It’s been nearly 18 months since I picked up the Olympus E-M5. Thinking back; that was one of the most significant photographic decisions I had to make! I was at a crossroad deciding which mirrorless camera system to continue with – the Sony NEX, Samsung NX, Fujifilm X-Trans, or stay with the Olympus/Panasonic m4/3s standard. I stayed with the m4/3s system with the E-M5, picked up several more wonderful prime lenses – and the system has provided absolutely wonderful pictures on vacation, of our two children, and of The Minton.

The older m4/3s body – the 2.5 year old E-PL2 – was put aside for the most part (couldn’t find a second-hand buyer for it!) until a couple of months ago when it got dusted off to accompany me for The Minton photo-visits. Oddly though, while the E-PL2 still seems to function, the images coming out of it of late have been somewhat blurry. I tried the camera on a variety of lenses, and were getting more misses than hits, requiring a lot of sharpening in Photoshop before I deemed them suitable for posting. It certainly wasn’t shutter shock, since I’d already set the E-PL2 for 1/8s shutter delay.

I guess it was time for a replacement m4/3s companion to the E-M5. After the E-M5’s sensor won critical acclaim, the very same sensor has shown up on several other Olympus m4/3 bodies, including the entry-level E-PM2, the mid-range E-PL5 and the high-end E-P5. The E-PL6 is a minor upgrade from the E-PL5, announced in July this year but only available in Asian and Japanese markets apparently. The camera is available on Amazon JP and would have cost around $880 for me to have ordered it here. Ouch.

That’s why I was very surprised to see that Olympus Singapore had just put up the E-PL6 on promotional pricing at $788. Normally, camera bodies are marked-up in pricing here. I didn’t hesitate – I picked up one such unit at Courts-Tampines Megamall during lunch hour immediately. Very nicely too was that the package came with a bunch of freebies on top of what was already provided in the promotional pricing – unusual for a electronics store like Courts, which isn’t normally known for big discounts or freebies. Some of which I didn’t need (the Olympus camera case, a cheapo tripod), one which I didn’t mind (a Class 4 Kingston 8 GB card – more memory cards are always welcome), and others which were genuinely nice bonuses – a Toshiba FlashAir Wifi 8 GB card, and a $48 Courts voucher. The latter might especially come in handy, since Ling’s eyeing a sofa set from Courts for our new living room at The Minton.=)

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My three m4/3s cameras; from left to right – the E-PL2 with the 14-42mm kit lens, the new E-PL6 with the 17mm f1.8, and my E-M5 workhorse with the 25mm f1.4. The latter two are my current most-used lenses for Hannah and Peter.

I went with the silver model this time – pretty similar in color to the champagne E-PL1, the very first m4/3s cameras I picked up 3.5 years ago and sold some time back. More in the next post; handling and such!

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