Olympus Pen-F – Retrofierad Performance

TEST: Nearly 55 years after Olympus released his PEN-F so they do it again – but now in a digital performance version that is supposed to appeal to the discerning, both in terms of technology and design.

Performance and design. So, one can summarize the latest camera from Olympus: PEN-F. The camera has inherited many of the iconic design elements of the now almost 55 years old and analogue precursor.

We look a little more towards the present day so is the p-F a camera that got some of the best from both worlds, namely technology and power of the Olympus entusiastsegment IF-D, but it’s stylish and design-related expression from PEN-series. It is also why we see many similarities with EM-5 II and E-P5.

Olympus themselves mean that the camera is aimed at the stilmedvetne and avid photographer who want stylish things that performs well. And in fact I think they done well with this.

Behind the sleek skin that is made of a mixture of aluminum and magnesium alloy, we find a micro fourthirds-sensor to 20 megapixels but low-pass filter. With this sensor gets this Olympus most high-resolution camera, and as I enter the later so you can get both JPG images and pictures in raw form in 50 megapixels.

The ISO range is 200-25600 with the possibility to go down to ISO 80, and the camera has the ability to take pictures in series for up to 20 per second with electronic shutter, otherwise 10 frames per second.

Cool design

It’s kind of funny that Olympus meant so much to the design of this camera. Some times can a camera look stylish out but at the expense of operation – now I don’t know if it’s the 1950s industrial designers to be praised for this, or if the remake only managed to be so good that it actually became now – in fact, this probably is one of the best cameras applicable handling with retro design-remember that I tested.

The controls feel stable and robust, and all parts of the camera feels well thought-out and qualitative. The program selection knob is locked with a key, the exposure compensation button are moderately sluggish so you do not manage to change the incorrect, dazzles and slutarhjulet of thumb and index finger have distinct modes and provides good grip. Also the buttons are well thought-out.

Speaking of grip so has PEN-F a well pronounced thumb grip on the back that makes all the difference – it is no problem to either shoot with one hand only, or adjust the settings with one hand.

Impressive successful design!

For those who really want to live out their retro feel it is possible to screw on a manual remote shutter release on avtryckarens internal thread.

On the front side has the Olympus decided to add a väljarreglage for different image settings, a control of the analog version was used to set the shutter speed. The switch we can choose among other features that add various filters, different weight of this filter, adjust the colors in the image, a color wheel, or choose other creative image effects.

The only thing that might seem a pity is that anyone who is not a whiz at using filters can not adjust what this control should do – they are for filters and colors – end of story. But otherwise, the PEN-F high level when it comes to making the camera to her, therefore, to set the kustomisera and keys to do what you want, which is an incredible strength.

Because this with image settings and» JPG directly from the camera «is something that Olympus has invested in, they have also decided to add a slider under the program selection knob to adjust high and deep shadows in a histogramkurva, which adjusts the contrast of the image just as you would in Photoshop. The idea is that all these adjustments in the future will also bring into your computer via the raw file.

Many exciting features

Olympus PEN-F is a funktionsfylld camera. As I mentioned earlier, it is possible to obtain high resolution and detailed image files at 50 megapixels by allowing the camera to take a series of images and shift the pixels on the sensor. By doing so you get higher resolution and thus increased detail.

To succeed, simply set the camera on the tripod, then choose one high resolution image from the menu and set any time for the picture to be taken, in order to minimize shaking at the imprint.

The result is impressive. Correctly done, you will get a massive image file you can crop in a completely different way, while the sharpness and picture quality is really good. The feature is actually pretty cool.

PEN-F also has a built-in wifi, which easily and quickly connect your camera to your smartphone and lets you get decent control via the app. There you can set shutter, ISO, Aperture, exposure compensation, white balance, take pictures, view photos, and so on.

Good speed and autofocus

We dig ourselves further down in the camera so we can see that Olympus has invested a portion on swiftness. To have the remain anonymous to shoot in 20 images per second are really good, with silent digital shutter on the who wants to sneak around in the streets.

Or, if you want to use, for example, the following focus so reduced speed to five pictures per second. And on the topic so that the following autofocus really well. In fact, it is one of the fastest updates for the following auto focus I’ve seen, with a box that hangs on the items you want, and then hang out with really nice. Here too, the Olympus succeeded in prompting.

