“Cameras seem to get smaller as time goes on, with more technology stuffed into every square millimeter than ever before. Batteries haven’t really kept up with that trend, with some cameras only lasting a half hour or 45 minutes on a full battery charge….
In the recent refreshing of its battery lines, Core SWX introduced the Powerbase EDGE, a smaller, sleeker, and more modernized Powerbase for today’s modern camera-scape….”
“Equivalence. It’s the bugbear of anyone who reviews Micro Four Thirds lenses. You are being conned says the incoming mail. Your f/1.4 lens is really an f/2.8. And your so called shallow depth of field is commensurate with f/2.8, too, not f/1.4. It’s an argument I’ve heard so many times and while factually true, is pointless and irrelevant. The only rational response is -so what?…
Put simply, a native Micro Four Thirds lens is just that. A native Micro Four Thirds lens. It isn’t a Full Frame lens. It won’t fit a DSLR and if it did it wouldn’t cover the whole frame. I’ve tried more and more to describe lenses according to their angle of view since that is universal. If you know what angle of view you want, you can choose a lens to get it. Thus, I know that I like as a standard prime a lens with a moderate wide angle, around 54° horizontal. A quick calculation at Points In Focus Photography tells me that for a Micro Four Thirds sensor it would be 17mm, for FF 35mm and for Medium Format 55mm. Easy.”
Former Fleet Street newspaper photographer David Thorpe is in my humble opinion one of the best and most useful writers and reviewers on Micro Four Thirdscameras and lenses though it is a pity that camera and lens makers don’t give him the credit and access to review gear that he deserves.
Mr Thorpe comes from a 35mm and 120 roll-film single lens reflex (SLR) background during the analog era whereas I have always relied on rangefinder and view cameras and prefer digital cameras that give me some semblance of those unique ways of seeing and photographing.
The other big difference between Mr Thorpe and I is that I rely on all my cameras, to varying degrees, when making photographs as well as videos and video is better served by fully manual lenses or at least manual clutch focus lenses such as those made by Fujifilm in APS-C X-Mount format and Olympus in M43.
As a result there are M43 lenses, especially small, light and relatively affordable prime and zoom lenses, that I quite like for stills photography but that are ruled out for serious video production, and more specialized M43 lenses such as those made by Veydra in their Mini Prime range, and those made by Olympus under their M.Zuiko Pro brand.
“… I can understand and agree with every reason put forward for those big, expensive optically superb f/1.2. And yet, in my heart, ever since I bought into Micro Four Thirds I’ve retained my original reasoning. Put an Olympus 17mm f/1.8 on a Panasonic GX9 body and go out street shooting in Soho. Now go out with a 17mm f/1.2 on the front. What can I say? Little and good, big and bad….”
Not quite, insofar as hybrid street shooting goes.
Although I have been tempted by the idea of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 given its focal length is my own perfect all-in-one go-to, in reality this lens is apparently a little too compromised for documentary video production, according to a number of pro video reviewers.
I have yet to lay my hands on one for serious try out and review, but the first thing to consider is the practicality of attaching fixed or variable neutral density filters to its 46mm filter diameter via a step-up ring.
I have standardized on 77mm and 82mm diameter variable and fixed NDs in order to keep down costs, but need to maintain a selection of step-up rings to fit those NDs on a range of lenses.
Experience has taught me to stick to brass step-up rings to avoid binding, preferring brands that knurl the outside of their rings for best grip in challenging conditions but then that narrows brand choice down to Breakthrough Photography, Heliopan, PolarPro and Sensei Pro.
Of those only Heliopan makes rings for smaller filter diameters like 46mm but they don’t step-up to 82mm; for that you will need to attach a 77mm to 82mm step-up ring for which I would automatically choose the one made by Breakthrough Photography.
The same goes for other small M43 lenses some of which may be more suitable for video production such as Panasonic’s Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7 Aspheric Power OIS with its 37mm filter diameter, the Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II Aspheric Mega OIS with its 46mm filter diameter, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f/2.0 with its 46mm filter diameter and manual clutch focus, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8 with 46mm filter diameter but no manual clutch focus and the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8, again with no manual clutch focus but with a 46mm filter diameter.
