Ah, the Olypmus Pen. Ever since its collaboration with blogging superstars In The FROW and Lydia Elise Millen, this camera has become the ultimate must-have in any bloggers’ kit bag. It’s been on my wish list for sometime, but I just couldn’t see a need for it… until now. As you may or may not know, I have recently started up a YouTube channel and as much as I love my Canon, it’s not particularly vlog friendly. I needed a nifty number that could be easily stowed away in my handbag and the EPL7 ticked every box.
So enough with the backstory, you came here for Olympus Pen tips and tricks and that’s exactly what you’re going to get. But first up, before we get into the juicy details, make sure you’ve got the camera out of its box and had a bit of play. It’s the quickest way to nail the basics and work out what else you need to know.
1. Download the app.
One of the best things about this camera is the way it instantly allows you to transfer images straight to your iPhone. Not only that, but this app works as a remote control, allowing you to take control, focus and shoot gorgeous images without being stuck behind the lens. Perfect for taking those stunning outfit shots when the bf is not around (aka watching football and being unhelpful).
2. Update the lens.
I bought the EPL7 in white (obviously) with the pancake kit lens. This is a great compact lens, but the picture quality, while quite lovely, just doesn’t give those gorgeous blurry backgrounds I’m so fond of. So I decided to upgrade the lens and luckily with the Olympus range, there are so many amazing lenses to choose from! Many bloggers opt for the 45mm F1.8 lens, which gives beautiful sharp quality images with a good depth of field, while still being small enough to stuff into your pocket.
Now instead of listening to everyone else, I opted for the 17mm F2.8 lens. I’m not going to lie, I think should have gone with the 45mm. I went for the more expensive 17mm lens after using a Lumix GX7 with a pancake lens for years and absolutely loving it. While the lens is great, the backgrounds are blurred and the pancake size makes it perfect for travel, I do feel that there is something missing in terms of picture quality. This is a classic example of making sure you do PLENTY of research before buying anything techy.
3. Shoot on Manual.
When I first got this camera I was shooting everything in auto. The pictures looked nice, but they required a serious amount of brightening in the editing process. It wasn’t until I started shooting in manual, that I really started to get some stunning bright, Instagram worthy shots. By simply adjusting the ISO using the wheel next to the menu wheel, you can control the lighting and transform your photo.
4. Get In Control.
There are so many different settings on the Olympus Pen, well any Olympus for that matter. So they have installed a really handy full-screen menu that allows you to quickly and easily adjust settings like ISO, aperture, white balance etc. I’ve found it much, much easier than using the side bar.
To access this la-de-da menu, simply: Press menu. Go down to Custom Menu (the little cogs icon) and go to ‘Disp/PC’ and then click ‘Control Settings’. From here, select P/A/S/M and tick ‘Live SCP’ and untick any other options. Now go back to the main camera screen, press OK and tada! Your fancy new touchscreen Super Control Panel will appear.
5. Instagram It.
If you’re taking a snap for Instagram, it can be really useful to change the aspect ratio on the camera to square, saving you from cropping it later. To do this, press menu. Go across to ‘Image Aspect’ and adjust from 4:3 to 1:1. This is a nice setting to have a play around with as you can get some really cool, original images using slightly different size aspects.
6. Get A New Strap.
Okay, not so much a trip or a trick, but unlike some other brands, Olympus have a really lovely collection of accessories. I’ve got my eyes on a beaut beige leather strap over on the John Lewis website. If you’ve invested in this camera, I can almost guarantee you’re going to want to make it look its best.
I hope you found this useful and as you can tell, I am still learning myself! If you have any tips for using the Olympus Pen I’d love to hear them in the comments below.