Thursday, March 25, 2010

5th Olympus User Gathering: Olympus PEN E-PL1

I got this facebook invitation a while back:

You are cordially invited to attend the 5th Olympus User Gathering.

In this event, we will be featuring our latest model the Olympus PEN E-PL1, New Generation System Cameras.

Date : Saturday, 20th March 2010.
Time : 11.00am – 2.30pm
Venue : BON TON Restaurant, Lot 10

Who should attend ?

•Yourself (of course!) and your friends or anyone you know who wants to take great SLR quality photos but do not know/have photography knowledge or skills, and do not like the size and weight of a conventional SLR.
•Current PEN User – get a chance to try out the new M. Zuiko 9-18mm lens!


•Feast your hands on the new Olympus PEN E-PL1, New Generation System Cameras (Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens system camera) and the M.Zuiko 9-18mm lens that has – fast and silent autofocus!
•Special guest speaker to speak on his experience with the Micro Four Third system.
•Special photo gallery & PEN showcase and accessories.

Special Highlights

•After the event we will adjourn to Pavillion to witness a very cool Flash Mob --a dance evolution from the 60s,70s,80s,90s and the current era! Be a part of it or go ahead and snap away! Great shots guaranteed! Show starts at 3.00pm!

For those who don't know, the EPL-1 is the latest addition to the Micro 43rds system by Olympus in its attempt to attract more users who're currently in the compact camera market.

The main agenda on some minds would be the free food, which is pretty awesome by the way (eg. nasi briyani, curry chicken, fried fish fillet, spaghetti). But other than that, its a great opportunity to meet up with other Oly users and to network with them. They're a great bunch to be with, in my opinion.

Before lunch, we were treated to a series of talks regarding the EPL-1's capabilities by several of their staff, including a live demonstrations of the camera's advanced live view functions. I was pretty impressed with what I witnessed.

Behind the wine cabinets was a small room that accommodated the several EPL-1 units (which are unfortunately chained to the cabinet). To the right side of the image are several large posters which illustrate the potential enlargements that can be made from an EPL-1 file.

The PEN EPL-1 is a small critter, even when fitted with the all purpose ultra wide angle M. Zuiko 9-18mm lens, which gives an equivalent field of view of 18-36mm. In a compact high quality chassis that's no larger than your average compact camera, SLR-quality images are now within the reach of the average photographer enthusiast.

The conventional fourthirds E-620 camera is already one of the smallest DSLRs to date, but when compared with the EPL-1 and the M. Zuiko 9-18, it's size and weight advantage is pretty evident.

In some ways, I do feel the EPL-1 should've been the EP-1. It has a very user friendly interface, and the addition of several valuable functions, eg. the EVF attachment, pop up flash, stereo microphones and a dedicated video recording button make this quite a hit.

Regarding the actual presentation given by the Olympus staff, I felt it lacked some conviction and confidence that the EPL-1 is a great camera for the photo enthusiast. Perhaps if we emulated the enthusiastic presentation style of Olympus visionaries like Lou Manna and Jay Kinghorn, we would see a surge in the popularity of the Olympus system.

The last speaker did a pretty elegant speech on how his Olympus EP-2 helped him in his photographic journey to document his street shots and the life of his kids. Unfortunately, I guess the target audience was a little misplaced. Most of us are more serious supporters of the Olympus E-system and not Micro 43rds as a whole. Of course we are impressed with its capabilities, but I reckon that another separate presentation should be given at larger shopping malls (eg. Mid Valley, Pavilion) to maximise public awareness of this new product who are more importantly the possible target audience of the Micro 43rds market.

The Flash Mob dance group did a spectacular performance in front of the Pavilion shopping center.

Rock on, Flash Mob ! :)

1 Comment:

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