Focus Peaking and Some Other Stuff

My goodness, little did I know that such an innocent and humble blog review of mine has stirred up quite a chaotic storm over some online photography communities and forums. It was indeed scary to trace and find the reactions by many, and for whatever small things I can do here, I shall do my best to calm the weather.

Oh no, Robin is going to review the Fuji X-Pro 1 !! Oh no, Robin is being paid by Fuji to write blog reviews on the awesome Fuji X-Pro 1 Oh no, Robin is going to be a Fuji fanboy. Robin is also going to say that we no longer need any in body Image Stabilization, or extremely fast autofocus, or cool yet powerful features like wireless TTL flash. Maybe, maybe, Fuji will be paying Robin handsomely and give him a Fuji X-Pro 1 with the trinity lenses, and top that up with nice leather casing too. Oh no, Robin is going to throw all of his Olympus gear away !! Oh no, the world is coming to an end.

Seriously, enough baseless assumptions and misleading speculations?

Ok, all jokes aside, I find it odd how so many people think negatively about the X-Pro 1's built quality, I held it in my hands, and I thought it felt very good. Yes, Olympus E-M5 has a better built, due to its magnesium alloy body construction, and weather sealing. Those points apart, I don't think the X-Pro 1's handling is that bad at all, but of course I have not done any extensive shooting with it to make any good conclusions.

Lets come back to planet Olympus. I acknowledge the fact that I might have rubbed some shoulders wrongly in my review write-ups. Here are my list of clarifications, if some of you are kind enough to read:


I have stepped on many toes when I said Focus Peaking was not optimized to be used for macro. I did admit that focus peaking works well for normal shooting conditions, where precise accuracy is not a priority, and you need to nail down your focus quickly. I still stand on my ground that for extreme magnification, focus peaking is not exactly very reliable. I can get away with better results by trusting my own eyes judging the focus zone through an optical viewfinder (a good and bright one, that is).

Yes, Focus Peaking is a useful feature and important to have, and I think it is not too much to ask Olympus to put that in their cameras since it is only software based feature, which would not add any significant increase of production cost. Nonetheless, my comment was purely referring to the currently available focus peaking by Sony, which I believe can be improved much further for absolutely accurate manual focusing works. You may or may not agree with me in this, but trust me, when you are shooting an insect under a large leaf in a heavy shade under a large tree, where it was mostly shadow, dark, with low contrast, you will find yourself suffering to get what you want in focus through focus peaking.

I like the idea of being able to quickly "approximate" your focus through the focus peaking. This is better implemented for other areas of photography, say, street photography using manual focus lenses (such as the wonderful Voightlander 25mm F0.95.... *slurp). I did not say that Focus Peaking was a useless feature (which many people thought I did), I was just merely saying, it could have been better.


I was approached by Olympus and was loaned the E-M5 for my blog review purposes. I was only given a weekend (effectively two full days and nights, Saturday and Sunday) to do whatever I wanted to do, and it was extra challenging this time because not only I have to cover my own photography part of the review, I also was working together with a friend, Sanjit, for the video part (the videos were all shot with E-M5 handheld, by Sanjit). There were so much more I wish I could do in the short period of time, I only focused on a few tests which I thought would be of interest.

I tried my best not to repeat whatever other information that would be abundantly available on the other review sites, such as comparison of image quality with other cameras. Instead, I use a more "real life experience" approach, by shooting, and from the process of shooting, I analyze the camera's capabilities. The key areas of highlight have been the weaknesses of Olympus system over the years: Dynamic Range, High ISO shooting, Limitation of resolution (to 12MP only previously). I brought the camera out to do what I can do best, street photography, macro, a bit of scenery and landscape, and if you have known me through my blog you would know that I love music as well (live band performance). Hence, I did what I love doing, I shot what I wanted to shoot, I did not just go out with the camera for the sake of testing the camera. I went out shooting with the E-M5 as if I would do the same with my own camera. I believe only by doing so, I can come home with meaningful images, because I have truly enjoyed the shooting process.

I have constantly mentioned in my blog that I am not a professional photographer, but merely a photography enthusiast. I am a full time Geotechnical Engineer, and I only do photography as a hobby (I do take freelance photography jobs, but that's to supplement my equipment purchases). My photography work is always open for debate, or critics. I am still very new to photography (I have only picked up my first DSLR in 2008). It is not difficult to see that I am a learning photographer. I acknowledge the fact that there are many better photography work out there, there are countless street photographers who can run hoops around me. My macro photography technique is not perfect, it is still flawed, and there are many areas that I can improve. Nonetheless, I am not trying to be the "best" photographer, or trying to "outdo" anyone else. I am not chasing perfection in my photography work. The most important thing I have always highlighted, and spread in this blog is "HAVING FUN" while shooting. Being passionate about photography, means being able to enjoy every single process of it, before, during the shooting process itself, and even after that, while previewing the images on screen, sharing it with friends and large communities in the world (such as with you beautiful people) and then awe at the magical moments captured through prints. Photography should not be too focused on what is right or wrong, which techniques work better, or "how things could have been done better".

What is the point of having an award winning photograph is you are not able to enjoy shooting it?

Similarly goes to my following question: 

What is the point of having the world's BEST camera, if you are not able to enjoy shooting WITH it?

I am not perfect, and I do make mistakes. My photography is flawed in many ways, so is everyone else's. One size of shoes is not going to fit into all sizes of feet. I can only do what I can, within the limited time, my limited photography knowledge and experience, to tell you what I think when I shoot with the E-M5. I am sure you will be able to find tonnes and tonnes of other images and review works to better help you grasp how the E-M5 performs, and would it be able to fulfill your camera fantasies and desires. My blog reviews were never meant to be a "complete guide" to what you want to know about the gear. It is about what a photographer can do with a camera, and it is all about what photography should really be: shooting and making photographs happen.

Kirk Tuck (click), a great professional photographer whom I admired a lot, has constantly been questioned and attacked by online photography communities too, and the most recent one happened during his personal Panasonic G3 quick review (where he brought the camera out for shooting). I did not understand back then, why he needed to stand up and explain himself, because I thought that it would be wise to just keep quiet and not participate in any dramas and traumas happening out there. I guess after having more than 40,000 visits to my blog for the past 24 hours, reading hundreds of comments on my blog as well as hundreds more in the discussion everywhere else, I started to realize if I don't say anything, people will just continue to make senseless assumptions. I believe Kirk thought the same too.

I have one more part to finish off my Blog Review saga for the E-M5. I shall take a very short pause, before I compose myself to write for that last entry.


  1. Thank you very much for your fantastic and honest reviews about E-M5. I have already ordered E-M5 and its battery grip, so I'm looking forwad to taking pictures with them.
    And I think you don't need to lend your eyes and ears to such thougtless comments. You have done very well!

    Thak you very much again from Japan.

  2. Thanks Teru !!
    I am sure you will be having countless wonderful memories with your coming E-M5 !!

  3. Hi Robin,

    Unfortunately I've read about the rantings against you regarding focus peaking and a lot of other stuff too long to mention here...All I can say is IGNORE them! You've done a great job in publishing your own pesonal user review about OLYMPUS cameras and LENSES! I personally appreciate your write ups accompanied by wonderful photographs and experience. It makes my decision in purchasing Olympus products easier based on your review. Yes call me an OLYMPUS FANBOY, not because I want to be different rather I've experiece for myself how wonderful Olympus Camera's and their Zuiko lenses are. Yes their camera's are not at all perfect but it suites my needs. Your website means alot to us FANBOYS because unlike the other online photography sites, you post photographs and personal views which I find unique. Excellent job and can't wait for your next review about the OMD EM5. Keep shooting annd keep blogging!

    Eric V
    Edmonton Alberta Canada

  4. Thanks so much Eric,
    I agree I should have ignored them, but I believe I also need to put forth some sort of clarification. I did not say that all the negative claims were all wrong, I do admit my own shortcomings and mistakes.
    Thanks so much for your support and kind words. Appreciate that a lot.

  5. Hi Robin,

    Well I think you did a great job especially considering the short time you had the camera with you. Are you going to consider replacing one of your current cameras with the E-M5 after your trial over the weekend?

    Keep up the good work and ignore the criticism from those who like ranting as their hobby


  6. Hi Robin,

    Well I think you did a great job especially considering the short time you had the camera with you. Are you going to consider replacing one of your current cameras with the E-M5 after your trial over the weekend?

    Keep up the good work and ignore the criticism from those who like ranting as their hobby


  7. Hey Bryan,

    The thought of getting the E-M5 is overly tempting. If I can't resist it anymore I might just switch fully to micro 4/3 with the E-M5. However, there is always the consideration that is reserved for E-7. being able to use my current lenses optimally on E-7 would be great, with everything improved on E-M5 integrated into it.

  8. Hi Robin, I found your blog because I've been looking for info about the new EM-5; you have the best info on the web right now, and I happen to really enjoy your perspective and philosophy of having fun with the art of photography. I saw the comments about focus peaking and thought it may ruffle some feathers, because we humans have slowly evolving primal brains and sometimes feel the need to fight and defend ourselves over very small issues. But there are much more profound things to focus on, enjoy, and think about in the grand scheme of life, as your wonderful, detailed pictures remind us. Carry on your beautiful work my friend :)

  9. As you have no doubt seen, you have many more supporters and defenders on most forums than detractors. I think, even though they may not admit it, the people who look to minimize your work here are as thankful for these reviews as your fans (I'm one of those). Otherwise, what would they have had to complain about today?

    Although stressful I'm sure, it must also be fun to know so many people are paying such close attention to your blog. These reviews have been very influential. Know that for all the complaining and nit-picking forum trolls may do, most are envious as hell. As for me, I think you seem like a nice guy and deserve the attention you're getting. The generosity you've shown to the Olympus fans, as well as the photographic community as a whole, should be commended.

