Olympus PEN-F vs Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

  • Four Thirds
  • 20 megapixels
  • Micro Four Thirds
  • 51
    Overall
  • 21
    Imaging
  • 71
    Features
  • 81
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • Four Thirds
  • 16 megapixels
  • Micro Four Thirds
  • 49
    Overall
  • 20
    Imaging
  • 83
    Features
  • 78
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Olympus PEN-F vs Olympus OM-D E-M5 II: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

The goal of this overview is to provide a detailed comparison of two popular camera models from Semi-Pro Mirrorless category, introduced by Olympus. We are going to take a closer look at the technical and physical characteristics, features, and performance. The models we are going to assess and compare in this review are PEN-F and OM-D E-M5 II. Both products that we are going to review are equipped with the same type of sensor - CMOS. However, they have different resolution. Thus, Olympus PEN-F comes with a 20.0 MP CMOS sensor, while the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II features a 16.0 MP CMOS sensor.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Olympus PEN-F and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II.

Olympus PEN-F Key Features:

  • 20.0 MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200 - 25600 (Expands to 80)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 10.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 125 x 72 x 37 mm
  • Weight: 427 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: No

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Key Features:

  • 16.0 MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200 - 25600 (Expands to 100)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 10.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 640 x 480 (30p)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 124 x 85 x 45 mm
  • Weight: 469 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Olympus E-M5.

Why is Olympus PEN-F a better choice than Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

Sensor Resolution 20.0 MP vs 16.0 MP 20% more pixels
Battery Life 330 shots vs 310 shots 20 more frames with a single charge
Weight 427 g vs 469 g 42 g lighter
Dxo Color Depth 23.1 vs 23 Better color depth

What are the key reasons to pick Olympus OM-D E-M5 II over Olympus PEN-F

Max Shutter Speed 1/16000 vs 1/8000 Faster shutter speed
Environmental Sealing Yes vs No Shoot at tough conditions
Microphone Port Yes vs No High quality audio recording option
Dxo Low Light Iso 896 vs 894 Better High ISO performance
Viewfinder Magnification 0.74 vs 0.62 0.12 better magnification

Key PROs of Olympus PEN-F and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

Touch Screen Yes | Yes Easy control of camera functions
Screen Size 3″ | 3″ Large display
Screen Resolution 1,037k dots | 1,037k dots High resolution screen
Screen Type Fully Articulated | Fully Articulated Help viewing and changing settings easily
Viewfinder Electronic | Electronic Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes | Yes Very handy for portraits
Timelapse Recording Yes | Yes Creative shooting
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Continuous Shooting 10.0 fps | 10.0 fps Nice continuous shooting
Image Stabilization Yes | Yes Built-in stabilization
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync

Key CONs of Olympus PEN-F and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

Sensor Resolution 20.0 MP | 16.0 MP Small sensor resolution
Headphone Port No | No No headphone port
Built-In Flash No | No No built-in flash

Olympus PEN-F vs Olympus OM-D E-M5 II: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Olympus PEN-F and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II from the front view.

Olympus PEN-F
Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Olympus PEN-F
Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Olympus PEN-F is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 42g less than the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Battery values for Semi-Pro Mirrorless cameras:
Olympus PEN-F — 330 shots
Olympus OM-D E-M5 II — 310 shots
Min: 250 shots
Average: 348 shots
Max: 540 shots
Thickness values for Semi-Pro Mirrorless cameras:
Olympus PEN-F — 37 mm
Olympus OM-D E-M5 II — 45 mm
Min: 33 mm
Average: 54 mm
Max: 93 mm
Weight values for Semi-Pro Mirrorless cameras:
Olympus PEN-F — 427 g
Olympus OM-D E-M5 II — 469 g
Min: 140 g
Average: 437 g
Max: 625 g

Comparing Olympus PEN-F and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Olympus PEN-F and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Olympus PEN-F features a 20.0 MP Four Thirds sized CMOS sensor and boasts of a TruePic VII processor . Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, in its turn, comes with a 16.0 MP Four Thirds sized CMOS sensor and TruePic VII processor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Olympus PEN-F and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II by the size of their sensors.

Olympus PEN-F
Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
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Olympus PEN-F and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Olympus PEN-F and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Olympus PEN-F and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Olympus PEN-F Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
Portrait Photography
73%
70%
Street Photography
100%
100%
Sports Photography
89%
94%
Daily Photography
73%
93%
Landscape Photography
80%
85%

Olympus PEN-F for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/16000s)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Olympus PEN-F for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Four Thirds(17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (125 x 72 x 37 mm)

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Four Thirds(17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (124 x 85 x 45 mm)

Olympus PEN-F for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (81)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (10.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (894)
  • Small battery life (330 shots)

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/16000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (81)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (10.0 fps)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (896)
  • Small battery life (310 shots)

Olympus PEN-F for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Big weight (427 g)
  • No Built-in Flash

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Big weight (469 g)
  • Big size (124 x 85 x 45 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Olympus PEN-F for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Good Dynamic Range (12.4)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (20 MP)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (894)

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Good Dynamic Range (12.4)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (16 MP)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (896)

Comparison of Olympus PEN-F vs Olympus OM-D E-M5 II: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Olympus PEN-F or Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Olympus PEN-F and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Olympus PEN-F deserves a higher Total Score than the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Olympus PEN-F vs Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Olympus PEN-F Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
General
Brand Olympus Olympus
Model PEN-F OM-D E-M5 II
Announced Jan 27, 2016 Feb 06, 2015
Body Type Rangefinder-style mirrorless SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size Four Thirds Four Thirds
Sensor Dimensions 17.3 x 13 mm 17.3 x 13 mm
Sensor Area 224.90 mm2 224.90 mm2
Sensor Resolution 20.0 MP 16.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 4608 x 3456
Max Native ISO 25,600 25,600
Max Boosted ISO n/a n/a
Min Native ISO 200 200
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds Micro Four Thirds
Number of Lenses 94 94
Focal Length Multiplier 2x 2x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch Yes Yes
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection No No
Number of Focus Points 81 81
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fully Articulated Fully Articulated
Screen Size 3″ 3″
Screen Resolution 1,037k dots 1,037k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen Yes Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Electronic Electronic
ViewFinder Resolution 2,360k dots 2,360k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.62 0.74
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 60 s 60 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s 1/16000 s
Continuous Shooting 10.0 fps 10.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization Yes Yes
Built-in Flash No No
Flash Range 0 0
Flash Modes Flash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (2nd curtain) Auto, redeye, fill, redeye slow sync, slow sync, 2nd-curtain slow sync, manual
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing Yes Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No No
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted No Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 74 73
DxO Color Depth 23.1 23.0
DxO Dynamic Range 12.4 12.4
DxO Low Light ISO 894 896
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p) 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 640 x 480 (30p)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080
Video Formats MPEG-4, H.264, Motion JPEG MPEG-4, H.264, Motion JPEG
Microphone Port No Yes
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 427 g 469 g
Physical Dimensions 125 x 72 x 37 mm 124 x 85 x 45 mm
Battery Life 330 shots 310 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model BLN-1 BLN-1
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage Slots 1 1

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