Olympus has announced the successor to late 2016's PEN E-PL8 micro four thirds interchangeable lens camera. The retro-modern E-PL9 has been treated to a flagship image processor, a video recording boost and improved autofocus. And it's said to be lighter than a 500 ml bottle of water, including the Zuiko kit lens.

The Olympus PEN E-PL9 combines a 16.1 MP Live MOS sensor with the TruePic VIII image processor from the company's flagship OM-D E-M1 Mark II, for 8.6 frames per second continuous shooting, an autofocus system with 121 AF points that cover most of the image area, low light-friendly ISO100 to 25,600 sensitivity and in-camera stabilization that's available for both stills and video. And that video recording capability has gone up from Full HD to 4K.

The 117.1 x 68 x 39 mm (4.6 x 2.67 x 1.5 in) micro four thirds camera has a body-only weight of 332 g (11.7 oz) and gains a modified grip for improved ergonomics. It has combined Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity for wireless image transfer or remote control, a built-in pop-up flash and is compatible with more than 20 M.Zuiko lenses (and hundreds more legacy lenses with the help of adapters).

Olympus is promising to make it easy for those new to camera photography or folks who are used to snapping shots with a smartphone. Users can start with a selection of creative programs, choose from 23 scene modes or change common settings like brightness and contrast using the tilting 3-inch touchscreen panel to the rear before gradually diving deeper into the PEN's settings. There's a collection of 16 art filters to choose from, with effects available to view onscreen prior to selection, and the OI.Share mobile app is home to a number of "how to" video guides to ease users under the camera's hood.

The new PEN is due for release in the UK and mainland Europe next month for £579/€549 (body only), or £649/€699 with an M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ kit lens. US pricing and availability are to follow shortly. Has the E-PL9 got what it takes to tempt you away from your smartphone camera?

Source: Olympus

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