Personal View: Destiny of [Panasonic] m43 mount cameras, how soon production will stop

http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/comment/254611#Comment_254611

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?…”

Commentary

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?

Links

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    panasonic_lumix_gh5s_battery_grip_01_1024px_60%
    Panasonic DC-GH5S with DMW-BGGH5 battery grip and Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens.

    Clicking on the links below and purchasing through them or our affiliate accounts at B&H Photo Video, SmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • Olympus M43 lensesB&H
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  • Panasonic M43 lensesB&H
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  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm LensB&H
  • Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500B&H

SmallRig: SmallRig L-Bracket for Sony A7III/A7RIII/A9 2122

http://www.smallrig.com/smallrig-l-bracket-for-sony-a7iii-a7riii-a9-2122.html

“This product is custom designed for Sony A7RIII, A7III and A9 cameras. Both the base plate and the side plate are of Arca-Swiss standard. It mounts to the camera’s tripod socket and extends 20mm height for more comfortable gripping. The side plate is detachable and slidable as per your needs. Accessories such as hand straps, and Metabones adapter support 1764 could be attached to it, providing more stability….”

SmallRig L-Bracket for Sony A7III/A7RIII/A9 2122

SmallRig L-Bracket for Sony A7III/A7RIII/A9 2122, SmallRig Cold Shoe Mount 1593 and SmallRig Lens Adapter Support 1764

Commentary

I was browsing through the pages of the SmallRig video camera accessories website this morning when I handed upon what appears to be the company’s very first L-bracket, for Sony’s Alpha a7 III, Alpha a7R III and Alpha a9 mirrorless 35mm sensor format hybrid stills/video cameras.

This is an exciting development especially as SmallRig’s design provides for mounting on Arca-Swiss tripods heads or adapters, allows access to the cameras’ batteries, and looks sturdy and well-machined.

L-brackets can come in handy when using hybrid cameras for video and stills, in portrait and landscape format, swapping rapidly from one to the next.

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3 Legged Thing’s QR11 is, apparently, “the world’s most innovative universal L-bracket”.

Some manufacturers such as 3 Legged Thing make universal L-brackets that can fit a range of cameras with varying degrees of usability and ability to easily access batteries, media cards and other essential hardware features but there is no question that custom L-brackets designed to fit their intended camera perfectly are the best option by far.

Regrettably though, custom L-brackets are not always available for specific cameras nor are they always designed and manufactured in the way one might desire.

For example, I am still looking for a good enough L-bracket for my beloved Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 hybrid professional rangefinder-style camera.

The GX8 remains one of my favourite and most-used professional-quality cameras for stills photography and video even though it was supposed to be “superseded” or “updated” by Panasonic with the enthusiast-level Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9, a marketing misstep about which I have written in several articles here at ‘Untitled’.

I and a good many others are still waiting for Panasonic to come up with the actual professional-quality rangefinder-style successor to the GX8.

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L-brackets like this BGX8 for GX8 by Really Right Stuff are invaluable when quickly switching from horizontal to vertical orientation during environmental portrait photography sessions. Tragically, Really Right Stuff discontinued making the BGX8 well before the Panasonic GX8 itself was supposedly “superseded” by the Panasonic GX9.

Meanwhile, getting back to L-brackets, the best GX8 L-bracket so far had vanished from sale just before I discovered it, though its design was far from perfect and was neither as advanced as SmallRig’s solution for the Sony A-series cameras nor as affordable.

Nor did that disappeared GX8 L-bracket offer the option of attaching a special cold shoe for mounting microphones or other accessories off to the camera’s side, or a lens adapter support below the lens while securely screwed onto the L-bracket itself.

I ended up buying a GX8 camera cage from SmallRig as a form of consolation gift to myself, but a cage and an L-bracket are two different things made to solve two different sets of problems even though, as SmallRig has illustrated in its Sony L-bracket product page, an L-bracket can be useful to moviemakers too.

I encourage SmallRig to consider making L-brackets for other cameras.

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panasonic_lumix_dmc_gx8_12-60mmf3.5-5.6_splash_1024px_60%
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 is a true professional-quality rangefinder-style camera with weather resistance, a well-sized built-in hand grip and is popular with professional documentary photographers and moviemakers. I am still waiting for Panasonic to reveal the real pro-quality update to this camera as it clearly was not the GX9. I am still looking for an L-bracket for my GX8.

