OM-D vs PEN

Growltiger

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Nice photo. I assume the stitching was done in post and not in the camera? And from raws or jpgs?
Yes, stitching has to be done in post, I would want to do it that way anyway.

jpgs in this case. I always take raw+jpg. I only need to use the raw when things are very wrong, like colour balance, burnt out highlights etc. For me that is perhaps 1 in 100 photos, the rest of the time I use the jpgs. (I come from the days of Kodachrome slides where exposure had to be accurate to 1/3 stop and there was no postprocessing.)

One can only stitch (or stack) jpgs or TIFs and not raw. Software that claims to do it simply does its own raw conversion (without user control) and then stitches. I could have used the raw images, processed them to jpg or tif, and then stitched. But I simply used the jpgs, they are usually so good it makes no difference.
 

Growltiger

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I could not find any used PEN-Fs on the Buy & Sell pages here either.
They are going to become collectables. The Pen-F and the EM1 II and later versions of it are the best made and most reliable of their cameras, with very few faults reported.
 

gary0319

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I have the E-M1 II but when hiking I take the Pen-F with the tiny Panasonic 12-32 lens. This makes it very portable.
Here is a panorama I made recently using it with that lens.
I took a number of vertical shots and combined them. All handheld, just rotating my body.
Do be sure to zoom right in so you can see the sharpness and detail. This works on a computer, tablet or phone.
Kilkenny panorama
Absolutely stunning detail, thanks for sharing.
 

AaronE

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Yes, stitching has to be done in post, I would want to do it that way anyway.

jpgs in this case. I always take raw+jpg. I only need to use the raw when things are very wrong, like colour balance, burnt out highlights etc. For me that is perhaps 1 in 100 photos, the rest of the time I use the jpgs. (I come from the days of Kodachrome slides where exposure had to be accurate to 1/3 stop and there was no postprocessing.)

One can only stitch (or stack) jpgs or TIFs and not raw. Software that claims to do it simply does its own raw conversion (without user control) and then stitches. I could have used the raw images, processed them to jpg or tif, and then stitched. But I simply used the jpgs, they are usually so good it makes no difference.
Lightroom stitches RAW images and produces an single RAW image as an output. Works great.
 

gary0319

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There is a view that the Pen-F’s mono mode has some magic sauce to it. I personally am not a believer in that:

https://www.mu-43.com/threads/weekend-fun-pen-f-mono-mode.96537/
I immediately knew which image in your linked to challenge was the Pen F JPEG, it had that signature smooth grey tone. That said, some prefer the do-it-yourself mono, and some even get a pretty close match to the Pen F JPEG profiles, but not exactly...as has been my experience.
 

retiredfromlife

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I have the E-M1 II but when hiking I take the Pen-F with the tiny Panasonic 12-32 lens. This makes it very portable.
Here is a panorama I made recently using it with that lens.
I took a number of vertical shots and combined them. All handheld, just rotating my body.
Do be sure to zoom right in so you can see the sharpness and detail. This works on a computer, tablet or phone.
Kilkenny panorama
I think that's the best details I have ever seen on a panorama or any landscape for that matter. But I must admit I don't normally try to zoom in that much

Would you mind sharing the settings, and what you used to stitch it.
Was it a high res mode image and how much do you overlap each photo.

You have me interested in trying one now
 

Growltiger

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I think that's the best details I have ever seen on a panorama or any landscape for that matter. But I must admit I don't normally try to zoom in that much

Would you mind sharing the settings, and what you used to stitch it.
Was it a high res mode image and how much do you overlap each photo.

