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My First Impression - PEN-F

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds Forum' started by gryphon1911, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 SC Top Veteran

    533
    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Yes, I know...call me what you will...hypocrite, lucky, stupid, smart....whatever....I have an Olympus PEN-F in my possession.

    Long story short, some gear trades ended me here.

    Got a call yesterday from my local camera shop. PEN-F was in. Silver model.

    Made my way down to the store today on my lunch hour.

    Most of the guys that I talked to that handled the demo were impressed with it. They are mostly Sony and Fuji users in the mirrorless sector, but found the PEN-F intriguing.

    I've only had the thing in my hands for the last 30 minutes, so I'll just address what I can for now and get into more details later.

    Front Dial:
    I've heard from others on the internet that the front dial is sharp and cut into their hands. I'm a big guy with large hands and my fingers do not even come close to the front dial. Like the NikonDf, the PEN-F needs to be held with a slightly different grip. I'm not going to hold it like an EM1 or a D700.
    Yes, the edges of the front dial have some bite to them, but nothing I would consider "sharp". However, that is a subjective matter and each person should decide that for themselves with a hands on.

    Grip (or lack there of):
    The thumb indent on the back seems adequate for me. The front is of a grippy like material. I had no issues holding the camera one handed. It will most likely be an issue with the larger lenses like the PRO lenses or the 75-300/4.8-6.7 II.

    My primary intention of using this camera is going to be with primes, so I don't consider that much of an issue.

    "Rangefinder-esque" Styling:
    I've never been one to prefer an "OVF hump" or side set EVF. I just require there to BE an EVF. For those that like built in EVF, this one does not disappoint.

    LCD Rear Screen AF Point Selection:
    One of the things that I envied of some of the Panasonic bodies was having the EVF be used as a way to select the AF point while looking through the EVF. We have that now and it makes for quick selection. After getting used to it, I can see where this would be great for quick changes while doing street photography.

    That's about all I had time to get to at the moment, and did not have a lens in which to test it outside the camera store.

    Aesthetically it is pleasing and I look forward to getting to know it better.

    More updates to this thread as I am able. I've got a 4 day sunrise to sunset event to shoot starting tomorrow, so it could be a few days before I have anything to report.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Stupid, lucky, Pen F-owning hypocrite. I so want to try one.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I gave up GAS late last year........ but the Pen F has me feeling itchy.

    This thread needs photos.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 SC Top Veteran

    533
    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    It will....but probably not until some time after Monday. I have a 4 day, all day vent starting tomorrow. bleah!
     
  5. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    They have ointments for that. If only.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Oh, they have 'em. But they're really expensive and they look suspiciously like cameras... Strange ointments those. Brutally effective, but only short term...
     
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  7. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    I'm interested to see if the new Sony sensor is an improvement.
    The current crop leave me wanting.
     
  8. ean10775

    ean10775 SC Regular

    159
    Feb 25, 2013
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    I suppose its a bit presumptive on my part not knowing exactly what you find lacking, but I'd expect to still be wanting. By all reports I've seen, while there is indeed an improvement it is by no means revolutionary.
     
  9. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 SC Top Veteran

    533
    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Some images from this weekend. I decided to be stupid and take an untested and unknown camera into the field with me. Turned out OK. :D

    These were shot with the Olympus 17/1.8 prime in Mono Mode 2. I might have fiddled with the settings, but I like the images I got. But I like high contrast and grainy pictures. May not be for everyone.

    I still have some experimentation to do!! :D

    03-04-2016_PENF_arnold_P3040006. 03-04-2016_PENF_arnold_P3040021. 03-04-2016_PENF_arnold_P3040023. 03-04-2016_PENF_arnold_P3040026. 03-04-2016_PENF_arnold_P3040055. 03-05-2016_PENF_arnold_P3050093. 03-05-2016_PENF_arnold_P3050102. 03-06-2016_PENF_arnold_P3060127. 03-06-2016_PENF_arnold_P3060138. 03-06-2016_PENF_arnold_P3060144.
     
    • Like Like x 7
  10. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 SC Top Veteran

    533
    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Quick update. I just got back from my 4 day event and images/video are downloading.

    EM1 and PENF for stills and the EM5 Mk II for video.

    I've about 2000 images and around 40 video clips to wrestle with.

    Still shooting performance wise, the PENF seems as capable as the EM5 Mk II, but with the added bonus of the mono/color mode. As some have predicted, the Mono2 is a dandy of a setting for me. I was tinkering with it before hand and I think I accidentally set the film grain setting to high, as you'll see what effect that has on images in the samples above.

    Further experiments with that mode will be shared once I can get into them.
    I suspect that in the future, +-6 on the tone curve in mode 2 might be too aggressive, even for me. I think I'll be more happy in the +-3 or 4 area and perhaps pop a little of the mid tones as well.

    The power switch was a lot nicer to deal with than I thought. Easy to flick on with the left hand, just slightly beating out the EM1/EM5Mk II power lever.

    I had the Oly 17/1.8 on the PENF for the whole weekend.
     
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  11. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    #2 and #3 are what I used to do, with Jim and Pete George at Barnholth's in Akron.
     
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  12. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    • Like Like x 6
  13. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    It's a pretty thing, innit? Congrats, gents. Post more!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Does anyone know if the shutter buttons that screw into the shutter release on Fuji cameras also fit the Pen-F?
     
  15. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    Afaik the thread is standard as in film days.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    One of the things that hasn't changed, along with the tripod screw and flash sync socket.

    Mind, I'm (nearly) old enough to remember when the "hotshoe" was cold, and was known as the "accessory shoe", intended for rangefinders and the like... ;)
     
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  17. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 SC Top Veteran

    533
    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    • Like Like x 7
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  18. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Cool, thanks :)