Olympus Pen E-PL8 – Buyer’s Guide & Specs [2021]

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Olympus Pen E-PL8 Black Body with 14-42mm IIR Black Lens


  • Weight: 13.2 ounces (374g)
  • Battery: Li-ion rated at 350 shots
  • Weather Sealing: No
  • Screen: 3" tilting touchscreen
  • GPS: No
  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Flash: External flash included in bundle
  • Video: 1080p at 30 fps
  • RAW: Yes
  • Image Stabilization: 3-axis sensor shift
  • Autofocus System: Contrast detection
  • Autofocus Points: 81
  • Burst Speed: Up to 8.5 fps (for up to 16 RAW photos or 64 JPEGs)
  • Shutter Speed: 60 - 1/4000 sec., bulb
  • ISO: 100-25600
  • Processor: TruPic VII
  • Sensor: 16.1 megapixel Micro Four Thirds CMOS
  • Release Date: 2016-10-05

The Olympus PEN E-PL8 may be one of the manufacturers' more affordable options, but it's still a serious shooter with a stylish, compact body and solid features.

Using the same Micro Four Thirds sensor, the E-PL8 offers 16 megapixel resolution. The same advanced manual modes, RAW shooting as well as photo styles and auto modes are included, packed into a pretty small profile.

While budget cameras often make speed sacrifices, the E-PL8 hits a very respectable 8.5 fps burst speed -- that is with the autofocus fixed on the first frame, however. For burst with autofocus, the speed drops down to 3.7 fps. The camera uses a contrast detection autofocus system with a nice array of 81 different points, which is better for tracking objects in continuous autofocus mode.

The price of the camera does start to show a bit in video -- the 1080p HD video is at the slower 30 fps frame rate.

Olympus puts quite a bit of emphasis on style for their PEN line -- and the E-PL8 is no exception. The camera body is slim and constructed largely from brushed aluminum. A leather-grain texture wraps around the middle, available in black, brown or white. At the back, the 3" touchscreen will also tilt 180 degrees for selfies. 

While the Olympus PEN E-PL8 may not be a flagship by any means, it's a solid option for the price point, with simple controls but a high quality image sensor and advanced shooting options. The burst speed with continuous autofocus is a bit slow and the video quality isn't as high as with other options, but the PL8 is a sleek camera that should capture solid photographs. The PL8 sits at a similar price and feature set with the Fujifilm X-A3, though the A3 does boast the larger sensor and higher resolution.

Hi, I’m Andy. I’ve been taking pictures for just about as long as I’ve been old enough to hold a camera. I studied photography in community college after high school but was encouraged to follow a career path that was more stable. I do gigs here and there on the side but never took the leap to focus my efforts full-time. When Pam reached out to me through a mutual friend, I jumped on the opportunity to be a writer. Favorite type of photography: macro and street.