Monday, 20 October 2014

The OMD-EM10 .. A Users Review in the U.K. and Malaysia.

Hi Folks,

Thank you all for being so patient in waiting for this noob's review of the diminutive OMD-EM10.  Its a wonderfully compact DSLR and a joy to use especially if you're traveling light. The EM10 along with the 9-18 was a joy to use on my Holidays in the U.K.  As with my previous reviews, I will normally emphasize on the user friendliness of the camera, Image quality, Ergonomics and finally the Value for money aspects of the camera itself. No technical jargon , just plain old feels right and image good enough for me stuff. I will, as usual, do most of review in pictures !! This time around though, it will will separated into two parts. Part one will be my usage and trial while in Malaysia and part two is of course pics from my Holiday in the U.K.

Please remember that this is just an enthusiast day to day users opinion and do take grace in any mistakes that I might have made. Just relax and browse through and enjoy the pics that I have line up for you all. Again its another one of those post that contains more than 100 plus pics ... Gosh !! I took over 500+ pics while in U.K.  and another 200+ locally. It took me more than a week just to arrange and edit just half of those pics ... Phew !! If it wasn't for the mostly cloudy weather over at U.K. , I would taken more and to make matters worst, I left my camera in the Hotel on my trip to '' Kew Gardens ''... Adooii !! For that I had to use my outdated iPhone 4s for the trip there.

Now where do I start ? The camera itself first or the Pictures ? Well, looks like I had to start with the camera itself and let the pictures do the talking along the way. As I have mention earlier , the main reason that I requested the OMD-10 was to do a trial for a fellow Astro photographer friend of mine. His interest was without a doubt the '' Live Composite '' feature found on the OMD-10 ( Including the latest EPL-7 ). Due to bad weather and my hectic schedule, I manage to only took just two pics, before I have to returned the camera back to Olympus Malaysia.

All in all I like the new Menu set up ( better than those of the EM-5 ) , smaller body, OOC Jpegs and the general Solid feel of the camera itself. The only surprise for me was the rather '' Reddish '' output of the pics when in set in Color Creator mode. It looks a lot more like the '' POP ART '' filters in colour rendition. Skin tones are too Reddish and a little over Saturated for my likings even though it was set to to view from the LCD screen. On occasions, I forgot to set it back to Normal picture mode and most of my OOC pics were over saturated !! My advice to you is to leave out this mode for normal shootings and just set it to your favorite Picture Mode ( In my case ... Vivid ). Besides all this, the camera itself feels and act like the previous EM-5, with only some minor changes. The question is whether I will buy one ? well, for the time being as usual, I will wait for the price to drop a little further during the Festive season ... Ha,Ha !! This is one Heck of a camera and one that I will wholeheartedly recommend for any first time users who new to the Mirrorless  system.

The camera itself with the EZ retractable 14-42 zoom lens. Its a case of  '' When Small is Beautiful '' !!

A side by side comparison withe Legendary '' OM-1 ''.

The Main reason for it all ... The '' Live Composite '' mode of the EM-10. A dream come true for most Astrophotographers !! Here's Two that I took in a haste just outside my house and in a light polluted street. Just a short '' Star Trail '' Pic is all that I could manage ... Deng !!

The First one was just for Trial  and I set it to 25 secs for about 10 minutes.

 The second was way better as I calculated that 20 secs interval will set the duration to about An Hour.  Guess what ? ... It works !! This pic was a composite of ( 1 hour ) and it could have gone longer if it wasn't for the late hour. Gosh look at the difference ....... Far Out !!
Now for Part One ... The local or rather the '' Malaysian '' sides of things !! All random shots in either Vivid or Art Filters .... Have Fun !!


And Finally a Pic that I did for my friend Ravi for his up and coming Book titled ... '' My Journey Through The Sands of Time ''. Two Pics Layered together for a perfect combination of that Moment in '' TIME ''.

Part II ... My trip to London, Cambridge, Kew Gardens , The RAF Museum and Stonehenge in the U.K. It was basically a Antiques hunting trip with some spare time for those beautiful English country side tour. It is of course a long overdue wish to visit the country of my dream since my childhood years !! My only regret was that I didn't have enough time to visit '' Old Trafford '', the home of my favorite team since 1967 .

London is without a doubt Old and Rustic with its many charms and Victorian Buildings . It's a shopping paradise but price is a tat high for us Malaysian, as the conversion rate is a disadvantage to us. A pack of Class '' A '' cigarettes will tie you down at around 8 pound. That's Equivalent to about RM 40  and as a casual smoker, I manage to buy a carton of it at the airport before my departure. The only thing that I felt uncomfortable while in Central London was the '' Dust '' or rather the Pollution. Along the busy Oxford street, I could feel the Dust inside my Nostril ( No Thanks to the low humidity and cool weather ). 

The English Countryside is without a doubt a world apart from the hustle and bustle of London. Here, the Air, Greenery, Gardens, Flowers and English Cottages are simply Beautiful and Refreshing. It is a perfect place for anyone who wish to get away from it all or simply Retire.  It was my trip to Kew gardens, Cambridge and Stonehenge in Amesbury that I truly experience the beauty of the English Countryside. Its the only thing that I really miss since coming back home.

O.K. , Now for the pics from my trip to the U.K. The only headache for me now is to select from the more than 500 pics that I took while in U.K. ... Phew !! Select too many and it will be bore some of you folks to sleep ...Ha,Ha. So, I will keep the whole package into my usual total of around 100 pics. If its way too much, Please let me know and I will cut it down to size ... Cheers!!

First off , London and its Major Landmark and Sites. All except those from my trip to Kew Gardens were shot with the OMD-10 & 9-18 Lens ..... Have Fun !!

The British Museum .

Around Convent Garden.

 My main reason for being there ... The Antiques Market Around Portobello Market.

One has to be there early as the place will get over crowded after around 9.00am . This below was taken around 7.30am in the morning. The place comes alive every saturday and is jam packed !!

The rest of the goodies in Pics .

Finally at Portobello, Two Friends that I made while there ... Two Friendly and Warm Folks from Turkey at their Souvenir cum T-Shirts Store.  As usual I can't remember names ...Deng!! So, Brother, if you're reading this, please drop in a line or two along with your honorable Names ... Nice meeting you both ... Thanks !!

                                                                     The Joker ... !!!

Being an Art lover , my other wish has always been to visit The National Gallery. It was a dream come true to see it '' LIVE '', some of the Paintings that I have always admired since School days .... Yee Haa !! But as with all good things there's always a certain hiccup that comes along. For me it was the closure of the '' PICASSO '' section that spoils the day. Well, It was a big disappointment for me , as I have always wanted to see any, of this talented man's work. But I did get to see some of the Greatest Artist in History, and that to me is mission accomplished ...!!

The National gallery and The Mass Collections of Art !!

One of my favorite Painting was Peter Paul Rubens ... The Watering Place !!

And Paul Delaroche's  '' The Execution of Lady Jane Gray ''

Some of my other favorites in Colour of course ...!!!

Along the River Thames ... The Big Ben and its surrounding Castles and Buildings. Due to the cloudy weather, some Pics were done in '' Dramatic Tone '' mode, while others in Vivid mode.

Now for those Wonderful Medieval Churches that England and most EU Countries are famous for .... As there are too many of them I decided to do a series based on the mostly Beautiful interior of most of the Churches ... Amen !!

And those equally Beautiful Baroque, Gothic and Victorian Styled Architectures ...!!

Now for the Serene and Beautiful  Town of Cambridge ...Home to so many scholars, Academicians and Leaders !! Its of course the home of the famous Cambridge University and so many other Educational Institutions. The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge have a great deal in common, including their collegiate structure, personalised teaching methods and wealth of resources available to students. Just Like its twin brother, it's really an old town filled with Beautiful Medieval Buildings , Narrow streets, Streams and Greenery. This is one place that I would love to Retire to ... Yee Haa!!

Wow ..!! That's already more than 100 Pics !! Is this a review or Photobook ??  Remember this are just random selection from Massive 500+ pics in my Album !!

My Visit to Madame Tussauds in Marylebone Road. A mixed o Pictures taken with my iPhone 4s. Only the last shot was taken with the EM-10. Here are just a few with some of my favorite Characters and Personality.

London is also home to one of the most Famous Royal Family. So, A Tour to London is incomplete without a visit to the home of Queen of England & The Commonwealth ... '' Buckingham Palace ''.

