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CSC : Digital Compact System Cameras - This new category of digital Compact System Cameras with interchangeable lenses was mislabeled for a time as "Mirrorless Cameras" by those forgetting about "Mirrorless" Rangefinder cameras.  Such confusion is easily understandable, since interchangeable rangefinder cameras were only recently introduced in 1932.  hmm.    CSC or Compact System Camera is probably the best category description to date, although I am fond of the old RFF desigation of  CEVIL  indicating Compact Electronic Viewfidner Interchangeable Lens.   This forum is here at RFF because via adapters these cameras offer an inexpensive way to use rangefinder lenses on digital cameras -- in addition of just about every 35mm SLR lens you can think of.  All  offer the photo enthusiast an incredible array of adopted lenses which was not possible before these new digital formats.   This group continues to grow in popularity and new camera models! 

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Opinions of the Oly pen f?... FYI Purchased XT2
Old 08-04-2017   #1
danielsterno
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Opinions of the Oly pen f?... FYI Purchased XT2

While I am a x100 orig (happy user), I am looking to upgrade- Ive tried xPro 2 and x100f and disliked the SS/ISO combined dial, a lot while I can make it work I shot with the XT2 and willing to give up the OVF for the separate dials and TBH I shoot mostly in EVF mode on my x100. A friend is a big Oly fan and I am thinking of renting a Oly Pen-F. Your Thoughts please? All boxes are checked for me being interchangeable lens, articulating rear screen & touch I think, while not critical it would be cool to have? I hear good things re Only lens, Pen-f form factor works. I am almost trying to not try it because of the Micro 4/3. How is it in low light and AF? Last, I will use it for street/restaurant/close quarter docu style shooting....

Thank You in advance, important decision.
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Old 08-05-2017   #2
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I don't own it, but I have friends that do. AF is super fast... m43 is great in this respect (even in low light). High ISO will be a stop or two lower than what you are used to with APSC (even the X100). You are looking at 1600 max really. Also remember the 4:3 aspect ratio... compared to the 2:3 of the Fuji. I find this format annoying.
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Old 08-05-2017   #3
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I don't own a Pen F either but I've owned several Olympus 4/3 and M4/3 cameras over the years. I have two gripes with Olympus--the longwinded menus and the 4:3 format. The menus you can learn and then ignore. The format is difficult for me. I currently use an OMD E-M1, mainly for the ability to use adapted Olympus standard 4/3 lenses and get good AF function. Fortunately, the OMD lets you shoot in 3:2 format and Lightroom will read the cropping for the JPEG and the Raw files. The Pen F probably does the same, if you don't like 4:3 format. Still, cropping the M4/3 format introduces even more limitations to the already size-limited format.

In general, I like Olympus and the Micro 4/3 system for their better quality lenses and I like the way Olympus does color. The format has limitations. I prefer APS-C but accept M4/3 with reservations.

