James's Camera Collection: Olympus OM PC

Olympus OM PC (aka OM40) Japan 35mm cameras
Olympus OM PCs
Camera type: Single Lens Reflex (SLR)
Approx. date of manufacture: 1986
Lens Mount: Olympus OM
Battery: two 1.5v LR44 (357)
Approx. original price: $150
Approx. street value:$25

This was badged as the OM40 outside the USA, so if you try to research it, you want to search for that term as well.

This is one of those mid-80s SLRs that tried to go for the middle-tier enthusiast; a person who wanted the better quality of 35mm and the flexibility of interchangable lenses and add-on flash, but didn't want or need full exposure control. I'd put this in similar company with my Canon T70.

click for larger ad According to the Modern Photography test (April 1986), PC stood for "program control," where program at that time typically meant autoexposure. It didn't have anything to do with personal computers, which were taking over. No sir.

The program control on this is impressive for the time. It's the EPS switch on the left side of the lens mount. If you select EPS, the camera evaluates various portions of the image and measures the light level differences; then the computer selects an exposure based on whether it thinks the subject is underexposed, overexposed, backlit, etc. If you don't like that you can still got center-weighted averaging, and there's exposure compensation, and finally full-manual.

All this and it runs on two small LR44 watch batteries (because it doesn't have a built-in flash, autowinder, and all the other modern stuff that takes power).

Modern Photography called this a tyro (beginner's) camera, but I think they're selling it short. It seems very capable to me.

Modern Photo Test: April 1986

Related website: Camerapedia

Owner's Manual: Orphan Cameras.com

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