Olympus PEN E-P5 Touch and Try Session

Important Update: 
For those of you in Malaysia, you can pre-book Olympus PEN E-P5 from Olympus Malaysia (click here) now!

You may also pre-order from B&H Online Store to help keep this blog running!
Olympus Electronic Viewfinder VF-4 

Please support me by "liking" my Facebook Page (click).

For those of you beautiful people in the wonderful Penang, Malaysia, if you have not done so, go and register with Olympus Malaysia (click here) for this event coming up on 26th May 2013!! 

Before I go on covering this Olympus PEN E-P5 Touch and Try event organized by Olympus Malaysia over this weekend, allow me to summarize my rather hectic and overwhelmingly exhausting weekend. I had a wedding assignment in Malacca on Saturday, so I travelled down to the historical state from Kuala Lumpur by bus on Friday night, immediately after work. I spent the whole Saturday shooting the wedding (which was beautiful, congratulations to Zachary and Jovyn!!!) till late night. I could not make it to the first two sessions of the Olympus E-P5 event which was on Saturday, thus I was doing my best to attend the final session on Sunday. Earlier this morning, I arrived at the Malacca Sentral (bus station) and got myself an 8am bus back to KL. In all the rush, thank goodness I managed to make it to the last session of the E-P5 Touch and Try session, and in the midst of the fatigue and exhaustion from the previous day's full day wedding shoot, I managed to pull out some shots with my camera !!

The Olympus PEN E-P5 Touch and Try session was organized to allow loyal Olympus users (the event was open to all, but of course existing Olympus users were prioritized) to have the first look and try on the just launched E-P5. The event was very well coordinated, allowing participants to have an enjoyable session, throughout the afternoon. To me, it felt like I was having a good movie experience, plus the additional bonus of getting to participate actively, in terms of shooting and trying the latest PEN E-P5 and assortment of lenses and accessories. Upon arrival, the guests were required to register, and they were given: two coupons to redeem freshly brewed coffee, one token to redeem the door gift, a lucky draw form. What was the first thing that I did? Obviously, I went for my COFFEE, and that has successfully kept me awake and going for the rest of the afternoon. That amazing fresh brew of coffee was a life saver.

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital lenses 25mm F2.8 pancake, 50mm F2 macro and 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 with external flash FL-50R.

The venue of the event before it started. The "attraction of the day" was veiled, and displays of the legendary PEN cameras. 

Fellow Malaysian Olympus user and professional photographer, Ming Thein was present to give his talk about his photography, and then conduct a hands on live demonstration of product shooting with the new Olympus  PEN E-P5! Had a brief catch up session with Ming right before the event started. 

Hiew Family!! I always see them in the same session of any Olympus events! Nice seeing Chung Ka, who was a young photographer, now taking the role of the President of his college's Photography Society. Proud of you Chung Ka!

Surprise bumping into Carmen Hong, who is a recent Olympus PEN convert!! She told me she was enjoying her E-PL5! Welcome to the world of micro 4/3. 

Out of a sudden people started coming up to me and said hi!! Really very happy to see some of my beautiful blog readers at the event. You all made my day! What would my blog be without you guys, seriously thanks for the support and visits. 

How to redeem the door gift: 1) slot the given token into the machine 2) Twist the dial/knob thingy 3) get that egg-shell thingy 4) And you have a miniature Olympus camera!!

My new not functional camera!!

How cute can a camera be?

Sanjit enjoying his cup of coffee with me, just before the event started. That coffee was GREAT!!

Checking out print samples from the new E-P5!!

The event started with welcome speeches, and introductory note for the PEN E-P5 by Kee Nyap with live hands on demonstration of the new wi-fi function-ability by Tang. That was then followed by Ming Thein speaking about his experience using Olympus Micro 4/3 gear in his professional work, and sharing some of his amazing photography work over the slideshow. Some of Ming's work were technically challenging (he shoots commercially) and he found the Olympus OM-D system together with the micro 4/3 lenses to be able to deliver results that he desired. As usual, his photography speaks for itself. He also had some of his photographs being blown up large in prints, and displayed around the event space. 

