Launched last month at photography trade fair Photokina in Cologne, the latest edition of the super popular ‘blogger camera’ Olympus Pen, the Olympus Pen E-PL8, has entered the arena. The star of this weekend’s #PENpartygreece blogger event – see all the action on Instagram – here’s a quick look at what you need to know…
The most obvious change compared to previous model, the Pen E-PL7, is the design overhaul; rounded curves, smoother to hold and possibly a touch more compact. Very retro looking and in addition to the black/silver and white colourways, there’s the new brown, which is the one I liked best.
Apart from the design there are a few fun new features. My favourite is Movie Clips (something I’ve been using on the Pen F to make super quick & easy edited in-camera videos – like this one from our trip to Lisbon). Otherwise there’s a new selfie feature where you can adjust the exposure on a slider by touch while holding the camera at arm’s length and some new art filters.
There are some more smaller technical specifications (slightly faster processor) for sure, but not one that significantly affect the output. The other thing to note is that the E-PL8 will only be sold with the pancake lens (ie. more compact 14-42mm kit lens) unlike the E-PL7 which had a cheaper version of the same lens which was a bit bulkier – overall a bit confusing for purchasers… Quite relieved I won’t have to have that conversation anymore as it wasn’t always that clear when buying online!
OLYMPUS PEN E-PL8 OVERVIEW
In sum, the Olympus Pen E-PL8 has retained the technical parts of the E-PL7 and undergone a design overhaul resulting in a sleek, more streamline look with some new but not necessarily life-changing features – well, I do love the Movie Clips I must admit! Image quality on the E-PL8 might be ever so slightly better but not something that is obvious to the eye if you were to compare. The only downside for me is that I find the video record button is quite near the thumb grip and I accidentally ended up recording instead of taking pictures a few times! But I think this could be down to how I’m used to holding the F which has a little bit more space!
*If you’ve just bought the E-PL8, head to this 15 Tips & Tricks post I wrote for the E-PL7 – still relevant as the cameras work exactly the same. The E-PL8 just has a couple of extra features which I will flag up.
STILL PREFER THE E-PL7?
You can still get the E-PL7 at some retailers at the moment – check out the Olympus website, Jessops and Curries.
But if you love the new look you can be one of the first to own the E-PL8! I have 15 on exclusive early release in all three colours which you can buy through this link – plus a free strap from the new accessories range too!
BUT IS IT TIME TO UPGRADE?
If however, you are looking to make a more serious upgrade (and investment!) then I would recommend the Pen F (pictured in black and black/silver above) which is the camera I have been using since March when it was released and couldn’t be happier with. I find the image quality outstanding (improved Pen sensor with more megapixels) and I’m obsessed with the colour controls and really much prefer having the viewfinder – the F is the first Pen to ever have one!
I just bought the F body as I had the lenses I wanted already (17mm, 45mm, 75mm) and am utterly convinced this is going to be my camera of choice for a very long time! I will write more about the F soon I promise! But this is what I currently shoot all my blog and Instagram photography on. The E-PL8 is a fantastic starter camera (especially if you’ve just been using your phone for pictures!) but if you’re ready to move on and upgrade I would seriously recommend looking into the Pen F!
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I am interested in buying the O Pen F and will probably choose the ultra slim (14-42mm) lens. Would you recommend it? Any better purchase than this one? And on the fashion side, would you go with the black straps or the silver ones?
Many thanks in advance for your reply. Have a lovely day!
PS: Love your pix and blog!
Lovely to hear from you! Ok, so the more expensive Pen F (£1199.99) only comes with the 17mm 1.8 lens while the Pen E-PL8 comes with the 14-42mm pancake lens (£499). It was the previous model (E-PL7) that gave the option of the chunkier 14-42mm if that makes sense!
Ah I don’t think the straps come in silver, at least I haven’t seen them. Do you mean the colour option on the camera? Personally I prefer the black & silver model! 🙂
Hope that helps?
Thanks a lot for your quick reply. I think I am going to buy the PEN F body camera and then choose the lens. Quite attracted to the 14-42mm pancake, 40-150mm and 9-18mm…but I need to save up more!! 🙂
The silver straps are advertised on the Olympus website, but I think I’ll go with the black ones to go with the silver&black model. Any recommendations for the lenses? Have you tried many?
Have a lovely day!
Re lenses, tbh the ones I use are the 17mm (which the F comes with if you buy that package) and the 45mm lens. I don’t use the 14-42mm pancake as I prefer the depth of field and quality of the prime lenses. The other zooms I haven’t tried though. The lens I use for 85% of my shots is the 17mm. Hope that helps!
