The last month was a busy one for the industry, and so the internet forae are full of discussions about all of these new cameras, especially the ones which have a 24x36mm sensor, a size which used to be called Kleinbild but which is now referred to as full-frame.
Some of these cameras are smaller than digital full frame cameras used to be, and some look nostalgic. But none of them could be as bare-bones, stylish and just perfect like this one:
Well, except of course her older sister which was called OM-1N, a fully mechanical and manual camera which needs a battery only for the built-in meter which it already had.
These are, compared to today’s digital ones, truly small and sleek cameras. Ok, an Olympus E-PL5 is even smaller, but if you add a VF-2 viewfinder and a lens with a comparable angle of view and aperture, the size advantage is gone. See them side by side:
Olympus OM-2N and E-PL5
That PL5 is by far my most used camera, and the 25mm Panasonic Leica lens you see here is also my most used lens. My walkaround combo if you like terms like that. But every once in a while I put a roll of film into the OM and enjoy it even more to deal with pure photography at its best.
I can’t say much about all of these newer cameras, because I haven’t handled and tried them yet. But what comes closest to the design of my OM camera are the ones from Fuji, because they also have aperture rings on their lenses, and just the controls you need, almost without any fluff. The ones I’d probably like of these new full framers are the ones from Sony, because of their electronic viewfinders and their focus peaking. But then again, full frame is much overrated in my opinion (trust me – I have a full framer as you can see), and the newer Olympus µ43rds cameras with two wheels and with their outstanding in-body stabilization are also really cool.
Who knows? And who cares? The ones I have and which you see here (including the DSLR which took the second picture) are just right. All work perfectly, and what more could I ask? I consider it a great luxury that I have three perfect cameras, even if I use that “Pen” for about 90% of what I do (since I have the three prime lenses I need), the DSLR for maybe 9% (close-ups, portraits), and the old film camera only occasionally. Oh, and I can use those OM film lenses on the digital cameras of course. Again, the µ43rds one with its electronic viewfinder makes that easier then the optical finder in the DSLR.
So, as tempting as these new cameras might seem: are you sure that you don’t already have what you need?
Thanks for reading.
P.S.: don’t listen to what I tell you, because I can only talk (or write) for myself. Don got that one right.
P.P.S.: Steve McCurry also gets it right. Cameras don’t matter. “The proof is the final print“.
And finally, an update from the next morning:
I know I know – the title said something about new cameras, and the newest I/we have is almost a year old now since its release (the oldest I show is about the age of my wife – psst). So to come back to these mentioned new (some just announced) cameras you might want or need, just read a summary of personal opinions on them from Steve Huff. He’s a heavy promoter with all his links (which will give him pennies but won’t cost you anything), but still he is one of the very few – and honest – people who had the chance to even try most of them already. So yes, for gear acquisition (and also for some very good photos he’s able to take), (t)his is probably the site to visit.