Olympus PEN-F: Taking a look at micro four-thirds
A few weeks ago I took the editor to task about the lack of micro four-thirds coverage on Macfilos and offered to take a look at the scene for the blog. Mike has his feet firmly on the Leica terra firma, as you will have gathered, but he does pop the odd toe or two into the Fuji pond. I believe we should give more attention to the smaller format because it is undoubtedly gaining in popularity and there is a lot of innovation going on. It is now a fully-fledged mini system that deserves attention.
I've had a few MFT cameras in the past and recently picked up a stunning bargain: A Panasonic GX7, now discontinued, but pushed in my direction, complete with the great f/1.7 20mm pancake, at a firesale price. I'll be reporting on that in another article. But what of Olympus?
Back in 2015 I had the chance to spend a day or two with the original OM-D E-M 5 and I really took to it. Since then I've played with the new EM-1 but I sort of fell in love with the lusciously retro PEN-F when I saw it for the first time at the Photography Show in Birmingham. Unfortunately it's a pricey bit of kit at the moment and I decided to hold off until the inevitable discounts start kicking in. The GX7, in the meantime, helps fill the gap.
The PEN-F is as good a place to start as any and I imagined a full Macfilos review. But when I contacted the Olympus press office I was left in no doubt that we are somewhere near the bottom of the pile. We don't expect a test camera any time soon.
While researching I came across a really great review of the new camera by Chis Gampat of The Phoblographer. Like me, Chris has a penchant for Fuji but, as he says,
If you were to make me pick between Fujifilm and Olympus, I’d probably go with Fujifilm–but the Olympus Pen F is the one camera that has so far completely caught my heart this year. Ergonomically speaking and from a design aspect, it is the absolute most beautiful digital camera that anyone has ever created to this point—trumping even what Leica can do.
If you are currently casting lascivious glances in the direct on the PEN, as am I, then this makes a good read and you will come away fully informed on your options.