Sunday, September 29, 2013

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review: Color Creator

Important Notes:
1) I am an employee of Olympus Malaysia. I am reviewing the Olympus OM-D E-M1 from a photography enthusaist’s point of view. I was given the liberty to perform the gear review as usual. 
2) This is a user experience based review.
3) The images were shot with JPEG (Large Super Fine) and no post-processing was applied, except resizing with ACDsee7 (with Powerpack). 
4) General camera settings, Noise Filter = OFF, Contrast/Saturation/sharpness = 0, White Balance = Auto (with an option maintain warm color = OFF), Gradation = Normal
5) Color Creator applied to all images.


This is Part 4 of my Olympus OM-D E-M1 review. If you have not done so, please go to Part 1 here (click)Part 2 here (click) and Part 3 (click)


Special thanks to friend Khong for taking this shot of me in action! Image taken with E-M5 and the new M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO lens. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Olympus OM-D E-M1 User Touch and Try Event

I know I know, I have been delaying my review of the Olympus OM-D E-M1, and I am very, very late now. Apologies! I will do my best to catch up on my reviews soon. 

The main reason I was delaying my review, was because I have been busy with work, and Olympus Malaysia had just successfully organized a HUGE event over this weekend, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 User Touch and Try Event. There were four sessions, two on Saturday (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), and two more on Sunday. Each session we accommodate about 40 participants. The attendees will be presented with a speech, which was actually... erm.... given by.... ME! I hope I did not bore anyone to death with my near one hour sharing about the Olympus OM-D E-M1 product presentation. Also, I was the event photographer, hence I have been busy shooting the entire time, providing uploads of the event photograph on the very same day after the event online at the official Olympus Malaysia Facebook Page. I was also involved at the Touch and Try station, where the users got the chance (about 20 minutes) to really, literally, touch and try the E-M1, with any lenses, where we provided full range of both the Four Thirds (4/3 DSLR) and Micro Four Thirds (M.Zuiko) lenses. 

As you can see, my weekend was FULLY occupied with these events. Consequently I did not have the chance to go out and shoot, and not having photographs, I do not have materials to continue with my E-M1 review series! 

It was great seeing so many familiar faces, so many friends attended this event, and I have an amazing time catching up so many people. It was touching to have people coming up to me and asked about my mum! Thank you guys for the concern, really appreciate that. Also, I have made so many new friends, and met some of my beautiful blog readers. Thank you for coming up to me and tell me that you read my blog. Your support and visits to my blog, together with the kind comments really boosted my motivation to continue shooting and blogging. 

Olympus Malaysia has spent a great deal of time and effort into making this event, the E-M1 Touch and Try session a reality for the Olympus users (it is not compulsory for you to own an Olympus gear to attend but Olympus users would be prioritized). The event was a platform for Olympus users to meet other Olympus users. It was great seeing so many photographers, may it be professional or hobbysts, coming together under the same preference of gear. I acknowledge that gear choice should not be a restriction for photography growth, but having like minded people to talk to, and discuss common photography ideas and inspiration was indeed refreshing. 

As the resident photographer, I took plenty of photographs! And I am sharing LOTS of them here to compensate for the lack of blog updates, which I feel terribly sorry about. 

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and ZD 25mm F2.8 pancake lens (except some wide shots, eg the group photographs, which were taken with the ZD 7-14mm F4 lens). FL-50R flash was used for all shots, with bounced flash. 

Some large prints with photos taken from the E-M1

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sorry for the delay....

I have been clocking extra hours for my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review series, and am working extra hard on the coming Part 4. 



However priorities must be set, and Olympus Malaysia is currently working full force in preparation for the coming E-M1 Touch and Try session which is happening this coming weekend. I will be out there giving presentation on my experience with the E-M1 and get to meet and chat with the awesome Malaysian Olympus supporter crowd. Lots and lots of things to do, and I still do not have sufficient content for my blog review Part 4. Rest assured it is still in the works, and as soon as the huge event is over I will jump back right into the reviews again. So much more to cover for the E-M1!

Nevertheless, I strongly believe I have covered some of the most important aspects of E-M1 reviews, in my first THREE parts, including High ISO Shooting, Continuous AF performance, image sharpness and handling of the camera. I have even dedicated a full blog entry for shooting with only Zuiko Four Thirds lenses, which I enjoyed the most so far. 

Do forgive me for the delay of my coming parts. Will do my best to bring them up online as soon as I can!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review: Shooting with Zuiko Digital Four Thirds Lenses

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Touch and Try Session, Kuala Lumpur (21 and 22 September 2013)
 If you happen to be in Kuala Lumpur, you have a chance to touch and try the Olympus OM-D E-M1 in a coming event on 21st and 22nd September!! Three out of four sessions are now FULL. Hurry up and register now! I will be there, and hope to see some of you beautiful people there!

More information on Micro Four Thirds system here: http://www.olympusimage.com.my/products/dslr/em1/

Important Notes:
1) I am an employee of Olympus Malaysia. I am reviewing the Olympus OM-D E-M1 from a photography enthusaist’s point of view. I was given the liberty to perform the gear review as usual. 
2) This is a user experience based review.
3) The insect macro images were shot in RAW and converted directly to JPEG Large Fine via Olympus Viewer 3 (provided by Olympus Malaysia). The Continuous AF test images were shot directly with JPEG Large Fine, and presented straight out of camera. 
4) General camera settings, Noise Filter = OFF, Contrast/Saturation/sharpness = 0, White Balance = Auto (with an option maintain warm color = OFF), Gradation = Normal
5) No post-processing applied to the images. All images were as good as straight out of camera, with minimal cropping for better presentation.

This is Part 3 of my Olympus OM-D E-M1 review. If you have not done so, please go to Part 1 here (click) and Part 2 here (click)

When Olympus first stepped into the world of Digital SLR, Olympus designed a whole new set of digital lenses for their Four Thirds system, and have produced some of the most respectable lenses, most notably the bright zoom lenses. Olympus has a family of amazing Zuiko Digital lenses, all high performing with great optics. However, as Olympus moved into the Micro Four Thirds world, one major drawback was the inability to utilize the older Four Thirds lenses to their maximum potential, most notably with painfully slow autofocus. This has been a huge complain from many users, and many Four Thirds users have kept their beloved Zuiko Digital lenses, waiting patiently for the day to come that they can finally use them on newer, updated camera body from Olympus. I am one of the group, waiting all this while. And the wait is finally over!

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 has new on-chip Phase Detect AF system that enabled efficient focusing with older Four Thirds lenses. It does seem like Olympus has finally solved the problem and optimized the use with older Four Thirds lenses, consequently bridging the gap between the two family systems, Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds system. Olympus has been rather smart with their lens roadmap planning and release. The Four Thirds lenses designed for earlier DSLR range cover most zoom needs, having professional lenses (High Grade and Super High Grade) such as bright zooms Zuiko Digital lenses 14-35mm F2 SWD, 35-100mm F2, 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 SWD and 90-250mm F2.8. Knowing this, and realizing the fact that sooner or later Olympus can successfully allow full use of these lenses on Micro Four Thirds system one day (without problems with focusing speed), they have not released bright zooms for their Micro Four Thirds line (until the recent M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO), and have specifically been producing bright prime lenses instead, such as M.Zuiko lenses 12mm F2, 45mm F1.8 and 75mm F1.8. The Micro Four Thirds newer lenses releases did not overlap the offerings from the older Four Thirds lens line, instead, they both complement each other very well. One lacked bright zoom, and the other lacked fast primes. It does not take a genius to discover what the E-M1 can do: bringing together the best of both worlds. Now Olympus has quite a large base of lenses to offer, and the original Four Thirds lenses (both High Grade and Super High Grade) were all rated professional lenses, and fully weather-sealed. 



