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Olympus E-PL6 vs E-PL8

The Olympus PEN E-PL6 and the Olympus PEN E-PL8 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in May 2013 and September 2016. Both the E-PL6 and the E-PL8 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-PL6   Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-PL6 Olympus E-PL8
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
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 200-25600 ISO 200-6400 (100-25600)
Viewfinder optional No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 460k dots 3.0" LCD, 1037k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
8 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
360 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
111 x 64 x 38 mm, 325 g 115 x 67 x 38 mm, 357 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus PEN E-PL6 and the Olympus PEN E-PL8? 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: Olympus E-PL6 vs E-PL8

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-PL6 and the Olympus E-PL8. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The E-PL6 can be obtained in four different colors (black, silver, red, white), while the E-PL8 is available in three color-versions (black, brown, white).

Size Olympus E-PL6 vs Olympus E-PL8
Compare E-PL6 versus E-PL8 top
Comparison E-PL6 or E-PL8 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-PL8 is notably larger (8 percent) than the Olympus E-PL6. Moreover, the E-PL8 is markedly heavier (10 percent) than the E-PL6. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-PL6 nor the E-PL8 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.

Concerning battery life, the E-PL6 gets 360 shots out of its BLS-5 battery, while the E-PL8 can take 350 images on a single charge of its BLS-50 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-PL6» 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.5 oz 360 n May 2013 599- i Olympus E-PL6
 
Olympus E-PL8« 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
 
Kodak S-1« » 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.4 in 10.2 oz 410 n Jan 2012 299 i i Kodak S-1
 
Olympus E-PL9« » 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 13.4 oz 350 n Feb 2018 549 i i Olympus E-PL9
 
Olympus E-M10 III« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.0 in 14.5 oz 330 n Aug 2017 649 i i Olympus E-M10 III
 
Olympus E-M10 II« » 4.7 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 13.8 oz 320 n Aug 2015 649- i Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 1.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
 
Olympus E-PL7« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-PL5« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 599- i Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 499- i Olympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic G7« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 n May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GF6« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.4 oz 340 n Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
 
Panasonic G5« » 4.7 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic G5
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The E-PL8 was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the E-PL6 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Olympus E-PL6 vs E-PL8

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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.

Technology-wise, the E-PL8 uses a more advanced image processing engine (TruePic VII) than the E-PL6 (TruePic VI), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Olympus E-PL6 and Olympus E-PL8 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-PL6 and the E-PL8 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the E-PL8 is much more recent (by 3 years and 4 months) than the E-PL6, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Olympus PEN E-PL6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-PL8 are ISO 200 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

E-PL6 versus E-PL8 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-PL6» Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Olympus E-PL6
 
Olympus E-PL8« Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Olympus E-PL8
 
Kodak S-1« » Four Thirds 16.1 4640 34801080/30p----Kodak S-1
 
Olympus E-PL9« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Olympus E-PL9
 
Olympus E-M10 III« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Olympus E-M10 III
 
Olympus E-M10 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472Olympus E-M10
 
Olympus E-PL7« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-PL5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.293272Olympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic G7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GF6« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254Panasonic GF6
 
Panasonic G5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p----Panasonic G5

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Olympus E-PL6 vs E-PL8

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The E-PL6 and the E-PL8 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. That said, the E-PL6 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-3. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus E-PL6 and Olympus E-PL8 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-PL6»- n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL6
 
Olympus E-PL8«- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL8
 
Kodak S-1« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 n Y Kodak S-1
 
Olympus E-PL9« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.6 Y Y Olympus E-PL9
 
Olympus E-M10 III« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.6 Y Y Olympus E-M10 III
 
Olympus E-M10 II« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10
 
Olympus E-PL7« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-PL5« »- n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic G7« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GF6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n Panasonic GF6
 
Panasonic G5« »1440 n 3.0 920 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Panasonic G5
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 Olympus E-PL6 and the Olympus E-PL8 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-PL6 and the E-PL8 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.

 

Connectivity comparison: Olympus E-PL6 vs E-PL8

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-PL6 and Olympus PEN E-PL8 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-PL6»Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PL6
 
Olympus E-PL8«Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL8
 
Kodak S-1« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Kodak S-1
 
Olympus E-PL9« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-YOlympus E-PL9
 
Olympus E-M10 III« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10 III
 
Olympus E-M10 II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10
 
Olympus E-PL7« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-PL5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic G7« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GF6« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Panasonic GF6
 
Panasonic G5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G5

It is notable that the E-PL8 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the E-PL6 does not offer wifi capability.

Both the E-PL6 and the E-PL8 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-PL6 was replaced by the Olympus E-PL7, while the E-PL8 was followed by the Olympus E-PL9. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus website.


Review summary: Olympus E-PL6 vs E-PL8

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-PL6 or the Olympus E-PL8 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Olympus PEN E-PL6:

  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in May 2013).


Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL8:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (TruePic VII vs TruePic VI).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 460k dots).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 4 months of technical progress since the E-PL6 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-PL8 emerges as the winner of the match-up (4 : 2 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

E-PL6 02:04 E-PL8

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-PL6 and the Olympus E-PL8 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the E-PL6 and the E-PL8 in practical situations. 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: Olympus E-PL6 vs E-PL8

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-PL6»----- May 2013 599- i Olympus E-PL6
 
Olympus E-PL8«--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
 
Kodak S-1« »--4/5-4/5 Jan 2012 299 i i Kodak S-1
 
Olympus E-PL9« »+-4.5/5-4/5 Feb 2018 549 i i Olympus E-PL9
 
Olympus E-M10 III« »+80/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2017 649 i i Olympus E-M10 III
 
Olympus E-M10 II« »+ +80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 649- i Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
 
Olympus E-PL7« »+-5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-PL5« »+ +-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599- i Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« »-77/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i Olympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic G7« »+ +80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GF6« »+ +-4.5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
 
Panasonic G5« »+ +-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic G5
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Olympus E-PL6:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-PL8:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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-PL6 vs Olympus E-PL8

    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-PL6 Olympus E-PL8
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date May 2013 September 2016
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-PL6 Olympus E-PL8
    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 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200-25600 ISO 200-6400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-25600 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic VI TruePic VII
    Screen Specs Olympus E-PL6 Olympus E-PL8
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-PL6 Olympus E-PL8
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 8 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board 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-PL6 Olympus E-PL8
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Olympus E-PL6 Olympus E-PL8
    Battery Type BLS-5 power pack BLS-50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)360 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 111 x 64 x 38 mm
    (4.4 x 2.5 x 1.5 in)
    115 x 67 x 38 mm
    (4.5 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 325 g (11.5 oz) 357 g (12.6 oz)

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