This is the story of my life, trying and trying again, be curious, be intense and be passionate for something, for someone, forever. It never finishes or if so, it will be the end of my own road. Many times as I think I have reached the bottom of it, there is always a rebirth of interest, of enthusiasm.
And so, we can resume the odd and tumultuous path that Olympus cameras evolution have followed during these past several decades and even today it seems that the pattern is staged again … and again! Pen, OM, Camedia, E, OM-D, Pen-F, all those denominations are part of a long list of innovative but often forgotten product design through the analog film and digital photographic eras.
My love for Olympus cameras has started during my college years with the introduction of the OM-1 and OM-2 revolutionary models that a friend showed me. Those little 35mm film camera gems were fantastic reincarnations of the Leica G-M spirit into the SLR (Single Lens Reflex) world of that time (1974-1975). I was amazed not only of their inherent photographic capacity but also by their beautiful aesthetic. The stage was set for a loving affair that will last for a few decades only to be phase down by the autofocus cameras introduction.
Later on, Olympus reinvent themselves into the digital age with the Camedia and E series at a fast speed moment of technical challenges in term of photographic abilities to be conquered over the analog advanced camera models. Yes, that path was also very hazardous, and, except for the traditional two camera manufacturer majors (Canon and Nikon), it was very difficult to impose new digital standard over the photo equipment market.
When I first saw the Olympus OM-D E-M5, I cannot help myself to remember vividly of the cult Olympus OM-1 model presence of my student years. In my mind it was like a sentimental tsunami of the past-present times. And I could not help myself to buy one (E-M5) right from that moment of impulsion. What is particular about Olympus cameras is that they are inspiring photographic devices. You like to bring them with you, to play with them, to experiment the medium and to register without fear and intimidation your photographic subject. They (Olympus cameras) are part of a creative process of visual expression. It sounds lyrical but, in fact, it is!
Today, I am still using a OM-D E-M1 (Mark II) alongside with beautiful optics such as the M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 Pro and the M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 Pro lenses that are all competent and durable photo gear that deliver beautiful imagery. No camera is perfect, and no manufacturer is the best, but I have always found that Olympus is a kind of rebel into an industry more and more oriented by marketers of all kinds. And rebels are not really appreciated by conformists…
Long life Olympus, we are still there!