You mentioned trying some Fuji models but didn't get on with them for one reason or another. I'll toss out an alternative to the Olympus Pen F if you want to give it a try. Look at the Fuji X-E2S, a design somewhat along the lines of the Pen F. It's also a solid camera with excellent function. The X-E2S (or it's soon-to-be-introduced replacement) might be just what you're looking for. Or not. Camera preference is highly subjective.
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Old 08-08-2017   #4
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Dogman/jsrockit:
Thank you both.... stopped in a photo store, while the Pen-f seems like a decent alternative to fuji 100f for lens options and I could live with the B&W for street/docu camera, I did hate the menu system more than I dislike the ISO/SS dial on the 100f which I can live with- my last consideration is XT2 w the 27mm for everyday or just pull trigger on x100f- I am over thinking it but of course its important.... Thanks!
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Old 08-08-2017   #5
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For all that they pretty much kicked off the retro-digital craze with the E-P1, Olympus don't seem to know how put their dials to good use. They really need to kidnap a few Fuji designers and engineers.
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Old 08-09-2017   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsterno View Post
Dogman/jsrockit:
Thank you both.... stopped in a photo store, while the Pen-f seems like a decent alternative to fuji 100f for lens options and I could live with the B&W for street/docu camera, I did hate the menu system more than I dislike the ISO/SS dial on the 100f which I can live with- my last consideration is XT2 w the 27mm for everyday or just pull trigger on x100f- I am over thinking it but of course its important.... Thanks!
I understand completely about the menus... I use the X-T2 and the X100F and certainly prefer the X-T2 (though I prefer the X-Pro2 to both). Think about the X-T20 and 27mm as well.
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Old 08-10-2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
I understand completely about the menus... I use the X-T2 and the X100F and certainly prefer the X-T2 (though I prefer the X-Pro2 to both). Think about the X-T20 and 27mm as well.
jsrockit:Thank you, FYI this is harder and becoming more confusing than I would like and though it is important to me(all of us) maybe its 2 things: Im over thinking it AND trying to keep it simple from a purity stand point versus lugging around lens etc- I try to keep it simple and confidential which makes this all a little trickier: I am in a manual wheelchair on the street/etc; I mention this from logistical stand point/not pity of course for its actually an advantage at times for I can get access to social situations in a chair that most can not but that another thought over a beer!. Up to now I try to keep it simple and its worked: x100 is my only digital and make it work(despite the x100's warts-i enjoy the Perfection of its Imperfection) and I have M5/M6 for film. I've rented x100f/XT2/XP2 and Leica Q since last December- The Q is a little ver kill on cost and 28mm was not a one lens for all for me though I was making it work... am re-evaluating the XT versus just moving up to the 100f. XT2 for obvious lens options & use M glass but I am concerned I am making it complicated versus- do it all with x100f.... I know I am not alone in trying to keep it pure- love to here your thoughts.... thanks in advance
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Old 08-10-2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsterno View Post
jsrockit:Thank you, FYI this is harder and becoming more confusing than I would like and though it is important to me(all of us) maybe its 2 things: Im over thinking it AND trying to keep it simple from a purity stand point versus lugging around lens etc- I try to keep it simple and confidential which makes this all a little trickier: I am in a manual wheelchair on the street/etc; I mention this from logistical stand point/not pity of course for its actually an advantage at times for I can get access to social situations in a chair that most can not but that another thought over a beer!.
You're welcome. I can see how your situation could be used to your advantage. What, if anything, makes you want to change from the X100? Articulating rear screen & touch? It might not be a bad idea to just going with the X100F if you don't have too many gripes.
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Old 08-10-2017   #9
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For simplicity, hard to beat the X100 series.

If lens interchangeability is a requirement, the X-T2 certainly is a great choice. But don't forget that you can get 50mm and 28mm (equivalent) conversion lenses for the X100F (and others in the X100 series). Those conversion lenses have pretty amazing optical quality so you really don't give up much compared to traditional interchangeable lenses. Mainly, the conversion lenses add bulk--especially the 50mm equivalent lens.
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Old 08-10-2017   #10
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I own a Pen F but don't use it a lot. The sensor is by far the best in the m43 world, the Oly image stabilization is amazing, and focus is very fast (at least on some lenses).

The Oly menu system is dreadful. Every time they have a major update of firmware it resets the menus back to default, which means I have to spend two hours googling to figure out how to get my preferred settings back.

So, a very mixed bag. I bought an X100F and absolutely love it. The Oly has been idle since then.

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Old 08-11-2017   #11
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I was on the fence to buy the Pen F...a small solid beautiful camera with excellent image quality.

But when I was shown the various menus etc I decided it was not for me... I love simplicity!
But I have a good friend who bought and uses it without problems with excellent results without navigating much into the menu system... just shooting RAW and post processing them in LR later...

