Olympus is adding a new camera to its Pen lineup of pocket mirrorless cameras. The company just announced the Olympus Pen E-PL8 at the Photokina show in Cologne, Germany. It's another classic-looking Micro Four Thirds camera in the Pen Lite lineup, and it's arguably the best-looking E-PL camera yet.
The biggest difference from the E-PL7 is the E-PL8’s design. Olympus has refined it all around — the camera is a little bit shorter, the grip is smaller, and the body is slimmer (or at least not as oblong as it was in the past). It really looks like Olympus is borrowing the design cues it established with the recently released Pen-F, which is a modern, digital version of one of the company’s more iconic 35mm film cameras. But the E-PL8 will cost half the price of the Pen-F — Olympus says the body will retail for $549 when it goes on sale in October. The E-PL8 will also be available with a 14-42mm kit lens for $649.
Otherwise, the specs of the E-PL8 are mostly the same across the board as the E-PL7, which was released in 2014. The E-PL8 has the same size 16.1-megapixel sensor, and it also retains the same 3-axis mechanical image stabilization, as well as the same flip-down, 3-inch, 1.04-million dot LCD touchscreen. And it has the same 81 autofocus points as well as the same 8 frame per second top-end shooting speed.
Alongside the E-PL8, Olympus is also announcing some new lenses that can be used with all of its Micro Four Thirds cameras. Two of them are high-end — a 25mm f1.2 prime that will cost $1,199 and a 12-100mm f4 with image stabilization for $1,299. The other is a 30mm f3.5 macro lens, which will retail for $299.
The Pen Lite cameras aren't as capable or durable as some of Olympus' other cameras — the OM-D lineup, for example, offers built-in viewfinders and weather-resistant metal bodies. The E-PL8 is a clever way to keep the Pen Lite camera series alive while offering some of Olympus' best design on a budget.