I have been down with terrible headache, feeling extremely nauseous, and catching cold, with predictable cough following up soon after, and I skipped work in the afternoon, resting peacefully at home. As the day came to pass, I was eagerly looking forward to an interesting event organized by the Olympus Malaysia, specifically for the Olympus E-System DSLR users, a unique casual gathering at Plaza Mont Kiara, which is considerably far from where I am staying right now. Under the thunderstorm, I ventured out thanks to a fellow forum member at mychiaroscuro.net, Blu who was kind enough to meet up with me and drove me to the meeting destination.
It was my first time to Plaza Mont Kiara at night, and I really liked what I was seeing there. Man, I should be getting out more often before I get older. No kidding.
OLYMPUS E-SYSTEM GATHERING @ PLAZA MONT KIARA
So what is this gathering about? Besides the free awesome food, it is basically a get together session for the Olympus users, to meet other users, and of course the staff of Olympus Malaysia. There was also a representative who came all the way from Japan and he gave a not so brief presentation on the upcoming two products of Olympus, lined up for next year's release: a new mid level DSLR, and of course, the much hyped about Micro Four Thirds (4/3) System. Following that particular talk, a Malaysian representative gave an introduction to the recently launched lightweight compact ultra wide angle zoom lens: 9-18mm F/4.0-5.6 with the mind blowing technologies and craftsmanship being applied in the manufacturing process.
MICRO FOUR THIRDS (mock-up model)
So what is all this hype about the Micro 4/3? I strongly believe it would be just the right camera to suit my style of shooting. It is basically a compact sized portable camera, very pocket-able, yet it possesses the capability of producing DSLR-like picture quality output. This is possible, by using the same 4/3 sensor from the current Olympus DSLR models in the new Micro 4/3 system, and the new system also utilizes much larger lens than normal compact cam, with interchange-ability much like a DSLR.
The only obvious shortcoming the Micro 4/3 would be demonstrating may probably be the shooting performance, where fast action and response (AF speed) are crucial, it may not be able to match to what the DSLRs are currently offering. Nevertheless, minus the shooting speed, having such a small, thin and light body to carry around for general shooting, plus the benefit of producing DSLR-like picture quality sounds impressively irresistable. The best part of all, my current lens works on the new Micro 4/3 system via an adapter, and this would open up lots of opportunities for upgrades in the future.
NEW DSLR COMING UP
A LENS BEING TORN WIDE OPEN
As for the new mid level DSLR, it is placed somewhere in between my current camera, E-520 and the flagship model of Olympus E-System, E-3. Do take notice of the swivel design for the LCD monitor, it would be really useful in composing some tricky shots. The built in camera capabilities and features are supposed to be catching up to the E-3, leaving out a few significant options unfortunately, such as the weather/splash-proofing.
I guess the really interesting part of the night was when the Malaysian representative made a presentation on the newly launched ultra wide angle lens, 9-18mm F/4.0-5.6 ED. The opening remark he made, before starting his presentation was nothing short of eyebrow raiser. He mentioned: "I know a lot of you have been discussing about the pricing of the new ultra wide angle zoom lens, even before this event tonight, about the higher than anticipated pricing range." When everyone started to look a little puzzled... he quickly continued his statement, "Oh yes, we have been reading what you guys have written on your BLOGS !!! Yes we do read your BLOGS!!" And the whole floor just cracked, including me.
ULTRA WIDE ZOOM 9-8mm F/4.0-5.6 ED ZUIKO DIGITAL LENS
COLLECTION OF CURRENT E-SYSTEM
Note: Pardon my terrible shot, struggling with lighting, time to really consider an external flash. $$$$$$$$$$$
This particular night was also the first time of me meeting up with fellow mychiaroscuro.net forum members, who thought that the forum name itself is ridiculously difficult to pronounce, so they call it screw screw instead. It was truly awesome to find a group of people supporting, and utilizing the similar camera system as you do, and share similar thoughts when it comes to tools and equipments. Canon and Nikon users may think that they are above all (particularly Canon, not so much of Nikon) but seriously, when you talk about serious photography, your Canon branding does not make that much of a difference, heck it does not even make your balls any bigger. Try talking to some Olympus photographers, you will be surprised by what they can do with their pictures, and at the end of the long day, you may still find the fact that they are using Olympus. I am foreseeing a lot more future gatherings from this Oly gang.
MYCHIAROSCURO.NET aka SCREW SCREW (with Leo)
There will be some giant photography event happening at Times Square over this weekend. Anyone going?
Do let me know, we may be able to meet up there.