The next session after the speeces/talks was broken into three parts: 1) Live Shooting Demonstration with Ming Thein with on-the-spot printing 2) Olympus PEN E-P5 Touch and Try and 3) Olympus Technology Corner. 

I wanted to say that the highlight of the day was the PEN E-P5 touch and try event, but I was mistaken, as Ming Thein stole the show with his live demonstration voodoo going on. He was showing the audience a very simple product shooting demo, being carried out live, from 1) setting up of lightings and small tent (with black backgrounds), 2) him actually shooting the product in front of everyone 3) showcasing his shooting result immediately through a 32inch LCD TV 4) and printing that selected image at the adjacent printer, sponsored by Epson Malaysia. This was really impressive to say the least, it covered all the basic workflow of a photography, from preparations/setting up, then actual shooting to the last part of output: printing. Ming Thein was not allowed post-processing, and the image was straight out of camera, and printed directly! The result was great, and Ming Thein commented positively on the JPEG engine of the new Olympus E-P5, being better than what he experienced from the OM-D E-M5. Now I am eager to find out how true this is! Olympus JPEG Engine was already the best out there, how much better can it get, seriously?

Alright, alright I admitted the highlight was not the touch and try session because, well, I have already had a private session with Olympus Malaysia a week ago (hence I could do my blog preview of the E-P5), so for everyone else the main event was really to have their hands on the real deal: working pre-production units of the E-P5, at the touch and try corner. Props were being set up so everyone has something to shoot at. All kinds of lenses were provided for trying with the E-P5, and the new electronic viewfinder, VF-4 was also available for testing. The last part, but surely not the least, was the technology corner, where the pioneering technologies and amazing engineering breakthroughs from Olympus since the earlier days of their digital imaging were proudly displayed. Olympus has always been known for the corner to corner sharpness, the award-winning SSWF (super sonic wave filter) for dust-protection on their image sensor and also that revolutionary 5-Axis Image Stabilization which was first introduced in OM-D E-M5, and now available even on the latest PEN E-P5!

Event about to start!

Yong introducing the E-P5 and its features. 

Tang doing live demonstration on the wi-fi connectivity functions on E-P5, and live shooting through his I-Pad. 

Ming Thein delivering his talk.

And the Olympus PEN E-P5 was unveiled!!

I still like the SILVER one. 

Ming Thein doing his live demonstration product shooting stunt. Setting up with two LED light panels, and black background. By the way that was Sanjit in the background doing his video magic, covering the event. 

Ming Thein in action. You do not get to see this often guys. You only get to see it here exclusively on robinwong.blogspot.com!! Alright, kidding, but it was nice to see the live performance. 

Previewing the image on large TV, and zooming in (beyond 100% I think) to check the details and then, the image was ready for PRINT!!

The printed image. Erm, apologies for the weird composition, I was not quite myself, the coffee overdose and exhaustion did not help with my creative execution. 

After all the sessions, there was light refreshment, which I did over-indulge myself in. Hey, I skipped breakfast and lunch so that I could make it to this Olympus event in time, so eating a little too much was forgiveable, ok? But the food was good and I did not mind eating more. And I admitted having more coffee than I should. At least the side effect kept me awake so I could finish processing the images (have you counted how many images I have put up on this blog entry?) and blogging before I go to sleep soon. 

On the whole, I really did enjoy myself tremendously in this particular Olympus event. Over the years, I dare say this was the best event Olympus Malaysia has organized. The entire experience was purely satisfying, from the good brew of coffee, to the smooth flow of events and zero hiccup, and having awe-worthy live product shooting demo by renowned professional photographer Ming Thein, where everyone got to take home a few pointers about product photography. The Olympus Malaysia representatives (staff members) were also present to reach out to the users and answer any questions, or give live guidance if requested. Everyone was super-friendly and helpful, and connecting to the Olympus users was one important step in customer care which many other manufacturers should really look into. The care, attention and effort put into making this event and the participants were nothing short of praise-worthy. I must give my two-thumbs up to Olympus Malaysia, and for those of you Penang people (even non-Olympus users), do sign up to your coming event on 26th May 2013 before the seats are FULL!!