Some made by Olympus, some by Panasonic. some with manual clutch focus, some without, none with wide filter diameters and all needing one or two step-up rings to get them to the magic 77mm or 82mm filter diameter, the latter of which I have chosen as my new default given better ND filter choice in that size now.
Digital Trends – Olympus M. Zuiko F1.2 Pro lenses prove there’s life left in Micro Four Thirds – “Naturally, these lenses are fantastic for portraiture. The sense of depth they give at f/1.2 is like nothing else we’ve ever seen on the format. In fact, the remark that kept coming to mind was, “This looks like film.” It is probably the first time we’ve ever felt that way about Micro Four Thirds…. Olympus’ goal with the F1.2 Pro series was to craft a specific quality of blur, which the company calls “feathered bokeh.”
Digital Trends – Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F1.2 Pro review – “… until now, there hasn’t been a fast, wide-angle prime that really targeted high-end and professional users. The Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F1.2 Pro changes that, combining the largest aperture of any wide-angle lens available for the format with exceptional build quality.”
Digital Trends – Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 Pro review – “… [the] Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 Pro, however, is a technically excellent lens that may also just be special enough to inspire you emotionally. It highlights the impressive move that the Micro Four Thirds system has made into the world of professional photography.”
Digital Trends – Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm F1.2 Pro review – “… the 45mm is perhaps the most exciting entry in the series — everything about it is finely tuned for portrait photography… In fact, it is our favorite portrait-length lens for the MFT system.”
“Sigma just patented two new Micro Four Thirds lenses: 14mm f/1.2 and 35mm f/1.2. Now you will wonder…what has this to do with Panasonic? Because Sigma is known to sell those lens designs to Panasonic. The Leica 12mm f/1.4 for example is designed by Sigma…
That’s why there is a high chance the 14mm and 35mm f/1.2 prime lenses will be released by Panasonic (maybe using Leica brand)….”
Or maybe there is an even higher chance that Sigma is planning on selling these two new f/1.2 prime lens designs to Olympus for its top-tier M.Zuiko Pro lens collection to go with its current 17mm, 25mm and 45mm f/1.2 primes?
Sigma Corporation, like Cosina and several other mostly Japanese companies, is an OEM manufacturer of lenses for other brands and apparently has already sold lens designs to Olympus, such as the 150mm-equivalent M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8, considered to be one of the optically finest Micro Four Thirds lenses available.
Sigma apparently was known for some years as a budget lens maker but its Art range of premium lenses proved that it belongs in the ranks of professional-quality lens makers now.
Sigma’s recently released Ciné prime and zoom lens collection cements the company’s reputation firmly in place as does, on the adapted lens front, the company’s much-lauded Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art, often first choice in combo with Metabones Speed Boosters for M43 video camera users working in available darkness.
Two documentary movie and photography favourites, 28mm and 75mm
My two preferred documentary prime lens focal lengths are 28mm and 75mm in 35mm sensor equivalence and they are my first choice when buying into a new camera system.
That choice is often thwarted, though, by their equivalents’ unavailability as native lenses in some mirrorless camera systems or, in the case of Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R, an ageing lens’ quirky mechanical qualities making it next to useless for a high speed approach necessitated by the nature of my subjects and their circumstances.
28mm equivalent prime lenses by Fujifilm, Leica and Panasonic
Panasonic Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 II Aspheric pancake prime lens, which appears to be missing in action from most if not all retailers now.
Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R prime lens, regrettably much too slow to focus manually or via autofocus and its aperture ring too flakey and quirky for fast-paced professional work in stills and video, though some folks seem to like it for the quirkiness that made it frustrating for me.
Leica Summilux-M 28mm f/1.4 Aspheric prime lens for Leica M-Mount.
Panasonic’s pancake prime, the Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 II, had vanished from most retailers after I tried a review loaner out and although I made some great photographs with it, its performance was suboptimal for everything I wanted to do with it, not least due to its lack of a focussing ring.
