“Last week, Panasonic figuratively blew the doors off its competition in the pro video space with the introduction of the Lumix S1H. It offers truly high-end video capability for pro videographers and cinematographers at an unprecedented price point….
… I had a chance to sit down briefly with Yosuke Yamane, Director of Panasonic Corp.’s Imaging Business Unit, Smart Life Network Business Division, Appliances Company, to ask a few questions related to its development and release….”
“The CP+ 2019 trade show in Yokohama, Japan, gave us the chance to speak to most of the major camera makers. Panasonic put forward an extensive team to discuss the company’s move into the full-frame market….
… it’s clear that Panasonic wants its S1 and S1R to appeal specifically to professional stills photographers. When it comes to video, the company’s plans seem less well-developed. For now, at least, it seems that Panasonic sees the GH series as its main video/stills camera platform.”
Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R 35mm sensor mirrorless hybrid cameras with Panasonic S 24-105mm f/4.0 and Panasonic S Pro 50mm f/1.4 lenses.
Panasonic Lumix S 70-200mm f/4.0 OIS telephoto zoom, Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 fast prime lens and Panasonic Lumix 24-105mm f/4.0 Macro OIS standard zoom lens. The first two lenses have manual clutch focus.
If by “cameraness” Panasonic means that one can pick up a Lumix S1 or S1R, feel at ease with it and start shooting good photographs or movie footage right away, then I agree with the company’s use of that word.
Here is an event where I tried out the S1 and here is the other event where I tried out an S1R, both times shooting decent photographs almost immediately after the most cursory inspection of the cameras’ controls.
Of course, that ease of use is based partly on my years-long familiarity with Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds Lumix cameras and partly on Panasonic’s even longer history of constantly improving its cameras and lenses all by itself and in collaboration with Leica Camera AG.
Cameras and lenses by both companies share DNA and it was inevitable, in retrospect, that their long partnership would deepen into the L-Mount Alliance, pleasantly drawing lens maker Sigma in to the equation along with its wide range of top-class prime and zoom lenses for cinematography and photography.
When Panasonic staff members asked me for my first impressions of the S1 and S1R at a couple of touch-and-try events in Sydney earlier this year, my first thought was that both would be very usable cameras if I were still working in magazine editorial portrait and documentary photography where 35mm sensors are king.
That is no mean achievement for the first version of any new product range, and I look forward to seeing how Panasonic’s current S-Series cameras and their successors develop.
If I need to get back into 35mm sensor photography and video, I know where to go.
Last month at the CP+ show in Yokohama we spoke to executives from several major manufacturers, including Sigma. In our conversation with CEO Kazuto Yamaki we discussed his plans for future L-mount lenses (and cameras) and some of the challenges of supporting multiple mounts.
I am looking forward to seeing and trying Sigma’s Art collection L-mount prime lenses scheduled for release sometime this year and that are adapted from the company’s current DSLR Art collection offerings.
One major bugbear of new mirrorless launches such as those of Fujifilm APS-C and medium cameras, Panasonic’s Lumix S1 and S1R 35mm cameras, and Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds cameras is the relative paucity of lenses.
Canon took 30 years to come up with its near-complete DSLR lens collection and it may well take Fujifilm, Olympus and Panasonic almost as long to flesh out the many gaps in their lens collections.
Professional photographers and cinematographers rely on the availability of large lens collections for their cameras in a way that amateurs and enthusiasts tend not to, especially when relying on prime lenses for their optimum optical and mechanical quality.
I would love to see Sigma creating lenses for Fujifilm X-mount APS-C cameras given there are so many glaring holes in Fujifilm’s lens lineup, and the same desire applies to professional-quality lenses for use on Blackmagic Design, Olympus and Panasonic M43 cameras.
Panasonic and its L-Mount Alliance partners Leica and Sigma have done well to aim at releasing enough lenses to satisfy those contemplating investing in the L-mount camera system, and it is pleasing to read that Sigma will be working on smaller and more affordable L-mount lenses in due course.
Meanwhile those of use needing focal lengths that Fujifilm does not offer for its X-mount and G-mount cameras may need to bite the bullet and rely on adapted EF-mount lenses instead of the much-preferred native X-mount and G-mount alternatives that simply do not exist yet.
I am still hoping for a professional-quality alternative to Fujifilm’s too-quirky, too-slow Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R prime lens with its 35mm sensor equivalent focal length of 28mm, a staple optic for many documentary photographers and photojournalists, me included.
“As the #MeToo movement as shown, no industry sector is immune from the throes of gender inequity. In editorial and commercial photography, men still largely outnumber women, despite the fact that much of advertising and is geared towards a more feminine audience. However, the status quo may not endure much longer; photographers, producers and creative directors are fighting for change, either through personal endeavours or collective undertakings. Five photographers and art producers, in discussion with Heather Morton, explain why and how….”
“British photographer/director siblings Andrew and Stuart Douglas are renowned creatives, known primarily for their rebellious approach to photography and film direction.
Having grown up in Southend Essex and later, London, the pair’s legacy began in the midst of the London punk movement, where they used their “incorrect” style to snap some of the world’s most iconic figures during their youth, including Richard Gere, Morrissey, Timothy Roth and Tilda Swinton.
