Breaking New Ground: The First Olympus micro-4/3, E-P1
As most people know, professional photographers are all tall males with huge hands. Not only that, but they workout with weights everyday but Sunday. This enables them to handle today’s crop of professional cameras. Even most amateur photographers are pretty big, because you need to be in order to handle the high-end amateur DSLRs being sold these days. Did you know you have to be able to deadlift 405 lbs and benchpress 315 lbs in order to be eligible to join the Professional Photographers of America (PPA)?
In view of all this, I find Olympus’s most recent camera endeavour, the E-P1, to be both silly and commercially irresponsible. What do they hope to accomplish? They are going to offer a camera with a 4/3 sensor and a micro-4/3 mount (hence, no mirror or prism assembly) that is small and will accept interchangeable lenses. Seriously? I mean, how many do they hope to sell to us men? Maybe they’re aiming at the female market, with its dainty hands and soft skin. Us male photographers know that the camera is both an extension and a symbol of our manhood. We want big cameras, big lenses, big grips, big sensors and big price tags!
Olympus will be launching this puny, elf-oriented camera on June 16, 2009. They have 8 days left to realise their mistake and backtrack—Kikukawa San, please tell everyone it was a joke, a Japanese prank! I am posting this article with Olympus’s best interests in mind. I don’t want them to embrass themselves, trying to sell this type of camera to a male-dominated group of buyers who value hugeness and weight above all else (image-quality comes in a distant 3rd).
What is, after all, the purpose of this camera? It is small (smaller than a film SLR), light, has no onboard flash and with those tiny compact lenses they are promising to offer, is highly inconspicuous. How then, I ask, are we manly photographers meant to call attention to ourselves when out shooting in the streets? How then, I ask, are we manly photographers meant to be taken seriously when we whip out this camera at a family reunion if it is no bigger than Uncle Bob’s? How then, I ask, nay, demand to know, are we manly photographers meant to look professional if we are caught holding some cute camera that could be confused with a make-up case were it not for the lens? We will be the laughing stock of our local Photo Club!
Olympus, you may take away our mirror boxes, you may cut our lenses in half, you may even sell us a camera in cutesy chrome…but you can never, shall never, strip us of our manhood!
Now it’s official: Read part 2.