I and many other Fujifilm camera users are still waiting for the company to issue its long-rumoured 18mm update perhaps in the form of a Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R WR “Fujicron”, especially suitable for documentary photography with the X-Pro2 rangefinder camera, the X-E3 rangefinder-style camera and Fujifilm’s smaller DSLR-style cameras.
75mm equivalent prime lenses by Fujifilm, Leica and Veydra
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 50mm f/2.0 WR R “Fujicron” prime lens.
Leica Apo-Summicron-M 75mm f/2.0 Aspheric prime lens.
Veydra 35mm T2.2 Mini Prime, equivalent to 70mm when used on a Micro Four Thirds camera.
Veydra 50mm T2.2 Mini Prime, equivalent to 75mm when used on a Fujifilm or Sony APS-C camera.
Prime lenses in the 35mm sensor equivalent 75mm focal length are as hard to find in the Micro Four Thirds world as their 28mm equivalent siblings, and that relative rarity is not assisted by Sigma’s patent for a 35mm and not 37.5mm focal length lens.
Even so there are times I miss the 90mm focal length equivalent so have Olympus’ M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 Pro high on my M43 lens wishlist, also due to the manual clutch focus featured in all M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lenses making them invaluable for professional moviemaking and photography work.
Given a choice between a manual focus or manual clutch focus lens and a fly-by-wire autofocus or autofocus/manual lens, I will choose the manual or manual clutch focus lens same as I will choose a pair of fast primes over a zoom lens that includes both focal lengths.
There is no denying, though, that some projects demanding stealth, speed and small camera bag transportation can benefit from carrying just one top-quality zoom lens like the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro or the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro.
Designed by Sigma for Olympus or Panasonic?
It is too early to tell whether the 43 Rumors folks are correct about Sigma’s 14mm and 35mm f/1.2 lens design patents being intended for Panasonic.
I am hoping upon hope that the eventual destination will be Olympus and its M.Zuiko Pro lens collection.
Panasonic seems disinclined to replace its lenses’ linear and non-linear fly-by-wire mechanisms with the far more capable manual clutch focus mechanism used in Olympus’ M.Zuiko primes and zooms, and Fujifilm’s 14mm, 16mm and 23mm wider aperture trio for that matter.
Panasonic insiders have told me they constantly receive requests from professional users for manual clutch focus lenses but the company seems set on its current path if its apparently Sigma-designed 12mm, 15mm, 25mm and 42.5mm wide aperture Leica-branded lenses are any indication.
I wish to see Olympus adding to its M.Zuiko Pro collection with 14mm and 37.5mm focal length lenses as well as 10.5mm and 12mm focal length prime lenses.
Sigma’s 70mm-equivalent 35mm f/1.2 lens is not quite my preferred focal length but at least it fills the gap between the current 25mm and 45mm M.Zuiko Pro lenses.
Now let’s see Olympus fill the other gaps in its M.Zuiko Pro collection.
Australian cinematographer/director of photography/director/writer Paul Leeming of Visceral Psyche Films has been radically overhauling his Leeming LUT suite of camera profile colour matching 3D LUTs whilst grading Kodokushi, the very first full-length feature film to be shot on the affordable, award-winningPanasonic Lumix GH5S high-end compact video camera.
As we learned earlier this year when Mr Leeming dropped by our home studio after wrapping production on the Kodokushi shoot in Osaka, the Leeming LUT camera profile testing and production process has evolved courtesy of now basing it on 3D LUT Creator combined with a new footage creation methodology.
We tested an early beta of Leeming LUT Pro, successor to Leeming LUT One, against earlier versions of Leeming LUT One and were suitably impressed.
Leeming LUT Pro has delivered on its predecessors’ promise of enabling easier, faster and more accurate correction of video footage from a range of hybrid cameras and camcorders affordable for self-funded, low-budget, independent documentary and narrative moviemakers.
