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
Thankfully I found a great deal in the used market, and I was offered to pay the camera in monthly instalment, to ease my financial burden. I have just gotten my first pay check after 3 months of no salary, so I have to be extra careful on how I spend my money. The great deal and payment by monthly installment was Godsent for my current situation! The OM-D E-M5 came with the kit lens 12-50mm F3.5-6.3, and on top of that I purchased another lens, the MUST HAVE 45mm F1.8.
Some will surely ask, what happens to the Sony now? I think it is not difficult to guess: I am selling ALL my Sony gear, and the reason is obvious, I am working for Olympus! It makes sense to fully use Olympus products from now onwards. Then what happens to my E-5 and Zuiko Four Thirds lenses? The E-5 will be there, and I will keep it for so many reasons (sentimental value being one). The Zuiko lenses? No way am I getting them on sale, I shall be able to fully utilize them once I have my E-M1! I do not know when that will happen, but eventually, the plan is to get an E-M1, and have the E-M5 as my second body. For now, since the E-M1 is unattainable, the E-M5 shall have to be my main camera.
And yes, finally... I am an OM-D shooter. I know I am late to the party, but I am sure glad I am here now!
Some will question: why not just use Olympus Malaysia's E-M5 unit? I can, but I am also a photographer that shoots for myself, and it is unfair to use the office equipment for personal use all the time!
So now I have the new gear, what was the first thing I shot with it? The Olympus Shoot-Out Challenge at Kuala Lumpur Festival 2013 of course! Boy and I glad to have the OM-D now, and gosh, such huge difference it made in comparison to my older Olympus E-5. Surely, you can see the huge gap, comparing the images in this entry to my previous one. The Day One KLPF was all taken with E-5, and all images in this entry for the Shoot-Out challenge on Day 3 were taken with the newly acquired E-M5.
ISO3200, underexposed, and I pushed the exposure up, yet noise was so well controlled. I can get rid of them by post-processing, but I was lazy. I thought the image was still very usable.
This was Sanjit, the amazing Olympus wildlife photographer.
Our First Challenger, Steven Tan, using Canon 5D Mk2 full frame with 70-200mm F2.8 L lens.
Our professional photographer Michael Yeoh, using the OM-D E-M1 in action
Steven the Full Frame Challenger's turn.
Amongst the crowd was Luke Ding!
KLPF Olympus SHOOT-OUT Challenge
For this year's Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival (KLPF) Olympus has set up the Full Frame vs OM-D Shoot-Out challenge. A Full Frame photographer may come and challenge our E-M1 in a professionally set-up studio environment, with professional lighting provided by Profoto Malaysia, shooting a professional model from Mexico (with professional make-up done). The shooting was done with all settings set equally, same shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and aperture, with same lights. Michael Yeoh, a professional commercial photographer was coordinaring the challenge. After the challenger and Michael were satisfied with the images they have shot, they immediately transferred their images to a professional digital operator (also a printer specialist) for immediate live printing. Large format printer was sponsored by Epson Malaysia.
It took about 30 minutes for the printing process, and once the images were up, we hung them side by side for the crowd to witness the large prints of Full Frame DSLR vs our OM-D E-M1.
We did two full days, Saturday and Sunday, and each day we had three separate sessions with different challengers each session. On Saturday we had a Canon 5D Mk2, and two Sony Alpha 99 users. On Sunday, we had Canon 5D mk2, Nikon D3s and a Canon 6D. On this blog entry, i only showed images covering events and happenings on Sunday sessions only.
The whole purpose of this shoot-out challenge was to show the public the capabilities of Micro Four Thirds system as a whole. There is still this misconception by general public that the small sensor size of the Micro Four Thirds system posed many limitations, and one of them being not able to print large. In fact this idea was not our first, it was carried out in Photokina in Germany and The Digital Show in Australia. Through large prints the photographers were able to really scrutinize the quality of the images from respective cameras. No, we are not saying our cameras are better than the Full Frame system, that was not the point of the challenge. However, from the general crowd reaction, when asked which image was taken with which camera, looking at the large prints side by side, about half of the time, the audience could not differentiate which was taken with OM-D or Full Frame camera.
The results were so close that half of the crowd mostly got it wrong!
Iskandar Ibrahim, local high profile professional photographer, having a session with us.
Interview with Iskandar Ibrahim. Iskander switched fully to our OM-D system, from previously Full Frame Canon system. He has sold off all his Canon gear.
Hello John Ragai!
Khong comparing OM-D E-M1 to E-M5
Lam and Lily, checking out Olympus OM-D
Many complained OM-D E-M1 being large. I never heard anyone complaining about NEX-7 being large. They both looked roughly the same size to me.
We also had Iskandar Ibrahim, a local wedding and commercial professional photographer, sharing with us how he decided to switched fully from Canon Full Frame system, to our Olympus OM-D Micro Four Thirds system. He has many wonderful stories to tell, and many compelling and valid reasons to switch over. He has no regrets, and stated that the OM-D E-M5 he has been using for the past 8 months has served him well, and proved to be trustworthy and reliable to produce professional results for his photography work. He has many funny stories involving his clients not having good impression of him when he showed up for an assignment with his tiny E-M5 and even tinier lenses. However when he showed his photography results, the clients had no choice but to keep their mouths shut! Iskandar was an inspiration, and a very convincing living proof that the Olympus OM-D E-M5 can deliver for professional environments!
On the main stage of KLPF, we also had Ming Thein, an international photography blogger who shared his presentation "We are here". I did not stay long for his presentation, as I was stationed full time at the Olympus booth. It was also great seeing Ming Thein again, and having him to share his experience with OM-D!
The Second Challenger (can't remember his name, my bad really! Was it Faizal?)
The second challener was shooting with a Nikon D3s.
Hello Yee Kang! Good to see you again.
As always, models never failed to grab some attention.
So which was D3s and which was E-M1?
Using the Olympus OM-D E-M5 was quite a great experience. This was the first time I was shooting an "assignment" driven session with the E-M5. It did not disappoint. In fact the E-M5 lived up to its expectations. Focusing was dead-on accurate and superbly fast. The Auto White Balance was amazingly accurate. In my previous shooting (Day one KLPF) with E-5, I needed to tweak the white balance settings manually in post-processing, but the E-M5 in Day 3 managed auto white balance rather accurately, with colors resembling real life as what I remembered seeing. It surely saved me plenty of time post-processing, correcting the white balance.
For all the shots in this entry, I used three lenses: 12-50mm kit lens (only for wide angle shots), 45mm f1.8 for close up shots, and also the 17mm F1.8 which I borrowed (well, I am an employee now, and I can use any lens I want as long as it is available for me). I am starting to rethink my stance of the 17mm focal length which was not my preference. I somehow thought the lens worked well in this particular shooting session, and the extra width (versus my usual 25mm focal length) was quite useful considering in many situation I was working in tight shooting space. And the images of the 17mm F1.8 lens in this session turned out a lot better than I have initially anticipated. The lens was quite useful for the coverage of subjects that are being close to me.
The 45mm F1.8, as usual, did wonders. It was one lens that I will surely recommend to anyone who is new to Micro Four Thirds system.
The 12-50mm kit lens, though not a stellar performer, did good enough job to cover wide angle shots. The ability of E-M5 to shoot higher ISO was good enough to stretch the kit lens a little bit.
I can really feel the huge gap between the E-M5 (and of course now, the new E-M1) against the older E-5. I am so glad now I finally have the E-M5 at my own disposal.
Our last challenger, Jason Lioh
So guys, what are your thoughts of me finally owning an E-M5 of my own?
I know, FINALLY, right?