by Anura Guruge
Click to ENLARGE. Main picture, of course, from Olympus (with thanks).
Click to ENLARGE. Of course from the outstanding “DPReview.com”. The 3 dials that sealed the deal AGAINST the Olympus PEN-F.
After my 34-day ‘crisis‘ during which I gave away (as an act of random kindness) my beloved Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 and (6 week old) Lumix LX100, I last Wednesday was again in the market for a new camera.
I was not going to just replace the Panasonics. That would have been painful and regressive. I decided I was going to start again and move up to the next level (so to speak). I remembered the Olympus PEN-F that had been announced in January 2016. I had looked at it then and concluded that it was overpriced and I still think it is priced $200 above what it should be. But I was willing to pay IF I thought it would be the camera that would make me happy until the availability of my dream Fuji X-T2.
So I spent quite a few hours crunching through the reviews, reading the specs and looking at YouTube videos. Three times during the day on Thursday (last week) I nearly hit the BUY button. And each time I shied away at the last millisecond. I knew something was wrong. So I decided to think about it overnight. And then it hit me.
The PEN-F is NOT what I am looking for … The PEN-F is NOT for the likes of I …
I came to the realization that the BIG ‘PASM‘ mode dial on the top was a total, utter turn-off. Like a huge, hanging hairy wart. I do NOT use custom modes and I prefer to choose my mode using the shutter and apaerture dials as in the Panasonic Lumix LX100. So that was strike ONE.
Yes, yes, I know all about the retro look and nostalgia. BUT I am not going to buy a camera, at this price range, for looks. The front dial, as DPReview (above) so correctly points out is a total waste and distraction. If that was a focus selection dial, ‘S-C-M’, I could have looked with it though I find its placement ugly. So that strike TWO.
Having the toggle underneath the mode dial that only works on the JPEG ‘curve’ was the last straw. Strike THREE.
Yes, the Olympus PEN-F will look real cool in a trendy club. But that is not my scene. I want a practical camera.
And this was BEFORE I got to the Micro Four Thirds sensor.
PLEASE help me keep this pledge. PLEASE. “I will no longer buy a camera with anything less than an APS-C size sensor.“ I am a large sensor guy. I know that. I will always regret getting smaller sensors. So I have to pick the habit.
So what did I get? Have a guess. It was not an Olympus — though I like Olympus and Deanna has one, which she loves.
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by Anura Guruge