Leeming LUT Pro makes that possible regardless of whether video acquisition is via Rec. 709, Rec. 2020, log, flat or regular picture profile footage, and with whichever brand camera so long as Mr Leeming has tested its footage for creation of his custom camera profile 3D LUTs.
Contemporary moviemakers often use a range of cameras on any given production, presenting a costly, time-consuming colour-matching headache during the postproduction process.
With Leeming LUT Pro, a timeline of footage from several different cameras can be colour-matched by dropping the relevant Leeming LUT Pro camera profile custom LUT onto each clip, evening their colour up for faster subsequent colour correction then colour grading for looks and emotion.
Consequently, footage from, say, a Canon EOS DSLR or Cinema EOS camcorder, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8, GH5, GH5S, any of the Sony hybrid cameras, a JVC GY-LS300, GoPro or DJI X5 Series on the same timeline will no longer be screaming out their colour science differences and will play nice together.
Application of the ETTR – exposing to the right – principle as taught by Mr Leeming on his Leeming LUT Pro website aids in exposure-matching and enhances Leeming LUT Pro’s colour-matching benefits even more.
Colour-matching footage shot on a range of cameras over time is the bane of longterm documentary moviemaking and Leeming LUT Pro makes the process more accurate, easier and faster when using profiled cameras.
For example, my current documentary production gear kit includes the Fujifilm X-Pro2, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4, and I may be adding a GH5 or GH5S along with a second Fujifilm camera to backup and extend my X-Pro2.
That represents a range of picture profiles, film simulations, Rec. types and specific Rec. 709 profiles as well as HLG and V-Log without adding footage from very different cameras such as GoPro, DJI, Canon, Nikon, Blackmagic Design and more.
Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K aka P4K gives self-funded indie moviemakers like me an eminently affordable 4K UHD and 1080p HD cinema camera option as well and Mr Leeming will no doubt be creating a custom Leeming LUT Pro 3D LUT for it when he can obtain a production-ready version of the camera.
Blackmagic Design’s Grant Petty once shared his vision for the rest of us who need to be storytellers in moving pictures but don’t come from traditional storytelling class and ethnic backgrounds:
“My big thing is, if you don’t have any money, it doesn’t mean to say your brain is turned off, or you’re stupid or you don’t have ambition. From my point of view, you want to move up, you want to do great things. If you want to do that, you should be able to buy products that let you do that. That’s how you get rid of class structure. I’m trying to remove it, and just let people be creative.”
With the coming release of Leeming LUT Pro, Paul Leeming is also assisting independent moviemakers in dismantling the moviemaking class system and more power to his arm, as the saying goes.
“Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation has commercialized the “IMX294CJK” Type 4/3 back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with approximately 10.71M-effective pixels for the expanding security camera market.
The “IMX294CJK” is the first in-house image sensor for security cameras to adopt the Type 4/3 format, and realizes output of the number of pixels needed for 4K at 120 frame/s (in ADC 10-bit output mode). In addition, use of a large-size pixel achieves SNR1s of 0.14 lx*1, and use of a Quad Bayer pixel structure (see Figure 1) realizes an HDR (High Dynamic Range) function with no time difference, enabling video imaging with a wide dynamic range….”
“Based out of Mexico City, but working wherever there is a story to be told, Daniel Berehulak (www.Danielberehulak.com) is an award winning photo journalist. His images have covered the Trial of Saddam Hussein, The Iraq War, the aftermath of the Tsunami in Japan and more recently the drug wars in The Philippines. He very kindly stopped by the Photo Gear News stand to talk to us about shooting with Panasonic Lumix cameras, notably the recent G9. Daniel also offered some words of advice to those wanting to get started in photo journalism.”
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 with Panasonic DMW-BGG9 Battery Grip and Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens
Panasonic’s expansion of its Leica optics-equipped Leica DG lens range with the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens is a welcome signal that the company is taking seriously M43’s viability as a professional-quality format for stills photography and moviemaking.
Australian photojournalist Daniel Berehulak, like so many of my former colleagues with whom I worked for newspaper and magazine publishers here, finally upped and left for foreign clients and countries where photojournalists are still able to eke out a living covering events and people crucial to understanding and sometimes even influencing how the world is developing.
It was terrific to come across this video of Mr Berehulak stopping in for a quick chat with the Photo Gear News team at last month’s The Photography Show 2018 in Birmingham, one of the many photography trade shows that occur in the northern hemisphere.
I hope that some day soon, despite there no longer being any photography trade shows back here in Australia, Mr Berehulak will make some presentations on his work and career while on one of his not infrequent trips home to see family and friends.
Although Mr Berehulak has also been known to use Nikon DSLRs, this Panasonic Lumix Luminary brand ambassador has apparently long relied on Panasonic Lumix cameras and lenses and especially on Panasonic’s Leica prime and zoom lenses.
This may be a controversial view in some quarters but in my humble opinion digital gives us more than analog ever did with greater image quality in smaller, more affordable cameras and lenses to the point where Micro Four Thirds Bayer sensors outdo 35mm film, Fujifilm’s X-Trans APS-C sensors outdo 120 roll film and Fujifilm’s medium format Bayer sensors outdo 4″x5″ sheet film.
If I were fortunate enough to still be shooting for analog magazines and newspapers including those published by Fairfax as Daniel Berehulak did, I would mostly be relying on Lumix cameras due to their size, weight and silent mode, though I remain partial to Olympus’ M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lenses for their manual clutch focus and other professional-quality traits.
The small Micro Four Thirds sensor format and its little, quiet, discrete cameras are modern-day answers to the original aims of the inventor of the Leica analog camera, Oskar Barnack, to produce an easily portable camera for landscape photography but that was first put to serious documentary use reporting on the floods that swept through Leica’s home base of Wetzlar, Germany, in 1920.
Little wonder that Panasonic has collaborated with Leica Camera AG on producing Leica and Panasonic Leica-branded lenses for its stills and hybrid cameras and camcorders since 1995, lenses favoured by Daniel Berehulak for his documentary photography and photojournalism work.
“Recently we visited the 2018 CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan and booked an in-depth interview with Panasonic. Among the topics covered were the company’s new twin flagships, the Lumix GH5S and G9, as well as how Panasonic hopes to grow their appeal to professional and advanced amateur stills photographers….”
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 professional rangefinder-style camera with Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 Aspheric Power OIS lens.
Panasonic Lumix LX100 with fixed Leica DC Vario-Summilux f/1.7-2.8 zoom lens.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 with interchangeable Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS zoom lens.
Panasonic’s Lumix DC-G9 DSLR-style stills-oriented camera and the Lumix DC-GH5S DSLR-style video-oriented are remarkable achievements of which the company can be justly proud, but it is good to read that Panasonic does not intend to rest on its laurels when it comes to new stills photography camera offerings.
… Our business philosophy is based on ‘changing photography.’ And any change we make must be a benefit for the customer, and for the last two or three years, we’ve really focused on our video capabilities. But we still want to satisfy stills-focused users with our philosophy….
I really want to see Panasonic adhere to that philosophy and to change photography as much as it has changed video for independent documentary photographers and videographers like me.
I hope that coming Lumix stills-oriented cameras will not suffer the fate of Panasonic’s professional rangefinder-style flagship Lumix DMC-GX8, which was “replaced” with the non-professional Lumix DC-GX9 aka Lumix GX7 Mark III rangefinder-style aimed at enthusiasts and street photographers.
DSLR-style cameras do not and cannot “replace” rangefinder and rangefinder-style cameras.
I will repeat that.
DSLR-style cameras do not and cannot “replace” rangefinder and rangefinder-style cameras, and so the Lumix DC-G9, no matter how great it may be for sports and wildlife photography, does not and cannot “replace” the Lumix DMC-GX8.
Panasonic, we are waiting to hear that you will be coming up with a professional rangefinder-style successor to the Lumix DMC-GX8.
