I didn’t think that a camera could ever be this much fun to use. When it was announced a few years back I remember thinking to myself “that’s a beautiful looking camera” but there was no way on earth that I could afford to buy one. Well, not that long ago, I found a mint condition one secondhand for a fraction of the original selling price and I decided to take the plunge.
I’m delighted that I did, apart from its retro 1960’s rangefinder styling, which of course I love, under the hood lies a very modern 21st century, fully-featured, 20MP camera which has every feature that I’m ever likely to require. But the point is that it goes much further than that, this camera makes me feel good using it. I don’t really know how to describe it but it gives me a feeling which I can only acquaint with the feeling that I used to have when using my first Olympus 35mm film cameras. When fitted with a small fast lightweight lens it’s a joy to use, the combination feels very well-balanced and natural in one’s hand with all the frequently-used controls at one’s finger tips. It’s the antithesis of a mobile phone camera. 🙂
The creative dial on the front which allows one to quickly switch between various, default or user-customisable colour and monochrome profiles as well as easily accessible highlight/mid tone/shadow control dial are fabulous creative features. It’s a bit like having a film camera with say Tri-X and Kodachrome or suchlike both readily accessible at the flick of a switch. If one shoots in super-fine JPEG and RAW then one has the best of both worlds, colour RAW and whichever profile that one has selected applied to the JPEG, it’s a win-win scenario. It’s nice to be able to create, save and upload one’s own profiles, something that I’m definitely going to be looking into more.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy using my OM-D cameras which have and will continue to serve me faithfully, they’re excellent cameras, but the PEN-F is something special. Using it is extra-specially enjoyable and when I’m having fun I’m much more likely to feel creative. I guess, maybe, at the end of the day, it’s just as simple as that.