Andy Westlake tests Olympus’s retro-styled Pen-F, with its built-in viewfinder and 20-million-pixel sensor

Product Overview

Olympus PEN-F

Features:
Build/Handling:
Metering:
Autofocus:
AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
LCD viewfinder:

Pros:

  • - Stunning styling and design make it a joy to use
  • - Best image quality yet from a Four Thirds camera
  • - Easy to adjust image processing settings on a shot-by-shot basis

Cons:

  • - Viewfinder is smaller than similarly priced competitors
  • - Confusing menu makes some features difficult to access
  • - No weather sealing

Product:

Olympus PEN-F review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£999.99 (Body only)

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ISO sensitivity and Noise

Olympus's colour processing gives lovely pictures straight from the camera. This is ISO 1000

Olympus’s colour processing gives lovely pictures straight from the camera. This is ISO 1000

 

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.

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 80

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 80

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 200

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 200

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 400

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 400

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 800

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 800

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 1600

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 1600

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 3200

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 3200

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 6400

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 6400

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 12800

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 12800

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 25600

Olympus PEN-F, JPEG ISO 25600

  1. 1. Olympus Pen-F review: Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and Handling
  4. 4. Viewfinder and screen
  5. 5. Autofocus
  6. 6. Creative controls
  7. 7. High Resolution Composite Mode
  8. 8. Image Quality
  9. 9. ISO sensitivity and Noise
  10. 10. Verdict
  11. 11. Olympus PEN-F review: Hands-on First Look
  12. 12. Page 12
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