The era of SLR may have ended for most of us, but professional photographers still look fondly at their film cameras, reminiscing the golden days. For them, Olympus has released a device that takes most of the technological advancements you have on mirrorless cameras while keeping a classic design: the Pen-F, digital version.
If the $1,199 price just for the body doesn’t scare you off, you can have a digital camera with a bit of old charm. As the original debuted in the late 60s, this Pen-F camera has an aluminum and magnesium body, with discrete screws and buttons that borrow the look of old camera handles. The on/off switch will remind you of a film rewind lever and the AF assist light can be located where you’d normally look for a rangefinder.
It’s all metal, so you can enjoy a vintage design once more and every button has a different, corresponding click to it so you always know what you’re modifying when taking a picture. If you’re into buttons and accessories and hate minimalistic devices, this camera was made for you.
As far as the digital aspect is concerned, Pen-F comes with 5-axis image stabilization, rapid-fire burst shooting, and a lot of color profiles, filters, and effects. To quickly adjust your camera to new environments and photography subjects you can select one of four customization modes from the PASM dial. The new camera from Olympus is all about personalization and quick access to menus. Instead of changing color profiles from settings, going through 10 different operations to get one thing going on, you can choose mono for B&W photography from the creative dial. Moreover, you can tweak it, as well as other artistic profiles Olympus provides.
With the new Pen-F, Olympus gave back to its fans the original design, but took some of the camera capabilities, so expect it to be great for static pictures and not so much when shooting moving objects. That being said, if you do want performance more than anything else, stick to the OM-D series (which are 200-300 dollars cheaper than this one).