Beautiful unknown Pen F

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Doug Janis Regular Member • Posts: 485
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F

UppercanadianAcadian wrote:

Doug Janis wrote:

BurnImage 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, that’s not how I see the Pen-F at all. I shot only Raw from about 2005 until now on my various cameras and still do on my EM1-2.
When I got my Pen-F I instantly had a eureka moment and “got it” and it has nothing to do with smartphones or art filters (which are completely totally and utterly different from the creative dial). Once the penny dropped the Pen-F became my jpeg street and travel machine with pre processed images rather than post processed.

Using a combination of the creative dial and custom 1-4 I have 5 “films” preprogrammed. straight colour, Kodachrome, Velvia, high contrast B&W and mid contrast B&W. The B&W profiles are instantly changed further on the fly as I shoot with instant access to the B&W filters from the rear rocker control as I need. It really is like going back to shooting film and getting it right in camera. It’s awesome.
Not to be confused with art filters, totally different thing and I’ve never used them on my Pen-F or any other Olympus body.

I then import the images to my iPad Pro and I’m done, with the option of tweaks in Snapseed if I want. I do have Raw files too which backup to the cloud if I need them.

When I travel I don’t have the task of editing thousands of images when I get home, it’s forcing me to get it right in camera, just like film days and it seems to make me think more creatively.

Thats what a Pen-F is, a jpeg powerhouse “film” camera for the (usually) Raw only shooter.

Nothing to do with smart phones, art filters or any other such thing.

Maybe Olympus failed to market the message properly, maybe folk just didn’t get it, maybe folk are wedded to Raw and post processing........

....but those of us who do “get it” love it.

All you describe is using 2 apps—the creative dial and Snapped—to do what one app can do on a single editing platform.

Everything your did with the creative dial cold be done with Snapseed entirely. And if Olympus had put networked engineering resources—or even just a SD card to lightning adapter in the box—into the design, you cold take a photo and had it in an editing app on a larger, superior editing and sharing platform.

And that's the rub. Editing and sharing are not pretty much one and the same device. The capture dive, because of the ILC and optics...that's where Japan Inc. excels. That's where the PEN-F design works. It fails when they tray and compete with the mobileOS world using TruePic.

Yes, he could have done this in an app by transferring the file to his phone, opening the app, then applying a filter OR he just adjusts a dial on the damn camera and presto its done

i can’t believe someone is actually making a case for decreased equipment functionality!

hey guys I have a great idea for electric guitar players with tremolo units: don’t bother to use the tremolo while playing. I know I know. It’s right there. Don’t worry!
Just record, open up pro tools programme, open up the recording, then just apply a detuning or sharpening adjustment that will perfectly mimic the tremolo on the guitar!!!

Yes, decreased functionality! The software on today's cameras and even some dials and buttons are burdened with legacy or trendy crap, like the EM5.2 HDR button. Or the Super Control Panel with JPEG controls taking up valuable screen space that can neither be replaced or deleted.

Your analogy is wrong. This is about getting rid of 8-tracks in cars in favour of  smartphone streaming through BT. My criticism is exactly the same car makers get for putting DVD players in new models (still!).

If the in-camera editing and processing software is inferior to the off-camera processing and editing that 99% of the market has and is familiar with, get rid to it.

Olympus did the opposite, made it a supposed selling feature, and was criticized for that and for the pricing.

 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
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow