Beautiful unknown Pen F

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Doug Janis Regular Member • Posts: 483
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F

UppercanadianAcadian wrote:

Doug Janis wrote:

VideoPic wrote:

Doug Janis wrote:

UppercanadianAcadian wrote:

Doug Janis wrote:

Wigelii wrote:

I experienced once more some excited reactions to the Pen F, last Sunday.

It is not the first time that this happens but this time it was extreme.

I was a whole day making pictures at a classical music event in a big and very busy cultural centre in Antwerp, using an em1 II and 2 PenF (1 silver, 1 black) and during the day a lot of people approached me to ask questions about the Pen F.

Some thought it was analog, a lot of them thought that it was something from Fujifilm, but everybody was raving about how beautiful the Pen Fs are.

When I told them that it were Olympus camera's, as always, they were all surprised and/or only vaguely knew Olympus.

This shows 2 things:

1. Fujifilm does a great job branding their camera's. When I first saw the Pen F, it was clear to me that this should be heavily marketed as a "must have" luxury item. Unfortunately Olympus never did.

2. Olympus shouldn't abandon the Pen F but reintroduce an updated, even more beautiful and design oriented, version

By the way, I use the Pen Fs very intensely (together with 2 em1s and a em10) because I do lots of theatre, classical music and wedding photography, and they are very reliable work horses, something you would not expect from such beauties.

The PEN-F was heavily reviewed. It's design piqued a LOT of interest from photography media.

It had 2 knocks against it:

1) The price was too high for the specs. The trendy, hipster (see the video ad and the packaging with its own Dolce & Gabbanna model printed on the box) marketing didn't help. It didn't look like a step up from the EPL/M-series and didn't look like a rangefinder alternative to the OM series entirely. The grip helped with the Pro/2.8 glass...they got that part right, but the lack of any grip made it not so comfortable to hold for the price. And no weather sealing and a lacklustre EVF. Not a real value camera.

2) The JPEG-centric color dial and Art and Scn filters came across as a feeble attempt to replace post-processing on third party devices. In doing so it alienated the same buyers at a price point who are RAW shooters almost exclusively. The overall design screamed "traditional rangefinder" or "street", while the software and color wheel yelled back "consumer grade".

Once again, I must admit I completely do not understand this anti art filter and anti colour dial mentality.
When the pen-f came out, there were so many people making negative comments (of varying intensity) regarding these things, that I actually thought:

‘good lord. Did Olympus disable the ability to shoot in raw if you use the front colour dial of the pen-f??????’

I actually asked that question on these forums, and was obviously told that of course you can shoot raw AND jpeg/art filter/colour dial.

The color dial was Japan Inc. trying to do in-camera, on a tiny, low res rear screen, what everyone does with a free app on a mobileOS device...and the latter does it 10x better and can share instantaneously.

Yes you can reconfigure, but the whole concept and labelling is Olympus practically begging you NOT to use your smartphone. It didn't work, was a waste of resources, confused the market, looked cheap (RAW snobbery), and came across as an unfocused (sic) design and marketing effort.

Most reviewers agreed.

Art filters etc. are a throwback to the pre-mobileOS days. They are essentially crappy apps resting on the already substandard camera OS, using resources better applied elsewhere.

Doug really...when I see this one dimensional reasoning it just drives me crazy....

Then again we see this type of thinking so often - example, the water pipe in the kitchen get a leak and spray water all over the kitchen. One person will focus on the pipe and will start a loosing battle with the pipe in an effort to stop the water. The other person will go outside and close the tap....

I agree to battle with the camera screen is a loosing battle. The good news is the previous Olympus editing software and today the way better or improved Workspace is the best place to go develop, test and fine tune your own unique color profiles. Workspace also enables the multi dimensional thinker to build an own library or even share profiles with others.....

So yes stepping out the kitchen will change your world and view of the Pen F....

For every 1 PC/Mac there are 7 mobileOS devices.

They account for the staggering majority of posted and generated images in the world.

If it's not mobileOS, it's not advancing dedicated camera sales. The desktop and even laptop "computer" metaphor is mostly dead.

As I said, the JPEG editing software on the phone is a lousy app sitting clunkily on a terrible device OS using an awful screen to attempt editing.

Editing on- or -in-camera is a dud process from the get-go. It's far less convenient, accessible, and qualitative than on dedicated computing and networked platforms. The ubiquity of mobileOS is where the market resides for capture, editing, and networking images. Dedicated optical cameras now only have a tiny fraction of the capture part of that equation. They suck at the editing part and are as bad at networking. The sole goal of all optical camera makers should be to get RAW or JPEG off, and onto a dedicated computing device for editing and sharing, mobileOS as capable and prioritized as PC/Mac.

The PEN-F and E-PL ads were ridiculous as they pretended there wasn't even a networked much less smartphone world. Olympus advertising was already 10 years dated when the PEN-F was released and sadly, that marketing made its way into design.

And the PEN-F was cancelled. Compromises and costs cilled it.

I’m not trying to be combative (seriously), but I honestly don’t see how shooting in raw and jpeg with art filters applied (I usually bracket several of them) in camera is as you say, a dud process from the get go. Not how it is less convenient (???), accessible (???), and qualitative (I don’t understand what this word means in the context at all).

i take bracketed pics for instance, and whatever art filters and neutral, vivid whatever are applied instantly. If I want to get exact specific changes, I edit my raw files in the computer

i don’t understand how taking a ‘neutral’ (or vivid whatever) pic in camera then importing to my phone, then opening up the Olympus palette, then applying the art filter is in anyway quicker (or whatever adjective) than just importing the already applied art filter from the camera.

unless I’m missing something here

maybe you are saying the camera back is too low resolution to really see if it is a good pic, but the phone is????

Or are you saying that the transfer from the camera to the phone is klunky? I agree there. Cameras should have their own operating system that uses cellular and wifi to transmit to emails, messages, apps etc. I remember Samsung had an APSC camera lineup several years ago that attempted this, but nobody has moved on that since!

The in-camera filters and post-processing are almost impossible to control qualitatively using the software and controls on the back of a camera, not to mention the poor rear screen compared to, say a Retina device. Also, the camera OS filters are limited compared to mobileOS options.

In-camera editing software is a throwback. But because it's a sunk cost tech, Olympus tried to claw but some usability and marketing from their development by fore fronting them in the PEN-F. They simply don't compete agains many free apps on mobileOSs. So buying a $1200 camera and then having the manufacturer push—in hardwired engineering by a front dial no less—what is effectively an image editing app that cannot compete against something from a smartphone app store, is design overkill and market miscalculation.

Those resources could have been applied elsewhere for far greater capture options or networking effect, like PDAF or Bluetooth. Yes, the Samsung NX was far ahead of its time. They "got" that the off-camera app and networking were the future, but Japan Inc. still doesn't get it.

Let me put it this way: There should be a dedicated, hardwired network button on an Olympus that sends the viewed image straight to mobileOS in RAW and/or JPEG. It should be click/send repeat, or even an automatic transfer.

The dominant viewing AND editing platform is, and will now forever be, mobileOS with the option of PC/Mac. It will never be the camera itself.

There persistent problem with the industry now is they STILL see their cameras as competitors to smartphones. Nope. Optical image making cameras are subservient.

If you've done tethered shooting you'll know exactly what I mean. Right now image transfer to mobileOS is still in the dial-up modem stage compared to the ethernet phase of tethering. There is far too much friction to get images onto mobileOS from almost any camera. This is major reason why the market is declining.

 Doug Janis's gear list:Doug Janis's gear list
Ricoh GR III Olympus E-M5 II Olympus E-M1 II Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro +3 more
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