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Old 08-17-2017   #12
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All/ Robert Blu-KEH-Doman-jsrockit-ruby monkey

Thank you! Much appreciate the insight!.... ordered a XT2 with the 27 2.8 and 23 2.0 with fuji's M adapter/little pricey.- I was going back and forth between the x100f and the xt20, thus decided on the XT2- I was fortunate to receive a Grant/Stipend on my shadow series/Your Other Self, thus it will almost cover the cost... should have it tomorrow-looking forward to it. Daniel....
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Old 08-17-2017   #13
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I think your best option may be the Fuji XT-20. It has the same sensor as the XT2 and is half the cost. It also has about 90% of the features of the XT2. I haven't pulled the trigger on one yet but I am considering it. I want to upgrade from the sensor in the XT1.
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Old 08-17-2017   #14
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I have the Pen. It is a fantastic camera with a great sensor, a plethora of great optics, both Olympus and Panasonic. As for the menu system, nothing is perfect. I wouldn't discount it for that.
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Old 08-18-2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric T View Post
I think your best option may be the Fuji XT-20. It has the same sensor as the XT2 and is half the cost. It also has about 90% of the features of the XT2. I haven't pulled the trigger on one yet but I am considering it. I want to upgrade from the sensor in the XT1.
XT20 was someting I looked at; touch screen was tempting/ though I opted for XT2 for better or worse- I did like the XT2 ergonomics with dedicated ISO dial versus XT20 having to rely on either a front dial(which can't work if I have a 27mm pancake lens without aperture on lens, not sure how that would work?), or going into a menu and I am a one digital camera versus many people have x100f AND XT2 or XT20 etc.... thus I try to keep it simple with one camera and for now the XT2 is it- last, I'm familiar with menu system versus learning the Olympus system.... my only slight buyers remorse being I do have a K.I.S.S. philosophy on cameras, I could of upgraded from the x100 to x100f BUT I did dislike the SS/ISO combined dial- could of it worked? YES. Worse case if the XT2 is totally not a fit- Ill swap the XT2 for the 100f but I do not anticipate that happening
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Old 08-18-2017   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsterno View Post
jsrockit:Thank you, FYI this is harder and becoming more confusing than I would like and though it is important to me(all of us) maybe its 2 things: Im over thinking it AND trying to keep it simple from a purity stand point versus lugging around lens etc- I try to keep it simple and confidential which makes this all a little trickier: I am in a manual wheelchair on the street/etc; I mention this from logistical stand point/not pity of course for its actually an advantage at times for I can get access to social situations in a chair that most can not but that another thought over a beer!. Up to now I try to keep it simple and its worked: x100 is my only digital and make it work(despite the x100's warts-i enjoy the Perfection of its Imperfection) and I have M5/M6 for film. I've rented x100f/XT2/XP2 and Leica Q since last December- The Q is a little ver kill on cost and 28mm was not a one lens for all for me though I was making it work... am re-evaluating the XT versus just moving up to the 100f. XT2 for obvious lens options & use M glass but I am concerned I am making it complicated versus- do it all with x100f.... I know I am not alone in trying to keep it pure- love to here your thoughts.... thanks in advance
Sorry, I'm no John, but I like to think over beer on Friday or on every other day.

I do use Leica and FSU film cameras for film and I also do like to keep it very simple on digital, but slightly above iPhone. What I found is my ex Panasonic P&S with fast and stabilized Leica normal zoom in it as very small digital P&S was great. Full auto never fooled me and was spot on most the time. The only disadvantage was its little size and I finally lost it for good. Few weeks later it was replaced with small Canon 16MP P&S with optical VF matching its zoom and I paid for it 20 CAD. Which is nine cans of imported beer on discounted price where I'm... thinking.
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Old 08-19-2017   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsterno View Post
All/ Robert Blu-KEH-Doman-jsrockit-ruby monkey

Thank you! Much appreciate the insight!.... ordered a XT2 with the 27 2.8 and 23 2.0 with fuji's M adapter/little pricey.- I was going back and forth between the x100f and the xt20, thus decided on the XT2- I was fortunate to receive a Grant/Stipend on my shadow series/Your Other Self, thus it will almost cover the cost... should have it tomorrow-looking forward to it. Daniel....
For future reference - I just updated the Pen F software for installing firmware updates (version 2 of Olympus Digital Camera Updater). After updating my Pen F to the latest firmware (v 2.1), the Updater software now has a convenient function for saving all your camera settings to your computer. For future firmware updates it apparently will do this automatically, as well as restoring your settings automatically.

