PW

Olympus E-PL8 vs E-PM2

The Olympus PEN E-PL8 and the Olympus PEN E-PM2 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2016 and September 2012. Both the E-PL8 and the E-PM2 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-PL8   Olympus E-PM2
Olympus E-PL8 Olympus E-PM2
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 200-6400 (100-25600) ISO 100-25600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD, 1037k dots 3.0" LCD, 460k dots
Tilting touchscreen Fixed touchscreen
8 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
350 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
115 x 67 x 38 mm, 357 g 110 x 64 x 34 mm, 269 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus PEN E-PL8 and the Olympus PEN E-PM2? 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 physical size and weight of the Olympus E-PL8 and the Olympus E-PM2 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The E-PL8 can be obtained in three different colors (black, brown, white), while the E-PM2 is available in four color-versions (black, silver, red, white).

Size Olympus E-PL8 vs Olympus E-PM2
Compare E-PL8 versus E-PM2 top
Comparison E-PL8 or E-PM2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-PM2 is notably smaller (9 percent) than the Olympus E-PL8. Moreover, the E-PM2 is markedly lighter (25 percent) than the E-PL8. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-PL8 nor the E-PM2 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-PL8 gets 350 shots out of its BLS-50 battery, while the E-PM2 can take 360 images on a single charge of its BLS-5 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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-PL8» 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
 
Olympus E-PM2« 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 499- i Olympus E-PM2
 
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-PL7« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-P5« » 4.8 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 14.8 oz 330 n May 2013 999- i Olympus E-P5
 
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-PL5« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 599- i Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PL2« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 12.8 oz 280 n Jan 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PM1« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 330 n Jun 2011 499- i Olympus E-PM1
 
Panasonic GX85« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX85
 
Panasonic G7« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 n May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 E-PM2 was somewhat cheaper (by 9 percent) than the E-PL8 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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.

In terms of chip-set technology, the E-PL8 uses a more advanced image processing engine (TruePic VII) than the E-PM2 (TruePic VI), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Olympus E-PL8 and Olympus E-PM2 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-PL8 and the E-PM2 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 4 years) than the E-PM2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Olympus PEN E-PL8 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-PM2 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

E-PL8 versus E-PM2 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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-PL8» Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Olympus E-PL8
 
Olympus E-PM2« Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.293272Olympus E-PM2
 
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-PL7« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-P5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-PL6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Olympus E-PL6
 
Olympus E-PL5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PL2« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.257355Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PM1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i21.010.349952Olympus E-PM1
 
Panasonic GX85« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271Panasonic GX85
 
Panasonic G7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----Panasonic G7

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. 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

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The E-PL8 and the E-PM2 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-PM2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-4. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus E-PL8 and Olympus E-PM2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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-PL8»- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL8
 
Olympus E-PM2«- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PM2
 
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-PL7« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-P5« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 Y Y Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-PL6« »- n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL6
 
Olympus E-PL5« »- n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PL2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PM1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y Olympus E-PM1
 
Panasonic GX85« »2765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y Panasonic GX85
 
Panasonic G7« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G7
The E-PL8 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the E-PM2 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Olympus E-PL8 has 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-PL8 and the E-PM2 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

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-PL8 and Olympus PEN E-PM2 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-PL8»Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL8
 
Olympus E-PM2«Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PM2
 
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-PL7« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-P5« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-PL6« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PL6
 
Olympus E-PL5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PL2« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PM1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PM1
 
Panasonic GX85« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GX85
 
Panasonic G7« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G7

It is notable that the E-PL8 offers wifi support, while the E-PM2 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the E-PL8 and the E-PM2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-PL8 was replaced by the Olympus E-PL9, while the E-PM2 does not have a direct successor. 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

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-PL8 or the Olympus E-PM2 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer 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).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years of technical progress since the E-PM2 launch.


Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PM2:

  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 88g or 25 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2012).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the E-PL8 is the clear winner of the match-up (7 : 3 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-PL8 07:03 E-PM2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-PL8 and the Olympus E-PM2 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the E-PL8 or the E-PM2 perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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-PL8»--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
 
Olympus E-PM2«-77/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i Olympus E-PM2
 
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-PL7« »+-5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-P5« »+ +78/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2013 999- i Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-PL6« »----- May 2013 599- i Olympus E-PL6
 
Olympus E-PL5« »+ +-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599- i Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PL2« »83/10071/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL2
 
Olympus E-PM1« »86/10071/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2011 499- i Olympus E-PM1
 
Panasonic GX85« »+ +82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX85
 
Panasonic G7« »+ +80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Olympus E-PL8:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-PM2:
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 your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

~

    Specifications: Olympus E-PL8 vs Olympus E-PM2

    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-PL8 Olympus E-PM2
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2016 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-PL8 Olympus E-PM2
    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 200-6400 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-25600 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor TruePic VII TruePic VI
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 72
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 22.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 932
    Screen Specs Olympus E-PL8 Olympus E-PM2
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-PL8 Olympus E-PM2
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingNo Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 8 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    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-PL8 Olympus E-PM2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Olympus E-PL8 Olympus E-PM2
    Battery Type BLS-50 BLS-5
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 115 x 67 x 38 mm
    (4.5 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
    110 x 64 x 34 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 357 g (12.6 oz) 269 g (9.5 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Olympus E-PL8 vs Olympus E-PM2