Prior to starting flirting with the idea of creating a travel blog, I used a digital camera with great specifications… for its time. As technology is rapidly evolving, what was the best deal 5 years ago, today is a pixel box. Today I will tell you about my blogging camera.
So I decided it’s time to upgrade my old camera, but didn’t want a digital one, so I looked for digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera instead. Several aspects such as the price, the weight and the need to know all the buttons to take pretty photos, discouraged me to buy such camera.
Below I propose a comparison of a detail of the Haut-Kœnisbourg Castle in Alsace, France. The two photos were taken at the same time, almost at the same angle. I didn’t modify the pictures, as to enhance colors or contrast, as I usually do; this is the original version, with a zoom on the same detail. Slide for fun!
- Further readings: Click to discover more about France.
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And instead I turned my eye towards the hybrids.
In this article I talk about my new Olympus camera and its accessories.
Blogging camera gear
The Olympus Pen Lite E-PL7 camera had good reviews among fellow bloggers, and good photography and video specifications, comparable to a professional camera. I decided it was the best blogging camera option for me.
After several weeks of reading reviews and comparing prices, I finally found an offer on Fnac (a French retail chain selling cultural and electronic products) which sold it as a package with 14-42 lens and flash included. I had 50€ off for the white model, so I went for it. The also offered a 5% as a voucher on my client account.
Price I paid on Fnac Fr.: 499.99€
Check the price for Olympus E-PL7 with 14-42/3.5-5.6 M.Zuiko Digital lens on Amazon too, it may be more interesting for you.
Update: If you live in France, currently Fnac is running an interesting package offer:
2. Same package with E-PL7, but without the memory card included for 699.99€
In order to protect my camera – especially the screen, I opted for the flexible camera cover with hook-and-loop fastener that adapts to the length of the lenses.
Price I paid on Amazon Fr.: 18.90€
The basic lens
I use the basic 14-42 mm, which came with the camera, called the M. Zuiko Digital 14-42 mm lens.
The basic lens is for city scenes, fast point-and-shoot use, for day-to-day photography, but when I’m in nature I prefer the wide lens.
Price: 0 (included in the pack)
The wide lens
A complement for the basic lens is the 40-150 mm, called the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150 mm lens, which completes the range and offers wide view, adapted for landscape photography. This is the best combo lens for your blogging camera.
So if you have the Olympus Pen series, make sure to buy the M.Zuiko lenses. If not, you will need and adapter.
The “M.” before the lens’ name stands for Micro, as this is a micro 3/4 camera, and not a standard one. Thus, buying Zuiko lenses won’t fit. I have experience with that.
Prices for lenses on Amazon vary depending on the location, so on Amazon France I later found the same lens for 276€, but on Amazon US it was selling for 100$. Of course I couldn’t purchase that one. If I did, I would’ve resold the Zuiko 40-150 lens. But finally I had to keep this lens that didn’t fit.
Price for second-hand Zuiko 40-150 lens: 99€
On Amazon Fr. the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150 mm lens costs 237€.
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As previously mentioned, recently I’ve purchased the wide Zuiko Digital 40-150 lens. Yes, now I know exactly what I did, but at that time, when my new lens arrived and didn’t fit, I seriously panicked and spent my whole evening on tech forums, reading product reviews on Amazon and other sites to find out what exactly was the problem.
Because I had to read a lot and to dig down to fifth Google pages, I feel responsible to inform you about this aspect, in order to make you avoid the same mistake I did. So don’t buy a Zuiko lens for your Olympus Pen series, because it won’t fit…
…unless you want to! You’ll need the M. Zuiko lens.
Spending time on Olympus official site or Amazon I saw that the prices varied enormously. I don’t have that much money for blogging camera gear! If I had, maybe I would have considered the DSLR cameras.
And since slightly pro lenses for Olympus become quickly very expensive, I thought I could search for a second-hand lens. And I found one! Even though at that time I didn’t know it won’t fit, I bought it. It was 100€, solar cap included! Best offer ever, which I don’t regret.
But then I needed the lens adapter from 3/4 lens to micro 3/4 camera. After some research I found the official Olympus adapter for like 200€!! What?! I am not nuts to buy this. It’s only a metallic ring that adapts 3/4 lenses to micro 3/4 cameras.
So I looked for other options. Lens adapters starting at 13€ on Amazon for the most basic ones. The rings with Auto-focus engine were slightly more expensive, but still more affordable than the official Olympus. I read ALL the reviews available on Amazon and purchased one with auto-focus for 23€, although the auto-focus is a bit long.
Price on Amazon Fr. for Fotga AF Electronic Autofocus Adaptater for 4/3 lens for Olympus Pen Micro M4/3 22.99€.
For the memory card I opted for a 64Gb, with fast writing capabilities, purchased on Fnac, and a second one, slightly different, purchased on Amazon, with little pack for storing SD cards, that cost 0.7€ at that time on Amazon.
Price I paid on Fnac: 70€
Price I paid on Amazon: 23.99€ for the second 64Gb memory card
Total cost for memory cards: 95.39€
And of course, for destinations like Myanmar, where you’re not sure when you’ll be able to charge your devices, I purchased 2 extra batteries for my blogging camera. They fit properly, but I didn’t get to test them yet. I will make an update on this aspect after I come back.
Price paid on Amazon: 16.99€ for the set of two batteries
This tripod expands up to 1.2 m, and has a 3-axis movement. Its package measures 40 cm, and weights 300 g.
Price I paid on Amazon: 16.78€ delivery taxes included
In order to avoid sun reflections on your lens, you may need a hood to attach on your lens. My Zuiko lens came with the hood.
Price: 0€, included with the Zuiko 40-150 mm lens
As I’m too novice for this extra, I won’t present it yet, as I have to experiment it myself. Will update when I will have decided it’s time to buy filters.
On my wishlist
An action camera for him, as he’s doing lots of rock-climbing, and on top of the mountains the view is incredible.
So we’ll probably opt out for a GoPro, for its specifications and its accessories, such as:
- very little and light, perfect for rock-climbing sessions when you have to carry all that material
- the impermeable sub-water case, for water solo climbing sessions
- the head-strap or torso-strap, this would have been perfect for the Paris Marathon, where he passed near all the Parisian attractions, or for the Tchimbé du Volcan, a well-known 50km trail in Martinique, where he ran through the jungle and rivers, on a +2,610m elevation
- the selfie stick, even though I am not very fond of it, sometimes it may come useful
- the mini-tripod for time-lapses fixations, for sunrises or sunsets, climbing sessions, etc.
As you may observe, the panoramic view is magnificent, but the quality of the photo, not so much.
This year I invested 770.04€ in my blogging camera and its accessories, and started learning more about this field. Whether it’s about learning the specifications of my camera, or photography techniques, I will do my best to improve myself and my photography skills in order to show you the best from our travels.
After several months of using my Olympus Pen camera I declare myself very pleased about what my camera can do, especially for videos.
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