The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9, 80 Megapixel High Resolution Mode and Portraiture Old and New

Inspiration can come from anywhere, but my first source of it after choosing to become a portrait photographer was the great portrait painters, foremost London-based German, Hans Holbein. Two Holbein portraits were key, Portrait of Christina of Denmark and The Ambassadors.

The Ambassadors, by Hans Holbein the Younger.

The Ambassadors teaches us how to use light, location and objects to tell a story in one frame.

Portrait of Christina of Denmark shows us how to depict someone so it feels like we are standing in their presence, as if in Holbein’s shoes, forever.

Environmental and full-figure portraiture are two of my favourite photographic genres that quickly became specialities during my magazine editorial days, creating them with tripod-mounted sheet film or 120 roll film cameras, with or without flash or continuous lights supplementing the lighting I found on location.

The medium format option

Christina of Denmark, Duchess of Milan, by Hans Holbein the Younger.

Although relatively affordable digital medium format cameras and lenses are here with the arrival of Fujifilm’s GFX 50S and its reportedly excellent lenses, medium format photography remains relatively unaffordable for me right now and for the foreseeable future.

I have learned to bypass version 1.0 of most new moviemaking or photography hardware unless there is a truly compelling reason to be an early adopter, another reason why I have passed on the GFX 50S.

I do look forward to seeing what comes of the GFX 100S and wonder whether a rangefinder-style GFX camera might be in the works some day, one drawing on Fujifilm’s remarkable 120 roll film rangefinder camera heritage.

Meanwhile Panasonic may already have their own solution to my high resolution, high image quality portrait photography needs in the Lumix DC-G9’s 80-megapixel high res mode.

All that I have seen so far in Panasonic’s marketing web pages is a low res landscape, the genre in which I am least likely to ever want to photograph.

Panasonic’s image to illustrate the Lumix G9’s 80 megapixel high resolution mode, leaving much to be desired and the technology unexplained.

Hard facts about how the G9 performs in high resolution mode and precisely how it does so are thin on the ground, but a reasonable surmise is that it does so by pixel shift, a technology also appearing in other mirrorless cameras including Sony’s a7R III and Olympus’ OM-D E-M1 Mark II, OM-D E-M5 Mark II and Pen-F cameras, and the Pentax K-1.

What is pixel shift?

Imaging Resource has explored high resolution modes via pixel shift in several Olympus and Pentax cameras, links below, so I won’t reiterate their findings.

Quite how Panasonic does it in the G9, whether shifting by half or full pixels, remains to be seen and Imaging Resource will no doubt produce a similar article on it soon.

How pixel shift works, by piezosystemjena.

Meanwhile, according to Imaging Resource’s Mike Tomkins and William Brawley:

“The G9 takes eight separate frames in quick succession and composites the individual frames together in-camera. Like other pixel-shift high-res modes from other camera makers, the G9’s comes with similar limitations, or rather, appropriate use-cases. The high-res mode on the G9 is best suited for still life, architecture or certain landscape subjects without any moving subject matter.”

What is it good for?

I beg to differ on their list of subjects best-suited to the G9’s 80.6 megapixel  pixel shifting high resolution mode, and so, it appears, do Panasonic UK’s Carol Hartfree and UK-based Lumix Ambassador Ross Grieve.

Both have just begun exploring the G9’s high res mode for portraiture and both report their first impressions in glowing terms.

“… my first test is impressive.”

“We have just had a go and it works like an absolute dream as long as you and the model is very still. It works particularly well with a good prime…. Stupid excited!”

“We were discussing formal portraiture earlier and the fact that people don’t really do it any more. Using the G9 in this way, on a tripod with slowish exposures might really lend itself.”

Formal, casual and all forms in between may be more popular than meets the eye judging by the slew of portrait photography award, books, competitions, Instagram accounts and websites I came across in the course of researching this article.

Formal portraiture for a myriad of uses and whether environmental or of the figure or face alone, has endured from the birth of photography onwards with such notable practitioners as Arnold Newman, August Sander, David Bailey, Richard Avedon and others too many to mention here.

Three approaches to portraiture

I have long wanted to find affordable digital analogues for the way I successfully made casual and formal portraits in sheet and 120 roll film during my magazine photography career, affordable being the key word.

I had three distinct approaches – documentary-style with a Rolleiflex twin lens reflex camera, environmental or full figure or face close-up with 4″x5″ view cameras, and less frequently a casual medium format rangefinder approach.

Fujifilm’s X-Pro2 does an impressive job of matching if not surpassing the image and handling qualities of its many generations and variations of 120 roll film rangefinder cameras under the Fujica brand name.

Panasonic’s GX8 provides a rare digital equivalent to Rolleiflex twin lens reflex cameras with its magnifying waist-level viewfinder-emulating tilting EVF, a unique feature I hope will continue in the Panasonic Lumix GX9.

