TheCameraStoreTV reviews the PEN-F, compares to GX8 and looks at 300/4

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by e_kjellgren, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. e_kjellgren

    e_kjellgren Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 17, 2011
    • Like Like x 3
    • Informative Informative x 3
  2. saladin

    saladin Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 29, 2015
    the C-AF comments are interesting.
  3. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    Thanks for posting
    Bit of a mixed bag with several criticisms including poor CAF and Video but they did like it - especially the styling - missed out some features from the review including the Touch AF Targeting Pad
  4. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    My initial impression, without touching or seeing the camera, is that it's great looking but the initial pricing just seems out of line. To me it's basically an E-M5ii with a slightly improved sensor that's wrapped in a new, non-weather sealed body. Lovely body for a stills photographer who basically uses a few small primes. I could see myself picking one up used after the prices fall, but I don't see it moving the needle much beyond current bodies. Thought this was a good, balanced, review.
    • Agree Agree x 6
  5. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Good review. I can wait for the Pen F. And it looks like everyone needs to wait for a firmware update on the C-AF function.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Prahasaurus

    Prahasaurus Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 30, 2016
    Prague, Czech Republic
    I'm not sure sure it's as positive as you claim. They liked it in the sense that it's a good, solid camera, ok. And they own a camera store and want to sell cameras. But it's clear there are some real issues here.

    I'm wondering how long before the Pen-F2 comes out? Perhaps it's better to wait for the 2nd version, perhaps with a better EVF and better video capabilities, and some other glitches worked out...

    They are right that it's just a beautiful camera, absolutely gorgeous...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Nice review. It does seem that the firmware still needs work, e.g., the CAF, the EVF sensor, etc. The good part is that they can do that. The comments about the EVF are a bit disappointing as this camera should have had a great one. I laughed about the touch screen comments and it not working while in the menus since I never even thought of that.:doh: It seems our discussions here did a pretty good job of figuring out the camera and it's somewhat confusing target audience. Of course, I never use CAF or video so while I can fret a bit over their shortcomings in a review I know they will have no practical consequences for my style of shooting. I suspect that i would like this camera quite a bit and once the price settles into about $900 I might give it a look.

    One other point. It's a pretty camera and it's clearly fun to use. I know this is a matter of some controversy here but I think aesthetics matters on cameras just like every other consumer product including cars. If you are a "it's just a tool" person then this will drive you crazy but it's still a factor for sales purposes. If the GX8 looked like the Pen F it would sell better.
  8. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Makes me want to get one.....NOT. I can not imagine purchasing a camera for how it looks and not how it performs.

    Still waiting for E-M1 II. :)
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Its a good commercial for the 300/4!!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    Yes, very well done review. It really gave me a better sense of some the new features that Olympus added and the PEN F's limitation.
  11. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    The C-AF comments are disappointing. You'd think there would always be steady progress in an area that is such a weakness across their entire line. How could there newest, expensive camera come out of the gate still lacking.
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Prahasaurus

    Prahasaurus Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 30, 2016
    Prague, Czech Republic
    In their defense, is this a production model, or pre-production? If this is what will be sold on March 1 (or whenever), then it's very disappointing. Some of the features can be fixed with a firmware update. Others, however, are more concerning to me.

    When buying computers or smartphones, I rarely purchase the first model of anything. I usually wait until the initial bugs are worked out. I wonder how long before there will be a Pen-F II? Another 18 months?
  13. bahamot

    bahamot Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 4, 2015
    The reviewer did say in the video that they had the production model.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  14. So Thankful

    So Thankful Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2015
    I found the video very informative. The AF issues are a concern for sure. I think this is a beautiful camera and will do well for Olympus. They do need to work on the AF issues though.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Mu-43 mobile app
  15. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Jan (John) Kusters
    Good review, although I am a bit in doubt about his CAF complaints.

