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

Andy
| Last Updated: December 13, 2019

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

Specifications​​​​​

  • 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.

Andy

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.