The digital Pen-F model camera from Olympus is a great choice for anyone who is feeling nostalgic but would also like a camera with modernized features. Anyone looking for an updated micro four-thirds camera should appreciate our Pen F review. Our Olympus Pen F review will take you through a comprehensive look at this revised yet iconic camera. The first Pen-F model camera came to store shelves in 1963, but Olympus released an updated, digital version with some improvements and extra features.
Olympus Pen-F Camera Specs
- Olympus PEN-F (Body-Only) (Silver)
- Olympus 25mm f1.8 Interchangeable Lens (Silver)
The first part of our Olympus Pen F review will give you all the details you need to know about the camera’s technical specifications. If you’re not sure about the Pen-F yet, knowing these details may help you make your choice.
Type: Digital micro four-thirds camera.
- Photos: 20.3-megapixel maximum resolution with a 17.4 x 13.0-millimeter sensor.
- Video: 1920 x 1080 maximum resolution at 60 frames per second. 1280 x 720 resolution at 30 or 24 frames per second.
ISO: Adjustable from 200 to 25,600 as needed.
Shutter Speed: 1/16000 – 60 seconds.
Continuous Shouting Rate: N/A but does include continuous autofocus.
Size: 4.9 x 2.8 x 1.5 inches (125 x 72 x 37 millimeters)
Weight: 15.3 ounces (434 grams)
Media Storage: Supports external microSD cards with up to 256 gigabytes of space.
Photography fans were excited to see the release of the Olympus Pen-F, a stylish micro four-thirds camera with a classic design and updated, easy-to-use controls. Our Olympus Pen F review found that a fully articulating and customizable touchscreen help make this camera an attractive choice.
You can shoot continuously up to 10 frames per second or expand that range to 20 with the electronic shutter accessory. The automatic panning feature further adds to the camera’s versatility.
Image Quality and Performance
We made comparisons to the Olympus EM5 II during our Pen F review process. The Pen F makes improvements over the EM5 II in the field of photo quality thanks to the jump from a 16-megapixel sensor to a 20-megapixel one. There’s also the addition of a special anti-shock mode for the electronic shutter. This new feature serves to lessen any shock even on the manual shutter too, and you should see no discernible shock. As we got into further testing during our Olympus Pen F review, we noticed that the camera did a decent job of maintaining saturation levels even as we increased the ISO.
The Pen F strikes a nice balance between noise reduction and attention to detail by using a single noise reduction layer during operation. This allows the camera to maintain fine details even as you raise the ISO range.
Design and Controls
If you’re familiar with other cameras in this series, you’ll know that the Pen F model is a major departure from its predecessors. The aluminum base with the magnesium alloy shell is wrapped in a textured material for a superior grip that is easy to control. During our Pen F review, we noticed that there weren’t any exterior screws on the body. We think this adds to the sleek nature of the camera’s design.
The customizable controls are a big plus for the Pen F. You can program the front and rear dials to alter various exposure parameters to suit your needs. There are five buttons on the body of the camera that you can tweak. The camera’s controls are situated around the upper plate and rear body and are meant to be used with your right hand. You can use the camera’s mode dial to save up to four custom modes.
We found several things to like during our Pen F review:
- The image stabilization feature performs very well even when shooting video.
- It has a short release time.
- The autofocus aspect is versatile.
- It includes a wide range of features and options.
- You can modify the interface to suit your needs or preferences.
- Built-in Wi-Fi gives you control over all aspects of a remote shoot.
- It includes a 50-megapixel high-resolution mode.
- The burst speeds are quick.
- You can choose from several creative filters.
No Olympus Pen F review would be complete without touching on a few things that could be improved:
- It is a relatively expensive camera.
- There are no extra seals to protect against dust and moisture.
- The overall video quality could be better.
- It doesn’t include jacks for microphones or headphones.
- The battery life is not spectacular.
Our Olympus Pen F review touches on aspects of the camera that may make it an ideal choice for a variety of users. If micro four-thirds is your preferred camera format, the Pen F is a great option. Additionally, if you’re a professional photographer, the camera has many customizable features that will allow you to get the most from your shoots. While the video quality is good, the Pen F may not be the best choice for videographers.
If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative that still has similar features, we discovered the Canon model M6 during our Pen F review and testing.
If you are a fan of Olympus but this camera isn’t exactly what you were looking for, also read our review of the Olympus Pen E-PL6 and our Olympus OM-D E-M10 review.
We think you’ll discover a lot to like in our Olympus Pen F review. The camera body has a sleek, streamlined appearance that is reminiscent of classic micro four-thirds cameras. It has plenty of extra features, but they’re all packed neatly into the frame for your convenience.