Way, way back a few years ago I had the great fortune of being able to meet up with one of the members of a forum I frequent. Paul from mu-43.com was looking to buy my Olympus EM1.2 and since he was going to be in town we decided to meet and proceed with the sale.
While there, he showed me his Olympus PEN-F and I noticed that he had a half case on his. We both own the silver and black PEN-F variant. The topic came up about how the silver finish appears to be a little less durable than the all black and that Paul just got an inexpensive half case to protect the bottom plate of his camera.
From what Isaw, it seemed well made and fit the camera well. So, I decided to investigate getting a half case of my own.
Scouring Amazon, I found the Minico Half Case for PEN-F. $13.99USD.
How does the Minico half case fair?
First Impression/UnboxingTaking it out of the packaging, you get the half case and the tripod screw for attaching it to the camera. An added bonus is that it also comes with a leather-like wrist strap to attach to the neck strap lugs on the camera. I've never used the wrist strap from this set.
I opted for the dark brown. I probably would have gotten the black if they had one....but the dark brown is close enough.
The bottom is rigid and covers the entire bottom of the camera. It has a small door with a metal button clasp to allow access to the battery compartment.
The ports side comes up just a bit but does not obscure the doors of the PEN-F.
On the grip side, the the leather comes up about half way up the grip and wraps around.
There is also an additional tripod socket hole built into the screw that attaches the half case to the camera.
InstallationThis is a very simple operation. Just like up the tripod mount hole at the bottom of the camera with the half case and screw in the supplied bolt.
Feel In HandThe fit and finish are just fine, especially for only spending $14 on it.
This is my first half case on a digital camera and I was not sure how I was going to like it. I did like it, with extended use. My biggest concern would be with the grip section. It sits reasonable flat, but up enough to enhance the grip on the camera. I'd still not trust it enough to hold it with one hand with a bigger lens and no wrist strap...but it does enhance and not detract.
The big thing that I wanted it for was protection of the bottom of the camera and it does that without sacrificing handling or access to the battery and memory card compartment.
Final ThoughtsSometimes you need to spend a decent amount of money to get quality. In this instance, the $14 was more than sufficient to do what I wanted it to. Since my goal was really just to protect the camera bottom plate. If you are looking for something to enhance the handling of add a grip to the front of the camera, then I recommend looking for some other grip attachment or case that has a more pronounced grip section.
However, I will give this case a thumbs up for its intended purpose.