeous on the perfume bottle, I’m proud of this one.
Another thing that I love about the touch screen is that you can browse through the photos that you’ve taken on the screen by just a swipe of the finger. This just makes it a lot easier, especially when you’re deciding which photos to use or which are worthy of editing.
Just for reference, for those of you who are more technical with cameras than me, the lens I use is 14-42mm and is 16.1 Megapixel. This means nothing to me as I’m not too technical but that’s there for those of you who are.
A feature of the camera which is another winner is that it has built in Wifi which makes it so easy to send photos directly from the camera to your phone which is perfect as a blogger. The app is so great, it’s called ‘OI Share’ in the App Store. My camera connects really quick and easy to my phone. On the app, you can save photos onto your phone from your camera which is such a great feature. Another feature which I made use of recently is the Remote Control which I used for the photo below. I put my camera on a pile of boxes/makeshift tripod, adjusted the zoom on my camera then connected it to my phone and used the Remote Control feature. This meant that I could see on my phone what the photo I was taking looks like and take it without having to have a photographer or stretch my arm. I love this feature, it is so handy and is something I’m going to make use of so much for future posts.
I personally don’t think the camera is too heavy, the weight for me doesn’t add any difficulty to taking photos. The fact that it has the quality of a much larger camera with its compact size is very impressive. It’s size makes it so handy to carry around with you if you were shooting out and about. I’m yet to do so but its size makes it really easy to manoeuvre when you’re shooting product photos.
The camera also offers art filter which although they don’t appeal to me and aren’t something that I’d tend to use, others may do which is why I’ve mentioned them. If you are interested in these and want to see them in action, Olympus have more information on them here. The one that I would probably use would be Vintage, I’d tend to use this on personal, family photographs to add that special effect to them.
Something that I only used recently was the flash. The EPL8 has a detachable flash which easily slides onto the top of the camera. I was amazed by how effective the flash actually is and the difference that it makes to photos. I can’t wait for the Spring/Summer times when it gets lighter so I don’t have to reach for this flash as often thanks to the dull skies at the moment!
Underneath the camera you can screw on a tripod, which is a really handy feature. I haven’t got a suitable tripod at the moment, the camera is too top heavy for the one that I currently have (which I think is made for iPhones). However, using a tripod is really useful, especially if like me you have shaky hands and can’t always get the shot that you want. It’d also be handy if you’re recording on the camera or shooting photos on the go or on your own.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but in the box you get a white leather strap in it which has ‘Olympus Pen’ indented on it. This comes in really handy and is gorgeous.
Right, I think I’ve covered most of the things that I wanted too there. I am so impressed with the EPL8, I absolutely love it and couldn’t imagine taking blogging photos without it now. I can’t recommend it enough if you’re in the same kinda field as me.
Thank you so much for reading! I am so sorry it’s so long, I just wanted to make sure I covered enough ground! Also, I’m sorry if it’s a bit haphazard as I said, I’m no camera expert, I’m just sharing my opinion!
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