I am not ashamed to admit that the only reason I am able to be here today is because I have truly great friends. Of all the blessings in my life, I know for sure, I have always been surrounded by many awesome friends, some I honestly think I don't deserve to have. I realized very early on in my life that I cannot survive alone, we human beings are social creatures, and we need each other for support and growth. Some of the truest friends I have had stuck with me through thick and thin, and helped me through some very challenging times in my life. For that I am eternally grateful for these friends, and I know I would not have survived without them. Obviously, I am not going to name each and every one of them, but my friends have made several appearances on this blog, my YouTube (mostly the vlog channel) and social media (Facebook). For this particular blog, I am featuring Jason Lioh, whom I have just caught up with over lunch and coffee, a week or so ago, before my trip back to my hometown Kuching. 

Jason & Gan, the happiest couple I know
I am a 50mm shooter so I must have a 50mm lens for whatever system that I own. For my Nikon Z5, I settled for the cheapest 50mm native Z mount lens I can find, which happened to be the Meike 50mm F1.8 that I got for about USD130/RM600. I tested this lens on the streets and also shooting some food, and I got to say, the lens exceeded my expectations when it comes to optical performance at such a low cost. Since the Nikon Z5 is not my main camera, and I don't use it to make money, it makes sense to keep the lenses on tight budget and this 50mm is the right lens, if you don't want to break the bank. I have shared my full thoughts on the Meike 50mm F1.8 in my video here (click). 

While I was home in Kuching, Borneo recently for mum's birthday celebration, there was an arranged model outdoor portrait shooting session and my friend Kieron invited me to come along for the shoot. I thought it would be a great opportunity to do something a bit out of usual, as I normally shoot portraits of strangers on the streets instead of an arranged portrait session. Nevertheless, keeping an open mind is important and I am earning a living shooting portraits too, so a bit of fun shooting a model at Brooke Dockyard (not really at the dockyard exactly, but the surrounding areas) was something I needed. In this blog entry, I am sharing images shot with the Nikon Z5 and Meike 85mm F1.4 lens. Meike sent me the 85mm F1.4 lens for review and I am in the midst of gathering sufficient sample images. So far, I am loving that lens! I will talk more about my experience using that lens in my coming review, so stay tuned!

Organizer - Nunong Tindin (IG @nunongtindin)
Model - Gillian Octavyia (IG @gillian0ctavyia)
In my recent hunt in the used marketplace, I came across an interesting camera which I never thought I would be buying. I got curious and I thought, at such a low price, why not? I bought this mysterious camera, which I shall not reveal yet, and I had it with me during my short trip home to Kuching, Borneo recently. Of course, I always made time for shutter therapy when I was in Kuching, and this was the perfect opportunity to test the camera more thoroughly. I am still in the midst of gathering more sample shots, and testing the camera, but sometime soon in the future, I will make a video to talk about it. I thought the camera did its job quite well, and I got some cool shots from my hometown! I am sharing these photos here. 

I have been away from Kuala Lumpur for about one week, and just returned from my short trip to Kuching, Borneo to celebrate my mum's birthday. Every year, in July, I will definitely make time to visit mum, and this would also be a good opportunity to catch up with some friends from my hometown, and stuff myself silly with amazing local Kuching food. Not to forget, I also always allocate some time for shutter therapy, and yes, there will be some shots I will share from my street shooting sessions and some photo outing adventures in Kuching here, very very soon. For this blog entry, I shall post a short collection of people I have met and the few favorite food that I have eaten. 

Breakfast with mum. We had a simple dinner to celebrate her birthday, no pictures for that, we are keeping some parts of our lives private. 
Most people would know that I am a prime lens shooter mostly, and I rarely use zooms. I do acknowledge the importance of zoom lenses, especially superzooms in some situations where you really cannot change lenses, for example dusty environment or you can only carry one lens with you. The convenience of having the ability to zoom from wide angle to telephoto outweighs the compromises of making a zoom lens, and getting the shot is always the priority when it comes to photography. I found a used Panasonic Lumix 14-140mm F4-5.8 in the marketplace for a good price I cannot refuse, and I thought why not give it a try? I brought the lens being paired with my Olympus OM-D E-M10 to Thean Hou Temple and took some images there. I shared my thoughts about superzooms and how the Panasonic 14-140mm performed in my latest video here (click). 

I attended the official Nikon Z6 III launch in Malaysia few days ago, and I had the opportunity to get my hands on one unit to test it briefly. During my short time with the Z6 III, I was truly impressed with what Nikon has done in their latest camera. I like the advanced stabilization feature, which is optimized for focus area VR, the near flagship level AF performance (close to Z8/Z9) yet it can focus down to -10EV in the dark and has reliable AI subject recognition/tracking, the large and bright EVF which has 4000nits brightness which helps me a lot as I shoot under the sun, and overall the camera build quality, handling and ergonomics are nothing short of being excellent. For all this, the latest full frame mirrorless Nikon is asking for a price lower than OM-1 II, at least here in Malaysia, which puts the Z6 III into the top of my next camera consideration list, when I do decide to upgrade. Don't worry, the time is not here yet, I am still giving OM System/Panasonic a chance to come up with a wow camera before I give up on them. My thoughts about the Z6 III in my latest video here (click). 


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Following up the whole drama of I don't know how to have fun accusation from Lumix USA rep, I thought it would be fun to bring the old GM1 out for a spin in my favourite street hunting ground, Chow Kit. I was with a friend Jackie Loi, and after a quick breakfast, we had the Chilli Pan Mee, we headed to the old market area and started shooting around and inside the market. This time. lighting was much better, compared to last week's overcast weather, and I did not waste this opportunity to grab as many shots as I can with the GM1. The camera may be more than 10 years old now, but man, it still amazes me what the tiny GM1 can do. I paired it with the Olympus 17mm F1.8 and I thought the images came out quite alright. 

My awesome friend Jaya was invited to an official grand opening of the new DJI Hasselblad Store in KLCC Twin Towers. I had the privilege to tag along, and I got to say, it was nice to see Hasselblad finally opening their flagship store and displaying their medium format products for consumers to come in and see. Of course, it was not just exclusively Hasselblad, DJI also displayed their array of drones, action cams, gimbals, microphones and all other latest products in the store. I personally have used and own multiple DJI products before, and am actively using the DJI Pocket 3 for my vlogs and even making content for my main YouTube channel. Sinec it was a free and easy, fuss free event, I decided to roam around with my Nikon setup and took some random shots of the location and event. All images were sgot with Nikon Z5 and Viltrox 20mm, Nikon Z 40mm and Viltrox 85mm. 

Recently I made a first impression hands on video on the Panasonic Lumix S9 which I have published here (click). Two days later, I received an email from Lumix USA, basically disagreeing with my points in the video. Difference in opinion is fine, I do welcome them, but the way the argument was made actually did not register any sense, and I don't want to get into the specifics here. The ending of the email was the one that got me, basically I was accused of "not knowing how to have fun" with my cameras, as the Lumix S9 was created with fun in mind. Therefore, I decided to make a video to counter the "forgotten how to have fun" part, and I used their original Lumix GM1 as an example of how a camera can be fun without too many compromises (like removing mechanical shutter and flash). You can find my video sharing 5 reasons why I think GM1 is more fun than S9 here (click). 


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