I was looking for a replacement for my now worn out and well used pair of headphones (Sony MDR-1A) but at the same time I did not want to spend a fortune, considering the chaotic Pandemic world is crashing kind of situation at the moment. Then I stumbled upon Gold Planar GL-400C - a budget planar magnetic headphones on Lazada (Malaysian online shopping site) and I thought to myself, at the price of merely RM350 and I have the chance to own a true planar magnetic, why not? It was a risk worth taking, and I gambled. After using the Gold Planar GL-400C for about a week plus now, I must say it was one of the best decisions I have made recently on online purchases.

I decided to purchase a budget manual lens to add into my camera bag after the price dropped at the online store that I was following, and I thought it would be a fun lens to add some flavour to my shutter therapy sessions. I have been eyeing Kamlan 50mm F1.1 Mark II lens for a while now, considering the bright aperture F1.1 and a versatile medium telephoto reach of 100mm equivalent (in 35mm format). With an accessible street price of RM650 (USD150), I thought to myself this could be a guiltless pleasure. I have had the lens for several weeks now and here is my review of the Kamlan 50mm F1.1 Mark II. 

With all the fuss and buzz on new camera releases that features ultra high resolution, shooting 8K videos and ridiculous MP count on stills, I thought it would be exciting (yes I have an interesting definition of excitement) to revisit and old, dinosaur fossil camera - the Olympus E-1. In the world where smartphones can shoot more than 100MP, and soon having 10 or more camera modules and lenses at the back of the phone, the E-1 was quite underwhelming when we just look purely at specifications alone. I mean, come on... a 17 years old camera, with undernourished 5MP on an outdated CCD image sensor. I decided to bring the Olympus E-1 out for a full blown shutter therapy session, and I am sharing my experience, together with plenty of fresh images from Malaysian streets in this blog entry! Also, a new accompanying video, as usual. 

I finally decided to replace my old smartwatch which was already dying (one of Huawei's older smart bands) and I thought why not look at something affordable and checks all the necessary features that I need - I found Realme Watch. I needed a smartwatch for 2 primary reasons: relaying smart notifications from my smartphone when I am out commuting, shooting on the street, or out and about when the streets are too noisy and as I move I can't feel the phone's vibration in the pocket, and the second reason being the heartrate monitor for my workout sessions in gyms. My needs for a smartwatch is very basic and I don't need all the high end, super fancy features, I just need these two important functions and I guess any budget smartwatches out there today can technically fulfil my criteria. 

Last weekend, finally, after more than 3 months break, I finally had a proper shutter therapy session, which was much needed! I brought along the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III and M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 PRO to Petaling Street area (in Kuala Lumpur) to do some portraits of strangers shooting. It was a quiet weekend, the streets being emptier than usual due to the pandemic and the city still being under semi-lockdown but we are allowed to roam around and do "public filmimg", so street photography is definitely very safe to do now for us here in Malaysia. Oh I never thought I have missed street shooting so badly!

Update 2 July 2020, 10.25am:
Official Olympus product page for OM-D Webcam beta is here (click). The official download link is still inactive, not sure when it will be live. I will post an update here when the download is available. 

Update 2 July 2020, 10.35am: 
Download link for OM-D Webcam Beta is now LIVE! Go to official download link here (click). 

Hot after the worldwide shock announcement of Olympus being sold to JIP (Japan Industrial Partners Inc) one week ago, Olympus launched their version of software: Olympus OM-D Webcam to enable selected OM-D cameras to be used as webcams when connected to the computer. While the world is not done recovering from the surprise and the overhanging gloomy cloud that overshadows everything else in the camera industry, Olympus decided to soldier on and continue to add value to their customers. I have made a video (click) showing how the OM-D Webcam works, with step by step guide on how you can set it up yourself. The software is already available for download at the time of announcement, so you can use it with your own OM-D camera as a webcam from now onward, whenever you do video conferencing or streaming. 

Olympus is late to the party. Canon was the first to release a webcam enabling software for their cameras, followed by Fuji and Panasonic. The new OM-D Webcam takes advantage of USB tethering capability which is already existing in selected OM-D camera models, using the live view input as a video feed to replace the webcam feed. It was a simple and straightforward solution, and having a separate software to just enable this one particular feature for webcam use was also resource friendly. Being able to use your Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera and amazing lenses can make your video look really professional and clean, and this is compatible with all major video conferencing softwares (Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, etc). 

Here are some limitations you need to be aware of about the Olympus OM-D Webcam software:

The software is still in beta, so Olympus is not providing any support for the software at this point. It does have limited compatibility and functions, which we will get to next. 

Only Olympus OM-D cameras with native USD tethering capability can be used for this OM-D Webcam software. Camera list is not very long: 
E-M5 Mark II
E-M1 Mark II
E-M1 Mark III

The software works on Windows 10 PC only. If you are using Mac, no luck for you, or any older Windows version, the OM-D Webcam won't support them at this moment. Do bear in mind the software is still in Beta version, so maybe in the future Olympus will open up more compatibility

The video quality is at 720P only, and I know this is quite unforgivable especially in 2020, we should at least get 1080P full HD. Nonetheless, after testing the OM-D Webcam, the 720P quality is no slouch, it looks crisp, clear and definitely miles ahead of  any 1080P webcams out there. If you have used Olympus OM-D cameras, you are familiar of the photo and video quality, and you get that exact same output in the OM-D Webcam software! Glorious. 

The microphone input into the camera won't work, you need to have your input inserted separately into the computer for better audio. 

I have made a video to demonstrate how to setup the OM-D Webcam software, and how to connect your camera to your PC and make it a webcam. Here are the simplified steps for those of you who are reluctant to click on the video link for whatever reasons.


Setting up is fairly simple - you need your OM-D camera (make sure it is compatible), the original USB cable that comes with the camera box, and your Windows 10 PC. Quite honestly, the setting is so easy you don't even need the guideline below. Most people can figure this out quickly with no issues.

Please download the Olympus OM-D Webcam Beta software from official Olympus download site into your PC. Install the software, this should be quite straightforward. 

Using the proprietary USB cable that comes with your camera box, connect your camera to the PC. Make sure that you have an SD card inserted into your camera, it won't work with an empty card slot. 

Turn the camera on, and you will see a list of options on the camera LCD screen. Select the tethering option

On your PC, open the video conferencing software (Zoom, Skype, Teams, OBS Studio, etc) and select the input as OM-D Webcam Beta option. 
That's all you have to do and it is fairly easy to setup. 

For the video quality from the OM-D Webcam, please please please watch the video that I did. 

I have made a few video calls using the OM-D Webcam Beta and everything went smoothly with no hiccups. But don't take my words for it, download it yourself and see how it works for you!

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