Andy Westlake tests Olympus’s retro-styled Pen-F, with its built-in viewfinder and 20-million-pixel sensor
ISO sensitivity and Noise
At its ISO 200 base, the Pen-F gives finely detailed images with little visible noise and very attractive colour rendition. Switch to the extended ‘Low’ (ISO 80) setting and the images are even cleaner, although highlights clip to white visibly sooner, so this is best used only in low contrast situations. Increase the sensitivity and while ISO 400 is still eminently usable, fine detail starts to smear at ISO 800, although colour is retained well. I’d happily shoot up to ISO 3200 for less critical work but beyond this things get marginal, and the top two settings are best avoided unless there’s no other choice.
The 100% crops below are of our standard studio scene at each sensitivity setting, in JPEG mode, ‘Natural’ setting.