Panasonic Announces Lumix DC-G9, DSLR-Style Micro Four Thirds Stills Photography Flagship Camera and Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 Telephoto

Panasonic has pulled one out of its hat with the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9, an almost unexpected DSLR-style high-end flagship camera aimed directly at stills photographers but also with video capability, as well as the Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom with included 1.4x teleconvertor and optional Panasonic DMW-TC20 2x Teleconverter

Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 camera with Panasonic DMW-BGG9 Battery Grip and Panasonic Leica G 200mm f/2.8 Aspheric Power OIS lens.

Commentary

Although I am not fond of DLSR-style cameras for stills photography, preferring the DSLR form factor for video cameras so long as they are equipped with fully articulating monitors, I find the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 intriguing for its feature set and its promise as a smallish, fast-to-use camera for news, events and magazine feature photography.

For the urban documentary stills photography which I also practise, I still vastly prefer rangefinder and rangefinder-style cameras with tilting electronic viewfinders and hope that we can expect a Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 tilting EVF camera in the near future.

It is early days insofar as hands-on professional user reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 go, and I am looking forward to learning about how its many new features work out in practice.

I can visualize how the G9’s wildlife and sports photography-oriented features will make the job of those photographers lighter, faster and easier.

As a former magazine and daily newspaper photographer I can extrapolate how photographers in those fields will benefit especially given the tight deadlines of the newspaper business.

The G9’s 80-megapixel high resolution mode has piqued my interest, even more so now that I have been asked if I want to take up architectural photography again.

Food for thought.

Digital medium format photography costs far more to get into than large format analog photography ever did, in my experience.

Unless shot strictly for magazine, print or web publication, architectural photographs need to be usable at high reproduction sizes for displays and posters.

I love Micro Four Thirds and APS-C mirrorless, and medium format digital hardware suitable for architectural photography is well beyond my current means.

Medium format image quality, micro four thirds sensor size?

The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9’s 80-megapixel high resolution mode used for landscape photography. Not the best way to demonstrate its effectiveness. I would like to see the 80-megapixel mode well demonstrated for use in architectural and environmental portrait photography, in HDR multiple bracketing for architecture and a single shot for portraits.
The incredible Linhof Master Technika Classic 4″x5″ hand-and-stand sheet film camera with universal viewfinder, rangefinder and shift, swing and tilt camera movements. Perfect for architectural photography and portraiture. I learned photography with one of these and taught photography with it at the same university art school.

Is the G9’s 80-megapixel high resolution mode the way to go when needing to go large?

Combine the G9 with a super wide-angle Olympus or Panasonic zoom lens, or a Laowa M43 or adapted prime lens, choose the ones offering the best optical correction, and select an easily portable tripod that extends high enough to shoot above eye level as needed.

Above all buy lenses with the very least optical distortions to avoid nasty curved parallels when shooting video.

The legendary medium format Rolleiflex 4.0 FT telephoto twin lens reflex camera, brilliant for portrait and documentary photography along with its siblings the Rolleiflex 2.8 FX-N with standard lens and Rolleiflex 4.0 FW TLR with wide lens, last in a long line of such instruments. I had a couple of Rolleiflex TLRs and used them for documentary and portrait photography until they were stolen.

Shoot HDR brackets when the light and subject dynamic range demand it, then process in Skylum (formerly Macphun) Aurora HDR 2018.

Apply optical and perspective corrections there or in other applications like Capture One Pro, DxO ViewPoint, Luminar 2018PTLens or Photoshop and there you have it.

Another possibility comes to mind.

I made a living in magazine editorial portraiture as a result of my fine art portrait photography, relying on large and medium format analog cameras for the most part, supplemented with Leica analog rangefinders when portability and speed were of the essence.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 tilting viewfinder camera. I found that using TLR cameras’ waist-level viewfinders allowed me to be right in the middle of the action when shooting documentary photographs, effectively almost invisible. Shooting portraits the same way had a similar effect in that looking downwards with the top of my head to my subjects helped them relax far more than if I had been pointing an SLR at them at eye level. The GX8 gives me a similar experience to that of my Rolleiflexes and it is unique amongst contemporary digital cameras.

