Olympus' tiny Pen E-PL9 has 4K and image stabilization

A simplified menu on the touchscreen will make it easier for beginners.

Olympus has introduced the PEN E-PL9, giving its smallest Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera a significant overhaul with the addition of 4K video and in-body stabilization. The new model carries the retro look of its predecessor, the E-PL8, but improves on it with a bigger grip and mode dial. It now packs the same 16-megapixel sensor, TruePic VIII processor and 121-point contrast-detect AF (with face and eye detection) as the larger OM-D E-M10 Mark III, but is still limited to 3-axis instead of 5-axis stabilization.

Olympus has wisely endowed the Pen E-PL9 with 4K, 30 fps video, knowing that a feature available on mid-range smartphones should definitely be on interchangeable-lens cameras. At the same time, the new model is clearly aimed at beginners and social media users, so Olympus added Bluetooth capability for quick smartphone sharing.

In another nod to its beginner market, Olympus has added a simplified menu system for the touchscreen. That way, un-savvy users can "start their journey of photographic experimentation gradually via touchscreen selection of creative programs before moving on to more traditional settings," it explained in a press release. As with the last model, the screen tilts out and down to ease selfie shots.

The Olympus Pen E-PL9 will come to Europe, Asia and other regions around the world in March for €699/£649 with the kit 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 power zoom lens or €549/£579 for the body only (in black, brown and white). We should know more about North American pricing and availability in the weeks to come.