Olympus PEN E-PL9

Olympus PEN E-PL9

16MP Four Thirds sensor | Sensor-shift image stabilization | Wi-Fi + Bluetooth

What we like:

  • 3-axis sensor-shift IS works with all lenses
  • 4K video capture
  • Wi-Fi + Bluetooth connectivity

What we don't:

  • Small buttons
  • Overly complex menus
  • No USB charging
The Olympus E-PL9 is Olympus' entry-level mirrorless camera for 2018 that focuses on style, creative shooting and, of course, selfies. It improves upon its predecessor by offering an updated AF system, 4K video capture and Bluetooth connectivity and a built-in flash while retaining the same 16MP Four Thirds sensor, in-body image stabilizer and flip-down LCD of the E-PL8.
The E-PL9 has sleek lines and is wrapped by what feels like actual leather (it isn't), with a grip that feels 'just right'. The buttons on the rear of the camera are very small, which may frustrate those with large fingers. When shooting in Auto mode the slider-based interface is simple, though the main menu is very complex. The Bluetooth feature lets the camera transfer photos to your smartphone after you turn it off.
The E-PL9's numerous Art Filters allow you to produce creative photos with nearly zero effort
The E-PL9 has the same 121-point contrast-detect AF system as the step-up E-M10 III. That camera performed well at keeping an approaching subject in focus but not-so-well if their movements were random. We'll test that out on the E-PL9 when we review it, including at its top burst speed (with continuous AF) of 4.8 fps. The camera can take up to 350 shots per charge, though it cannot be recharged over a USB connection.
The camera produces JPEGs with punchy colors, though the 14-42mm kit lens isn't terribly sharp. The E-PL9's numerous Art Filters allow you to produce creative photos with nearly zero effort.
You can record video at 4K/30p (or 24p) on the E-PL9, though only in its dedicated movie mode. Quality at this resolution is very good on the E-M10 III and we expect the same here.
Olympus' E-PL9 is an attractive, low-priced mirrorless camera that makes creative shooting easy. As long as you don't venture too far into the menu system it's easy to use, and owners can expect solid image and video quality, a reliable AF system and good connectivity features.

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