My Photography Journey with Olympus OM-D (Part 1)

Two years ago, when I was still in the era of using a point-and-shoot camera, I asked my friend why he needs so many lenses. Aren’t they all the same?

Two years later, this is what I have today. Obviously, I’ve the answer already. =)

1) Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
2) Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6
3) Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3
4) Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6
5) Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.8
6) Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4

I really enjoy photography with Olympus Micro 4/3 System as it is much smaller and lighter than a DSLR. It’s also easy to use, and proved to be a good start for newbie photographer like me.

I’m glad to have a friend (ex-neighbour too!) who is always there to share photography tips with me. Yes, CY – that’s you, my Olympus fanboy friend. Thanks for adding fun to my photography journey, as well as your useful tips.

Here are three main reasons why I love my Olympus OM-D E-M5:

1) Its small size, classic design and timeless look,
2) The tilting screen that can be flipped out so that I can alter my camera angle easily – without standing or squatting in an awkward position,
3) The touch screen where I can adjust all my camera settings easily.

Back to my lenses now, I’ve recently acquired an Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens after months of consideration. It’s my first time owning a lens from the professional series, and I’m truly excited about it.

The lens comes at a hefty price tag of $1,388. An opportunity came recently and I bought a nine-month old lens from my colleague at $800. I was completely over the moon. He has kindly allowed me to test it for two weeks before I make my decision. But the first time I tried it, I was completely SOLD! A small pinch on my wallet, but it’s worth every penny. Faster and sharper, it delivers a crisp and colourful image.

Edison9Edison at the new playground, shot with Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO

It’s getting increasingly tough to get him to pose for photo-taking nowadays. So, each time I’ve such an opportunity, I’ll make good use of it.

Purple flowers at Bartley Residences, shot with Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 is the prime lens that I use most often. Its large aperture makes it perfect for indoor and low-light environment. Because of its small size, I bring it everywhere I go. In fact, I’d say it’s a perfect lens for every occasion.

Edison dining at Shangri-la, shot with Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4

My Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.8, on the other hand, was bought on impulse. But that doesn’t mean I’m regretting it now. This sweet lens gives me nice portraits with beautiful shallow depth of field. It’s also an amazing lens for product photography, which I often use for my advertorial pictures.

Edison at Club Med Bintan, shot with Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 is the new kid on the block that I recently welcomed into my lens collection with a red carpet. =)

It’s the first time I used an ultra wide-angle lens, and it was truly exciting. First of all, I was amazed with its compact and lightweight design with excellent portability. Shooting with an ultra wide-angle lens needs some real photography techniques – which I’m still learning.

D’Resort reception lobby, shot with Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6

This will be the perfect lens to bring for my next holiday for shooting landscape as well as small and tight spaces like hotel room and interior.

This Olympus fangirl talk will be continued in Part 2 …

Learning Photography

Photography Banner 2

A year ago, I told myself that I want to learn photography. I’ve been shooting with my point-and-shoot camera all these years, and I thought it’s time to upgrade my gears and photography skills. It’s never too late to learn as long as we have the means and opportunity to do so. I’m sure you’ll agree.

I checked out the Canon and Nikon DSLRs, but unfortunately, they are too heavy and bulky for my liking. Then, I read about the micro 4/3 cameras that are extremely popular in the photography forum. They are not only smaller and lighter than most DSLRs in the market, but they also have DSLR-like features.

This sounds like what I really want. So I went to check out the Olympus OMD E-M5, and I fell in love with it instantly. I like its classic design and timeless good looks. When I held it in my hands, the overall feel of the camera was solid, sturdy and assuring. It didn’t feel heavy at all.

The sales assistant told me that the OMD E-M5 was one of their best-selling models, and he highly recommended it. This camera has the fastest autofocus, built-in body Image Stabilization feature, full weather sealing (splash and dust proof) and a built-in electronic viewfinder.

I was particularly impressed with its tilting touch screen. I can easily flip it out for some extra-low or extra-high shots without having to lie on the ground or climb up the chairs. I can also adjust all the camera settings – ISO, white balance, exposure, etc using the touch screen. It was ultra cool!

My Olympus OMD E-M5 with 25mm f1.4 prime lens

So I happily purchased the OMD E-M5, along with a dry cabinet and camera bag.

This is my first camera bag from Olympus. I absolutely loved the colour. It’s small and ladylike, but it’s very functional with enough space for a camera body, 2 lenses, spare battery and some small accessories.

My camera bag from Olympus

The kit lens (12-50mm) gives nice wide shots, but it doesn’t give the level of sharpness that I want. It’s also quite long, so it doesn’t fit into a small camera pouch. I can only carry it around in my camera bag.

And the problem here is – I also need to carry my handbag when I go out. Therefore, I’ve to carry my handbag on my left shoulder, and my camera bag on my right shoulder. That makes me immensely uncomfortable and unsightly. Can you relate?

Okay, you may think that the easiest way out is to get the Hubby to carry the camera bag for me. Yes, if he’s around, I’ll conveniently shove one of the bags onto his shoulder. But still, I need to find a better solution than that.

Recently, I purchased a prime lens that I absolutely love! It’s the Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4. I took this photo the first day I got this lens. What a difference I noticed right away in my picture.



The garden in our apartment is quite dark at night, and that provided me the perfect setting to test its low light ability.

I was completely amazed to get these pictures with no flash at all! While it’s not cheap (cost around $600 when I purchased online), its low-light shooting abilities are amazing.


This lens is also perfect for indoor shooting. It’s capable of taking clear portraits (even under low-light condition) with the background mildly defocused.

In addition, autofocus is very fast, although care needs to be taken to ensure accurate focusing with a wide aperture. The manual focus ring makes fine adjustments easy to make. It’s quite light too!

Since then, my 25mm f1.4 has been consistently mounted on my OMD E-M5, and used as a general all-purpose lens. I’m VERY happy with it! The fact that it’s lighter and shorter, I can also put it in a smaller camera pouch. That pouch can easily fits into my tote bag. And that means I can finally step out of my house in just ONE BAG!

Few days ago, I bought my second prime lens. It’s the Olympus 45mm f1.8. Now who doesn’t want those sharp photos of your subject with the cool blurry background? This lens is the answer for that. It’s my perfect portrait lens!

Shooting with the 45mm is an absolute pleasure. Its autofocus is extremely swift. I get used to shooting with a longer focal length pretty easily too. I just need to step further away from the subject.

The 45mm f1.8 is bought locally at a price tag of $400, and it has certainly helped me to enjoy photography even more (and the results I’m getting!).

First picture taken with the 45mm f1.8. Focus is on the rightmost lens, the two lens on the left and background are nicely defocused.


The next thing on my shopping list is a camera bag that looks like a handbag. Something stylish that is unlike a regular camera bag. Something that looks more like a handbag but with the camera hidden inside (with padding to protect it too). Yes, that’s what I want. If you’ve any recommendations, please leave me a comment.

Now, what’s your favourite lens? I love to hear from you too!

My Olympus OMD E-M5 with 45mm f1.8 lens
My lenses