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Wednesday, 08 July 2009

Short Talk:

I teared so much last night watching the Michael Jackson memorial service on TV.

I teared when Paris Jackson spoke, cried when Usher performed, and absolutely bawled my head off when Mariah Carey sang... because her singing was so bad!

ADV: Olympus E-P1 Micro Four-Thirds Camera Review

The first camera I bought was a compact cam.

I was quite happy with it. In fact, I loved it so much I didn’t understand why some nerds would go around lugging their big heavy SLRs as if it's a cool thing to do.

My friends and I used to joke that maybe those photographers carry it to compensate the lack of size in “the other department”. Yeah, we were very mean. But we shut up immediately when we saw the amazing photos that came out of their cameras.

Like this.

When I see photos like these, my whole body twitched and itched.

No, it was not swine flu. It was an itch telling me it’s time to buy a new camera. But to take SLR-quality photos, I need to use big ass cameras. Never mind the fact that I might look like  nerd. I need to cure my itch.

So off I went to the camera shop, plonked down the money. Next thing I know I became one of those nerds lugging around a big heavy SLR, listening to people laughing behind my back saying it’s to compensate for my lack of size in “the other department”. 

The thing is, I would love it if there’s a camera out there small like a compact camera, yet capable of taking amazing quality images like an SLR. I would look less like a nerd and I can bring my camera everywhere.

Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Last time, such cameras would not have been possible. It all boiled down to the way SLRs are constructed with mirrors and stuff. They must always be big and heavy.

Simply put, it was not possible to have a small and slim SLR camera, just like how it’s impossible to have a ballet dancer who is fat and obese.

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Then Olympus came and said, “Screw that! We’ll show them how to make a small camera that can take SLR-quality photos!” 

And so a revolutionary new technology emerged.

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Out comes the Micro Four-Thirds.

It is the one of first cameras in the world that is small in size, yet capable of taking amazingly sharp and precise SLR-quality photos.

Not only that, these cameras can take full high-definition videos with stereo, capable of changing into a suite of different lenses and do all sorts of things that neither compacts nor SLRs can do on their own.

When Olympus made the announcement on the new camera, people were salivating. And it’s not because Crissty Chiang was one of the models.

The Micro Four-Thirds caused such a huge stir in the photography world because finally, someone has come up with something that combined the best of both compacts and SLRs.

This is not a compact camera.

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It is not an SLR. It is not even a semi-pro.

The truth is, it’s not possible compare a Micro Four-Thirds to any existing camera on the market. The Micro Four-Thirds is in a whole new league on its own. And the first camera from Olympus that uses this kickass new standard is the Olympus PEN E-P1.

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I am gonna be honest though.

There are two gripes I have with the Olympus E-P1. One is that it costs RM2,999 for a single lens kit. The other is that it doesn’t come with a built-in flash.

It’s possible to get an external flash, but that would cost more and add an extra bulk to the camera.

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That aside, the Olympus E-P1 is actually very very good.

I’m not gonna go into all the techy stuff like how it comes with M. Zuiko lens, can go up to ISO 6400 and shoot RAW (sounds a bit salah) because that’s what geek sites like CNET is for. Instead, I took my review unit out for a whirl so you can make your own judgment.

All the photos here are taken with the Olympus E-P1 and are completely untouched by Photoshop. It’s also clickable so you can see them in their naked full 12.3 megapixel glory.

A macro shot - Appetizer at Josiah and Kim’s wedding.

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Portrait shot of the newly-weds. Mind you, this is in low-light and without flash!

Widescreen video recorded in high definition and stereo sound.

I’m amazed by how crisp the video turn out. As icing on the cake, you can even set the camera to automatically snap a photo at the end of the video.

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JoyceTheFairy at the launch of the Olympus E-P1.

Check out how the background is blurred due to camera’s depth of field. I couldn’t tell the difference between this shot and that from an SLR.

 

The most ridiculous gift I have ever received from an anonymous sender.

Unfortunately, it is NOT from a girl. :( The content is so traumatising I can’t even post it up here right now. Maybe I’ll reveal it next time.

The newly-constructed Sarawak state assembly building.

Come to think of it, how come all our government buildings look like the Sun Harvester unit from Transformers?

The old side of Kuching, during sunset.

Harmony Arch at Carpenter Street, Kuching.

There’s a special feature built into the Olympus E-P1 called “art-filters”. These are like Photoshop effects to enhance the artistic quality of the picture, but done in real-time.

Here’s the Harmony Arch in Pop-Art mode.

 

The Pop-Art filter gives it an over-emphasis on the bright colours, to make it as if you’re looking at the world through the psychedelic eyes of a little boy.

River taxis on the Waterfront.

