Dine-in is finally allowed in Malaysia and my friends Jackie, Jaslyn and I made plans to meet up for brunch. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to test out the Olympus M.Zuiko 8-25mm F4 PRO lens and do a vlog recording the day, and share it with everyone here. Do take note commercial photography and videography are still restricted due to the strict lockdown that is still in place, so my full review will have to wait - I need more time to shoot extensively to get enough sample photographs, but I will do it as soon as I can. For now, let's breathe some fresh air (more like polluted city air), drink some overpriced coffee, eat some amazing Malaysian food and catch up with awesome friends! According to Jaslyn, this was the best day since May before the lockdown started, and I have to agree with her!

The vlog video shot entirely with Olympus 8-25mm PRO lens here (click). 

My vlogging setup of the day:
Camera - Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III
Lens - Olympus M.Zuiko 8-25mm F4 PRO
Microphone - Deity V-Mic D3

I really love how versatile the Olympus 8-25mm PRO lens is for video shooting. Starting at 8mm, I get true ultra wide coverage which can be really useful for location establishing shots, and capturing as much as possible to fit within a frame. Also for vlogging, pointing the camera toward myself, 8mm gives a bit of working distance away from the camera, so that my face is not smacked right in front revealing all the facial imperfections - god I don't have perfect skin, and you don't want to see me shot with 12mm or narrower on 4K resolution, I might give you nightmares. The 8mm wide is a compelling option for video work, especially if you intend to show off the location, landscape/scenery or placing yourself within the frame of your video. 

Zooming to 25mm, I can exit the wide angle framing, and get myself much closer to the subjects, with less or almost no perspective distortion. This provides a lot of flexibility for composition options, doing all with just one lens without having to change lens. I also like that the Olympus 8-25mm goes really close, having good macro capabilities, and I can use this to shoot food and products as well. The versatility of the 8-25mm lens is perhaps the best option out there for Micro Four Thirds. Panasonic has the 8-18mm F2.8-F4, but at 18mm, it is still too wide in comparison to what the Olympus longest end at 25mm. Then there is Panasonic 10-25mm, but 8mm is surely not ultra wide at all, and not wide enough for certain framing that requires true ultra wide coverage. 

I have been vlogging the entire day, and at a time walking and talking non stop, holding the camera and lens up with one hand for more than an hour. I did not feel any strain or discomfort at any parts of my body. I did say in my first impression I wish the lens is smaller or lighter in build, but having used the Olympus 8-25mm in real life I did not think it was too big or heavy at all. This is subjective and your opinion may differ, as we are all built differently, and we hold and handle cameras and lenses differently. 

My first cup of overpriced coffee after 3 months since lockdown started. Shot with 8-25mm PRO at 8mm widest. 

Crop from previous shot, look at the sharpness and contrast! I am impressed with the Olympus 8-25mm PRO optical quality. 

Another crop, because one is not enough

Initially I wanted to shoot some photographs to go along with the vlog as well, but I know I am a terrible multi-tasker and if I try to do too many things at the same time, I lose focus and I will fail to get anything at the end. Therefore, I decided to not do images and just focus on video so that I have enough coherent footage to compile into a final content to be uploaded to my YouTube. There are still travel restrictions in place and lockdown is not over yet, so I can't just run around taking photographs anywhere in the city, but trust me, when I can, and hopefully soon, I will do a full review of the Olympus 8-25mm PRO lens. I have so many plans for this lens, and I can't wait. 

I caught up with Jackie and Jaslyn and they were the first humans I have interacted with since the lockdown started. It was nice having real, meaningful conversations in real life with friends, after being isolated for so long. And we did that over overpriced coffee and great food. I could not have asked for a better weekend. I sure hope life is slowly returning to normal, and I can continue to make content outside. While my commercial photography business will not recover any time soon (may not recover anything at all for the remainder of 2021) but I sure can put more effort in my YouTube channel and grow that platform. 

Hopefully after this, you don't have to see more videos of me being trapped in my tiny room any more! And get some fresh, hot Malaysian sun through my camera. 

If you vlog, do consider the Olympus 8-25mm PRO!

I am not sure if I will continue this "vlog" format, I will most likely return to my normal style of mounting the camera on tripod and stand still on one location, speaking to the camera. Walking while holding the camera with one hand is dangerous, and I have spoken about this concern before. I was literally walking on the roadside and for most parts, there were no pedestrian buffer and I was on the main road itself. The virus did not get me, I don't want cars to hit me. 

As for now, I shall continue to enjoy that next cup of overpriced coffee and see if I can find ways to get more shots outside for the next video/blog entry. 

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