I have just dropped a new video, and it was fully presented in my own national language, Bahasa Malaysia. I have been actively making YouTube videos for more than 3 years now, all the videos have been fully spoken in English. I decided to try something different and experiment with Malay because I feel that it can be a way to connect better with the local audience. Of course, this is just a trial, my English speaking content will continue to come and there is no change to the way I share my content on YouTube, but I thought it would be fun to do something completely different, and pushed myself out of my own comfort zone. You can find the video which is live now here (click). 

I have been experimenting with minimalist setup for video and photo gear lately. I had the idea of fitting everything into a small carry bag, with easy access, and the setup should be versatile enough for my normal street photography shooting and recording POV video of that session simultaneously. I finally did it, after purchasing a cheap crossbody messenger bag from Decathlon that costs RM49(USD15) and I went out and did a full POV video which I published on my main channel here (click). Here, I am sharing the breakdown of stripped down, bare minimalist setup which I adopted to produce that particular video. 

I also made another video on my vlog channel to share this minimalist setup in the small bag - you can view the video here (click). 

Since I was getting serious in making more videos for YouTube, I find myself having to compromise when it comes to shooting high quality street photography images. I had to prioritize making videos as the YouTube platform is generating a significant chunk of my income. Having to juggle multiple devices all at once - the video camera to shoot a video, a photo camera to do street photography, a microphone to record video separately, my smartphone to refer to my video script as I forget what I have to say way too often, and sometimes, a HDMI capture device, or another separate camera for a different view or B-Rolls, you get the idea, multitasking takes some toll on my attention when I was trying to get somewhat decent images. I know that is no excuse, as I can just put everything aside and give my 100% in shooting good street images, but hey, those don't make me money, and my photography jobs (shoots) aren't recovering fast enough post-covid. 

I guess only a content creator could relate to my struggles and challenges. It also eats me up inside knowing that my images could have been better, and I was not performing at my best ability. 

These are the OK shots, not great shots, but good enough to be included in my latest video. All images were shot with Olympus PEN E-P1 and M.Zuiko 17mm F2.8 pancake lens. 

Pentax has been making the quirkiest cameras ever and I love them for that. From their super fun, colorful miniature Pentax Q system to the misunderstood K-01 with unconventional design, Pentax does not care about mainstream trends, and they have always done things their own way. I applaud them for staying true to their own style and not give in to market pressure. While everyone is chasing the latest technology, outdoing each other with AI Deep Learning AF tracking, and pushing the boundaries of megapixels and technical perfection, Pentax decided to just launch a fully black and while camera, the K-III Mark III Monochrome! I thought was move was bold and commendable. I discuss this and more over a POV shooting session at Sekinchan with friends. You can find the POV video here (click). 

All images shown here were taken with Pentax K-01 and 40mm F2.8 pancake lens. 

Olympus C-8080 was launched almost 20 years ago, but this camera shows that Olympus clearly knew what they were doing, it has some futuristic features that are commonplace in today's modern digital cameras. For example, the C-8080 features electronic viewfinder with live exposure simulation, basically the same what you see is what you get preview in modern EVF, and they already implemented this in 2004! The camera also has tilt LCD screen, which is convenient for low and high angle shooting, something a lot of modern cameras today also replicated. I explored these features and more during my recent shutter therapy session with the Olympus C-8080, it was such a fun camera to use! I did a video of course; you can find it here (click). 

Everyone is raving about how great the deep learning intelligent subject detection for birds in OM System OM-1 camera, so I thought it would be fun to give it a try. I brought the OM-1 and M.Zuiko 40-150mm R lens to the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, and I intended to do a POV video demonstrating my experience using the bird detection AF. However, the external HDMI recorder failed on me during shoot. Not giving up, I decided to do things the hard way, holding the camera and lens with one hand shooting the bird, while the smartphone on another hand to film the LCD screen of the OM-1 in action. Trust me, this was no easy feat, I was struggling so much most of the time, and missed a lot of shots. I will poke your eye out if you dare to suggest me to do bird in flight in such challenging condition. Nevertheless, I think the results are good enough to show the point of the video - how well the bird detection on OM-1 works. And I personally think it is impressive. I discuss this and more in my latest video here (click). 