So it is finally possible to 'set it and forget it' - you still have to figure out the menu system the first time (with help from the internet), but after that the software will save all your settings for you and re-install them after a firmware update.

In conclusion - a great little camera that is finally almost user friendly.

Kirk
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Old 12-07-2018   #18
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I've got a new Pen F and have been starting to acclimatize to it. Picture quality is great, and the physical controls on the camera are great. The EVF is the best I've ever used. The colors are natural and the illumination seems natural. All my other digital cameras are Canon, and a few of them have EVFs. The Oly beats them and it isn't even close. The menus are awful, especially coming from the Canon world, but luckily you don't need to use them very often. I have a 'kit' level pancake zoom and a 'normal' prime, both Oly. The zoom operates electronically and I don't like it. It's slow and imprecise, though it does produce nice results. The prime is nice, and stays on the camera mostly. Although it is mostly made of metal, somehow it doesn't feel as robust as I think it should. On the whole I think it is a good camera, but it could use some improvement none-the-less.


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Old 12-07-2019   #19
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Don’t know how I missed this thread. I’ve had an Oly Pen F for a couple of years - upgraded from the Pen EP-5. I also had a Fuji X100T, but sold it bc of the miserable AF. The Pen F has superfast AF, excellent image quality, and I’ve learned to live with the quirky controls. A Pen F with the 17/1.8 and 45/1.8 native lenses makes a compact high quality travel kit. I used this set-up along with an M2 (for bw film) in France n 2018 and the combo served very well.

Now that I’ve got a Leica ME 240, I will probably be using the Pen F less, but I don’t intend to part with it. With its compact size, blazing AF, and excellent Zuiko optics it will probably contimue to have a place in my bag.

There’s a photographer on Instagram who posts a lot of nice bw photos with a Pen F, his screen name is Pen F Mono. Check him out.
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Old 12-07-2019   #20
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Quote:
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There’s a photographer on Instagram who posts a lot of nice bw photos with a Pen F, his screen name is Pen F Mono. Check him out.
Small world. I met @pen_f_mono (with the underscores) earlier this summer at a Beer & Cameras event in San Diego. My friend and I were in town for a wedding, and it happened to be on a meet-up week. @pen_f_mono is a super nice guy, and a very good photographer.

Here are a few photos he took at the event. My M5 and FM2n are on the left, and my friend's M7 is on the right.
https://www.instagram.com/p/ByJ6QLOnzAg/
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Old 12-08-2019   #21
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Sorry, I'm no John, but I like to think over beer on Friday or on every other day.
I'm no Ko.Fe, but I like beer too...
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Old 12-08-2019   #22
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I went to local exhibition in November where they have all of the latest mirrorless. Z, R, Pro 3.
But I was most impressed with Pen F and thier MF/AF lenses.
Most not impressed, Pro 3, huge camera for its sensor size without IBIS and OvF with its frames fells like cheap glass.
But non of the modern EVF are for my street photography. They are for stand still photogs. Panning with any of those modern EVF is still failure of underperformance.
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Old 12-08-2019   #23
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While I love the simplicity of my Leica CL, I still find it hard to let go of my Olympus E-M1 and it's because of the extraordinary versatility that the complex menu system and all of its implied configurability afford. The Pen F model is similar.

Olympus makes some superb lenses, most of their cameras are outstanding, and image processing with their raw files is a piece of cake unlike with some other camera sensors. The 4:3 format is actually one of the things I prefer about the system ... 3:2 always seems a bit too oblong to my eye.

But then I'm a square kinda guy.

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Old 12-08-2019   #24
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I've owned a Pen-F for awhile, nice camera. Curious that I have to press a button to get a depth of field preview, but I wasn't seeing any other way to do that. Compact zoom lenses for M43 have been a lot better than expected: Both Panasonic 12-32mm and Olympus 14-48EZ are decent performers and the combo can be squeezed into a jacket pocket.
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