23rd February 2018, Bangkok, Thailand – Following my Part 1 Review of the NEW Olympus E-PL9, and as promised, I brought the E-PL9 to Thailand for a solo trip and use the E-PL9 like a travel camera to see if this little camera can keep up with my travel.
Before we proceed, and as usual we would like to disclaim that we are reviewing based on user experience rather than a technical review which you can easily find on Olympus’s websites. We are really more interested in what the camera can produce and image quality etc. If you are cool, read on.
And so, prior to this review trip, I had already tested the NEW E-PL9 in Singapore and I was quite happy with the results and the images that I’ve gotten. However, in Thailand, things are much different. The sun is more harsh, the heat is intense, and things happened really quickly on the streets, colors are more rich and contrasty and subjects can change from a scenic scene to a street hawker in seconds. To survive Thailand, a fast-focusing camera, light & compact camera, performs well during day & night and a low profile (low visibility) camera – the NEW Olympus E-PL9 seems to fit the bill. Let’s check out the images! (more images available on my Facebook Albums)
Image: Wat Hua Lamphong, shot by Olympus E-PL9.
And so, I had packed my bags and visiting Thailand for the 59th time and reviewing Olympus gear in Thailand for the 4th time and it is also my 6th Solo trip to Thailand. Before I start, I would like to clarify that I did not bring any other lenses with me except the kit lens 14-42mm. This basic focal range is sufficient for at least 95% of the images that I had shot. Although I secretly hope that I have a slightly wider lens for this trip, the 14-42mm managed to keep up with what I am shooting. For this review, I am revisiting places that I’ve been in the past and doing a mental update at the same time.
Image: Wat Erawan, shot by Olympus E-PL9. Rendered with Bokeh Filter.
The E-PL9’s focusing amazed me. It is as fast as my OM-D EM-1 MarkII and the focusing is accurate up to 99% which really helps a lot when I am doing street images. It allows me or any users to “catch” the moment in milliseconds which is very important for street photography.
Image: Street Hawkers, shot by Olympus E-PL9.
Those of you who had been following Thailand’s news, there’s a “Clean-Up” on unlicensed street hawkers and sadly this trip, many of my favorite street stalls had disappeared. A quick check with the locals reveals that many had been relocated into malls, food streets and for some, they had decided to stop hawking altogether.
Image: Wat Erawan, image taken from the BTS Linkway, shot by Olympus E-PL9.
Image: Bangkok Rush, shot by Olympus E-PL9.
Unlike the review done in Singapore, using the E-PL9 as a travel camera is pretty cool due to its weight and size. I can slip it into my pockets easily and I don’t get tired from shooting with it all day. Not to mention that the little camera is capable of doing everything that I needed for this trip and the subjects that I am shooting.
Image: Bangkok City by Night, shot from Baiyoke Sky Observation Point, shot by Olympus E-PL9.
Low light performance is surprisingly good and the camera behaved well. ISO noise is visible (from the unedited example above) when I maxed it out but this is easy to fix during processing. Apart from that, most of the details are well retained. Do click on the image above (or any image on this article) and view at 100% you will be able to see and understand what I am talking about.
Image: Grand Palace, shot by Olympus E-PL9.
Image: Wat Pho (Sleeping Buddha), shot by Olympus E-PL9.
Shooting in Singapore and shooting in Thailand is a whole world of technical differences. Likewise the camera behaves differently due to the exposure/ color metering, the extent of the sunlight and color hues and sometimes you will be surprised with the images that you had shot after you had transfer them to a computer. Many times, the image you had seen on the camera preview somehow differs from what you are viewing on the computer. However, the preview from the E-PL9 is showing exactly what I had shot and I am pretty happy with that.
Image: Shot by Olympus E-PL9.
Image: Erawan Museum, Shot by Olympus E-PL9.
Image: Erawan Museum, Shot by Olympus E-PL9.
Image: A Long Tail Boat Speeding on Chao Phraya River, Shot by Olympus E-PL9.
Image: Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Shot by Olympus E-PL9.
I am very happy with the little Olympus E-PL9’s performance and it is definitely a great travel camera, street photography camera, landscape camera like an all-rounder. The puny size and feather-weight package makes it a perfect camera for prolong usage. For the 3 days that I am at Thailand, I survived with just 1 fully-charged battery and it is amazing how power-saving the E-PL9 is. From the image quality and colors, the usability to practicality, the Olympus E-PL9 is the camera to get if you are upgrading from compact cameras or looking to have a 2nd backup camera, or simply use for your travel, get the Olympus E-PL9.
To view the rest of the images shot by the NEW Olympus E-PL9, you may wish to pop by my Facebook albums.
OK Guys, Buy your NEW Olympus E-PL9 here!