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.