  10. Hi Robin,

    Ignore all of those crazy people out there with their holier than thou ranting. I come here to check out your real world shooting experience, just like I would go to dpreview to check out their comparison and test shots. While everyone else is complaining about how slow the 12-50 lens is, you have enough sense to point how out good of a lens it is compared to most kit lenses. Your blog has been the main reason why I am choosing the EM-5 over a NEX 7. Photography is about having fun, not a pointless comparison of who has the best specs.Keep up the good work!


  11. Hello Anonymous,
    Thanks for commenting, and I agree with you that there are many other things to focus on in photography and life as well. I would appreciate it if you can at least leave a name so that I can trace your future ccmments. Thanks.

    Thanks so much Matt,
    You were right that despite the negative comments, I also received quite a number of positive response and that itself is something that keep me going on.
    I do think that the negative comments are necessary to keep my perspective in check. Yes I know some things are not exactly 100% correct or wrong, hence open for debate and individual interpretation. Nonetheless, I just wish everyone can be more open minded, especially when it comes to photography and art.
    I have enjoyed what I did and I am sure glad to have the opportunity to share that with the community.

    Hello Tony,
    I am glad you found my reviews helpful in your decision making. I have also voiced up a few times that I wished the 12-50mm lens has wider aperture, but of course, for what it is, as a bundled kit lens, it is not too bad either.
    Thanks for your support. Indeed, photography should be about having fun !!

  12. Robin,
    I've very much enjoyed your reviews and photos and they have helped convince me that the Olympus OMD EM-5 will be my next camera. I like your reviews because they are based on real world uses and not a lot of studio test shots. I find the constant rants and ravings at several photography forums by "know-it-alls" and "wanna-bes" to be quite tiresome and your humble approach is very refreshing. Thank you!!!

  13. Thanks Janie !!
    Glad that I have helped you through my reviews. I know right, some of the forums can be exhaustive. However, I do feel that it is good to at least explain myself a bit here. Thanks again for the kind support.

  14. Robin,

    kudos on actually making a post about this.

    But as a lot of people will have suggested, ignore them.

    Somehow the 'art of reading' has been lost for people reading blogs. They catch a snippet then extrapolate from that without appreciating the previous and later text.

    In any case, are you REALLY gonna get a chance to review that FUJI? I'd love to see your opinion to see how this new player can shake up the market.


  15. Hello Mark,
    Thanks for the support and kind words, really appreciate that.
    If I have the chance, why not? I do think that the Fuji X-Pro 1 is an interesting camera, worth a closer look. Will see how things go.

  16. Hi Robin, I found your blog because I've been looking for info about the new EM-5; you have the best info on the web right now, and I happen to really enjoy your perspective and philosophy of having fun with the art of photography. I saw the comments about focus peaking and thought it may ruffle some feathers, because we humans have slowly evolving primal brains and sometimes feel the need to fight and defend ourselves over very small issues. But there are much more profound things to focus on, enjoy, and think about in the grand scheme of life, as your wonderful, detailed pictures remind us. Carry on your beautiful work my friend :)

  17. Anonymous,
    I have responded to your comment above. And please leave a name next time. Thanks.

  18. It is sad that you get criticised for writing your blog and this review. It is also an unfortunate and unwanted side effect of the internet. People can hide anonymously at home and be extremely rude in blogs and forum comments, when they would not have the courage to say 'boo' to someone face to face.

    Those people are nothing more than weak and insecure bullies. At school they had no friends, and probably have none now, shut in their bedrooms with their laptops.

    Photography is an art and a form of communication. Your love and enjoyment shines through your pictures and in your writing. I thank you for writing this blog and review. I am poised to buy the E-M5, and your pictures have provided the real world evidence I have been looking for, much better than charts and graphs.

    Keep up the excellent work, keep smiling and remember for every miserable critic, you have 100 friends who read your blog.

  19. Hi Bass Rock,
    Thanks sooooo much for the show of support, that means a lot to me.
    I am with you whole-heartedly when you mentioned that Photography is a form of art and communication. We tell stories and share our emotion, expressing ourselves through our photography work. That is what photography really should be, not just about test charts and numbers.
    Thanks again for reminding everyone about that.

  20. Hello Robin!
    I'll probably repeat some of what other already said, but...
    I was on one of those forums you are talking about and, from what I saw, the whiners were hardly the bigger part of the commenters. Also, the only reason a clarification is needed for them, is because most didn't actually read at all what you wrote.

    People are becoming really spoiled nowadays. The amount of work you poured into this review is impressive and these people are still unhappy after getting it for free.

    I enjoy reviews with strong personal opinions. This way it is much easier to see the reviewer's preferences and take them for what they are. Rather than someone pretending to be objective, which we all know, is impossible.

    All of that to say - please, continue doing what you do, it is greatly appreciated by many. Thank you!

  21. Hello Vladimir,
    Thanks for the show of support. Now that you have put it this way, it is true that when a person does a review, it is quite impossible not to be biased, when personal opinion is put on the table. Thanks for pointing that out !

  22. Hi Robin!
    Your blog is always a nice read, with pics and insights.
    Go on doing what you love.

  23. Robin, Your photos are wonderful and your user reviews are unique and fun to read. Hopefully that is why you are getting 40K readers. Nice job.

    Most people are idiots and read what they want to read. I thought your prior post about the EM5 where you mentioned focus peaking was very clear and should not have required any further elaboration. As an English-first speaking person, I for one have no problem understanding what you are writing. I have literally 100 RSS feeds set of to photo blogs and Webs, and yours and Kirk's are the ones I go to first.

  24. you going to review X-Pro 1 ??!!!
    you traitor yoouuuu !!!

    haahahaha....lebay euyy

    just smile lah, pa' Cik...they just envy coz still don't have a chance to play with E-M5

    i also wear glasses (-6), any issue with the pipping hole of that EVF ??

  25. Hello Peter F,
    Thanks so much for the kind words. Also thanks for the subscription !! Kirk's blog is always the first I read too !! That guy knows how to write and take awesome pictures.

    LOL, maybe I will review the X-Pro 1, if the opportunity permits. Lets not get the hopes too high.
    No issue with the viewfinder though, everything was fine. Was quite comfortable using it.

  26. hugh-new zealand.3/12/2012 07:21:00 PM

    Ireally like what you are doing.keep it up.

  27. Robin

    Really enjoyed your recent reviews over on the E-M5, keep up the great work. You have a very open and honest style of writing, and I like how you present the good and bad side of things, along with wonderful photos to illustrate this.

    Look forward to the next entries on the E-M5 and beyond, try not to get too worried by the detractors (that must be hard though)



    p.s. I believe the kit lens is only slightly slower at one end than the standard 3.5-5.6 kit lenses on many other camera systems. As you've pointed out there are many other positive things about it which should make up for this - I tried one recently in the UK and it was very nice

  28. Robin,

    Look at my blog and you'll see some harsh criticism of Olympus. But at the end of the day I shoot Olympus and will continue to do so for as long as I own Olympus and it continues to work.

    I have noticed, for whatever reason, a virulent group that seems hell-bent on trashing the brand. I've run into them on many forums, even on so-called pro-Olympus forums, and I'm getting sick of it. I don't know if the attackers feel insecure in their choice of gear, because they seem to need a constant stream of assurance that their choice is The Correct Choice, and any other choice, especially Olympus, is inferior.

    As we say over in America, don't let the turkeys get you down. I enjoy reading your blog and viewing your photography, and I learn a lot in the process, especially from an enthusiast half way around the world. Thanks for all you've done. And if by some weird chance you find yourself in Orlando Florida, look me up and we'll go do some photo shooting together.

  29. Hello Robin

    I would again like to thank you for writing your reviews of Olympus camera gear, it's very much appreciated.

    What you need to do is to ignore those annoying trolls who does nothing but rant about what you write, and makes all sort of silly and baseless claims about your work to discredit it, or your Olympus gear as inferior to whatever they use. The same thing happened with Kirk Tuck last year. When he said he liked the E-P3, a few trolls came out to claim that he was obviously on Olympus' payroll, as none could obviously like and get nice shots out of that camera with such an old sensor... Ignore the trolls, and they'll go away eventually.

    I'm looking forward to reading you final thoughts on the E-M5, as that helps me shorting down the waiting time a little bit until mine arrives. Reading your test has only made me feel more easy about pre-ordering it, so thank you for taking your time to write about it.

    - Greetings from Norway, Eirik S

  30. Robin, awesome work ;and photos) ignore the haters, I personally am very grateful for your input, and impatiently waiting for the final part of your review.

  31. Thanks, Robin, for your work.
    As you can see here and in the other forum, everybody was behind you, except for a couple of those who have clearly made fools of themselves.

  32. Hey man, there are much more people convinced that new Olympus camera is new best thing in photography, after reading your review then those attacking you and trying to discredit your effort. I'm enthusiast photographer as you are and I know what I want and I'll seek and search for the opinion from the people like you and not some benchmark testing, studio sampling, pixel peeping, etc things that tells me nothing. Love your review and I honestly think Olympus can award you wit one E-M5 'cause you definitely increased a number of preorders. Your review bought me :)
    All the best man!!!

  33. Thanks Hugh-New Zealand

    Hello David,
    Thanks for the kind advise and comments. Yes the 12-50mm is not a bad lens, and it is a well rounded performer.

    Hello Bill,
    Thanks so much for such encouraging remarks. Your support is very much appreciated.
    Indeed, I should not pay too much attention to that "group" of people you have just mentioned. I think the world would be a better place without them, and we can do better by just focusing on photography and be happy with our own choice of gear. Thanks for reminding !!

  34. Hello Eirik,
    Thanks so much for your kind comments. I remember a lot of things that happened to Kirk, I read his blog very religiously. Back then I did not understand why he had to defend himself, or get too upset with all the happenings, and how people talked him down. I think now I can understand him a little better, since I am thrown into a rather similar situation and I can see the urge to speak up. Nonetheless, you were right, I should just ignore them, they are not really worth our time. Thanks again for the encouraging remarks !!

    Thanks Claire !!

    Thanks Dan !! You were right, despite the negativity, all is not lost, a lot of good response came out after all.

    Hello Igor,
    Thanks for the kind words. Really appreciate it.

  35. Thanks for inspiring and useful hands-on reports. Regarding a few comments written by people who either have not read your text, have misunderstood and thought your pictures were submitted to a photo contest where they are appointed evaluators, live a life based on baseless speculations devoid of understanding enthusiasm, etc -- just give them what they deserve -- a good, long laughter.

    Ah, geothermal engineering… long time ago, when I started my working life, Schlumberger was recruiting engineers, e.g to the "wild west" (or rather: east) in the forests of Indonesia (?). At that time, the major cause of loosing engineers was drunk driving in the weekends. I chickened out :-).

  36. Thanks Annoynous for the kind comments !! You were right, it was as if they were expecting my photographs to be submitted for contest !!
    Wow, a job offer in Indonesia, that would have been interesting !!
    Please, kindly leave a name next time, would appreciate that a lot.

  37. Robin, I've always enjoyed your blog and would suggest that you always push back with your opinion. To be silent means that the rude and less informed people get the only word. But think about this. In the old days you would have influenced your friends and family. Now you have the chance to have a dialog with potentially millions of people from around the world. How cool is that? I love your reviews and count myself as a fan.

    I was honored that you mentioned my post about the G3 and the G3 firestorm.

    Keep up the fun work and remember that you're not necessarily explaining objective facts you are explaining a subjective point of view. And that's more valuable.

    Thanks for the great work.

  38. Hi Robin,

    I note your work und you have help me a lot

  39. Hi robin,
    Ignore the bad comments .
    I enjoy your blog and your reviews. Also your photography gives me something to aspire too.


  40. Hi Robin,

    Haha, the price of being famous. I didn't know you're in the phase of turning from being a new photographer into realizing that you're getting a lot more hits on your site. Have you found out what was it that brought abt this snowball effect?

    I know I found you while researching E-P3 and the Oly lenses. I enjoyed your takes on it and glad to know you're a fellow countryman. That's where I subscribed to you and joined the PEN lovers group.

    I guess the EM5 exposure helped (or didn't help, depends how you see it) as well. All the best, keep it up!


  41. Robin thanks for ALL the reviews !!!

  42. I love shooting with my X100 and was therefore excited about the X-Pro1. When the OM-D E-M5 was announced, it was clear to me that it could be an alternative. That's when I started to search out blogs and 'hands-on' experience.

    From all the sites I've visited, yours stands out: well written, not bogged down in pixel-peeping, excellent photos, simply enjoyable.

    Robin, you've been bookmarked now right next to Kirk Tuck and TOP: you deserve it!

  43. Robin you write extremely well, your blog is both fun to read and full of information and one I will continue to come back to. As for the behaviour of some of your readers, it's probably worth reading this article :-

  44. thank you robin,for a fantastic review,,

  45. Hello Kirk,
    Nice to have you here again, and it really means a lot to me coming from you. Thanks Kirk for the kind words.
    You were right, speaking to a larger audience is different, and having the opportunity to do so require a different strategy. Thanks for reminding me that.
    I have always enjoyed your review Kirk. You have been a GREAT inspiration. Thanks again for commenting.

  46. Hello Chris,
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Hello David,
    Thanks for support. It was alright when I received this attention but I guess sometimes it could be rather discouraging when people talked you down unnecessarily. Hence I do need to stand up and say something. Who else is going to fight for me?

    Rick, you are welcome !

  47. Hello BigTam,
    Thanks so much, that was indeed an honor, standing next to big guys like Kirk and TOP !! I personally have those two guys as my top "to-read" list every day.

    Hello Andrew,
    Thanks. I shall be reading that article next.

  48. Hey Robin,
    I haven't been reading comments anywhere, so I don't know what it's all about, but I just wanted to put in my support and thanks for the posts you've been putting out. I personally don't care much at all about lab results for a camera; I want to know what it feels like to shoot with it and those are the kind of questions you've been answering with the E-M5 (rather excited for that camera). I personally have never what kind of emotional immaturity leads people to think that leaving scathing comments or "flaming" online is okay or acceptable or in any way constructive. Anyway, I guess in short, thanks for sharing your insights and for your thoughts and pictures. Keep it up!

