Olympus Pen E PL7 vs E PL8

Olympus Pen E PL8 has been launched to replace Olympus Pen E PL7. Nowadays, you can still find both models in the market, though there may be a slight price difference between the older and the newer camera. So, what are the differences between Olympus Pen E PL7 vs E PL8? The discussion below will tell you everything that you need to know.

By the end of this article, you will understand everything about:

  • How the design of Pen E PL8 differs from Pen E PL7
  • The connectivity features of Olympus Pen E PL7 and Olympus Pen E PL8
  • The minor improvements on PL8’s continuous shooting and video recording
  • The performance and image quality of Olympus Pen E PL7 vs E PL8
  • Whether you should go with Olympus Pen E PL7 or Olympus Pen E PL8

Olympus Pen E PL7 vs E PL8: Design

This Olympus series is known for their compact mirrorless cameras that sport Micro Four-Thirds image sensors and lenses. Olympus Pen E PL7 in particular has become a fairly popular choice among casual users and beginner photography enthusiasts due to the compact and lightweight design. However, Olympus Pen E PL8 introduces a significant change in this aspect. Read also: Olympus Pen E PL7 vs PL8.

Olympus Pen E PL7 measures 115 x 67 x 38.5 mm and weighs 357 grams. Despite the small body, it has a fairly substantial grip with a faux leather finish. As the effect, it is actually quite solid and comfortable to handle.

Olympus Pen E PL8 is a tiny bit larger at 117 x 68 x 38.5 mm and 374 grams. However, it replaces the grip with an oval strip, which also features a faux leather finish. Such a minimalist design certainly looks more modern and more stylish. Unfortunately, it is not exactly as easy to grip, and it requires careful handling when paired with a big zoom lens.

They are also available in slightly different colors. Olympus Pen E PL7 provides three options: black, black with silver accents, and white with beige accents. On the other hand, Olympus Pen E PL8 can be acquired in black with silver accents, white with beige accents, and light brown with dark brown accents.

Nevertheless, everything else is similar on both of these cameras. You don’t get a built-in flash, but an adapter that can be mounted on the hot shoe is included. Similarly, there is no built-in viewfinder, but you can get an EVF add-on separately. After all, Olympus Pen E PL7 and Olympus Pen E PL8 are designed more towards people who are more comfortable seeing their shots on tilting display screens.

Olympus Pen E PL7Olympus Pen E PL8
Product Dimensions4.5 x 2 x 2.6 inches
3.8 x 4.6 x 2.7 inches
Shipping Weight12 ounces
1.1 pounds
Best offerCheck priceCheck price

Olympus Pen E PL7 vs E PL8: Connectivity

Olympus Pen E PL7 already comes with a complete set of connectivity features, so it is good to know that Olympus Pen E PL8 retains similar capabilities. There is built-in Wi-Fi that will allow you to connect your Android or iOS smartphone wirelessly.

You can transfer photos and videos to your smartphone via the Olympus O.I. Share mobile app. Although you can’t transfer RAW files, the camera can convert RAW to JPEG internally. The mobile app will also let you control the camera remotely. It provides a live feed from the camera, and it will allow you to set focus simply by tapping. The mobile app is not the most advanced in the market, but it is very robust, user-friendly, and well-designed.

Olympus Pen E PL7 and Olympus Pen E PL8 accept SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards with UHS-I speeds. You can find the memory card slot inside the battery compartment. Both cameras also use similar batteries, each has a CIPA rating of 350 shots per charge, which is pretty good.

On the top, there is the hot shoe where you can attach a flash or an EVF. The USB and Micro HDMI ports are on the right side, hidden behind a flap. Note that the USB ports are proprietary. So, if you forget to bring the cable, the only way for you to transfer files to your computer is by taking the memory card.

Olympus Pen E PL7 vs E PL8: Features

Olympus Pen E PL7 actually already has decent continuous shooting capabilities. In the low burst mode, it can capture images at 3.7 fps, whereas in the high burst mode it is quite impressive at 8 fps. Combined with the solid autofocus system, Olympus Pen E PL7 is surprisingly a capable unit for sports and wildlife photography.

Olympus Pen E PL8, however, offers a slight improvement. Although the low burst mode remains at 3.7 fps, the high burst mode is slightly faster at 8.5 fps. In real use, it won’t be really noticeable, but an improvement is still an improvement.

Perhaps the more important thing is the Movie Clip option. Olympus Pen E PL8 introduces this new feature in the movie menu.

This feature will allow you to create short movie clips of 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16 seconds, simply by pressing the record button at the moment when you want the clip to end. Afterwards, you can add background music and visual effects, and export them into single video files. This feature can be very handy for creating cool stories on your social media.

Olympus Pen E PL7 vs E PL8: Image Quality

Again, there is no noticeable difference between Olympus Pen E PL7 and Olympus Pen E PL8 in terms of performance and image quality. Both cameras are really fast. They are ready to shoot within 0.9 seconds after powering on; this is an impressive feat for a compact mirrorless camera. Both are also armed with impressive autofocus. They can lock focus as fast as 0.1 seconds in ideal light, or within 0.3 seconds in a dim environment.

Just like the PL7, the PL8 uses a 16MP Micro Four-Thirds image sensor with 3-axis stabilization. Although the stabilization is not as powerful as the 5-axis ones found in more expensive cameras, it is already able to compensate shakes up to 3.5 stops. Not to mention that having in-body image stabilization for such an entry-level model is quite an impressive feat. The stabilization is particularly effective for shooting wide angles.

The image quality of Olympus Pen E PL7 and Olympus Pen E PL8 is generally good. They have very minimal noise at up to ISO 6400. However, the noise reduction in the JPEG processing can be quite aggressive when you push the ISO up to around that value. At ISO 6400, there is a noticeable loss of detail and sharpness. Fortunately, you can use ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 just fine without any problem. In the RAW format, the image sensor can deliver excellent results at up to ISO 12800 before the grain becomes too much.

Olympus Pen E PL7 and Olympus Pen E PL8 record videos in 1080p and 720p. However, the frame rate is fixed at 30 fps. The lack of 60 fps and 24 fps options is kind of limiting these cameras for videography. However, their video quality is great, with clear images and highly responsive autofocus.

Olympus Pen E PL7 vs E PL8

- 16MP Live MOS Sensor
- 3-Axis In-Body Image Stabilization
- Built-In Wi-Fi
- 81 Point FAST AF with Small Target AF
- Compact size with stylish, distinctive design
- 3-Axis in body image stabilization
- High-Speed 8.5 frames per second sequential shooting
- Supersonic wave filter sensor dust reduction system

Conclusion

Olympus Pen E PL8 does not bring many changes, but it is generally a better camera. It has a slightly higher continuous shooting speed, and it comes with a new feature for making short movie clips, which can be very useful for making online posts on social media. Just like its predecessor, Olympus Pen E PL8 offers very fast performance, very quick autofocus, and decent image quality.

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