Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Olympus Announces Digital PEN-F Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

27 January 2016

Olympus announced it will bring its cherished half-frame PEN-F rangefinder into the digital era with a 20-megapixel Live MOS Sensor combined with the company's five-axis image stabilization, a built-in 2.36 million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder and a new Creative Dial on the front of the camera.

The leather-wrapped body, which resembles the original, has magnesium top and front covers with aluminum metal dials. Unlike the original PEN-F, the digital version enjoys an articulated LCD screen and built-in electronic viewfinder.


Highlights of the PEN-F include:

  • 20-Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
  • TruePic VII Image Processor
  • Five-Axis In-Body Stabilization
  • Monochrome, Color Profile Control
  • 50-Megapixel High Res Shot Mode
  • 10-fps Sequential Shooting
  • 1/8000 Second High-Speed Mechanical Shutter
  • Full HD 1080p Video
  • WiFi Fro Remote Shooting, Wireless Sharing


Key specifications for the PEN-F are:

Camera Type Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens system camera
Memory SD Memory Card: SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I, II compatible, Eye-Fi Card compatible
Not compatible with Endless Memory
Image Stabilization Built-in 5-axis (yaw, pitch, roll, vertical shift, horizontal shift) sensor-shift image stabilization for movies and stills
5.0 EV based on CIPA measurement conditions
Viewfinder Eye-level OLED electronic viewfinder, approx. 2.36M dots
ISO Sensitivity Auto ISO: customizable, LOW (approx.80) to 25,600 (default: LOW to 1600)
Manual ISO: LOW (approx.80), 200 to 25,600 (1/3, or 1 EV steps selectable)
Shutter Focal-plane shutter
Mechanical shutter: 1/8000 to 60 sec. plus Bulb, with selectable EV adjustment steps (1/3, 1/2, 1)
Bulb: 1/2/4/8/15/20/25/30 minutes with 8-min. default setting
Electronic first curtain shutter (Anti-shock mode): 1/320 to 60 sec Electronic shutter (Silent mode: 1/16,000 to 60 sec
Continuous Mode Approx. 10 fps
Up to 250 frames in Raw mode in 5 seq., 39 frames in 10 seq.
Unlimited in JPEG in 5 seq., up to 45 frames in 10 seq.
Connectivity 802.11b/g/n WiFi (remote control, sharing, GPS recorded via smartphone)
USB 2.0 Hi-Speed/AV/remote controller
Micro HDMI (Type-D)
No microphone jack
Size 17.4mm (H) x 13.0mm (V)
Type 4/3 Live MOS Sensor
Pixels Number of effective pixels: Approx. 20.3 million pixels
Total number of pixels: Approx. 21.8 million pixels
Aspect Ratio 1.33 (4:3)
Dust Reduction Supersonic Wave Filter (image sensor dust reduction system)
Type 3.0-inch vari-angle monitor with approx.1037k dots (3:2)
electrostatic capacitance touch panel
Touch 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, movie control, movie effect, movie teleconverter
Built-in Flash No
Bundled standard flash FL-LM3
Bundled Flash Guide Number 9.1 (ISO100Ém), Guide Number 12.9 (ISO200Ém)
Bounce (up/down: 45, 60, 75, 90 degrees; left/right: 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180 degrees)
Control Method TTL Auto, Auto (external flash), Manual, Super FP (external, FP-TTL AUTO, FP-MANUAL)
Sync Speed 1/250 second
Super FP: 1/125 to 1/8000 sec.
Silent mode: less than 1/20 sec.
Wireless Control FL-50R, FL-36R, FL-300R, FL600R
4 channels, 4 groups
Battery BLN-1 Li-ion battery
Capacity Approx. 330 shots (CIPA)
Approx. 80 minutes movie recording (JEITA)
Dimensions 124.8mm (W) x 72.1mm (H) x 37.3mm (D)
Weight Approx. 427g with battery and memory card


In addition to the usual suspects, a couple of our favorite sources have already gotten their hands on the PEN-F and published sample shots:

  • Derrick Story touts the PEN-F as a Street Shooter for Artists in his customary brief review. "The ability to bend and blend tones and colors is unlike anything I've shot with before," he writes. "And when you discover a look that you've always wanted from a digital camera, it's impossible to resist experimenting even more."
  • Ming Thein's PEN-F Review begins, "One thing that struck me throughout the test period was that the camera really feels as though it's geared toward the JPEG shooter (or, more likely, the social media crowd)." His test shots (obviously not JPEGs) were all processed in Olympus Raw Viewer 3. He has also posted a flickr gallery or 25 images.
  • Adorama has a hands-on review as well.


The PEN-F will be available in early March, for an estimated street price of $1,199.99.

Adorama is now accepting pre-orders for the black or silver body.

B&H is also accepting pre-orders for the black and silver body.

For more information see the news release below.

Olympus' Iconic Masterpiece: The New PEN-F Combines Timeless Design With Sophisticated Color Profile Control for the Ultimate Street Photography Tool

20 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor, 5-Axis VCM Image Stabilization, Fully-Customizable Monochrome and Color Profile Control and Interactive OLED Electronic Viewfinder in a Classic Rangefinder Design

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- Olympus is pleased to announce the PEN-F, a compact system camera created by fusing cutting-edge digital technology with craftsmanship handed down from 80 years of Olympus camera manufacturing. As the digital update of the original PEN-F, the world's first half-frame SLR, the new PEN-F is packed with incredible performance advancements for photographers seeking superior image quality and creative control. The 20-megapixel Live MOS Sensor is combined with Olympus' 5-Axis Image Stabilization, a built-in 2.36 million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder and a new Creative Dial on the front of the camera that accesses a host of controls to deliver a captivating shooting experience, all included in a design that exudes timeless beauty.

Elegant, Meticulous Design

The PEN-F's classic body lines and silhouette are inherited from its predecessor, which debuted in 1963. The top and front covers of the body are crafted from magnesium and the precision metal dials (along with the bottom of the body) are crafted from aluminum. Olympus engineers devoted extraordinary resources to ensure superior quality and craftsmanship, so much so that even screws are undetectable on the camera's exterior. Simple, stylish touches -- like the included camera strap and the leather-grained exterior of the camera body and the back of the articulating LCD monitor -- provide a unified look and feel. Customizable buttons and dials are positioned for easy operation while the user looks through the viewfinder and the new Exposure Compensation dial and four custom modes on the Mode Dial offer instant access to registered settings for simple, direct control.

Ultimate Image Quality in Every Situation

The newly-developed 20-Mp Live MOS Sensor is paired with the latest TruePic"-- VII Image Processor to bring out the amazing image quality of Olympus' M.ZUIKO lenses. The sensor's low-pass filterless construction delivers high resolution and a low sensitivity ISO LOW mode equivalent to ISO 80. In addition, the powerful 5-axis VCM (Voice Coil Motor) image stabilization compensates up to 5.0 steps of shutter speed for one of the world's highest levels of compensation performance. This technology allows users to capture clear images of night scenes and other low light situations with minimal noise, without raising the ISO. Focal length may be set manually, so that even legacy manual-focus lenses can be image-stabilized. The PEN-F's High Res Shot Mode captures 50-Mp equivalent images that reproduce incredible subject detail in ultra-high resolution, perfect for architecture and still life work. Plus, Olympus Viewer 3 Ver. 2.0 image editing software has been updated to process High Res Shot Raw images.

Complete Freedom of Expression

The PEN-F's new Monochrome and Color Profile Control functions allow photographers the ability to emulate their favorite films of years past. These functions differ from using photo editing software after shooting, as they allow users to apply and check effects in Live View while shooting to create their own original images. Both functions include quick-select presets designed to give images the look of classic film. Or, settings can be completely customized to achieve specific looks. The camera's front-mounted Creative Dial accesses Monochrome Profile Control, Color Profile Control, Art Filters and Color Creator, all with a simple twist.

Monochrome Profile Control combines five photographic effects -- Color Filter effect, Shading effect, Film Grain effect, Monochrome Color and Highlight and Shadow Control -- for a variety of monochromatic expressions. In addition to the default setting (Preset 1), there is also Classic Film Monochrome (Preset 2) for a monochrome film effect with high contrast and Classic Film Infrared (Preset 3) for an effect that mimics infrared film. In Color Profile Control, users are able to adjust the color saturation of 12 individual colors in 11 steps. This is combined with Highlight and Shadow Control for limitless color expression. In addition to the default setting (Preset 1), there is also Chrome Film Rich Color (Preset 2), which provides deeper tones in images and Chrome Film Vivid Saturation (Preset 3), which creates high levels of color saturation. The PEN-F's rear lever lets users easily toggle through the various effect controls, including Highlight and Shadow Control, a feature that also allows for the adjustment of midtones within plus or minus seven steps for advanced customization.

