Who would have though the venerable Olympus EM5 would have lasted me so long. Camera updates come and go, it is now 2016 and the EM5 Mark II has long since hit the shelves, leaving even the “flagship” EM1 biting the dust in some aspects.

OMD EM5 with 14-42mm EZ kit lens

Here I am, with my trusty old EM5, hitting the road again; with a 14-42mm EZ kit lens, no less. My travel kit would be something that most people can afford with a little savings. The EM5 cost me SG$280, while the kit lens cost $120. Adding a M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8 prime (SG$250) for low light shooting gave me a lot of bang for my buck ($600 for 1 camera and 2 lenses), all while keeping the weight of my kit low (the set feels lighter than my Nikon D750).

Given how the weather in Taipei in general was bright and sunny, the I seldom found that the small apertures afforded by the kit lens were limiting in any way.

Tamshui Old Street

Nevertheless, despite the relatively small aperture of the kit lens, I was able to rely on the superb stablisation of the EM5 to give me steady shots at night in Jiufen village at night.

Old tea house in Jiufen Old Street

I was surprised at how little the used the 45mm on the trip. Looking back, I believe that the crowded night markets, with the incredibly dynamic crowd movement, gave me little space with which to wield the 45mm despite its bright aperture. Ironically, one of my “keepers” from the 45mm prime came during very bright conditions.


Despite the small sensor size and the “limitation” of using the kit lens, I would say I was seldom limited by my relatively modest gear. More importantly, use whatever you have in your surroundings and get the shot you want through optimum settings.

I end my post with a shot I took without a tripod but using a convenient stone post.

Jiufen Village; a storm brewing in the  distance