Skinny Ramblings on.... the Olympus Pen Camera E-PL8
Picture the scene. It's January, it's grey, it's dull. Thoughts turn to holidays, to taking fabulous photographs of said holidays, then to improving my blog photography, ending with clicking the "place order" button for an Olympus Pen Camera E-PL8. Oops. Sorry bank balance.
Now, I've had my eye on this bad boy for some time. It's one of those that pops up a LOT in Blogosphere magazine as it's fast becoming known as "the bloggers choice of camera" and let's face it, it's not hard to see why as it is definitely something that looks bloody gorgeous on your Instagram feed (Ooh, while you're there clicking on that link, why not follow me? Hey, if you don't ask....!)
It has wifi so you can connect to an app on your phone to edit and download your pics to social media, so no faffing about with cables and laptops and having to wait until you get home to post that pic you're really pretty proud of. The app takes a bit of downloading and sorting to get the connectivity but once it's there, it's there. (For anyone trying to do it and getting the error message, it works in the end I promise. I can't tell you how as suddenly it just did but bear with, it does work in the end!)
When I was researching this camera (for researching, read "gazing longingly at this uber cute piece of kit for far longer than was strictly necessary") I found a great YouTube video by the brilliant Lily Pebbles to help me figure it all out but not a huge amount of actual written review content that didn't go in to the full on techy areas that have the tendency to go straight over my head. So this is why this week, this blog post is all about this little beauty. I'm most definitely not a photography expert, as is all too easy to see. I am not a technical genius, again, all too obvious, but I do absolutely love taking pics. I love the buzz of thinking "wow, that would make a brilliant picture!" and being ridiculously proud when you see it and upload it. Or better still, pop it in a frame and enjoy it. So, basically, if you're after a brilliantly technical informative piece about this camera, this ain't it. If you want to see how an average Mum of very little photographic distinction sees it, well you've come to the right place!
So first things first, the exciting part, what's in the box? Obviously the main attraction - the gorgeous camera, which can come in black, white or brown. I went for the white, purely because I just loved the look of it, it's very cool and retro looking and I think it is just a beautiful design. You also get the 14-42mm pancake lens, a detachable flash, which comes with its own little dustbag, a white Olympus shoulder strap and obviously the battery, cables and manuals. It's very simple to set up, which is great, I've had cameras before that seem to take about a week of messing with just to be able to take your first snap so was really glad to see once the battery is in and flash is on, it really is good to go. It doesn't come with a case, which to me is an absolute essential, but there are more than a few to choose from. I loved the look of this beauty which comes in a choice of two colours and yes, is basically a handbag for your camera. Pretty swish but I really needed something that I could just pop into my handbag so opted for this, which is essentially just a simple padded cloth bag to protect it from knocks and scratches and is nice and compact to keep in your bag. There are seemingly a LOT of accessories for this camera to choose from, I also went for this wrist strap too (colourway nude) in place of the shoulder strap as I find when you're holding the camera, particularly if you're trying to take selfies, the shoulder strap just gets in the way, the wrist strap keeps it nice and secure without this problem. I find the lens that comes with the camera completely suitable for my needs at the moment but there are again plenty of others you can add for extra dimensions to your photography.
One of the best features for me has to be the touchscreen that can be flipped up and down to take selfies and to create great flat lay images that aren't the easiest to take on a smartphone. (Am I the only one that could be found perched on a stool awkwardly trying to get a flat lay shot of a cup of coffee?! No longer!!) The range of filters too, give you endless possibilities on adding great effects to your photos, from soft focus to vintage, dramatic to monochrome, there are loads to choose from and are fun to have a play around with.
All in all, I am extremely happy with this gorgeous bit of kit. It's easy to use, looks great, has some brilliant features and best of all makes it very easy for a total novice like me to get some shots which actually look a bit better than just "meh". I am really looking forward to improving my blog photography this year and desperately need to find some nice sunny days to get some good pics - weather Gods can you hear me?!
Disclaimer - This is not a sponsored post, all the above opinions are very much my own!