Why I Stayed Loyal to Olympus

In my latest video I went a little more up close and personal, sharing my journey from an Olympus enthusiast to quitting my job and joining Olympus Malaysia team, then leaving the team and becoming a full time photographer, and finally joining the Olympus Visionary Program. Also, I am sharing the reasons why I believe in the OM-D system and M.Zuiko lenses and how they fit the photography that I do. I thought sharing a bit of information about my past would help connect the newer audience better, and it took me years of using Olympus products professionally to accumulate my knowledge and experience which I am actively sharing here in this blog as well as my YouTube Channel. 





Please follow me on my social media: Facebook PageInstagram and Youtube

Please support me and keep this site alive by purchasing from my affiliate link at B&H. 

Everything Wrong With Cameras Today

I personally think there are a lot of aspects that can be improved on the current digital cameras and they are not on par with modern technological trends. I am not saying that the cameras are not good enough - quite the opposite actually, as I have argued about camera sufficiency before. In terms of imaging performance the cameras indeed have made incredible strides but when it comes to user experience, handling, design (both physical and user interface), connectivity, peripheral device management and even storage itself, the camera can benefit from some drastic make-over. I am exploring these possibilities that could have improved photographer's experience shooting with modern cameras. 


1) Camera Design
The camera design is the same for a majority of the cameras out there, both for DSLR and mirrorless camera systems. There is that traditional hump (for OVF or EVF), the beefy hand gripping area, and overall stereotypical "professional" look. I am not questioning the functionality of the design, obviously the cameras are made in similar form factor because it works. However, aesthetics wise, all  cameras do not have to look so similar. Take a look at what Lytro is doing (though the company did not survive), and the Hasselblad X1D, they both look different, more modern and appealing. They break away from the traditional camera template that has been used for decades. I think the cameras are due for a refresh when it comes to design, and we need sleeker, cleaner, more minimalist and modern looking cameras that are in line with the current times. 

2) Too Many Buttons and Dials
I don't need 20 buttons and 4 dials on a camera body. The less the better. The multiple button implementation gets clumsy and is not the right way to move forward. We are living in the age of touch screens, we sure can benefit from a large, bright touch screen on the camera - see what BMPCC (Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera) is doing, they have a 5 inch touch screen dominating the camera's back.  This should be the way forward, minimize buttons and dials on the camera, of course keep the shutter button but everything else can be controlled and operated via the touch screen. If a smartphone with just a touch screen can do everything (obviously a lot more than just taking images and videos), the camera having an LCD screen should be able to improve camera operations drastically, if implementation is done effectively. 



3) Connectivity
Moving into 5G era with ultra fast internet, we should have a direct connection from the camera to cloud storage, allowing instant back up if necessary. Think of the convenience, and applications. You can submit your images immediately as you shoot, live to your clients (or news agency). On the other hand, bluetooth connection has advanced so much the camera can surely take advantage of bluetooth managing multiple peripheral devices such as microphone and headphones (audio monitoring). This can create a new ecosystem that is fast, efficient, reliable and more importantly, wireless. Newer bluetooth connections are also much lower in latency and consumes very little power. Camera manufacturers should utilize the full potential of what the current technology has to offer, the possibilities of advanced connectivity is endless. The current cameras still full like an isolated device and there is just too much trouble connecting to other devices. 

4) JPEG is obsolete
JPEG is an outdated compression file format for images.  We need a new format that is more efficient - smaller size yet retaining more data. Canon proposed HEIF (high efficiency image file format) but whether this will be the future is yet to be seen. Smaller size images means faster loading time for web pages as well as any social media platforms, and more information stored in the file allows quick image processing (basic corrections) without resorting to full RAW editing.

5) Monstrous Lenses
The trend of making larger and larger lenses has to stop. All manufacturers are guilty of this.I understand the obsession of pursuing technical perfection but sacrificing balance and handling on camera is not the way to go. 

Do you agree or disagree with my argument? Are you happy with what the camera manufacturers are doing today? Do you think there are any other improvements that can be made in the modern cameras? What is the future of photography and imaging devices? Do share your thoughts!

Please follow me on my social media: Facebook PageInstagram and Youtube

Please support me and keep this site alive by purchasing from my affiliate link at B&H. 

Portraits of Strangers

This is not a new topic, I have written extensively about my portrait of strangers photography (click here), but it is now 2020 and I still find myself actively doing street portraits, so I thought why not do an update, but this time in a video format instead? I still find joy and excitement in approaching total strangers on the street and take portrait shots of them. Of course, in the video I share my techniques, camera execution and lens choices on how I get my shots. With plenty of fresh images as well!




















Please follow me on my social media: Facebook PageInstagram and Youtube

Please support me and keep this site alive by purchasing from my affiliate link at B&H. 

Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 - Truly A Marvelous Lens!

Recently I added two items into my camera bag, one being the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III (which I have blogged here) and a lens that I have been wanting to get for a long time now, the Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8. The reason it took me so long to finally get the Olympus 75mm prime was simply because it was not the lens that I use frequently, but when I do need the lens, and every time I use the lens I am always impressed by the images that this lens makes. It has been a while since I last purchased anything new, the last item being the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 Pro about a year ago. So here in this blog I am sharing my experience using the lens and some photographs from my past shoots. 


Here is a short list of reasons why I decided to go for the M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8, though I know it is a lens that I won't use often. 

1) SMALLER ALTERNATIVE TO M.ZUIKO 40-150MM F2.8 PRO
I am not saying that I am replacing the 40-150mm PRO, that is one great lens, perhaps one day I should revisit that lens in this blog and in my YouTube video, but you have got to admit that lens is not small, and surely adds some bulk and weight to the camera bag. If you have known me you know I am a minimalist and I would like to keep my footprint as small as possible, less is more. In most of my shoots, being the official photographer, I have access and I can get quite close to my subjects. 40-150mm is still handy for larger stage and that 150mm reach can be extremely useful at times. However, I also know that in most cases, the 75mm would have sufficed, and the amount of weight shaved off the bag is the main consideration here. 

2) SHALLOW DEPTH OF FIELD
If you want to have as much background blur as you can being a Micro Four Thirds user, the one lens on the top of the list is the Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8. Being a telephoto prime lens renders very tight perspective, isolating subjects so much more effectively. Having F1.8 wide aperture in combination with the long focal length produces extremely shallow depth of field, perhaps the best for Micro Four Thirds system. Almost every time I show my photographs without telling others what camera system I use, many believe that the images were shot on a full frame. There were times some did not even believe me when I told them I used an Olympus OM-D camera. If you are doing wedding photography, outdoor portrait, events and any kind of photography that require a lot of background blurring, M.Zuiko 75mm is a must have lens!

3) SHARP
The image quality of the Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 is nothing short of breathtaking. The sharpness is incredible, it is one of the sharpest, if not the sharpest lens from Olympus lens line-up (I think the sharpest lens goes to the over-engineered Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F4 PRO). The lens is not only sharp, technical flaws are very well managed, and I don't see much chromatic aberration or purple fringing. The images I shot with the 75mm lens (I did borrow from friends, sometimes from Olympus Malaysia for my shoots) never failed to impress my clients. I can go as far to say that if I seriously want to create the wow factor, M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 is a go to lens. 

4) SHOOTING STAGE EVENTS
Recently I have been shooting more and more stage related activities, and most of these events are in low light environment. When I was shooting with 40-150mm PRO, the widest aperture was a modest F2.8, I did from time to time wish I had something brighter to work with. Having the F1.8 on a long lens means I can lower down my ISO numbers, producing cleaner files and giving me more flexibility to work with shooting in low light. Furthermore, combined with all my other prime lenses, such as 45mm F1.8 and 25mm F1.2 PRO, I really have very little to worry about when it comes to less than favourable light and I can comfortably shoot at ISO6400 on my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Coupling F1.8 and ISO6400 opens up a lot of possibilities, even in the most challenging conditions. 










I am really happy that I have this lens now, though I know this is not the lens that I would use for my shutter therapy sessions, being too long for practical shooting on the streets. I know most people do not find it easy to compose with such a long focal length, especially if you are shooting in limited/tightc paces. However if you do find a good use for this lens, the images you get from this can be extremely rewarding. Do you have similar experience? Share your thoughts!

Please follow me on my social media: Facebook PageInstagram and Youtube

Please support me and keep this site alive by purchasing from my affiliate link at B&H. 

I added an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Into My Arsenal, and Some New Street Images

I have decided to add a new camera to my gear list, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III. I have a few reasons for doing so, and I am exploring them in this blog entry (as well as a new video). I have also taken the E-M5 Mark III out for a quick spin in Chow Kit, KL, as I brought along a friend from Kuching, Kieron Long who wanted to explore KL streets a little more. The E-M5 Mark III is a perfect street photography machine in my books, and I will be using this camera a lot more in the future. 

Finally, the video in full glorious 4K. 

There are a lot of similarities between the E-M5 Mark III and my current workhorse, E-M1 Mark II They both share the exact same image sensor, image processing engine AF capabilities, 5-Axis Image Stabilization, a host of Olympus specific shooting features and shooting capabilities. The fact that the E-M5 Mark III is much smaller and lighter makes it a perfect new camera for a few reasons. 