In Pale & Light Colour mode. Gives it a 1960s feel. Like an old photo from your mother.

The General Post Office of Kuching.

The General Post Office in Grainy Film mode. Gives it a 1940s feel. Like an old photo from your grandmother.

  

The Kuching skyline from the top of Medan Pelita.

The Kuching skyline in Pin Hole mode. Gives it a lomography camera feel. Like a photo from your pet hamster.

Ethan in Child mode. My 6-month-old baby nephew looking a little lost.

Sorry, cuteness not included.

Hot chicks Hui Wen and Sheylara in Kuching, before they got swallowed up by bees and mosquitoes doing the Borneo Highlands Nature Challenge.

One thing I think girls are absolutely gonna love about the Olympus E-P1 is that it can smoothen out imperfections in skin tone and texture. It’s great because every photo you take of the girl will make them look like Zhang Ziyi.

This is Hui Wen zoomed in 100%, before and after Zhang Ziyi Mode.

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Quite awesome, isn’t it?

It works especially well on girls, but I wonder if it works for guys as well? Let’s try.

This is a photo of me taken with the Olympus E-P1 under normal conditions.

 

 

 

 

And this is me after using the camera’s Zhang Ziyi Mode.

Ok, that didn’t work as well as expected. :(

92 Comments

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no one?

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So you mean this Olympus is DSLR + Photoshop + Videocam?

Hmmm...gonna check this out

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excellent! sounds good. im gonna buy it!!

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NICE! The price is still a deterrent.

Wayeyoung.blogspot.com

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yes i wanna buy it

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oh yeah? wat model is that huh ? is it really worth to buy ?

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Wow, the camera is really good. Kick my G9 ass all the way. Hmm....time for a change.

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OMG you're freaking funny lah.. the last part. Lucky I wasn't outside when reading cos I burst out laughing.

I have to say the photos are really nice. I like all the effects!

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I though Leica got the same thing like this few years back?
A slim body with big lense, SLR entry digital camera....
so i dun think olympus is the 1st?
i might be wrong... but it seem like the same category as Leica Digilux series

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WTF LOLOLOLOL AT THE COMPARISON BETWEEN UR LAST PICCIE AND THE FAT DUCK! AHAAHAHHAHAA

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he's a chicken... :(

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looks more like a duck to me too ;P

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poor pau! pat pat

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poor people like me needs to wait the price to go down.
Btw, at least your stomach looks the same for normal mode and zhang ziyi mode =P

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I'm liking that Zhang Ziyi Mode of you xD

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panasonic LX3 hd the same function n mode.
i thk tat LX3 is better than tis cam!

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No way LX3 can be better. For your information, E-P1 is same quality as dSLR. LX3 is not even come close.

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Pretty cool.

Could you point your E-P1 skyward on a cloudless night and leave exposure on for a minute a so and see how it captures the stars? That's the ultimate test, in my opinion.

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ahahahahah!! the last picture was damn funnyyy!!

aw i just bought my lumix lx3 baby last month though. it's like, half the price of olyumpus pen & a semi pro too. too bad im so good at photography i can only use the auto mode lor :(

nice pics tho =) love the zhangziyi mode ahaha.

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i love this advertorial so much!!
u'r an awesome blogger kenny :D

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Due to the technology used in micro 4/3 there is no mirror in the cam so it can be built as compact is it can be. While the design of the lense is still based on SLR, if you need to go ultra zoom, the lense is going to be big anyway(where you need to have a converter to attach 4/3 lense). Notice that the lense mounted in the pic is 14-42, it does looks huge when it is fully extended compare to the body. meanwhile the auto focus is based on contrast detection, I doubt it would be as fast as an entery level DSLR which uses a dedicated focusing sensor.

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aww hey the zhang ziyi mode made you cuter!

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Wowww... wonder how much is the '$damaged$' will be....

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kenny, i agree that Mariah Carey sang so badly . And Usher was great, 2-thumbs-up. I wiped the most during the second song. RIP MJ!

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I was so excited when they said that they're going to create a digital Olympus PEN camera. Already the analog PENs were awesome and timeless (I have a PEN EE-2!) and I was blown away again by this Micro Four-Thirds camera!! Awesome!! Like you mentioned before, the quality is amazing. It resembles a full-frame SLR camera.

Up till now I was pining for a Canon G10. But now, Oly has stolen my heart :) Even though the price is .... expensive, but it's a small price you have to pay for quality.

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cool camera. feels like getting one too. but the design not that stylish ler. =(. besides that, everything seems to be perfect!!=)

how much is it? anyone?

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I think Mariah Carey is a wonderful singer.

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i like the last 2 pictures...

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Darn, and I thought Lumix LX3 is yet the best compact SLR-liked camera until that showed up.

