Why I Switched My DSLR For The Olympus Pen E-PL8

It seems like every year there is a new camera on my shoulder. This Christmas I got the new Olympus Pen E-PL8. Last year I got a new, trusty DSLR camera and loved it. I had been wanting to upgrade my old Canon rebel that I had since High School for a better camera. My new Canon 70d took much better, more professional-looking photos. It was just the equipment I needed for my blog. Having this new DSLR would make all the difference and now all my photos would be consistently beautiful…or so I thought. I wanted a nice camera that I could take with me everywhere and that would take professional photos of every moment of my life. From outfit posts to coffee dates, I wanted all my photos to be better than your basic iPhone picture. The problem with this is that lugging a DSLR around everywhere is exhausting. My plan was flawed as I had not taken into consideration what it meant to carry around a heavy and bulky DSLR all the time. Not to mention bringing extra lenses.

Once I started traveling back in July things with my DSLR got even more complicated. Traveling full-time means bringing only the essentials with you. It also means paying more attention to weight limits and practicalities. Anything too chunky and heavy does not make it in my carry-on; with the exception of my camera. Having my Canon 70d is an essential so I took it everywhere with me. Whether we were walking around the streets of London, sunbathing in Mykonos, or having dinner in Singapore, my camera was always there, hitting my side. Everywhere we go in the world has one thing in common – lots of walking with my camera on my shoulder. The DSLR gets really heavy and Nick and I would fight over who would carry it. We took turns carrying the camera and sighed every time we needed to use it. My beloved DSLR had become a pain on my side (literally) and I could no longer bare it.

Last month we spent some time in Bali with family. We enjoyed relaxing on the beach and exploring the towns. Everything was picture-perfect, yet I didn’t take many pictures. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I nearly vanished for about 3 weeks. This was partly because of spending time with family, partly because my phone got stolen, but also because I was just plain done. I was done carrying around this bulky camera. I was done with having a full-on photo-shoot with my coffee. My bulky DSLR had taken the fun out of everyday photography. I know this sounds melodramatic, but I really needed a change.

Once we got to Australia I did some research and found the perfect alternative to my DSLR. I wanted to love photography again but without all the hassle. I still wanted a camera that would take professional photos, but that was more light-weight, more user-friendly, and much more compact than my DSLR. I also wanted a camera that would be good for everyday Instagram photos, blog photography, and that could shoot great video. The new Olympus Pen E-PL8 won the battle! The older version of this camera has been a blogger favorite. This new version will be no different. The Olympus Pen E-PL8 is stylish, easy to use, and takes AMAZING photos!

The Olympus Pen E-PL8 is a mirror-less camera which means it takes photos and video in DSLR quality but without all the bulk and extra weight. It is also different from a regular point-and-shoot since the lenses are interchangeable like a DSLR. But even the lenses are smaller!! Everything (the camera plus extra lenses) fits easily inside any handbag so you don’t need to carry an extra camera bag (or lug the camera around on your shoulder). It has made life so much easier and traveling with it is a breeze! Now I take my Olympus E-PL8 everywhere with me and ACTUALLY take photos.

The Olympus Pen E-PL8 comes with a 14-42mm lens that is perfect for everyday shots and for taking flat lays. I use it all the time for this since the camera also has a flip screen that lets you see what you are shooting while it is pointed straight overhead. When I need to step up my game and take blog photos or detail shots I use the 45mm lens. This one gives you professional-quality photos that perfectly rival those taken with a DSLR and Canon’s popular 50mm lens. It gives that beautiful background blur which is the reason we all want a DSLR in the first place. This mirrorless camera is seriously a game changer!

Do you own a mirrorless camera? What do you think? Have you tried the new Olympus Pen E-PL8? Let me know in the comments below!

xx, Karen

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  • Yolanda G.

    Oh Karen! I have definitely dreaded taking pics with my DSLR, its just so bulky and heavy lol, this looks like a great alternative!
    So sorry to hear about your phone, that happened to me recently and it sucks :
    Happy to have you back 🙂

    • Hey Yolanda! So great to hear from you 🙂

      Yes taking photos with a DSLR can be such a pain! I’m much happier with this cute little travel camera, and it takes such good photos!
      Getting your phone stolen totally sucks! I’m still trying to get it replaced. Hope you’ve had better luck with that!

      Happy to be back – for now haha 🙂

  • Amy

    SO much more compact, perfect for traveling! Bookmarking this because I am searching for a new camera that is a little more functional. Love your photos, would love to see photography tips 🙂

    xx, Amy

    • Hi Amy! Yes save it! This camera is my absolute favorite I’ve ever owned! The photos are amazing and it’s so lightweight that I forget its even on my shoulder! Thanks for the feedback, btw! I’ll look into sharing some photography tips 🙂

  • I just had this conversation with my boyfriend. I told him I was sick of caring my DSLR and I hated traveling with it because it wouldn’t fit into my small bags while I travel. I’ve slowly begun researching cameras and definitely adding the olympus pen to the list of potential new cameras =o) Thanks for sharing =o)


    • Carrying around a DSLR while traveling is the worst!! It takes away from enjoying your travels :/ You will love the Olympus Pen! I pretty much looked at every other option, but this camera has the whole package – good photos, interchangeable powerful lenses, does well in low-light, shoots great video, is SO lightweight and comfortable, easy to use, and its pretty 😉 haha! I hope you solve your camera issue soon!

  • I have heard great things about this Olympus pen Camera, guess it’s really good.

    Bernie, xx
    The Style Fanatic

    • It is! I’ve been using it non-stop since getting it and I’ve only heard great things from others who own it 🙂

  • I’m seeing more and more people with this camera! It does seem fantastic x

    Jessica — NinetyCo

    • It’s the best! I love how versatile and compact it is 🙂

  • Elena

    This camera looks so cool! I’m getting a new camera soon, I think I’ll consider this one! Thanks for the tipp!


    • You should definitely consider getting the Olympus Pen! It’s my favorite camera I’ve ever owned 🙂