Now to the Beautiful , Fresh and Green ... '' Kew Gardens ''. Here again , all pics were taken with my iPhone 4s, as I forgot to bring my Camera along ... Deng !! Just some snippets that does no justice to such a Beautiful Place !!

This Pics below along The Millenium Bridge were taken on my second outing along the Long and Vast River Thanes. A mix Bag of everything around it , just relax and Browse through ... Phew !!

Now for something that I always loved since Childhood ... Flying. It's a dream come for me to able to see just The Spitfire & Hawker Hurricane down here at The '' RAF MUSEUM ''. Just some quick Pics as this post is getting a little too Long, even for my ageing Eyes and Fingers ... Adooii !!

The RAF Museum at Colindale .

Since there are so many pics that I have left out, I have decided to do a General roundup of what London is to eye the world. Below are a random selection of pictures from my Album.

'' London '' A general view Through my viewfinder  ... !!

Looks like its already a little too long and I shall end my post with another of my Priority and that's  ... '' STONEHENGE ''. One of the oldest Man made Monuments on the surface of the earth and indeed a Special place for which I will remember for the rest of my Life.

The view from my front seat on our way back from Stonehenge and the Beautiful English Country side.

There you are, yet another record breaking 190+ Pics in a single post ... Gosh !! It took me more than a week just to arrange the pics into proper section of the post. Thank you all for taking the time just to browse through this rather long post. Most of the pics are unedited , while some were edited by adjusting the colour cast and Auto levels . A few were crop and the rest were simply shot using '' P '' mode ( Getting old I guess ) ... Ha,Ha. Unlike the previous models of Pen and EM models, the EM-10 has that so call '' Color Creator '' mode which was set on by the previous owner and hence the rather  '' Reddish Pink '' skin Tones of some of my pics.

In all, this has to be Olympus best Mid - Range OMD series of cameras.  At the time of my writing Olympus has already Launch the '' PEN '' EPL-7. As you might have guess , it has an almost identical specs except for the lack of a viewfinder and a slimmer body. But of course the EM-10 has that Traditional Hump and feel of the Legendary OM series of the 70's & 80's. Go out and get one if you're into Astro and General Photography, for the price is now reaching its ebb.

Thanks again to John Wong and Olympus Malaysia for loaning me this Diminutive but Fully capable EM-10.

Take care and remember to drop in a line or two , your comments are always welcome ... Cheers!!

Regards .... Uncle James.


  1. Beautiful picture, James. You forgot to grab some pic of the MI6 and your hero, a well known British spy 007? hehehehee.
    Was thinking about the camera and Nikon d750 and am not sure which to upgrade to. Any suggestion?

    1. Hi Silent Reader .

      Thanks mate, I did took a pic with the new 007 , but not at MI6, instead it was at Madame Tussauds. Too many pics too little space ...Ha,Ha. Now to the question of choice,( D750 & EM-10 ), as I been ask so many times before. The most important question is
      @ what type of Photography do you do ?
      @ Do you print your Pics '' BIG '' ?
      @ Do you travel often ?

      If you're not a Pro and one who has the budget and need the best, then the D750 is the best Bang for Buck '' FF '' camera there is besides the sony A7. The D750 is truly an amazing camera ( Best for Landscapes & Portraits )..

      But If you're just a casual snapper who wants simplicity and Gorgeous Jpegs,then the EM-10 fits the bill Perfectly .!!

      IMHO, go for the D750 if you have the spare cash and don't mind lugging around a Big cam.

      Thanks again and take care ... Cheers!!

  2. A feast for my eyes from your beautiful photography James!

    1. Hi Lee Too,

      Thanks, and may I ask when are you gonna take up my humble offer ? My sony A57 will be up for sale soon, so, if you need to buy a Good used camera, please let me know. OH ! I forgot, it comes with a Lifetime Free Photography lessons ( Spare some Whisky & Rojak ) .... Ha,Ha!!

      Thanks and take care !!

  3. Good stuff ! Love the composition but the colours were a bit too strong for me in some photos.

    1. Hi Mr.Lim.

      Thanks for the kind compliments on my composition. Well, after more than 40 years into photography, you kind of '' Auto Compose '' when you're out there ...Ha,Ha.!! As for the some of the over saturated pics, As i had mention in my post, it was due to settings error in the picture mode. If you're coming from Canon that of course looks over saturated. Thanks agian for dropping by... Have a nice day ahead !!