    If it is as bad as he said, it would be a disappointment. But from his talk I could not understand what setting he was using. From experience with my E-M5 and 75-300, I learned it takes some experimenting to find the right way to get the most of it. I had my best results from CAF with a large fixed focus point and slightly worse with the small fixed focal point (mostly due to problems with keeping my focus point on the target). I had very little luck with the camera picking focal points, and I never tried face recognition. What was he using? That said, I do not expect EM1 performance from this camera. And luckily, it is not that important to me, I am not with the fast and furious crowd.

    I share his concern about the forward placed tripod screw hole. 'You are not going to hang anything heavy of this camera', and next thing he plugs the 300 mm to it. Yep... I would not feel very comfortable screwing this camera onto a tripod with the 75-300 attached. Truth be told, most times I use my long zoom, it is not on a tripod, although I often use a tripod to rest the lens on (I really wish that lens had a tripod foot!).

    The combination of front dial and lever at the back keeps me intrigued with every review I see. I usually shoot raw + Jpeg, and most of my serious work gets finished in B&W afterwards (working from the raw's). It does seem attractive to get better B7W straight from the camera. I have no idea whether I would use this or not. I can imagine using it a lot
    • Agree Agree x 2
  16. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    The CameraStore more than just know their way around camera bodies and lenses. The video shows a example of the AF hunting. Remember this a new sensor for Olympus. Is the problem one with the sensor or Olympus's implement/use of the sensor. But if they comments and the example are indicative of real world AF, I can not see anyone wanting it for more than still life or portraits in a studio.

    The camera may look nice. But $1000 is a bit much for a camera to be a fashion accessory.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 25, 2014
    I wonder if they actually tested the C-AF with something else than the 300mm f/4.0 - it might be an issue with that kind of combo, and that's actually understandable, because optical compression (and reasonably thin DOF) makes for more problems with AF in general. S-AF seemed fine and very snappy, though (there are examples where Chris touches the screen and it snaps into focus right away). I don't want to play down the issues, they do seem real enough, but I'm not entirely sure if they're as bad as they're made out to be in this very special case.

    Anyhow, as much as the camera appeals to me visually, I'm beginning to have my doubts about the merits of the whole package, especially considering the steep asking price. If the new sensor isn't a considerable step forward (in terms of image detail, ISO performance and DR) in RAW(!), I think - in spite of my earlier comments - that the E-M5 II may get the nod in the end as far as I am concerned. In fact, I might actually not belong to the target audience for the PEN-F after all. If it actually turns out to be primarily a hipster toy, it's out - and I have to say that many of Chris's comments clearly hint at that. In that case, I might even wait for the next generation of OM-Ds, the E-M1 II or even an E-M5 III or similar - I'm happy enough with my E-M10 that I don't really *need* a new body.

    Bottom line: A PEN with an EVF should be right up my alley - just no longer sure if it's going to be this one ...

    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    A very well done review. I rarely have patience for a video review over a couple of minutes, but this one kept me engaged and managed to do a balanced job of showing the positive and negative of the camera as well as comparing to the closest competitor (the GX-8).

    The camera is flawed, as we saw. It would be great if Olympus could fix some of the problems they identified with firmware updates (C-AF, touchscreen implementation, customization of front dial, etc). No matter how many firmware updates Panasonic does, the GX-8 will never get smaller.

    As it stands, I'll keep waiting for the next great thing. Maybe the GM6 will have IBIS or the E-PL8 will have an EVF...
    • Like Like x 1
  19. bahamot

    bahamot Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 4, 2015
    Which is good for me. I would hate to loose the grip when using noctricron.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Mattyh

    Mattyh Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 14, 2013
    So Olympus have made a stunning looking camera, nothing new there, ever since the OM1 I have loved the design and build of the brand.

    But to make and sell a camera on looks alone stinks, and could actually harm the brand, if you are serious about photography and know what you are talking about, and you will be spending that amount on a camera, I just can't see you buying it, as the current market has far better offerings out there for the same price or less.

    If you are just buying it for its looks, then I can't fault you, everybody loves bling and beautiful things, myself I would rather buy a G7 and a nice watch.

    From a very relieved GX8 owner