Photogearnews: Daniel Berehulak on the Panasonic Lumix G9 and advice to young photo journalists

“Based out of Mexico City, but working wherever there is a story to be told, Daniel Berehulak (www.Danielberehulak.com) is an award winning photo journalist. His images have covered the Trial of Saddam Hussein, The Iraq War, the aftermath of the Tsunami in Japan and more recently the drug wars in The Philippines. He very kindly stopped by the Photo Gear News stand to talk to us about shooting with Panasonic Lumix cameras, notably the recent G9. Daniel also offered some words of advice to those wanting to get started in photo journalism.”

Commentary

Australian photojournalist Daniel Berehulak, like so many of my former colleagues with whom I worked for newspaper and magazine publishers here, finally upped and left for foreign clients and countries where photojournalists are still able to eke out a living covering events and people crucial to understanding and sometimes even influencing how the world is developing.

It was terrific to come across this video of Mr Berehulak stopping in for a quick chat with the Photo Gear News team at last month’s The Photography Show 2018 in Birmingham, one of the many photography trade shows that occur in the northern hemisphere.

I hope that some day soon, despite there no longer being any photography trade shows back here in Australia, Mr Berehulak will make some presentations on his work and career while on one of his not infrequent trips home to see family and friends.

Although Mr Berehulak has also been known to use Nikon DSLRs, this Panasonic Lumix Luminary brand ambassador has apparently long relied on Panasonic Lumix cameras and lenses and especially on Panasonic’s Leica prime and zoom lenses.

This may be a controversial view in some quarters but in my humble opinion digital gives us more than analog ever did with greater image quality in smaller, more affordable cameras and lenses to the point where Micro Four Thirds Bayer sensors outdo 35mm film, Fujifilm’s X-Trans APS-C sensors outdo 120 roll film and Fujifilm’s medium format Bayer sensors outdo 4″x5″ sheet film.

If I were fortunate enough to still be shooting for analog magazines and newspapers including those published by Fairfax as Daniel Berehulak did, I would mostly be relying on Lumix cameras due to their size, weight and silent mode, though I remain partial to Olympus’ M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lenses for their manual clutch focus and other professional-quality traits.

The small Micro Four Thirds sensor format and its little, quiet, discrete cameras are modern-day answers to the original aims of the inventor of the Leica analog camera, Oskar Barnack, to produce an easily portable camera for landscape photography but that was first put to serious documentary use reporting on the floods that swept through Leica’s home base of Wetzlar, Germany, in 1920.

Little wonder that Panasonic has collaborated with Leica Camera AG on producing Leica and Panasonic Leica-branded lenses for its stills and hybrid cameras and camcorders since 1995, lenses favoured by Daniel Berehulak for his documentary photography and photojournalism work.

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Australian Photojournalist Daniel Berehulak Wins World Press Photo 2017 General News Story 1st Prize

Pulitzer Prize-winning Australian expatriate photojournalist Daniel Berehulak has been awarded first prize for his General News photo story on the drug addict executions situation in the Philippines in the World Press Photo 2017 Photo Contest. (At time of writing the WPP 2017 website is being hammered and pages are refusing to load.) 

Congratulations to Daniel Berehulak for his win and for working on one of the most important stories of our time.

In common with many Australian newspaper and magazine photographers, Mr Berehulak moved overseas some years ago to further his freelance photojournalism career. However, his Australian connection remains strong as a brand ambassador for Panasonic’s Lumix flagship cameras and lenses.

Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera systems are increasingly being chosen by photojournalists for their light weight, compact size , small lenses and high image quality rivalling if not surpassing that of photojournalism’s former analog mainstay 35mm cameras when loaded with slow colour and medium high speed monochrome film.

Results obtained with M43 cameras often remind me of what I used to get on my 6×4.5cm and 6x6cm 120 roll film cameras while the image quality from APS-C cameras like those made by Fujifilm is reminiscent of results from larger 120 roll film formats like 6x8cm, 6x9cm and wider.

Meanwhile digital medium format cameras systems like Fujifilm’s coming GFX 50S approach if not surpass the image quality once obtained from sheet film. The newspaper and magazine photography career opportunities we once had may not exist anymore but at least our choice of digital camera types and sensor sizes is approaching the wide variety of analog cameras that once existed.

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