  49. Hello Anonymous,
    Thanks for the show of support ! Appreciate it.

  50. Hi Robin,

    Thank you very much for sharing your work in this blog. I love looking at your photos and they speak louder than a thousand ill-informed comments could ever do. Don't let the trolls get you.

  51. Thanks Martin,
    Indeed, my reviews are all about photographs, and I cannot lie through the photographs here. Thanks for reminding me that.

  52. hi Robin,

    Nah, just put aside those negative and destructive comments yea. =) Abraham Lincoln once said "Great leaders turn great criticism into great coaches." You have been a camera leader to many. *pat pat*

    Btw, i'm also a geotechnical engineer!Same boat bro!

  53. Hello Johnson,
    Thanks !! So you are doing SI and foundation works?

  54. hello Robin,

    I think you are doing a great job with your website, I love reading your reviews and seeing the awesome pictures of Malaysia! I like your approach to photography too, take care and keep up the good work!


  55. Thanks Mike !!
    Do come visit Malaysia if you can, I am sure you will like it here.

  56. Hi Robin,

    As I'm sure that you're aware, users with negative views are far more vocal on the internet than the more civilised people who are happy to take views at face values. I find your reviews well written and, importantly, you state clearly your biases, limitations and methodology, which is one of the most important things that you can do as a reviewer - it allows intelligent people to assess your viewpoint, and see if it is important to them. Congratulations.

  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

  58. Keep up the good work~!

  59. Hi Robin,

    Who cares what those other people are saying about you. Photography is subjective. Everyone has an opinion. Your opinion has generated "Discussion".
    Congratulations on your success. I guess those armchair critics spend too much time looking at the specifications and seek excellence and don't know what passion means.

    While you are "Doing your Passion", critics will let off hot air as comments. Hot air evaporates and disappears.

    You have a very credible website. I only stumble across your site about a month ago and I loved your street photography. Your contribution into the photography world is valued.

    Keep up the great work and more food pictures please!

    From N.Z

  60. The best real world review of the E-M5 to date. Not many would be able to tell a story and show different aspects of the camera with photographs like you did.

    Keep up the great work Robin! Don't stop expressing your opinions, as that is what makes your blog very interesting.

  61. Hi Robin,

    this "real life approach" of your reviews is exactly what I like. It is the way I will use the camera myself (at least when I buy it) and so I get a very good impression what it is capable to perform. I mean most of us (including me) don't do photography in a professional way and so your reviews really show us what we can expect.

    I am more than happy to read about your experiences with the camera and look at your shots - for me that is much more significant than to look at some test shots under "laboratory conditions".

    To put it in a nutshell: Thanks for your great work, which is really appreciated.

    And thanks for your macro part in the M5 review, which was very interesting for me!

    All the best

  62. Hi Robin,

    Thanks for yuor reviews. While I am in the Canon camp myself, I do have a soft spot in my heart for the Olympus side of the FT/MFT systems.

    It is amazing to see how much they squeeze out of their technology and the new OM-D seems to be the new star in the whole MFT-system.

    I do hope you enjoy it and I'll might write my contacts at Olympus Europe to get a review unit of it. it really looks amazing and sometimes lugging my huge DSLR setups around, I envy those MFT users. With that camera even more now :-)

  63. Nice job. Enjoying your blog in LA. Teh critics aren't doing anything nearly as helpful as you for their fellow photo enthusiasts.

  64. Hi Robin,
    As soon as you realise that technology is the new religion, you start to ignore a lot of people.
    I find that many people are only interested in opinions that confirm the one they already have. And if you have a opinion that isn't congruent you devalue their positions and therefore themselves. That is a bit self-centered but we all fall for it at some point. Age helps for some people, but just for some.
    I am looking forward to more of your feedback, if I agree with it or not.

  65. Dear Robin,

    I enjoy your blog and especially your thoughts on the E-M5!

    Remember that there is a silent majority, who appreciates your work. There are 40000 views against how much critique? ;)
    Don't get offended by some comments.

    I also posted on 43rumors, that I would appreciate focus-peaking. Not that I wouldn't believe you that it is not yet accurate enough for macro shooting. I only think that we should make anything we could to put pressure on Olympus to implement it. And in that sense a comment against it from you (even a very specific one) might be contra-productive if it is wrongly cited or cited out of context. Personally, I understood well what you meant.

    Warmest regards,

  66. I must also thank you for your work reviewing this camera. I will also buy an EM-5 and probabky some of the lenses you used. I wonder, do you not use filters om your lenses? If so, why not?

    Thank you ver much for your work!

    With my best regards
    Stefan from sweden

  67. Keep the faith Robin!

  68. Robin,

    I only found your blog because of your E-M5 reviews (as I am interested in the camera) and I appreciate your honest opinion of the camera.

    Like you, I am a hobbyist looking for a camera that I can enjoy shooting with and does what I need it to do. Any honest feedback from someone "in my shoes" about the E-M5 is highly valuable whether it's good or bad.

    Thank so much for the information and the work that goes into it.