I was told that the review unit will be made available for me, but it will not be anytime soon. Apparently it has not been released from Japan, so guys, do bear with me, but when I do get the review unit, believe me when I say I will do my best to blog about it!


No doubt this was the most anticipated part of the event: Touch and Try!

Everyone got their hands full!

The technology corner, all things amazing about Olympus!

Olympus E-1!!! The first professional grade DSLR from Olympus' 4/3 format system. 

Seeing the live-effect of 5-Axis Image Stabilization in action. 

Carmen giving the E-P5 a go!

I have been monitoring the overall feedback and comments on the Olympus PEN E-P5, and many mentioned that they were taken aback with the rather high pricing. After all the E-P5 is a "Premium" camera, and it does have almost all the important features of OM-D E-M5. 

Nonetheless, Olympus Malaysia did have special offers for the E-P5 pre-orders, with MASSIVE discounts given for bundling with the amazing Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 and the new electronic viewfinder VF-4!! With the bundles, you get almost 50% slash off the price of the VF-4 and 17mm F1.8 lens, and surely with such offer, the E-P5 is VERY well worth considering. You also get additional free gift which are worth a lot of money, and if you have not done so, please do check out Olympus Malaysia's main page for the E-P5 pre-booking. 

I was glad I made it to the Olympus PEN E-P5 Touch and Try event. It was grand, professionally held and enjoyable. I had a great time catching up with some familiar faces, and making a few new friends. Also a very important part, I get to SHOOT!! After using the Sony gear for a while now, coming back to Olympus for this weekend, it FELT AMAZING!

Like I said, the Olympus E-5 had soul. It is hard to explain, but it is true!

For those of you who attended this event and are reading this, do say hi and share what your experience and what you think of the E-P5, and the whole event. Those beautiful people who said hi to me, please do leave a comment on this blog, I would really like to hear from you all!!


  1. Well reported!

    Nice to meet you again at E-P5 session :)

    Looking forward to your latest update version of your "Shuttle Therapy" soon...

    1. Hey GoldenFlyingDragons,
      Thanks! Glad to have met you too.... but I don't think you told me you were "goldenflyingdragons!!" So I gotta ask which one was you? Sorry, my facial recognition software is a little corrupted.

  2. As great as the OM-D was, and the E-P5 looks pretty good, I miss a good handling. I therefore prefer a Panasonic. I wish Oly would make more DLSR looking like bodies!

    1. There is a camera for everyone, hence surely one camera cannot suit all preferences. But the omd was designed to have larger battery grip built in hence you get better handling.

    2. But that is yet another extra 300€!

    3. It is a compromise, to please both worlds: those who prefer the camera to be as small, light and compact as possible, and those who want a larger camera with beefier grip.

  3. Looks like a nice event Robin. I have to say "Chapeau" to Olympus Malaysia. Through their work with you and Ming Thein, they come across as being extremely pro-active and well organised, and surely help Olympus sales in your part of the world.
    A dramatic contrast to Qatar. Here, it isn't even clear who the Olympus agents are. The Olympus Middle East website lists a company that no longer answers their phone. The "new" agents (according to a 2 month old press release) know nothing about what stock if any is coming in. In 5 years here, I have seen one solitary PEN, an E-PL3. It's been sitting sad and lonely in the same store for over a year, and none of the sales staff can tell you anything about it! Apart from the fact that it is more expensive than this E-P5!
    Fuji on the other hand have a single, well stocked point of sale. They have had all the X-Series cameras before they were even available on Amazon, and for a comparable price, with discounts available on request.....

    1. Hey Tom,
      When are you stopping by KL again? Sure we must catch up!
      It is sad to see attention was not given to marketing in Qatar. I am sure there is potential there and mirror less cameras are picking up pace.
      On the other hand I'm surprised to find out about Fuji doing well there!!

    2. Not sure when I'll be in KL again this year. Flying to NZ next month for winter, but via Singapore this time. May have a few days on the way back in Sept, but often we just go to Muar to catch up with family there...and stock up on the local delicacies!

