The fashion for making everything old new again has hit an industry normally obsessed with the future. The latest trend in camera manufacturing are bodies that look, feel and work like vintage cameras with all the digital bells and whistles. Working new concepts into old frames, the major camera companies are putting out state of the art retro models. Designed somewhere between a point & shoot and a full-bodied pro camera, these ‘mirrorless’ cameras look pretty slick.
The most notable model is Fujifilm’s X-Pro 1. This camera simulates the traditional dial based handling of a film camera with outstanding digital image quality. With a rangefinder, manual control dials, aperture control and even an old-school cable-release option, you can see where the camera industry is forging new ground while appealing to analog sensibilities.
Olympus added it’s OM-D to the marketplace. An exact replica of the classic 70′s model – one could be easily fooled at a quick glance. However, flip the camera around and you suddenly see a touchscreen that tilts – no film here. Couple this with the optional memory cards that come in film canisters with the ‘film smell‘ and you have a super-simulated 35mm camera experience!
Just in time, the digital panders to those who miss the look, feel and even scent of film. One has to wonder if this is just a fad or a matter of improving on a timeless sensibility. These new models are perhaps a more sensible approach than the typical bulky dSLRs you see everybody toting around and now your camera can match your vintage outfit better?