Olympus PEN E-PL8 Brief Review



  • 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
  • Final Grade: 88 4.4 Star Rating: Recommended

The Olympus PEN E-PL8 is a stylish budget mirrorless
As one of Olympus' more affordable mirrorless cameras, the E-PL8 is still no push-over with several solid features.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 11/8/2016

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.

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Olympus Reviews

Olympus is a long-time camera manufacturer, but lately they've been offering innovative, compact imaging options that are well worth a look. While Olympus doesn't have a camera in every category like Nikon or Sony, their focus on the cameras they offer shows.

Olympus' main, and best, cameras are their mirrorless line. The OM-D line offers mirrorless cameras that rival professional results while their PEN options offer the most portability and affordability. Most of their mirrorless cameras have simple, retro designs that work really well. Their kit lenses are often a bit higher quality than most. The Olympus mirrorless cameras we've been able to test have shown excellent image quality and usability.

While most of Olympus' focus seems to be on their excellent mirrorless line, we haven't been disappointed with any of their compacts we've put through our tests either. The TG-3 and TG-4 are among the best waterproof compacts on the market. And when we put the super zoom SP-100 to the test, we were quite happy with the image quality and performance.

Olympus may not have a camera in each and every category, but they've really put a lot into their existing cameras, making them excellent options.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.