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  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
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  • Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Sony Alpha a7R III Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H

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.
cosyspeed_camslinger_streetomatic_black_hero_1501px.jpg
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

Panasonic Cheaps Out, Dumbs Down and Winds Back Professional Rangefinder-Style GX Camera Series with Lumix DC-GX9

Panasonic has been scoring some especially impressive runs with its Micro Four Thirds stills photography and video cameras lately, the Lumix DC-GH5, the Lumix DC-G9 and most recently the Lumix DC-GH5S, so it is deeply disappointing watching them drop the ball, even hurl it over into an adjacent field, with yesterday’s announcement of the Lumix DC-GX9, supposedly the replacement for the Lumix DMC-GX8

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Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 with Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 kit zoom lens, for “street photography”.

Perhaps “drop the ball” is too delicate an expression to describe the magnitude of what has occurred with the GX9 so I will borrow a phrase from Amazon’s DPReview and instead name it a fail.

More accurately, a major fail.

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Screenshot from a google search for the GX9.

The GX9 with either of its apparently bundled kit lenses may be a good entry-level camera and lens combination for those new to the Micro Four Thirds sensor format or to the GX9’s rangefinder-style form factor though it is a rather costly entry-level combo compared to, say, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85, also named the Lumix DMC-GX80 in some territories outside the USA.

The Lumix DC-GX9 comes with a kit lens, which one depending on where you live

In Japan, the Lumix DMC-GX80/85 is referred to as the Lumix DMC-GX7 Mark II with the Lumix DC-GX9 actually designated the Lumix DC-GX7 Mark III.

The camera known as the Lumix DMC-GX7 in Japan appears to be the same as the camera called the Lumix DMC-GX7 elsewhere.

panasonic_japan_gx7mk3_main_pc01
Image from Panasonic Japan’s Lumix GX7 Mark III aka Lumix DC-GX9 product page.

Panasonic Japan’s naming is at odds with the company’s convention everywhere else where, for example, GX8 denotes the professional, top-end version of a line of cameras, GX80 and GX85 denote the second-level version of the same line and GX800 and GX850 denote the third-level version of the GX rangefinder-style line.

panasonic_japan_lumix_dmc_gx7_mark_ii_top_1950px
Top view of Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Mark II on the Panasonic Japan website’s product page. The GX7 Mark II appears to be the same camera as the one designated GX80 or GX85 in other territories.

As my partner reminds me, former employer Canon follows a roughly similar naming convention for its cameras whereby its DSLR product range falls into three levels, DSLR for Beginners, DSLR for Enthusiasts and DSLR for Professionals though with the further complication of Mark I to IV and probably beyond thrown in for good measure.

Panasonic’s coming and current GX-Series rangefinder-style cameras

If we borrow Canon’s camera naming convention, then Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GX850/800 is their rangefinder-style camera for beginners, the DMC-GX85/80 their rangefinder-style camera for enthusiasts and the DMC-GX8 is the camera for professionals, which indeed it is in my experience and that of a number of other professional moviemakers and stills photographers of my acquaintance.

Three highly-esteemed photojournalists and one documentary moviemaker who use Panasonic Lumix GX-Series cameras

And then there is the Lumix DC-GX9.

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Lifestyle photograph from Panasonic media/press release image collection depicting Lumix GX9 with the pricey Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Aspheric prime lens.

Judging by the product itself, its specifications and its marketing material including product and lifestyle photographs, the GX9 is not aimed at professional cinematographers and photographers including those working in the fields of documentary and photojournalism, but rather at “street photographers”, beginners and enthusiasts, to borrow Canon’s terminology.

Professional users are conspicuously absent from the Lumix DC-GX9’s marketing material in contrast to that of its predecessors, the Lumix DMC-GX7 and Lumix DMC-GX8.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 with Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Aspheric prime lens

Magnum photojournalists Ian Berry and Thomas Dworzak were depicted working with the GX7 while Australian expatriate photojournalist Daniel Berehulak produced photographs and video footage in Cuba with the GX8.

In the GX9 press kit, the sole user image is that of an unnamed young woman holding a GX9 with optional though reportedly essential accessory eyecup and optional though reportedly necessary plastic hand-grip, sporting a Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Aspheric prime lens.

At time of writing, the GX9 apparently cannot be bought body-only but with the kit lens designated for the particular territory in which it is bought, and research to date indicates that may be one of three lenses, the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS collapsible zoom lens, the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f3.5-5. Aspheric Power OIS and the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 Aspheric.

