I was so looking forward for this long weekend, that I can finally find more time for shutter therapy. Waking up early Saturday morning, I prepared myself for a street shooting session with a friend and fellow Olympus PEN user, Simon. As I stepped outside the door, the sky poured down like there was no tomorrow, and sadly, the shutter therapy session had to be cancelled. Nonetheless, not all was lost, because there was a significant event happening this weekend, the DCIM (Digital Camera, Imaging and Media) Show 2011 at Mid Valley Convention Center, Kuala Lumpur. After having a light breakfast, we flew to Mid Valley to geek out on cameras.
There were many things to look forward to in this particular DCIM show. Most of the newly released cameras were showcased and available for public molesting, I mean, try-outs. You can just grab the camera, plug in your own memory card, take all the photos that you want and bring home the memory card for your pixel peeping and chimping pleasures. This would be the best place to just drool over that camera you have been eyeing for and wanting to swipe your credit card for due to the valid and forgivable excuse of the holiday season. Come on, its Christmas, show some love yo !!
All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Sigma 30mm F1.4 lens.
Pan Mee at OUG for breakfast
GIfts on sale for Christmas in Mid Valley. Still marvelling to the Sigma 30mm's bokeh. Can't get enough of it !!
Tennyson, a PEN Lover we have bumped into. All Olympus PEN users unite !!
Panasonic GX1. I think its pure ugliness. Don't kill me, just my opinion ok?
Nikon babes. Oh yeah !!
Buy one Nikon 1 System camera and you get to bring home one of the girls !! OK that was not a good joke.
To be honest, the NIkon 10-100mm lens... is HUMUNGOUS. Its even bigger than my Sigma 30mm F1.4, not something very suitable for the smaller and lighter Nikon V1 or J1 bodies.
Oh and say hi to Simon !!
Not very inspiring design. For camera design I have to applaude Fuji and Sony, they both usually come up with design more accepted by everyone.
Black and White. I go for black, if I were to get one.
Amongst the newer cameras there were the Nikon 1 system (J1 and V1), Fujifilm X10 and Panasonic GX1. We had plenty of time caressing and harassing the cameras, trying out different lenses and scrutinize the output via the misleadingly inaccurate LCD (maybe some of them were OLED) monitor displays. Oh yes, this was really, really fun, for any photographers. I know many people would argue that photography is not about equipments, and we should concentrate on shooting instead of ogling over new cameras and lenses. Seriously, what kind of photographer who does not drool over new gear? If you do not have the lens/camera lust, something must be wrong with you.
The highlight of the day for me was of course, none other than the newly announced Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 lens. Yes, you heard that right, two working copies were available at the Olympus booth at DCIM for public testing. I had my hands on one of them, and boy, it was a beauty !! First impression of the lens: very solidly built, yet still on a size very tolerable, not big at all, but not exactly small, just nice for the PEN. Coming from the DSLR background, I do not mind the slightly extra bulk. The weather sealing capability on the lens meant that the construction was very solid, and it was evident on how the lens felt on my hand, very assuringly rugged.
We mounted the 12-50mm on Simon’s Olympus E-P3, and boy, this combination accomplished the FASTEST autofocus in comparison to anything else we found in DCIM, no kidding here. It was really fast, I cannot tell if it was faster than the 12mm F2 or 45mm F1.8, but it has the same blazingly immediate response as you half-press the shutter button to lock focus. Impressive, very impressive especially when the same focusing speed can be achieved at ALL focal lengths !!
Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 !!!!
For a weather sealed lens, the size is just right, and it feels robust and solid on hand.
The standout feature: Macro mode, and it comes with a focus-limiter (the other button) too !!
Trying out the close up (macro) feature of the lens.
Not bad, looking at the results on screen.
Another example of maximum magnification achievable by this 12-50mm lens.
The lens matches the Olympus E-P3 very well.
Perhaps, the feature that stand out from this lens is the ability to do close up focusing. It was labeled as a “macro” function, activated by pushing the macro button and sliding the zoom ring out. I have tested the closest focusing capability of the macro, and it was very close, but nowhere near 1:1 magnification of a true macro lens. Nevertheless, the closer it can go to the subject, the more valuable and useful the lens will be in real life applications. I did not bring home any sample photographs from the lens (the E-P3 was not my camera) but looking through the E-P3’s OLED display, I can tell the 12-50mm is no slouch in the close up shooting performance.
(*hint: I will be getting the lens for user-review purposes soon, so do check back for my coming entries)
I understand the grumbles and noises the online photography community has made about the slow F3.5-6.3 aperture range for this 12-50mm zoom lens. Make no mistake that Olympus has ALWAYS produced superb zoom lenses, probably more superior than its competitors. Olympus DSLR line lenses have some of the remarkable and respectable line up: starting from the Super High Grade 14-35mm F2, 35-100mm F2, then the High Grade 12-60mm F2.8-4 SWD, 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 SWD, 14-54mm F2.8-3.5 down to even the Standard Grade 14-42mm and 40-150mm. All those lenses were GREAT lenses, and they were almost all ranked the BEST in their classes, and have the best value for money. No question about sharpness and technical perfection here. I suspect the main reason for Olympus to adopt F3.5-6.3 in their latest micro 4/3 lens is to cut down the size, so that it matches the E-P3, and possibly the next camera they have planned all along.
Yes, this 12-50mm is a good news. It is a hint of more interesting things to come from Olympus. Everyone is hoping for that new Micro 4/3 pro camera from Olympus, with weather sealing. I am excited and I cannot wait to see how or what it will be like.
Fuji X10, one of the smallest creatures in the enthusiast's segment.
Gosh, I must admit Fuji makes beautiful cameras. Don't you agree? Seriously, both X100 and X10 are sexy beasts.
Wow, Christmas is very hot this time around !!
Oh I forgot about Canon. Ooops. There, some nice L lenses.
Cute, but practical?
I am not the only one snapping that little cute thing.
Sometimes, I started to think that the event was not only about camera and photography equipments.
The DCIM has been a fun ride, and it was always interesting to try out new lens and cameras. I have also met a few people who came up to me and said “Are you Robin Wong?”. Now that is something that does not happen very often, but simple things like this can put a smile on my face that will last for a very long time.
To all you beautiful people, Merry Christmas !!!
Have a great celebration with your family and friends, and may you find blessings in everything you do and everywhere you go to. Cheers.