Linhof view camera with Graflok stitching adapter for Phase One digital back.

While the only exact digital equivalent of a multifaceted sheet film view camera like the Linhof 4×5 Master Technika Classic is a Linhof 4×5 Master Technika Classic with Phase One digital back, I suspect that the Panasonic Lumix G9 may provide good enough emulation of its high resolution image qualities, minus the camera movements.

“Good enough” being enough high resolution to produce large exhibition prints with more detail and more sense of the sitter’s presence than I can achieve right now with 20 megapixel and 24 megapixel mirrorless cameras.

Some portraits as evidence?

A couple of photographers with access to pre-production G9s have agreed to shoot and send me some portraits made in 80 megapixel high res mode, and I will share them here when they arrive.

Meanwhile, what would be my ideal stable yet portable set-up for creating the sort of portraits for the web and exhibition that I have long planned for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’?

  • Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 – until I learned about its high resolution mode, I might have passed over this camera and defaulted to relying on the GH5 for stills as well as video.
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO Lens – moderately wide prime lens for environmental portraiture for a sense of a figure enclosed within a space. I prefer lenses with manual clutch focus mechanisms for focussing accuracy especially when using wide open apertures.
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO Lens – standard or normal prime lenses have been used for portrait photography in many different camera systems and are a good compromise between medium wide and medium long lenses.
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO Lens – medium long telephoto lens often seen as one of the default portrait photography focal lengths along with 42.5mm in Micro Four Thirds.
  • 3 Legged Thing Albert or Winston tripods – their unique construction makes them more stable for their size and weight than any other tripod I have used.
  • 3 Legged Thing QR11-LC Universal L-Bracket – fast and easy flipping the camera from landscape to portrait orientation from switching from environmental to full-figure mode.
  • Rotolight NEO 2 LED Light with barndoors, softbox, handle or light stand– small enough to easily fit in a backpack yet powerful enough to be a prime light supplemented by available light.
  • Rotolight AEOS 2-Light LED Kit – an excellent self-contained two LED light kit for continuous light or flash, with high output for its colour accuracy, versatility, weight and size, that can be used with optional barndoors.

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Linhof 4×5 Master Technika “Classic” Rangefinder Metal Field CameraB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Olympus PEN-F Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera – B&H
  • Pentax K-1 DSLR CameraB&H
  • Sony Alpha a7R III Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H

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

Articles

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

Press Releases

Product Pages

Reviews

Videos

Image Credits

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

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGG9 Battery GripB&H
  • 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

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….”

Gallery

Links:

Fujifilm EU: Fujifilm unveils the latest development of the “X Mount Lens Roadmap”

https://www.fujifilm.eu/uk/news/article/fujifilm-unveils-the-latest-development-of-the-g-mount-lens-roadmap

“Enhancing the “GFX System” further by expanding the GF lens line-up. Fujifilm unveils the latest development of the “G Mount Lens Roadmap”, the interchangeable lens range for the “GFX 50S” medium format mirrorless digital camera….”

Links:

British Journal of Photography: The many heads required of a contemporary photographer – Sponsored by Fujifilm

http://www.bjp-online.com/2017/08/the-many-heads-required-of-a-contemporary-photographer/

“… Although every portrait shoot is interesting for different reasons, working with actors has frequently proved the most enjoyable. “They have an inherent understanding of the craft and being in front of a lens… The pictures often feel like a gift.” But, he adds, “photographing ‘normal’ people is the most rewarding. The time constraints are often less pressured and I’m offered a genuine window into someone’s life that I would never have had had I not been a photographer.”…”

Links:

Quick Hands-On with the Amazing Fujifilm GFX 50S Mirrorless Medium Format Camera

Today I made a flying visit to L & P Digital Photographic in Artarmon, a suburb in Sydney’s north shore that is home to several movie and photography industry retail, rental and manufacturing companies, the most notable of the latter being Miller Tripods. My mission was to have a very quick look at the Fujifilm GFX 50S and its first three lenses, the Fujinon GF 63mm f/2.8 R WR, GF 32-64mm f/4.0 R LM WR and the GF 120mm f/4.0 R LM OIS WR Macro

For the next couple of days a Fujifilm GFX 50S, vertical grip, tilt adapter and the three lenses will be available to see and experience a hands-on with and then, some time after that, a GFX 50S kit will be added to L & P’s rental collection.

L & P also operates a compact rental studio at their Artarmon premises that once housed the studio and darkroom of Max Dupain, the late Australian modernist photographer known for his architectural photography collaborations with Austrian-Australian architect Harry Seidler.

Some Rough and Ready BTS Snapshots

L & P is already taking orders from professionals wishing to purchase or lease Fujifilm’s latest photographic innovation in the form of the GFX 50S.

