“I don’t want to buy something that I’ll use for a week, and then it’ll just sit on my shelf in my room, you know?” That’s what a local barista told me today before I was writing this article. She’s very interested in Fujifilm cameras, and she’s seen what I bring into the shop before. Sometimes, she’s into them when they’ve got smaller lenses attached. At other times, she thinks that the whole package of the camera and the lens is overbearing. And she’s not alone — other women I often socialize with are more attracted to Fujifilm cameras than the others I tend to bring around. This is where camera manufacturers could solve the biggest problem: the addition of pancake lenses and bundling them as a kit.
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Brands Need to Make Faster and Smaller Pancake Lenses
Oftentimes these days, I feel that camera manufacturers and engineers are designing cameras moreso for engineers than for photographers. And more importantly, they’re also neglecting an entire segment of the market — women. Said camera manufacturers often try to market the fact that they’re supporting women and the work that they do. The professionals are a different story — but what about anyone that still wants to get into cameras even as a hobby?
The answer is one that I believe brands have been ignoring for a long time — pancake lenses. Fujifilm is probably so attractive to these women because of the great styling and the selection of small lenses they’ve got. However, these lenses need an update. They need to be given faster apertures — and we’re pretty confident that engineers could figure out how to do it. But there’s something even more important.
They Need Weather Resistance
The reason why a hobbyist might bring a camera around is because they travel or they want to do it for mental health reasons. With this in mind, we could never recommend a lens or camera to someone that doesn’t have weather resistance. And in 2023, we’ve said many times over and over again that every camera should have weather resistance. If it doesn’t, then why wouldn’t someone just bring their phone with them and use the digital zoom? Who cares that Canon is giving them a small optical zoom lens — the images are going on social media anyway, and the consumer loses all interest in the moment after that.
Instead, why can’t brands make pancake lenses with weather resistance that someone would truly want to bring with them everywhere?
Weather resistance doesn’t only have to do with using a lens and a camera in the rain. Oftentimes, readers forget about the other very important part of this — dust resistance. A camera is going to have its performance constantly degrade if the dust resistance isn’t there.
Lots of modern pancake lenses could solve this issue if they were just made as optional kit lenses. Truly, we need more of them. We’ve reviewed many of them over the years, and not a lot have weather resistance. One of the best options is the Fujifilm 27mm f2.8 R WR, and it’s priced just right too!
Digital Camera Engineers Don’t Listen to Women Enough
I truly believe this statement. Women are genuinely fascinated by cameras — but they’re often not made in a friendly way to them. And every time I hand them my film cameras, they’re significantly more fascinated by those in general. We, as men of all spectrums of the rainbow and gender galaxy, should encourage women to breathe new life into the photography world and express themselves in a way that fosters the creation of art and not content.
And this would probably be better if the camera manufacturers hired more female engineers or those non-conforming.
We can’t say that this is a crazy idea and then complain about the degradation of photography at the same time.