Olympus PEN-F Field Test: Premium & pricey, and yet so much fun to use


posted Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 1:36 PM EDT


Say hello to Olympus' most premium PEN-series camera yet. The new PEN-F, like its 1960s-era namesake, is a stylish, classically-designed rangefinder-esque camera. Seemingly taking aim at Fujifilm's dominance of the retro-cool camera market, the Olympus PEN-F features a higher-res sensor and a bunch of in-camera image quality customization all wrapped up in a magnesium alloy body.

I, along with a handful of other camera journalists, had an opportunity to spend some quality time with the new PEN-F out in Austin, Texas, and I've now put together my in-depth Olympus PEN-F Field Test, complete with a large batch of gallery images as well as my take on the camera's features, ergonomics, build quality and performance.


Without spoiling all the fun, I will say that the PEN-F is a fantastic camera overall. The design of the camera, while rather rectangular, is quite comfortable to hold, and the build quality feels undoubtedly top-notch. It's the first PEN-series camera with built-in EVF, which is excellent and does away with the need for that bulky hot-shoe-mounted add-on EVF from prior PEN cameras.  

45mm f/1.8 Zuiko Lens: 45mm, f/4, 1/640s, ISO 80, Color Profile 3

Physical attributes aside, the big story with the PEN-F is the extent to which the camera itself and your photos and video can be customized. There are tons of physical controls that can be tweaked and configured, and thanks to the new Creative Dial, there are plenty of cool and fun image effects and filters -- and combinations thereof -- that can be adjusted all in-camera. 

Head over to my Olympus PEN-F Field Test for all the details from my shooting experience, and be sure to check out the array of real-world gallery images for a further assessment of the camera's image quality performance and higher-resolution sensor.

25mm f/1.8 Zuiko Lens: 25mm, f/1.8, 1/250s, ISO 4000, Mono Profile 2

Olympus PEN-F Field TestGallery Images

OverviewHigh-Res Shot ModeLab SamplesPerformanceBuy Now