1) VLOGGING CAMERA
I have been shooting my videos on either E-M1 or E-M1 Mark II all this time. The E-M5 Mark III, having the exact same video features as E-M1 Mark II and more - ability to do 120fps slow motion video makes it a compelling choice for my vlogging purposes. I did not foresee myself getting so crazy about making YouTube videos, now that I can see this actually heading somewhere, I thought having a dedicated camera for vlogging, which is truly compact so that I can minimize the gear that I carry I around is a great idea. 

Also, I have been shooting my videos in 1080p all this time, we all know Olympus 1080p FHD videos are not the best out there. Furthermore, I have been using cheap variable ND filters to get that 1/50 second "cinematic motion". 

Moving forward, I will shoot my videos mostly in 4K, it is 2020 after all, and Olympus cameras are capable of very decent 4K shooting, at least for basic videos like the one I am doing for my YouTube channel .I shall forgo the "cinematic motion" for now, seriously I don't have that much movement in my video, I am not shooting fast moving subjects, I am not making a short film. It is just a video showing me talking to you beautiful people, so I honestly prefer it to look sharp and detailed, instead of degraded soft output due to cheap filters. No I am not ready to spend hundreds of dollars for high grade ND filters. That is a discussion for another day. 


2) STREET SHOOTING MACHINE
My main street photography shooting camera was the Olympus PEN E-P5 which I have used for years and the LCD screen died about a year ago. Hence I have been using my E-M1 Mark II for most of my shutter therapy sessions. The most important thing for me when it comes to street shooting is fast and reliable AF, and E-M5 Mark III has the exact same AF capability as the E-M1 Mark II, yet it is so much smaller and lighter, something truly potable for me to carry with me, walking on the streets for hours at a time continuously without feeling the strain on any body parts. Not that I am complaining the E-M1 Mark II is huge o heavy, but any size and weight that I can shave off yet maintaining similar image quality and performance, I'd gladly take it! And yes I have been shooting with the E-M5 Mark III for a few sessions on the street now! Here are some new shots. 

Image were all shot with Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III and M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 PRO lens









3) EVERYDAY CAMERA
Believe it or not, I am not the kind of photographer that carries a camera with me everywhere I go to. Allow me to explain - I compartmentalize my life, I will shoot when I have to, and dedicate specific sessions for shooting, and outside of those sessions, I rarely have a camera with me. I keep my life organized that way, but I make sure I have sufficient time for shutter therapy sessions, always. Moving forward, this is the year 2020, my resolution for this year is to bring the camera out with me more often even when I don't have any shoot planned out in mind. I truly want to just start to capture random things, anything that appeals to me, not just on the streets but in my overall life. Let's see where this is going, if I have something interesting captured I will surely share the images here! E-M5 Mark III being so small makes sense, I will just slap on a tiny prime lens and I am set. 

4) SECOND/BACKUP CAMERA FOR JOBS
I have been shooting with the E-M1 Mark II, an incredibile workhorse that delivered fantastic results again and again and I always have a back up E-M1 (original 2013 version) in the bag at all times. I am not a two camera shooter, I shoot with one camera and I have no issues swapping lenses quickly and efficiently. I just never found operating two camera bodies working well for my shooting workflow. The E-M1 is aging now and it is about time it is replaced. I initially was pondering if I should get another E-M1 Mark II, which also is a reasonable choice. However, the E-M5 Mark III won me over due to the much smaller size, and the fact that it will remain in the bag as a back up unless I somehow miraculously managed to destroy my main camera E-M1 Mark II (which is always a possibility, hence having a back up is crucial). The E-M5 Mark III practically is a mini E-M1 Mark II, minus the beefy grip, large EVF, huge battery life and a few speed features in the camera. 

The E-M5 Mark III is already out in the market for more than a month now, and I am sure some of you already have the camera in hand. 

Do let me know your thoughts, I want to hear your experience using the E-M5 Mark III. 

Please follow me on my social media: Facebook PageInstagram and Youtube

Please support me and keep this site alive by purchasing from my affiliate link at B&H. 

Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO - Still The Must Have Olympus PRO lens!

The Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO is a highly revered standard wide zoom lens with constant aperture, and has become a staple for many professional working photographers. I personally own this lens and have used it for many years now, and I find it to be the perfect fit for E-M1 series cameras. Optically the lens is superbly made, producing sharp results from corner to corner even at wide open aperture F2.8 across all zoom focal range. The technical lens flaws are well managed (some may be aided by software compensation) and the lens is weather-sealed against dust, splash and freeze. I have shot countless photography jobs with the M.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO and have also used the lens for my own shutter therapy sessions. I have published my full review of the lens previously here (click). I thought it would be interesting to revisit this lens, and put up a video since I am getting some questions regarding the lens. 


Here are some sample images I have taken with the M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO lens over the years with various cameras!




















Please follow me on my social media: Facebook PageInstagram and Youtube

Please support me and keep this site alive by purchasing from my affiliate link at B&H.