Olympus PEN E-PL7. Photo: AFP
Olympus has added a new model to its PEN range of beautifully styled mirrorless cameras that is focused as much on helping users capture and share stunning self-portraits as it is on offering DLSR performance in a compact package.
That's because the new PEN E-PLZ has a clever trick. Its 3-inch LCD display can rotate through 180 degrees so that the user can be the photographer and the photographed, simultaneously.
As well as swinging the screen down so that it can be viewed from the other side of the camera's lens, activating selfie mode will automatically pull back the focus so that you're shooting in wide angle and it will even give you a chance to pose for the camera by slightly delaying each shutter release.
And once the image or images have been snapped, thanks to integrated wi-fi and an app, getting those pictures onto a phone and then uploaded to whichever social media site takes your fancy is just as easy.
But as well as simplified sharing, the app also lets you use your smartphone as a remote viewfinder and shutter release -- so perfect for group shots and a much better alternative to setting the 10-second timer and running to get into shot.
They're good little features, but what makes them great is that they're integrated into a camera that's excellent for proper photography too. The PEN has a 16 megapixel image sensor, built-in three axis image stabilization, can shoot at speeds of up to 1/4000 of a second and a host of picture modes for shooting in different conditions and for applying filters and effects.
And of course, being a mirrorless camera, it has a range of interchangeable lenses and other accessories including waterproof housing and a dedicated flash.
The PEN E-PLZ will cost $600 (€599) when it goes on sale in September for the body only and a ‘pancake' lens that offers ultra-wide-angel shots and doubles as a lens cap. For a further $100 (€100) it can also be snapped up with a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens.