You know, I very seldom thought of how I looked like when I was shooting, and certainly when I have been shooting with many people who tagged along with me on the streets lately, more and more photos were taken of me while I was shooting away, and when those photos came back.... I almost always went "whaaaaaattt....... no waaayy I looked like that!!!". Honestly, I never knew how I blended with the street while I was shooting, that was one mystery yet to be solved. 

Awwww please don't walk away...
If you have not noticed yet, has released their complete review for the Olympus OM-D E-M1, and awarded GOLD with 84% high rating (not something very common for Olympus products). DPReview has also stated in their conclusion page that in comparison to Nikon D7100 and Canon 70D, both being E-M1's direct competitors, there really is no noticeable difference when it comes to side by side image quality comparison and this can be negligible. The only significant difference against E-M1 would be comparison with full frame cameras, but of course that is an entirely different story altogether. Ultimately this was consistent with my own findings in my review, the gap between Micro 4/3 and APS-C DSLR is almost disappearing completely now with the E-M1, and mirrorless is surely the future. It is amazing how far Olympus has come with their mirrorless technology in just a few years!

All images in this blog entry were taken with Olympus OM-D E-M5 and M.Zuiko 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 lens

I am so glad to finally find some time for proper shutter therapy, and together with Shaun visiting from Australia, we attacked Chow Kit, my favourite hunting ground. I have not been to Chow Kit since... I don't even remember when. Must have been more than half a year since I last went there. Chow Kit, as it has always been, remains my number one place to go to for more serious street photography outings. I always come home with better photographs, not necessarily the photos that my readers will like, but those are the photos that I am personally very satisfied with. Photographs that I want to take, and photographs that show the way I see things. There is just something about this place that kept me going back again and again for more shutter therapy. 

In my bag (now a much smaller bag) I have the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and M.Zuiko lenses 45mm F1.8 and 12-50mm F3.5-6.3. As usual I would expect myself to use mostly the 45mm F1.8 lens, but somehow this time, I have changed lenses more often than I used to, and I have utilized the 12-50mm kit lens more than I have originally intended. It provided me with wide angle coverage, something very useful when shooting in tight spaces especially when we were in the wet market. To be honest I am starting to warm up to this lens. I know very well that the new M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 is a far greater lens in every aspect, but this 12-50mm kit lens is not exactly doing too bad, especially in situations where I do not need the extra speed of F2.8 bright aperture, and in shots where sharpness does not really dictate the better outcome of a photograph. For my usual street shooting, the 12-50mm kit lens did its job wonderfully!

Dried Food. 12-50mm kit lens 

Gas Tank. 

Shaun Nykvist is back in KL again, and I met him up earlier this evening for a very short shutter therapy session and dinner. It was great catching up with Shaun, and joining us was Nick Wade, another usual street shooter around KL area. It was a rainy evening, but that did not stop us from walking about and catching some shots. 

I brought along the Olympus OM-D E-M1 hence Shaun was able to have his hands on the E-M1 together with M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 lens. He was impressed to say the least, coming from a long Olympus usage background since the days of Olympus Four Thirds DSLR. I asked both Shaun and Nick to try the E-M1 and slowing the camera down to 1 second shutter speed, and they were shocked to find that they could shoot one second hand-held, SHARP images! You know it is difficult for me to convince others by showing my own photos but when you are able to do it yourself, I am sure you will be completely convinced. If I remember correctly, Shaun managed to push all the way down to 1.6 sec slow shutter speed, shooting handheld. 

I was of course shooting with my OM-D E-M5, and this was my first time shooting night street in a long, long time. The last time I did this was.... probably... in the beginning of this year? I cannot even remember when! The shooting location, Bukit Bintang has changed so much due to the MRT construction happening, hence the streets had ugly barricades and construction hoardings everywhere. 

All images were taken with Olympus OM-D E-M5, 45mm F1.8 lens and 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 lens

New Fences. ISO2,000

Wet Evening. ISO6,400

I think Kirk Tuck will be laughing at me and say "I told you so, since two years ago" if he ever finds out about this post. Kirk has been a very strong supporter of Electronic Viewfinders (EVF) and he has written lengthily for many times, the benefits EVF brings for practical photography. 

On last Saturday night, I was on the way out to purchase a lens filter for my now still naked lens, but on my way to my favourite local camera accessories shop I stumbled upon a charity concert via Facebook postings. You see, in that charity concert, my favourite artist, Ariff AB was performing, and I thought why not made it there since I was free for that particular evening. Lens filter can surely wait. I made a rough mental calculation and I could make it in time before the concert started, with very minor detour. 

Arriff AB performed on stage and he was AMAZING. I am a huge fan of local music, especially the Indie rock scene. It has been a while since I last seen Ariff AB and after all the hectic Olympus roadshows, touch and try events and the KLPF recently, I thought the live concert was a nice, sweet reward I can give myself. There is something about being drowned in loud music and surrounded by a cheering crowd that is therapeutic as well (besides shutter therapy).  

Please do check out Ariff AB (Youtube Channel)

Olympus OM-D E-M5 and M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8.

Sony once again, has turned the whole photography world upside down with their latest announcement of Full Frame camera in surprisingly small and compact NEX sized body, namely the Sony A7 and Sony A7R. I have had a chance to have a brief hands-on session with pre-production models of both the Sony A7 and A7R, thanks to Sony Malaysia allowing exclusive preview to their loyal Sony supporters earlier this afternoon, immediately after the photo sharing session by Dr Chen who was the winner of Sony's World Photo Award (Malaysia) last year. The whole world is talking about these two Full Frame small cameras, and I too, cannot stop myself from thinking about them!

For full specifications of Sony A7 and A7R, please go to DPReview's page here (click). 

I have been shooting with a lot of people and rarely have I come across a group with all Olympus users, until very recently, in my previous shutter therapy session last Tuesday, and also this very morning. Basically I pulled together a group of people who have requested to shoot with me on my street hunting session, a few whom I have met during the KLPF 2013 last weekend. As usual I would keep the group small so it is more manageable and we can have more interaction time between each other. When you have a photography outing with too many people, people just tend to break into smaller groups anyway, and get separated from the bigger group. Why not just form smaller groups in the first place?

The location of choice was Pudu, with the primary shooting location being the Open Air Wet Market, a place which has become my favourite. There were a few newcomers this time, and it was their first time shooting in Pudu. As expected, one of the main questions raised today was how I approached the strangers and shoot their portrait photos so up-close. As usual, my answer has always remained consistent, I just walked up to them and shoot. No secret methods, no special techniques, and surely those searching for something extra from my shooting session will be disappointed. I just, literally, pointed my camera at my chosen subjects, and shot them. Did I get rejected? Yes, sometimes, but it does not really matter. There were so many more people to shoot, so many opportunities waiting. Just keep the smile up, and focus on positive thoughts, you will end up with even better photographs than the one you have missed. 

The interesting fact, which I did not anticipated in the first place, was the majority of the photographers using Olympus OM-D E-M5. There were 7 of us, and 5 of us used OM-D, which was something I have not encountered before. I know I am known for being one of the significant blogger who pushed the OM-D into good light, but I myself am always surrounded with photographers and friends who do not actually use micro four thirds system. 

This image was taken with my Nexus 4. So easy to tell which camera was mine, because I was the only one who used black. 

All images were taken with Olympus OM-D E-M5 and M.Zuiko lenses: 45mm F1.8, 17mm F1.8 and 12-50mm F3.5-6.3

Awesome Hair

After the street outing yesterday with a bunch of Olympus Micro 4/3 shooters, we sat down at Yut Kee, a Hainanese restaurant that has been operating since 1920's. We planned on shooting some photographs of the food there, which I did, but none of my food shots turned out alright. Since the place was so crowded we had to share our table with 2 other patrons, which was something very common in this restaurant (we had to wait 20 minutes before we were seated). Now, the interesting part was, the couple who shared the table with us actually offered us to shoot their food before they eat them, seeing how eager we were shooting our own food. Shamelessly, we took a few shots of that delicious looking Lor Mee. That shot turned out to be the only food shot I could use from this particular session, and I am showing it here. 

Olympus OM-D E-M5, 45mm F1.8 lens, available light

Although I did not eat this bowl of noodles, I started to regret not ordering one when I was reviewing the photos at home. 

Food photography, something I do intend to explore, but then again.... I am also watching my own weight now. Am not getting younger, but what the heck, good food is meant to be eaten!
Woke up to a beautiful morning, a public holiday in Malaysia, and that means catching up on my much needed, and very deprived shutter therapy sessions. Joining me this morning was a group of Olympus Micro Four Thirds shooters, and it has actually been quite a while since I joined an Olympus only group for any shoot. Of course, this was also officially the first session I have done a shutter therapy (for non-review purpose) with my newly acquired Olympus OM-D E-M5. The gang met up at Masjid Jamek and we shot around the area, ending up for lunch just before noon at Yut Kee. I have been looking forward to this particular shooting session, mainly because I have not been doing any shooting for myself only (as usual, not review related). 

I only have two lenses with me, the M.Zuiko 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 and the 45mm F1.8. I felt that I can exclusively shoot with just the 45mm F1.8 lens, but I also wanted to test out the 12-50mm lens, you know, just to get myself re-familiarized with it, since it has been quite a while since I last used the 12-50mm. The E-M5 did a splendid job in grabbing nearly 100% focus accuracy (with blazing speed). When I was using the E-M5, it did not feel alien at all, and somehow, I was quite comfortable with it. The menu system is basically the same with the E-5, and coming from Olympus background, it was quite easy to pick up the camera and just shoot. The basic setup and settings are the same. 

Portrait of a Stranger 1

I posted a while ago on my Facebook Page (yes I do have a FB Page, if you have not "liked" it, please do do) that I have bought some new gear (camera, lens and bag). Many have responded with rather interesting guesses, such as Fuji! Goodness, never have I in my blog stated my intention or interest in any Fuji cameras. And you should all know by now how loyal I am to Olympus, now that I am fully employed by Olympus Malaysia. 

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 will only arrive later next month, and I cannot afford the E-M1 anytime soon. I cannot even get staff discounted price now, since I am still under probation, and it will be about half a year before I can get my confirmation. I would really, really want to have the E-M1 but it just cannot happen anytime soon. However, at the same time I am facing the same question again and again wherever I go, whomever I have met "Robin, why are you not using an OM-D?"

The Olympus E-5 won't last me long. God knows what I have put it through, and all the tortures it has endured. I dare not even to check the shutter count. Although the E-5 is still fully functional, I cannot trust it to survive for long, and I am not surprised if it just suddenly decided to give up on me. Therefore, the only logical move now, is to go fully Micro Four Thirds. 

For now, Olympus OM-D E-M5 will have to suffice. 

My NEW Gear: OM-D E-M5, 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 and 45mm F1.8