  69. Robin, I could care less about focus "peeking".

    Thanks for the E-M5 info. What do think of the finish on the E-M5? Is it more durable than what's on the earlier Pen's?

  70. Just a short word to tell that I do really enjoy your blogs and reviews. I enjoy your "shutter therapee" concept and the fresh air you are breathing when reviewing camera gears. I enjoy your pictures and the way you presents them. I enjoy reading your comments because of your Asian background. I enjoy your enthousiasm.

    Keep on doing what you do well and don't obsess with the harsh comments.

    Greetings from the land of the mountains and Alpin lakes.

  71. Thanks Robin, for your full and frank comments in the light of hasty criticism. Thanks too, for your 'practical review' of various cameras - but especially the new Oly, as we try to assess its worth to us poor readers.

    I hadn't realised that you only started seriously 'recently' - but you have an eye and an enthusiasm to the visual image. Keep up the good work!


  72. Hello Ben,
    Thanks for the kind words. I do my best to be as straightforward and honest as possible, and I am not hiding anything from my reviews. My only hope is that my review work can be beneficial to the community.

    Thanks Chad.

    From NZ,
    Thanks for such kind words and show of support. Street photography is my passion, and I will be constantly doing it. While hunting the street, I often make sure me and my friends get good gastronomical treat after a good shooting session. Yes, more food photographs will come !! Thanks for pointing that out.

    Hello Nawaf,
    Thanks for the kind words, and I shall do my best to voice up my opinion as truthfully as I can.

  73. Hello Markus,
    Thanks so much for the kind words on my review an photographs. That means a lot. I love macro photography, and I have been doing it a lot, hence it was my pleasure to include that as a part of my review. And yes, we should focus on more "real life" applications !!

    Helo Daniel,
    Thanks for the kind compliments. And I hope your contacts in Olympus Europe will give you the camera for your own testing and review purposes. It would be great to have a different perspective such as yours, a user from another camp.

    Thanks Jensemann for the wise words. Indeed, we should not devalue or ignore constructive feedback and criticism. We should keep an open mind, and know when to accept our limitations and weaknesses. Thanks for reminding that.

  74. Hello Hannes,
    I guess I must have worded the argument a little too harshly somehow, and should have toned it down in the first place, knowing that there might be many people who do not read the full sentence and just snip a bit out and take everything off context.
    No worries, we all have our own opinion. I just wanted to voice out mine as peacefully as I can. Never intended any chaos in the first place.

    hello Stefan,
    For my usual shooting, I use filters to protect the lens. However, every single piece of glass you put in front of the lens will cut the light that comes into the camera. Hence for review purposes, to mitigate any questions or fault by the filters, I chose to shoot with the lens naked.

    Thanks Chris !!

  75. "What is the point of having the world's BEST camera, if you are not able to enjoy shooting WITH it?"

    That is why your reviews are believable and enjoyable for me. Keep on having fun with your photography - your pictures show enough that anyone should be able to get a sense of a cameras abilities from them.

    Robert Watcher
    My Journal

  76. Hello Rob-L,
    I am glad you find the review useful here, and I appreciate your feedback !! There are a lot more "hobbyists" out there in comparison to professionals, and I do what I can to speak out to the ones "in my shoes".

    Hello Alan,
    Thanks for the support. And yes, the E-M5 is probably the tankiest compact camera system or mirrorless camera up to date !!

    Hello Christiane,
    Thanks for commenting, and how I wish I could visit your beautiful part of the world !!
    I shall be talking about shutter therapy in my coming entry. Stay tuned !!

    Thanks Mike, for the kind comments.
    Yes, I am quite new to photography, but I am a keen learner. There is still so much more to explore and learn, and I am enjoying every bit of it.

  77. Hello Robert,
    Thanks so much for agreeing with me with that statement.
    We should all have fun while shooting !!

  78. You Have done wonderful job!! when everyone just can only envy you because you have the privilege to try this OMD. just keep up you good work! and the most important thing is , ENJOY what you do! God Bless you!!

  79. Hello Selwyn,
    Thanks so much for the kind words. God Bless you too.

  80. Hi robin,

    My company focuses at ERSS (Earth Retaining Structure System). Singapore based company, located in Kuching. =)

    How about you?

    btw, one ques: Im still on the fence to decide either EP3 or EM5. EM5 hits up to Rm4500. And EP3 stays around Rm2800. Any sincere advise on this. =(


  81. Hello Johnson,
    Email me directly at

    And do provide some info:
    1) what are you intending to shoot most with the camera
    2) what are your expectations, needs of the camera
    3) What is your budget?

  82. I thought the pics were great and truly appreciate the review. Thank you Robin.

  83. You're doing a great job. Screw some small minded criticism. I'm enjoying your work.

  84. I think it's been said quite a bit already, but wanted to reinforce how much I enjoy your blog. I started following it around the time you tested out the E-5.