My aim during the visit was to get a quick impression of the GFX 50S as a hand camera and not a stand camera, and not to create great photographs of the types of subject matter I would place in front of a camera like this. With luck that opportunity will come later and I will do a proper job of it.

Sample Snapshots

I simply stepped outside the door during a brief interval between rain showers, made two shots with the GF 32-64mm f/4.0 R LM WR lens set to f/8.0 and the GFX 50S set to ISO 400 and 1/640th of a second, focussing on the foremost figure at left of frame. I made the first exposure at 32mm and the second at 64mm.

I then processed each raw file in version 3.1.4 of Iridient Developer and applied minimal tone, colour and sharpness corrections after choosing Pro Neg S from Iridient Digital’s free Fujifilm-style film emulations set.

After exporting the largest JPEG file, I uploaded it to my Flickr account as I need to conserve media space in my website hosting account right now. Flickr has applied its own sharpness-reducing compression algorithm so please bear that in mind.

These snapshots are mediocre photographs but the GFX 50S is anything but a mediocre camera. Click the images below to see them large in my Flickr account.

_DSF1204_iridient_srgb_full-size

_DSF1205_iridient_srgb_full-size

Thoughts and Observations

A quick and dirty first test like this of a newly released camera can only tell one so much. But it satisfied my aims. I wanted to know whether the GFX 50S would meet my needs and be a viable option for renting, leasing or buying sometime in the future, bureaucracies and lawyers permitting. The ‘Untitled’ project self-financing saga is ongoing.

When I got back into photography after an absence enforced by ill health resulting from chronic photochemical allergy and extreme dermatitis, a major concern was whether then current digital technology would offer as much variety in ways of seeing and photographing as the variety that I had come to rely on with analog photography.

My first serious digital camera was a DSLR, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, and it was not an easy fit as I had never been an SLR person. Rather, I had relied on a range of non-SLR rangefinder and technical cameras and these somewhat unconventional, even non-conformist, cameras had helped create my personal photographic vision. Or more properly, visions.

It was only with the arrival of Fujifilm’s Finepix X100 rangefinder-style camera that I began to feel comfortable with digital photography. The Fujifilm X-Pro2 cemented that comfort with a camera that, in many ways, recalls the 120 roll film rangefinder cameras I had so loved.

Likewise Fujifilm’s X-T2 is a reminder of the technical cameras that were so crucial to my development as a photographer just as Panasonic’s Lumix GX8 shares some of the traits of the waist-level Rolleiflex twin lens reflex cameras I adored for their own unconventional way of showing me the world as a square and from down below, via the GX8’s unique tilting EVF.

Now the GFX 50S, with its clear similarity to the X-T2’s shape and usability, offers a combination of features I relied on in my technical cameras and my Rolleiflexes, filtered through Fujifilm’s and Panasonic’s recent digital camera innovations.

The GFX 50S allows you to use it like a small hand or stand-mounted view camera, like an EVF camera, more or less like a DSLR but minus the mirror slap, or like a tilting EVF camera that is in itself the closest simulation we have now of the wonderful TLR cameras once made by Mamiya, Rolleiflex, Yashica and others.

My brief experience with the Fujifilm GFX 50S was enough to tell me this and remove the last concern I had about whether contemporary digital hardware can provide me with enough creative options to build a set of closely related personal photographic styles in the way analog hardware did.

One thing is certain, confirmed by my two snapshots above: the Fujifilm GFX 50S’ resolution and image quality equals that of 4″x5″ sheet film cameras and I suspect that its future GFX 100S descendant will rival the results from 8″x10″ sheet film cameras.

Postscript:

After covering an International Womens’ Day rally in the Sydney CBD, I dropped into digiDIRECT’s city store to take another quick look at the Fujifilm GFX 50S. They had the camera, three lenses, EVF and vertical battery grip and kindly allowed me do some snapshots of one of the staff members, Benny, below.

DSCF6092_iridient_exposure

This photograph was made with the GF 120mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Macro lens and with the Vertical Battery Grip on the camera. I processed the raw file in Iridient Developer then exported it as a TIFF that I opened in Alien Skin Exposure X2 where I applied a Polaroid Type 55 preset and platinum split toning.

I chose f/5.6, AutoISO and aperture-priority, and the GFX 50S set 1/60th second. Although this is not a portrait as such, the experience of making it reminded me of how I loved to make frontal, full-face close-up portraits of artists, chefs, celebrities and businesspeople for the glossy magazines in Polaroid Type 55 positive/negative instant film, split-toning prints made on silver-rich baryta papers.

On considering the Fujinon GF lenses currently available and coming later in the year, I would choose the GF 120mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Macro and the GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR prime lenses as a very workable pair for full-face and environmental portraiture. The 120mm is roughly equivalent to 90mm in 135 aka 35mm format and the 45mm lens is close to 35mm in 135 aka 35mm format.