    3. No worries, Muar has some great food, eat all you can!

  4. Thanks for the shoutout! And actually your post IS the first time I've been captured in action...

    1. Ming Thein, was great catching up with you again, and nice seeing you in action!

    2. Thanks as always Robin and Ming! It was cool seeing the images of Ming in action. Both of your blogs and photography insights are a gift to the visual arts world. As an Olympus m4/3 user, I certainly feel fortunate to share in your visions, life experiences, and the beauty of Malayasia and beyond through your blogs. Keep up the great work!

    3. Hello Hal,
      thank you so much for the kind comments! It was my pleasure sharing my passion and love for photography, and surely I am sure it is the same for Ming! Glad to know you use micro 4/3 too, thanks again for the encouragement!

  5. Nice one Robin :)
    I attended the session too but is on Saturday.
    Really need to give a thumb up to EP5...got the urge to replace my EP3 >,< But still holding back and wait the next OM-D generation come.

    I do agree the price is too high too and it is entering OM-D E-M5 price league (OM-D is cheaper now). But as you said, it make it more worth by preorder right now bundle together with 17mm f1.8 and the VF4 + alot free gift. Gosh the VF4 is gorgeous!

    I wonder is Olympus international warranty? I tempted to preorder it from B&H photo and get it delivered to me ASAP since Olympus Malaysia only available early July, if they did not delay.

    1. Hey Jackie,
      I am glad to know that you went to the event!!! I am sure you have had a great experience.
      Yes, Olympus warranty is valid internionally and if you do buy from B&H please use one of my links so I can earn some commission!

    2. haha my gf want it so badly actually and I manage to convinced her to get with VF4 + 17mm for me. So she will take the body only and happily steal whichever lens I have now.

      Alright will use the link from you! :)

    3. Thanks! You can also click the links to B&H and then navigate around, if you buy anything it will be tracked back to me. Thanks!

  6. Nice event, I look forward for your E-P5 actual review as usual! Is that mJu that mingthein was shooting with it's a great compact!


    1. Hey kyo,
      Thanks for the kind words!! Yes that was a mJu Ming was using! He snapped a shot of me with that!

    2. Photo of you and your E-5 (I think) :) What about E-P5? (Drooling) ^^

    3. At that time ep5 has not been unveiled yet

  7. Hi Robin,
    Great coverage. I agree with Jackie that the price is too high, even though the build quality is really good and controls quite intuitive. I was snapping away in seconds in priority mode, manual mode in a minute using the dual control dials which I like very much.
    I felt the buttons were much more accessible than the OMD E-M5.

    The Wi-Fi and tablet control features are superb.

    I like how the event is more intimate and leisurely paced and the number of pax is spot-on for the venue. Well organised and presented. Kudos to Olympus team from a first-time attendee.

    It was great meeting you, you are much 'larger' in real-life, and Ming Thien much smaller physically than I imagined; shows how unreliable photos can be.

    All the best for your future endeavours.

    -Vincent Wan.
    (The dirty old man enjoying the Epson printout - :-} )

    1. Hello Vincent! It was great seeing you! Thanks for the blog visits, and surely thanks for coming to the event! Olympus Malaysia did put a lot of effort in making this event happen! Glad the first time experience was good!
      People always tell me I look much taller than I do in photos! And the extra height does help in certain difficult photo compositions!

  8. Goood reporting mate. Considering a change in profession perhaps a wedding pgotographer or even a new journo?

    1. Hey tom!
      Are you in KL already? Should catch up for dinner soon!!!

  9. Great report, Robin, and excellent pictures as well. Yes, the new Oly is pricy, but isn' most gear when introduced? It'll come down eventually, and, as you pointed out, there are some great offers already. When I buy one "for the wife" I'll use your links.

    Get some rest, dimsum, and a nice comfy lazy chair! Mission accomplished!

  10. Hey Andre!
    Thanks for the kind comments! Wow your wife will surely love the EP5!!! Its easy to use and very responsive.
    I've still got 1000 things to do before I can sit down and rest!

  11. Donald W Leitzel5/13/2013 09:25:00 PM


    Excellent report on the E-P5 preview touch and feel session. I feel like I already touched it thanks to you and Ming Thein.