B&H Photo Video currently has the GX9 with 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 kit zoom listed at $US997.99 and the Leica Summilux 12mm f/1.4 priced at $US1,297.99.

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Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 Aspheric prime lens

I suggest that this pairing of the GX9 with the Leica 12mm f/1.4, the lens costing far more than the camera plus kit lens much less camera body only, is a highly unlikely choice for the camera’s apparent user base, whether beginner, enthusiast or street photographer.

The two kit zoom lenses are more appropriate choices priced well in line with that user base, with the Leica Summilux 15mm f/1.7 prime lens a more appropriate choice for a street photographer, however that is defined, with something of a purist’s attitude to lenses.

I own a Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS zoom lens bought as-new secondhand from an eBay seller whose camera came with it as kit lens.

The collapsible 12-32mm is a perfectly fine, sharp and well optically-corrected lens despite its tiny size and pancake prime lens dimensions that I bought for use when photographing in the middle of daylight outdoor events where I need to be as discrete, as near-invisible as possible.

In other words, classic photojournalism, documentary and breaking news situations.

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SmallRig Cage for Panasonic GX8 1844, the camera cage I use when shooting documentary video with my Lumix DMC-GX8. Even with accessories attached, the GX8’s form factor and tilting EVF allows me to work right in the middle of crowds of strangers at public and private events.

The Leica Summilux 15mm f/1.7 might be a useful choice for those purposes, too, but I find it an odd focal length almost halfway in-between my two preferred prime lens choices, 14mm and 17mm or 17.5mm, though I may change my mind if I manage to borrow one for some extended real-life testing.

I would choose none of these kit lenses, 12-32mm, 12-60mm or 15mm for shooting video though the latter may be appropriate if attached to a drone camera.

Documentary video requires the use of lenses with good manual clutch focus, or linear focus-by-wire or fully manual lenses for fine control of focussing as a graphically creative and emotive storytelling element, and my preference is Olympus’ M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lenses while cinematographer Rick Young carries a large set of upper-end Panasonic Lumix and Leica lenses.

The Panasonic marketing staff’s apparent confusion over the Lumix DC-GX9’s naming, user base, best choice of lenses and indeed overall message is reflected in their marketing materials and website content.

If going by the press kit user photograph then I would give them benefit of the doubt and assume their main GX9 user base is street photographers.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 would have been best choice if going small for street photography

I make no claim to the title street photographer though I do keep my eye and hand constantly exercised by carrying a camera every day and making storytelling urban documentary photographs so I have some well-qualified thoughts on best cameras for street photography.

Were Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GM5 still in production, I would choose it due to its tiny size, good-enough 16 megapixel sensor and for looking as little like a serious camera as possible while delivering excellent quality results.

Even better, the cigarette pack-sized GM5 was made in three colourways, all black, red and black, and silver and green, the green and red being, one hopes, fake leather.

Street-bound members of the public glancing at a street photographer equipped with one of these would be even more oblivious to the presence of a serious photographer than if spotting somebody with a GX9.

Panasonic’s DSLR-style stills camera solutions, the Lumix GH5 and Lumix G9

If that photographer were toting a DSLR-style camera of any size and brand with prime or zoom lenses of any size and shape, I can guarantee the street photographer in question would be noticed and their presence would adversely affect the images they produce, no matter how terrific the camera.

There is one feature that the GX7, GX8 and GX9 can boast and that remains unique amongst contemporary digital cameras and that is their tilting electronic viewfinders.

It also tilts, as it were: the Rolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex

I value my Lumix DMC-GX8 for many things but foremost is for its tilting EVF, the closest thing I have nowadays to the tilting or upright magnified viewfinders of one of the finest analog cameras for unobtrusive, fly-on-the wall documentary photography and photojournalism.

As with the Rolleiflex and its telephoto and wide-angle variants, the Lumix DMC-GX8 with its tilting EVF and fully-articulated monitor is a brilliant solution for those two forms of photography as well as portraiture where you need your sitters to rapidly relax on being confronted by the top of your head rather than staring down the barrel of a sniper rifle-like DSLR.

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 is to be released on April 1st, 2018, which would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

Panasonic, please give us the fully up-to-date GX8 successor we need right now and well deserve, and stop trying to fob us off with this aptly also-named Lumix GX7 Mark III waving the false flag of “GX9”.

