Photographic technology has come a long way — but that doesn’t mean that newer is always better. Which is why a camera that debuted decades ago — the OM-1 — has the most rabid fan group you’ve ever seen. “Fans of the OM system are as passionate and dedicated as any in the world of cameras, and it’s over the original OM-1 that these acolytes most readily swoon,” the Casual Photophile explains. “Spend any amount of time chatting with classic camera geeks and the OM-1 is sure to come up in conversation… The OM-1 is a fully-mechanical, 35mm film SLR first produced in 1972, though back then you’d never find an OM-1 on the shelves.” And the history behind it is pretty fascinating. “That’s because in its original iteration it was called the M-1, named to immortalize its legendary designer Yoshihisa Maitani. When Leica discovered that Olympus had made a better camera than their identically-named and vastly inferior M-1 rangefinder, the boys from Wetzlar had a tantrum and ‘requested’ the name be changed. Olympus bowed and changed the name to OM-1, and knotted lederhosen far and wide were swiftly unwound.”
But is it worth the hype? Well, this video breaks down exactly why this camera has earned such a cult following. Olympus changed the game, by bringing back compact, user-friendly cameras. The design was sleek, the size was convenient, but the shooting — that’s what puts it in a league of its own. Fast, smooth, and of course, sharp as a knife — this camera is as good as it gets. If you’re a camera nerd or just love a glimpse into photographic history, check out this video that gives you a blow-by-blow of why this camera has stood the test of time.
Some classics never go out of style. The Olympus OM-1 has been giving photographers goosebumps and delivering outstanding photos for over 40 years. And it’s not going anywhere.