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I still say Lumix LX3 ftw!!!

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LX3 does not come close to E-P1 in quality. After you use E-P1, you can keep the LX3 in your cupboard. :)

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very nice review about this olympus now is making my heart itch to get 1 haa.. pretty expensive in sg

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Bwahahahahahahahha..I love the last picture of the chicken. Fat chickenn...LOL (eh, I don't mean you, Kenny. lol) :p

and the camera looks awesome. I love photography myself, and if only I have enough money to get this... :(

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Got Zhang Zi Yi mode somemore...not bad lol

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i love this adv! will buy it when i save enough. my current camera sucks.

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haha, saw the launching news in sinchew few days ago, and talked about it with friends yesterday.. so is it really worth for that price? rly wanna know, coz always think that SLR is rly heavy to carry along.. with this, traveling could be easier. =)

waahhh.com

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How much it cost ha ?

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Hahahaha ~ Hilarious Kenny.. I would love to buy that camera but it is abit pricy thou :(

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The camera has very nice output and you have taken those pictures well..

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Panasonic G1 is the first camera with the mirco four third system, and was launch last year. perhaps olympus can claim they are the first micro four third camera with video shooting mode.

SLR or compact? the biggest difference is speed! how often have you missed shots on compact, because they are so slow to power up and takes 'foerever' to shoot.

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Love the camera shots. Nice!

Hahaha, if i didn't tell u about the Sarawak state building looks like the Sun Harvesting unit, u probably didnt realise hor? Hehehe..

And can you email me the video of us trying to "catch" the bouquet during Kim's wedding? LOL. And you still owe me some pics.

And are u trying to say that u look like a chicken? :P

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ur face looks smaller again. apa diet nih. go up and down like this

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No offense Kenny, but I think Canon and Panasonic already have similiar models and they are way cheaper. Olympus is not the first one to introduce such models.

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That's very wrong information you got there. It's very misleading. There's no such compact m4/3rd from any manufacturer. This is first company that come out with this compact m4/3rd. I hope you get better info to avoid misleading others.

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However, Canon G10's lens is not interchangable, and its sensor is still much smaller than P1 4/3. The sames goes for Panasonic LX3.

Panasonic G1 or GH1 is also using 4/3 sensor, but their design resemble something like a mini SLR than a compact design.

Kudos to Olympus for creating such small powerful camera, and not to mention the cute little lens too.

Anyway, IMHO, it's a little under powered for serious photo shooting (lack of better fast and long or ultra wide lens?), and a little big for the pocket as a bring every where camera.

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hehe...nice pics you have there. By the way, you heard of FESTIVAL OF THE MIND? a big thing happening this weekend in UTAR Kampar campus. advertised in my blog. maybe you could make a trip down and evaluate the whole event =) cheers!

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hey kenny, may i ask what video format did u upload into youtube? the video quality seems amazing! i'd like to know lol...

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nice camera.. wonder whether i can get it or not.. lol.. great pics.. would love to have it.. but i think i still prefer a compact one.. since im not a professional photographer =P

kenwooi.com

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eh..kenny..i notice that you have quite a skin.Pimples free geh ????? or maybe the camera trick again ah? hmm..

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nice camera.. and i saw u hanging a camera on ur neck walk at street.. haha..

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KENNY !!!

WHO IS THAT GIRL IN THE YELLOW DRESS ??

Judging from previous pictures of her holding a rose, and now this, a beautiful landscape picture possibly taken during a vacation... I would assume that she's your current GF ???

Please... stop torturing us loyal readers can o not... !? Tell la ! T_T

kennysia.com

Oh my! Again ah?

She's not my girl, honestly. She's just... modelling for kennysia.com.

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You got it wrong kenny! It shouldn't be Zhang Ziyi mode. It should be MEGAN FOX mode!

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IDK didn't see much depth of field images. I imagine a camera of that size would have very limited capability compared to a pro DSLR.And the contrast looks very darkened and blottish. Those pictures of the couple look very grainy even at 100% resolution. Not very good. And for almost 3k? Only for the rich camwhores who are stupid enough to spend on it or have broke their wrist camwhoring with a DSLR. Not worth it. :)
Cheers.

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We never know what is the ISO. It could probably be ISO3200 or 6400. Did you use dSLR before? At that kind of ISO, any dSLR will be blotchy too. Probably Full Frame will be better.

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I saw other online review and went out and bought it instantly.
Then I sold it off within a week.

Try to take photos when the sun is at your back or side and you will know what I mean.

It is a good backup if you already have DSLR. If you are hoping to get it just for the fact it is cool. Then it is a good choice.

But you cannot compare it to DSLR. Better than point and shoot YES. Same as DSLR? Obvious NO.


