Let’s talk about the remote control function of the Olympus pen series cameras, how they work and why they’re easy to use. As well as practically talking about how to take photos of yourself. Oh, and there’s a very attractive 20% off discount code to be used on the Olympus website for all of you!
What happens when you don’t have an Instagram boyfriend? Or your husband isn’t good with a camera, or your friends don’t take more than one shot when you ask them for a photo? (Rookie mistake.) It’s hard to capture the perfect content for your blog, website or Instagram when you don’t have a billion set of hands right? Which is why if you’re serious about content then it’s best to get a camera that can bridge that gap and be the extra set of hands needed to nail the perfect shot.
The first camera I invested in as a blogger was the Olympus E-PL7. Upgrading from my phone to an actual camera about 3 years ago is where the visual side of my content really took off. And while I hear a lot of people say ‘you can still blog and use a phone for your photo’s’ which is true, I do highly recommend investing in an Olympus Pen series camera when you’re ready to. It does make the world of difference.
I still use my E-PL7 but I recently invested in the new E-PL9 for various reasons. I needed something that could record video in 4K now that I’ve branched out into YouTube as well, and the new E-PL9 offered more in terms of connectivity and use. Being married to a professional video producer who loves cameras more than most other things in life, my usually hard to please husband was seriously impressed with everything the E-PL9 offered. “This is a great little camera Chloe.” And that won it the sign of approval.
One of the reasons I initially invested in the Olympus Pen series first with my E-PL7 and now again with my new E-PL9 is because of the remote control option. My husband may work with cameras but he loathes shooting with me (and vice versa!) so I don’t have that Instagram husband on hand. My son is still too young to train as my little sidekick and I do most of my work in the week when my friends are at work too. So I needed something that allowed me to capture pictures that didn’t involve needing someone else to hold the camera. And the Olympus Pen cameras offer the perfect way to take a photo of yourself using the remote control. No hands needed.
With built-in WiFi you simply connect your camera to your phone via a simple-to-download app called OI Share. This then connects and turns your phone into your remote control. When you log on to the OI Share App this is the home screen you’ll see:
It’s very simple to use. The Remote Control tab is where I spend most of my time. And we’ll come on to that shortly. There’s also the Import Photos tab that allows you to whizz across your files from the camera directly to your phone for quick Instagram posting etc. There’s also a Camera How To which is a DIY type tab, then an Edit Photo tab and Add Geotag tab. All pretty self explanatory.
When you open the Remote Control tab, you’ll see what the camera sees directly on your phone, thus allowing you to use it as a remote control. The image is in the middle and the settings are all along the bottom. The most obvious thing you’ll note is the camera button at the bottom which captures the shot. Press that and you’ve taken your first self photo in seconds – without needing to hold the camera or involve anyone else.
Using the remote control option you can control the f.stop value, exposure, ISO and white balance manually. Basically everything you need to get the perfect shot. There’s also a self timer option which is even better for getting excellent self photos. You can adjust the timer depending on how long you think you’ll need to get ready, I usually go for about 8 seconds, and the app will count you down. Hide the phone from sight and use the time to take that perfect and professional shot. All you need to do is pose!
You don’t need to be the best photographer to use the remote control option. In fact, it’s a great option for those who don’t know a lot about cameras and still want great photos! You can leave all the settings on automatic and they’ll carry over to the app when shooting. Or as you grow in your skills, you can begin to adjust the exposure and the f.stop etc to get the right lighting, brightness and control the depth of field (that dreamy blur!) It’s a one-click wonder when you need it and a more intricate adjustment ability if you want too – perfect for both novice photographers and those who are used to working with a proper camera a bit more.
After you’ve taken your shot, all that’s left to do is return to the home page of the OI Share app, head to Import Photo’s which looks like the example below, click the images you want to share and they’ll move to your phone via the WiFi connection. Voila! You have some proper pictures with you in front of the camera and not hiding behind it!
And FYI – for those of you reading this and wondering about file format, when transferring over the files, these will always be JPEGS when moving over WiFi. If you want the RAW files to edit then you’ll need to remove the memory card and put them on your computer manually as RAW files don’t transfer by WiFi – they’re too big.
Now you’ve seen how simple it is to capture pictures of yourself in front of the camera, all that’s left is a Tripod to mount it on. You can invest a little or a lot in a tripod and that’s entirely up to you. I have a £12 Tripod from Amazon that’s lasted me the entirety of my blog career so far and I have no intentions of upgrading it any time soon as it does the job perfectly. This is the one I have. A Tripod will position your camera and hold it securely in place. They all usually extend and fold away easily so you can take them away with you and store them easily.
So there you have it – the easiest way to take pictures of yourself. And it doesn’t involve an Instagram husband, balancing your camera on books stacked on your table or you never being in the actual picture. The remote control feature of the Olympus Pen series was one of the biggest selling points for me as it makes life so easy when it comes to content creation.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to invest in the E-PL9 then hopefully this will have swayed you and taught you how to take photos of yourself! If it wasn’t enough, Olympus have kindly given me a 20% discount code for all my readers to use on their own camera purchase!
Use code LADY20 on the Olympus Website to get 20% off your E-PL9 and take your blog and Instagram photos to the next level.
**This post contains links which may be affiliate but as ever all opinions are entirely my own. Please refer to my Disclaimer page for more details.