Me out shooting with friends, and showing off the E-M1. 
Photo credit: Nick Wade 

E-M1 surrounded by Zuiko Digital Four Thirds lenses. I am sure you know what lens is what lens. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review: Image Sharpness, Handling and Continuous Autofocus with Tracking

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Touch and Try Session, Kuala Lumpur (21 and 22 September 2013)
 If you happen to be in Kuala Lumpur, you have a chance to touch and try the Olympus OM-D E-M1 in a coming event on 21st and 22nd September!! First come first serve basis, so hurry up and register. I will be there, and hope to see some of you beautiful people there!

More information on Micro Four Thirds system here: http://www.olympusimage.com.my/products/dslr/em1/

Important Notes:
1) I am an employee of Olympus Malaysia. I am reviewing the Olympus OM-D E-M1 from a photography enthusaist’s point of view. I was given the liberty to perform the gear review as usual. 
2) This is a user experience based review.
3) The insect macro images were shot in RAW and converted directly to JPEG Large Fine via Olympus Viewer 3 (provided by Olympus Malaysia). The Continuous AF test images were shot directly with JPEG Large Fine, and presented straight out of camera. 
4) General camera settings, Noise Filter = OFF, Contrast/Saturation/sharpness = 0, White Balance = Auto (with an option maintain warm color = OFF), Gradation = Normal
5) No post-processing applied to the images. All images were as good as straight out of camera, with minimal cropping for better presentation.

This is Part 2 of my Olympus OM-D E-M1 review. If you have not done so, please go to Part 1 here (click). 

In the previous blog review I have tested the E-M1 by pushing its limit in high ISO shooting, and the NEW 16MP Live MOS image sensor performed above my expectations. Image quality is not only crucial when it comes to low light performance, and I believe low ISO shooting is equally, if not more important. Now that Olympus has removed the anti-aliasing filter, we are expecting the image to show some improvements, especially in fine details capture with their new "fine detail processing 2". 

In order to test the image sharpness of the new image sensor, I have decided to do something that I have always done: insect macro shooting. Concurrently, I shall also discuss the handling of the camera, since macro shooting poses great challenge to handle and balance the camera, steadying the shots with extreme magnification. 

Right after macro shooting, we shall explore the capabilities of the Continuous Autofocus with Tracking of the E-M1. 

INSECT MACRO SHOOTING: IMAGE SHARPNESS TEST

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review: Introduction and High ISO Shooting

For those of you in Malaysia, you can PRE-ORDER the new amazing Olympus OM-D E-M1 from our Olympus' Online Store here (click)

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Touch and Try Session, Kuala Lumpur (21 and 22 September 2013)
 If you happen to be in Kuala Lumpur, you have a chance to touch and try the Olympus OM-D E-M1 in a coming event on 21st and 22nd September!! First come first serve basis, so hurry up and register. I will be there, and hope to see some of you beautiful people there!
More information on Micro Four Thirds system here: http://www.olympusimage.com.my/products/dslr/em1/


Important Notes:
1) I am an employee of Olympus Malaysia. I am reviewing the Olympus OM-D E-M1 from a photography enthusaist’s point of view. I was given the liberty to perform the gear review as usual. 
2) This is a user experience based review.
3) All images were shot in RAW and converted directly to JPEG Large Fine via Olympus Viewer 3 (provided by Olympus Malaysia).
4) General camera settings, Noise Filter = OFF, Contrast/Saturation/sharpness = 0, White Balance = Auto (with an option maintain warm color = OFF), Gradation = Normal
5) No post-processing applied to the images. All images were as good as straight out of camera, with minimal cropping for better presentation.

I believe the newly announced Olympus OM-D E-M1 is the camera that many have been anticipating for a long time. This is a professional level camera model, sitting at the flagship position on Olympus system’s hierarchy, making the best of both Olympus micro Four Thirds as well as the DSLR Four Thirds system lenses. Basically, Olympus took in all their existing strengths and combined them all together in their latest Olympus E-M1. Since I am now working within Olympus Malaysia, I have the privilege to be amongst the first to hold and try the E-M1, and the next thing I did was bringing the camera out and gave it a thorough workout. 


