Center Valley, Pa. – Olympus introduced Thursday the newest addition to its PEN series mirrorless compact system cameras in the PEN E-PL7.
The small interchangeable-lens camera is enhanced for easier selfie shots, offering a 180-degree downward flip LCD screen.
Also included is built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, and an easy self-portrait mode offering advanced performance over smart phone cameras.
The Olympus PEN E-PL7 will be available in late September at a $599.99 suggested retail for the body only in a choice of black or silver, or bundled with an M.Zuiko Digital 14-42 mm f3.5-5.6 II R lens at $699.99.
Other features include an Image Share app (OI.Share), that enables easily uploading and sharing images with mobile devices.
Image quality is enhanced using Olympus’ TruePic VII image processor, and a 16.05-megapixel Live MOS sensor.
The camera’s in-body 3-axis VCM image stabilization system was derived from the Olympus OM-D E-M10, and compensates for horizontal and vertical angular shifts (yaw and pitch) as well as camera shake along the optical axis (roll).
Olympus said the system is important in one-handed shooting scenarios, such as selfie shooting. The company said camera shake can be prevented with any compatible lens.
The camera also incorporates a FAST AF system, billed as Olympus’s fastest-ever. It uses 81 points covering the whole image, while Small AF Target and Super Spot AF modes make it possible to zoom in and focus accurately on small sections of the frame.
The E-PL7 is also capable of capturing high-speed action at 8fps. The fast processor supports continuous capture of up to 20 RAW frames or an unlimited number of JPEG frames, and the Continuous Auto Focus with Tracking mode accurately tracks and captures moving subject as fast as 3.5 fps.
The 3-inch, 1.04 million-dot high-definition touch LCD monitor automatically turns into a mirror display and activates into its “Selfie Mode” when tilted downward in the 180-degree position. The shutter-release button appears on the screen so subjects can frame the image, shooting one second after the button is touched.
Selfie interval shooting provides allows capturing images with a custom self-timer switching button that defaults to deliver three shots at one second intervals, giving subjects time to strike different poses.
When an electronic zoom lens is attached, the zoom automatically adjusts to the wide-angle position so that the user can quickly take their shot, incorporating the background as well.
When the E-PL7 is paired with an external flash, selfies with nighttime backgrounds can be taken, and an e-Portrait function can be activated with a single touch, delivering more beautiful skin textures.
The iAuto mode has also been enhanced for selfies, adding portrait settings to common scene modes to automatically detect 42 types of scenes to match the subject.
The PEN E-PL7 has several new creative features, including two new Art Filters. The “Vintage” art filter gives photos and antique effect, and “Partial Color” utilizes an intuitive color ring to leave certain colors in an image while other colors are converted to monochrome to emphasize specific parts of a photo or subject (18 colors are available).
“Shade Effect” is a new art effect that adds bands of shadows on the left and right, or top and bottom of the image.
“Photo Story” has also been expanded to include Layout mode for a photo-album-style arrangement.
“Panning” is a new scene mode that matches the E-PL7’s movement to the subjects so users can track it for the optimal panning effect, and “Old Film Effect,” is a new movie effect that records video to look like old movies shot on film through the addition of noise, scratches and dust effects.
Optional accessories include a high-definition VF-4 viewfinder with a 1.48x magnification, a 2.36 million-dot LCD, eye-detect to turn it on at the right time, and intuitive functionality that enables real-time viewing of shooting conditions.
Olympus is also introducing a black version of its popular M.Zuiko Digital 12mm F2.0 lens ($799.99 suggested retail) with a full-metal body and a snap ring that enables photographers to pan focus with a distance indicator.
Olympus will also make available a leather body jacket (shipping in October at $59.99); a leather lens jacket (shipping in October at $44.99); an underwater housing, model PT-EP12 (shipping in October at $749.95); and an underwater flash, model UFL-3 (shipping in October at $499.99).