You have me interested in trying one now
Here are all the technical details.
  • The 12-32 lens was set to 32mm. Camera vertical.
  • I don't move my feet, I face directly ahead. Then I rotate my upper body fully left, then slowly rotate to the right, with a 1/3 overlap between each shot.
  • Normal photos, not hi-res. It isn't needed, the resulting photo is 31633 x 5265 pixels (166.5 MP).
  • The camera is level, not pointing up or down, this is important. Use the level feature in the viewfinder. (Crop out excessive sky afterwards).
  • Mode M, and ISO fixed at 200 and White balance fixed (probably on sunny). 1/500, f/6.3 (to get infinity and the grass sharp, but not going too small and getting diffraction).
  • The stitching was done in Photoshop, then there was just a bit of cropping and normal tweaking of highlights and shadows, and levels.
  • Then sharpening was done using Topaz Sharpen AI (a wonderful tool which doesn't add white edges like normal sharpening tools, but needs experience to get the best from).
  • Then to show the photo to you on the internet I used Zoomify, which turned it into 3500 little files, which you downloaded just some of while zooming in and dragging around.
This is very quick and easy. Just quickly set the camera to manual everything, hold it vertically, and take the photos. It only takes a minute or two to take the photos.
 

ArizonaMike

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IMO, the "great IQ" of the Pen-F is the same basic "great IQ" as we call it of the EM5-mkii and EM1-mkii. Even the mkiii's I would suggest. Hard to tell the difference in actual photos.
Technically, some are a little better but the key word is "little".

The difference I was pointing out above was ease of use, controls, and features.

A good example is the Olympus EPM-2. This camera had the new (at the time) 16MP Sony sensor and Image Quality was great. Probably hard to tell the difference from the current cameras. The interface, however, was difficult to use and control.
Isn't it the case that Olympus has only 1 20MP sensor and that it is in the M1.2, M1.3, M1X, M5.3 and the PEN-F. Is that wrong?

If the cameras all have the same sensor and use the same lenses why would there be any difference in the detail of the images? This is all digital processing and I would have thought that any 2 Olympus cameras with the same sensor and the same lens would yield the exact same image (assuming equality of settings). Am I wrong here?
 

ArizonaMike

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Check out https://www.mpb.com/en-us/brands/olympus/ as they have six used Pen-F's in stock at the moment. I have purchased from them before and have had excellent service. As with KEH their grading is very conservative.
Disclaimer: I have only purchased from them and have no particular connection with them.
Yes. I looked. Thank you for the link. I would think that Olympus would be an excellent source for used cameras.

What I find interesting is that while I can find used PEN-Fs in black in excellent condition the silver used models are hard to find. KEH has none, Roberts Used has none and the Olympus used silver models are all in "good" condition while the black models are in "excellent" condition. It is hard to escape the view that the silver models are more popular than the black ones, and they certainly seem to be "head turners".

I never thought I would care one way or the other - black vs silver - but I find myself drawn to the silver models over the black ones. And that is a big surprise to me.
 
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The Pen-F is a nice camera if you never take pictures of a moving subject. The AF is absolutely terrible, laughably bad. Like I don’t know how they sold a camera with such bad AF.

I do like the knobs to go to BW mode, the ergonomics are great. It is fun, but don’t think you will get a moving person or pet in focus or more than 1 out of 10 photos.

-Joe
 

Growltiger

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The Pen-F is a nice camera if you never take pictures of a moving subject. The AF is absolutely terrible, laughably bad. Like I don’t know how they sold a camera with such bad AF.

I do like the knobs to go to BW mode, the ergonomics are great. It is fun, but don’t think you will get a moving person or pet in focus or more than 1 out of 10 photos.

-Joe
Did you ever try using S-AF on moving things? Incredibly fast and accurate, works very well.
 

gary0319

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The Pen-F is a nice camera if you never take pictures of a moving subject. The AF is absolutely terrible, laughably bad. Like I don’t know how they sold a camera with such bad AF.

I do like the knobs to go to BW mode, the ergonomics are great. It is fun, but don’t think you will get a moving person or pet in focus or more than 1 out of 10 photos.

-Joe
Sure, the Pen F is more demanding of skills to get the focus right, but if one's in focus rate is only 10% I suspect there may be something wrong with the camera.....or the technique. My in focus rate is way better than that.... but I do use mostly S-AF.
 

ArizonaMike

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Perhaps I am wrong. I am certainly no expert on the subject of AF. Still, ...

The AF specs on both the M5.2 and PEN-F appear to me to be identical. Is anyone here saying that the PEN-F has worse focus than the M5.2? Or just that it is not up to the quality of the M1.2 with its dual AF systems? While my subjects for walk-around photography are generally not moving (people, mountains, buildings, and so on) it would be helpful to know before I buy.
 