There is no substitute.

Links

Image Credit

Header image concept and quick hack by Carmel D. Morris.

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  • 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

Leeming LUT One for Panasonic Cameras to get Version 503 before Mid-Year with Even Better Colour and Tone than Ever – UPDATE

Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT One and Visceral Psyche Films is like a dog with a bone that he just will not let go insofar as improving and updating Leeming LUT One, “the world’s first unified, corrective Look Up Table (LUT) system for supported cameras, designed to maximise dynamic range, fix skin tones, remove unwanted colour casts and provide an accurate Rec709 starting point for further creative colour grading.”

Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT One and Visceral Psyche Films in V-Log L footage made with Panasonic Lumix GH5 then processed with Leeming LUT One for Panasonic cameras, version 503 beta.

Mr Leeming has just shared an early version 503 beta for Panasonic V-Log L with me and, after applying it to some V-Log L footage of my own, it is clear that he has worked out how obtain even better, even more realistic colour and tonal rendering than before.

The more accurate and true-to-life the starting point obtained by applying Leeming LUT One before adding creative aka looks LUTs and other colour grading controls in your non-linear editing suite or colour grading software of choice, the richer and more satisfying the final result.

While this first version 503 beta is only for Panasonic V-Log L footage, Leeming LUT One version 503 for Panasonic cameras will be released for Cinelike D, HLG and V-Log L.

If version 503 has you as excited as I am, please do not put off purchasing it until later this year as version 502 is already streets ahead of any other camera LUT that I have tried out so far and purchasers of 502 now will receive 503 when it is finalized.

Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L 503 beta, footage by Paul Leeming

Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L 502 compared to 503 beta

Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L version 502
Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L version 503 beta
Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L version 503 beta plus Leeming LUT Quickie Basic Brighter v2

Leeming LUT One 503 beta as a base for creative LUTs

Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L version 503 beta plus Leeming LUT Quickie Basic Brighter v2 plus LookLabs Digital Film Stock Fuji 64D
Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L version 503 beta plus Leeming LUT Quickie Basic Brighter v2 plus LookLabs Digital Film Stock Fuji Reala 500D
Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L version 503 beta plus Leeming LUT Quickie Basic Brighter v2 plus LookLabs Digital Film Stock Kodak 5245

Sneak Peek, Leeming LUT One 601 for Panasonic, Cinelike D

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Leeming LUT One 601 for Panasonic Cinelike D, from 8-bit 4:2:0 4K UHD video shot on Lumix GX8 with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 lens, LUT plus other minimal grading applied.

Links

Image Credit

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

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  • Angelbird 64GB AV Pro UHS-II SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Angelbird 128GB AV Pro UHS-II SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Angelbird 256GB Match Pack for the Panasonic EVA1B&H – special promotional packaging of two Angelbird 128GB AV Pro UHS-II SDXC memory cards that are just as usable in other cameras than the AU-EVA1 that also have UHS-II SD card slots.
  • Atomos Ninja Inferno 7″ 4K HDMI Recording Monitor and accessoriesB&H
  • Panasonic 128GB UHS-II SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip – B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera – B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500B&H

Paul Leeming’s Leeming LUT One for the Panasonic GH5 Now at Version 502 for HLG, V-Log L and Cinelike D – UPDATED

Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming has issued the version 502 update to his unified corrective LUT (Look Up Table) system Leeming LUT One for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 and its three major video picture profiles, HLG, V-Log L and Cinelike D. 

Australian director/cinematographer Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT One fame with his Panasonic Lumix GH4 rigged for shooting feature films.

The Leeming LUT One system was developed in order to help cinematographers obtain the best image quality from their cameras by providing custom settings and LUTs to maximize dynamic range while minimizing noise and other artefacts such as banding and YUV chroma smearing.

Mr Leeming advises cinematographers to adhere to the expose-to-the-right aka ETTR principle, which he demonstrates in his website.

Still frame of Paul Leeming, shot on Panasonic Lumix GH5 in HLG HDR mode then processed in Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Studio 14 using Leeming LUT One for Panasonic HLG version 501.

He has produced Leeming LUT One custom settings and LUTs for cameras including those made by Canon, DJI, GoPro, JVC, Panasonic, Sony with potential support for cameras made by FujifilmDigital Bolex and Samsung should there be sufficient demand.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 HLG Footage and Leeming LUT One for HLG, Before and After

Still frames from GH5 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 HLG footage exposed using ETTR, the ‘Leeming LUT One – Panasonic HLG v502.cube’ applied followed by ‘Leeming LUT Quickie – Basic Balanced v2.cube’ from ‘Leeming LUT Quickies 1 version 2’.

