Olympus Unveils New & Very Retro-stylish Pen E-PL9 4K Mirrorless Camera

by on February 8, 2018
Stephan Jukic – February 8, 2018

For lovers of retro-looking cameras with advanced features like 4K video recording, the new Oympus Pen E-PL9 is just about as awesome looking as these little buggers get. Announced by Olympus yesterday, the little silver & black-bodied camera is an updated version of the E-PL8 model from 2016 but with some major improvements on previous weaknesses and some augmented new specs.

For starters, while the E-PL9 sticks to the same cool retro body design that its predecessor had, it offers a more ergonomic grip and an integrated pop-up flash apparatus that simplifies shooting under dark conditions without the hassle and extra expense of an external flash attachment.

On the internal side, we have the new camera’s single biggest improvement, the ability to capture 4K ultra HD video at 30 frames per second. Some users with more of a photographic orientation might not find this very important but at least it’s there for when you want to record high quality video of an event on the fly. How much 4K recording is allowed remains unknown.

The Brown version of the PEN E PL9

The Brown version of the PEN E PL9

In terms of all its other major specs, the E-PL9 also pretty robust, with a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor that’s very similar to those found in this camera’s previous iterations. There’s also an Olympus TruePic VIII processer that’s identical to that found in the flagship Olympus camera, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II and to top these off, the E-PL9 also comes with a nice little three-axis image stabilization package that will be great for both photo and video recording on the move.

Olympus has given the E-PL9 an upgraded 121-point autofocus system that takes things up heavily from the 81-point version of the E-PL8 and other new features for connectivity include Bluetooth for easy photo sharing to external devices like smartphones. WiFi is also of course present in the E-PL9.

We should also note that the E-PL9 offers full compatibility with the complete range of Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses since it too is a Micro Four Thirds camera.

olympus-pen-e-pl9-micro-four-thirds-3 Olympus-PEN-E-PL9-4K-camera

As for usability, the E-PL9 will be one of Olympus’s cheapest and simplest compact cameras in the Pen series. More of a consumer model for amateur photographers who’d like a compact shooter that still allows for interchangeable lenses, the E-PL9 comes with an auto mode that Olympus is focusing on as a useful tool for people who want to keep as much of the photographic process automatic as possible. There’s also a flip around LCD display screen for taking high resolution selfies.

Olympus will be releasing the E-PL9 in three different retro design tones, with a black ,white and brown version planned. And we’re expecting a release time in March for the European market at a price of around €699 with 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Pancake lens included. A body only version will also be available for €549. U.S prices and release dates haven’t yet been announced but presumably the camera to come out before June and retail for slightly above the above price numbers but denominated in U.S dollars. This is a common pricing schedule for many electronics, even if it means that the European releases actually end up being quite a bit pricier than their U.S versions.

Also Read: Our review of the excellent, low-light-capable Sony a6300 4K mirrorless camera
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