4/3 retro heaven

Those of you who know me know that I have undertaken a long search for a point & shoot camera for unobtrusive use in place of my brilliant Canon 5D rig for when that is too big or just not appropriate. I have been simply seeking a viable point & shoot alternative with good IQ, noise and bokeh possibilities. However, you will also know how much I hate P&S cameras with infinite depth of field generated by the physics of the small sensor size. I have tried many, many cameras in that class, with many steps in resolution, from my first Lumix DMC-LC5 with its Summicron lens and 4 megapixels, through to a Nikon P5100 with more than 14 megapixel resolution, with many stops along the way. All sort of OK for snapshot use, but just of no use to me. Maybe I’m too fussy.

I have tried and rejected an Olympus Evolt 510 SLR with a 25mm pancake as being too big. In its way that was a nice camera, but it had too many shortcomings as well as its size to appeal to me. For some reason, the IQ didn’t seem to be too good – perhaps I just didn’t like it enough to accept it properly.

So, here is my new point ‘n shoot tool, acquired a fair time after I got rid of the Evolt as it was still too big to be fit for my needs. It is an Olympus E-P2 digital Pen, flashed to the latest firmware, in this instance fitted with my venerable Canon 50mm f1.2 screw mount via a cheap M to 4/3 mount adapter, swapped for some old film gear at no cost to me. A period Canon viewfinder and an old Oly RF strap complete the package. Finally a small camera with a big sensor, making bokeh possible. I don’t particularly like the concept of no viewfinder, forcing shooting at arm’s length hence the viewfinder, bit the electronic VF-2 is really useful, turning it into a brilliant package.

Anyone who thinks these cameras are slow hasn’t used one. Watch out night-time streets…


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