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Review: Olympus Pen Premium Case

by Chris Gampat on 05/31/2011

Leather and curves are sexy—as is that whole retro style look trend currently happening. With this said, the Olympus Pen Premium Camera Case is one that many small camera owners may want to consider adding not only to their camera bag collection, but to their wardrobe. It often holds my Olympus EP-2 when going on photowalks, out to parties, to work if I’m not in need of something larger, and when I just need something smaller and more attractive.

To be quite honest, it’s become a piece of man jewelry and will be for many Micro Four Thirds camera owners.

Soft and Smooth on the Outside

The Olympus Pen Premium case (available in brown or black), while it looks like leather, isn’t leather at all. In fact, that’s just a leather-like finish on the outside. The case is smooth to the touch and likens to the interior of the finest Cadillac. Designed to hold the 14-24mm kit lens or the 17mm F/2.8 while attached to the camera body, the case was designed to be small.

The front of the case is characterized by the folding flap with a magnetic buckle. That little ring hanging above the Olympus Pen engraving on the front? It truthfully seems like it’s there just for show but when you actually go to open and close the case, one sees that it’s easier to grip onto this ring.

The magnet hasn’t yet opened on me while running, which is very nice to say since my beloved Pen camera lays in there waiting to photograph something.

The back of the case has a belt loop for those that don’t want to use the strap. More on this later on.

In terms of looks, the case reminds me a bit of the old TLR cases.

And Even Soft on the Inside

Then there’s the interior of this case; think of a fine suede glove. That’s the best way to describe it. Inside, you’ll be able to store your Pen camera away essentially any way you so choose. Either way you put the camera will still allow for the case to hug it snugly.

The inside section of the flap contains an area for you to slip a small item into there. I often store the 17mm F/2.8’s lens cap in there: which is a tight fit. Something more appropriate would be an SD card.

With your camera stowed away, there comes the issue of access to it. The camera case comes with a leather wrist strap for you to affix onto your camera for speedy and secure access.

The Case Strap

When I don’t need to carry the entire case with me, I’m often unbuckling the case’s strap and attaching it to my EP-2. It’s a wonderfully gorgeous, secure, strong, and comfortable strap. It’s also got a tiny bit of padding to give your shoulder or wrist extra comfort.

Yes, sometimes I wrap the strap around my wrist to go shooting. I find it to be very comfortable and sometimes it makes the camera feel like a nice glove or a watch.

In Use

While the case is without a doubt gorgeous and great to take out on sunny days and clear nights, note that this should not be your camera case of choice during the rain. When the case closes, there is still quite a bit of exposure left and rain can get in there. For this reason, you’re better off using a normal camera bag in a situation like that.

But this case wasn’t designed for you to go out shooting in the toughest conditions with; it was designed for elegance, and that’s what it does best.

While on the NYC subway with a small camera bag like this, no one gets suspicious and the case doesn’t really scream camera case either. Because of this, it can get looks, but not alarming looks. Instead, the glances show curiosity. In fact, here’s a funny story. One day while getting ready to swipe my metrocard to get onto the subway, some cops had set up a table to check bags beforehand. They stopped me, asked me to come over, and show them the contents of my bag. I opened it up, and they said, “Oh is that a camera?”

“Yes, I replied.”

“Nevermind, we thought it was a flask and you were one of those people that tries to drink on the train.”

“No, I’m from Queens, not Long Island.”

New Yorkers will understand this better than most. But either way, it’s reassuring to know that people don’t think that you’ve got a camera in there. It only adds to your stealthiness. Even at parties and get-togethers, the case gets looks and allows you to carry a camera that can capture professional quality images in a small package.

And what more could a professional or seasoned vet ask for?

Overall, when used correctly, I’ve got no complaints about this case and I’m sure glad that I purchased it.

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