Taking a Panasonic Lumix GH5 Equipped with a Guerrilla G-Cup for GH5 on a Brisk Walk Through Chatswood

When a documentary video or photography project about people involved in creativity and innovation is not in the offing, what else is there to do other than picking up the latest review loaner, placing another review loaner upon it then jumping on a train to head off for the closest reasonably busy suburban shopping destination the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2017? 

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens, Guerrilla G-Cup for GH5 and Peak Design Clutch camera strap. I used a Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 lens on the GH5 for my photographic walk through Chatswood depicted below.

Panasonic Australia’s media relations people kindly couriered over a GH5 just before Christmas, shortly after Guerrilla, formerly Miller & Schneider, sent over its G-Cup for GH5, and the G-Cup has been permanently fixed to the GH5 ever since.

It is still early days for me with the Guerrilla C-Cup but this first serious foray into shooting with it was a success.

New Year’s Eve 2017 was a hot and muggy day with constantly changing low-angle light filtering through the glare of a cloudy sky in Sydney’s northern suburb of Chatswood.

A Brisk New Year’s Eve Walk Through Chatswood with a Lumix GH5 and a Guerrilla G-Cup for GH5

DxO Optics Pro Elite with its companion applications cum plug-ins DxO FilmPack and DxO ViewPoint was the first dedicated raw file processor I bought after being less than impressed with Adobe’s Camera Raw of the time.

The DxO combination has been my raw processing benchmark provided, that is, the raw files in question are not Fujifilm X-Trans non-Bayer raw as DxO’s code base sadly only supports Bayer sensors.

Accordingly I processed my brisk walk images in DxO OpticsPro Elite, now renamed DxO PhotoLab, with DxO FilmPack and DxO ViewPoint as plug-ins.

This set of images was processed with DxO’s Agfa Scala 200x analog film simulation and selenium/gold split toning to emphasize the heat and light of my walk through those gritty streets.

Even the light indoors in the shopping centres and arcades both upmarket and down seared my eyes as it shafted through the skylights and windows into the gloomy lower floors below.

Agfa Scala 200x, intended for processing as a transparency film, was discontinued in 2010 and the closest extant film is reportedly Adox Silvermax.

The Guerrilla G-Cup for Panasonic GH5

I was glad of the way Guerrilla’s G-Cup for the GH5 shielded the edges of my eyes in those searing shafts of light so I could peer more effectively into the darkness.

More importantly, the G-Cup did exactly what Guerilla’s product page text promised it would:

The G-Cup is a replacement eyecup designed to fit the electronic viewfinder of the Panasonic GH5. It enhances the clarity, comfort, and stability of your camera by securely attaching to the EVF to block out light and provide a comfortable cushion for firm pressure and improved handheld stability.

Custom-designed and optimized for each camera, the G-Cup adds very little weight, and it perfectly compliments the camera’s shape and balance. It enables run-and-gun shooting with your camera stripped-down, right out of the box.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 with Guerrilla G-Cup for GH5 and Peak Design Clutch hand strap.

That run-and-gun shooting experience is important to me with the GH5 and its DSLR-style form factor that is so different from the types of cameras I usually prefer for stills photography, rangefinder and rangefinder-style cameras like Panasonic’s GX8 and Fujifilm’s X-Pro2.

I am right at home with those two cameras for the urban documentary approach I applied to my walk around Chatswood on New Year’s Eve, 2017.

The G-Cup made the GH5 look and feel like something very different, a marksman’s sight for peering distantly at the target and that feeling was underscored by my choice of lens, the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric.

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 Pro, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro and Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 Pro.

I received the 25mm f/1.7 with my Panasonic Lumix GX8 during an end-of-year promotion and it is currently one of my fastest Micro Four Thirds lenses.

Its 25mm focal length is not one I would have chosen to buy as I tend to shoot documentary stills with wider or longer focal lengths – in M43 they are 14mm, 17mm, 20mm and 42.5mm and in 35mm format they are 28mm, 35mm, 40mm and 85mm.

For documentary video as well as stills, I am very tempted by the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro f/1.2 prime lenses range and its 17mm, 25mm and 45mm focal lengths with their manual clutch focus capability, crucial for accurate and repeatable manual focussing and focus pulling.

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric prime lens, one of Panasonic’s f/1.7 prime lens series, all affordable and light, and with a fast enough maximum aperture for most situations. Manual focussing is damped focus-by-wire rather than manual clutch focus as with the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lenses, so I prefer the latter for repeatable and accurate focus control but Panasonic’s f/1.7 lens series is great for tight, fast situations.

Panasonic’s fast little Lumix G f/1.7 primes are a different proposition, better suited to autofocus and one carrying on M43’s initial promise of smaller, lighter, more affordable cameras and lenses as well as more discretion when shooting in public.

For that they are well-matched with Panasonic’s GX8, a camera that is the height of discretion due to its unique tilting electronic viewfinder, which I hope will soon be updated as the GX9.

I have tried using the fully-articulated monitor on Lumix cameras in lieu of the GX8 tilting EVF’s waist level finder effect, but success is dependent on being able to shield the monitor from the sun or in having a main subject lit brightly enough.

SmallRig LCD Screen Protector Sunhood 1972 on Panasonic Lumix GH5.

I recently bought SmallRig’s LCD Screen Protector to try when shooing video in challenging light and needing to have the camera low rather than eye level on a tripod or gimbal, though it may be unwieldy for run-and-gun stills and video.

I will be in the Sydney city CBD later this week to shoot some much-needed Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) High Dynamic Range (HDR) and All-Intra 400 Mbps 10-bit 4:2:2  video footage so I can explore these promising new developments that arrived with version 2.0 of the GH5’s firmware.

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