Got the Pen F today and best thing about it so far is:

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Catch22nm, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Catch22nm

    Catch22nm Mu-43 Regular

    68
    May 10, 2015
    The ease of customization and the button / dial layout. After getting my hands on the camera and playing with it all day, I can tell you that the layout is awesome (for me at least)

    I am really enjoying the sheer amount of things you can quickly do with this camera - Coming from an EM-5 MKII the way the customization works on the Pen feels much more intuitive and simple. (and I still love the EM5!!)

    I love the C1 - C4 Custom modes on the dial and how much easier it is to customize this camera to quickly do exactly what you want. It really is way more intuitive than the old myset system without dedicated dials. It all "clicked" for me in a matter of minutes. (where I was always frustrated with my mysets on the EM-5MKII. )

    For now I have it set up as: (this will change as I mess with the modes and make my own)

    C1 Regular shooting +Beep + IR / Aperture Priority mode / Mono mode 2 / Color mode 2
    C2 Church Mode - Silent Shooting No IR, No Beep / Aperture mode /Mono mode 2 /Color mode 2
    C3 Action-sports-wildlife / Aperture mode / Mono mode 3 / Color mode 3
    C4 Astro / Long Exposure MF / Manual mode set to 20 sec Exposure and ISO 1600 / IDGAF / IDGAF

    I love that you can switch the front dial and each C1-C4 will individually remember the front dial mode you like (for example If I'm shooting in C2 and I switch to mono i can set it to remember that I want mono Mode 2 for C2. and say mono 1 for C3. For some reason with the EM5-Mkii I always had problems with the mysets getting messed up and problems trying to map the mysets to the unused dial positions without getting confused. The PEN -F is so much easier to figure out. And they are no longer even called mysets they are now called custom Modes. They are still basically the same as mysets but for some reason it just all works!

    I see myself using C-1 2 3 and 4 90% of the time I use the camera.

    Some other quick notes:

    Of course the camera is beautiful and my non camera friends who have seen it are all the sudden asking me about how much it costs to get into it.

    -The EVF is great so far and I am not noticing any lag compared to the MKII but I have only been playing with it for a day.

    -Mono Mode 2 Is sweet, It really makes normal mundane things pop and is really fun, Other color modes are on the dock to play with tomorrow.

    -I don't think I am going to need a grip with the camera but the biggest lens I would use without a grip would probably be the 75 1.8. the inner thumb spot works well with my hands and I just wrap my strap around my wrist if I need extra support. Ill have to use the camera for an extended period of time to really see if I can skip the grip.

    -So far the front mode dial does not bother or scrape against my finger too much- so far so good

    -I am really loving it and I cant wait to do some real shooting this weekend.

    Wish list for the Pen F -

    -Ability to name custom settings
    Example "C1 - Walk around", C4 Astro

    -Ability to save all settings to survive the major firmware updates

    -Maybe a different 3rd party grip?

    Things I don't like so far

    - The tripod jack seems to far forward.

    - no mic jack(which I knew about before buying but wish I had)

    I have some more shots taken with the Pen F on my Instagram: Triangle_Craft
    I Might post some more on here soon too!
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
    • Like Like x 21
    • Informative Informative x 3
  2. Tifoso

    Tifoso Mu-43 Regular

    25
    Nov 6, 2015
    Germany
    Giuseppe
    Congratulation - show us your weekend results :)
     
  3. Catch22nm

    Catch22nm Mu-43 Regular

    68
    May 10, 2015
    I will :)
     
  4. Prahasaurus

    Prahasaurus Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Jan 30, 2016
    Prague, Czech Republic
    No doubt about it, it's an absolutely beautiful camera. Congrats!
     
  5. Prahasaurus

    Prahasaurus Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Jan 30, 2016
    Prague, Czech Republic
    Btw, how do you like the 75mm 1.8? Do you mainly use it for portrait photography?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Beautiful camera! I get more interested in it the more I see and hear about it.
     
  7. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    Congratulations. I'm jealous, of course, but congratulations nonetheless.

    Where did you order it from, if you don't mind my asking?
     
  8. Catch22nm

    Catch22nm Mu-43 Regular

    68
    May 10, 2015
    I ordered it from the first batch that District Camera got. They were awesome! Had it in New Mexico (my state) in 2 days.

    https://www.districtcamera.com/

    They are sold out for now though. Like almost everyone else. That's probably a good sign for Olympus.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Catch22nm

    Catch22nm Mu-43 Regular

    68
    May 10, 2015
    It is a new lens for me as well but I like it! I plan to use it for portraits and for night and indoor shots. Music photography and if I see something interesting that is too far to zoom with my feet.

    My planned lens lineup for the camera will be

    Primes
    15 1.7 Pan Lecia-
    60 Macro
    75 1.8 Oly

    Zoom
    14-150

    I might add:
    42.5 1.7 and or 25 1.8
     
  10. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    FYIs, RawTherapee's January 25th release (v 4.2.699) seems to have no trouble with ORFs from the Pen-F (downloaded one from DPR):
    upload_2016-2-18_11-25-52.

    Barry
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. dmcgrew

    dmcgrew Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Feb 1, 2016
    Great overview. I have the Pen-F too and didn't realize it would remember color and mono settings in the custom modes. I'll have to get those set up. I also agree with naming the custom modes, would be really helpful.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Catch22nm

    Catch22nm Mu-43 Regular

    68
    May 10, 2015
    Yeah the fact that the custom modes are independent of the front dial modes and the all the settings play nice with each other and go back to the way you want em by just switching back to the custom mode you want has made me really happy. people who say the front dial is dumb might change there minds if they actually tryed the PEN F and see how much more intuitive it is than the way Mysets worked.

