Shaun Visits KL Again, and Night Street Shooting with E-M5

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

Foreign Worker. ISO1,600

On a Chair. ISO1,600

Five Foot Way. ISO1,000

Shaun giving the E-M1 and 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens a go. ISO1,250

Nick's new special composition technique. ISO1,000

Well, it was a short session, so I did not have that many photos, but it still felt great, and I always come home happy after a shutter therapy session. Surely it was nice seeing Shaun again, and hope to see you soon again for another shutter therapy or dinner!


  1. The image quality of these cameras at these crazy-high ISO's keeps amazing me. The portraits at ISO 1000 are really good, and the water shot at 6400 is quite acceptable in my eyes. Simply amazing, I wouldn't dream of going that high on my old gear - heck, even at ISO 320 I am not that happy with the old CCD sensor at 100% - at that an APS-C (bigger) sensor. But then again who prints that big, I certainly don't. But sensor technology has been improving dramatically, that much is clear. I guesstimate 4 stops improvement in that E-M5 MFT sensor over my old APS-C sensor in terms of noise performance.

    BTW the girl in the "fences" shot has a very beautiful face. Ah, KL... I miss it. Nick certainly was having a good time too!

    1. Hey Andre,
      I accidentally dialed to ISO6,400 by accident. In fact ISO3,200 or slightly lower was sufficient for that particular shot. Of course for web-sized display it did not really matter. I don't think there is that much improvement over APS-C sensor as you have stated but I agree there is a big, significant improvement.
      Come to KL!! We shall go shutter therapy together and we can go have teh tarik after that!

  2. I realize now, upon looking back, that most portraits are even at ISO 1600 - even more astonishing. Your Oly starts where my old Nikon runs out of steam!

    1. Oh it is not fair to compare, different cameras from different times. I am sure the APS-C sensor sized DSLR today would perform very similarly.

  3. Hi Robin,
    Glad to see you on the street again with the OMD E-M1. Superb marketing strategy which I admired. Actually I said the same word to my wife and friends, "In the hands of Robin Wong, all the photos look awesome and does not matter which camera he holds. Do it yourself and you will be convinced if it is really that good." That's one of the reason, I go for the OMD E-M1's Touch and Try event. Actually when I hold it earlier, I am already I know you did what you are doing from your heart and your passion for photography which make you a very valuable asset to Olympus Malaysia.
    On the photos here. Wow! It's amazing. So far I have push up the ISO to 3200 on my OMD E-M5. And now I know it do better. Thank you to you.

    On the other note, I have just sold my house in Bandar Baru Puncak Alam (no public transport) and now I am looking for new house in Petaling Jaya but the house price is a bit high. Hopefully I get the new house by end of the year. Reason? I think you know Some people say I am crazy but some say I am too passionate in whatver I am doing.

    May you have a great day.
    John Ragai

    1. Hey John,
      I was shooting with my E-M5 of course, and E-M1 was for Shaun to test out. He fell in love with the 12-40mm F2.8 pro as well. So I believe that lens will be in his buying list.
      I would not recommend going higher than ISO3200, and I did so by accident. I wanted to shoot ISO3200 only but did not how how I accidentally went to ISO6400. The photo turned out alright and perfectly usable but I would still recommend shooting at lower ISO, no matter how capable the camera is.

  4. Excellent stuff! The ISO 6400 photo seems more clear in the reflection than the actual scene, somehow. I could swear I saw a film camera in one of the shots, but I don't think people use those today.

    I'm once again impressed by the clarity of the shots. If I could only get those athletes to stand still a bit longer...

    That Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 really is a gem that should be in every micro Four-Thirds bag. While it won't beat my 14-35mm f/2.0 for light, it's much lighter and so, can be held steady longer.

    1. Hey Sakamoto,
      Thanks for the kind words. I believe I focused on the reflection hence it looke clearer than the actual scene.
      And yes, that 12-40mm F2.8 lens is a great lens. I would opt for 14-35mm F2 if I can afford it though!

  5. Hi Robin,

    Thanks for posting beautiful photos. Can you please tell me what camera and lens Nick is using at your last photo. The lens looks like a voigtlander 40mm f2 but I don't see any adapter so I'm confused...


  6. Great blog - thanks for being you and doing what you do - very inspirational.

  7. Great night shots Robin. I'm now encouraged to try 1000iso and more. I recently switched over to the OMD5 from Canon (5D&7D) as I was finding the body with lens too heavy to lug around. With the OMD5 I find myself sticking to 400 & 800iso ….old habits die hard! Whenever I am in KL I am always a little nervous with pointing my lens on the street so I do very much admire what you have achieved. Cheers.