I have been using older compact cameras for my street shooting lately. I believe there are some benefits to this - the older camera costs lower, so you have less concern of being robbed while roaming at less than safe areas in the neighbourhood. Not having to look over your shoulder all the time is a huge plus, compared to using a 3000 dollars setup, and even if you did bump into trouble, the camera costs almost nothing! Older cameras also impose limitations, having less pixel count, lower dynamic range and high ISO performance, and there is only so much you can do with "outdated" technology, you have no choice but to truly focus on what really matters in photography - telling a great story, capturing dramatic moments and paying attention to lighting and composition. Using a truly small and light camera, it also encourages you to go out and shoot more! Less is more. 

All images were shot on the Olympus XZ-1 which I got for about USD30. 

My timetable has been quite full lately, filled with shoots (paid jobs) and also making YouTube content ahead of time so I can have a planned 2 week break in April, well, starting now. I need a break, I think we all need a break. There was the recent OM-1 AF drama which I shall not get into too much details here, and a few other things in real life I have to deal with, nothing "end of the world" kind of issues, but they are time-consuming and both physically and mentally exhausting enough for me to go through. A clean break from everything can do myself good, and my definition of break means stop doing everything, run way to somewhere far, eat too much good food and spend time with awesome people. It starts with Malacca!

Over the weekend I had a short trip to Malacca, well, mostly to eat all the wonderful food there. I probably have gained too much weight I am amazed I can still fit into any of my clothes. All images were shot with Nikon D600 and 50mm F1.8 D lens. 

Nyonya Zhang - traditional dumpling with minced meat fillings
On the new year's eve (yes, it has been a while ago) I had an early morning photowalk with my friends who happen to be some of the best professional photographers in Malaysia. Andrew Chow, Jon Low and Eric Ooi all have switched to Sony full frame mirrorless at different stages of their career. I took this opportunity to ask them some questions: what made them switch to Sony from their previous system, what are their experiences using Sony as their main workhorse currently and... should I be making the switch to Sony myself? Undoubtedly I got some very interesting answers from my friends in my latest video! Check out the video on YouTube here (click). 

Since we were at the local wet market, I also did some shutter therapy, this time with the Nikon D600 and 50mm F1.8 D, attacking mostly portrait shots of people there. I did a POV street shooting showing you how I frame my shots, what happens around me before I click the shutter button, and I share the images here in this blog entry. 

I have the privilege to shoot the dress rehearsal for the latest KLPAC production, Let's Rock 3 last night, and boy oh boy was I enjoying myself too much. This is the third iteration of Let's Rock series, and I was right there at the beginning from Let's Rock 1 originally in 2017! How time flies, and the amazing popular rock music, being presented live with a twist - added layers of symphonic orchestra, live four piece band and large backing choir group, I must say you gotta watch it to see how magnificent this whole rock mini concert is! My favourite local singer-songwriters are also headlining the show - Bihzhu nd Fuad from Kyoto Protocol! It was so fun shooting the vibrant dramatic theatre stage with too much good music. If you are in Kuala Lumpur from 30 March to 2 April 2023, you MUST watch Let's Rock 3. Grab tickets here, and thank me later. 

Some technical details - images were all shot with OM System OM-1 and various M.Zuiko lenses: 12-40mm F2.8 PRO, 45mm F1.8 and 75mm F1.8

There are several techniques to gain more magnification shooting macro photography, and some of them are quite cheap and effective at the same time. I share the use of extension tubes on top of a dedicated macro lens, attached to a Micro Four Thirds body, and in this combination I have measured that I can achieve about 350% magnification. Of course I brought this combo out to a park and managed to shoot some really cool insects and spiders which I am sharing here in this blog entry. For full discussion on how I measure magnification and prove that I got 350% on my setup, please do go and watch the video I have published here (click). This is one example where it was easier to just demonstrate a process through video, than having to write down word buy word in an article format. 