    Also I never once touched the filters on my OMD's because it always involved the menus. now with the dials it makes you want to use them more and switch back and forth to try different looks that you have perfected!! SO fun!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Prahasaurus

    Prahasaurus Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Jan 30, 2016
    Prague, Czech Republic
    This might be the answer to the "Is the micro four-thirds system dead?" discussion. How to find a niche for these types of cameras when high end cameras using full sensors get smaller and smaller, while smart phone cameras add more and more features?

    One way is to make photography more fun for the semi-serious photographer. Make something for the guy who will never take photos with his smart phone unless he is caught somewhere without his proper camera, simply because he doesn't like the look or feel of taking pics with a phone. But on the other hand, wants to have fun and play with colors, light, presets, etc., without having to take a course on navigating the terrible Olympus menu system. And then take 5 minutes to fumble through those menus just to set up a fun shot. Could it be that the Pen-F is helping bridge that gap?

    I keep hearing the word "fun" used with the Pen-F. Not "ISO performance" or "pixel clarity in low light" or whatever. Those that haven't yet used the camera want to compare video parameters with Panasonic, question C-AF, bemoan the price, scoff at the art filters. Those who actually have the camera talk about how fun it is to shoot. Hmmmm......
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Catch22nm

    Catch22nm Mu-43 Regular

    68
    May 10, 2015
    You can't please everyone with every camera. I think the Pen - F is worth every penny and I know I will take a $$ hit for buying it before price drops and I am ok with that. I am also ok with the fact that other people think its too expensive. To them I say don't buy it or wait 6 months and get a nice used one (you wont be getting mine though haha) . Its funny how some people will get mad about the fact that this camera is not for everyone. In my opinion the fact that it is not for everyone is a good thing.

    This is a camera that will expand Olympus's and M43 user base. This is also a camera that will find its place as an amazing and fun second walk around camera to many DSLR people or EM1 people. I actually plan to buy an EM1MKII at some point after its release and I know for a fact I will not sell the Pen. This is even before I have really gotten into the camera I already know I love it. It is very similar to the EM5 MKII for me and I loved that camera. But I was always fussing with menu's. The Pen F can be set up in a way where you almost never need the menu's while out and about shooting. (The dials and the Super control panel is all you will need and rarely the SCP)

    Also although the camera is not much smaller than the MKII, the flat top (no fake pentaprism) makes it fit better into my bag. With the 15mm Pan Leica it is a tiny powerful package. (the oly 17, or 25, or Pana 20 all would be a great small package)

    Back to your post it is fun, It is expensive now, the price will go down and I think this camera will be a favorite for years.

    Lastly I know that some of the good things from this camera will make it into the EM1 MKII. Especially the C1 - C4 dials.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 2
  15. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    We need a DXOmark fun index. I suspect that unless the F has some glaring omission for the way you shoot, it will be great camera. My biggest worry is the complaints about the front dial irritating some folks' fingers because of their grip on the camera. That's hard to tell in advance if it will be a problem for you, so that's probably a "send it back" feature.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  16. danelkins

    danelkins Mu-43 Veteran

    Camera companies are not stupid when it comes to designing cameras, although some like to say they are. They have been in buisness for many decades. We all can make (personal) valid points about what is wrong and right about a camera or lens – this is what keeps the industry moving forward! I love camera gear, it is a big part of my photography experiance and has been for many years. It is great to hear about a new piece of hardware inspiring a boost in photographic experiance – happy shooting!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Andrew
    No they are not stupid but like any "smart" person or company they can still make stupid desicions.
     
  18. danelkins

    danelkins Mu-43 Veteran

    Nobody is perfect. But, they design all aspects for a reason - and omit features on purpose.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    There's this thing called the "honeymoon phase". It's where you're so enamored with a new item you have that you are blind to all of the issues that are there underneath the "pretty new exterior".

    I'm sure everybody loves their car when they first buy it. It's everything they wanted, it's fun to drive, blah blah blah. But after a few months you may start to notice things about it that you no longer love. The seats aren't comfortable on long drives. The engine isn't very fuel efficient. It isn't as fast as you first thought. And now, you own this turd despite not "loving" it like you once did because you're beginning to realize all of the deficiencies it has over other cars you could have purchased.

    The same thing applies to marriage. Everybody is so swept off their feet when they're first married. Everyone is there to celebrate your big day. You get gifts, you go on a vacation afterwards, and everything is perfect. Then, you get home and reality starts to sink in. Maybe this person isn't who you thought they once were, and now you don't want to be with them. The divorce rate is higher than the marriage rate in the US. Do you think everyone who got divorced knew they were going to do so when they go married? Likely not, but everything looked so perfect and "fun" on the outside.

    The same thing applies to cameras. Sure, some people may think that shooting with the Pen-F is "fun", and good for them. It's their money, they worked for it, and they can spend it how they like. But for many, we're looking for something more than just "fun". We want gear that can help us improve our photography, and for most of us that doesn't come via a modest increase in resolution, no functional gains in ISO or dynamic range performance, and a new dial that lets you change the art filter for your JPEG images. I'm sure many of the people who bought the Pen-F love it, but give it a few months to really see what people have to say about it.

    Is it worth paying an extra $200 MSRP to get the Pen-F over the E-M5 II, where you lose weather sealing, get a smaller EVF, worse C-AF performance, worse video, but a new dial for JPEG art filters? Maybe for some, but not in my opinion.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  20. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Andrew
    Agree, just the reasons and purposes really are just stupidity sometimes. (talking general here not directly to the PEN-F)