Olympus PEN-F

Olympus PEN-F front
  • 20MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 3" Fully Articulated Display
  • ISO 200 - 25600
  • Sensor based 5-axis Image Stabilization
  • 1/8000s Max Shutter
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 427g - 125 x 72 x 37mm
  • Released January 2016
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Olympus PEN-F summary

Olympus PEN-F is Olympus's Advanced Mirrorless camera first introduced on January of 2016. It includes a 20 MegaPixel, CMOS Four Thirds size sensor with a full resolution of 5184 x 3888.

The PEN-F stands at #34 out of 62 in Advanced Mirrorless cameras and over-all #198 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our list. Please look at our Smart camera finder to see camera listings based on your personalized criteria.

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The following is a diagram of specific factors used in the rating system.

Olympus PEN-F Pros and Cons

Here is a shortlist of upsides and downsides of the Olympus PEN-F based on aspects which are usually regarded as crucial in a camera.

built in image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
comes with HDMI support
delivers RAW files
display is selfie friendly
features focus via touch
focusing manually
good ISO range (25,600)
great max shutter speed (1/8,000s)
MP count good (20MP)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
quiet shutter (1/16,000s)
screen articulates fully
screen has good resolution (1,037 k dot)
screen size is good (3")
supports face detection focus
supports tracking autofocus
switch lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
touch screen
video res high (1920 x 1080 resolution)
bad battery life (330 shots)
does not have external microphone jack
does not have headphone jack
does not have phase detect auto focus
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Olympus PEN-F Sensor specs

The Olympus PEN-F is run by the TruePic VII processor chip. The sensor measurement in the Olympus PEN-F is 17.3mm x 13mm (Four Thirds). The 225 mm² sensor has the ability to capture 5184 x 3888 pixels with aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera boasts Image Stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis). Optical stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization as the latter can easily cause cropping.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 20MP and features a native ISO range of 200 - 25600. The ISO can also be extended electronically to a low of 80. RAW format is supported so you have more room to maneuver in post.

The image underneath illustrates the PEN-F's sensor size in comparison to other common sizes. The PEN-F sensor comes with a crop factor of 2.1 and is outlined in green.

Olympus PEN-F sensor size Photography Glossary

To get a sense of various aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Olympus PEN-F dimensions

Olympus PEN-F weighs around 0.94 pounds (427g or 15.06 oz) and the overall size of the camera is 125mm x 72mm x 37mm (4.9" x 2.8" x 1.5"). The weight of average Advanced Mirrorless camera is 454g so the Olympus PEN-F is similar compared to other competitors.

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Down below is a image of the Olympus PEN-F beside a soft drink to help you have a feel for its size.

Olympus PEN-F dimensions scale

The top view underneath will show you the button layout on the PEN-F.

Olympus PEN-F topview buttons dials

Olympus PEN-F Lens details

The PEN-F fits the Micro Four Thirds mount and has 162 lenses that you can purchase. Here is a few of the lenses we have in our database that will work with the PEN-F.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-ED-17mm-F1.2-Pro lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm F1.2 Pro17mmf/1.2390g
OM-System-12-40mm-F2.8-PRO-II lensOM System 12-40mm F2.8 PRO II12-40mmf/2.8 382g
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Olympus-Zuiko-Digital-ED-90-250mm-f2.8 lensOlympus Zuiko Digital ED 90-250mm f2.890-250mmf/2.8 3270g
Olympus-Zuiko-Digital-ED-35-100mm-f2.0 lensOlympus Zuiko Digital ED 35-100mm f2.035-100mmf/2.0 1650g
Panasonic-Lumix-G-Macro-30mm-F2.8-ASPH-Mega-OIS lensPanasonic Lumix G Macro 30mm F2.8 ASPH Mega OIS30mmf/2.8 180g
Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-14-42mm-f3.5-5.6-II lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II14-42mmf/3.5-5.6 112g
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Rokinon-14mm-f2.8-IF-ED-MC-Four-Thirds lensRokinon 14mm f2.8 IF ED MC14mmf/2.8 552g
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Olympus PEN-F Connectivity

The PEN-F has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras that include NFC and Bluetooth support are able to be used wirelessly with smartphones. You can easily copy photos and in some cases change settings with no need to connect directly with the camera.

Certain apps also allow a Liveview and release the shutter in case you are not close to the camera. If the camera features a HDMI out, it can easily be hooked up to an external display. A good number of cameras enable you to charge the battery pack with the USB socket.

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Olympus PEN-F Video details

The highest possible video resolution in the Olympus PEN-F is 1920 x 1080 and it can save in MPEG-4, H.264 and Motion JPEG format. 1080p resolution delivers a great balance between quality vs file size but 1080p won't leave you with much room to downsample. The body does not offer a mic and headphone jack so you have got zero control over your audio. It is probably a better idea to take a look at another model if you require better audio in your video clips.

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Olympus PEN-F Weather Sealing

There is no environment proofing for the Olympus PEN-F so you have to be careful in wet or dusty situations.

Olympus PEN-F Display and Viewfinder

The Olympus PEN-F includes a 3" fully articulated display with a resolution of 1,037k dots.

The display is selfie friendly to shoot self portraits as well as group photos when required. Moreover the display is touch friendly so you can easily shift focus points plus adjust settings with your fingertips.

Olympus PEN-F screen and viewfinder Apple Innovates by Creating Next-Level Optical Stabilization for iPhone

The View Finder specifications regarding Olympus PEN-F are the following:

  • ViewFinder Electronic
  • Resolution 2,360k dots
  • Coverage 100 percent
  • Magnification 0.62x

In those sunny outdoor situations that make the camera displays washed out and tough to view, viewfinders can be particularly useful.

