Tech Review: Olympus PEN E-PL8

Soooo you might have seen on Insta or Twitter that I FINALLY got my hands on a decent camera for video/vlogs. Josh got me the Olympus PEN E-PL8 for my birthday and gave it to me early so I could take it to Copenhagen! I’m one lucky duck, right?

Until now, I’ve actually been using a GoPro to take travel videos – my GoPro Hero 4 Session. Which as a beginner to video was actually really handy as it was easy to use and compact.

But it didn’t have a screen. So I had no idea what kind of footage I’d filmed until I got home. Also, it wasn’t the best quality ever.

Again, this isn’t a massive deal when you’re just playing around with video. But over the last year or so, I’ve actually really enjoyed the editing side of vlogs. But there’s only so much you can do with shoddy footage, y’know?

So I decided it was time for me to upgrade.

I did SO much research beforehand, watched lots of reviews on YouTube, compared specs and everything. And finally decided on the Olympus PEN E-PL8.

I’m still working out how to use it to be honest, but I thought I’d put together a review from how I’ve found it on my first trip. Just some pros and cons you should be aware of if you’re thinking of investing in this bad boy.

Olympus PEN E-PL8

Olympus PEN E-PL8 Review


The Olympus PEN E-PL8 is super versatile as a camera and video camera in one, so it’s really easy to switch between the two. Whereas in the past I’ve had to take photos on my DSLR (Nikon D3300 FYI), then put it away and get out my GoPro to take video. And the whole time Josh is standing there like, can we go yet?

So I really liked how fast I could take some video and get a few shots for Insta without faffing about with equipment, y’know?

Also, I looooove the flip out screen. It’s perfect for vlogging because you can flip it to face you, but also great for flat-lays because you don’t have to be awkwardly standing above it. Which also means you don’t get any weird shadows over your flat lay masterpiece.

One thing I heard about in some reviews was that the E-PL8 was a bit bulky to hold when vlogging. Like, it wasn’t comfortable to hold it up with one hand. But actually I found it to be the contrary, I thought it was really easy to use that way. And I have small hands so it’s something I can never do with DSLRs.

It’s also really weird to go from a non-touch screen camera to a touch screen. Because I’m always fiddling about with buttons trying to do something and then I realise I can just touch the screen to do what I want!

I thought this was particularly handy with the touch screen focus. You can literally just touch what you want to be in focus and it does it! Modern technology, ay?

Finally, I think aesthetically it’s a total winner. I mean, you can tell it’s been made to target bloggers and YouTubers. Because it’s So. Bloody. Pretty. It’s nice to look at with a cute leather strap. Winning.

Plus, it’s really compact for carrying around and taking on trips. It’s just the camera of travel blogger dreams, basically.

Olympus PEN E-PL8

Olympus PEN E-PL8

Olympus PEN E-PL8


I had a major setback in Copenhagen when I tried to film video. Because everything was BLUE. Y tho?

It turns out I’d been filming inside and it had automatically gone on to the “incandescent” setting for optimum indoor lighting. But then didn’t automatically change back. So I’m taking footage of all of these beautiful colourful houses in Nyhavn and then later realised they all came out blue… Bloody newb.

It also took me a while to figure out how to change anything in Manual / Aperture mode. But this handy blog post from Bang On Style really helped me out! So I just think it takes a bit of effort to work out all of the settings.

I’ve also found that even though the touch screen focus is cool, the auto-focus isn’t as good as my DSLR when taking photos. A lot of them came out blurry.

Again, that’s just me having teething problems I think, but I thought it was worth noting that for those of us that rely on ‘Auto’ may need to brush up on our skills to get the best out of this camera.

Olympus PEN E-PL8

Olympus PEN E-PL8

Olympus PEN E-PL8

Overall Verdict

I’m really happy with the Olympus PEN E-PL8 overall. The initial video footage I got on my Copenhagen trip has been really great quality and is a massive upgrade on my GoPro. I mean the everything-is-blue issue aside, it’s A+ for YouTube.

In terms of photos, it does a good job but I’ve definitely found it harder than my DSLR. I’ll persevere with it but I think for big trips I’ll still bring my Nikon for photos and use the Olympus for video. But for weekender city breaks where I bring hand luggage only, I think the E-PL8 does a good enough job to warrant leaving the DSLR at home.

The Olympus PEN E-PL8 with 14-42 EZ Pancake Zoom Kit retails at £549.99 but at time of writing is down to £429 on Amazon. Have a peek over here.

Photos styled with tassel earrings from Tesco, these ASOS sunglasses and ajewellery box from Home Sense.

Have you used this camera? Let me know what you think in the comments below, tweet me at @HeelsInBackpack or find me over on Insta at @Heels.In.My.Backpack!

Olympus PEN E-PL8

Total Blogger Transparency: This post contains affiliate links but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I wouldn’t play you like that, shorty.

2 thoughts on “Tech Review: Olympus PEN E-PL8

  • 14th February 2018 at 9:49 pm

    I have this exact camera and like you I struggled to get used to it. There are lots of great settings but you do need to invest time so you can get the most out of it. I use it mostly for videos and when I started filming everything was yellow but I had to do some research to find out why that was.

    • Kara // Heels In My Backpack
      15th February 2018 at 8:54 am

      Ah I’m glad it’s not just me! I felt like such a newbie when everything came out blue haha. My next trip is this weekend so hoping I can get some better footage. x


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