In 1963, Olympus released the first version of their PEN-F camera to the public. It was constructed on the half-frame film format, and it immediately earned a popularity due to its elegant yet straightforward design as well as its compact size. It’s possible that the fact that a roll of film can hold 70 photos was also a factor. After an absence of 53 years, the PEN-F has been reintroduced.
The existing digital PEN flagship, the E-P5, will not be replaced by the digital reincarnation of the 35mm film Olympus PEN-F; rather, it will slot in next to it as the “premium” choice in the PEN family of cameras. The reason for this is that, unlike digital PENs that came before it, the F features something that is considerably more comparable to an OM-D: an integrated OLED electronic viewfinder with 2.36 million dots. The F also has the greatest output resolution of any Olympus camera to date, sporting a 20MP Four Thirds sensor (possibly the same one that we’ve seen in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8). This is a first for Olympus.
The PEN-F is a powerful camera that has been released expressly to cater to street shooters and design aware individuals searching for a camera with retro style and controls that are similar to rangefinders. It has a lot going for it.
Olympus PEN-F Price in USA
Everything mentioned above is contained within a machined body made of aluminum and magnesium, and there are no screws that can be seen anywhere on the exterior. The PEN-F has a faux-leather wrap that encircles it, and the body of the pen itself has a good amount of weight to it and a pretty substantial feel to it.
The Panasonic GX8, which also utilizes a 20MP chip, is the most direct Micro Four Thirds rival to the PEN-F. It has many of the same internal components as the Olympus OM-D EM-5 II and has a sleek rangefinder-style design (similar to the cameras in Fujifilm’s X100 series). Other cameras that are strong rivals include the Fujifilm X-E2S, the Sony a6000 and a6300, and the Sony a6000. All of these cameras use the APS-C format. It should come as no surprise that the PEN-F also has to contend with alternative models found within the OM-D series.
We had a conversation with Eric Gensel, a technical specialist with Olympus, to get a better understanding of how the PEN-F fits into the market environment as a whole. This conversation was really helpful. He describes in detail where the PEN-F falls within the Olympus product range, who the camera is aimed at, and the many considerations that went into its development as a product.
Many of the PEN-most F’s notable characteristics have been around for quite some time. In point of fact, a significant portion of the essential specifications are identical to those seen on other recent Olympus models. On the other hand, several functions have seen significant enhancements. When compared to the OM-D E-M5 II, the PEN-F, which has a sensor with 20 megapixels, is capable of better resolution in multi-shot mode and can reach up to 80 megapixels when shooting in raw mode (50MP in JPEG). Additionally, it has a dedicated creative control knob located on the front of the device, in addition to four other configurable shooting modes that may be accessed by the locking exposure mode dial.
It is difficult to perceive the PEN-F as a significant step forward given how many of its basic capabilities are inherited from prior models; but, it does offer a handling experience that is distinct within Olympus’s array of products. Is there more to the PEN-F than simply its attractive exterior? Let’s dig in.
Olympus PEN-F Specifications
|MSRP||$1199 (body only)|
|Body type||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy + aluminum|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||20 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||22 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)|
|Sensor size notes||High resolution mode produces Raw images at 10368 x 7776 or JPEGs at 8160 x 6120.|
|Color space||sRGB, Adobe RGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||80|
|White balance presets||7|
|Custom white balance||Yes (4 slots)|
|Image stabilization notes||5-axis|
|JPEG quality levels||Super fine, fine, normal, basic|
|File format||JPEG (Exif v2.3)Raw (Olympus ORF)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Number of focus points||81|
|Lens mount||Micro Four Thirds|
|Focal length multiplier||2×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Articulated LCD||Fully articulated|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Viewfinder magnification||1.23× (0.62× 35mm equiv.)|
|Minimum shutter speed||60 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/8000 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/16000 sec|
|Exposure modes||iAutoProgram AutoShutter PriorityAperture PriorityManual|
|Scene modes||Portraite-PortraitLandscapeLandscape + PortraitSportHand-held StarlightNight sceneNight + PortraitChildrenHigh KeyLow KeyDIS modeMacroNature MacroCandleSunsetDocumentsPanoramaFireworksBeach & SnowFisheye Conv.Wide Conv.Macro Conv.Panning3D|
|Built-in flash||No (external flash included)|
|Flash modes||Flash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (2nd curtain)|
|Flash X sync speed||1/250 sec|
|Continuous drive||10.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 12 seconds, custom)|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)|
|Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p)|
|Format||MPEG-4, H.264, Motion JPEG|
|Videography notes||Choice of ALL-I, APB codecs|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Remote control||Yes (wired or via smartphone)|
|Battery description||BLN-1 lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||330|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||427 g (0.94 lb / 15.06 oz)|
|Dimensions||125 x 72 x 37 mm (4.92 x 2.83 x 1.46″)|
|Timelapse recording||Yes (video)|
The PEN F is a stylish accessory that also serves a practical purpose. The PEN F is a very competent shooter that provides good picture quality and respectable video quality. It has many of the same internal components as the enthusiast-level OM-D E-M5 II and also features a brand-new 20MP sensor. Features like as image stabilization prove to be highly handy during both still and video capture, and the camera’s six film presets are particularly enticing if you shoot in JPEG format. Image stabilization also proves to be extremely beneficial during the editing process. In spite of this, the PEN F’s suggested retail price places it in a competitive category of cameras. Even if it does not have the most advanced technological capabilities of the group, it is without a doubt the most aesthetically engineered, and using it is, in a word, a delight.
- Display that may be touched from several angles.
- Image sensor with a resolution of 20 megapixels for Micro Four Thirds cameras.
- Picture stabilization over five axes
- Easy accessibility to the many filters and color adjustments.
- 50-megapixel setting for shooting at a high resolution.
- 9.6fps picture capture.
- Compact body with an electronic viewfinder built in.
- Not protected from the elements.
- Video restricted to 1080p.
- There is no mic input.
- Deletes the flash that is built in.
- Having trouble with the Wi-Fi connection.
- Unimpressive performance from the attention tracking system.