Olympus PEN-F Shutter details

Olympus PEN-F has the ability to shoot continuously at 10.0 fps. The maximum shutter speed is 1/8000 sec. The camera also features silent electronic shutter of 1/16000 sec. Keep in mind that the electronic shutter may cause "rolling shutter" in some conditions.

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Olympus PEN-F Flash and Hot shoe details

Olympus PEN-F boasts external flash support but is lacking built-in flash.

Olympus PEN-F Autofocusing details

Olympus PEN-F boasts only Contrast Detect AF and does not have Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot more quicker and accurate than Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera includes Face detect which can be useful for taking photos of people.

The AF system includes 81 focus points to choose from. Olympus PEN-F has touch to focus. You are able to use your fingers in order to shift focus. It also has Tracking AF for moving subjects. Olympus PEN-F includes manual focus if required during low light scenarios or you require more accurate focus control.

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Olympus PEN-F Battery life

The battery life (BLN-1) for the Olympus PEN-F is fashioned to last for 330 pictures as per the CIPA standards making it lower than its rivals. The average Advanced Mirrorless camera battery life is 390. Sony A6600 has the best (810) battery life within this class of cameras.

Here is a collection of Advanced Mirrorless cameras having the best battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Sony-Alpha-A7c front thumbnailSony A7c
PEN-F vs A7c
740 yesyesyes
Photography Glossary
Canon-EOS-R7 front thumbnailCanon R7
PEN-F vs R7
660 yesnoyes

Olympus PEN-F for varying forms of photography

The following bar chart gives a rundown of the Olympus PEN-F for varying forms of photography. To see more, go to the specific paragraph underneath.

Olympus PEN-F Portrait photography highlights

The Olympus PEN-F receives a score of 75 which is nice, and means the camera is a good option to use for portraits. Photographing portrait photos leans greatly towards sensor specs, RAW support together with the ability to use off-camera lighting.

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focusing manually
MP count good (20 megapixels)
decent sensor size (Four Thirds)
offers face detection autofocus
supports RAW files

Olympus PEN-F Street photography highlights

With a great score of 84, the Olympus PEN-F is a outstanding fit for street photography. A good street photography camera has a good balance of image quality plus portability.

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screen can move to multiple angles
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
supports RAW files
provides focus by touch
very good high ISO (25,600)

Olympus PEN-F Sports photography info

A above average sports photography points tally of 67 means the Olympus PEN-F is a very decent fit for photographing sports. A camera really should have fantastic focusing plus continuous shooting for sports photography.

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maximum shutter speed is high (1/8,000 seconds)
quiet mode (1/16,000 seconds)
built in image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
good MP (20 megapixels)
sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
supports tracking focus
not so great battery (330 CIPA)
has no phase detect AF

Olympus PEN-F Travel photography details

Size is super critical when choosing a camera for travel. Over-all, the Olympus PEN-F gets a above average 75 as a travel camera which is a fine fit to take on your trips.

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supports touch to focus
megapixel count good (20MP)
selfie friendly screen
not so great battery (330 CIPA)

Olympus PEN-F as a Landscape photography camera

When you're planning to choose a camera for landscape photographs, the most essential aspect is going to be image quality. The Olympus PEN-F at it's great score of 76 as a landscape camera is a fantastic option within the current market.

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focusing manually
interchangeable lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
screen is a good size (3")
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
good resolution (20 megapixels)
good sensor size (Four Thirds)
great high ISO (25,600)
exports RAW formats
not so great battery power (330 CIPA)

Olympus PEN-F Vlogging info

A camera for vlogging preferably should come with a articulating screen, microphone port and if possible IBIS. Taking all things into account, the Olympus PEN-F is a awesome fit as a vlog camera as it comes to a exceptional score of 78.

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selfie friendly display
touchscreen capability
has image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
comes with face detection focusing
high res video (1920 x 1080 pxls)
missing external microphone jack

Olympus PEN-F Alternatives

If you want replacements to the PEN-F, here is a list of the top placed cameras that fall under the class of Advanced Mirrorless.

The chart listed below will give you a summary of the PEN-F versus it's top scored rivals shown above.

Here are a handful of other cameras you may consider as alternative options. To check out a full comparison, visit the "compare" link.

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General Information
Olympus PEN-F
Advanced Mirrorless
Body design
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Powered by
TruePic VII
Sensor size
Four Thirds
Sensor measurements
17.3 x 13mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
20 megapixels
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest Possible resolution
5184 x 3888
RAW format
Maximum native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Minimum enhanced ISO
Manual focus
Autofocus touch
Continuous autofocus
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Center weighted autofocus
Autofocus multi area
Autofocus live view
Face detect autofocus
Contract detect autofocus
Phase detect autofocus
Number of focus points
Lens mount
Micro Four Thirds
Number of lenses
Focal length multiplier
Range of display
Fully Articulated
Display diagonal
Display resolution
1,037k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch friendly
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder resolution
2,360k dot
Viewfinder coverage
100 percent
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Minimum shutter speed
60 seconds
Fastest shutter speed
1/8000 seconds
Fastest quiet shutter speed
1/16000 seconds
Continuous shutter speed
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual exposure
Exposure compensation
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash range
no built-in flash
Flash settings
Flash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (2nd curtain)
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p)
Maximum video resolution
Video file format
MPEG-4, H.264, Motion JPEG
Microphone input
Headphone input
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
427g (0.94 lbs)
125 x 72 x 37mm (4.9" x 2.8" x 1.5")
Battery life
330 shots
Battery format
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 seconds, custom)
Time lapse shooting
Storage media
Storage slots
Retail cost