The autofocus generally feels really good and fast, even in the weak light, and there is no problem for the camera to focus correctly. The same goes for facial recognition that quickly finds the face and adjusts the focus right.

Generally, I have to say that the PEN-F feels a little like one of the faster cameras I tested in micro fourthirds segment. In addition to the fast inside the shell–including his burst shooting at up to 20 photos per second-so it is also quick to use in operation, thanks in part to how button layout and design are made, but also thanks to the screen, which I’ll get to later.

Screen and viewfinder

PEN-F has a swivel touch screen of 3 inches and 1.03 million pixels, where you can set the focus point, but also use spot metering of light at the point you press for correct exposure. That way, I as the photographer more control and the ability of what I want to do with the screen.

The screen is good in every way, including the good image, but it is also a solid good when it’s inward-looking towards the camera body, something that many manufacturers failed. Really well done.

To use the screen to take pictures is also possible. You don’t want it so you can set it so you just set the focus, and you can also adjust the size of the focus box directly on the screen by a slider. Then just press.

PEN-F has also been fitted with an electronic viewfinder on 2.36 million pixels. To switch between the screen or EVF is really good, and is suitable for various good for different situations. The viewfinder is fast and good, high quality with good picture, and also provides a lot of information when you look in it. It is also possible to quickly adjust different settings using the controls and see it in the viewfinder.

The only thing I have to complain about is that it doesn’t have a completely peaceful picture, unfortunately, so I feel that the picture is flickering slightly which I personally am sensitive to. Daytime outdoor, the problem is not so big, but in low light or indoors makes it all the clearer.

Not for professional filmmaker

Video recording in full HD at 60 frames per second in 52 megabits, and the video function supports focus-peaking and image magnification to aid in manual focusing. All means simplifying for those who want to be in control, and it also works well.

For those who need image stabilization, so have the p-F a the latest image stabilization in five axes, and for the film, it is possible to choose between two different modes, one where both the sensor and a digital stabilization are included, but when the crop picture angle slightly. The second mode is the only sensor stabilization.

Unfortunately, it provides some shadowy effects on image stabilization to run with digital stabilization, leading to make it look a bit strange.

On the same theme, there are also some problems with setting the focus via the screen during filming. The actual performance is directly and really good – to use the screen is truly klockrent – but the problem is to shift the focus from one object to another (or refocus on the object itself) can be seen very well on film as a Jolt, it would like to soften it to get a soft refocusing who may take some time.

For the filming, and want great sound, there is unfortunately no way to plug in an external microphone, which reduces the possibilities of control.

But would you rather than record the video to play, so it is possible to use a filter directly on the films, and also the ability to record timelapse in 4 k resolution. This is fun to use and just play around with, and also works well for General Imaging.

Image quality

Because the Olympus PEN-F is the most high-definition camera from Olympus right now, so it’s not surprising that the sensor also provides the best detail of their current cameras.

Our measurements show that the resolution contributes to an increased sharpness compared to other sensors in the segment, and the images that the camera delivers is of really good quality. As I previously mentioned, images with effects is also really good, and we want to do much of the work in the camera rather than after treatment, there are great opportunities to save time.

Even the picture mode to 50 megapixels gives really fine photos and high resolution.

For those who want to film the video files will be good, neither more nor less. But then they should also take into account how to setup the image stabilizer, as I previously mentioned.


Olympus has certainly managed to create a really nice camera, both to the exterior design force, and to the Interior, regarding features and speed. The speed characteristics good for the camera, and hang with everything it says it will do, while it feels rapp and fast in all functions and settings.

The fact is that in the end it is possible to use the PEN-F in two different ways – both for the photographer who needs high image quality in raw form for finishing, but also tax for those who want to play by themselves and take pictures» only «.»

While I tested the camera so I tested in batches some filters, and in fact it is interesting how much more fun it can be to take pictures when you turn on the filter and playing with colors and other creative effects.

In this way, so is the PEN-F, also a very enjoyable camera to use, then the both delivers the finished images straight out of the camera that you don’t have to edit and can directly upload on the net via wifi for public display, but also gives you the ability to use it professionally.

On the whole, so has the Olympus succeeded in really, really good with that combine form, function, performance, creativity and shooting pleasure in one camera.