I Keep Coming Back To Olympus PEN E-P5, The Little Sexy Beast

I have a few Olympus cameras at the moment. The old and dying OM-D E-M5, which I have retired from active duty, the two E-M1 (original) bodies strictly for paid assignment and serious work, and an E-M10 Mark II which currently had a faulty screen (due to a nasty fall during a demonstration in one of my workshops). Oh and also an E-P5 which has stayed with me and strangely, of all my flirtations with different cameras over the year (there were Fuji X100, Sony RX100 series, Panasonic GM1, Panasonic LX100, etc) the one that I ended up keeping was the E-P5.

Image was shot with the humble Motorola G5S Plus smartphone. Not too shabby for a budget friendly smartphone camera, eh?

The E-P5 lacked a built in EVF, which I believe, otherwise would have made it a perfect street photography camera. The add on EVF unit made the shape look a little strange, and obviously compromised the overall sexiness of the PEN camera. That aside, the E-P5 had everything that I needed for street shooting: blazing fast AF, 5-Axis IS, tilt screen (with touch AF and shutter), and the 16MP image was good enough under favorable lighting conditions, which I normally shoot in. Why even bother shooting if the light is not good?

I don't really mind if my camera is fugly when I am shooting professionally and need to get the shots done. I prioritize function over aesthetics in circumstances that I need to deliver shots to clients.

However, for personal projects and surely the essential shutter therapy sessions, I want a gorgeous looking camera body that seductively flirts with me every time I look at it. Not brand-bashing or being biased here, just my plain honest opinion, Sony and Panasonic cameras do not have these qualities. I have used many Panasonic and Sony cameras and as functional and high performing as they can be, they never had that "sexy look" or inspiration to pick up now and go out to shoot. Fujifilm nailed this aspect flawlessly. I honestly bought the first X100 just for the looks alone, not so much for the poor sluggish unreliable AF and the mediocre 35mm lens.

Small camera is the way to go for street shooting. I cannot imagine myself shooting with a huge sized camera that look like as if missiles can be launched from the lens opening. Pick something small and beautiful!

Advantage of using a small camera? I can it in a tiny bag, which is so easy to carry around. 

I can fully understand the obsession to get that highest megapixel count, or fastest burst rate, or best high ISO performance. However you are going to use the camera every single day, you are holding it in your hands, you are looking at it all the time. If the camera does not have the shape and design that you like, how can you be using it passionately? Design can inspire confidence, and I sure hope camera manufacturers pay more attention in making beautiful looking products.

 Do you think cameras should be beautiful? Share your thoughts!

18 comments:

  1. Ammm! YES of course. Form and substances are both important. The pen series is nice esp the newer one. I would love to have a new PEN but no shop want to trade-in my E-PM1 ! :-(

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    1. I have never had the chance to use the E-PM1, it is such a cool looking camera! Unfortunately Olympus discontinued the PEN mini series. Would love to see updates to that line.

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    2. Yes. A Pen Mini update will be great. I guess Olympus won't bec the marketing segmentation problem . Although I have an E-M5, the little mini with a small 20mm or 15 mm less follows me more even its dial wheel is loose and the internal battery is dead ( meaning I have to set date every time I switch battery)

      Here is some photo I took with this little fellow https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=12109250%40N03&sort=date-taken-desc&text=e-pm1&view_all=1

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  2. Right. Still can't move on from my E-M10mkI, tiny and well matched to the small 45mm and 20mm.

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    1. What a perfect combo, and super small and lightweight too! Fits into tiny bags easily.

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  3. I still own and use my E-P1. Love the combi with a 14mm 2.5 lumix. Still makes nice pictures even compared to the newer Oly bodies i own.

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    1. I really love the design of E-P1!! Simply love the minimalist and clean look.

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  4. I agree which is why the Pen-F is one of my favourite cameras. That’s your EP5 with an EVF built in.

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    1. PEN-F is what the E-P5 should have been!

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  5. Totally agree. But have you seen the high prices for EP5? What gives?

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    1. So buy it when it is cheap. I got mine at a steal.

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  6. Great article, I enjoy shooting with olympus, especially the film cameras. But seriously, a sexy beast? It's a camera, not a woman.

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    1. You have no idea. I have friends giving their cameras female names. No joke.

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  7. The camera influences you to overlook you're there. Dislike you are stowing away but rather you overlook, you are simply looking to such an extent.

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  8. A bit off-topic, but what is that small camera bag you show in this post? Looks perfect for my OMD ME-5 with pancake and room for an extra lens to the side!

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    1. Hey Steve, there you go: https://robinwong.blogspot.com/2018/01/that-mysterious-tiny-camera-bag-hakuba.html

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    2. Thanks! BTW: LOVE the new blog layout!! You have scored a perfect "10"!!

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