Legoland Malaysia with XZ-1

Located at Nusajaya, Johor, Legoland Malaysia Resort is the first Legoland theme park in Asia and the sixth Legoland theme park in the world.  It started operation on September 15, 2012 and officially opened by Sultan Ibrahim Ismail, Sultan of Johor on September 22, 2012.

Main Entrance to Legoland Malaysia Resort.
The main entrance to the Legoland Malaysia where adventure begins for many families  -- Camera: Olympus XZ-1. Setting lens zoom at 28mm(35mm film) or 6.0mm(lens) and at f/5.0 1/100s, ISO 100.

LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort consists of three parks namely LEGOLAND Park, LEGOLAND Water Park and LEGOLAND Hotel. This place is truly a family holiday destination with rides, slides, shows and attractions for everyone. Legoland park focus mostly on family fun, hands-on, interactive experience and building with Lego bricks.

Legoland Park has several themed areas designed for all ages so the whole family can have a fun-filled day during their stay at the park. Obviously children and the young at hearts are the heroes and heroines in Legoland Park.

The Miniland featuring famous Asian landmarks is the centre of attraction in Legoland Park Malaysia. These mini landmarks are carefully constructed in precise details from millions of Lego bricks at 1:20 scale to the original landmark;  some are also interactive with the push of a button.

Lego model of Taj Maha at Miniland, Legoland Malaysia
This beautiful Lego model of the famous Taj Mahal mausoleum is one of the attraction at Miniland in Legoland Malaysia -- Camera: Olympus XZ-1. Setting lens zoom at 34mm(35mm film) or 7.4mm(lens) and at f/4.5 1/125s, ISO 100.

My wife and my niece's family went to the Legoland park Malaysia for a one day visit. Legoland Park is about 4 hours drive from where we stay so to have a full day trip at the park will include an overnight stay in Johor Bahru.

My niece asked my wife to bring along a camera and since it is a short holiday of one day travel light is clearly the priority. Although the Olympus Pen camera is already small and light but taking along a 2 lens kits plus accessories is not so light. Moreover, too many camera equipments in a park may take away the fun of visiting a theme park like Legoland where the action is the hands-on. So her cute compact Olympus XZ-1 became the camera of choice for this outing.

Karaweik Hall at Miniland, Legoland Park Malaysia
This attractive Karaweik Barge in Miniland, Legoland Malaysia is a recreation of the Karaweik Palace in Kandawgyi Lake, Yangon, Myanmar. -- Camera: Olympus XZ-1. Setting lens zoom at 38mm(35mm film) or 8.2mm(lens) and at f/4.5 1/160s, ISO 100.

We got the XZ-1 a while ago at an irresistible price just before the Olympus XZ-2 and XZ-10 was about to be launched. The XZ-1 is really a fun little camera as it captures good images and is very versatile and handy.

The XZ-1 is a good compromise between sensor size, camera size, weight and quality fast zoom lens. The XZ-1 does all that we want from a little compact camera and the photos we got from it are of good quality. There are many newer high end compact cameras with lots of new features and improvement such as higher ISO, bigger sensor, tillable touch screen, WIFi, NFC and more megapixels, etc. Those features can be tempting and wanting at times but we are not switching to the newer model yet because we find our XZ-1 complement and fill the gap between our Micro Four Thirds systems and our phone camera nicely and we are happy with it.

Dino Island rides to the lost world at Legoland park Malaysia
A thrilling rides to the peak of a forgotten volcano at Dino Island in the Land of Adventure at Legoland Malaysia -- Camera: Olympus XZ-1. Setting lens zoom at 41mm(35mm film) or 9.0mm(lens) and at f/3.5 1/100s, ISO 125.

 The  28-112mm f/1.8-f/2.5 zoom lens on the XZ-1 is very sharp and retains good sharpness at the corner. The CCD sensor delivers great colour response together with reliable exposure it deliver very good images. However the function menu is a bit  limiting for our liking. For example there are no AEL/AFL button, no customisable  buttons and noise reduction setting is fixed and not user adjustable. Fortunately Raw files are available on the XZ-1 so noise reduction can be overcome by shooting RAW and processing the images with RAW converter on a computer later.

A royal guard outside the knight castle at the LEGO Kingdoms
A cool looking Lego knight standing guard outside the LEGO Kingdoms Castle Stage -- Camera: Olympus XZ-1, Setting lens zoom at 28mm(35mm film) or 6mm(lens) and at f/3.5 1/60s, ISO 200.

Image noise is a subjective thing. Photographers like us from the film era  are more forgiving towards image noise. The XZ-1 standard noise reduction blurs out details which we find not quite acceptable. So we usually shoot RAW or RAW and JPEG on the XZ-1 and use Olympus Viewer 3 for the RAW conversion and set noise reduction to low which delivers better looking images than the camera JPEG images.

The one day at Legoland Park was not such a fine day for photographers. That very morning was sunshine and blue sky but by noon it became all cloudy and rain clouds were forming. Fortunately the rain clouds dispersed later but the sky became overcast for the rest of the day. Since the XZ-1 does not have a filter thread so a graduate filter cannot be use to enhance the cloudy sky. However with digital we can digitally add the graduate filter during post processing. We did just that for the two images from Miniland by adding a blue graduate filter in GIMP using layers and masks.

Legoland Hotel part of Legoland Resort Malaysia
Legoand hotel at the entrance of the Legoland theme park is designed like a building created from Lego bricks -- Camera: Olympus XZ-1. Setting lens zoom at 28mm(35mm film) or 6.0mm(lens) and at f/1.8 1/1000s, ISO 100.

Other than the two images with the enhanced sky all other images are done on the Olympus Raw converter software Viewer 3 with no additional enhancement. We set the Raw conversion with noise reduction to low, white balance to 6000K with amber/red adjustment set to -2, a slight boost to the Saturation with the fine adjustment set to +1 to take care of the cloudy weather, the rest of the settings are all set on defaults.

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