Yoshihisa Maitani who designed the legendary Olympus Pen series of film cameras has died just a month after the classic design was re-launched for the digital era.rnrn

Yoshihisa Maitani who designed the legendary Olympus Pen series of film cameras (pictured) has died just a month after the classic design was re-launched for the digital era.

The Olympus Pen first appeared in 1959 and 17m were sold worldwide, according to Olympus.

Maitani created the camera to be ‘ as easy to use and carry as a pen’.

On its website chronicling the history of the Pen-series camera, the firm states: ‘The design process began with the concept of creating a camera that could be sold for Yen 6,000. The Pen combined the superb photographic performance of the D-Zuiko lens with excellent portability, and it was also used by professional photographers as a secondary camera.’

Last month Olympus took the wraps of the E-P1 (pictured below), a Micro Four Thirds digital camera that Olympus hopes will emulate the success of its classic forefather.

Maitani is understood to have died from respiratory failure at a hospital in Tokyo.

Olympus E-P1 image

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