Most cameras are utilitarian and, truth be told, quite ugly. Not the Olympus Pen-F ($1,000 for camera body).
This mirrorless digital shooter is a throwback to the first iteration, released in 1963. And like the original, it looks just as good as it works, with a metal body, old-school dials, and leather accents.
Opportunities for great photos can arise suddenly as you’re wandering the city, so you want something unobtrusive enough to carry everywhere. The Pen-F is no high-speed action camera, but its svelte frame fits neatly in a pocket (sans lens). So does your smartphone, of course, but this camera’s sensor is significantly larger (20 megapixels) than what you’ll find in, say, Apple’s latest handsets, which means it captures more defined low-light images and richer daytime colors. And thanks to those dials up top, you can take full manual control of the Pen-F if you like.
Will it make you as accomplished as great 20th-century street photographers like Vivian Maier and Martin Parr? Probably not. But it’s the perfect tool to help you develop your own style.
Lead Photo: Hannah McCaughey
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside →