Olympus E-P7 evaluate: All about that retro model

Olympus E-P7 review: All about that retro style

(Pocket-lint) – It has been a full eight years since Olympus launched the E-P5 digicam, method again in 2013, so why the lengthy await this, the E-P7? Effectively, Olympus bought its digicam division to OM Digital Options, finishing originally of 2021, amid flagging digicam gross sales and a rejig of the unique enterprise.

Factor is, simply because the gross sales have been down doesn’t suggest the cameras weren’t as much as scratch. Certainly, we have been utilizing an Olympus Pen F for 5 years to shoot the vast majority of evaluate photos throughout Pocket-lint’s pages. So for the E-P7 to reach now’s sort-of an ideal match.

Certain, the ‘correct digicam’ market is not what it as soon as was – demand is down, however high quality will not be – so for those who’re on the lookout for a small, retro-styled and succesful mirrorless system digicam then how does the E-P7 maintain up? We have been dwelling with one for a few weeks to seek out out.


  • Dimensions: 118.3mm (W) x 68.5mm (H) x 38.1mm (D) / Weight: 337g
  • 3-inch LCD, 1037k-dot, tilt-angle (90° horizontal, 180° vertical)
  • Lens mount: Micro 4 Thirds (MFT)
  • End: Silver or White choices solely
  • Constructed-in pop-up flash
  • Hotshoe accent
  • USB-C recharging

Unusually for any digicam as of late, the E-P7 is not obtainable in black. You possibly can solely purchase it in silver (as pictured) or white, serving to it to face out from the group and enhancing that retro model. A lot of the entrance is roofed in a textured black grippy materials anyway, so it is not an outlandish look, and we’re slightly keen on its visible attraction.


With the included pancake lens (14-42mm) connected, it is a slightly small digicam by any mirrorless normal too. That exact lens does prolong electronically when switching the digicam on – its zoom is electronically barrel managed too – to make it considerably bigger, however stowed away it is fairly neat.

As a Micro 4 Thirds digicam, any MFT lens is appropriate, and we have been utilizing the a lot bigger 12-35mm with the digicam because it’s obtained a a lot better close-focus distance and wider aperture (f/2.8 at wide-angle) in comparison with that pretty restricted 14-42mm, which has an f/3.5 aperture on the widest, dropping to f/5.6 on the longest zoom level. That simply limits the quantity of sunshine that may enter the digicam to make an publicity, so is not best in low-light circumstances, as one instance.

Happily there are heaps of MFT lenses obtainable available on the market, and sure a bunch obtainable on the second hand market too, so you will by no means be in need of growth choices – for those who see this as that form of digicam. Many will, we suspect, wish to follow the small-scale and pancake lens to maintain issues easy. The selection is yours, although, go easy or go complicated with a complete raft of lenses.

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The E-P7’s display screen, which is 3-inches on the diagonal, is mounted on a tilt-angle, that means it could possibly pull upwards right into a horizontal place, or be pushed downwards so it is a full 180-degrees and dealing with ahead – however it hangs ‘underneath’ the digicam on this place, so it’s kind of fiddly for utilizing for selfies and such like. It is helpful to have a tiltable display screen, however we might a lot choose a full vari-angle possibility, largely as a result of – as with the Pen F – it is doable to stow the display screen in on itself to keep away from scratches (one thing that E-P7 lacks fully).

By way of structure there are a bunch of dials and controls. Up prime is a mode dial, an on/off click on swap, plus two thumb dials to quick-adjust numerous controls comparable to aperture and shutter velocity. There’s additionally a one-press file button, subsequent to which is a quick-access menu button (a duplication of the one within the d-pad on the rear, which appears pointless actually). Talking of the rear, there are direct buttons for ISO, focus level, flash, burst mode, publicity lock, primary menu, information, play and pause. It is fairly a busy association of buttons.

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Factor is, Olympus has all the time had this busy set of buttons, so it is really acquainted for those who’re a well-known consumer. If you happen to’re not, nevertheless, it is undoubtedly busy. The menu entry can be sometimes Olympus: i.e. deep, to the purpose of additionally being busy. However a minimum of you possibly can management the trivialities of varied settings, you would possibly simply should dig round a bit.


  • 121 level distinction detection autofocus system
  • AF Modes: All / Group (9 areas) / Single 
  • -2EV to 20EV focus sensitivity
  • 5-axis picture stabilisation
  • 8.7fps burst max

In efficiency phrases, the E-P7 does completely nicely, however in comparison with 2021’s best-of-best it is not fairly on par. So it will rely on what you wish to use this digicam to shoot.

The autofocus system, for instance, is a 121 level setup, with every space individually selectable if you want, or auto/group selectable in single or steady focus. It is advantageous, pretty fast, however it’s not a patch on, say, Sony’s ultra-fast present system, nor does its -2EV low-light focus get anyplace near the present Nikon or Canon finest (which is now someplace round -7EV, within the ballpark of moonlight).

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Premier to the E-P7’s function set is Olympus’ 5-axis picture stabilisation system, simply as you will discover within the earlier Pen F, which is designed to counteract pitch, yaw, roll, and vertical/horizontal shift. You possibly can really hear it “fizz” into motion in use; a sound that allows you to know for certain it is operational. It is good for as much as 5-stops, which you’ll actually ‘really feel’, particularly in video mode, or when capturing in lower-light circumstances and aiming for that sharp snap. (Notice, nevertheless, this technique can not work in tandem with lens-based stabilisation.)

Picture High quality

  • 20.3-megapixel Micro 4 Thirds (MFT) sensor
  • TruePic VIII picture processing engine
  • Sensitivity: ISO 200 – 25,600
  • 4K video seize max
  • 31 Artwork Filters

The E-P7’s 20.3-megapixel sensor does not go overboard like so many trendy options do; it is really a slightly conservative decision by 2021’s requirements – however that brings its personal advantages as every sensor diode (‘pixel’) is bigger and this helps with total picture high quality.

OM Digital Options hasn’t actually massively moved Olympus’ prowess ahead previously 5 years, although, as you can get this type of high quality out of the also-20MP Pen F.

However that is to not say it does not fare very nicely certainly. Get the correct lens on the entrance – which, as we alluded to earlier than, is not actually the 14-42mm package lens – and the E-P7’s photos convey detailed outcomes. Sensitivity kicks off at ISO 200 – there’s nonetheless no ISO 100 correct possibility – the place the outcomes are crisp and clear. Certain, there’s some slight grain current for those who examine photos at shut element, however nothing problematic.

The upper ISO outcomes are additionally very affordable. We sometimes capped at ISO 1600, as past this the seen grain is pronounced to a extra noticeable diploma, significantly at ISO 6400 and up – regardless of color noise being largely absent, even in uncooked recordsdata.

Pocket-lintImages photo 10

One factor that helps set Olympus other than the competitors is the abundance of in-camera changes obtainable. There are 31 Artwork Filters, which you’ll both ignore or go to city with, whereas on the entrance of the digicam there is a Coloration/Mono swap to shortly soar into black and white. This feels just like the Olympus method: to be extra playful, for extra focus to be about digging deep in digicam and organising filters and profiles simply as you need issues to look.


It has been an terrible lengthy await a brand new Olympus digicam, so has the E-P7 been definitely worth the persistence? Effectively, it relies upon what you are on the lookout for in a digicam.

If you happen to have been hoping for one thing radical and totally different then, actually, the E-P7 is not wildly totally different from the five-year-old Pen F, albeit with out the viewfinder. The picture high quality stays a lot the identical – that means it is good, however it’s not going to problem the present higher-resolution competitors. A lot the identical might be mentioned for its efficiency – the autofocus is succesful however, once more, it is not a patch on, say, Sony’s present finest.

That mentioned, the E-P7 is radical and totally different by way of design. It is obtained a particular retro look that, bar Fujifilm, you will not actually discover elsewhere. It is also small in scale, the worth level does not creep into the four-figure ask of so many opponents, and the breadth of Micro 4 Thirds lenses on supply provides it appreciable scope for growth.

So whereas the digicam market could also be on a downturn, the Olympus E-P7 provides the corners of our mouth a welcome upturn. It is a handsome and succesful little digicam that, following Olympus’ sale of its digicam enterprise to OM Digital Options, units the precedent that the brand new homeowners’ method could be very a lot the identical as that of outdated.

Additionally take into account

Pocket-lintAlternative photo 1

Olympus Pen F

It is 5 years older, however subsequently 5 years cheaper, plus it provides a viewfinder, has a lot the identical picture high quality, and can prevent a couple of quid too. So if retro model and Olympus are excessive in your record then it is a prime choice to seize at a cut price, if yow will discover one.


Writing by Mike Lowe. Initially printed on .

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