Monday, September 29, 2014

OnePlus One Camera Review

I have been overwhelmed with all the heavy camera talks and news going on from Photokina week with launching of so many new photography products, and me having spent all of my last weekend at a photography centric event, the Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival (KLPF) 2014, meeting hundreds of people, all three full days discussing, debating and sharing about photography products. For once, this particular weekend, I decided to leave my Olympus gear behind. No that did not mean I am not having my shutter therapy, I still do that faithfully. Instead I chose to shoot with something a lot more basic, and simpler. I turned my mobile phone photography mode on, and shot the entire weekend with just my mobile phone. This allowed me to forget most of the technicalities of carrying an advanced system, went back to basics, and just enjoy myself without thinking too much. 

Considering I was already planning to shoot heavily with the mobile phone, I thought why not do a camera review for the phone I am currently using, the OnePlus One. I have searched around the web for information about the camera, not much came up. Therefore, I shall add in my part, reviewing the phone from a photography enthusiast's point of view, how the camera performs, evaluating the image output and see if this OnePlus One camera can deliver. 

Do take note that I am not a tech junkie, I will not be discussing about other aspects of the phone, and concentrate solely on the camera and imaging performance of OnePlus One. I have no connections to OnePlus and I bought the phone entirely out of my own pocket (to replace my dying Nexus 4). I will not do technical analysis and you will not find any charts, graphs or numbers in the results. What you will see are plenty of photograph samples, taken in a course of two days at multiple locations. I believe the findings are best discovered by experience, shooting on the field, and I am merely sharing my user experience using the camera on the OnePlus One phone. 

OnePlus One in action. Camera App used was Camera FV-5 

Taking a closer look at the back camera, 13MP BSI image sensor, with F2 lens, and 27mm equivalent focal length in 35mm format

Sunday, September 21, 2014

KLPF 2014 Day 2

The second day of Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival 2014 has ended, boy was it an exhausting day, but a fulfilling one. There were so many awesome people who came up and say hi, and I was thrilled to meet many familiar and new faces. 

Today we had a loyal and very talented Olympus user, Amir Ridhwan, someone I look up to greatly, and someone I have learned a great deal from when it comes to insect macro photogaphy. Most of my macro shooting techniques were derived from Amir's and he was truly a great inspiration. We were proud to have him on the main stage at KLPF, delivering his talk "Small Gear, Big Pictures". Listening to his speech, I could not help myself but just be in awe, feeling deeply motivated by a fellow photography enthusiast. He shared many truths about photography learning journey, and from many of his stories I can identify with a handful of them! 

The man himself, Amir Ridhwan, do check out his Flickr Page, he has got some awesome stuff happening there. Thank you so much Amir for being such an inspiration to me, and we MUST go out and shoot some beautiful spiders in the jungle some time soon. I miss those sessions!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival (KLPF) 2014 Day 1

It is that time of the year again, Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival is happening and Olympus Malaysia is participating! I am of course, stationed there full time, so if you happen to be there, please do drop by Olympus and say hi!

We have plenty of activities lined up for KLPF 2014, and here is a list:

1) Free Professional camera and lens cleaning service for Olympus users 

2) Live Demonstration on Olympus Capture (tethered shooting) on a studio set up environment, and Keystone Compensation, both new awesome features in OM-D E-M1 Firmware 2.0 upgrade (only on Saturday and Sunday, hence no photographs from Day 1, Friday)

3) Touch and Try with our latest cameras, PEN E-PL7 and OM-D E-M1 Silver version, both launched very recently!

4) Amir Ridhwan will be on main stage, delivering his talk "Small Gear, Big Pictures" on Saturday, 4pm! 

5) Sanjitpaal Singh will be on main stage, speaking on "Journeys and Discoveries through Photography" on Sunday, 1.15pm!

6) Lots of great deals, promotions and unbeatable packages if you consider to grab an OM-D, PEN or other Olympus gear at KLPF!

Day 1 as usual was less hectic and we expect heavier crowd coming in the weekends. Nevertheless, many thanks to many friends who came to say hey and cheered me up. I hope to see a lot more of you soon!

It has been a long day (started early, ended late, and here I am blogging with plenty of photos), so the photographs will appear in a rather random manner.

All images were taken with OM-D E-M5 and mostly M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8 lens. All SOOC JPEG. I was too tired to bother about any post-processing at all after standing on my feet for all day. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Don't Underestimate The Kit Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 on PEN E-PL7

In the spirit of the frenzy happenings at Photokina, churning out endless announcements of latest photography products, pushing the advancement and technological barriers, I have chosen to put all the gear measurebating aside today. How did I do that exactly? Simple, for my shutter therapy session, I chose to shoot with one lens only: the Olympus Kit Lens that not many people cared much about, M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6. 

Kit lens is not something most people would want to stay with very long after their first system camera purchase, many looking for options to upgrade to pro zoom lenses (normally with constant bright aperture, eg F2.8), or adding prime lenses. It was not a surprising fact, since most kit lenses bundled with entry level camera (and in a handful of cases, mid-level to even higher level APS-C DSLR cameras) were usually performing less than mediocre, in terms of overall image quality. When setting up with prime lenses or higher grade zoom lenses, the original kit lenses become pale in comparison, generally not as sharp. 

However, let me ask you this. 

Have you used any Olympus kit lenses before? 

From the DSLR days, the Zuiko Digital 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 (Four Thirds version), which I used extensively for 2 years before upgrading to better lenses, to the latest offerings from Olympus Micro Four Thirds line-up, such as the M.Zuiko 12-50mm F3.5-6.3, and even the lowly, often underrated 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 2R. If you have used ANY of the above mentioned kit lenses (like really put them to good use) mostly bundled with Olympus cameras, you will realize that Olympus makes some of the best kit lenses out there, ever. I may sound like I am exaggerating, but I have photographs to show in this blog entry, and believe me this is not the first time I am blogging about the goodness of kit lens. 

Accompanying the kit lens, I used the latest Olympus PEN E-PL7. This time, I had the BLACK version. 


Who says kit lens can't render shallow depth of field?