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my queries…and yes, your comments do help!! 🙂 … and now reflection time…
Again many thanks!
So many cameras, so little time! Seriously, although I do admire the retro brown finish on the new PL8, it’s still got to be the F for me and I look forward to reading more about it in due course. If only the price would come down a little …
The brown really is lovely! But yes, the F really does win out though… Gosh no idea, but prices always seem to come down eventually don’t they? xx
I was looking for the Olympos Pen E-PL7 everywhere but it’s out of stock! 🙁 I might actually get the Olympos Pen E-PL8 now.. Is your promo code still working? 🙂
Hi lovely! Yes, this is still working! Let me know how you get on! 🙂 xx
What exactly is the promo code? When I type it on the website it says it’s expired.. xx
Hi lovely! Am so sorry, there’s no discount with this link. It was just an early bird link to buy before the main release… are you able to get through to a product page? Xx
The promo code gets you a free strap though! 🙂
I think actually the strap is added automatically 🙂
I just purchased the E-PL8 in brown, I love the retro feel and it’s my first camera that’s not a Canon. Loving it so far!
Le recently posted…Milk Train Cafe Covent Garden – Cloud 9
Hi, I bought the EPL 8 about 4 days ago and I have been playing around with the settings and following your instruction from your very informative posts (thanks a lot by the way, they are great!)
I’ve been taking pictures non stop just to practice but all of them seem to come out blurry, has this happened to you? Do you have any tips on how to prevent this from happening? I now that getting a tripod would help me but if I am out and about I font really want to be carrying a tripod with me
Vanessa x / http://www.springlilies.com
I am keen to improve my photography skills and have been looking at getting a camera for a couple of weeks. I was tossing up between the panasonic DMC-GX80 and an Olympus. Reading your thoughts and seeing the amount of online tutorials for the Olympus cameras, I am now heavily swaying towards them, but can’t decide between the EPL-8, EPL-7 (it is about £100 cheaper at the mo which is swaying me) or the E-M10 Mark II (I wonder if the viewfinder and pop up flash will be useful). Do you have any thoughts or advice?
I mainly want to capture interior room shots to start with but would be good to move on to landscape and some portraiture at some point. All thoughts much appreciated.
Tbh the only difference between the E-Pl7 and E-Pl8 is the design and a couple of functions like the video clips and selfie assist. If you can live without those, then go for the 7. What you might not be able to live without is the viewfinder, there was a time when I certainly couldn’t – however these days I find so much freedom and flexibility shooting via the screen. Depends how you use a camera, but lots of people go for the OMD for the viewfinder… or you can buy a viewfinder to slot in the top of the Pen, but it’s expensive… hope that all helps! xx
Hi, that is really helpful thanks. I am going to borrow a friend’s camera with a viewfinder at the weekend, to get a feel for how I will use the camera and make a decision from there, but it’s good to know that is the main difference. Thanks very much for the super quick response x
Your blog is my benchmark for everything pen! Could you tell me which 75mm lens you use? Is it the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm 1:1.8 Lens?
If it’s good enough for you, it’s definitely gonna be good for me!
Ah thankyou! Yes the 75 1.8 is the one. Bit heavier/bigger than the others but quite superb 🙂 x
Hi! What kind of strap do you have on your brown pl8 camera? I love the color, but I can’t find it anywhere…
Many thanks in advance! Have a superb day <3
Hi there! This is one of my collab straps with Mimi Berry 🙂 you can find it here – https://www.mimiberry.co.uk/collections/tech-products
Thanks for the great article! I’ve been using Olympus Pen E-PL7 for some time, but recently started to think about an upgrade. Based on what I’ve read Pen E-PL8 is not that much different, so maybe Pen F would be a better choice? Or are there any other options you could recommend?
// Henry / alwaysflybusiness.com
Yes, very little difference between the 7 and the 8 – for a really fantastic upgrade, the F is definitely the way to go, I adore this model! The only other thing worth considering is the OMD range as they all have viewfinders and are weatherproofed which the F isn’t. Hope that helps? Julia
Thanks again! It took some time to decide, but thanks to Black Friday and 699 EUR offer, I finally ended up on buying OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 Mark II. Basically Pen F would have been my number 1 choice, but that OMD E-M5 deal made me decide otherwise. Can’t wait to receive my new camera and test it on my Vegas trip:)
Do you know any good online tutorials for a new OM-D E-M5 owner?
// Henry / alwaysflybusiness.com
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