Best Olympus Pen E-PL9 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020:
Anew evolution of the Olympus retro case, the Pen E-PL9 succeeds the E-PL8 . The integration of 4K / UHD video, a latest generation processor and a new autofocus system, however, mark here a more frank evolution of the hyper-stylish hybrid.
The only announcement at Olympus since the start of the year, the Pen E-PL9 therefore replaces the E-PL8 which had been revealed at photokina 2016 and which was itself only a very slightly revised version of the E -PL7 . This time, the improvement in the technical performance of the device is clearer, the latest generation TruPic VIII processor and new AF system at 121 points in mind. The brand really seems to want to develop its range. What about in practice?
Best Olympus Pen E-PL9 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020
As before, our test copy of the Olympus Pen E-PL9 is a white model. The case is also available in brown or black; so, everyone is free to match their camera to their favorite look or color, because the Pen E-PL9 is retro and stylish. Whether you like its appearance or not, the finishes have the merit of being beautiful and the materials used avoid the plastic rendering. The small handle, redesigned, has gained in width for better grip in the hand of the device and the plastic leather coating seems more pleasant to the touch.
The Pen E-PL9 still does not have a viewfinder, reserved for the Pen-F, but is now fitted with an integrated pop-up flash, conveniently located to the left of the hood. If we can of course be satisfied with a live view, remember that the Panasonic Lumix GX80 , the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II , the Canon EOS M50 , the Fujifilm X-T10 or the Sony Alpha 6000 all offer an electronic viewfinder for an equivalent price.
The touch screen is still not multipoint and does not allow you to navigate within the main menus, but only to select the AF point or recent and additional modes. However, it remains orientable 180 ° downwards and 80 ° upwards, and goes from 1,037,000 to 1,040,000 points; the difference is too small to be really visible to the naked eye, but it is more than enough. It is also the means of aligning with the competition.
The Pen E-PL9 hybrid takes over the AP (Advanced Photo) mode installed on the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III , which facilitates access to familiar modes, but often not found in the overly complex menus of old cameras Olympus, such as Live Composite, Live Time, Multi-exposure, HDR, etc. modes, convenient for easily developing your creativity. You can also always count on Art mode which offers 16 creative filters, as well as additional effect filters.
The connection is always reduced to the strict minimum, namely an HDMI Type-D socket, a finally standard USB socket micro-B for this version, but which still does not allow recharging, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for control the device remotely or share its files on your smartphone.
Easy to handle, you will choose the Pen E-PL9 above all for its look, its tactile functionality and its creative filters. Small ergonomic improvements are favorable, but a complete revision of the main menus and optimal use of the touchscreen would have been welcome to make it still a little functional.
Still equipped with the faithful 12-42mm f / 3-5.6 motorized zoom sold as a kit, the Olympus Pen E-PL9 has a new 121-point AF system, compared to 81 for the E-PL8, associated with the latest generation TruePic processor VIII. We don’t see any big developments here, even though the autofocus is generally lively. The imprecise behavior of the lens disturbs our stopwatch, however, especially in low light. Sometimes the development is done very quickly (in less than 0.30 second), sometimes the zoom will mill longer and display a time at 0.90 s. With a more precise lens, like the 12-40 mm Pro f / 2.8, the problem is immediately corrected, however.
The new processor advances the burst which ranges to 7.64 frames per second (i / s) in JPG and 5.16 i / s in RAW + JPG on 13 views.
The Olympus Pen E-PL9 takes up the duo present on the OM-D E-M10 Mark III , namely the 4/3 “CMOS 16 Mpx sensor and the latest generation TruePic VIII processor which is also found on the excellent E-M1 Mark II, thereby increasing the sensitivity range from ISO 100 to 25,600.
Like most hybrid cameras, the kit lens – here the 14-42mm f / 3.5-5.6 EZ motorized – does not particularly optimize the image quality of the camera. Smoothing appears quickly and causes loss of micro-contrast from ISO 200. We observed the same behavior during our test of the OM-D E-M10 Mark III. Compared to previous models, such as the OM-D E-M10 Mark II or the E-M1 Mark II, this smoothing appears later, at ISO 1600. The images are however widely usable, but not as precise as those of a Panasonic Lumix GX80 or GF7 , a Fujifilm X-T10 or a Sony Alpha 6000 which integrate APS-C sensors, for example.
The 3-axis mechanical stabilization is the major asset of this E-PL9. The hybrid can thus easily photograph in low light conditions, limiting tremors and ensuring more flexible exposure couples so as not to have to climb too high in sensitivity, therefore losing detail too quickly. Associated with a better quality lens than the zoom of the kit, the camera obviously delivers better image rendering.
Unlike its predecessor, the Olympus Pen E-PL9 now manages the 4K / UHD definition (3,840 x 2,160 px) at 30.25 or 24p, and finally switches to a rate of 60p in Full HD. Here, 4K / UHD mode does not involve cropping in the image; so you can take full advantage of the wide angle of your lens, for example. The transition from Full HD definition to 4K / UHD is visible: the details are more precise. The exposure is homogeneous, but the blacks are a little dense and the colorimetry particularly saturated.
Again, the 3-axis stabilization available in video is a major advantage: it allows flexible and fluid variations in movement and focusing in video. AF tracking is also controlled and smoothly.
- Neat appearance.
- Guided main menus.
- 3-axis mechanical stabilization.
- Built-in flash.
- Screen can be turned 180 °.
- Creative filters and advanced photo mode.
- Device responsiveness.
- Video mode.
- No integrated viewfinder.
- Non multitouch touch screen.
- Purpose of the kit.
- Untimely smoothing.
The Olympus Pen E-PL9 is attractive if you are looking for a hybrid case with a simple handling, compact size, characteristic retro design and many creative modes. The developments are more frank than before, thanks to the arrival of the new processor and 4K / UHD video. Opposite, however, the competition offers more complete cameras, with integrated viewfinder and better image quality for a similar price like the Panasonic Lumix GX8, and the Canon EOS M50 or even the OM-D E-M10 Mark III, however more imposing.
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