Photographic prints shown in galleries gain authority and power when printed large, traits often lost when reproduced small.

Should I consider getting back into creating larger format photographs for exhibition?

My question is, then, does the G9’s 80-megapixel high resolution mode permit applying it to the sort of portrait photography I love to this day?

One thing I know for sure is that Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds sensors have close to the perfect aspect ratio for environmental, full-face, head-and-shoulders and full-figure portrait photography, whether in landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical) orientation – 4:3 or 3:4.

If the Panasonic Lumix G9’s 80 megapixel high res mode proves usable for my type of portrait photography, then that nudges it well into medium format territory for me, but at a far more affordable price than the other current contender, the Fujifilm GFX 50S.

Panasonic Lumix GH5, G9 and GX8 and then some, compared at Compact Camera Meter

Until the unexpected appearance of the G9, the GX9 was the Lumix stills-oriented camera most expected to be announced late this year or early the next.

Until now, the GX8 has been Panasonic’s flagship stills photography camera.

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5, DC-G9 and DMC-GX8 with Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f2.8-4.0 Aspheric zoom lens, at Compact Camera Meter.
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5, DC-G9 and DMC-GX8 with Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f2.8 Power OIS telephoto lens, at Compact Camera Meter.

The rangefinder-style GX8 is very different in size and weight to the DSLR-style G9 so I compared it with the G9 and GH5 at the Camera Size website, with two lenses in which I am interested, the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric zoom and the Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200m f/2.8 Power OIS telephoto.

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro, DC-G9 with Panasonic Leica Elmarit 200mm f2.8 Power OIS telephoto, and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L IS II USM at Compact Camera Meter. Enough said.

Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 gallery

Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200m f/2.8 Power OIS gallery

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Other Product Links

  • Aurora HDR 2018
  • Laowa – low and zero distortion super wide-angle and long lenses for macrophotography and other applications including architecture, cityscapes and landscapes.
  • Luminar 2018

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Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris. Samurai image from Wallhaven.

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  • Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
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  • Panasonic DMW-EC4 EyecupB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BTC12 Battery ChargerB&H
  • Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 POWER O.I.S. LensB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-TC20 2x TeleconverterB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
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Fujifilm UK: The lens line-up of the FUJIFILM GFX Series expands further with the FUJINON GF45mmF2.8 R WR

https://www.fujifilm.eu/uk/news/article/the-lens-line-up-of-the-fujifilm-gfx-series-expands-further-with-the-fujinon-gf45mmf28-r-wr

“The lens line-up of the FUJIFILM GFX Series expands further with the FUJINON GF45mmF2.8 R WR, the sixth lens in the GF Lens Series. Offering excellent portability, with a compact and lightweight design (490g), this new lens will bring street and documentary photography in stunning medium format quality….

… The “GF45mmF2.8 R WR” lens combines high performance with high reliability, making it an ideal photography tool for professional photographers. Because it’s compact, lightweight and portable, it’s also an optimal lens for snapshots and documentary photography, enabling photographers to shoot natural photos without intimidating their shooting subjects….”

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PhotoCounter Australia: L&P in liquidation – with COMMENTARY

https://www.photocounter.com.au/2017/lp-in-liquidation/

“After 38 years serving professional photographers, it appears respected Sydney-based L&P Photographic Supplies is shutting its doors.

Insolvency website Insolvencynotices.com.au has announced that at a general meeting of members of L&P Photographics on August 2, ‘it was resolved that the Company be wound up and that Christopher John MacDonnell (Restructuring Solutions), be appointed liquidator’.

