March 13, 2017 by Richard
I didn't expect to buy a Pen-F, but I'm happy I did!
I wasn't planning to buy a Pen-F, but then I bought a 17mm f1.8 and needed a second body, and before you know it I became a very happy owner of a black Pen-F (IMO the all black version looks better). The 17mm f1.8 is a perfect complement to the camera, and doesn't add much bulk or weight. I don't need the add-on grip, even when I hold the camera with gloves (but for those considering a larger lens I would suggest that a grip is a necessity). I also discovered that I like using the viewfinder. I wear glasses and never found using an optical viewfinder to be satisfactory (it feels like I'm looking through a tube), but with the EVF on the Pen-F I'm looking at a miniature version of the LCD screen, and even with glasses I can see the whole image. I now prefer the EVF to the point that I often leave the screen folded in to the body so that it looks like a film camera. My other camera is a E-PL7, so the extra dials and menu options of the Pen-F were overwhelming at first (it took me a few hours to set up the camera), but I appreciate a separate dial for exposure comp (which works in Manual mode, too!), and two dials to adjust both the shutter and aperture in Manual mode. I shoot RAW and don't have much interest in the Creative Dial, but at least it doesn't bang up against my fingers so it's easy to ignore. My only gripe is the sensor for the EVF is outside and to the right of the EVF, and if the sun is behind my right shoulder it can still hit the sensor when I put my eye to the viewfinder, which means the viewfinder doesn't turn on automatically. I avoid the problem in bright sun by switching the EVF on full time (with the screen off it doesn't drain the battery much at all), but it would have been better to have the sensor inside or to the left of the EVF. All-in-all, it's a great camera with excellent image quality that is ideally suited to small lenses.
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February 28, 2017 by Michael
Outstanding smaller camera
I had been shooting with an E-M1 for a couple of years but I wanted something smaller to carry with me every day. So I eventually sold my E-M1 and bought a reconditioned PEN-F and 17mm 1.8 prime. I've been extremely pleased with the results. With a neoprene camera pouch I feel comfortable tossing my camera and lens in my bag every day. As they say, the best camera is the one you have with you, but my PEN-F is much better than my smartphone. Anyway, besides the size I love the design and handling. The art filter dial is nice as I enjoy shooting in B&W and it's nice to seamlessly switch from color to B&W while shooting. The articulated screen is also nice, and I particularly enjoy flipping the screen over so it's not visible. It makes for a more retro shooting experience and helps me focus on the images instead of reviewing what I've already shot or fiddling with settings. The physical controls are nicely customizable and do everything I need them to, so the screen is mostly superfluous anyway. At the end of the day I'm extremely pleased with just about every aspect of the camera, with two caveats, hence the 4 stars instead of 5: First, image transfer to my tablet or phone is quite slow. My smart devices serve as my primary photo management equipment these days, but it takes a ridiculously long time to transfer more than a few images. The process is not particularly streamlined and although useful, it's unnecessarily cumbersome. I'd like to hope firmware and software updates could solve this but it seems unlikely. This an area where Olympus seems to be lagging considerably behind the competition. The other issue is probably related to the fact that Inbougjt the camera reconditioned. Although it functions properly, every once and a while the view screen goes black and requires the camera to be hard reset (removing the battery and then restarting the camera). It doesn't do this often, but enough that it's mildly frustrating. All in all it's a great camera. I didn't really touch on image quality, because it meets the excellent standards of Olympus 4/3rds cameras. Simply excellent. I love this camera.
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January 27, 2017 by Karl
Best camera system I ever owned.
This is my travel camera to go to when I go abroad. I usually include the Olympus pro zooms from 7mm to 150mm. I may also take a couple of fast fixed focal length lenses. Last fall (September to November) I traveled widely in Germany, France and Italy. Being able to carry all of this equipment in a medium sized bag was a great convenience. The camera and the lenses performed as expected. I have been a photographer for more than fifty years. It is a relief to have moved from the heavy DSLRs to this professional micro 4/3 system - I also own the 5 - Mark II which I brought as a back-up but used very little. I am so confident in the Olympus system that I just added the 12 to 100 mm lens to my collection. The features of the camera are a dream come true. I highly recommend the Pen-F to anyone who is interested in a solid built camera and wants quality images and doesn't want to suffer from carrying excessive weight.
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January 25, 2017 by Timothy
The almost perfect M 4/3 camera
I stepped into the realm of Micro 4/3 from Dslr's solely to take advantage of the portability, sacrificing the highest possible image quality for the ability & ease of having my camera with me ALL the time. My thought was that many great pictures far outweighed a few awesome pictures(which I could still get with my Dslr.) I purchased an OMD-EM5 more than four years ago and have very happily been using it ever since. The progression from that original EM5 might naturally have been to the OMD-EM1 eventually leading to the mark ll. But, I did not purchase the EM1 electing to hold out for the new EM1 Mark ll. When it was released I tried it out and I came to the conclusion that the Mark ll is no longer the portable M4/3 camera that the first EM5 was. While Full Frame and APS-C sensor cameras have been getting smaller and lighter, the Olympus M4/3's have been getting larger especially if you couple them with any of the new pro series lenses. I returned the EM1 Mark ll camera because when it was sitting on my desk next to my Pentax K3 it was about the same size. Yes its a great camera, the most capable M4/3 yet. Its very versatile and fast focusing with somewhat better resolution than the previous 16mp version. But, it is no longer extremely portable, definitely not light and pocket-able like my original EM5. I am not one to lug around a lot of heavy pro lenses - mostly just fast primes. On some occasions I do take landscape photos but a full frame camera is better at capturing the detail, depth of field and subtle qualities of light and color. So the EM1 ll has now developed into a camera that doesn't fit my needs anymore. A little distraught I started reading about the Pen F. It doesn't have a weather sealed body and the new TruePicâ„¢ VIII Dual Quad Core Processor, and obviously doesn't shoot as fast - BUT it has the same 20mp sensor AND it's light and portable like my original EM5. I believe that the M4/3 sensor has reached its image quality limit, and my future partner camera to my Pen-F will have a full frame sensor because there are now many quality small versions to choose from. If Olympus weather seals the Pen F ll along with adding the Dual Quad Core Processor and resolving a few manual dial design issues(I know if, if, if) But, my point is that I am sure I won't be the only one to head back to the smaller camera for the sake of portability. For now, I am happy that there was another option since I am invested in the M 4/3 lenses. I still believe M4/3 have a place in the photographic world.
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January 11, 2017 by RayF.
Highly recommended. Love this camera so far!
I took my time before I decided on buying the Olympus Pen-F. I wanted a camera that was small, but still gave me the ability to manually adjust the settings, change lenses when needed, and offer best possible image quality and features. I looked at many brands and models, and found something missing with each of them. Pen-F came the closest to the perfect camera for me - it is small, light, offers a ton of flexibility and functionality, and so far I have been very impressed by the picture quality as well. I am using the Olympus 25mm f1.8 lens which also has been great so far. I am switching from a Nikon SLR to this camera, and so far I am not regretting this decision. Some of the reviewers on the Internet complained about the complex menus. Coming from the Nikon and having also used other cameras, so far I am not finding the menus too complex and hard to follow. I highly recommend this camera.
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