Mr Leeming will be updating his free ‘Leeming LUT Quickies’ collection soon to reflect the improvements made to the most recent version of Leeming LUT One for Panasonic cameras.

Our recent weather has been heavily hit by the effects of extreme climate change and global warming, and we have experienced few pristine Sydney summer days with their classic cobalt skies for some time now.

With many skies almost becoming high ultra-violet light boxes, the excellent highlight roll-off of the HLG profile in the GH5 is becoming even more important, and Leeming LUT One for HLG does a great job of maintaining the original look and feel of a scene while preserving realistic colour and especially skin colour.

Initial grading as in these still frames provides a good starting point that can be further enhanced with some of the many creative aka looks LUTs or analog film simulation being made available by a range of LUTs makers.

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

Help support ‘Untitled’

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

  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera – B&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip – B&H
  • Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500B&H
  • Atomos Ninja Inferno 7″ 4K HDMI Recording Monitor and accessoriesB&H

Taking a Panasonic Lumix GH5 Equipped with a Guerrilla G-Cup for GH5 on a Brisk Walk Through Gloomy Sydney

I took a much-needed break from fulltime caring to travel into the city of Sydney CBD for a walkabout with the Panasonic Lumix GH5, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Probreakthrough  standard zoom lens, Breakthrough Photography X4 ND and X4 UV filters and Guerrilla G-Cup for GH5 replacing the GH5’s provided eyecup, all carried in Cosyspeed’s excellent Camslinger Streetomatic Plus camera bag in black faux leather.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens with Breakthrough Photography X4 UV filter, and Guerrilla G-Cup for GH5 attached instead of the GH5’s supplied eyecup. I usually attach Peak Design Clutch and Cuff camera straps to my cameras.

The day was dark and gloomy with prevailing light far from my favourite for putting hardware and software to the test.

My intention was to shoot HLG HDR (hybrid log-gamma high dynamic range) footage for sharing as SDR (standard dynamic range) as below after applying the latest iteration of Paul Leeming’s Leeming LUT One camera settings, camera LUT and custom LUT for the Panasonic GH5 HLG.

The latest version of Leeming LUT One for Panasonic cameras was 501 at the time but that has since been replaced with version 502, offering some refinements for a current limitation in Apple’s otherwise excellent Final Cut Pro X non-linear editing suite.

I also applied a small selection of analog film simulation LUTs from LookLabs’ Digital Film Stock (DFS) 3D LUT collection to some of the footage to enhance the look and feel of the scene depicted.

Still frames from Panasonic GH5 HLG HDR footage

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris. Photograph of Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 with Guerrilla G-Cup for GH5 shot as 3-bracket HDR image then processed in Skylum Aurora HDR 2018 followed by Skylum Luminar 2018.

Help support ‘Untitled’

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  • COSYSPEED CAMSLINGER Streetomatic Plus Camera BagB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H

Guerrilla G-Cup for Panasonic Lumix GH5 Released, Arrives for Tryout and Review

Miller & Schneider, makers of rubber eyecups for the Panasonic GH3, GH4, Sony α7 series, Sony α9, Canon C100 and the Canon Cinema EOS series cameras, has rebranded itself as Guerrilla and is about to release its Guerrilla G-Cup for the Panasonic Lumix GH5

Guerrilla has kindly sent over a sample of the GH5 G-Cup and we will be giving it a good workout when a GH5 review loaner arrives soon. 

Meanwhile here is a gallery of photographs comparing the GH5 G-Cup with the G-Cup for the GH4 and GH3, with the popular Bluestar Viewfinder Eyecushion attached to each.

G-Cup for the GH5 and G-Cup for the GH4, with Bluestar Viewfinder Eyecushion

I reviewed the GH4’s G-Cup several years ago when looking for third party solutions to block our Australian laser beam sunlight out of the side of my eyes while shooting video in the great outdoors.

I found it to be a much better option than relying on the GH4’s default rubber eyecup and it worked especially well when wearing contact lenses with and without a Bluestar Viewfinder Eyecushion attached to the G-Cup.

The GH4 G-Cup produced variable results when swapping contact lenses for my usual spectacles corrected for near-sight and astigmatism, depending on the shape and size of the spectacles’ frames.

