When it comes to digital cameras, we’re finally starting to see more entry-level versions get 4K upgrades. Most smartphones can record in 4K, and while the quality is fairly decent, it’s nothing like a full-fledged camera. Olympus is the latest to join in the upgrade with its PEN E-PL9 mirrorless Micro Four Thirds camera.
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Olympus has been around for many years in the camera manufacturing game and is generally known for well-built devices. The PEN E-PL9 is an update to its previous PEN E-PL8, which was limited in many ways.
The PEN E-PL9 features both 4K video recording and in-body stabilization, which are amazing features. Let’s start with 4K recording. The PEN E-PL9 will be able to shoot 4K 30FPS without a problem. This means you’ll be able to capture stunningly high-quality video without having to break the bank.
The in-body stabilization means that not only can you use a stabilized lens to help remove shake from your photos or video, but the sensor itself is now stabilized. Olympus is only using 3-axis stabilization here, unlike the 5-axis used in its more expensive cameras, however.
The huge benefit here, in my opinion, means that by getting in-body stabilization, you can use more budget-friendly lenses that don’t feature built-in stabilization. There are many lenses I personally own that aren’t stabilized and in-body stabilization would be a huge plus when I’m shooting video.
There are other new features here, as well. Olympus has put an updated touchscreen and navigational interface on the camera that should help beginners get used to shooting with something other than their phone.
Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi also make it super simple to get photos from the camera to your devices without having to plug the SD card in. This should make it really easy to use the camera for Instagram, Facebook, or other similar social media sharing. You will almost always get a better photo when using a dedicated camera than just your smartphone.
Thanks to the fact that Olympus has based the PEN E-PL9 on the Micro Four Thirds lens platform, you’ll have a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing the glass you put on it. There are even adapters, like the Metabones Speed Booster, that will allow you to use Canon, Nikon, and other manufacturer lenses on the PEN E-PL9 without issue.
Currently, the Olympus PEN E-PL9 is slated to launch in mid-March for €549 with just the body, and €699 for the body and an included 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 pancake lens. US availability has not yet been announced, but we expect to see more information on that soon. A rough conversion pegs the price around $675 and $860 USD, but that is subject to change with the official announcement.