In September 2016 I decided to purchase the Olympus PEN E-PL7 – or the now updated E-PL9 – it was being heavily touted as THE go to camera for (fashion) bloggers mainly due to the capability of the screen being able to flip for the perfect selfie. I feel I start a lot of posts saying this, but, as you know, I’m not a fashion blogger, but I did see something in this PEN that could be for me.
My love of photography started from a very young age though. My first camera was a chunky Canon which took film in those days. I have stacks and stacks of photo albums documenting me growing up due to always owning a camera. When phones came out with cameras it just meant I got to carry one less thing yet document even more. I always had a point and shoot for holidays though…
Previously, photography was not an art in my eyes though. It was just a way to remember things that had happened in the past. Then along came the likes of Instagram and I saw pictures in a different way. I started to see a different perspective. I (invested and) updated my blog design then realised that my photos didn’t live up to my new outlook…
Here’s how I’ve been working with the PEN for my (Health, Food and) Fitness Blog…
1. Don’t Waste Your Money If You Won’t Get Out Of Auto
When I first got the PEN, I used auto mode and thought my images were stunning. Then I realised that I had no control over how my images were turning out and had no idea how to get the images that I could see in my minds eye. So I took things into my own hands and started by organising #ThePhoto101 workshop which took place in August 2015. Led by Eulanda Shead, we spent a few hours learning about how our cameras worked outside of auto mode…
I then signed up for a foundation course in photography (leading to Diploma in Photography, should I choose) with the institute of photography. It’s online, so I can dip in and out when I like, brush up the skills I have already gained and also learn a few new ones!
2. Don’t Forget All Your Equipment
Shortly after purchasing the PEN, I bought the 45mm lens. This lens creates the most stunning images with all the bokeh (background blur) a girl (or guy… most likely just blogger) could desire!
I also have / would love:
- a tripod
- a bracket (so I can use the flip down screen on the tripod and see myself when recording videos / taking photos)
- a padded (and stylish) camera pouch / lens pouch
- dimmable video LED light
- a spacious SD card
You can also check out my list of must have accessories for any type of blogger to personalise your Olympus PEN.
3. Pancake Lens vs Standard Lens
When the conversation comes up in groups about the PEN, this question is asked a lot. Should you buy the (cheaper) standard kit lens or get the (more expensive) pancake lens?? Well, for the real fashion bloggers in the house, it seems the pancake lens wins as it makes the camera fit in your handbag perfectly.
I tried the whole tiny handbag thing and erm, well, it doesn’t work for me in a day to day reality. I can usually be found lugging around a huge bag. But still, I love the pancake lens purely for aesthetics.
4. Taking Action Shots
I found this epic setting on the PEN where the camera takes a series of shots in a row allowing you to take great action shots and capture just. the. right. moment. you do end up with a lot of images but just refer back to my point about getting a large capacity SD card.
5. Keep Learning
I used the stylonylon blog photography posts which had heaps of tips specifically for the Olympus PEN. I recently followed her 15 tips & tricks and have been loving the Super Control Panel which allows me quicker access to all the settings when I’m in the moment!
6. My Favourites
I love the 1:1 image aspect which is perfect for instagram. The flip down screen for selfies. The removable flash (which I barely use due to knowing how to use the camera settings). The stylish accessories available. And the fact there is still so much more to discover (i.e the PEN has an array of built in filters which look epic! Just need to find time to play around with them…)
What camera do you use for blogging?! Are you considering purchasing the Olympus PEN E-PL7?! …any questions you’d like ask?!