The setting was perfect for TV host, radio presenter, actor, singer, martial arts enthusiast, explorer, daredevil, NIKE flow-rider, emcee, diver – this makes Azura Zainal, Malaysia’s (extremely busy) celebrity hard to catch. But we’ve managed to catch up with her, wake her up at 6am on a December morning to stomp the streets of Kuala Lumpur strutting her personality on a fun photoshoot.

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Though we all secretly harboured feelings of annoyance towards Sanjit (That’s me) for getting us up early…  it all faded away when the golden rays of light illuminated the streets of Kuala Lumpur. To bathe in the light of the golden hour was indeed worth the efforts of rising early on a Saturday morning. We hardly stayed put in one area… we stormed the streets of Kuala Lumpur in search of unique locations (Well, we also had to keep moving to dodge the city security).

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Furthermore, we woke up her husband, Cris to assist us with the shoot. Cameras in the bag – we’re off!

How did this all come about? I’ll spare the historical details – lets just say we’re ol’ family friends reacquainted. I’ve always looked up at Azura – her persona and live wire personality makes her one (heckofa’) firecracker of a lovely lass – the kind that is always fun to work with.

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We also managed to get down and personal (it’s not everyday we get to pick the brains of a celeb) and asked Azura some personal questions and some on her philosophy.

1. Is freedom more important than money

“To me it’s equally important because when you have money, your life is better and it gives you the freedom to do the things that you love. But it doesn’t mean you have to have a lot of money, just enough for you to have the freedom you want.”

2. You as a personal brand – how did ‘your successes’ come about

“This is really tough for me to answer because i always ask myself whether i am successful already?? What makes a person successful? Are you successful when you have a lot of money? or when you have hundreds of thousands of followers on your social media?? How do you define success? I just recently had this conversation with my sister and she always tells me that I am too critical and i judge myself too much and too hard! And she is right! So for the longest time i always thought i have not reached any successes. But after publishing a book, a guidebook to help aspiring presenters who want to follow in my foot-steps, it hit me! That’s one of the successes i have.:)  This book is definitely a huge way to give back to the society and am really blessed to be able to share my knowledge! So coming back to the question, my successes certainly came from the continuous support i had and still have from the fans, the people who believe and support the things that i do because without them i would never be where I am today! It’s team-work right there!”

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3. Setbacks of being a celebrity 

“Here’s the thing, i have never considered myself as a celebrity. Im just a person just like you, doing something that i love but the difference is, people get to see and hear what i do…so to be honest, i have never experienced any kind of setbacks…call me lame but it’s the truth!”

4. your point of view towards todays generation to live a healthy (for a happy) life

“I see a lot of people now are very concern about their health and it’s great that some of them are actually taking action. Whether people do it for health, beauty or to show off, it doesn’t matter, as long as you are doing something about it. I believe that it’s important for you to live a healthy life now, because for me , I workout to actually prepare myself for the future when i get older. I want to still be able to jump the way i do now and when I’m older. :)”

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5. As the face and voice to everyone that you represent living in the age where ‘community is king’ – how do you handle public attention.

“Hehehe I still get very shy whenever people stop me to take photos and say hello. I never have problems with handling public attention, because whenever people stop or say hello, they always seem like they’ve known me like forever so automatically it makes me think that maybe i do know them….too…from somewhere….so yeah…i hope i make sense. So public attention is not an issue for me, i handle them like they are my friends. :)”

6. Framing your goals (what have you achieved and what have you recently set out to achieve)

“Everybody has goals, every year i set out some goals but i never achieve it! Like since 3 years ago i keep telling myself that i must produce at least 1 show a year, and that never happen. But i do have the proposal and i did go to see some people to kinda get the ball rolling, but it never pulled through because I’m always taken away for my travel show. But whats funny is that the goals that are not on my list actually happened. Like being a radio announcer and having a book with my name on it! How bizarre is me that really showed me GOD knows best! So yea, the highlight for me this year is actually holding and having my guidebook out for everyone to learn a little bit from me about tv and radio presenting. It’s my way of giving back to the fans.

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For this year, my goal is to start being a trainer in my field, am lucky because my sister Zarina is a Professional Trainer and she will guide me in this new career path. I planning to have workshops on TV Presenting and Radio Announcing for people who want to learn more about what i do. Its great because with the book out, it will be easier for people to relate. So crossing my fingers that happens soon.”

7. (Azura’s personal message)

“Thank you so much for all your continuos support. I really really appreciate it. As cliche as i may sound, but this is the honest truth, Without you i wouldn’t be where i am today and i want you to know that you make me better at what i do! So THANK YOU SO MUCH! I love you! And don’t forget to always believe in all that you do, dream big and don’t forget to get my book! hahahahaha MUCH LOVE!”

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Though it may seem like awhile since we’ve been photographing human beings – the truth is, we’ve been more at it than anything else that we shoot. All in all, it was a great day, a good fun shoot, shared many laughs – everyone went home tired and filled the air with ‘zzz’s’ – Cris & I have become camara!

