I Rejoined Olympus Visionary Program - I Am Back!

OMD World Imaging, the local representative of Olympus brand in Malaysia, and sole distributor of Olympus products here has finally contacted me recently and invited me to rejoin the Olympus Visionary program. After some consideration, I decided to say YES! I am once more, an Olympus Visionary. And boy oh boy, am I glad to be back. 

Image credit: Jason Lioh

I must thank many of you who have been here all along, stayed with me and supported me along the way. I appreciate you just being here, and I value your visits to this blog and my YouTube channel. Some of you have been super generous in your contributions to my coffee page/PayPal, and that has kept me afloat for the past several months. Though my original contract ended in December 2020, many of you are still here. I have received many comments, emails and texts saying super nice things like "JIP should have kept you as their ambassador" and "you are still an Olympus Visionary no matter what". I don't know what I have done to deserve your loyalty and support. All I can do is thank you, and pledge my continuity in creating more content for this blog and of course, my YouTube channel. Without you guys, there is no Robin Wong blog or YouTube, and I will be here, I am not going anywhere, as long as you guys are still here. 

I do need to clarify a few important details. It was not JIP or OM Digital Solutions (parent company in Japan) that contacted me, or initiated the process of me getting back into the Visionary program. It was OMD World Imaging, fully owned by the largest camera retailer in Malaysia, YL Camera that approached me and asked me to be their Olympus Ambassador. My contract as an Olympus Visionary is with OMD World Imaging, and that means, I am an ambassador to the Olympus brand in Malaysia. Though I do have a worldwide reach, and the majority of my audience comes from US, UK and many European countries, I am now a local brand ambassador. Also, I would not fault JIP/OM Digital Solutions for not reaching out (though I admit I am a little disappointed, since I do know a few of the key top people in the company, from my previous engagement with them). They do have other more pressing priorities as a new company, taking over a worldwide imaging business. They have to ensure manufacturing is on-going, and there are enough cameras and lenses to sell in the global supply chain. More importantly, I do think they should focus more effort in R&D, creating the next huge, kick-ass product! Whatever they are launching as a new company, will be critical, so I can totally forgive them sidelining their older ambassadors/Visionaries. 

The important thing is, I am back, and I will continue to do what I do. 

To be entirely honest, I did consider to walk away when the offer came. I have mentally prepared to move on and accept the possibility that I am no longer needed as an ambassador. At the end of the day, I have decided to sign the contract, and here are my reasons why. I still strongly believe in Micro Four Thirds system, and I genuinely see the future in this system. Olympus OM-D is still my main workhorse, I have been actively shooting with Olympus OM-D for both my professional career and for my personal projects for many, many years now, and the cameras and lenses never once let me down. In fact, my recurring clients have always been happy with my deliverables. The reliability and high performing features of the system (AF, 5-Axis IS, compact size, sharp remarkable lenses) kept me loyal to the system. Since I still shoot with Olympus and still believe in the philosophy of the products, it makes sense for me to continue to help promote what the brand stands for. Also, another important reason is that YL Camera (they own OMD World Imaging) is a large camera retailer in Malaysia, and by affiliating myself with them, I open myself up to more access to gear - tripods, flash system, bags, filters, etc, and there will be more content for me to talk about or review in the future! Not a bad opportunity, to me it is a win-win situation for both parties. 

One last thing I must emphasize - from day 1, before I was connected to Olympus, to my time as an Olympus Visionary, I was never asked to do any product reviews or create any content such as sharing OM-D tips and tricks. I fully own my blog and YouTube channel, Olympus did not ask me to do anything on those platforms. My contract does not include me doing any of those things. 

So why do I do what I do? Why do I share photography knowledge? Why do I create content on optimizing your Olympus cameras, sharing tips and tricks on using OM-D? Well, I do them, because I genuinely want to, and I can. I have accumulated a vast amount of inside information from my time working formally for Olympus Malaysia, about how the products work, and I also have gained valuable experience actively using Olympus products shooting in the field as a professional photographer for many, many years. Combining my extra product knowledge, and my real life use of the camera, I am qualified to share useful information that can help and benefit a lot of Olympus users out there. I want more people to enjoy photography, it brings me a lot of joy seeing people picking up cameras and shoot. I want you to fully enjoy using your Olympus camera, and I hope that what I have done so far have been helpful in small ways, in pushing your photography boundaries, or inspiring you to shoot a little more. 

I also hope that my short time away from being an ambassador for the past few months have proven that I never left - I was here all along, and I still continued to do what I loved - shooting, and sharing my photography as much as I can, despite the challenges due to lockdown/pandemic. Despite the fact that I was not officially an Olympus Visionary, I continued to make content sharing tips and tricks to use Olympus OM-D cameras, as well as discussing how to tackle low light shooting and high ISO in a real professional shooting environment (with plenty of real images that I have shared). I hope you see that my passion to share overrides everything else, whether I am an Olympus Visionary or not, it does not matter, I am here to stay, and I will be making fresh photography content for a long period of time, and I am truly glad you guys are with me, and I hope you will stay with me. 

Thanks again from the bottom of my heart. Now, as an Olympus Visionary, do expect more Olympus oriented content coming this way. I can't wait to get out, shoot more and share more photography. Shutter therapy goes on. 

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  1. Welcome back, Robin! In my view, you never left. They just stopped paying you. We knew where your heart was. Glad that OMD World Imaging recognized your value. Looking forward to seeing even more from you.

  2. Very glad you decided to accept the offer.

  3. Very pleased for you. Keep up the good work.

  4. Welcome back Robin, I am so glad. It was your blog that got me up and running when I bought a 2nd hand EM1 and was considering the move from Canon FF to Olympus a couple of years ago. I love your enthusiasm, your willing to share with so many others and your fine photography. I'm looking forward to seeing more from you in the future.

  5. Congratulations! It was your pictures that kept me in the m4/3 system when I didn’t know enough to be secure in my choice. Your pictures were a steady reminder that I was my own limiting factor, not the camera. I’m now the proud owner of an OMD EM5 iii and seven Olympus lenses!

  6. Wonderful News, Robin ! A very positive thing all the way around. Benefits users, certainly benefits the Olympus mark and allows you to plan a path for the future.
    JIP is focusing to create a foundation/strength for Olympus in the nature/birding segment. And if budgets are limited, I understand their desire. But its also important to not ignore that all photographers will shot a variety of themes/content. Your always positive posts keep the focus on what CAN be done, not what can't. Looking forward to interesting and informative posts, as always.

  7. Hi Robin, great to see that you are back as an Olympus Visionary, I was wondering if the program was still active. It doesn't look like Peter Forsgard in Finland has rejoined though. I'm not sure about others.