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Olympus PEN-F Compact Mirrorless

The Olympus PEN-F Micro Four Thirds (M43) compact mirrorless is a beautifully designed interchangeable lens camera with a new 20-MP Live MOS sensor and a High Res Shot Mode that captures 50 megapixel equivalent images. It has a built-in 2.36-million-dot OLED EVF (electronic viewfinder) with a magnification rate of 1.23x (35mm equivalent: approx. 0.62x). It also features an interesting S-OVF (simulated optical viewfinder) mode that extend the dynamic range and “provides an image similar to what would be seen with the naked eye.

The 3″ LCD monitor has 1.04-million-dot resolution, is a touch panel and swivels. One of the features [borrowed from Panasonic] is the ability to look through the EVF and control the screen using your finger on the LCD. Olympus mirrorless cameras usually feature in-body sensor-based image stabilization and the PEN-F has 5-axis camera shake correction with 5-stops compensation.

Though Olympus highlights the new PEN-F’s “classic rangefinder design,” note that the original film PEN-F from which the new camera draws its inspiration was really a half-frame single-lens reflex (SLR) camera featuring a porro-prism finder (which is why you won’t see a prism hump), a portrait oriented viewfinder (because it was half-frame) and a rotary titanium shutter (able to flash sync at all shutter speeds). The original PEN-F was produced between 1963 and 1966, before many of you reading this were even born. Though the two cameras bear the same name designation, the physical resemblance differs in that, while the original version had a clean design with flowing lines all around, the mirrorless version looks more chunky and is bristling with dials and knobs front, top and back.

Olympus PEN-F, 1963

Olympus PEN-F, 1963

Olympus PEN-F with optional Grip (ECG-4) and M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8

Olympus PEN-F with optional Grip (ECG-4) and M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8

In case you’re wondering, that cool looking dial so prominently featured on the front of the camera is a nod to the original PEN-F where it was the shutter speed dial (back when all serious cameras featured a dedicated shutter speed dial). On the mirrorless version, it is now the Creative Dial that allows you to access the new Monochrome Profile Control, Color Profile Control, Art Filters and Color Creator with a twist of the dial. Another nod to Olympus’ classic design is the separate ON-OFF Power Switch.

Shutter speed ranges from 60-1/8,000 s using the mechanical shutter, 60-1/320 s using the electronic front curtain (anti-shock mode) and 60-1/16,000 s using the electronic shutter (silent mode). Continuous shooting is 10 fps (S-AF using the mechanical shutter), 5 fps (C-AF, i.e. Tracking Mode) and 20 fps (Silent Mode).

The PEN-F records Full HD video (at up to 60 fps) with stereo sound. You can record time lapse in 4K. ISO range is 200-25600 with extended ISO 80.

As is becoming common in all mirrorless cameras, the Olympus PEN-F has built-in Wi-Fi and a remote control app allows you to remotely and wirelessly control the camera using your smartphone/tablet.

There is no built-in flash but there is a hot shoe and external flash FL-LM3 is included. The PEN-F is not weather-proof.

Olympus PEN-F with external flash FL-LM3 and M.ZUIKO 12mm F2

Olympus PEN-F with external flash FL-LM3 and M.ZUIKO 12mm F2

The PEN-F is available now in black or silver for an estimated street price of $1,199.99 (U.S.) and $1,499.99 (Canada).

Related Links:

B&H Photo VideoYou can buy the Olympus PEN-F from our Trusted Sponsor B&H Photo-Video, the Professional’s Source, satisfying millions of customers for over 35 years:

Olympus PEN-F Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only, Silver)

Olympus PEN-F Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only, Black)

Olympus ECG-4 External Metal Grip for PEN-F (Black)

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