Since then, their work has evolved and continued to disrupt the creative and commercial worlds alike, with their left-of-centre work for Adidas, Coco Cola and Hollywood feature-length films.
In this episode, Andrew and Stuart share their personal and professional stories – which are often one in the same.
They recount their origins, moving from stills to videos, how working with your brother can simultaneously result in your best work and decade-long feuds, and ultimately how they “find wellness while keeping the hamster-wheel going.” …”
Kudos to Australia-based strategic designer Vince Frost of Frost* collective for recording this podcast with The Douglas Brothers, Andrew and Stuart.
Whether they realized it or not, the Douglas Brothers played an instrumental role in my life when they recommended me to their apparently one and only advertising agency client at the time, the brilliant copywriter Tim Delaney of the then Leagas Delaney Partnership, on the basis of my having come up with the idea of ‘not only Black+White’ magazine.
I had travelled to the UK as the magazine’s European Contributing Editor several years after its founding in order to meet some of the great photographers I had been working on articles with remotely, via telephone, in those days before everyone used email, chat and the World Wide Web as they do now.
I was rewarded with considerable time spent face-to-face with many of them, met plenty more of them and better yet experienced an acceptance and a respect from all entirely unknown to me back in Australia before or since.
My experience with The Douglas Brothers was a standout, and that is saying something.
Their work, their experiences and backgrounds had some key similarities to my own, enough to amply validate a saying I had long shared with my photography students over the years before leaving Western Australia, “Be yourself, only, more so”.
The Douglas Brothers’ approach to portrait photography came about through the same lack of time allocated with their subjects, lack of funds available for the best and most versatile equipment and back then a lack of recognition from potential clients able to grant them real money for their work.
That recognition was about to come, though, due to the way that photographers overseas were not locked into career-limiting labels like magazine photographer or newspaper photographer as apparently occurs here in Australia still.
At the time I met them, The Douglas Brothers had begun producing longer-form television commercials, evolving beyond the 10-second spots with which they broke into directing, their TV work possessing as much the unique Douglas Brothers stamp as their photographs.
They truly were being themselves, only, more so, a lesson that should have been well-heeded by the students mentioned in a comment made by Stuart Douglas in an article for advertising industry bible Campaign:
On their photographic style: ‘We used to see students’ photography portfolios with work that identically copied ours, only it was better. We never knew how to take this,’ Stuart comments.
During the time I worked at The Leagas Delaney Partnership, now simply named Leagas Delaney, I encountered quite a few young photographers toting portfolios of work copying that of their idols though The Douglas Brothers did not count among them.
PV: Many members of the ‘Personal View’ community are shooting with the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system digital cameras including many of the Panasonic MFT system products. Therefore when during the Leica and then Panasonic press conferences prior to the opening of Photokina 2018 we have learned about new L-mount alliance, many of our community members become concern that MFT system is in danger because of these new series of L-mount cameras. Can you give us some insight on the destiny of the Panasonic MFT products?…
… PV: Will the new L-mount system affect the Panasonic development of new MFT products, for example will some of the proposed MFT lenses be delayed? Another concern is that the MFT could be refocused primarily towards the basic entry-level of cameras, eliminating the semi-professional MFT category of products. Will the MFT cameras have the same attention from the best Panasonic engineers and designers, or it will suffer from lack of resources?…
… PV: How do you see the future development of the MFT cameras? For example, one of my favorite MFT camera series is a rangefinder-style GX line, such as GX8. I have noticed that in latest GX-series release, the Lumix GX9 camera is more GX7-alike than GX8, similar to GX7 in size and less advanced in some of its features than GX8, such as weather-sealing, OLED viewfinder, fully articulated display, or availability of external microphone port. Can we expect another series of the compact rangefinder style MFT camera with more advanced features, or all future MFT cameras with advanced features will be solely designed in GH5-style of camera bodies?…”
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 with optional screw-attached hand grip that must be removed to access SD cards and batteries. The DC-GX9 reportedly has short battery life so you may well be unscrewing this hand grip many times throughout the day.
Optional normal-sized eye-cup for Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 on tilting EVF is a must the shooting in daylight outdoors.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 professional rangefinder-style camera with Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 Aspheric Power OIS lens.
The Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Aspheric prime lens is well-balanced on the GX8.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8’s fully articulated monitor beats any tilting or fixed LCD monitor screen especially in combination with its tilting EVF.
There is much more to the conversation between Personal View’s Igor Drozdovsky and Panasonic’s Adviser for Technical PR Mr Michiharu Uematsu, the Imaging Section’s Ms Emi Fujiwara and Engineer Mr Taku Kariyazaki than the questions above of whether Panasonic will be dropping development of the professional cameras in the GX series and whether the company will also cease development of its Micro Four Thirds cameras and lenses in favour of the 35mm sensor cameras and lenses of the recently announced S Series.
I recommend reading the interview in full for those of us with the same questions as asked by Mr Drozdovsky, and I hope that answers about the future of pro-quality rangefinder-style GX cameras will soon be provided by Panasonic.
I seriously hope that Panasonic will not be trying to tell us that pro-quality DSLR-style cameras must now somehow replace pro-quality tilting EVF rangefinder-style cameras just as I hope the company will not try to convince us that 3-way tilting monitors must now always replace fully articulated monitors.
Since when is a reduction in capability somehow an advance in capability, other than in the imaginations of marketing department managers?