I'm sorry its taken me an age to get up my Olympus PEN EPL9 Camera review. I've had the camera for a while now but really wanted to test drive it properly before I wrote the post. I'm going to start off with a general review of the new PEN EPL9 camera and then at the bottom a quick comparison of the Olympus PEN EPL9 versus the EPL7 and EPL8. There's also a discount code for my readers which will give you 10% off so find that at the bottom too.
Olympus PEN EPL9 Camera - Design
The Olympus PEN EPL9 is the newest version of the very popular PEN camera and comes in White (which I have), black and a pale brown colour which I'm calling Taupe. Design wise its very similar to previous PEN's. It has a metal body with coloured wrap around leather design. Front hand grip and rear finger grip in contrasting colour and on the EPL9 the function buttons are also coloured too which is much more obvious on the taupe or black cameras. I prefer this style of front hand grip which is similar to the EPL7 as its larger. It has a larger function wheel which is much more user friendly to use and I find all the buttons are easier to press too.
I have the Olympus PEN EPL9 camera body only as obviously I can use all my existing Olympus PEN lenses as they fit on all models.
The PEN EPL9 has 9 Shooting modes on the wheel.
AUTO - Basically point and shoot. This means all the settings will be selected for you.
P - This is halfway between Auto and Manual. The camera will select the optimum shutter speed and aperture but by clicking the top wheel you can adjust the exposure.
A - Aperture priority mode means you adjust the aperture and the camera will auto adjust the shutter speed to suit. Great for adjusting background blur You can also adjust all other settings.
S - Shutter priority mode means you adjust the shutter speed and the camera will auto adjust the aperture to suit. Great for moving subjects. You can also adjust all other settings.
M- Manual mode means you can adjust shutter speed AND aperture giving you full control over your images.
SCN - Scene Mode. In this mode you can select the mode most similar to what you are shooting and the camera will chose the optimum settings for you.
AP - Advanced Photo Mode. In this mode you can access 9 advanced photo options.
ART - Here you will find 16 Art Filters you can instantly apply to photos.
VIDEO - Shoot 4K and 1080p movies and movie clips.
Olympus PEN EPL9 - Flipscreen
The flip screen has the same movement as the previous PEN cameras. Totally touch screen it can flip down so its front facing. This is great for shooting selfies and for vlogging too. You can take photos, start recording and quick brighten all from the touch screen. When you tap to take there is a 2 second delay too so you can perfect your pose. The screen can also flip upwards and outwards on its bracket. The upwards flip is great for shooting flat lays and low photos too. Again the touch screen functionality remains even when the screen is flipped out.
The location of the bottom thread still means that the screen cannot flip once the PEN EPL9 is on a tripod by this thread, unless you have a tripod adapter like this. But you can use the Olympus App to connect the camera with your smartphone and use the remote control option to film short movies. The new Olympus PEN EPL9 Camera has Bluetooth LE with Wi-Fi to so once you connect via the app you can opt to keep the connection even when “asleep”. If you then want to import some images you just shot but the camera is back in your bag you can open the app and wake up the camera without needing to get it out and switch it on. This is a brilliant option I think and really handy for all us bloggers who look at our images on the train home.
Another handy addition to the PEN EPL9 is a built in flash which just pops up from the top of the camera. I'll be honest I don't use the flash for my shots but on the odd occasion when I've thought hmm maybe I could use the flash I've left it at home as the other models had a separate clip on flash unit. This is a really nifty little update.
Another nice update is that the SUPER CONTROL MENU is automatically set up on the EPL9. Simply press the button top left on the back with the grid icon on it and the SCP will appear. It has quite a few more icons and options that the previous PEN models as do the general menus which to some camera novices may be a little intimidating. I'm going to do a post with more detail about some of these functions but for general use you can change White Balance, ISO, Image ratio, Focus grid and image options like self timer etc here.
Olympus PEN EPL9 Camera - Scene & ART modes
In Scene Mode (SCN on the wheel) the PEN EPL9 has a new more user friendly menu. Choose from the 6 images which one best suits what you are trying to shoot and click ok on it. Through this you'll find more specific options eg/ portrait, portrait & landscape etc . This mode is super handy if you have no idea what settings to choose and I have to say I have used it on fireworks.
The ART Filters option has 16 options to instantly add a filter to your photos. You can see the effect live on the screen which is brilliant and the EPL9 has the new Instant Film filter which gives the warm effect of an older film camera. Really cool for creating quirky images.
Olympus PEN EPL9 Camera - Advanced Photo Mode
A brand new option on the Olympus Pen EPL9 camera is the Advanced Photo Mode (AP). It has 9 options to create advanced photo techniques such as Panorama, Live Time for long exposure shots and keystone compensation. These kind of options really excite an advanced camera user like me but also with the info displayed for example when to use a tripod etc even a beginner can have a go at any of these.
Olympus Pen EPL9 Camera - Video recording
A massive upside of the new PEN EPL9 is the new 4K movie recording option.
I like to film the odd video and vlog on my Olympus PEN so I'm really excited I can create 4K videos now. You can also add video effects and filters plus there is an option to take short video clips and edit them into a short movie.
You can also record high speed video which can be played back in slow motion another really cool new feature on the PEN EPL9.
Overall the Olympus PEN EPL9 is a great camera. I prefer the design especially the hand grip and although I initially found the larger wheel a bit clunky, after now using it I have found it much easier to see and use. I'm impressed with the 4k video and the new shooting options available as well as the addition of bluetooth to make using the app easier. I think the PEN EPL9 is a great camera for beginners thanks to how clear and easy to use the SCENE and AP modes are but I also think the EPL9 will please more advanced photographers too. Along with the huge choice of lenses, the ability to try out more advanced photo techniques easily and to record 4K video I think make this Olympus Pen the best one yet. Ok so there is still the tripod and flip screen issue, but there are ways around that and I do think the additions of these extra options make the camera a real improvement on the other two.
Comparison of the Olympus PEN EPL9 to the EPL7 and EPL8
I've done a quick comparison table below for the main differences between the EPL7, EPL8 and the new EPL9. Overall the EPL9 has some really cool extra functions including 4K video and Advanced Photo Mode plus I do prefer the bolder design. I think the EPL9 is much more user friendly in a lot of ways although it has a HUGE amount of extra options in the menus etc.
The EPL9 is a little heavier than previous models which can make it a bit arm achy for vlogging but then I don't think that's where its strength lies. Its primarily an amazing photo shooting camera but the fact I can shoot 4K video makes me very happy indeed.
Here's the main points for comparison.
Hope you've found my Olympus PEN EPL9 Camera review useful. I'm going to do a few more posts more specifically about the EPL9 and its settings.
Plus don't forget you can get 10% off the brand new PEN EPL9 with code BANGONSTYLE10 when you buy direct from Olympus.
Its also valid on: