Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Olympus PEN-F Review Part 1

Important Notes:
1. I am an Olympus Malaysia employee. 
2. This is a user experience based review, based on my personal opinion which can be subjective.
3. All images were shot in RAW and converted directly to JPEG (High Quality) via Olympus Viewer 3 Version 2 (unreleased at this moment)
4. General camera settings, Noise Filter = OFF, Contrast/Saturation/sharpness = 0, White Balance = Auto (with an option maintain warm color = OFF), Gradation = Normal
5. Minimal post-processing applied to the images, with slight brightness/contrast balance tweak. All images were almost as good as straight out of camera, with minimal cropping for better presentation.

Olympus releases the latest PEN series camera today, the Olympus PEN-F. This new PEN-F is not a successor to the previous PEN E-P5, and is a unique PEN in it's own category. The classic design of the camera styling was inspired by the original Olympus PEN F 35mm Film camera of 1963. Despite the retro and nostalgic camera appearance, the new Olympus PEN-F houses a new 20MP image sensor, 5-Axis Image Stabilization, and all the latest imaging technology Olympus Micro Four Thirds system has to offer. 

Immediately after shooting and reviewing the M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS PRO lens last weekend, I started shooting with the Olympus PEN-F for the remaining weekend, torturing the camera in real life shooting conditions. Based on that shooting experience and tonnes of images I have collected and scrutinized, this is my user experience review of the new Olympus PEN-F. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS PRO Lens Review

Important Notes:
1. I am an Olympus Malaysia employee. 
2. This is a user experience based review, based on my personal opinion which can be subjective.
3. All images were shot in RAW and converted directly to JPEG (High Quality) via Olympus Viewer 3.
4. General camera settings, Noise Filter = OFF, Contrast/Saturation/sharpness = 0, White Balance = Auto (with an option maintain warm color = OFF), Gradation = Normal
5. Minimal post-processing applied to the images, with slight brightness/contrast balance tweak. All images were almost as good as straight out of camera, with minimal cropping for better presentation.


I am finally back in Kuala Lumpur after being away to my hometown, Kuching for almost a month, taking care of my beloved mum who underwent a surgery. Everything was well, mum can walk steadily and I am now back to action in full swing. Thank you every one for being so supportive and understanding all this time. This blog is now officially off the short hiatus and I will be actively shooting and blogging again. The first gear review for the year 2016 will be none other than the Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS PRO lens which was released earlier this month. 

The Olympus super telephoto lens, M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS PRO completes the full PRO lens lined up as announced, and there is very little to complain about lens choices when it comes to Micro Four Thirds any more. I have written about my first impression handling the lens briefly earlier here (click to read the blog entry). Earlier today, I have spent the entire day shooting with the M.Zuiko 300mm F4 PRO mounted on the OM-D E-M1 at several locations, and now I have sufficient photographs and shooting experience to complete a full blog review of the lens. 


Olympus OM-D E-M1 was my choice of weapon to review the M.Zuiko 300mm F4 PRO lens. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Attacking Kuching Streets, Again

It has been almost a month I am away from Kuala Lumpur, spending time in my hometown Kuching with beloved mum. She has been discharged from the hospital and now resting at home. She was extremely happy to be home, sitting on her favourite couch, watching TV and of course, having better home cooked food. I shall be accompanying her a little bit more before returning to Kuala Lumpur for work. Spending time with mum is the best thing I can ask for!

Meanwhile, I am not letting the camera collecting dust while I am home in Kuching. This morning, I had quite an impromptu session with a few friends (Allen and Kim Hang) on the street, and boy was it a rewarding session! The gloomy weather did not dampen our spirits and we attacked the streets. It is depressing to know that on my non shutter therapy days, the sky was clear blue!! My focus was capturing more people shots this time, as how I would usually do when I was shooting in KL streets. Kuching streets are very different from KL, the atmosphere here is more relaxed and slow paced. People are always smiling and friendly everywhere and I have no problem approaching the strangers here. An advantage for me, I am able to converse fluently in the local chinese dialect, or speak with the locals with my broken "Bahasa Sarawak". Nonetheless, it turned out to be a fun morning, and I have a small collection of photographs that I am quite happy with. 

All images were taken with Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and M.Zuiko lenses 25mm F1.8, 45mm F1.8 and the 9mm F8 Fisheye body cap lens. 

A bottle by my side

Saturday, January 09, 2016

First Shutter Therapy of 2016, and It Was in Kuching

I have just had my first shutter therapy session of 2016 in Kuching, my beloved hometown. It was a much needed photography outing, as I have not used my gear since late last year, and my hands were itching badly for some shooting action. 

A little update on mum: she can now walk very steadily with the aid of walking frame, with minimal pain and discomfort. Doctors are very positive with her recovery and only retaining her due to the medication she took which lowered her immune system, making her more vulnerable to possible infection after her surgery, and her surgical wounds healing slower than usual. Other than that, everything was progressing well, mum was feeling positive at all times. I have fed her books and recorded movies and TV series to keep her occupied during her hospital hours. I accompanied her almost the entire time, only taking short breaks in the morning or afternoon, to catch up with friends, or get a cup of that overpriced coffee. 

Yesterday, I spent a whole morning shooting along the old streets of Kuching. Weather was not on our side, as it was raining when the gang met up. We had quick breakfast and by the time we finished, thankfully the rain has slowed down to light drizzle, and we started whipping out our cameras and lenses and walked around attacking random subjects along the way. Although the sky was not clear and everything appeared gloomy, the walk turned out to be quite a fun and enjoyable one, exploring the streets so familiar to me yet noticing a little changes there and here. 

I brought along the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and several lenses, but I only used the M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8 most of the time, and the 9mm F8 fisheye body cap lens if I needed a wider coverage.

A little side note: if the photographs appear a little out of balance in terms of color, contrast and white balance, kindly take note I am processing the images away from my usual workhorse PC. I am currently blogging from a Microsoft Surface Pro (first edition, the dinosaur version). 


A friendly Crocodile by Sarawak River

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Olympus Launches M.Zuiko 300mm F4 PRO Lens, And Here Are My Initial Thoughts and Impressions

Important Notes:
I am an Olympus Malaysia employee. All the content shared here are my own opinion and thoughts, which can be subjective

I have been away from work, from Kuala Lumpur busy city life, and even shutter therapy for a few weeks now. Currently I am in my hometown Kuching to be with my beloved mum. She has just undergone her Knee Replacement Surgery two days ago. The operation was a success and she is recovering well, so do not be alarmed and there really is nothing to worry about. For many of you who have been following my blog for some time, you would recall an incident about two years ago when my mum accidentally fell and shattered her hip, and the previous surgery happened when I was low on cash. I shall be forever grateful for all the beautiful folks out there who contributed to that surgery and pulled both myself and mum out of the difficult situation. This time around, there was no surprises and we were fully prepared for the surgery. Now, I am ensuring that I spend as much time as I can to be with her. 

Therefore, do expect this blog to slow down with less frequent updates. 

Today, Olympus launched the much awaited M.Zuiko 300mm F4 PRO lens. I have had the opportunity to handle the lens briefly, though not enough to write a full review yet. I have not brought the lens out for a full on testing, hence I do not have sample photographs to show, I shall write about my first impression and quick hands-on preview of the new super telephoto lens.