Olympus Pen-F Review – History Repeating Itself

Many would consider the Olympus Pen-F to be a brand new camera, but the original model came out in 1963. Back then, it was built around the famous half-frame film format. It quickly gained fame as it had a simple yet beautiful design for its compact size. Now, it has made a triumphant return. This digital comeback of the 35-millimeter film camera slides into the premium market. Its feature set and hardware specs are made to appeal for street photographers, and to individuals who are conscious about the design of their tech.

Olympus Pen-F Review - History Repeating Itself

The Olympus Pen-F Makes a Return

So what does the Olympus Pen-F have in-store this time around? To start, it has a 20-megapixel Live MOS Four Thirds format sensor, 5-axis image stabilization (also comes with automatic panning detection), an OLED electric viewfinder that boasts 2.36-million dots, and up to 10-frames per second (fps) continuous shooting (can go to 20 fps with the use of electronic shutter).

The Pen-F also comes with a customizable interface, a 3-inch LCD touchscreen that boasts 1.04 million dots (it is also fully-articulated), and it can also record videos at 1080/60p. All of these are packaged in an aluminum and magnesium body. Therefore, you can immediately feel its ruggedness despite it having a fairly compact body.

While still on the body, there are no visible screws, anywhere. There is also a faux-leather wrap which encircles the body of the camera. The device is well-weighted and, once again, has a very solid feel to it.

What makes this triumphant return appealing is the addition of its new 20-megapixel Four Thirds sensor. It has been stuck in a rangefinder-style body with the specs and power that is similar to that of the company’s own OM-D E-M5 II. However, the camera does not have weather-sealing and versatility, but it makes up for it in a better design.

For Olympus’ recent Micro Four Thirds releases, they had a problem of having shutter shock and this was apparent when shooting at either 1/60 and 1/80 sec. However, this seems to have been happily removed from this historical return.

While the Olympus Pen-F has retained its classic looks, has been made tougher, boasts a newer ergonomic design, its lack of weather-sealing means that you still can’t take it out as much, especially when the weather is a bit harsh. Furthermore, for what it can offer, it can’t justify its unreasonably high price tag. Photographers that are looking for a new Micro Four Thirds camera but are on a budget might want to steer clear from this right off the bat.


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