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Olympus gets stylish with new E-PL8 Four Thirds camera, FL-900R flash unit

Olympus has officially announced its new midrange mirrorless camera, the PEN E-PL8.

A successor to Olympus’ E-PL7, the E-PL8 remains largely unchanged, with the exception of a few aesthetic tweaks to the outside of the camera. Most notably, the grip of the camera has changed and the details around various buttons have become more subtle for a more stylish approach.

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On the inside, Olympus has included the same 16 megapixel Four Thirds Live MOS sensor with 3-axis image stabilization. Identical to its predecessor, it’s capable of firing off up to 8.5 frames per second and capturing 1080p 30 video. Powering the sensor and 81-point autofocus system is the same Olympus TruePic VII imaging processor found inside the E-PL7.

Related: Olympus bolsters its M.Zuiko Pro lineup by adding a trifecta of new lenses

The rear of the camera includes the same 3-inch, 1.04million-dot LCD touchscreen, which can now articulate a full 180 degrees, which Olympus says “takes the guesswork out of selfies.” Interestingly, rather than tilting up like most screens, the screen on the E-PL8 tilts down, below the camera.

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When tilted down, the camera goes into “selfie mode,” which brings up a collection of selfie-centric features and adjustments for users to choose from using the screen.

Wi-Fi connectivity makes it easy to control the camera from your smartphone using Olympus’ accompanying app. Photos can also be transferred immediately for easy sharing across social media.

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Optional accessories include a genuine leather body jacket, a genuine leather lens cover, and a multipurpose cover, all of which are meant to protect the E-PL8 from damage while out and about.

In addition to the camera, Olympus also announced a brand new, flagship flash, the FL–900R. Designed with a similar aesthetic to the rest of its PEN lineup, this new flash features a maximum guide number of 58mm and is capable of fully recycling in just 2.5 seconds.

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When paired with Olympus’ E-M1 Mark II, E-M1, E-M5 Mark II, and M.Zuiko Pro lenses, the unit is said to be dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof down to minus-10 degrees Celcius.

The E-PL8 will be available in black, white, and brown beginning in October. The body will retail for $550, while the kit containing the M.Zuiko 14–42mm f3.5–5.6 II R and camera will cost $650. The FL–900R is set to ship in October and will retail for $580.

Pre-order now from Amazon:

E-PL8 Body E-PL8 Lens Kit FL-900R