Street Expressions

I have been putting the Olympus E-5 aside for almost one week now, indulging myself to the smaller, lighter and cuter Olympus PEN E-PL1 for my everyday shooting, and even a short trip down to Ipoh, Perak. Yes, I admit, even in such short duration of time, I started to miss the feel of Olympus E-5 on my hands. How my fingers fit comfortably on the rubberized grip, and I do want to find my vision through the optical viewfinder again. Oh, one more important thing not to be missed out, I miss the shutter-mirror-slapping sound of E-5 !! It just has a distinctive quality to it that I felt really confident and reassured once I heard the sound.

Therefore, on Sunday, I brought the E-5 for a short spin in the city. Not so much of wanting to do a serious all out shoot like what I did on the previous day in Ipoh, but more like a leisure, slow and relaxing stroll along the streets of Kuala Lumpur. It felt really good to shoot with the Olympus E-5 again.

All the following images were taken with Olympus E-5 with 50mm f2 macro and 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 lenses.

I found that the way your subjects on the street look at you is very important. It cannot be too forceful, it should not be too transparent, it should be natural with a strong connection to the photographer. Not an easy thing to accomplish.

Finally found a responsible father who puts helmet on his kid !!

Plastic Beauty

The ground that split to two.


A man stripped off almost everything.

A house with no doors and windows.

A reason to smile.

By the yellow shop front.

On the whole, I did find myself enjoying this session, no matter how brief it was.

I managed to capture some powerful facial expressions that I have been wanting for a while now.

The advantage of having DSLR is the speed it delivers, the moment you saw the moment (pun intended) you can respond almost instantaneously thanks to the lightning fast autofocus. The autofocus of E-5 has never failed me yet, and I managed to grab some very reflexive shots that turned out to be my favourites. I know there are people who love the "zone-focusing" or "fixed-focusing" methods that negate the need to AutoFocus, but using those methods usually require stopping down the aperture (high F-number) producing more depth of field (DOF) and resulting in slower shutter speed. Not my style. Why? I need my shutter speed to be extremely fast (you have no idea how many of the most interesting subjects hide in most shadowy shades). I need my BOKEH.

As much as I hate to admit it, in many demanding situations, PEN still falls short to match up the capabilities of a DSLR. I guess this is where the Olympus E-5 comes in. Perhaps, one day, the PEN micro 4/3 system will advance in technology, and surpass the DSLR in terms of performance. I can't wait for this day to happen.


  1. Welcome back! Hi Robin, this post not showing up on FB yet. I love that you have gone back to your signature style - the colours, the expressions and opportunities that the DSLR delivers. I shot with the PEN over ANZAC parade, side by side with the E-620 - encountered some missed shots and have to read the manual again because of the overlaid complexity - but there are advantages to both types of cameras.

  2. Hello Ananda,
    I have just updated the blog minutes ago !! You are fast.
    LOL signature style? I don't think there is much in this series, but I saw some very, very powerful moments (the homeless lying on the floor by the car and the old lady trying to get up from the drain) and I knew, I would not be able to capture those as well if I was using the PEN. I guess I was having the right camera at the right time.
    I must admit, it is dangerous to fully rely on the autofocus of the PEN. It is still NOT as good as even my old E-520.
    I agree, there are advantages to each camera, they serve their own purposes very, very well indeed.

  3. Great blog again!!
    I like the sound of the E-5 shutter as well.

    Any way you have a style Robin!!
    A very good style...

  4. Hello Rick,
    thanks for the compliments! Great to find another person loving the E-5 shutter aound too!!

  5. I like that picture with the man crouching, yellow background. Very nice picture. I find your pictures very pleasing, not oversaturated, oversharpened (which is unfortunatelly todays trend).

    Please check out my new photographs at my Flick page! I have added some from a trip to Greece and will be adding more soon. All of these pictures were captured with my trusty compact camera!

  6. I've made some prints in 30cm x 45 cm from 6MP files. Prints are razor sharp and a joy to watch hanging on the wall :) F200 EXR is a gem of camera, just like E-pl1. I have the option to use Nikon D3100, but i always choose F200 EXR - colors, DR, sharpness is much better than D3100. Fujinon makes some very sharp lenses - F200 is much, much sharper than Nikon kit lens.

  7. Hello bartosz,
    thanks for the compliments. Most shots were taken with 50mm f2 macro, on the E-5. If you have tried this combo, you will know the photos just came straight out of the camera with 'great amount' of details captured. Hence, the oversharpened look.
    Glad to find that you do print out yout photos!! It must be a thrill to see them in prints vs digital screen.