Customize Your Car; Customize Your Camera

by | Nov 6, 2018

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

This week is Camera Care Week on the Blog and today we look at one way to customize your camera easily and inexpensively.

Like many car owners, I not only like to customize them—check out these wheels on my CLA250—but I also like to customize my cameras, especially ones that I take to Cars & Coffee events.

Today I want to introduce a product that lets you make your camera look just how you want using camera coverings from Aki-Asahi from Japan. Aki-Asahi makes replacement coverings for cameras with all-metal or plastic bodies that don’t have any coverings and even some that do so you can replace an existing covering.

Here’s what Aki-Asahi has to say about their product: “Our camera coverings are not those which are supplied by the makers of those camera. But, because we make our coverings in almost the same way as camera makers make theirs, we can provide the same quality.” Prices vary but even the most expensive covering are around $25 plus a few bucks for airmail shipping, which is surprisingly fast from Japan.

For my conversion I chose my first Micro Four-thirds camera, an Olympus E-P3. I thought the E-P3 would be perfect for this project, especially when used with the compact Olympus 9mm body cap lens. Based on my experience shooting cars at Cars & Coffee events, I also use the equally compact 15mm f/8.0 Body Cap lens with this camera and despite it’s lowly reputation, I love shooting cars with it.

Based on my positive experience, when originally reviewing the Olympus E-P3 for Shutterbug, I picked up a used E-P3 in stainless steel finish at a great price. It had a small plastic grip, which I didn’t like, and the camera body was slick and not very gripable. When I found Aki-Asahi’s website I saw he offered many different colors of coverings for this camera and chose the three-piece set in Flat Camel (cowhide) because of it’s classic camera look. It cost $21 plus $4 shipping.

Installation was done by wife, Mary, because she has small hands and is just plain good at this kind of stuff. Aki-Asahi offers installation videos and after watching it once, she was ready to install the coverings which took less than 15 minutes. A video showing installing a new covering on an Olympus E-P1 is shown below which should give you an idea of how easy it was to do.