Designing the Olympus PEN-F

I’ve recently picked up an Olympus PEN-F and I truly believe that this camera is up there as one of the most beautiful cameras to come out in the past couple of years, but how did it come to light?

I’ve found an article on petapixel as the writer interviewed the two designers that were in charge of it’s industrial design, and it turned out into a very interesting read that tickled my inner engineering nerdism.

Here are some interesting excerpts from the article:

Typical for an industrial designer, Takeshi looked beyond what the competition offered and thought a lot about the potential user of the camera — someone that appreciates objects that are beautifully designed. Takeshi’s guess was that the potential user has an appreciation for well made products and is willing to spend money on quality products. He thought about what kind of bag this person uses. He thought about what their sofa looks like. What kind of watch would such a person wear? For example, Takeshi said he looked at Omega watches at one point. Not modern ones but vintage ones that they would have owned and appreciated over the years. The inspirations for the industrial design of the PEN-F was in effect, informed by products that were well made and held up well over time.

I agree with this. People that have appreciation for well made products will pay the premium for it since it feels justified. If this wasnt’t true, then companies like Rolex and Leica woulnd’t be successful.

Overall, the article was a good read as it dive’s deep into the design philosophy behind the beast inside the beauty.

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