Olympus PEN E-PL8 Review: A Stylish and Functional Camera for Beginners

Looking for a camera that combines style and functionality? The Olympus PEN E-PL8 might just be what you need. This mirrorless camera boasts a 16-megapixel sensor, built-in WiFi, and a sleek design that's perfect for beginners who want to take their photography game to the next level. In this review, we'll take a closer look at the features, pros, and cons of the Olympus PEN E-PL8.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Olympus PEN E-PL8 article cover photo

Key Features

Sep 19 2016


16 megapixels


Sensor TypeFour Thirds

Other similar cameras

Olympus PEN E-PL1 thumbnail

Olympus PEN E-PL1

Released May 17 2010 | 12MP resolution

Olympus PEN E-PL2 thumbnail

Olympus PEN E-PL2

Released Feb 11 2011 | 12MP resolution

Olympus PEN E-PL3 thumbnail

Olympus PEN E-PL3

Released Sep 20 2011 | 12MP resolution

Overview of the PEN E-PL8

When it comes to photography, having a reliable camera that can capture stunning images is a must. But with so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs. If you're looking for a camera that's both stylish and functional, the Olympus PEN E-PL8 might just tick all the boxes. This mirrorless camera boasts a 16-megapixel sensor, built-in WiFi, and a design that's perfect for beginners who want to experiment with different types of photography. In this review, we'll take a closer look at the Olympus PEN E-PL8 and explore its features, pros, and cons. Whether you're a budding photographer or simply looking for an upgrade, read on to find out if this camera is worth the investment.

Olympus PEN E-PL8 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Olympus PEN E-PL8 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High-quality photos with 16MP sensor
Compact and lightweight design
Artistic filters for unique photos
Fast and accurate autofocus
Excellent image stabilization technology
Built-in Wi-Fi for easy sharing
Touchscreen LCD display for easy navigation
Comes with a detachable flash


Limited battery life
No built-in viewfinder
High price point compared to other entry-level cameras
Limited lens compatibility options
Slow startup time
Video quality not as high as some competitors
Limited range of ISO settings
Limited weather-sealing protection

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Olympus PEN E-PL8

Weather sealed
Dimensions115 x 67 x 38mm

Weather Sealing

The Olympus PEN E-PL8 is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderElectronic (optional)
Screen TypeTilting
Screen Resolution1,037k dots
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a tilting 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 1,037k dots. This makes the Olympus PEN E-PL8 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. The camera also features a touch screen, which adds to its ease of use.


PEN E-PL8 includes a electronic (optional) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of n/a and a magnification of n/a. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Olympus PEN E-PL8 has a 16MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 16 pixels. Olympus PEN E-PL8 has a native ISO range of 200 - 25600 which can be boosted to 100 - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Sep 19 2016


200 - 25600

ISO Range

SensorFour Thirds
Extended ISO100 - null
Max resolution4608 x 3456 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


not tested

Color Depth

not tested

Dynamic Range

not tested

Low Light ISO

not tested

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Olympus PEN E-PL8 camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain high amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is excellent, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the PEN E-PL8 is excellent

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: Four Thirds



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageSD/SDHC/SDXC card
Battery Life350 shots
Battery Model
Wireless Connectivity


The Olympus PEN E-PL8 supports SD/SDHC/SDXC card with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Olympus PEN E-PL8 uses the undefined model of battery pack. This is rated for 350 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Olympus PEN E-PL8 does not have a built-in flash, but it does offer a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Olympus PEN E-PL8 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/4000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Olympus PEN E-PL8 includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with 81 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Olympus PEN E-PL8?

The Olympus PEN E-PL8 features a CMOS sensor

Is the Olympus PEN E-PL8 weather sealed?

No the PEN E-PL8 does not have weather sealing.

When was the Olympus PEN E-PL8 announced?

The Olympus PEN E-PL8 was announced on Sep 19 2016

Does the Olympus PEN E-PL8 have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the PEN E-PL8 does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Olympus PEN E-PL8?

The PEN E-PL8 has a native ISO range of 200-25600, which can be expanded to ISO 100-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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Olympus PEN E-PL1 - The Perfect Camera for Beginners

Are you new to photography and looking for a camera that will help you take stunning photos right out of the box? Look no further than the Olympus PEN E-PL1. Equipped with advanced features and a sleek design, this camera is perfect for beginners who want to start shooting like a pro.