Although I often lit those editorial portraits with Broncolor flash units with spot grids and barndoors, nowadays I’d be more likely to use continuous light such as my Rotolight Neo three light kit with barndoors to narrow the beam down.

Other LED lights I want to investigate sometime are the Dedolights with variable beams that spread from spot to flood and take a range of light-shaping accessories.

While electronic flash has its advantages in freezing movement, it can be distracting when trying to really narrow down the beam and place the light with a high degree of precision but little time with a portrait subject.

Using continuous light allows you see exactly what the camera is going to see and permits building a closer relationship with your sitter, faster. The GF 120mm f/4 lens’ optical image stabilization means one can handhold the lens in continuous light and obtain enough sharpness, or one can of course place the GFX 50S on a tripod and use it somewhat like a small view camera.

Image Credits:

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

Breathe Easy in Swing, Shift, Tilt on Fujifilm GFX 50S with Cambo Actus-GFX Mini View Camera

Photography and video hardware manufacturer Cambo has announced the availability of its bellows-based swing, shift and tilt solution for the Fujifilm GFX 50S medium format mirrorless camera system, the Cambo Actus-GFX. The Actus-GFX appears to be a GFX 50S-adapted version of Cambo’s Actus Mini View Camera designed for a range of mirrorless cameras. 

cambo_gfx50s_view_camera_01_1572px

The Cambo Actus-GFX is excellent news for those of us photographing architecture, still-life, food, portraits and other subjects demanding fine control of focus points and perspective via camera movements.

View cameras using 4″x5″ sheet film, Polaroid Type 55 instant positive/negative film and 120 roll film were my preferred camera type for portraiture during the analog era and I miss their ability to swing, shift or tilt front and rear standards to control the plane of focus.

My emotionally intense portraits with just two points in sharp focus such as a reflection in one eye and the tip of a lower lip became popular during my magazine portrait career and they could only be done using view cameras.

I am grateful that Cambo has seen the need for technical view cameras in the digital era and has created the Actus Mini View Camera to take advantage of mirrorless cameras like the Fujifilm GFX 50S as well as other cameras such as Canon’s EOS and M series, Nikon F DSLRs, Leica M rangefinders and Sony E-mount, Pentax K-mount, Fujifilm X-mount and Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras.

The Cambo Actus Mini View Camera lens mount range currently includes lens plates for Canon EF, Nikon F, Leica R, Hasselblad, Mamiya RB/RZ, Mamiya 645 Pro TL and Pentax 645 35mm and medium format lenses.

The Cambo website has not yet been updated with further information about the Cambo Actus-GFX Mini View Camera but that should be coming soon. It will be useful to know which lenses work well with the Actus-GFX and Fujifilm GFX 50S camera combination.

I might also point out that view camera systems have their uses in movie production and are a more versatile alternative to the tilt/shift lenses found in DSLR camera systems.

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on these affiliate links helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Cambo ACTUS-GFX View Camera Body with Fujifilm GFX Bayonet Mount (Black) – B&H
  • Fujifilm GFX 50S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Fujifilm GFX 50S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera with 63mm Lens and Battery Grip KitB&H

Top Fashion Photographers Markus&Koala Say Fujifilm GFX 50S is “Game Changer, Best Camera Ever Built”

One of the first things I would advise camera makers do with radical new products is get them into the hands of famous photographers or photographers who work with famous people – credibility by association works. That has now happened with fashion and portrait photographer duo Markus&Koala picking up a Fujifilm GFX 50S for an advertising shoot and loudly singing the camera’s praises. 

Markus&Koala have shared a BTS video of the RealRyder advertising shoot at RealRyder’s YouTube.com channel, and said this to the folks at FujiRumors in their recent article Fujifilm GF Lenses “Superlative” Sharpness Results :: It Feels Like You Can Step Into Each Image :: Clearly the New ‘State Of the Art’ for Fashion

I would say that for me, the GFX is clearly the new ‘state of the art’ camera system (for high-end advertising, fashion and celebrity portraiture type work). I would go as far as saying it is the best camera ever built, and I would expect it to become a ‘game changer’ in the industry. Here are some samples from the RealRyder campaign that you are welcome to share.

Markus Klinko, famous for photographing David Bowie over the years and half of the Markus&Koala team “is an award-winning, international fashion/celebrity photographer and director, who has worked with many of today’s most iconic stars of film, music, and fashion.

Markus&Koala have kindly shared some photographs from the campaign shoot at their dropbox account, three of which are below.

Thank you to FujiRumors for bringing this development to my attention and for granting permission to re-publish this story in my own way.

Links:

Image Credits:

Header image concept and production by Carmel D. Morris.