    I too started to get serious about photography around 2008 and have been on a learning journey ever since. I think blogs like yours, Kirk Tuck, and Steve Huff, to name just a few, are wonderful for folks like me who enjoy photography but also enjoy the personality of the person writing and their philosophies.

    Keep up the great work!

  85. As a self taught photographer, I thought your presentation was outstanding, fascinating, and the best I have seen. Although technically, some others may have more skills of which I am unaware, the subject matter is what makes it so interesting, and that is an important part of photography. Also, I learned saw some new techniques demonstrated that I will try myself. The internet can bring harsh critiques sometimes, and if people are critisizing this, it just goes to show that some such attacks are completely baseless. It also was nice that you went to the extra effort to include music as well.

  86. Robin, you are doing really good job! No need for excuses.

  87. internet is the world.. and sadly the world is full of idiots... and internet makes them more noisy too :D

    you stated very clearly from the beginning, who you are, what you do and why.

    as you said photography is about feelings and joy... do not let this morons take away from you your joy.

    thank god internet can also give the opportunity to a dude like you from the other side of the world to the share his experiences:
    keep up with the great work, from an amateur to an amateur, your words about the feeling that this camera can give counts to me far more than any technical bullshit...

    when someone looks to a photo,if is a good one, it should communicate something to him.
    not make him think about focus peaking or what if the photographer had used the kit lenses.
    to me your photos are defenetly not the latter case.

    pietro, italy.

  88. Thanks Gil.

    Thanks Wataru !! I think it was because of support from a beautiful person such as yourself that I have the motivation to keep blogging ! It works both ways.

    Thanks Raymond.

    Hello Pietro,
    Thanks for the kind comments. Indeed, I agree with you about a good photograph should communicate with the subjects, not so much on the technicalities. Photography is art after all.

    Anonymous, thanks for the support, but kindly leave a name the next time you comment. Thanks.

  89. I have thoroughly enjoyed your fantastic review of the em5. you provide a far more interesting perspective than the typical reviews. Thank you again for all the work you've put into this!

  90. Thanks for the kind compliments MrChu

  91. Hi Robin,

    Excellent review Robin. Great images too!!! One question, have you ever compare images on the back of camera to a calibrated monitor. I wonder if this camera LCD does a good job and gives out accurate color reproduction. Of course, we can never trust those kind of things but it will be nice to have accurate LCD too isn't it. ;D

    Greetings from Thailand,

  92. Hello MJ,
    Thanks for the kind compliments.
    when I review the images on camera (or chimp, so) some people call that, I only check focus accuracy and exposure balance. I do not judge the colour accuracy.

  93. Hi Robin, I 'stumbled' upon your blog from other forum few months ago and have been following it since. I started with your review on 45mm f/1.8 and ended up reading through the whole blogs. I really enjoyed reading it! I certainly learnt a lot about Olympus from your blog. I own GF1 and nEver really have any interest about Olympus camera before, but now I am looking forward to get my hands on E-M5 (at least when the price drops).

    I also have a little confession, I just did a short trip to KL early this week since it is a school holiday and guess where I went? Batu caves and butterfly park!! All thanks to you :) ...oh, and I have 45mm with me :)

    Keep up the good works and as others already said many appreciate what you have written on your blog.


  94. Hello Gama,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    Wow, you went to Batu Caves and Butterfly Park !! Hope you took many wonderful images there !!

  95. Hi Robin,your blog has been an inspiration to me and to further my techniques and hone my skills in the photography world. Thank you for your in depth look at the OMD. I have used Canon and Nikon DSLR's in the past and have finally come to a point where I want to love photography and be one with the camera and lenses I use. Olympus has made great strides in the MFT market, with great lenses and great bodies. I to have an OMD on preorder and look forward to many wonderful images that this camera can produce.

    Thank you for showing off what this camera can do. All the best in your future blogging and keep up the fantastic work.



  96. Hello Mike,
    Thank you so much for such kind remarks and compliments.
    Indeed, it is important to have a camera system that is one with yourself, as an extension from yourself.
    I am sure you wont be disappointed, and will have many great moments with the coming E-M5 !! Go out shoot more and make great images happen !

  97. This comment has been removed by the author.

  98. *sigh* people are so offended these day. By the way, I really like the way you review the cameras. Very detail and easy to understand. :)

    1. Thanks for the support. Please leave a name next time you comment.

  99. Robin, Your blog is incredible. Don't ever capitulate to the hordes of people who are anxious to tell you their opinions about cameras they've never shot with. But if you are attacked you should respond. Don't let the forum dwellers define your message. I love your articles and am a constant reader and fan. You inspire me to stay in touch with my amateur soul. It's the love of making images that brought me into photography. Your enthusiasm is contagious. I'm glad you share it. Go, go, go.

    1. Hello again Kirk,
      Thank you so much for taking time to write such an encouraging and positive comment. Actually a huge part of my enthusiasm came from yourself and your very generous sharing on your blog. I guess what goes around does come around. You have been a great inspiration to so many of us !

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