Olympus PEN-F : My thoughts

There is quite a retro look and feel to the Olympus PEN-F.  Larger than I was expecting and quite heavy for a mirrorless system but this seemed to add to its charms.  The body screams great build quality and with a huge range of lenses available it is sure to appeal to most users.

I first had to get to drips with the menu system on the PEN-F.  The Olympus PEN-F seems to have a button for everything.  ISO, exposure, artistic controls and more all have buttons on the body of the PEN-F, and whilst this takes some getting used to you do 'miss' them should you use another system.  There is a more modern feel to the back of the camera with touch screen navigation, although I did personally find the menu system a little tricky to navigate.

The viewfinder can sense when your eye is present allowing you to switch from viewfinder to screen to make any adjustments.  I found it tricky to hold the camera when using the view finder due to the lack of hand grip on the side, and opted more to use the screen.  The screen is tilt able and can be closed facing into the camera body to give a truly retro look and feel to the camera.

I was impressed at how quick the PEN-F focused on an item but it did seem much suited for use with still items and I struggled to get a non blur image of moving children.  This could be down to my lack of photography skills but I did get a little frustrated at times.  

Whilst there are a huge range of lenses available in the Olympus range the PEN-F also works with the Panasonic Micro Four thirds lens range too.  I did notice more noise coming from the Panasonic lens on the Olympus body than when it was on the Olympus body

Olympus 17mm lens

Panasonic lens

The Olympus PEN-F has some great filters and creative modes built into the camera.  Whilst these are not for everyone I loved experimenting with what each filter and creative mode would do.  The great thing about them is that because you shoot in RAW the filter can be removed in editing later.  

Each creative mode and filter photo examples below:






Pop Art 1

Pop art 2

Soft focus

Pale and light colour 1

Pale and light colour 2

Light tone

Grainy film 1

Grainy film 2

Pin hole 1

Pin hole 2

Pin hole 3

Diorama 1

Diorama 2

Cross Process 1

Cross Process 2

Gentle sepia

Dramatic tone 1

Dramatic tone 2

Key line 1

Key line 2

Watercolour 1

Watercolour 2

Vintage 1

Vintage 2

Vintage 3

Partial colour 1

Partial colour 2

Partial colour 3

Art Effect
Soft focus

Pin hole

White edge 



Blur top and bottom

Left and right

The Olympus PEN-F is a great looking camera, packed with modern features in a retro styled body.  The sharp fast auto focus is perfect for the majority of camera needs.  The image quality is excellent and the retro dials make adjustments easy to make.  I didn't use the video mode so cannot comment on this.  

I loved the look and feel of the Olympus PEN-F although I did find it heavy for a mirrorless system.  The image quality is excellent and it would certainly be a system I would recommend.


Full model name: Olympus PEN-F
Resolution: 20.30 Megapixels
Sensor size: 4/3
(17.4mm x 13.0mm)
Kit Lens: n/a
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 200 - 25,600
Extended ISO: 80 - 25,600
Shutter: 1/16000 - 60 seconds
Dimensions: 4.9 x 2.8 x 1.5 in.
(125 x 72 x 37 mm)
Weight: 15.3 oz (434 g) 
includes batteries
Megapixales : 20.3

I borrowed the Olympus PEN-F for 4 days and it has since been returned.  I have not been asked to write this post and have received NO compensation. 

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  1. I love mine. There are lots of configuration options and I recommend getting common settings set up in custom mode so you can quickly switch into action or landscape mode etc. I also don't think auto iso always makes sensible choices.


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