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Olympus E-PL10 vs E-PL9

The Olympus PEN E-PL10 and the Olympus PEN E-PL9 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2019 and February 2018. Both the E-PL10 and the E-PL9 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.9 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Olympus E-PL10 versus Olympus E-PL9
Olympus E-PL10 Olympus E-PL9
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 200-6,400 (100 - 25,600) ISO 200-6,400 (100 - 25,600)
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
8.6 shutter flaps per second 8.6 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
350 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
117 x 68 x 39 mm, 380 g 117 x 68 x 39 mm, 380 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus PEN E-PL10 and the Olympus PEN E-PL9? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-PL10 and the Olympus E-PL9. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in four different colors (black, brown, blue, white).

Size Olympus E-PL10 vs Olympus E-PL9
Compare E-PL10 versus E-PL9 top
Comparison E-PL10 or E-PL9 rear

In this particular case, the Olympus E-PL10 and the Olympus E-PL9 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. Moreover, the two cameras also share the same weight. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-PL10 nor the E-PL9 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus E-PL10 117 mm 68 mm 39 mm 380 g 350 n Oct 2019 599 i
2.
 
Olympus E-PL9 117 mm 68 mm 39 mm 380 g 350 n Feb 2018 599i
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 IV 122 mm 84 mm 49 mm 383 g 360 n Aug 2020 699 i
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 III 122 mm 84 mm 50 mm 410 g 330 n Aug 2017 649i
5.
 
Olympus E-PL8 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Sep 2016 549i
6.
 
Olympus E-M10 II 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 649i
7.
 
Olympus E-M10 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699i
8.
 
Olympus E-PL7 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Aug 2014 599i
9.
 
Olympus E-P5 122 mm 69 mm 37 mm 420 g 330 n May 2013 999i
10.
 
Olympus E-PL6 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n May 2013 599i
11.
 
Olympus E-PL5 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n Sep 2012 599i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Olympus E-PL10 and Olympus E-PL9 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 15.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the E-PL10 and the E-PL9 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the E-PL10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 8 months) than the E-PL9, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Olympus PEN E-PL10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The Olympus PEN E-PL9 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

E-PL10 versus E-PL9 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Olympus E-PL10 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
2.
 
Olympus E-PL9 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 IV Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 III Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
5.
 
Olympus E-PL8 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
6.
 
Olympus E-M10 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273
7.
 
Olympus E-M10 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
8.
 
Olympus E-PL7 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372
9.
 
Olympus E-P5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572
10.
 
Olympus E-PL6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
11.
 
Olympus E-PL5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The E-PL10 and the E-PL9 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus E-PL10 and Olympus E-PL9 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Olympus E-PL10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.6 Y Y
2.
 
Olympus E-PL9none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.6 Y Y
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 IV2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 15.0 Y Y
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 III2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.6 Y Y
5.
 
Olympus E-PL8optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
6.
 
Olympus E-M10 II2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
7.
 
Olympus E-M101440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
8.
 
Olympus E-PL7optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
9.
 
Olympus E-P5optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 Y Y
10.
 
Olympus E-PL6optional n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
11.
 
Olympus E-PL5optional n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Olympus E-PL10 and the Olympus E-PL9 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the E-PL10 and the E-PL9 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Olympus PEN E-PL10 and Olympus PEN E-PL9 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Olympus E-PL10Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
2.
 
Olympus E-PL9Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 IVYstereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 IIIYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
5.
 
Olympus E-PL8Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Olympus E-M10 IIYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Olympus E-M10Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
8.
 
Olympus E-PL7Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
9.
 
Olympus E-P5Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
10.
 
Olympus E-PL6Ystereomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Olympus E-PL5Ystereomono--mini2.0---

The E-PL10 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Olympus. In contrast, the E-PL9 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-PL9 was succeeded by the Olympus E-PL10. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus website.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-PL10 or the Olympus E-PL9 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL10:

  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 8 months after the E-PL9).


Arguments in favor of the Olympus PEN E-PL9:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2018).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (1 points each). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

E-PL10 01:01 E-PL9

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-PL10 and the Olympus E-PL9 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-PL10 or the E-PL9. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus E-PL10....77/100..4/5 Oct 2019 599 i
2.
 
Olympus E-PL9..+..4.5/54/5 Feb 2018 599i
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 IV4.5/5....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2020 699 i
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 III..+80/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2017 649i
5.
 
Olympus E-PL8......4.5/54/5 Sep 2016 549i
6.
 
Olympus E-M10 II4.5/5+ +80/1005/55/5 Aug 2015 649i
7.
 
Olympus E-M104/5..80/1005/55/5 Jan 2014 699i
8.
 
Olympus E-PL74/5+..5/54/5 Aug 2014 599i
9.
 
Olympus E-P55/5+ +78/1004.5/55/5 May 2013 999i
10.
 
Olympus E-PL6.......... May 2013 599i
11.
 
Olympus E-PL53/5+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Olympus E-PL10:
Check Amazon price
Olympus E-PL9:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Olympus E-PL10 vs Olympus E-PL9

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Olympus E-PL10 Olympus E-PL9
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date October 2019 February 2018
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-PL10 Olympus E-PL9
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.76 μm 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 7.08 MP/cm2 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 6,400 ISO 200 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic VIII TruePic VIII
    Screen Specs Olympus E-PL10 Olympus E-PL9
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-PL10 Olympus E-PL9
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 8.6 shutter flaps/s 8.6 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/16000sup to 1/16000s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Olympus E-PL10 Olympus E-PL9
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Olympus E-PL10 Olympus E-PL9
    Battery Type BLS-50 BLS-50
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 68 x 39 mm
    (4.6 x 2.7 x 1.5 in)
    117 x 68 x 39 mm
    (4.6 x 2.7 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 380 g (13.4 oz) 380 g (13.4 oz)

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