Olympus Announces PL-9

I think you have to visit Japan or SE Asia to understand the PL series of cameras. Maybe even then you might not get it. I certainly don't. 

bythom olympus pl9 top

The E-PL9 is the seventh generation of the mirrorless camera that kicked off Olympus' Pen m4/3 series, though it doesn't exactly sport much of a generational difference from its predecessor. Big story: added 4K video, some additional AF points, a new Art Filter (instant film), Panorama mode, and Bluetooth. Some minor cosmetic differences, including a slight hand grip on the front, but recognizable as the same basic camera Olympus has been iterating most of this decade. The press release is mostly marketing mumbo-jumbo about putting you "in touch with your creative side." Not sure why previous cameras couldn't do that. ;~)

I called the PL-8 the P-Late. It seemed like too little, too late. This one seems to be the P-Later. 

Yes, that's a lot of snark. 

Somehow, though, Olympus continues to be able to sell enough of these low end m4/3 models to keep them as current as possible. And again, I think that's mostly a Japanese thing, and a bit of an Asian thing. There's something about the size, style, and price that keeps the entry Pen selling in modest quantities. Just enough sales to keep it updated. 

Thing is, though, the E-PL line is now going directly up against the Canon M6 in terms of size, style, and price. And it's getting more competition from others, particularly that new Fujifilm X-A5 with the pancake zoom. Same physical size camera from both those competitors, but with 24mp APS-C (larger) sensors. Olympus really needs to up their game on the PL models, I think. 

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