What does your camera look like? What does that style and appearance say about you as a person, as a photographer? It is not uncommon to care about what your camera looks like, though this aesthetic preference usually takes a back seat (as it should) to other more important issues with a camera, such as image quality, performance, etc. But assuming your threshold for desired performance is met, what style and design qualities are important to you in your next camera?
For many, the same old SLR/DSLR look and build is boring and uninteresting. Functional and practical, sure, but generally not the most stylish. Rangefinder cameras on the other hand, at least the latest models, have come into their own in terms of style and performance, leading many to ditch their SLR styled cameras in favor of smaller, lighter, and more stylish rangefinder inspired designs.
Let’s take a look at some of the best of these rangefinder inspired cameras that one may like to consider…
Olympus PEN-F Pricewatch: $1,199.00
Probably one of the most beautiful cameras released in the last few years, the Olympus PEN-F is the a poster child for the ‘stylish mirrorless’ movement. The camera just looks and screams like quality. If you have been looking for a micro four thirds camera that will give you great images and turn some heads with style-points than the Olympus PEN-F is definitely one to consider.
Fujifilm X-Pro 2
Fujifilm X-Pro2 Pricewatch: $1,699.00
Right there alongside the PEN-F is Fujifilm’s flagship X-Pro2, a camera that is about as ‘rangefinder styled’ as mostl digital cameras can be without being a true rangefinder in the colloquial sense. It also has the unique distinction of being one of the only cameras to feature both an optical and electronic viewfinder. If you are a true fan of rangefinders, this blend of old and new will be something that pulls at your heart strings. It’s not cheap, but this is THE closest thing to a digital rangefinder (Leica’s aside) currently.
Sony A6500 Pricewatch: $1,398.00
Sony has taken their rangefinder designs a different direction than Olympus and Fujifilm, instead taking a more modern approach with a minimalist appearance. Don’t let that fool you though, these are some of the most powerful digital rangefinders on the market, especially if autofocus speed and accuracy are high on your priority list. If the retro look isn’t your thing, than the Sony design may be more up your alley.
Panasonic GX8 Pricewatch: $997.99
Panasonic’s rangefinder style cameras are a different approach from the Fujifilm, Olympus and Sony design. Imagine if you will a Mamiya rangefinder or Bronica style rangefinder body and then shrink it down. That’s more of the inspiration and design influence here.
Here are some other rangefinder styled cameras that you could consider should you want to go this route. These are some solid options.