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awww so cute, you turn into an adorable yellow chick in 'zhang ziyi' mode :P

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I like the photo in the grainy film mode...awsome...

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now this is something. it seems that this camera itself comes with so much great features. no more photoshop perhaps :p

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Hi all,

I'm owner of E-P1. For you guys information, Olympus is the first manufacturer who come out with compact body with interchangeable lens. No other manufacturer did this. Canon/Nikon/Panasonic also lose out to Olympus. If you all search the web, you'll find that E-P1 is the hottest camera in the market. Panasonic LX3 also lose to this camera. No need to talk about Canon/Nikon because this manufacturer does not even have any camera that come close to such compact body and performance.

This will be holy grail of all compact camera. It'll be ultimate blogger camera in the world for years to come.

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Can it focus fast enough? I don't expect pro dSLR focusing speed, just seeing if it can focus faster than high-end P&S like G10 and LX3.

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Yes, it can AF faster than LX3 with my 17mm Pancake lens. Not sure with 14-42mm though. I heard using G1 lens can AF even faster.

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http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/body.html#g-1

It may be the first but not the only one. Its lack of viewfinder is its biggest drawback.

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Nice camera!!!

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Either the camera is really good OR you're a good photographer. The macro shot of Kim's wedding appetizer is really nice! :D

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OMG! This is a brilliant camera!! I'm currently not putting my SLR cam to good use coz I'm still taking pics like a point and shoot with it :(

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Ethan--Shin Chan?

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http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=120805377384&h=P-9cj&u=Vs5ut&ref=nf

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nah, never trust olympus camera. there are crap.

i have one and the colors never come out nicely. did you notice most of the colors in the pics look abit dull?

you can try to take the same scene with other camera and they'd come out better.

olympus are crap! better get a lumix!

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Which Olympus you have? Point and shoot? Better try out E-P1. It's as good as it gets. I don't think the color is dull. Probably you should check your monitor or your eyes...

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???????????????????????????????????????

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ProPhotographer, you work for Olympus?

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no. I'm E-P1 owner.

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If you like the Olympus PEN, watch the youtube. You'll fall in love even more!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9Et7UQh1tg

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Dear Kenny, your video link doesn't work eh.

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Good review on the Olympus Pen 1. It give consumer another choice of selection. Another 2 models that worth considering are Panasonic Lumix LX3 and also Ricoh GX200.

Both cameras can take awesome pictures as well :)

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And to think I was saving up for a Nikon D90. Sigh, is it time for me to bid goodbye to my Sony Alpha? Haha, and cute duck!

Btw Kenny, you don't need Zhang Ziyi mode, your skin is flawless, seriously. Hahaha.

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i have the same chicken. i call her Patty.

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Panasonic Lumix also not bad. I am snapping some good photos while boarding Airbus A380 by Singapore Airline .. sonofpenang.blogspot.com

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I don't agree with some comments that blatantly accuse olympus of being crap cameras. I attended the olympus launch in plaza mont kiara, and it seems to be a pretty neat thing to have. The E-P1 also currently breaks records for the total number of SLRs sold around the world, being second only to the canon 500D.

If you have a full frame or cropped sensor, be it Nikon, Canon or whatever brand, be content with what you have, and let your pictures do the talking.

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i think this camera should be call "SPY" and not "PEN" bcos it is like a 'compact' that try to be 'DSLR'. XD

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OH GOD. Sarawak's state assembly building sticks out in old Kuching like a fuken sore thumb. Why does BN always insist on building shitty buildings like this in a historical area?

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Photoshop will do!! haha, too bad i still noob in using it >.

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Kenny!! Dont keep up guessing for too long pls!! Reveal what's inside the gift box from ur annon admirer!

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Hi Kenny, Love the pictures you took of Kuching. They looked so nice. I use a Panasonic DMC- FX 30 Lumix digital camera to take pics for my blog, (small fella) but he seem to be working hard and taking some nice pictures for me!

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LOL. ZHANG ZIYI MODE. xD

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hey Kenny,

Care to tell me which camera you took to Paris last time?

And also how to self-take pic with your Olympus? isn't it heavy and makes your arm tired holding it long?

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Hmmm... I could really need this camera.... going to check it out at the shops

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tHe Spring Copal Digital sells one for RM2999.

Saberkas Shopping Complex Copal Digital sells one for RM2699.

Dont ask me, i dont know y...

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How I wish to get my hand on one of this. It would be easier on my neck and arms.

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Beautiful pictures. It is an awesome camera.

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This is a good camera for the price. It is simple to use and takes clear, crisp pictures. Also, the battery life is good. And the price makes it affordable to take good pictures.

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