Exploring the Features of Olympus PEN-F: A Compact Camera for Quality Photographs

Dive into the world of photography with Olympus PEN-F, a high-quality and retro-styled camera that offers a plethora of features for professional and amateur photographers. From its 20-megapixel sensor to its advanced image stabilization system, PEN-F is a perfect amalgamation of style and substance.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Olympus PEN-F article cover photo

Key Features

Jan 27 2016


20 megapixels


Sensor TypeFour Thirds

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Overview of the PEN-F

Photography enthusiasts looking for a small camera that delivers excellent image quality and versatility without compromising on style, can count on Olympus PEN-F. This compact camera features a retro design which makes it stand out from the rest in the market. But, what makes it truly impressive is a powerful set of features that offer professional-grade photo output. Let’s take a closer look at the key features of Olympus PEN-F that make it a must-have for photography enthusiasts.

Olympus PEN-F Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Olympus PEN-F camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High-resolution sensor (20.3 MP)
5-axis image stabilization
Articulating touchscreen
Good low-light performance
Fast autofocus
Classic design and built-in viewfinder
Advanced monochrome mode


No built-in flash
Short battery life
Some controls can be fiddly
Limited video capabilities
Not weather-sealed
Small grip

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Olympus PEN-F

Weather sealed
Dimensions125 x 72 x 37mm

Weather Sealing

The Olympus PEN-F is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderElectronic
Screen TypeFully Articulated
Screen Resolution1,037k dots
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fully articulated 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 1,037k dots. This makes the Olympus PEN-F very suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you can view yourself while shooting selfies. The camera also features a touch screen, which adds to its ease of use.


PEN-F includes a electronic viewfinder with 2,360k dots of resolution with a coverage of 100% and a magnification of 0.62x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Olympus PEN-F has a 20MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 20 pixels. Olympus PEN-F has a native ISO range of 200 - 25600 which can be boosted to 80 - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Jan 27 2016


200 - 25600

ISO Range

SensorFour Thirds
Extended ISO80 - null
Max resolution5184 x 3888 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


74 / 102

Color Depth

23.1 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

12.4 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

894 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Olympus PEN-F camera has above average color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also above average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the PEN-F is average

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: Four Thirds



Connectivity, storage, battery

Battery Life330 shots
Battery ModelBLN-1
Wireless Connectivity


The Olympus PEN-F supports SD/SDHC/SDXC with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Olympus PEN-F uses the BLN-1 model of battery pack. This is rated for 330 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Olympus PEN-F does not have a built-in flash, but it does offer a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Olympus PEN-F boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/8000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Olympus PEN-F includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with 81 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Olympus PEN-F?

The Olympus PEN-F features a CMOS sensor

Is the Olympus PEN-F weather sealed?

No the PEN-F does not have weather sealing.

When was the Olympus PEN-F announced?

The Olympus PEN-F was announced on Jan 27 2016

Does the Olympus PEN-F have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the PEN-F does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Olympus PEN-F?

The PEN-F has a native ISO range of 200-25600, which can be expanded to ISO 80-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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