- 16MP Live MOS sensor
- Truepic VIII processor
- 4K video capabilities at up to 30p
- 3-axis in-body image stabilization
- 121-point contrast detection AF system
- 3” tilting touchscreen LCD with 1.04m-dots
- ISO range of 200-6400
- 350-shot battery life
- .84 lbs
If you’re looking for a cheap, entry-level mirrorless camera then you’ve found it in the Olympus PEN E-PL9.
The Olympus PEN E-PL9 was officially released in the spring of 2018 and essentially acts like a pared down version of some of Olympus’ more professional mirrorless cameras. For example, whereas most Olympus cameras come with 5-axis in-body image stabilization, the Olympus PEN E-PL9 comes with 3-axis in-body image stabilization. Whereas most modern Olympus mirrorless cameras come with 4K video capabilities at up to 60p, the Olympus PEN E-PL9 comes with 4K video capabilities at up to 30p.
In these ways and many more you can think of the Olympus PEN E-PL9 as a cheaper, teenage version of some of Olympus well-loved professional mirrorless setups.
This is why young photographers and vloggers have been flocking to this camera for the past 2 years. If I had to guess, I would think that they’ll likely continue to do so for a couple more.
In this Olympus PEN E-PL9 review I’ll walk you through the Olympus PEN E-PL9 specs, build, and handling. But, perhaps most importantly, I’ll also tell you how you can get a large reduction in the Olympus PEN E-PL9 price.
Olympus PEN E-PL9 Specs
The Olympus PEN E-PL9 is an entry-level mirrorless camera with a 16MP Live MOS sensor and a Truepic VIII processor.
This camera features 4K video at up to 30p. This feature is paired with the camera’s 3-axis in-body image stabilization system which provides excellent video for vloggers, or for young travellers.
The autofocus system, like the rest of the Olympus PEN E-PL9 specs, isn’t the best system available, but it is definitely decent. It comes with a 121-point contrast-detect system that is paired with both eye and face detection, which once again will be very appealing to vloggers.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing Olympus PEN E-PL9 features is the Bluetooth connection which lets photographers transfer their tagged images to their cellphones even when the camera is turned off.
Finally, as can be expected with a camera that is clearly aimed at both vloggers and new photographers venturing outside of smartphone photography for the first time, the Olympus PEN E-PL9 comes with a tilting touchscreen. It flips 90 degrees up and 180 degrees down.
Other Olympus PEN E-PL9 Specs Include:
Olympus PEN E-PL9 Body & Design
It’s rare that I get to write a review of a camera with a design as interesting as the Olympus PEN E-PL9 design.
To me, it is quite obvious that this camera is being targeted at a younger audience. It comes in an array of different colors, like white, tan, and black, and each of them are designed to fit that retro-aesthetic which is so popular right now.
The camera actually looks quite expensive because the Olympus PEN E-PL9 body is built out of metal and faux leather.
The camera comes with a four-way control pad on its back, which could be too small for some.
Olympus PEN E-PL9 Build & Handling
The Olympus PEN E-PL9 build, as I mentioned, feels expensive. The camera measures 4.61” x 2.68” x 1.54”, and despite the fact that it looks quite heavy, it actually weighs well under 1 lb.
This, obviously, means that the Olympus PEN E-PL9 handling is quite fun. It’s light enough to bring with you wherever you’re headed and its battery life, at 350 shots, is just long enough to make this camera really versatile.
If you are a photographer with a bit more experience with other cameras, then the fact that this one doesn’t come with a viewfinder may be a dealbreaker for you. However, for a camera of this size and price, the lack of a viewfinder should be expected.
Olympus PEN E-PL9 Video Performance
Shout out to Precision Camera and Video for showing off this camera in their Olympus PEN E-PL9 video performance test, which you can watch above.
The obvious attraction of this camera to vloggers is that it shoots 4K video at a cheaper price range and that this 4K video is also paired with a pretty good autofocus system that allows you to track eyes and faces.
The camera also comes with a touchscreen, which is wonderful for photographers who are switching from a smartphone for the first time. Touchscreen LCDs simply come with less of a learning curve, and since they are so popular, you may as well start using one now.
Vloggers will also be attracted to some of the more fun video features of this camera, like the Art Filters and Movie Effects, as well as the Clips mode which allows photographers to grab 4 second videos at a time. You can think of these mini-videos like Apple’s Live Photo option for their iPhones.
Finally, the camera comes with an HS mode if you’re looking to create slo-mo videos.
Olympus PEN E-PL9 Price
When the Olympus PEN E-PL9 first came out in the spring of 2018 it was going for $600. However, as the camera has gotten older and has gotten a lot more competitors, the price has been steadily decreasing.
Now, the camera is available secondhand from plenty of sellers online. While we always recommend purchasing cameras second hand, since that means you can use all of the money you’ve saved to purchase other camera gear that will really make or break your shooting experience, buying second hand from individual sellers is kind of a crap shoot. You never really know if the camera you see online is going to actually look that way when you get it in the mail.
This is one of the many reasons why we recommend MPB to our readers. MPB is a popular second hand camera retailer. Unlike a lot of the other second hand camera retail websites, though, you don’t actually have to deal with other photographers.
MPB hires photographers to purchase old equipment from photographers all over the world. This equipment is then rated, by those professional photographers, before it is put up for sale to you.
While this isn’t the absolute cheapest way to buy used gear, it is the best way to ensure that your camera is in full working condition because MPB has a 30-day money back guarantee.
A photographer selling one old camera likely doesn’t care about a bad review online, but a big company like MPB certainly does. I have never purchased anything from the site that didn’t show up in a timely manner in the exact condition I was expecting it to. I definitely can’t say the same for Amazon or Ebay.
Plus, since MPB is a large company, they receive hundreds of new cameras every day. It may be worth checking out MPB’s Olympus PEN E-PL9 page to see if you can save.