FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Olympus PEN E-PL7 & M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm F1.8 lens

Okay, honesty right off the bat: I’m a terrible photographer and a lazy one to boot and I’ve been using my phone as a camera for the last, what, decade or so? And never complained about the quality. Remember when they released the Nokia phones with the 5.0 megapix cameras?

Good times.

If you can’t already tell, I’m laughably unqualified and nowhere as informative as google when it comes to camera specs and technical jargon so… Anyway, here’s wonderwall.

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Olympus PEN E-PL7

This hipster looking baby came into my possession a couple of days ago sans kit lens and a nice friend of mine basically gave me his old M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm F1.8 lens for the price of a cup of coffee. That thing costs nearly 500SGD. The coffee at work isn’t even good coffee. My coworker has since been nominated for sainthood.

At first glance, the build and design of the PEN E-PL7 is ridiculously aesthetically pleasing. I experienced the pain of wanting to use the camera to take a picture OF the camera firsthand so I could post it on Instagram and it was not a great moment for me.

The E-PL7 is compact, lightweight, solidly built and doesn’t feel cheap to handle. I actually really like that it fits nicely in the palm of my hand (and my purse) and the faux-leather body feels nice to the touch. Although I do have to say that I’m used to holding cameras like I’m holding a DSLR, so I’m still trying to wrap my brain and fingers around this one.

Overall the camera handles very well. The auto-focus is accurate and efficient and I shot for a bit on Manual and then just got lazy and switched to Auto mode because it was just that much easier, especially since you can tap whatever you want on the screen and the camera will do the focusing for you.

What I really really like, though, is that you can pair your phone with the camera via wifi. What a fantastic feature for sharing images! I suspect my twitter friends liked it even better because I went on a picture-tweeting spree yesterday and literally no one alive can resist hi-res pictures of Soba.

But more on Soba later.

The only downside is really my own personal failing: I’m extremely out of practice and not great at figuring out aperture/shutter speed/ISOs on the fly and while it’s a little less intimidating than working with an SLR or DSLR it’s still a tiny bit overwhelming to see so many symbols on the touchscreen. But never fear! The instruction manual is here! And really, it’s an issue of practice, practice, practice.

M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm F1.8 lens

After fiddling with the camera for a couple of minutes it became apparent that the 45mm F1.8 lens does bokeh beautifully. It’s terribly easy to shoot with the aperture wide open, and with a lens that allows you to go as wide as F1.8 for a shallow depth of field, the 45mm is perfect for portraits shots.

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Or, if you’re like me and have no friends – pictures of your shiba inu Soba.

Note that the focal length on this lens is quite long, so if you’re intending to do indoor shoots, be prepared to be pressed up against the wall of your bedroom trying to get in a decent shot of Prima Deli’s salted egg yolk lava cheese tart on the desk.

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Not that I’ve had any experience in the matter. It was just an oddly specific example.

Both of the pictures above were taken in the late afternoon, in natural light, posted without editing.

Then I took a long nap and my brother came home in the evening and decided to play with the new camera and lo and behold: even this casual test shot in low lighting turned out rather nice. Except I probably have to figure out how to turn off Face Priority…

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I’ll make you fall in love with Soba if it’s the last thing I do.

I have yet to take this camera out of my cave but I’m actually quite excited by the prospect! Can’t wait to see what an abundance of natural lighting and actual space to shoot will get me, and what better time to test it than at my best friend’s wedding tomorrow? :’)

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I feel like a lot of people start to go the DSLR route because you can achieve gorgeous bokeh that point-and-shoots just don’t give you but I’m glad that I found a nice middle ground that also fits nicely in my bag.

I also just carousell’d a secondhand M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/2.8 pancake lens for cheap this afternoon to serve as my everyday lens. We’ll see where it goes!

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A picture of the 45mm taken with the 17mm???

Definitely more posts to come as I get used to shooting with my new toy and not relying on my phone camera for everything. I just have to get back into the photography groove again??? I think????????

I have no idea what I’m doing.

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