Capture Life's Best Moments with Olympus PEN E-PL9: A Review

Are you looking for a powerful and compact camera that can help you capture high-quality images of your travel, everyday life, and special events? Look no further than Olympus PEN E-PL9. In this blog, we'll provide you with an in-depth review of Olympus PEN E-PL9, covering its features, benefits, and performance. This blog will help you make an informed decision on whether Olympus PEN E-PL9 is the right camera for you.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Olympus PEN E-PL9 article cover photo

Key Features

Feb 08 2018


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-PL9

Whether you're a professional photographer, amateur photographer, or just someone who loves taking pictures of your everyday life, Olympus PEN E-PL9 is a camera that can help you capture life's best moments. This powerful and compact camera comes loaded with features and benefits that make it a top choice for anyone looking to take high-quality pictures. In this blog, we'll break down everything you need to know about Olympus PEN E-PL9, including its features, benefits, and performance. So, without further ado, let's dive into our Olympus PEN E-PL9 camera review.

Olympus PEN E-PL9 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Olympus PEN E-PL9 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!


Compact size, lightweight
Excellent image quality
Fast autofocus
User-friendly interface
Built-in image stabilization
4K video recording capability
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
Artistic filters and modes
Affordable price point


Smaller sensor size than DSLRs
Limited battery life
No viewfinder (only screen)
Requires additional lenses for advanced photography
Not ideal for sports or action photography
No weather-sealing
Limited low-light performance
Video lacks advanced features like slow motion or high frame rates

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Olympus PEN E-PL9

Weather sealed
Dimensions117 x 68 x 39mm

Weather Sealing

The Olympus PEN E-PL9 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 FinderNone
Screen TypeTilting
Screen Resolution1,040k 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 1,040k dots. This makes the Olympus PEN E-PL9 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.


Olympus PEN E-PL9 does not include a viewfinder. The lack of a viewfinder on the PEN E-PL9 camera may make it less suitable for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Olympus PEN E-PL9 has a 16MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 16 pixels. Olympus PEN E-PL9 has a native ISO range of 200 - 6400 which can be boosted to 100 - 25600. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Feb 08 2018


200 - 6400

ISO Range

SensorFour Thirds
Extended ISO100 - 25600
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-PL9 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-PL9 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 (UHS-I supported)
Battery Life350 shots
Battery ModelBLS-50
Wireless Connectivity


The Olympus PEN E-PL9 supports SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I supported) 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-PL9 uses the BLS-50 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-PL9 has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. It also offers a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Olympus PEN E-PL9 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-PL9 includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with 121 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-PL9?

The Olympus PEN E-PL9 features a CMOS sensor

Is the Olympus PEN E-PL9 weather sealed?

No the PEN E-PL9 does not have weather sealing.

When was the Olympus PEN E-PL9 announced?

The Olympus PEN E-PL9 was announced on Feb 08 2018

Does the Olympus PEN E-PL9 have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the PEN E-PL9 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-PL9?

The PEN E-PL9 has a native ISO range of 200-6400, which can be expanded to ISO 100-25600 for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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