This week Lloyd and I excitedly took a trip into the Big City to meet with Jay McLaughlin, East London fashion and portrait photographer, and the marketing team at Olympus to get hands on with the much anticipated next instalment in the PEN series, the E-PL9.
Hands up, this is my first proper experience with the ‘much loved in the blogging community’ Olympus PEN, and to be invited to learn about why it’s so highly sought after, and try it out for myself was an opportunity I’m still massively thankful and thrilled about days later.
Despite the grey day, we made our way to the ‘Radio Rooftop’ bar of ME London to cosy up with the team and shoot some goodness through the shiny new lens of the E-PL9. After a warm welcome and informative introduction, Lloyd and I were handed a camera each to get creative with on the terrace.
OLYMPUS PEN CURRENT PRODUCTS
I’m also told that the E-PL9 comes with an updated grip since the E-PL8, a newly added built in pop up flash as oppose to an external flash, 2 new art filters, and has also added Bluetooth connectivity for your smart phone, in addition to the Wi-Fi option it maintains since past models.
There are a few things that I always need in a camera for the work I do, and they are:
The very first thing both Lloyd and I noticed was how wonderfully the 3-axis stabilisation kicked in immediately on use. The smoothness on screen during movement was gasp worthy, and impressed me a whole tonne if I’m honest.
The other aspect of the E-PL9 was the ACTUAL functioning shutter! When you “press down to capture”, you get a VERY satisfying “CLUNK” as the camera genuinely tells you what it’s doing to get you that award winning shot.
Now, this might sound a bit of a strange thing for me to point out at a personal favourite, but I’m so used to “digital replication” of shutters and such during shoots, that actually “feeling the camera working” on this manual kind of level made me jump! In a good way, of course. It felt satisfying…you know? It got addictive to want to FEEL THE POWER again and again!
Lovely quality images, as I hope you agree from our tryout here. From my knowledge, the settings were default on the camera Lloyd used to take these shots, and I really like how despite the day being rather gloomy and almost monochrome to the eye, the images of the city skyline has every tone of grey pulled through and sharpened beautifully. There’s a lot of depth to the image, and nothing felt lost in such a busy scene of buildings and bustle.
I was equally impressed with the close up shot of my hands holding the camera by Lloyd there. A simple and quick focus from far to near, with instant sharp results. It almost feels like you can take the camera out of my hands in that shot. Very nice.
Capturing your chosen scene or object is swift, with time from click to screen is a literal blink, and the touch screen for scanning through images was pleasingly responsive to say the least.
Grip wise, the E-PL9 was very comfortable to hold for someone with very minimal hold strength, and sat very naturally in the hand, even with one handed use (whenever you fancy pulling such stunts, haha).
Lloyd did take a few video examples on the day, however we forgot to have them transferred over to us! For now, here’s an included example from the e PHOTOzine youtube channel of a very similar view to what ours was on the day.
See the stabilisation at work there? Genuinely so, so impressed at the mechanics there. I’ve always been a fan of the Sony Alpha series stabilisation capabilities, but the E-PL9 really takes the medal here, I won’t lie.
There's something which really isn't new to a lot of people, but to me I was really excited to see the benefits of a flip down screen, as oppose to a flip up screen.
Jay explained that having the screen below the lens allows for a slightly down turned position whilst vlogging, which in turn gives a more flattering angle on the face. Really interesting, and can confirm that it's 100% true too!
I was a little worried that the camera might get in the way below the camera whilst aiming it at myself, however it didn't! No problem at all.
Lenses are interchangeable too, with a variety to choose from. I’m sure Jay also mentioned that Panasonic lenses can also be used on the PEN models, so you won’t fall short for variety there.
Of course, any Olympus PEN has been well known for its good looks on the outside, as well as what it performs from the inside, and I have a huge feeling that the E-PL9 will cause a huge stir for cosmetic fans.
Three colours are announced, with black, white, and brown. Be prepared to see a lot of the brown, all I’m saying (it’s a beauty).
Once again I was utterly thrilled to be invited over to chat about the PEN series, explore the latest model, and get more “techy” on the blog with you all today. I do love a good tech review, so kicking things off with one of my own, and having a little chat about a new fancy camera coming to the market is ultimately tuneful to me!
Needless to say, I’m very impressed with the introduction to the Olympus PEN, from the beautifully sturdy build quality, to the imagery produced.
I could have easily spent many more hours playing around with it and putting it to even more tests that I know it’s capable of, but I honestly can’t wait to see creators getting busy with this guy. Visual content is seriously going to skyrocket over the next year and beyond.
The Olympus PEN E-PL9 will be available in stores and online during March 2018, at a price point of around £650 with a 14-42mm kit lens included.
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