Olympus PEN-F: A Beautiful and Revolutionary Camera Reborn

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Oozing with nostalgia, the new Olympus PEN-F is squarely aimed at those photographers old enough to remember using the original, and younger enthusiasts who will appreciate the retro look and feel of the updated version.

Olympus PEN-F Film

The Original Olympus PEN F released in 1963

In 1963, the revolutionary Olympus Pen F had the distinct honour of being the world’s first and only half-frame system single-lens reflex camera.

Immediately recognized as a classic camera, it received glowing reviews and proved to be a hit among photographers due to its stylish design, small size and seemingly magical ability to double the number of photos one could take on a single roll of film as a regular SLR.

Now, 53 years later, Olympus has announced a modernized version of this legendary camera and hopes that it will be just as big a hit with photographers as the original one was.

The PEN-F not only looks amazing, it also incorporates some of the features more commonly found in the higher end OM-D series.

Olympus PEN-F

The updated Olympus PEN-F

The PEN-F is the first Olympus camera to feature a 20MP sensor capable of producing a 50MP image with it’s High Res Shot mode (the OM-D E-M5 Mark II has the same feature, but will only go up to 40MP).

It’s also the first PEN to feature Nighttime Live Composite Mode and a 4K Time Lapse Movie mode (first introduced with the OM-D E-M10 Mark II).

Unlike previous PEN versions, the PEN-F introduces a 2.36M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder built-in to the camera rather than attached via the hotshoe.

Olympus PEN-F

Olympus PEN F Body Silver

The beautifully-crafted PEN-F is ideal for street shooters, as a second camera for studio pros, and for anyone who loves vintage design and photography. It features sleek lines, precision controls, and the ability to capture amazing street shots.

The PEN-F’s creative functions are now controlled via the “creative dial” located on the front of the camera body. The dial allows for quick & easy access to 4 functions including monochrome, colour profile controls, art filters and colour creator.

Olympus PEN-F Mirrorless Top View

Top Mounted Mode Button with Custom Settings

By moving the creative functions to their own dial on the front, Olympus has been able to add 4 new “favourite” settings labelled C1 – C4 on the top-mounted mode button.

The 3″ touch control LCD monitor folds out to the side and allows you to control: shutter release, magnification, AF area selection, AF area size adjustment, frame forward/backward, magnified playback, Live Guide, Super Control Panel, scene mode selection, Wi-Fi connection, selfie shutter release, and various movie functions.

The PEN-F also utilizes the Olympus built in 5-Axis stabilization system, and will also sync up with their line of stabilized M.Zuiko digital lens.

Olympus PEN-F

Other key features include:

  • S-OVF Mode expands the dynamic range to produce an image close to that of the naked eye.
  • 1/8000 Sec Mechanical Shutter (shortest release time lag of any compact system camera)
  • Full HD 60p/54 mbps High Bit Rate Movie Recording
  • 10 fps High-Speed Seq. Shooting (5 fps AF Tracking Seq Shooting)
  • Built-In Wi-Fi, Remote Operation & Photo Transfer with Smartphone
  • High-Performance Shutter with Silent & Anti-Shock Modes
  • AF Targeting Pad – move the AF point on the touch panel while looking through the viewfinder
  • RAW Processing Support for High Res Shot using OV3 version 2.0


Also published on Medium.