    I have to wait till it is available in the US. By the way I live less than 10 miles from Olympus USA Headquarters.

    Keep up the good work I check your blog daily, and even enjoy your Sony coverage.


    1. Hello Don,
      Thanks for the kind words and support!!
      I am sure they already have the pre-production units in the US. Perhaps the users should pressure the Olympus USA for coming up with an event (at a much larger scale of course) to gather their users !! The consumers are happy getting their hands on the new product, and the Olympus team can do their marketing things with everyone together, it is a win win situation!
      Thanks also for being forgiving about me using Sony!

  12. Great reporting Robin! I find your type of hands-on coverage far more insightful than the usual churning of tech specs on the usual photo websites! As cool at the E-P5 is, it makes me even more excited for what the E-M6 will offer!

    1. Thanks for the kind words Jonathan. I myself am also very excited about the next OM-D!

  13. Hi Robin,
    thank you for sharing your thoughts about the E-P5 and fotografy. I like reading your blog since a whie now. I've not really often read so many gushy words from you about a new camera or a event though. I can tell you that I pre-ordered the new Olympus in Germany yesterday. For me, the techical data and the look are the most important criterias to do this. I own a lot of Olympus cameras from the last 30 years now (and never sold one) and think that they built some really great one's.
    I like my E-30 (no, I havent bought a E-5, this one was to expensive for my opinion), my E-P1 (used from Ebay) and the OM-D and I loved my OM4ti.
    For me street fotografy or people fotografy is much easier with such a small camera system than to hide my head after a big C or N camera :-)
    Have a great time, thank you for your blog, I really enjoy your work.

    1. Hello Armin,
      Great to see another person using Olympus, and a long time supporter that you are!
      I agree with you when you mentioned it is easier to shoot people with smaller cameras, they are more relaxed and natural!

  14. Ah, so nice to read this post and recapped on what happened. I have to admit, this is my first time attending such an event and if there one thing I could wish for the next time, would be to have a longer live shooting session. It felt so rushed during Ming Thein's session, but so much time for the rest.

    And so nice to bump into you, it's not a surprise you didn't recognize me. Haha, my hairstyle is really quite different.

    So, when is the next photowalk? Can't wait to try the EPL5 on the streets! Heh.

    1. Hey Carmen,
      Thanks for the kind words! Well, to be honest, when I am in shooting mode, I am sort of in that "trance" mode where everything else around me didnt matter, and that was my fault for not thinking that "hey this girl looks familiar!". My bad really. But it was very nice to see you there!
      We shall get Jason too, and your friends Alex and Josline (is that how I spell her name?), and after street lets finish off with a nice lunch where we can shoot the food too!

  15. Dear Robin,

    Abdullah here. I wonder what camera & flash settings you used for most of the flash pics. They are really nice.


    1. Dear Abdullah,
      You can find out all the settings from the EXIF data which I left intact with all the photos.

  16. Robin!!!

    Excellent event report, and nice to see that you & M. Thein sometimes get to share the same premises out of passion; you are my two favourite Malaysian reporters BIG TIME!

    Let me just say that if improved JPEG IQ rumors are true, and I certainly hope so since Oly color accuracy has tended to be a little off recently, then I may even have to consider replacing my beloved E-P3 with one of these swell E-P5 sooner than expected in spite of my already insane Oly arsenal...

    Only one small thing scares me so far, pertaining in fact to the new, FIXED E-P5 grip; I currently use the larger, optional E-P3 grip for improed balanced with my 4/3 gems on adapter, but this won't be possible with the next gen Pen unfortunately.

    What else can I say? Oh, your skills at using the E-5 are so inspiring! I own one too, love it very much ("soul" would indeed be the proper word!) especially in combination with HG lenses such as the 11-22mm, 12-60, or 50mm, but am still trying to decipher how to get the most accuracy out of its JPEG engine! Everything is possible afterwards in LR, if only by adding 'Clarity' & 'Vibrance', yet I would like to acheive similar results in-camera. Advices, comments?

    In any case, my sincerest congratulations for your continuous efforts through this wonderful blog of yours!

    Daniel (aka Marathonianbull)

  17. improed balanced >>> improved balance...