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Olympus E-PL9 versus Canon T6i

The Olympus PEN E-PL9 and the Canon EOS Rebel T6i (labelled Canon 750D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2018 and February 2015. The E-PL9 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the T6i is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (E-PL9) and an APS-C (T6i) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 15.9 megapixel, whereas the Canon provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Olympus E-PL9 vs Canon T6i

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-PL9 and the Canon T6i is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the E-PL9 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Olympus E-PL9 vs Canon T6i
Compare E-PL9 versus T6i top
Compare E-PL9 and T6i rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T6i is considerably larger (68 percent) than the Olympus E-PL9. Moreover, the T6i is substantially heavier (46 percent) than the E-PL9. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-PL9 nor the T6i 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-PL9) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (T6i). Mirrorless cameras, such as the Olympus E-PL9, have moreover the advantage that they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance and can thus use many lenses from other systems via adapters.

Concerning battery life, the E-PL9 gets 350 shots out of its BLS-50 battery, while the T6i can take 440 images on a single charge of its LP-E17 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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-PL9» 117 mm 68 mm 39 mm 380 g 350 n Feb 2018 549 i i Olympus E-PL9
Canon T6i« 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon 77D« » 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon T7i« » 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
Canon T6s« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon T5i« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon T4i« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Olympus E-M10 III« » 122 mm 84 mm 50 mm 410 g 330 n Aug 2017 649 i i Olympus E-M10 III
Olympus E-PL8« » 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10 II« » 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 799- i Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M10« » 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-PL7« » 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
Olympus E-P5« » 122 mm 69 mm 37 mm 420 g 330 n May 2013 999- i Olympus E-P5
Olympus E-PL6« » 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n May 2013 599- i Olympus E-PL6
Olympus E-PL5« » 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n Sep 2012 599- i Olympus E-PL5
Olympus E-PM2« » 110 mm 64 mm 34 mm 269 g 360 n Sep 2012 499- i Olympus E-PM2
Olympus E-PL2« » 114 mm 72 mm 42 mm 362 g 280 n Jan 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL2

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The E-PL9 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 27 percent) than the T6i, which puts it into a different 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Olympus E-PL9 vs Canon T6i

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus E-PL9 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Canon T6i an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T6i is 48 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.6. The sensor in the E-PL9 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the T6i offers a 3:2 aspect.

Olympus E-PL9 and Canon T6i sensor measures

With 24MP, the T6i offers a higher resolution than the E-PL9 (15.9MP), but the T6i has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 3.76μm for the E-PL9). Yet, the E-PL9 is a much more recent model (by 3 years) than the T6i, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The T6i has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in relatively fast and reliable autofocus acquisition during video recording.

E-PL9 versus T6i MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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-PL9» Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Olympus E-PL9
Canon T6i« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
Canon T7i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon T7i
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon T6s
Canon T5i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon T5i
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
Olympus E-M10 III« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Olympus E-M10 III
Olympus E-PL8« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Olympus E-PL8
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-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-PM2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.293272Olympus E-PM2
Olympus E-PL2« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.257355Olympus E-PL2

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the E-PL9 provides a higher video resolution than the T6i. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Olympus E-PL9 vs Canon T6i

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the T6i has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the E-PL9 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus E-PL9 and Canon T6i along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Olympus E-PL9»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.6 Y Y Olympus E-PL9
Canon T6i«optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon 77D
Canon T7i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon T7i
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6s
Canon T5i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T5i
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
Olympus E-M10 III« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.6 Y Y Olympus E-M10 III
Olympus E-PL8« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10 II« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-PL7« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL7
Olympus E-P5« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 8000 9.0 Y Y Olympus E-P5
Olympus E-PL6« »- n 3.0 460 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL6
Olympus E-PL5« »- n 3.0 460 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL5
Olympus E-PM2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PM2
Olympus E-PL2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y Y Olympus E-PL2

One feature that differentiates the E-PL9 and the T6i is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-PL9 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the T6i has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the E-PL9 features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the E-PL9 and the T6i write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

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-PL9»Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-YOlympus E-PL9
Canon T6i«YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6i
Canon 77D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 77D
Canon T7i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon T7i
Canon T6s« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6s
Canon T5i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T5i
Canon T4i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T4i
Olympus E-M10 III« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10 III
Olympus E-PL8« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL8
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-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-PM2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PM2
Olympus E-PL2« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL2

The E-PL9 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Olympus. In contrast, the T6i has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the T6i was succeeded by the Canon T7i.

Review summary: Olympus E-PL9 vs Canon T6i

So what is the bottom line? Is the Olympus E-PL9 better than the Canon T6i or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus PEN E-PL9:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.6 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x68mm vs 132x101mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 175g or 32 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (27 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years of technical progress since the T6i launch.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T6i:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 25%.
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (440 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2015).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the E-PL9 emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 8 points). 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.

E-PL9 10:08 T6i

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the E-PL9 or the T6i handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

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-PL9»Rec-4.5/5-4/5 Feb 2018 549 i i Olympus E-PL9
Canon T6i«-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon T7i« »-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon T5i« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Olympus E-M10 III« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2017 649 i i Olympus E-M10 III
Olympus E-PL8« »--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10 II« »HiRec80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 799- i Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-PL7« »Rec-5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
Olympus E-P5« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2013 999- i Olympus E-P5
Olympus E-PL6« »----- May 2013 599- i Olympus E-PL6
Olympus E-PL5« »HiRec-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
Olympus E-PL2« »83/10071/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL2

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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

 

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. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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