High-Visibility Interactive Viewfinder

The PEN-F is equipped with a built-in 2.36 million-dot high resolution OLED Electronic Viewfinder with a 100-percent field of view and a magnification rate of 1.23x (35mm equivalent: approx. 0.62x) for a clear view without aberrations, even at the edges. Simulated OVF (S-OVF) Mode expands the dynamic range and provides an image similar to what would be seen with the naked eye. The magnified display function and Focus Peaking (which offers three levels and four colors) allow for extremely precise lens focusing. In addition, the PEN-F's vari-angle, touch-enabled LCD monitor lets users compose Live View shots from a variety of angles, high or low.

Super-Fast Response for Comfortable Shooting

The PEN-F features blazing-fast speed with the shortest shutter-release time lag of any compact system camera at 0.044 seconds. The 1/8000-second, high-speed mechanical shutter provides superior performance for capturing fast action and shutter functions can be customized according to the scene. Silent Mode is useful for shooting in situations that require complete silence and Anti-Shock Mode allows users to prevent shutter shake. The AF Targeting Pad enhances control by allowing users to set focus points by touching the rear monitor with their thumb while composing their shot in the viewfinder. Face Priority AF and Eye Priority AF detect and continuously adjust the focus on faces or eyes for easier portrait shooting. Enhancing the detail of every shot is AF Target Spot Metering, which links the AF Target and the metering area, while Super Spot AF and Small Target AF make it possible to focus on small subjects.

The PEN-F offers additional compatibility with users' legacy lenses by enabling them to register the information of lenses without electronic contacts for inclusion in images' Exif data. The lens information may be recalled with the press of a button. Up to 10 lenses can be registered, including the lens name, focal length and aperture value.

Even More Creative Control

Other creative features include Live Composite Modewhich allows users to extract and composite the brightest areas from multiple, sequentially shot images to capture incredible cityscapes and star trails. With the PEN-F's built-in WiFi, users can utilize the Olympus Image Share app for Android and Apple to adjust settings and monitor the progress of the image as it develops in real time on a smartphone or tablet. In 4K Time Lapse Movie, the camera captures up to 999 images automatically at intervals ranging from one image every second to one image every 24 hours and combines them into a stunning high-resolution 4K video, all in-camera, without the need for additional software.

For those who enjoy macro photography, Focus Bracketing captures multiple shots at the touch of a button, all with slightly different focus depths. The new Live View Boost 2 makes it possible to easily focus and compose shots while checking visible stars in Live View. The PEN-F's high-speed sequential shooting capabilities let users capture all the action at 10 fps with the mechanical shutter, 5 fps with C-AF and an extraordinary 20 fps with Silent Mode.

Premium Leather Accessories

Optional accessories include the External Metal Grip (ECG-4) that lets users replace the battery without removing the grip, featuring a Quick Shoe Compatible Rail on the bottom for direct connection to a compatible tripod head. Premium-quality leather accessories are also available in limited quantities. The Premium Leather Shoulder Strap (CSS-S120L PR) features high-quality leather with a two-tone design and a thickness that helps reduce shoulder strain. A Premium Leather Wrapping Cloth (CS-48 PR) made of finely textured genuine leather is perfect for wrapping the entire camera with a large lens attached. The Premium Leather Camera Bag (CBG-11 PR) is a compact, genuine leather camera bag produced under the direction of AJIOKA Co., Ltd., a Japanese leather manufacturer, with thorough attention to details including pockets, a shoulder pad and shoulder strap. The Genuine Leather Body Jacket (CS-47B) is designed to protect the bottom of the Olympus PEN-F from bumps and scratches.

Pricing and Availability

The PEN-F will be available in early March, for an estimated street price of $1,199.99 (U.S.) and $1,499.99 (Canada).

To find out more about the Olympus PEN-F and for a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus Web site at

BackBack to Photo Corners