Category Archives: Photographics

Switching to the SMALL side – Olympus OMD M5 MK1

After using my Nikon D600 for the past 3 years, it is now time to try out an alternative option I never considered before.  There is a good reason why I did not go for a smaller camera in the past.

You see, the first thing I will consider when getting a new DSLR is the grip size.  With the entry levels Nikon and Canon DSLR, they were just too small to my liking.  I can work with one and i would need to have the battery grip on it, but this will increase the weight.  Which was the reason why I bought my last camera, NiKon D90.  The camera size was right fitted to my hand without the battery grip.  I used this camera for 2 years before I upgraded to my currently DSLE, the Nikon D600 with the infamous shutter oil drip issue.  Which I will keep since Nikon promised to service the sensor for free for the life of the camera.

So lets talk about my new toy.  The idea came in after my reason trip to China/HK/Macau where in my last day of the trip in Macau, I ditched my D600 and walk around with my Samsung Galaxy Note 4.  It was a different experience to walk for about less then 10KM round trip from the Star World Casino to the Grand Prix Museum and then to the famous San Paula and heads to the Sands Macau.  The weight reduction made me rethink of having a smaller camera.

So I started to look at a second camera, targeting the prosumer grade camera like Canon G16, Nikon P7800 and Fujifilm X20 (an upgrade of what I had before the Fujifilm X10).  With the secondhand market price of around RM 1000.  I soon get side tracked for the currently running promotion of Fujifilm X30, an RM400 cash rebate if I bought the camera before end of September.  I quickly shopping around for the best deals and I found an authorized seller in Lowyat forum that offered me RM2000.  With the rebate from Fujifilm, I will ended up paying RM1600 and that is about RM800 saving on top of the recommended retail price.

Very keen on it I also looked up the similar Fujifilm XE1 series.  The secondhand market is around RM1000 and if I forked up to get a copy of the secondhand Fujinon XF 16-55mm 2.8 R, which is around RM1000 too, I will ended up with a more versatile camera system that I can see myself having fun in the next few years.  But then, I found another promotion from KLDSLR, a white Sony A6000 with kit lens will cost only RM1850 brand new.  Spoiled with choices, I start to revise my options, which was when I realized, none of those camera actually came with weather sealing.  Which means, if I am to travel with them, I may not be able to take any shots when bad weather is on the way, this has been proven useful in quick a few of my trips in the past.

This was where I found the Olympus OMD series and glad to know that both EM5 and EM1 are weather sealed that should protect the camera with equivalent weather sealed lens for minor water splash.   Although EM1 was way out of my price range even for a secondhand copy, the EM5 body was about the same price as the Fujifilm XE1.  I started to focus my hunt for a good secondhand copy, and there were quite a few in the market, ranging from RM900 body only to about RM1999 with the Olympus M.Zuiko12-50 EZ ED kits in shop.  I settle with a private seller in Lowyat forum that offered RM1700 with a third party hand grip and original packaging.

My initial impression of the EM5 was “what a solid build camera”, though I was very disappointed with the picture quality of the camera at high iso.  Coming from a full frame DSLR, I never need to second thoughts to raise the ISO to 6400, but with EM5.  The noises are very obvious even at ISO 800.  I am still playing with the setting and crawling through forums.  I have decided to invest in a pro series walk about lens and the HLD-6 battery grip with some third party batteries.  Lets see how much more I will need to spent on this camera before move back to DSLR.

The new journal of a new toy has begun.  🙂

Besselton Festival 2013

Took this shot using my Fujifilm X10 early this year while I was visiting Besselton.  Great fun shooting at night without tripod using a camera that known to generate blobs at night.


PS:  Thought the sensor has been replaced and I quite like the quality as is now.  Well done Fujifilm.