Roaming Kuching’s streets with the Canon EOS M6

Since my review of the Canon EOS-M6, I’ve had few more days with the camera before having to return it to Canon Malaysia. I brought the camera home to Kuching (in Borneo) for a short weekend trip. I was going back for a collective exhibition featuring local photographers. I managed to find time for some shutter therapy in the midst of my busy schedule – most of this time was spent with my beloved mum or catching up with friends. For these short shutter therapy sessions, I decided to give the Canon M6 another spin.

The first location was Kenyalang, a suburb, a short distance from the heart of Kuching. Kenyalang means “hornbill” in English, after the bird which is native to Borneo. There are old shops here, mostly operated by local Chinese. There is a huge wet market, multiple grocery stores, several coffee shops serving local delicacies and other shops offering local goods and services. The walk through Kenyalang brought back many childhood memories, as I recounted hanging out here after school with friends.

Unfortunately, the weather was cruel, with rain pouring down half the time I was shooting. I thought the flat and moody light would help capture the nostalgic emotions I was experiencing while taking these shots. Besides Kenyalang, I also went to the old town of Kuching. Despite the undesirable light conditions, I thought the Canon M6 performed well in most situations. The autofocus was spot-on for critically challenging moments but the unforgiving flaws of the 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 kit lens are evident throughout this series of images.

An old tailor shop, near to the Kuching State Mosque

Typical scene at Kenyalang, an old scooter outside a closed shop. 

Outside the Kenyalang Theater Building. The Canon EOS-M6 made no effort in correcting the barrel distortion of the kit lens at wide angle, even in their JPEG files. 

The abandoned lot was a popular local fast food chain “Sugarbun” that many Kuching people have fond memories of. Due to the rise of newer and larger shopping malls, the older shops have closed down. 

Store selling candies and junk food, all kept in large jars. 

Spice seller at Gambir Street

Sun-dried food, at Gambir Street

Visited a traditional photography studio that is still operational today, at Main Bazaar. 

Hena painting and junk food sharing a stall at Carpenter Street for the Mooncake Festival celebration. 

Carpenter Street at night in Kuching drew a large crowd during Mooncake Festival

I was asked why I did not mention the Canon EOS-M6’s selfie screen. Here is a shout-out to some awesome Kuching photographers who joined me for the short shooting session. 

I hope you enjoyed the scenes from my hometown. I promise a brighter, more colorful and happier set the next time I shoot there again.

The Canon EOS-M6 is available from B&H and Lazada

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Images and content copyright Robin Wong 2017 onwards. All rights reserved

Comments

  1. Hi Robin, many kit lenses exhibit high levels “native” distortion that is corrected by software. That includes at least the Olympus out lens. Since this level of distortion hasn’t been noted in other reviews I have read, I wonder if the in-camera correction was turned off?
    Nice pictures as usual, by the way.

  2. Similar to the comment by beyondtheduero, the crowds are among my favorite images of the set, and the image from above is probably the first among them (for me). Thank you for sharing these, Robin.

  3. Dude you are seriously fat and hideously ugly. At least have the courtesy to stay behind the camera. Acne much?

    • The only ugliness pictured here is your comment *Z Rostov*. Go find some other place to troll.

      • Robin Wong says:

        Was half deciding on banning that guy for good. We shall see what else he comments.

        • Robin, I’m surprised he wasn’t. Ming’s site has been happily free of such crass comments. Unfounded personal attacks have no place here. The poster is clearly a coward who would not dare say this face to face.

          • Robin Wong says:

            No worries Terry. I agree with you, this place is no place for personal attacks. Usually, I will give a warning shot before permanently banning someone.

  4. Great stuff Robin… like the crowd shots, specially the one from above

  5. When I first viewed the article (on October 9th), it did list Ming as the author at the top of the page, while it was quite obvious that these are Robin’s photos. You seem to dislike the supplied kit lens, but is it significantly worse than typical Olympus or Panasonic kit lenses? Unfortunately, there are no higher grade normal zoom lenses currently available for the “M”.

    • Robin Wong says:

      There is a huge difference between the Canon kit lens quality and what Olympus and Panasonic make. It is true, there are no alternatives at the moment. At least I have heard (not verified) that the 22mm pancake and 11-22mm wide angle are good lenses.

  6. Nice work Ming. The lens did quite a good job. I notice a bit of spherical distortion, but the edges on the slight vignetting of one or two is simple to disguise with a bit of cropping. Most of the photos I did not notice anything.

  7. What about weather sealing since it was raining so much.

    • Robin Wong says:

      Nah, shooting inside shaded area. Even if the camera is weather sealed, I certainly am not. No point shooting in the rain and get myself sick. Unless I see a shot worth that risk. Nothing of that sort happened.

      • C`mon Robin, it`s that cold over there. ? I live in Denmark temp is some 12C, raining and I use to go on the bike like many kids do.

        • Robin Wong says:

          Buy mommy says don’t play in the rain!

          • Kristian Wannebo says:

            Allow me to quote:

            ” Mum was something of a genius, certainly she was a mum in a million. “Why don’t you go out,” she used to say, “it’s raining hard,” or, “it’s blowing a gale.” Whatever mischief the weather was up to, Mum suggested that we go out, just for fun, just to see what it was all about.”

            from “Mister God, this is Anna” by Fynn.
            🙂

            ( A most wonderful little book! )

  8. Thank you for the reply, I see that the by Ming Thein error has been corrected. I like both of you guys as writers and photographers. I just miss the old days of bouncing back and forth between your two blogs.

  9. jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    🙂 I often find I’ve tripped over my shoelaces, on that one, nschwim.

    Robin, I love the photos – do please take some more, whenever you get back home to Borneo. I’ve been to all sorts of places in Malaysia, but apart from Penang, they’ve all been on the mainland and I’ve never had the pleasure of a chance to see Borneo.

    Would I be right in suspecting a bit of vignetting in the corners? – and a touch of barrel distortion in some images? Both of which of course can generally be corrected in post.

    • Robin Wong says:

      Yeah, the flaws are quite bad from the Canon kit lenses. Oh and believe me, I have done a fair bit of correction. If I did more the images would look too unnatural.
      Yeap, would definitely find more chances to shoot whenever I am back in my hometown!

  10. Robin – Your work belongs on your blog not on Ming’s and especially not attributed to him as the author.

    • It’s not attributed to me as the author.

      • Guys, The problem is that the error is embedded in the email version and there’s nothing you can do to remove it. Prepare yourself for a lot more confused comments 😦

        • Yes, it is credited to Ming in the email, but the actual article is rightly credited to Robin. I didn’t notice this initially, but two things stood out: the images are easily identifiable as not being by Ming, and the references to home town in Borneo. Ming’s regulars know he hails from Malaya. After viewing a couple of images I checked the accreditation at the top and my suspicions were allayed.

        • The email announcement to subscribers, at least the one that I received, did say by “Ming Thein.” I was surprised to open it up and notice it was authored by Robin but I quickly guessed it to be an unintended glitch or a technical limitation having to do with the blogging system in use.

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