Industry sources have informed PhotoCounter that it has been known for some time that the business was in financial difficulties, but there was no particular business decision or direction which brought the liquidation on. ‘It’s been a slow, terrible death,’ observed one contact. …”

Commentary:

The liquidation of L&P Digital Photographic is a double tragedy, for current professional photography practice and for Australia’s photographic history.

The writing was on the wall when L&P’s landlord sold the building, photographer Max Dupain’s former studio, at 96 Reserve Road, Artarmon, in June 2017.

There appears to be little interest in preserving and learning from the history and achievements of Australian photography and photographers, and it would be a tragedy if the last traces of Max Dupain’s studio and darkroom disappear under the new ownership and tenancy of number 96 Reserve Road.

Too little attention and respect is paid to Australian pioneers and greats in the field of photography.

Harold Cazneaux’s home-based studio and darkroom fell into near-decrepitude under threat of demolition and it is unlikely it will receive heritage status and preserved as a museum, as should have been done long ago.

Great Australian photographers are more likely to be celebrated by the governments of other countries or the mayors of other cities.

The great German-Australian photographer Helmut Newton and his achievements have been memorialized by the Helmut Newton Foundation located in the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) along with those of his Australian wife the photographer June Newton aka Alice Springs.

It took decades for an Australian state gallery of museum to offer a show of any kind to the Newtons and there is no sign of the customary major career retrospectives or major collection of works much less a foundation ever appearing here in their own country.

The story is even sadder in connection with Anton Bruehl who, like the Newtons and countless numbers of other Australian photographers before and since, had little choice but to work overseas in order to build his brilliant career.

One of the greatest Australian photographers who made many contributions to the art and craft of photography, Anton Bruehl is not even memorialized with an entry in Wikipedia.

Australian photographers have long relied on foreign connections for their education, training, commissions, viable careers and supplies, and that does not make them any the less Australian.

I learned photography at long distance from a North American photographer working in the large format sheet film camera tradition and imported books, equipment and supplies direct from his company when I discovered I could not obtain what I needed here.

That early exposure to other ways of doing things, to a non-conformism rare in this country, led to other ways of doing things and to buying supplies from a New York-based photographic store the like of which we have never seen here, B&H Photo Video.

I would love there to be an Australian professional photography and video store where, as with B&H, one can see, try and then buy on the spot.

Alternatively, and even better, where one may borrow an item of equipment for a damned good tryout for several hours in return for one’s credit card details just in case, like the many stores in Tokyo recommended by globetrotting moviemaker and photographer colleagues.

Instead one must rely on reading reviews, watching videos, poring through specifications lists then ordering, unseen and untried, from online retailers.

I would gladly buy from Australian professional and non-professional online and bricks-and-mortar suppliers, if they had what I need in stock, on the shelf or in the backroom.

So many times I have walked into inner city or Artarmon suppliers only for an assistant to recommend that I place my order with B&H instead.

It is rare to see what what one needs on the shelves, much less to buy it. The few times I have been able to see and try led to purchases, often for a higher price than if I had ordered it online, due to the convenience of the item being right there right now.

The last time that magic combination – see, try then buy – occurred was at another now-defunct professional supplier, Foto Riesel, before it was sold then changed form into a bricks-and-mortar branch of the online retailer Digital Camera Warehouse.

Foto Riesel’s demise was the end of inner city-based well-qualified professional advice, a top quality digital printing service, a professional quality analog processing and printing lab, a brilliant secondhand equipment cabinet, and the fellowship of other photographers.

Photography and moviemaking here are subject to the loneliness of the long-distance photographer and it is only becoming lonelier.

Being a professional in either closely-related realm is lonelier again with L&P’s liquidation and I will miss Keith Gibbons’ long, rambling monologues during my rare visits to Artarmon.

I will never be able to make good on my hopes to eventually hire L&P’s small hire studio, Profoto lighting and Fujifilm GFX 50S camera to work on several coming documentary portrait series for this project, Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success.

A quick tour of the L&P studio revealed that Mr Dupain’s darkroom was to be turned into  a change and make-up room and it would have been fun to work in the same rooms as he once did.

