The Olympus PEN range has another model to add to its growing family. This time its with the mirrorless compact E-PL9, which boasts a 16.1 mega pixel Micro Four Thirds (4/3” Live MOS) sensor, 4K video recording @ 30fps (+ HD@ 30p, 25p, 24p), 3 Inch touch screen LCD Display (tilt enabled), TruePic VIII image processor, excellent 3-axis picture stabilization, Bluetooth LE (low energy + always on), WiFi, Eye-Fi compatible, JPEG + RAW modes, built-in pop up flash, Micro USB, Micro HDMI and a BLS‑50 Lithium‑Ion Battery.
The Olympus PEN E-PL9 is a fairly small, light in weight compact camera that’s very versatile, making it a definite contender for those who like to travel light and shoot a wide array of different subjects on the go. Build quality is excellent. It feels solid and sturdy in the hand, and certainly has a look of professionalism. But it should have that for the money it costs. Stand out features are, great video quality, RAW mode and superb JPEG capabilities + Macro from the standard lens kit. However, if you’re somewhat of a lens geek, there are many lenses available for the E-PL9. From the M.Zuiko, to the Legacy range (adaptors required for legacy’s).
Whilst this is a great, trendy looking compact that can more than hold its own in most situations, it isn’t much of an upgrade from the E-PL8. Olympus state that the E-PL9 is targeted toward Smartphone users who are looking to make the transition from using their smartphone for filming and snapping away, to using a real camera that operates the same way as a smartphone. Just aim and shoot. If that is the case, then they haven’t made it a very affordable move. I mean, for what they describe as an entry level camera, it’s retail price does not match the entry level label it has been given. I think Olympus have marketed this product wrong (Not that it matters much if the camera is excellent).
And I’m sure that not all Smartphone users who are looking to make the transition over to a compact wouldn’t want things exactly the same anyway. Perhaps they would like to have the experience of using a view finder to look through in order to get a feel for what’s to come as they make progress in their photographic journey. Sounds great. Only on the E-PL9 that is not possible. The electronic view finder attachment which was available for the previous model is not usable with the PL9.
Overall a great compact with some excellent features, but expensive for an “entry-level” camera, and not much better than its younger brother, the Olympus E-PL8. Available in Black, Brown and White. Although I have seen that there is also a limited edition blue out there that someone was using to review this model. Not sure how obtainable it is though if buying this camera from a retail store. I suspect the reviewer got hooked up with the limited edition model in order to write the review. Read that review. Release date is 16th March 2018. However, it is available to pre-order from Amazon (UK + USA). Options: Body only, or complete with the M.Zuiko 14 – 42 mm Pancake Lens.