Growltiger

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Perhaps I am wrong. I am certainly no expert on the subject of AF. Still, ...

The AF specs on both the M5.2 and PEN-F appear to me to be identical. Is anyone here saying that the PEN-F has worse focus than the M5.2? Or just that it is not up to the quality of the M1.2 with its dual AF systems? While my subjects for walk-around photography are generally not moving (people, mountains, buildings, and so on) it would be helpful to know before I buy.
The simple answer:
S-AF on all the cameras is extremely good. Very fast and very accurate. It is good enough for almost everything.
But if you are into things like motorcycle racing, ice hockey, sports etc, then you may want C-AF which only works well on the E-M1 II, E-M1X and E-M1 III.
One can actually use S-AF on things that move like the above, or birds. It works so fast that it is often really good, but it takes a bit more skill and you get a lower hit rate.

So you can relax and get the Pen-F.
 
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Perhaps I am wrong. I am certainly no expert on the subject of AF. Still, ...

The AF specs on both the M5.2 and PEN-F appear to me to be identical. Is anyone here saying that the PEN-F has worse focus than the M5.2? Or just that it is not up to the quality of the M1.2 with its dual AF systems? While my subjects for walk-around photography are generally not moving (people, mountains, buildings, and so on) it would be helpful to know before I buy.

Agree that S-AF is very good on both. IMO, the tracking was a little worse on the PEN-F compared to EM5.2 but that may be my perception.

I stuck with S-AF on both models when I had them.

One of the issues I had with the PEN-F was moving the focus box around. The touch screen was quirky and inconsistent for the two models I owned. Not as consistent as the EM5-mk2. Setting the default location was a problem for me on the PEN-F more than any other Olympus body I have owned. The D*^%MN thing had a mind of its own.

So yes, once I had the focus box where I wanted it, the PEN-F S-AF was very good. Just like the EM5-mk2. Just as accurate, seemingly just as fast. It was that human interaction (pre-focusing) that took more time and had me missing shots.
 
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Isn't it the case that Olympus has only 1 20MP sensor and that it is in the M1.2, M1.3, M1X, M5.3 and the PEN-F. Is that wrong?

If the cameras all have the same sensor and use the same lenses why would there be any difference in the detail of the images? This is all digital processing and I would have thought that any 2 Olympus cameras with the same sensor and the same lens would yield the exact same image (assuming equality of settings). Am I wrong here?

I am no expert on this but since the PEN-F is the only 20MP without PDAF, I assumed it might be a slightly different sensor. DXOMark rates the 20MP on the OMD EM1-mkii better than the 20MP on the PEN-F but I never really noticed much of a difference in real photos.

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Com...EN-F-versus-Olympus-OM-D-E-M1___1136_1070_909
 

Panolyman

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I really am swaying towards a Pen F and seeing that they are getting as rare as hen's teeth I think I need to act fast.
One thing that is putting me off though, is the handling aspect.

I've mentioned on here a couple of times how I hated my old GX80 due to being left-eye dominant, which is why I converted to a G7 and also added an OM 10 mkIII.
I'm of the opinion that another rangefinder-style camera may, after all, not be suitable.
Any thoughts folks?

Ta.
 

pdk42

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Perhaps I am wrong. I am certainly no expert on the subject of AF. Still, ...

The AF specs on both the M5.2 and PEN-F appear to me to be identical. Is anyone here saying that the PEN-F has worse focus than the M5.2? Or just that it is not up to the quality of the M1.2 with its dual AF systems? While my subjects for walk-around photography are generally not moving (people, mountains, buildings, and so on) it would be helpful to know before I buy.
Yes, the Pen F is worse. They are both CDAF and the features are the same, but the sensitivity of the Pen seems to be worse. Focusing with slow lenses in poor light can make the Pen struggle where the EM5.2 doesn’t. It personally doesn’t bother me, but I recall trying to use a Pen F with the 14-150 in poor light and it hunted and hunted. Swapping the lens to an EM5.2 showed no such problems.
 
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