My visits to Artarmon, once the natural home of photography and moviemaking, will now be even fewer than they have been in the past.

I cannot remember the last time I purchased anything from the remaining photography and video supplier there, Kayell Australia. Kayell represents a range of excellent brands whose products it can order in on request but so far I have not had need of any of them.

I am now wondering how the imminent arrival of Amazon and its huge warehouses out west will affect the professional photography and moviemaking supply scene in Australia.

Links:

FujiRumors: Firmware Updates for Fujifilm GFX 50S, X-Pro2, X-T2, X-T20 and X100F Available – with COMMENTARY

http://www.fujirumors.com/firmware-updates-fujifilm-gfx-50s-x-pro2-x-t2-x-t20-x100f-available/

“Fujifilm just released new firmware that fixes the following issues:

The phenomenon is fixed that in the MF mode, repeated halfway shutter pressing can shift the focus point under a specific exposure condition.

The phenomenon is fixed that in the AF-S mode, repeated halfway shutter pressing can shift the focus point with SHUTTER AF setting OFF….”

Commentary:

Whenever possible I wait until a number of reports are in from other users on new firmware updates before applying the update to my own cameras. Websites like FujiRumors and their social media channels are invaluable in that regard.

I have held off on applying the version 3.11 firmware update to my X-Pro2 until more user reports are in. So far there have been reports that, post-update, “the EVF is laggy, even in High Performance mode, and the image ‘sticks’ in the screen while shooting. Also the pop-up screen for the hybrid OVF sticks up while the EVF is active, and performance slows considerably.”

Another user has reported slower face detection and focus confirmation beeps even when the lens in not in focus after installing the firmware update on his X-Pro2 and X-T2.

Links:

Fujifilm Australia: Cashback of $900 via redemption when you purchase a new FUJIFILM GFX 50S and trade in a qualifying camera

https://fujifilm.cashback.com.au/125

“FUJIFILM Australia announced today that a cashback offer of $900 will be available to photography enthusiasts with the purchase of a new GFX 50S medium format camera and the trade in of a qualifying camera from participating retailers during a limited promotion period that will run from 7 August 2017 to 30 September 2017.

By trading in a qualifying camera and purchasing a new FUJIFILM GFX 50S from a participating Australian retailer during the promotion period, purchasers will be eligible to claim $900 cashback via redemption.

The qualifying trade in camera must be in working order as validated by the participating retailer at the time of purchasing the FUJIFILM GFX 50S. Purchasers will then be issued a unique serial number. To take advantage of the limited special offer, purchasers then need to visit http://www.fujifilm.com.au and click on the link to the cashback website page where they can complete the online registration form. All cashback claims must be received by midnight AEDST on 15 October 2017. The cashback will be paid by electronic fund transfer or cheque within 28 days….”

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Capture One Pro 10.1 Update Improves Fujifilm X-Trans Support, Enhances Styles Workflow, and More

Phase One has released its first major update of the year for raw processing powerhouse application Capture One Pro, making its latest version 10.1, and it brings a slew of new and improved features. My two favourites of the list are a major enhancement to CP1’s styles workflow and greatly improved, speed-boosted support for Fujifilm’s X-Trans sensor cameras such as the X-Pro2 and X-T2. But wait, there’s more, including improvements to CP1’s support for Photoshop .PSD files for those who finish their images in Adobe’s image editing software, a before/after function via a temporary adjustment’s reset, tokenized image watermarking and new Applescript support. Lastly, C1P adds support for a range of cameras including the Sony A9, Fujifilm X-T20 and the Panasonic Lumix GH5, and lenses from a range of camera and lens makers. 

Snapshot made on my X-Pro2 from a walk along the sunny ridge road near our former home across the valley. I chose the Provia Sternfeld film simulation by Peter Dareth Evans for the JPEG and in-camera preview then processed the raw file in Capture One Pro 10.1 using presets by Image Alchemist and the 012 Kodak Portra 160 film simulation style from Alexander Svet’s Capture One Film Styles Extended.