Friday, September 06, 2013

A Little Survey

Firstly, I would like to thank the overwhelmingly positive support you all have shown me when I announced my employment at Olympus Malaysia in my previous blog entry. The encouraging remarks and show of support meant a lot to me, and I shall take that as a motivation to keep this place updated as frequently as I can manage, while staying true to myself the best I can. 

On the smaller side of things, this humble blog of mine has just surpassed 6 million page views! That is a BIG number! And I foresee the number to continue rising with the continuous support from all of you beautiful people. A big, big warm hug to you all. Thank you.

I have been thinking about ways to improve my blog structure and blogging content, and in order to accomplish that I have come up with a quick poll at my Facebook Page. We all know that a new camera is coming from Olympus very, very soon, and I guess it is not difficult to deduce that I will be reviewing it. Basically I intended to re-arrange the structure of my coming review, and I have listed down the most common sought after review characteristics (Low Light Shooting performance, Continuous Autofocus capability, compatibility with 4/3 lenses, etc). If you go to the poll, you will be able to choose the options that you feel should be prioritized in my future reviews. If you could help me in this short and simple survey, i am sure it will contribute to me being able to create better organized future gear reviews, based on your voted popularity!

The survey poll is HERE (click). 

When I have collected enough votes I shall be sharing the results here and I shall use the results as a guideline for my coming Olympus gear reviews. 

Back in June earlier this year, I was home in Kuching to shoot a wedding assignment. After the assignment I assisted a friend, Frederick in his video shoot (pre-wedding shoot for another friend). While assisting him, I did manage to grab some "behind the scene" still images. And I am sharing some photographs from that session here.

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital lenses 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 and 50mm F2 macro


Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Surprise News! I Have Joined Olympus Malaysia

This may come as a shock to many of you, but I strongly believe it is not entirely unforeseen or unpredicted that I have decided to join Olympus Malaysia in an official capacity. I am now an employee and surely, this will change things. 

When I started this blog, I have no idea I would venture so deeply and passionately into the photography world. As I picked up my first DSLR Olympus E-410, I fell in love with the Olympus E-System, and have been a fan ever since. I have been blogging about my photography adventures and sharing my photographs week after week without fail, for the past 8 years. This was a personal blog, meant as place for me to post up personal photographs and share my almost too random thoughts, often even covering true events happening in my life. And then about 3 years ago Olympus Malaysia contacted me and asked me if I would like to do a review for the Olympus E-5. Of course I would say yes and I did it, and ever since, everything changed. 


Sunday, September 01, 2013

Again, What Drew My Attention To Shoot?

HOT NEWS!! 
A New Camera from Olympus (Interchangeable Lens System) is coming. I think we can all safely assume after so much "leaks" everywhere online that, it will be the new OM-D E-M1. If you happen to be in Kuala Lumpur, you have a chance to touch and try the new camera in a coming event on 21st September!! First come first serve basis, so hurry up and register. I will be there, and hope to see some of you beautiful people there!


Registration and more information here: http://home.olympusimage.com.my/eventlist.php


I think I have done several times before, stating down the reasons and factors that attracted my attention to certain scenes or subjects, that compelled me to shoot. We must keep in mind that different people react to similar situation very differently, and what triggered my photography sixth sense may not necessary be the same case for you. However I think it is good to share what I saw and what made me click the shutter button. Obviously I do not just run around and attack subjects randomly!

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital lenses 50mm F2 macro or 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 wide angle lens.

Standing High
I have always admired the superstructure landmarks of Malaysia, namely the KLCC Twin Towers and the one shown in the shot above, the KL Tower. Those two buildings have been shot millions of times before in all possible composition and techniques known in photography, so there really is not much left to do to make a creative shot. However, the crows lined up on a signboard, screaming out loud. That got my attention, and since it was shooting up, I placed them against the KL Tower, an important landmark, as an opening image, to establish a sense of location.