It has been 10 years since Olympus launched the OM-D E-M1 in 2013 and I thought it would be fun to take mine out for a spin. The E-M1 original has changed the mirrorless camera landscape, showing what is possible and how a capable, professional mirrorless camera should be made. I discuss the significance of the E-M1 in my latest video, which also included me doing POV street with the E-M1. I am sharing the fresh images, mostly street portraits and environmental shots from the streets of Kuala Lumpur here in this entry. I used the venerable M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO lens, just because the lens was launched together with the E-M1, and has become the default kit or combo. You can watch my POV video here (click). 

I always find it annoying when I hear people say if the color photographs don't work, you can try to save them by converting to black and white. I personally believe black and white medium deserves a lot more respect. Instead of treating black and white as an afterthought, or plan B if the color images fail, it should be treated as the opposite. I strongly suggest shooting black and white with intention, purposefully finding black and white images and wanting to create monochromatic results from the start. Having the right intention and focus will result in stronger black and white outcome. 

In my recent street photography outing, I wanted to just focus on getting black and white images, so I ignored all colors and went full monochrome mode. I have made a POV video showing you how I composed these shots too, you can find it here (click). 

I managed to get my hands on OnePlus 11 5G smartphone, and I was curious about the 3rd generation Hasselblad camera for mobile! I brought the smartphone out for several shutter therapy sessions, snapped plenty of images and I am sharing my thoughts on the camera performance. Spoiler alert: I really, really like the OnePlus 11 and I personally think it is currently the best smartphone camera out there in the market. I have made a video review of OnePlus 11's camera performance, accompanied by POV footage from video screen recording showing the camera in action, while I was composing and capturing the sample images in the field! You can find the video here (click). 

OnePlus 11 5G - A Mini Hasselblad
During my recent trip back home to Kuching, Borneo back in December 2022, I followed my friend Kieron Long (Leica Ambassador, Malaysia) to a nearby fishing village for some shutter clicking adventure. I only had one camera with me for that short trip, the Panasonic LX10, and this particular outing was totally unplanned. We walked around the village area, speaking with the friendly locals and of course along the way got some cool portraits of them. It was a fun day out, and I really love the slower pace and relaxing vibes of rural settlements, versus what I normally get from urban city life. I did a POV video for this session, you can watch it here (click). 

For travel and some documentary work, I think a compact camera truly shines. Easy to bring around without adding bulk or weight, and the 1 inch image sensor in the LX10 performed admirably under good light. I also treasure the versatile zoom range of the lens, allowing me to do more with such a small package. I should definitely explore more locations outside of the city!

The latest lens I added into my camera bag is the Panasonic Leica 9mm F1.7. I bought this ultra-compact wide angle prime to replace my Olympus 8-25mm PRO zoom and 12mm F2 simultaneously. I needed an ultra wide for some situations in my paid shoots, though I don't use it (8-25mm PRO) a lot admittedly, and I also need the ultra wide lens for vlogging purposes (I used 12mm F2 previously), especially for my second YouTube channel. I now use the Panasonic 9mm for ultra-wide shooting both for stills and video. 

I also have a full review video for the Panasonic 9mm F1.7, you can watch it here (click). 

When my friend Kieron Long informed me a week ago that he was travelling to Kuala Lumpur to give a talk for Leica, I immediately registered myself a spot. Leica Malaysia organized a week-long exhibition and activities for their "Celebration of Photography" event. The main exhibition and talks are happening at Avenue K Mall, which is directly opposite the KLCC Twin Towers right in the city center. I attended Kieron's talk about "Life in Monochrome" last Friday night. I also shot some images covering the event, and of course vlogged the event. The video will be published a few weeks later (I have other videos that need to go up first), but here are some shots that I have shot from the event!

