Olympus Pen E-P7 Review: Why Good for Travelers?

Olympus Pen E-P7

The Olympus Pen E-P7 is the successor to the PEN E-P5, which was released back in 2013. However, it inherits the features and functionality of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV from last year.  

Mirrorless cameras are always a great option when you are looking for a travel camera. They are lightweight, ultraportable and despite that capable of stunning images even in the dark when compared to smartphone cameras. It’s also the first camera from the OM Digital Solution, the new owner of the Olympus. There are many reasons why we think it’s good for travelers.

Olympus Pen E-P7 Review

This article is all about the design, features, and performance of the Olympus Pen E-P7. So, without any delay, let’s review the Olympus Pen E-P7.

Olympus Pen E-P7

Compact Design & Portability

The first thing to notice about the E-P7 is the design. Olympus has always pleased us with its beautifully-styled cameras, and this one is also no exception. It ditches the E-PL series camera’s more modern look for a vintage-inspired design that looks attractive. On the top, it features dual control dials to become a much more comprehensive manual photographic tool. In addition, a new simple toggle switch on the front enables you to move onto the “Monochrome Mode” on the fly for quick clicks!

Weighing around just at 337 Grams, it’s both lighter than its E-PL siblings and the PEN-F camera. Therefore, it’s ideal for travel and everyday walkaround use. Besides, the kit lens retracts itself when it’s not in use, making it even more compact and portable to carry. However, there is a lack of an electronic viewfinder to make the camera more compact. 

Photographic Benefits 

Although the Pen E-P7 is the first camera released under the brand’s new owner, it seems like it was in development for quite some time. The 20.3MP Four Thirds Live MOS Sensor combined with the TruePic VIII processor shows that this camera can shoot amazing stills in various shooting conditions. While the camera resolution is not on par with the full-frame mirrorless camera, it’s plenty for a travel camera.

Images that came out from this camera are rich, detailed, and have a great dynamic range no matter which lens you are using. Low light performance is also good, primarily because of the in-body image stabilization. Besides, even at higher ISO, this camera works great. Additionally, you can also capture high-end RAW images. And the JPEG compression also looks tack sharp and noise-free.

Video Capabilities

Apart from the image quality, the E-P7 can shoot uncropped 4K videos at 30 Frames Per Second. You can shoot videos at 60 Frames Per Second, but you have to lower the resolution to Full HD. Video quality is fine, and the built-in 5-axis image stabilization helps to keep the footage smooth without requiring an additional gimbal. But, sadly, there is no microphone input or even a headphone jack, so you have to stick with the standalone one.

Autofocus Performance

As for the Autofocus, this camera packs a 121-point Contrast AF system, which works perfectly with a camera this size. Sure, the hybrid system on the Sony ZV-1 is quicker than the E-P7’s contrast-detect autofocus system, but Face and Eye Detection works perfectly well in both still images and video shooting. It locks the subjects quickly and reliably. Also, while it’s not meant to be a sports camera, the burst shooting speeds of up to 15 frames per second with the electronic shutter are still impressive.


Like the E-PL series, the new Pen E-P7 also retains the 180° tilting touchscreen, which helps compose shots from different angles. Also, since the screen faces all the way forward, taking selfies and doing vlogs is much easier while traveling.

In terms of battery life, the total of 360 Shots on a single charge might not seem overly impressive on paper, but surprisingly, it can easily last a full day of travel.

Lastly, there’s also Wi-Fi connectivity and using the Olympus Image Share App, you can take images, control your camera settings and share files to your iOS and Android mobile devices.

Final Verdict  

The PEN E-P7 blends the style and shooting modes of the PEN-F along with the compact form factor of the E-PL bodies. At the same time, it also inherits the power of the OM-D bodies. It’s a superior creative tool that can be taken anywhere to capture stunning stills and videos. Overall, it’s a beautiful camera both to look at and use, therefore an ideal camera for travel photography.

Joe Pfeffer

Joe Pfeffer

What started off as just a dream for Joe Pfeffer, turned into his passion and livelihood. He started his career as a wildlife photographer and then transitioned into becoming a cinematographer. With a decade of raw on-the-field experience, Joe Pfeffer has all the technical knowledge about the ins and outs of cameras. Now, he uses his vast experience to educate others about photography.