      Regards... James.

  4. Are your photos here edited or straight out from the camera??

    1. Hi Unknown,

      Again thanks for dropping in mate . Most of the pics were unedited as there were too many of them ( Nearly 600 + ). Most of those with my Signature were edited, the rest were '' OOC Jpegs '' ( Out Of Camera Jpegs )....Thanks and have a gooday ahead !!

      Regards ... James.

  5. uncle james

    Nice shots in UK tour using the Olympus ultra wide lens 9-18mm f/4-5.6. Being an E-620 and EP Olympus camera, I have experience using Olympus 17 mm f/2.8 lens. good memories for me when I visited London in 2000. Overall they are quite good but colour is a bit saturated. i prefer a more natural colour which close to our normal vision in reality.

    In the old days, I used films to capture nice pictures were difficult and control the light and speed to get a good exposure.
    If you asked me which is better I still prefer films over digital pictures
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Lawrence ,

      Fancy meeting you here and Thanks for dropping by. Ya, the colour of oly jpegs are a little over saturated. In my E-1 days, I normally set them to Natural as it was a Kodak sensor back then. This new generations od SONY sensors are very good even though they tend to lean to the RED sides of things. As with most old school photogs, I still missed Film, but then again we don't get to see the results instantly ...Ha,Ha.

      Thanks and Take care !!

      Regards ...Brother James.

  6. Hi James,

    Thanks for this great and easy to understand review! =D
    I'm a total amateur in photography but would like to get EM-10 for long term use. I'm glad to know that it is capable of astrophography! I was contemplating between this and A6000 and looking at your star trail picture I think I'll go with EM-10. =) Do you mind to share with me what are the settings you used to capture the star trail pictures?

    Thanks in advanced!

    1. Sorry for the late reply, as I have a few Forums and sites to attend to. Glad you made the right choice by narrowing it down to the EM-10. Its a wonderful camera for anyone that like it light & small and easy to carry around. Besides the large selection of lenses and its compatibility to old lenses is really a boon to its users.

      Before I answer your question, I would like to know if you have any knowledge of Basic Astronomy ? If you do, then its a piece of cake to do Star Trails with the EM-10. Just point your camera at the star '' Polaris '' ( The North Star or Pole Star ) away from buildings in a dark area and set your camera to the '' Live Composite '' mode. Depending on the length of the star trail that you want ( In my case it was 20 secs for an hour facing the North. Aperture was wide open at F/4 and at ISO 200 on a wide angle lens of 9mm ( 18mm eqv on Full Frame ). Any kit lens setting of 14mm will do and set your aperture to the max and most of all set in on a '' TRIPOD '' ...Ha, Ha !! Try different settings , but if you need a full circular star trail, you need to wait till the North star is resonably High in the night sky. Is it clear enough ? if not better still, give me a call at : 019-7119019 and I will explain to you clearer over the phone ...Take Care and happy shooting !!

      Regards ... Uncle James.

    2. Hi Uncle James,

      Thank you so much for making time to reply me. =) it is a great explanation! Can't wait to get my camera and start playing with it!

      By the way, do you have any recommendations as to where I should buy the camera from? Seems like Lazada has some pretty good offers but I'm not too sure if it's reliable. Thanks again for your explanation and time!

      - Yvonne

  7. Hi Yvonne,

    No Sweat girl, just doing my best to help. As with most online sellers like Lazada, their prices are most likely lower than those of the local Olympus dealers. They are of course Parallel import sets with their own warranty. The thing is, since Jan 2015 , Olympus Malaysia will not attend to cameras bought outside of Malaysia. Meaning , they will only honor sets that are sold with the local warranty. But by all means ask Lazada what are the terms and warrranty are before buying it. If the price difference is minimal, then better buy a local set . Too bad that you're in K.L. or I would have help you get one at Trusted dealer near me.... Thanks and take care !!

    Regards .... Uncle James.

  8. Hi Uncle James,

    Thanks for the heads up about the warranty. Will do my research and compare the price across the dealers around here. Thanks again!

    - Yvonne