Cotswolds, Food & Drink, Photography

Testing out the Olympus Pen E-PL8

I love blogging. The community of the areas I try to cover, both Bristol and the Cotswolds is great. I’ve yet to notice any competitiveness or bragging between bloggers. I guess it’s because we’re all quite similar people in that we either love food, taking photographs of food or writing about experiences we have eating food. It’s a wonderful connection that brings a group of people that are essentially strangers, together.

One of my blogging highlights of the year was about a month ago now when James and I were invited by Clifton Cameras to an event they were hosting, sponsored by Olympus. The event was a Bloggers Brunch, involving a lesson in photography and a three course lunch located at Cowley Manor.

We were testing out the new Olympus Pen E-PL8 camera and each given a memory card to keep the photographs we took.

The brunch began with a brief history about Olympus, where I was interested to learn that they primarily make equipment used in surgery including small pills containing a camera that can take photographs whilst passing through your body. We weren’t to be playing about with those this time, instead we’d be sticking with the bridge cameras.

We then heard from Jay, the professional photographer, about his career and his tips on taking photographs of food. We were then handed our camera to play with just as the food began to arrive.

We had made our food choices a few weeks before and I had tried to base my choices on what would photograph the best. I’m not sure either of us made the best selection for starters but the camera did well and achieved a nice depth of field.

For my main the presentation was spot on and photographed really well. There were a variety of colours on the plate that the camera really enhanced. It also picked up a lot of the detailing in my delicious crispy potato.

We then had some time to wander the grounds of Cowley Manor to test out the cameras abilities against landscapes, buildings and people. It worked well with a bit of movement, capturing me throwing leaves in the air.

There are also a number of filters you can add to the camera whilst taking a shot and after. The problem with using them to take your photograph is that you then can’t undo that effect. We still enjoyed experimenting with it, the shots below were taken with vinaigrette, black and white, and enhanced colour filters.

The camera also looks good. It has that tanned body that makes it look vintage and stylish, which for some is a selling point on it’s own. It’s quick and has the ability to take nice looking shots in low light, maintaining plenty of detail. It felt quite heavy to hold but compared to an DSLR, is much nicer to carry around and fits perfectly in your handbag, or even a coat pocket.

If you’re in the market for a bridge camera and looking for a great bang for your buck, I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the Olympus Pen E-PL8, or perhaps even the older versions if you want to spend less.

James and I finished our Blogger’s Brunch with a trip to the Cowley Manor Spa, fully extending a wonderful day learning, eating and indulging. Thank you again Clifton Cameras for inviting us!

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