It was a pleasure to photograph Azura, and we look forward to more fun shoots such as this. Thanks Chris, for helping us with the reflectors too!

Cheers Azura, Cris & Ravin – you gals (& guy) Rock!

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Do check out her new book: Azura Zainal’s Guide to Radio and TV Hosting here 


Azura Zainal


Cristiano Genuino

Camera Woman: Ravinder Kaur 

Photos & Post: Sanjitpaal Singh
Camera: Nikon D7100, 17-55, 70-200, SU-8, SB910 (2pcs), lighting stands, reflector

Oh yea… here’s the BTS Video… 

… and more images from the shoot here


When you do what you love doing, the numbers on the mileage, hours on planes, hours slept, coffee consumed, miles walked… all don’t seem to matter much.
When you’re done doing what you love doing, you can’t help but to wonder… What’s next!
Here’s a BTS video of how we did what we did.


Special thanks to:
Filmgal: Ravinder Kaur – armed with the Olympus E-PL5 + 14-42
Nature Guide: Terence Ang –
CHEERS!: Olympus Malaysia –
Colour management: (My screen is calibrated for my photographic works using) Datacolor Spyder
& Gitzo

More on me:



–          This post is the Behind The Scenes (BTS) story of how we did the OM-D E-M5 videos with some tech details on the video functions

–          This is an enthusiast review, my notes and honest opinion on the video capabilities of the OM-D E-M5

–          In this post, I will try to cover every point through my brief filming experience with the E-M5

–          I’m not a filmmaker, though it’s part of my interests, which would lead this post as part of my learning experience

–          p/s: I love cameras of all sorts and constantly indulge myself in visual arts

Of Numerous Posts…

This section is dedicated as a reply to enquiries received on the E-M5 videos. Firstly, yes, all of the OM-D E-M5 videos including teasers we’re filmed using only the E-M5 and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ. The BTS video was also done solely with the E-M5. This means that we had 3 units which was the only available arsenal in Malaysia. Mystery solved.

… The Concept

We wanted to create a video showing the capabilities of the 5-Axis IS of the E-M5 which is also packed with full HD features. The idea was to film entirely hand-held and I didn’t even put on a camera strap in which it would have worked to my advantage of further stabilizing the camera while filming.

We wanted to keep it as raw as possible to ultimately come up with an unbiased review.

To throw a curveball into the equation, we filmed entirely without any camera support equipment on the ground (Teaser 01). Though a monopod was used in the videos, it was only to give leverage in angles. The other twist was to film entirely with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ kit lens (kit lens depending on your locality)

Since Robin was going out to test the photo functions, it was the perfect opportunity to film and combine our reviews as a collaborative effort. After all, we’re passionate about photography and still hold on to our daily 9 – 6 jobs.

We only had a weekend of actual filming, with our boots on the ground, we found ourselves running.

The Outlook and Camera Handling…

I must admit that holding onto any bare camera isn’t easy, even more when without a camera strap or the HLD-6 (Power Battery Holder). We transported the E-M5 in a sling bag, holding onto the monopod when mounted and the lens when carrying around. Dropping the E-M5 in any event would have been a disaster and we had to be of extreme alertness at all times.

Though we filmed throughout the entire weekend, starting as early and finishing as late as possible, handling the video mode was a breeze. As easy as compose, focus and hit the red button to record. Holding the E-M5 like any conventional DSLR and even with just one hand like a compact, keeping the IS1 turned on at all times to ensure best results in every shooting condition.

The camera handled well as a hand-held unit with much stability and comfort through long filming hours.

On using a monopod to leverage on angles, depending on how you mount the E-M5 onto the monopod will give you full advantage of view of the flip screen. This is via trial and error. Of course, I discovered this while being limited to flip the screen out entirely.

Production …

The E-M5 is packed with HD movie recording with the resolution of 1920(H) x 1080(V) and 30p (29.97fps). We filmed only in this format (.MOV being the output file) with the IS-1 turned on all throughout the filming period.

The 5-Axis IS certainly blew me over the moon. We’ve walked up and down stairs, dodged humans and traffic, trailed Robin while walking, filmed in dark locations, panned, swept, laughed and giggled while filming and still managed to get steady shots.

While recording, I realized that there wasn’t an audio indicator as conventional 3CCD cameras comes with a built-in headphone jack but a quick file preview to check the audio left me confident to continue filming.

… Screen, EVF, Battery Life and AF

Throughout the entire production, I relied entirely on the screen. This is to ensure that we’re getting everything that we wanted framed within the screen. Working through the viewfinder could prove to be hazardous while working on the streets and populated areas. The screen also gave much leverage on low and high angles. This way, I could keep an eye on the rushes while another on oncoming traffic. At one point of filming, the EFV got fogged up and the screen was left entirely blank. But there’s a working option to turn off the EVF sensor to fully being dependent on the screen.

For any filmmaker, battery life would be a concern. From a full charge worked about 7 hours of continuous filming with much breaks in between. Uniquely for our videos, we were going for short clips for the final edit and I conserved battery as much as possible during breaks in between.

