Olympus Pen 9 

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This is an enthusiasts camera, quality in a small package, but still able to give excellent ‘auto’ images and if you know better then the various special scene and manual mode allow you to get that extra special image to say great.

Olympus PEN E PL9 16 MP Compact System Camera
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The Olympus Olympus PEN E-PL9 measures 12x6.5x6cm when off the powered zoom can take the 14-42mm lens out to 9.5cm. It weighs 513grams with the supplied neck strap in situ.

People who have fondled it say that’s heavy and my response is that is quality down to the dark blue leather that goes round the front and sides.

Although this has a flash shoe mounted on top there is a small pop up flash on top that can help out when required but in most cases normal light gives a perfectly good image.

The left side has an anchor point for the neck strap, the right side has the pair of that as well as a flip up door behind which are HDMI and USB connections. The base has a tripod anchor point as well as battery bay door which is also where any SD card you use is inserted. The face has the lens which as stated is motorised and the total movement quite small.

The top has the manual pop up flash on the left of the flash shoe cover next the nine position wheel, shutter release and finally on/off button.

This leaves the back that is dominated by the 6x4.5cm TFT screen that is double hinged at the top to give shooting possibilities when the camera is in difficult positions. To the right of the TFT are the leather covered thumb anchor, beside this a quick video button and below this two pairs of well-marked buttons split by the five position joystick control that can allow a multitude of capture possibilities.

As the Olympus web site says ‘stop taking snaps, start taking photos’ if you think about it a very true statement as the Pen as a brand has always taken great images without the need for lots of extras just the camera and a little thought.

During my time I took outdoor shots in full light, overcast conditions and at and after dusk, I was happy with them all. As always with a new camera I start with Auto and let the camera make the choices, later on I try my luck with the range of scene modes and even go on and test the Manual mode but with most cameras I have them for only a limited time so getting to know them takes time.

However after the first day or so I know what I expect and here the Olympus Pen gave me that feeling of me being on the same wavelength and wanting to test myself.

It has lots of nice features one that few other small cameras have is the ability to retain time and date while the battery is removed to be recharged.

I took a few images with flash mainly for fill in as it works well in low light without any flash, however I also tested it at a gig that always makes the musicians look orange as the stage light kill a normal photo using the flash cut through all that garbage to give you a good true colour image.

All in all the PL-9 is a bargain at £550.96 from Amazon, assuming you have a Prime account. Full details are available on the Olympus web site.

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