PanasonicLumixVideo: Panasonic LUMIX GX9 Shooting Impression by Viviana Galletta

“The new LUMIX GX9 is the one letting fashion portrait photographer Viviana Galletta explore LA’s stylish sidewalks on her terms. Combining incredible image quality with an impressively compact design, its tiltable viewfinder frees her up to capture her unique perspective on the city. A 20.3-megapixel sensor + no low pass filter with Dual Image Stabilisation guarantee head-turning image quality, while creative in-camera effects let her add an artistic flourish to her photography.”

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Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 in silver and black, from and back, with Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS kit zoom lens, excellent for stills and good for video so long as you do not hang step-up rings and variable neutral density filters off its front. This lens does not have a manual focus ring so must be focussed via autofocus or back-button focus.

Commentary

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-85, also named DMC-GX80 in certain territories and Lumix GX7 Mark II in Japan, with the excellent and tiny but grossly underestimated Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 collapsible kit zoom lens. The Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100mm f/4.0-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS collapsible zoom lens makes a fine telephoto companion lens.

Panasonic has released its very first photographer video for the Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 featuring German fashion photographer and model Viviana Galletta, perhaps signalling the camera’s intended user base or at least two of them, fashion photographers working on location and women.

Ms Galletta is a former user of the Lumix GX80, known in the USA as the DMC-GX85 and in Japan as the Lumix GX7 Mark II, as she attests in an interview by the German Lumix G Experience website.

Will there be further such videos in the series and what genres of photography will they feature?

Will they, too, be created by West London creative agency Brave, notable for its female creative director, Caroline Paris, in an industry still employing far too few female creatives altogether and even fewer in senior agency roles?

This is the first time that, to my knowledge, Panasonic’s Lumix brand has commissioned an advertising agency to produce its YouTube videos and the move has its merits.

I have worked at and for top British creative hotshop advertising agencies, incidentally while living just down the road from Brave, and have some insights into how the agency/client relationship can work at its very best.

Great agencies can help a brand understand itself and its products by acting as, as the great Australian copywriter John Bevins puts it, brand custodians that know the brand better than its owners.

That is crucial for giant global corporations like Panasonic with their many product divisions, product types, constantly churning management infrastructures and management staff, and a tendency to forget those divisions’ achievements, history and missions.

Panasonic’s product pages appear to be orienting the enthusiast-level GX9 towards street photographers as opposed to the documentary and photojournalists and other professionals at whom was aimed the flagship-level GX8, and this fissure between the GX8 and its supposed successor in the GX9 has created confusion, dismay and disappointment in the ranks of the GX-series’ professional user base.

Brave may be able to help Panasonic better understand the GX-series and the havoc it has wreaked by replacing an advanced flagship camera with a lower-order camera, and how to better target another user base given the GX9’s more limited feature and applications set.

Brave could also have a hand in better evening up the extreme lack of gender balance in the marketing of photography and video production hardware.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7, ancestor of the GX9 aka the Lumix DMC-GX7 Mark III

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 aka Lumix GX7 Mark III hearkens back to the first Lumix GX7 camera, though minus its rather decent built-in grip.

What does the GX8 flagship camera have that the GX9 enthusiast camera does not?

Enough said. The Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 is anything but a replacement for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8.

A great 4-lens kit of little, lightweight Lumix lenses

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 with, left to right, Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS, Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100mm f/4-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS, Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II Aspheric and Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7 Aspheric Power OIS. Image produced at CameraSize.com.

Recently I have been digging into online information about Panasonic’s Lumix G lenses in an effort to understand their benefits and differences from the Panasonic Leica DG and Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lenses that are often perceived as being sexier and more professional.

While I default to the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lenses for professional stills and video due to their weather sealing, high-quality optics and constriction and especially their repeatable manual clutch focus, Panasonic’s Lumix G lenses are worth a serious look given their adherence to the Micro Four Thirds format’s founding philosophy of high quality combined with affordability, small size and light weight.

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Panasonic Lumix GX8 with Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric II Mega OIS kit zoom lens, also worth considering for lightweight, small camera stills and video projects.

I am considering adding three of the four lenses illustrated above to my first purchase, the excellent collapsible Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS lens, and I will probably purchase them secondhand as I did the 12-32mm given much of my lens budget needs to go into M.Zuiko Pro lenses for professional documentary projects.

  • Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS – only available on the secondhand market or when bundled with a Lumix camera.
  • Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100mm f/4-5.6 Aspheric Mega OISB&H – a fraction of the price of Panasonic’s Lumix G X 35-100mm fixed maximum aperture alternative.
  • Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II AsphericB&H – the “perfect normal” focal length I much prefer to the more usual 25mm “standard” lens that I find a little too narrow.
  • Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7 Aspheric Power OISB&H – reportedly excellent fast portrait-length short telephoto lens for portraiture, documentary photography and photojournalism.
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Cosyspeed Camslinger Streetomatic Plus camera bag is an excellent waist-pack for carrying a minimal kit such as a GX8 plus two or three small lenses or one large one.

The only downside to all these five small, affordable, lightweight lenses is that you will need to attach one or two step-up rings if you wish to use your 77mm or 82mm diameter fixed or variable neutral density (ND) filters for video production.

Their filter diameters range from 37mm through to 46mm, and top-quality step-up rings, protection filters, UV filters and ND filters can be limited in those sizes.

The 12-32mm zoom does not have a focussing ring for focus-by-wire; the 20mm pancake prime may be too short to fit your fingers behind step-up rings and ND filters for manual focussing and the 12-32mm and 35-100mm are collapsible lenses whose mechanism may not safely support step-up rings and NDs.

Otherwise, these look like a terrific matched set of lenses for stills photography and video when you need to carry your gear in small bags like those made by Cosyspeed.

All these lens purchases are predicated on Panasonic continuing to make professional-quality rangefinder-style cameras like the GX8 and that, sadly, currently remains under question.

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  • Panasonic DMW-EC3 Eyecup for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-EC5 EyecupB&H – for the Lumix DC-GX9
  • Panasonic Hand Grip for Lumix DC-GX9 Mirrorless CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm LensB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-32mm LensB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100mm f/4-5.6 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. LensB&H