Leica Malaysia's Celebration of Photography exhibition and week-long activities are still on-going. For event listing and registration, go to their official page here (click). 

I recently bought myself a new budget macro lens, the 7Artisans 60mm F2.8 II Macro. Not many people know this, I don't actually have macro lens for my Micro Four Thirds setup. Previously I did have the Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8 Macro, which was borrowed from Olympus when I was their ambassador, but of course I have returned the lens to them after I left the program. I do have multiple macro solutions, mainly the Raynox DR250 Macro filter as well as Extension Tubes, both worked well enough or some macro shooting but they also come with their own inconveniences and limitations. I have decided to pay more attention to macro shooting lately, so I thought maybe a true, dedicated macro lens would benefit my shooting needs. I have shared my thought on the 7Artisans 60mm F2.8 II Macro in video format here (click). 

I am revisiting a topic which I have covered 3 years ago, about fixing ISO at 200 for low light night shooting. This time, I did something differently as I brought along my HDMI video capture device, so I can show you what was happening through my viewfinder as I adjusted my settings and composed my shots. The main concept of this exercise was the same, we can get away with just ISO200 shooting hand-held, trusting the camera's powerful image stabilization. ISO200 produces perfectly clean results, optimized for sharpness, noise control, dynamic range, and color tonality. I highly suggest that you give it a try, just fix your camera's ISO to 200, and roam around at night in the city, capturing some awesome city scapes. 

I was shooting with Olympus E-M1 Mark III and M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO, the great combination for having a bit of zoom versatility, while the F2.8 bright aperture helps a lot in dimmer environment. Everything was shot hand-held, around Petaling Street area in Kuala Lumpur. POV video here (click). 

Laowa recently sent me their latest lens the Laowa 6mm F2 manual focus lens for Micro Four Thirds mount. This is currently (at the time of writing) the widest lens for the entire Micro Four Thirds system. I spent about two weeks with the lens, shooting various locations in Kuala Lumpur and I am sharing my thoughts about using this lens in my latest video (click here) and also here in this blog article. In short, I really like this lens, it is really good optically, produces sharp images with good contrast and has some cool tricks up the sleeves. 

Laowa 6mm F2
Such a compact and light lens
I had the privillege to borrow the Ricoh GR IIIX from my friend Matti Sulanto and took it out for a few days' worth of shutter therapy adventures in Malacca. The Ricoh GR series somehow gathered quite a cult-following status for being the perfect street photography machine. I wanted to try this out myself and see if that is really the case. My friend Matti of course loves his Ricoh GR III and IIIX and have made many videos singing praises for these cameras. I, on the other hand have my own reservations and I am discussing what I like and dislike about the camera after using the GR IIIX extensively for a few days. 

Back in December I made a quick trip home to Kuching, Borneo to visit dear mum and spend some time catching up with friends and relatives. There was no agenda in mind, but I did bring along the Panasonic Lumix LX10 which I borrowed from a friend. I found myself some free time and decided to do a POV style street shooting video, showing you how I composed my shots and what happened around and in front of me before I clicked the shutter button. I also took this opportunity to share my thoughts on theLumix LX10 and overall opinion on whether 1-inch image sensor compact camera is still relevant today. You can find the POV video here (click). 


In 2014, China decided to ban the sales of Nikon D600 due to the oil stain and dust on sensor manufacturing defect. This was the last drastic decision by the government following the protests from angry consumers demanding refunds which was refused by local retailers. The drama escalated to national news TV reporting this issue, and immediately after that the government ordered the sales of D600 to be stopped, all retail units to be recalled. I believe this was the only consumer level camera that was ever banned anywhere in the world! I found one used unit here locally in Malaysia at a price I just cannot refuse, I bought it and boy oh boy was I excited to find out what this banned full frame camera can do for my shutter therapy adventures!