... blog post:
I am conflicted. I have an intense desire to own some super new technology for some strong rational reasons but whose form factor, packaging if you like, I dislike intensely...
It will come as no surprise that the whizzy technology I am talking about is that to be found in the newly announced OMS Olympus OM-1 camera. As long time user and big fan of the micro four thirds (MFT) system format in general and Olympus cameras in particular, I have been looking forward to this big re-launch of the format by OMS and they have not disappointed in terms of the tech in the their new OM-1 as the likes of Tesni Ward testified at the launch event yesterday.
I am not going to bore you by regurgitating the long list of new capabilities of the OM-1, there are many, many other bloggers and vloggers out there doing this to death right now and you watch the promo video below if you are into such things:
Rather I am going to explain the source of my conflict and why, whilst I hate the physical design of the camera, I will buy one anyway.
I am conflicted because of the fact that I have for time immemorial used rangefinder form cameras, culminating in the lovely Olympus Pen-F which I continue to use to this day. For me, the viewfinder eyepiece belongs on the far left of the camera, not toward the middle in some pseudo-pentaprism hump left over from the SLR days just to please the traditionalists and those particularly in the American market.
This causes you to have turn your head into the camera to get your eye into the eyepiece and squashes your nose into screen on the camera back. Yuk. In the Pen-F the camera is held firm to the right away from your face and you look directly through the EVF straight on, in a comfortable and natural position just as you do in a traditional rangefinder camera..
Additionally, there is a dedicated exposure compensation dial on RHS of the Pen-F which you use without the need to press any activation buttons first and then use a counter intuitive general purpose control dial. Also the shutter release button is designed for a screw in manual cable release which allow you to fit a accessory soft release. The Pen-F controls are all typically rangefinder camera centric just the way I, and indeed many others like me, prefer them.
For me the ergonomics and haptics of the Pen-F are much superior for my genre of walkabout and snapshot style of photography than the psuedo-SLR style which is probably optimal for action and nature work using long lenses and fast zooms.
So why have I actually pre-ordered the new OM-1? Well, quite simply this new camera needs to be a big success for OM Systems. It needs to sell well for them, and for their supporting investment company, to ensure they continue with the business and hence with the further development of the system. Thus I need to support them in this by buying this camera from them and it's just full of super good new stuff:
Then, in the fullness of time I might just get the Pen-F II or Pen-F Pro or however they choose to brand it and then away will go my new OM-1 in trade for it. Until then I have a learning curve to get through. Mind you, you never know, I might get to like it.