Rounder and smaller worked better, allowing better access to the view through the G-Cup than my more rectangular spectacle frames.

I would have loved to use the GH5 G-Cup when producing my initial review of the GH5 which arrived minus its own default eyecup, and am glad that Guerrilla is about to put its GH5 G-Cup on sale shortly.

Links

  • Color by LookLabsDigital Film Stock – excellent set of 19 3D LUTs for log and Rec. 709 linear profile video, created from scans of actual Fuji and Kodak movie film stocks.
  • Guerrilla – G-Cup (Panasonic GH5) – not yet released but coming soon.
  • SkylumAurora 2018 – award Best App of 2017 by Apple.
  • SkylumLuminar 2018

Image Credits

Product photographs made with Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 camera with Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric lens and DMW-EC3 Eyecup as 3-bracket HDR images processed in Aurora HDR 2018 then Luminar 2018 using the Color by LookLabs Digital Film Stock Fuji Reala 500D 3D looks LUT.

Images lit with one Rotolight Neo LED Light with Neo barndoors and Chimera soft box for Neo, from a Rotolight Neo 3 Light Kit with barndoors and foam handle.

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  • Bluestar Round Extra Small Microfiber EyecushionB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-EC3 Eyecup for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH. LensB&H
  • Rotolight NEO 2 LED LightB&H
  • Rotolight NEO 2 LED 3-Light KitB&H
  • Rotolight Aluminum Barndoors for NEOB&H
  • Chimera TECH Lightbank Softbox for Rotolight NEO LEDB&H

Panasonic Lumix GH5 Firmware Update Version 2.2, Yet Another Great Reason to Choose Olympus M.Zuiko Pro Lenses?

Panasonic has released version 2.2 of its firmware for the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 hybrid Micro Four Thirds/Super 16 stills and video camera, and it contains one item that appears especially useful for users of the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro professional-quality prime and zoom lenses. 

The GH5 may well now recognize the Lens Fn button on M.Zuiko Pro lenses as well as Panasonic’s own Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 Power OIS telephoto thus enabling your choice from a set of nine lens-related functions that can be allocated to it.  

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Super 16 Micro Four Thirds camera with Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II Aspheric Power OIS standard zoom lens.

As I do not currently have a GH5 I cannot put version 2.2 of the firmware to the test, but am expecting a review loaner to arrive in the very near future and will try it out with M.Zuiko Pro lenses then report back here.

The Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 Power OIS lens, showing the Fn button on the lens barrel.

Update contents for DC-GH5

  1. Function can be assigned to the Fn button of the interchangeable lens including H-ES200.
  2. Video recording stability in VFR (Variable Frame Rate) mode is improved

Those optional Fn button settings include:

  • Focus Stop
  • AF/AE Lock
  • AF-On
  • Stabilizer
  • Focus Area Set
  • AF-Mode/MF – I have this set as my L-Fn function for magnifying the view through the lens while manually focussing.
  • Preview
  • Off
  • Restore to Default

I have often looked at the L-Fn buttons on M.Zuiko Pro lenses and wondered whether Panasonic would ever add the ability to choose useful lens-related settings to it when using these lenses on Panasonic Lumix cameras.

I hope that the addition of this functionality to the GH5 heralds more such firmware updates for current and recently-released Lumix cameras such as the GX8, GH4 and others.

One can never have access to too many customizable function buttons, I have found.

The Olympus M.Zuiko Pro professional-quality prime and zoom lens family as of November 2017. Note the L-Fn function buttons on the lens barrels.

The addition of lens function button settings on the GH5 and hopefully other Lumix cameras such as the coming G9 makes the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lens family even more attractive.

Three current top-end Panasonic Lumix cameras with Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lenses attached, each lens having a function button on the barrel. Panasonic, thank you for enabling the L-Fn button in version 2.2 of the GH5’s firmware but please add the same functionality in all future, current and recent Lumix cameras. Image created at Compact Camera Meter at CameraSize.com..

The most attractive feature of the M.Zuiko Pro lenses, besides their remarkable optical and mechanical qualities, is their manual clutch focus mechanism that allows for repeatable focussing in a way that is not permitted by the nonlinear focus-by-wire of other lenses.

Links

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  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f/4 IS PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital MC-14 1.4x TeleconverterB&H
  • Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 POWER O.I.S. Lens (H-ES200)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H