Brains meets beauty: Olympus PEN-F offers premium design with a healthy dose of technological goodies


posted Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 2:01 AM EDT


Style meets substance with the newly announced Olympus PEN-F mirrorless camera. Sporting a super-stylish, well-designed exterior, which hearkens back to the original PEN-F film camera of the 1960s, the new 'digital' PEN-F brings a number of technological features and even some upgraded specs over their current OM-D cameras.

A first for an Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera, the new PEN-F is centered around a 20-megapixel Four Thirds Live MOS sensor, which is paired to a TruePic VII image processor. Offering a nice increase in image resolution for standard shooting, the Olympus PEN-F also offers a sizeable upgrade to the High-Res Shot mode that originally debuted in the E-M5 Mark II. While the E-M5 II and its 16MP sensor offered impressive 40MP JPEGs and 64MP RAWs, the PEN-F now captures 50MP JPEGs and stunningly large 80MP RAWs!

Olympus 45mm f/1.8: 45mm, f/1.8, 1/4000s, ISO 200, Color Profile 3

One of the hallmark technological features of the new PEN-F is its sheer customizability. Not only does the redesigned PASM dial offer up to four custom settings presets, allowing you to quickly recall various camera parameters and settings, there's also a slew of unique creative adjustment options with highly adjustable color and monochrome shootings modes for lots of creative freedom to get your images to look just the way you want them. 


Under-the-hood amenities aside, Olympus has put tremendous effort into the design and build of this new camera. With a magnesium alloy body, the construction of this camera feels top-notch. Solidly built, Olympus designers have gone so far as to not even have visible screws anywhere on the exterior of the camera. This is also the first PEN camera with a built-in electronic viewfinder, and a very good one at that with a 2.36M-dot OLED and the S-OVF, or simulated optical viewfinder mode.


The new Olympus PEN-F is all about premium and, as Olympus puts it, focusing on "the joy of photography." The PEN-F is aiming to be the camera for the style- and design-conscious street shooter that wants a sleek, well-built, well-designed camera that packs in a lot of functionality and customization.

Olympus 45mm f/1.8: 45mm, f/1.8, 1/1600s, ISO 200, Mono Profile 2

The Olympus PEN-F is set to go on sale in early March in a body-only configuration for US$1,199.99 (CAD $1,499.99) in both black and two-tone silver and black. For more information about this new camera, check out our in-depth Olympus PEN-F Hands-On Preview as well as download a variety of real-world photos and our standard set of lab test images.

If you'd like to focus on "joy of photography" and pre-order the Olympus PEN-F, please help support our site by ordering through the links below: 

Silver: Adorama, Amazon, B&H

Black: Adorama, Amazon, B&H

Olympus 17mm f/1.8: 17mm, f/1.8, 1/1600s, ISO 200, Color Profile 1 (Neutral)
Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro: 7mm, f/2.8, 1/20s, ISO 200, Color Profile 3
Olympus 300mm f/4 I.S. Pro: 300mm, f/5, 1/2000s, ISO 200

Olympus PEN-F Hands-On Preview

High Res Shot ModeLab SamplesGalleryPerformance