The AF style is similar to the photography mode. If you’re used to taking pictures, the AF is an advantage is selecting your style. Though I filmed almost entirely using S-AF, I used the AF-Tracking mode for the insect and trailing / walking shots. Once again, I composed and locked the AF before recording.


At this point, we’re snowed under working up to 4am at almost every night for two weeks because this camera is way too incredible to keep a secret.

All post works we done in my ‘home office’, which is a small room with a relatively powerful computer. Once I’ve selected the shots and music for the rough cut, Robin and I worked together in firming up the script. We then recorded the Voice Over (VO) via connecting the Olympus-ME31 and SEMA1 to the E-M5.

We then placed in transitions, credits, VO and background music, rendered and exported as an .FL4 to be uploaded to YouTube using Adobe Premier Pro (CS4)

Though I’ve had this software bundled quiet sometime ago, I’ve hardly worked on it apart from using it to only convert files from various cameras.

Recap – My Likes & Some Room for Improvements

Shooting hand-held

The idea of working the E-M5 entirely handheld was to challenge the new 5-Axis IS. Honestly… it’s remarkable (and I’m still over the moon). Since we had a very short production window, we worked in locations we’re familiar with to give us the upper hand with time.

Easy handling

A good start for anyone who is interested in videography. The E-M5 could work as your backup unit (depending on your current recording file format) and even as a BTS camera. Even if you’re into family vacation videos, this one unit will give you amazing photo and HD video quality output.

Apart from that, it’s compact doesn’t draw as much attention when using larger cameras to film.

Output quality

This is certainly a huge improvement from my AVCCAM which is a semi HD and cost 4 times more than the E-M5. The E-M5 is also much less complicated to function and gained more points with me for its new IS.


We’ve got crisp surround audio from the E-M5. Samples are on the CAUGHT sections. In other filming scenarios such as an indoor conference, it would be an advantage to mount a directional microphone on the camera itself. An output headphone jack would also be another plus point and usually in these situations, I would also like to monitor the audio levels on the screen while filming.

Special Thanks

To my wife : For assisting us in every way imaginable throughout the entire production and bearing with my crazy schedule all throughout. Thank you for your understanding, support and loving kindness.

Olympus Malaysia: For the opportunity in realizing our passions lived. For all your support in loaning us the gear even at last minute requests. Your time spent with us listening to our ideas. Your trust in us – no cameras was harmed. We did get a couple of units soaked but I guess its all good.

Robin Wong: For your efforts, your secrets and all the blog posts. You’re truly an amazing person to work with the passion and the right attitude in facing new challenges.

Silent scenery: Though we’ve not personally met, you’re an awesome bunch. Thank you for allowing us to use your music voluntarily for it has given our videos a kick and a punch. ROCK ON you guys.

The world: To all photographers/artists that has shared your works online and in magazines. Cheers to you for the inspiration, motivation, your innovation and contribution to the industry.

Friends (my brothers and sisters): For keeping me going.

To everyone that had viewed, read, commented, liked, responded… thank you.

Note to self… “Can you do post production?” Well, I understand the concept & I can learn.


It’s been a great journey with the OM-D E-M5 and we’re closing in to the final segments of the reviews. This time, Robin Wong wraps up his EM-5 journey… Just before…

More here, cause it’s…

(done by)

(in collaboration with)

(and the most awesome music from)


This time, we hit the streets in the heart of Kuala Lumpur city for some… “Shutter Therapy”

More here, cause it’s…

(done by)

(in collaboration with)

(and the most awesome music from)


This section of caught, we show a full length clip of Robin getting the EM-5 wet while taking pictures by a fountain…

…and here’s the BTS.


Since we’re out there, we might as well try a few things while we’re at it. This edition of CAUGHT shows you a 55sec clip using the OM-D E-M5 hand-held with IS 1. Hold your breath and try to stay as still as possible.

And here’s a little snippet of how it was done.


Here we go!… through the course of testing and previewing the Olympus O-MD E-M5, this first part features its Dynamic Range and High ISO whilst shooting in some of the most interesting and challenging places in Kuala Lumpur… More parts to come.

Check out the full review here


In collaboration with: http://​, &

Featuring some of the coolest music by:



While the videos are in the oven, we’ve come across a couple of amazing moments while working on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 reviews. In this section, we’re going to show you what we’ve CAUGHT.



While previewing the images after the good long weekend of shoots, I’ve come across this pigeon in full detail when the video was slowed down. Go ahead and try to catch it if you can.


Robin Wong is one of the fastest growing photographers in Malaysia with his notable street works. The creator of ‘Shutter Therapy’ Robin often finds himself in the nooks of the streets doing what he loves the most. With style and precision, he’s passion for photography and blogging has much to do with his success. He’s also one of the most daring (to push the limits of the camera) & technical camera reviewers I’ve ever met. After all, he’s still in his 9 to 5 day job as a Geotechnical Engineer.

Music By: Azman Warren.