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Olympus Pen cameras - our hands on review

Discussion in 'News - Discussion' started by Damien_Demolder, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Just a few more thoughts:
    1. Olympus may well ignore my needs and so my hard-earned will be left in the wallet or spent elsewhere,
    2. Olympus have a track record of poor corporate strategy - like most photo industry companies - but they are possibly worse than most, with the exception of Kodak and one or two others,
    3. If the success of the Pen series grinds to a halt, then the Camera Division will probably close - which would be really sad - as the E-5 will not be enough to keep them going,
    4. You can do street photography with any camera. Street photographers split into two groups - active and passive. The latter group wait for stuff to come to them and can use anything; quite a few use 5"x4" or larger but these are mostly on the other side of the Atlantic. I have used medium format SLR on a tripod successfully but I tend to take different pictures then to when I use a more mobile hand-held camera.
    5. Whatever genre you are involved with but especially on the street, you will tend to not want the equipment to get in the way, be a problem, a handicap. Twenty-five years ago this year, I proved to my satisfaction that a viewfinder camera was my first choice for street photography - least problematic, becoming part of me, one with my eye, and,
    6. This week I spent some time trying to shoot on the street with a digi-compact with only a screen for viewfinding: there were severe limitations.
  2. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Back on topic, surely you could just uses Panasonic G3 instead via it's back screen. It not that much more bulky and you get abit more res.
  3. JerryNash

    JerryNash Well-Known Member

    I was going to say "EVFs will probably be the norm in 10 years time for all DSLRs (or whatever equivalent name their replacement is given)", but i thought no one would be bothered if i just said DSLR to get my point across. Evidently i underestimated how important definitions are to some people! ;)

    No thanks, i understood it perfectly well the first time.
  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    If you check my title on here, you'll see it's "Which Tyler", as I'm leader of the revolting pedants. ;)
  5. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Yeah! Love it!!

    I could use two or three Panasonics and did use one - an excellent LX2 - for the street photography this week, where I found it to be wanting.

    But if you check my name, there's a clue why I want a Pen with a built in optical zoom finder ...
  6. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    At 45,000+ and counting, you must be the leader of the Busiest Posters as well!
  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Screens have come on a lot over the last 12 months or so. Go back to the LX2 generation and they weren't terrific in bright light, but the latest are to my mind very usable.
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I was invited to the AP Awards to present the Forum award a couple of years ago. Our esteemed Editor put it fairly well - "sad git" or some such.
  9. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hi! Sorry, posted reply to Benchista instead of your good self: I used a LX2 this week - no finder obviously - and it was found wanting. It's a good camera, no, it's a great camera but for fast street photography or in certain light conditions it is a bit limited. I had a look at Panasonics more closely at FOCUS although most of the EVFs had been stolen by the time I reached their stand. Not keen on the touch screen on the GF2.

    You do see a lot of photogs (possibly some are just tourists) using big (top of range) DSLRs on the street (and I could use the D700) but when the Pen was announced and trailed as being suitable for street photography, a lightbulb came on in my feeble brain which announced the idea: Pen incl. 4/3 sensor = better than digi-compact, therefore Pen+optical zoom finder built in = equals poor man's M9 - and - Pen maintains my link (digitally) with Olympus.

    I take comfort from the announcement of a mini-Pen. It would appear that Olympus do have plans to continue and expand the range, so I may get lucky yet!
  10. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    But that still doesn't get over the increased visibilty of holding a camera out, away from the face.

    And other problems, too ...

    When photographing weddings, once I'd got some of the set piece shots, I would encourage guests to come and stand in my position ('standard' lens) to get their own photos. Most insisted on staying far away, zooming out their lenses to strong tele and I could see their cameras going up and down. As this was before IS was commonplace, they were probably getting horrendous camera shake. Even with IS, it is still possible to take blurred pics with lack of care over shake - and this is the other main failing of screen-only framing.
  11. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I used to think like that, but I don't any more. My old compact was (is, I suppose, I still have it) a Canon S70 - it has RAW and an optical finder, both of which I considered essential at the time. Truth is that the optical finder isn't that good, and I found myself using the screen more. The I upgraded it to an S90, which doesn't have a finder, and I really, really haven't missed it. The design of the camera is such that it encourages you to hold it not too far from your face, elbows tucked in - all in all, in a pretty good position to reduce the risk of camera shake. And of course it has IS. Now add in multi-position screens to the latest standards of visibility, and there's simply no sensible case for an optical finder any more on such cameras.

    These CSCs are really more digital CLs rather than Ms - and incidentally, the CL is now my only bayonet-mount Leica, as I'm selling Leicas and Rolleflexes after long reflection on the fact that I now get so much more enjoyment out of digital.
  12. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Unless you have to because of your eyesight, there's no need to hold it that far away from your face. Pull your elbows in to your side and the camera naturally sits 4-6 inches from your face in a solid way.

    I shoot most of my street photography with a GF1, using a screen isn't an issue at all for me. If anything, in street photography holding a camera to the eye attracts attention whereas the stance I described doesn't; you could afterall be simply reviewing images, changing settings etc.

    If I had the money I'd run out and get a Fujifilm X100, but not because it has a viewfinder (though that is a compelling reason) it's the larger sensor, high ISO performance and overall handling that sells it to me.
  13. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    We're going to have to stop agreeing like this Nick, people will talk! :eek:
  14. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Well I guess there have to be some times when we both talk sense at the same time. ;)
  15. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Yeah, I've tried all that. Doesn't work for me unless it's lowish light. But like a lot of the other sad old gits on here I am old enough to need reading glasses at almost arms length distance. Which reminds me - another reason for an opti zoom finder with a few bits of essential info in the finder. No need to get out the glasses or waste time squinting away.

    As I said, trust me, I know what works for me and what I want. Loads of other phogs over the past decades have also come down to the same point of working.

    Why do you think the Voigtlanders sold so well - one of the biggest camera successes of the last twenty years prior to the digital boom seven years back? OK, new, adventurous lenses helped. But some of those came along after the brand was established. It was a simple rangefinder - or not even that - sold then at a price that was a fraction of a well-used M series.

    Just think what an ad agency could do with a Pen with an optifinder? Come back Collett Dickenson Pearce - we miss you!
  16. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    2 of the 4 modern Voigtlanders I've owned didn't, er, have a viewfinder...:rolleyes:
  17. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    So, what did you do to take pictures ... ?

    Was it putting an optical finder in the hot shoe, perhaps ..... ?
  18. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Going right off thread now, how do I get the icons within my text? When I select any of the buttons, the icon goes alongside the Title line, irrespective of where the cursor is.

  19. OlyPaul

    OlyPaul Member

    One would have thought that the tilting screen of the E-P3 would make it ideal for candid photography.. shot from waist level very discreet and a firm holding position, screen shaded by your body, I've used this technique with the swivel screen on my DSLR's to good effect. pretty much like shooting blind from the hip without the guess work.:)
  20. alanS

    alanS Well-Known Member

    Really? That's not what I found. Stick it in manual mode, set manual focus, set the aperture and shutter speed and use it like a rangefinder. When you set these cameras manually they'll shoot pretty much instantaniously, take the shot and then put the camera in your pocket. Higher ISO performance isn't up to the best obviously but useable at quite high settings.

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