How the Olympus PEN-F Stole My Heart

My original goal was to use the Olympus PEN-F for street photography and travel. I packed it neatly in my Think Tank Retrospective 7 for the SF Street Photography Workshop last April. Now, three months later, it's still in my bag.


The mistake that I made was thinking that the PEN-F was a niche camera, something that one uses for certain situations such as exploring urban environments. But the truth is, at least for me, that it's the camera that I want to have with me all the time. So, what happened?

  • 20 MP Sensor - I didn't think that bump from 16MP (my E-M5 Mark II) to 20MP would be that big of a deal. But, turns out that it is. I'm loving that extra resolution.
  • Amazing Design and Quality - I've never owned a Leica, but I have some idea now why photographers love that level of quality. Every physical detail on this camera is exquisite. I use a BolinUS Handmade Leather Half Case and a leather wrist strap. This combination is absolutely irresistible.
  • The Creative Front Dial - The dial on the front is genius. I have my B&W setting (Mono 2), film color, and Art Filter all pre-programmed. All I have to do is set the front dial to the effect I want, shoot RAW+Jpeg, and enjoy pure creativity.
  • Fully Articulated 3" LCD - I like the PEN-F's implementation of the swing out LCD better than with my E-M5 Mark II because it doesn't interfere with any ports. I can shoot using so many interesting angles with this viewfinder. And being able to close it up so only its textured back is exposed, saves me the trouble of having to purchase and mess with an LCD screen protector.
  • It Fits Everywhere - For everyday use, I keep the Olympus 14-42mm EZ zoom with the Auto Opening Lens Cap for a camera that fits anywhere, and is ready to shoot instantly.

I tried to make the PEN-F a niche camera, but it refuses to be typecast. I'm resigned to the fact that it is indeed my favorite Micro Four Thirds camera... ever.

The Olympus PEN-F is currently available at B&H Photo for $1,099 with free shipping and no tax.

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