I managed to get the new OMSystem 40-150mm F4 PRO on loan from OMD World Imaging, the official local distributor for Olympus/OMSystem products in Malaysia. This is not my review yet, this was my first testing session in the field, as I brought it to the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park to get up-close and personal with the birds there (do you think they recognize me after my multiple visits?). Instead of just snapping stills, I also shot some video footage with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III with the 40-150mm F4 PRO, and I made a video with both the sample images and video footage intermixed with each other. I thought this can give a very good idea on how the lens performs not just for stills, but for video with in body 5-Axis image stabilization and full Continuous AF enabled. In that video I also share my first impressions on the 40-150mm F4 PRO, you can find the video here (click). 

For this blog entry, I shall refrain from discussing my thoughts on the lens for now. I still need to bring it out a few more rounds to thoroughly test it in various shooting environment before I can make my full review, which will definitely be coming. Do give me some time to shoot, and for sure I will share these sample images as always. 

Here are some shots from the Bird Park outing with the OMSystem 40-150mm F4 PRO

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The cool thing about having friends tagging along for a photowalk is having some extra photos of myself in action, which can be quite interesting, and I guess I can share them here too! Being a photographer myself I am used to be behind the camera, not in front. Special thanks for Azul and Ripi for these photos! 

I want to talk a little but about the last photograph of me holding one camera in each hand. This was not supposed to happen. 

In an ideal situation, the action camera can be magnetically mounted on my chest via a supplied accessory necklace, freeing both my hands to control the main camera. On that particular day I forgot to bring that said necklace, so I had no way to stick the action camera on myself and I resorted to the more difficult solution, holding it with my hand instead. It was no easy feat controlling two cameras at once. But I think I managed myself quite well. And the fact that I can freely direct the action camera with my hand also means there was less chance of me missing my shot, or having the subject I wanted to record too far off center which was often the case when I had it mounted on my chest. And the extra battery module on the action cam (which was not available for the chest mount) also meant I had to worry less about conserving battery while the action camera was shooting POV video. 

In case you missed the POV video you can check it out here (click). 

I have a lot of complains about the DJI Action 2. The footage is garbage. The 4K video does not look 4K at all, it looks like over sharpened full HD with poor contrast and fine detail retention. Then the color is not so pleasing to look at, looking very digital and lacks the "natural, realistic" look. I also don't like the terrible battery life. 

Having said all that, I must admit the built in microphone in the Action 2 was very impressive, and I treasure this a lot, the convenience of not having to deal with yet another external device, it does simplify my workflow doing POV video. The built in mic is so good I can just run and gun with it, and at this moment I don't think any other action camera competitors, not even GoPro has such high quality audio built in. 

I now use the action camera only for POV video, because of convenience. Even for my own personal vlogs (secondary channel, non photography content) I have started to use my Olympus gear more often, because I just cannot stand how poor the footage from the action camera looks. The quality difference is day and night if compared to what my OM-D cameras can do, and I acknowledge that was not a fair comparison. Nevertheless, I will continue to use the DJI Action 2 for my POV videos, which I enjoy doing so so so much, and hopefully there will be bigger upgrades to the action camera world sooner than later. 

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10 years ago Olympus launched their first OM-D camera, the original E-M5. It was a gamechanger, it redefined what a mirrorless camera should be - ruggedly built, weather-sealed, having blazing fast and reliable AF, with built in electronic viewfinder, 5-Axis Image Stabilization, new improved 16MP image sensor with massive upgrade in image quality, and the list went on and on. It took the world by surprise, and many other companies have copied this footprint and built even better cameras ever since. Now, many years later, I thought it would be fun to revisit this original E-M5 and I did a POV street video too! Video here (click). 

In this blog entry I shall just share my images taken with the E-M5, and the lens I paired it with was the awesome Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 PRO. 

I got the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 that came together with the first Olympus OM-D, the E-M5 many years ago. It has not received much love, since I do have the superior Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 PRO, and I use bright prime lenses for most of my photography needs, both for my work and for personal projects. Looking at the 12-50mm I personally believe Olympus was trying really hard to over-achieve with this kit lens - it is weather-sealed, it has dedicated macro function, it has versatile 12-50mm zoom range, it can switch between electronic zoom for smooth video shooting and mechanical zoom for those prefer quick response while shooting and also a built in L-Fn (lens customizable function button). Of course it is not the perfect kit lens, we have many options now both from Olympus/OM System and Panasonic, but I'd like to think that this 12-50mm is truly special, and I want an updated Mark II version!

This is one rare occasion where I do not feel like repeating what I have said in my video format here in this blog article. I shall just post my fresh images taken with the 12-50mm kit lens on my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III. I guess, less talk, more photos please!

I made a video recently discussing a budget alternative for Ricoh GR III, in the form of the smallest Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera body paired with the most compact Panasonic 14mm F2.5 pancake lens, which I obtained for less than RM600/USD150. I can't afford to keep buying a new camera that I want so I have to make do with cheaper alternatives. Of course the PEN and pancake combo is not exactly the same as the GR III, there are some drawbacks and compromises, but also a few advantages to this interestingly cheap setup! Video here (click).