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2016.09.29

 

DxOMark released today their score for the latest Olympus PEN flagship. The Olympus PEN-F is the top-of-the-line model among compact mirrorless digital cameras from Olympus. It is the only one in the series with a built-in electronic viewfinder and offers the highest resolution digital camera from Olympus, matching the excellent Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 reviewed here.

Olympus PEN-F

The PEN-F boasts a state-of-the-art 5-axis image-stabilization which is effective to 5 stops according the the CIPA standard. Its 2.4 megapixels EVF is moderately-sized at 0.62X magnification. The only reason this is a PEN rather than Professional OM-D is that its body is neither weatherproof nor freezeproof.

DxOMark gave the Olympus PEN-F sensor an overall score of 74, the second highest of any Four-Thirds sensor, just one point shy of the GX8 which has the same resolution, sensor-size and therefore pixel-size. The only sensor difference between these two is that the PEN F does not use an anti-alias filter which lets it produce sharper images but may make noise very slightly more obvious.

The 74 score is achieved with a dynamic-range of 12.4 EV which ties it in fifth place with a number of other Olympus Micro Four-Thirds cameras. It scores in fourth place for  high-ISO noise at 894. As for bit-depth, the PEN F manages third-place just behind the Panasonic GX8 and GH4 at 23.1 bits-per-color. Those are all good numbers, although they show that no significant advancement has been achieved since the introduction of the OM-D E-M4 over 4 years ago.

Those interested in the compactness of the Micro Four-Thirds system should be happy that, despite a 25% increase in resolution, image-quality is extremely well maintained. Other systems have often failed to do so, as seen with the Pentax K-5 IIs / K-5 II which were succeeded by the K-3 with 50% more resolution and noticeably lower image-quality, although not by much.

Among all digital cameras, DxO Scores still show that sensor-size is king. There are 16 APS-C mirrorless which score higher than the PEN-F. The Sony Alpha A6300 reaches an outstanding score of 85 with its predecessors not far behind. Seven full-frame mirrorless score even higher with a top-score of 98 for the Sony Alpha A7R II. Still technology has considerably advanced over the years with the full-frame Canon EOS 1D Mark II introduced in 2009 score a 74 like the PEN-F.

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