So I am a tech fanatic, you probably all know that. I am particularly partial to any made by Apple and cameras. I’ve reviewed a few cameras in the past but recently I managed to get hold of the Olympus Pen E-PL8, my absolute dream camera. So I thought I would do a review for you in case you are thinking about buying one yourself.
First things first, it’s expensive. A normal entry level DSLR will cost you less than this and will probably include a kit lens as well. I got mine from Park Cameras and it cost £429 for just the body. Luckily, I already had access to the 14-42mm kit lens as my Dad owned the E-pl2. It wasn’t the pancake lens that you can get as a package with the E-PL8, but the actual glass is the same. If you want the full package, you’re looking at £520+.
How does it look?
The look of the camera is gorgeous, there isn’t that much change to the E-PL7, but you can see a noticeable difference. When you get it out and set it up, it is apparent in every way that it is well built and sturdy. The back of the camera features a catch to keep the screen in place, and the usual settings and buttons you would see on the back of the body. The screen, when flipped, goes to 180 deg underneath the body and 90 deg upwards, to allow for easy flatlays. One of the only negative points of the camera is the screen flipping downwards as this makes mounting to a tripod difficult, it just doesn’t feel natural that it won’t flip upwards like other cameras.
The kit lens is crap. Sorry about that. There is no sugar coating about the fact that the lens it comes with lets it down. I have on good authority that the pancake lens is exactly the same in quality as the full lens I have used. The colours are duller, the picture quality is less and it makes it seem very lacklustre.
Luckily, I expected this would happen and so got hold of a 25mm micro four-thirds lens. When mounted to the Pen it shoots at the equivalent to a 50mm focal length on a full frame camera. I was really pleased to see that any micro four thirds lens will fit any micro four thirds camera. The Olympus 25mm lens was very expensive so, luckily, the Panasonic lens was an excellent alternative at half the price. (£299 for Olympus lens, £148 for the Panasonic lens).
With the prime lens, the camera is transformed. The pictures I’ve taken with this combo are just stunning. I like to use my camera on manual setting, but sometimes when speed is key, I use the auto function and I have to say, the quality with auto is just as good as a manual shot. In fact, since I put on the prime lens, I haven’t taken it off.
Here are some examples of unedited images from the camera.
This is another way it excels, as long as you keep on the prime lens, your footage will look stunning too. I am overwhelmed with how good my videos look with this kit and there is no noise with the autofocus like there is with many DSLR or mirrorless cameras.
Here is an example of one of my first videos I shot with the Pen.
With the E-PL8 there are many little extras, you can edit shots and footage in the camera and also transfer by WIFI. You just need to download the app from your relevant store and connect to the camera through its inbuilt WIFI connection and you’re away. Of course, you can also plug it into your PC or take the memory card out to transfer manually, but if you want to transfer a gorgeous pic to upload to Instagram on the go, then the WIFI is just the ticket.
I’m in love, this is honestly the best camera I’ve ever owned and as such, I’ve sold all my other cameras as they just don’t compare. It is compact enough and light enough that you don’t feel you are lugging around lots of heavy kit, but stylish and powerful enough that you’ll enjoy using it for any project.
I would recommend that you buy just the body and spend the extra on a prime lens, rather than forking out the extra £100 on the kit lens. If you get a “halfway house” lens like the 25mm, then you will find it suits the majority of situations with you and your family. I am lusting after a 45mm lens at the moment (90mm full frame equivalent) and desperately want to pocket one, but I’ll wait until I’ve saved a bit of cash to buy that as it is around £199 online.
What is your favourite bit of tech?
If you fancy leaving comment, please do, they always make my day!