Olympus PEN-F

Olympus PEN-F

More product images of the Olympus PEN-F

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Source: Manufacturer


The PEN-F was introduced by Olympus in January 2016. It belongs to the Mirrorless Cameras category.

Olympus is well-known and shouldn't require further introduction, please see our manufacturer's page for more digital cameras by Olympus.


The PEN-F features a CMOS sensor in Four Thirds size that has an area of approximately 17 x 13 mm² (0.68" x 0.51").

This infographic compares the PEN-F's sensor to other common formats:

Infographic: PEN-F comparing sensor sizes

(The 1-Euro coin used for scale has a diameter of 23.25mm, slightly smaller than a US quarter.)

The PEN-F's image sensor has an effective resolution of around 20 megapixel. The resolution is above average and will be sufficient for the foreseeable future. Photos with this resolution can easily be printed in A2 size or larger, even if unwanted parts of the photo have to be cropped.

The Olympus supports taking images in RAW. RAW images are stored as they come from the sensor, without any in-camera processing or sharpening. Converting to JPEG or other formats takes place on the computer, using software like Adobe Lightroom or Olympus's RAW converter. This involves one extra processing step but almost always results in superior image quality. Some filters, like converting to monochrome (black and white) will only yield decent results when used with RAW images.

The PEN-F features a mechanism for automatic sensor cleaning.

FormatFour Thirds
Sensor area17.30 x 13.00mm²
(0.68" x 0.51")
Resolution (physical)21.80 megapixel
Resolution (effective)20.30 megapixel
Pixel size11.10 µm²
Sensor cleaning
RAW support
Continuous 10 frames/second

All compatible Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lenses can be mounted to the PEN-F.

Currently, approximately more than 80 Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lenses are available, not counting lenses by third-party manufacturers. Further lenses can be connected via suitable adapters.

Interchangeable lens
MountOlympus Micro Four Thirds (MFT)

The PEN-F uses an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 2.36 megapixel, an excellent value for a viewfinder like this which makes the camera a joy to use.

The magnifcation is c. 0.61x, an above average value for an electronic viewfinder.

Simulated viewfinder PEN-F

The infographic illustrates the viewfinder magnification of the PEN-F. The black area represents a magnification of 1x, corresponding to natural size. The red frame indicates the largest viewfinder magnification in any digital camera on the market today (0.85x).

Tip: If the viewfinder image of the PEN-F is fuzzy, us the little wheel next to the viewfinder to adjust the sharpness.

Resolution2.36 megapixel
Dioptric correction

The PEN-F's shutter speeds range from 1/8000s to 60s.

Max. shutter speed1/8000s
Min. shutter speed60s

The PEN-F's sensitivity goes from 200 ISO und 25600 ISO, a very useful and practical range.

Min. sensitivity200 ISO
Max. sensitivity25600 ISO

The PEN-F supports all common metering modes.

The Olympus will also allow spot metering, a must for challenging motives.

Center weight

The PEN-F's auto focus processor uses 81 AF points (or sensors). A basic rule of thumb says that the more AF points you have, the better. More AF points mean a better chance to have a point at the location of interest in a scene, a big plus in challenging situations (e.g. when panning the camera).

Manual focus is also possible with the Olympus, a plus in tricky situations or for some creative freedom.

TypeContrast Detection
AF points81
Manual focus

The PEN-F doesn't feature a built-in flash. That is not unsusual in this camera category.

A flash or a trigger for remote flashes can be attached to the Olympus's hotshoe.

Hot shoe
PEN-F display and touch screen

The PEN-F features a monitor with a diagonal of 76.00mm (3.0 in.) and a resolution of c. 1.04 megapixel. That's about average.

The camera's display is articulated, a plus for selfies and other challenging situations.

The PEN-F's monitor can work as a touch screen, just like a smartphone. That can be very useful, for example to pick AF points, but keep in mind that touch screens usually don't work when wearing gloves.

Display characteristics at a glance:

Size76.00mm (diagonal)
(3.0 in.)
Resolution1.04 megapixel
Touch screen

When recording videos with the PEN-F, the highest supported resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixel, in other words Full HD Video. 4K videos are not supported by the Olympus.

A connector for an external microphone is missing from the Olympus. A built-in mike will usually record everything in front and to the sides of the camera which is not always what the film maker wants. Internal microphones also tend to record camera sounds like focus beeps.

Videos with the Olympus PEN-F at a glance:

Max. resolution1920 x 1080 pixel
...with frame rates24 frames/second
25 frames/second
30 frames/second
50 frames/second
60 frames/second
External microphone

The PEN-F has Wifi connectivity already built-in. Use Wifi to transfer images to a smartphone or computer and to remote control the camera.

Connect the Olympus to a monitor or TV set over HDMI.

The Olympus connects to your PC over USB 2.0.

The Olympus's connectivity at a glance:

Remote (wired)
Remote (infrared)
HDMI (standard)
HDMI (mini)
HDMI (micro)
USB 2.0
USB 3.0
USB Micro
USB Mini

What memory cards can be used with the Olympus PEN-F?

The camera will accept all common SD HC and SD XC cards.

With an average image size of 8 megabytes (JPEG, fine) a 32 GByte memory card would hold up to 4000 images.

Supported memory cards at a glance:

Memory cardsSD

Let's have a look at some other features of the Olympus PEN-F:

The PEN-F doesn't have a built-in GPS receiver. If you want to add coordinates to your photos, you'll have to do so in 3rd party software like Adobe Lightroom. However, with Wifi built-in, location data can also be added via a connected smartphone.

The PEN-F features a built-in stabilizer. A plus when using legacy zooms or tele lenses without stabilizer.

A nice addition is the Olympus's electronic level. The camera displays an indicator on the monitor that makes it super-easy to level the camera horizontally, very useful when doing architectural photography.

The camera has a built-in function to facilitate creating panoramas: While panning the Olympus over the scene, the camera takes a sequence of images which are then automatically assembled to form a panorama.

The camera can create HDRs automatically. That saves you from manually creating sequences of images with variying exposure values.

The PEN-F is not environmentally sealed against dust and moisture; keep that in mind in the rain and on the beach.

The Olympus's features in a handy table:

Image stabilizer
Level indicator
Environmentally sealed

The Olympus PEN-F works with a BLN-1 LiIon battery. The battery lifetime is a generous 330 shots. Usually enough for a full day or more.

The battery can not be charged while in camera. Instead you have to take it out of the camera and put it into the supplied dedicated charger.

The PEN-F's battery at a glance:

TypeBLN-1 LiIon
In-camera charging
Battery life330 photos

The Olympus PEN-F's dimensions are 124.8 x 72.1 x 37.3mm³. (4.9" x 2.8" x 1.5"). That's the body only, without lens. The camera's weight is a reasonable 427 grams (13.8 oz.). Add to this the weight of the lens.

Front and top view of the PEN-F with dimensions:

Olympus PEN-F Dimensions (Width / Height)
Olympus PEN-F Dimensions (Width / Depth)

To put the size of the camera in context, here it is next to a german ID card (c. 86mm x 55mm, about the size of a credit card).

The PEN-F is not much bigger:

Olympus PEN-F size comparison
DownloadSpecs, manual & software

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Source of specifications and product images: Manufacturer. This page was generated by an experimental computer program. Errors and omissions excepted.

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