One of those newly-supported lenses is the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric standard lens that came with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 in a Panasonic Australia marketing promotion. The 25mm f/1.7 is an underestimated lens that I have come to appreciate especially attached to the GX8 when I use it to simulate shooting with a Rolleiflex twin lens reflex camera, the GX8’s EVF tilted upwards for discrete waist level shots in city crowds. I look forward to seeing C1P’s support for it in action soon.

The GX8 and its tilting EVF may be the closest we will come to the Rolleiflex waist level shooting style in the digital era, though the Fujifilm GFX 50s’ optional EVF tilt adapter may be a good simulation in combination with the camera’s 1:1 aspect ratio setting and its GF63mmF2.8 R WR standard lens.

Capture One Pro 10.1’s much improved Styles and Presets functionality

I am far from expert in the many ins and outs of Phase One’s Capture One Pro raw processor, so best to hand you over to three of the Capture One Pro experts in Alexander Svet of Capture One Film Styles, Paul Steunebrink of Image Alchemist and Phase One’s Image Quality Professor.

For me the most impressive improvement in Capture One Pro 10.1 is its handling of styles and presets. In previous versions, whipping through and previewing the effect of presets and styles on your images was a messy affair with the image covered with dropdown menu items to the point where the image was barely visible. Version 10.1 locates all your styles and presets, built-in, custom and third-party, in its own Styles and Presets tool, neatly arranged to find them more easily without occluding the image upon which you are working.

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Image Credits:

Header image processed in Alien Skin Exposure X2 using the Kodachrome 35mm old preset.

Fujifilm: The GFX system expands further with exceptional glass: Fujifilm announce FUJINON GF110mmF2 R LM WR and GF23mmF4 R LM WR

https://www.fujifilm.eu/uk/news/article/the-gfx-system-expands-further-with-exceptional-glass-fujifilm-announce-fujinon-gf110mmf2-r-lm-wr-and-gf23mmf4-r-lm-wr-1

“FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) has today announced that it will release the FUJINON GF110mmF2 R LM WR Lens and FUJINON GF23mmF4 R LM WR Lens in June 2017. Both products are professional interchangeable lenses for GFX 50S 43.8×32.9mm format digital camera. Fujifilm has also unveiled new accessories to complement the GFX system….

… The FUJINON GF110mmF2 R LM WR Lens is a medium telephoto lens for portraits. With a focal length equivalent to 87mm in the 35mm format, it achieves a brightness of F2.0 when used wide open to deliver beautiful bokeh. The high resolving power of the area in focus and the rich bokeh unique to medium-format fast-diameter lenses depicts portraits with a realistic three-dimensional feel.

The FUJINON GF23mmF4 R LM WR Lens has a focal length equivalent to 18mm in the 35mm format and is perfectly suited for landscape and architectural applications. Despite the super-wide angle of view, distortion is kept to a minimum, and with the high-resolution performance extending all the way to the edges, the resulting image is outstandingly sharp….”

Gerhard Witteveen demonstrates Fujifilm GFX 50S Cambo Actus Technical Camera Combo for Studio Product Shots

One of the most exciting outcomes of the arrival of Fujifilm’s GFX 50S medium format camera is its support by view camera makers like Cambo, effectively turning the GFX into a digital back for use with adapted lenses and shutterless lenses like Combo’s manual aperture Actar range. 

I no longer have my medium format Mamiya RZ lenses, having been purloined from a shared studio in London, so Cambo’s Actar prime lens range is of particular interest as part of a view camera solution for architecture and portrait photography, as well as product photography of the sort Mr Witteveen demonstrates in his video.

The Actar range currently comprises five lenses from wide to telephoto:

I am unfamiliar with Cambo’s current technical view camera and lens product range but have fond memories of using Cambo studio view cameras in my magazine editorial portraiture days.

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