Olympus Trip AF-61

The Olympus Trip is a seminal camera line, having accompanied generations of families on holidays for decades. I have many amazing cameras from Olympus in my collection, including the XA, XA2, Pen FT and OM10. This camera, however, doesn’t live up to the brand name.

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The camera has all the essential parts you’d expect of a camera, but for me it really lacked anything distinctive. Sure, this camera will take images and expose automatically, in that respect it is a perfect camera. For my own style work I either need there to be something distinctive about the camera, whether it’s how it operates, or in the images it produces. Quite frankly, this camera does none of that for me.

I found the lack of control and the overall underwhelming image quality to not suit the kind of images I want to make. This may seem to be a strange thing coming from a photographer who loves to shoot with Diana and Holga cameras, but at least they have a distinctive feel to the images, or are a creative challenge to use. This camera will get you an exposed image on every frame, and for this purpose I think it’d be a great festival or club camera, perfect for snapshots but not for more complicated work.

It leaves me sad to say that I’ve finally found a camera that I don’t get on with. It’s great for the retro quality, and getting that classic Point & Shoot aesthetic in an image – because that’s exactly what it is. I found the automatic flash for every lighting situation to be frustrating, especially when I would have thought there was a plentiful amount of light for exposures. This camera demonstrates to me that all cameras take time and effort to figure out, no matter how simple they appear. Photography and the artists intent mean the tools you use can drastically change your output. It’s not all about the camera, it’s your own intentions behind the lens that matter. The correct choice of camera is incredibly personal. Canon, Nikon, Olympus? It doesn’t matter. It’s all about what you feel comfortable shooting!

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