Olympus PEN E-PL8

16MP Four Thirds sensor | Sensor-shift image stabilization | 3" 1.04M-dot touch LCD

What we like:

  • 3-axis sensor-shift IS works with all lenses
  • Camera is fairly customizable
  • Wi-Fi connectivity

What we don't:

  • Only one control dial on top
  • Controls feel like those of a compact, not a mirrorless camera

The Olympus E-PL8 is the company's entry-level 16MP Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera. It features a flip-out touchscreen and Wi-Fi for simple shooting and image transfer.

The user interface is a mix of point-and-shoot simplicity and, if you delve deep into the menus, incredible complexity. This means it can adapt from almost smartphone-like tapping to shoot through to mid-range DSLR levels of control if customized enough.

Autofocus is very fast and primarily controlled by tapping on the screen. Focus tracking is less convincing, with the camera doing a good job or recognizing what to focus on but a less good job at keeping it in focus.

Image quality is good with the camera's JPEG engine producing punchy, vibrant images with very little effort on the photographer's part. Its extensive range of Art Filters give Instagram-esque processing effects that can liven-up otherwise bland scenes. The underlying Raw performance is also pretty good, giving processing flexibility if you need it.

While just a refresh of the E-PL7, the E-PL8 remains a solid choice, especially for those who love its looks.

The E-PL8 can shoots 1080p video at up to 30p. The quality is pretty good and the camera's in-body image stabilization is certainly useful. The autofocus isn't especially reliable, though and the support tools needed to shoot manually are lacking.

The mainly cosmetic refresh over its predecessor leaves the E-PL8 looking pretty but a little behind the times. It's a thoroughly likeable camera for which a large range of lenses is available. Its capabilities don't stand out as prominently as its looks, though.

Specifications Compared