Great cameras are designed with honesty, simplicity and effortlessness

OM System OM-1
The OM System OM-1 exhibits a quite distinct character that is surely ‘la bellezza élo splendour del vero’ (Image credit: OM System)

I recently read a very interesting article about the three key elements of Italian car design... the concepts that have produced many of the world’s most beautiful cars, but also turned everyday vehicles into cult classics. The original Fiat Cinquecento – the 500 – is one very obvious example, but there are more.

The first of these design principles is expressed in Italian as “la bellezza é lo splendour del vero”, which translates as ‘beauty is the splendor of the truth’, but can be distilled right down to one word ‘honesty’. A design has to have integrity to be meaningful –and it’s about form and function in equal parts.

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Paul Burrows

Paul has been writing about cameras, photography and photographers for 40 years. He joined Australian Camera as an editorial assistant in 1982, subsequently becoming the magazine’s technical editor, and has been editor since 1998. He is also the editor of sister publication ProPhoto, a position he has held since 1989. In 2011, Paul was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute Of Australian Photography (AIPP) in recognition of his long-term contribution to the Australian photo industry. Outside of his magazine work, he is the editor of the Contemporary Photographers: Australia series of monographs which document the lives of Australia’s most important photographers.