Meanwhile we are also waiting to hear what you intend to do to come up with successors to two cameras which fill a currently unfulfilled need, that of eminently portable compact rangefinder-style cameras with fixed or interchangeable lenses small enough to carry anytime anywhere in any general-purpose bag or dedicated small camera bags such as the attach-to-anything Think Tank Photo Little Stuffit! V3.0.
Right now there is no successor to either the Lumix DMC-GM5 or the Lumix DMC-LX100 and there needs to be, just as there must be a real successor to the Lumix DMC-GX8.
“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.”
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
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 with Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS zoom lens
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 with Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS zoom lens
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 with Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS zoom lens
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?
Extensive sealing at each joint, dial, and button to render it both splash- and dust-proof.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8’s body is substantial enough to handle large lenses like the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4.0-6.3 Aspheric Power OIS.
Likewise larger lenses like the Panasonic Lumix G 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric Power OIS that may dwarf smaller, lighter camera bodies.
The Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Aspheric prime lens is also well-balanced on the GX8.
The GX8 has a good built-in grip and no need for optional hand grips to be attached in order to securely grip and balance big, heavy lenses.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8’s fully articulated monitor beats any tilting or fixed LCD monitor screen especially in combination with its tilting EVF.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 with fully-articulated monitor flipped out, often used relied on by vloggers.
The fully-articulated monitor that the GX8 has and that the GX9 does not have is far superior to monitors that tilt up or down. I use my GX8 like this for portraiture in portrait format with camera handheld or tripod-mounted.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8’s large OLED live viewfinder features a unique tilting design to benefit working from low angles and also has an impressive 2.36m-dot resolution, 0.77x magnification, and 10,000:1 contrast ratio.
The GX8 comes with a good built-in rubber eyecup and an even better optional eyecup great for when shooting video is available.
Magnesium alloy body with die-cast front and rear frames.
The sadly discontinued Really Right Stuff BGX8 L-Plate for the still-currently-in-production Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 for use when shooting in landscape or portrait orientation.
L-plates like this one by Really Right Stuff are invaluable when quickly switching from horizontal to vertical orientation during environmental portrait photography sessions.
Really Right Stuff bizarrely discontinued this L-plate before I had a chance to buy it, so if any readers have one for sale please let me know.
The discontinued Really Right Stuff BGX8 L-Plate for the still-in-production Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8.
Camera cages for the GX8 are available due to it being taken seriously as a movie production camera.
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
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.
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 OIS – B&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 Aspheric – B&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 OIS – B&H – reportedly excellent fast portrait-length short telephoto lens for portraiture, documentary photography and photojournalism.
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.
“… At the Cp+ show Panasonic is displaying that history tree table….”
Panasonic’s latest action in apparently replacing the professional-quality Lumix DMC-GX8 with the enthusiast-level Lumix DC-GX9, more accurately named the Lumix DC-GX7 Mark III in Japan, has the many professional users of the GX8 asking questions that are simply not being answered.
Two recently published graphics, the Panasonic camera family tree displayed on a wall at the CP+ trade show in Japan and a different Lumix G camera family tree distributed as part of the company’s celebrations of the launch of the first Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) camera, the Lumix DMC-G1, back in 2008, are inducing even more questions that remain unanswered.
Is Panasonic’s professional rangefinder-style camera line really now dead, with the GX8 the very last of its kind?
Where is the update for the GM5, the best small, discrete, near-invisible camera for street photography and unobtrusive documentary photography I have ever seen?
I missed out on buying my own GM5 and have been searching fruitlessly ever since for a tiny but top-quality camera equipped with interchangeable pancake prime or zoom lenses to be carried at all times wherever I go.
Until Panasonic shocked and disappointed its professional stills and video user base with the GX9 aka GX7 Mark III, I had been planning on adding a GX9, what should have been the real GX9, to my kit for use in documentary moviemaking and photography.
Now that may never happen.
Now I am wondering if I should be spending my money on Fujifilm cameras instead even though there are no direct substitutes for the GX8 and GM5 in Fujifilm’s otherwise promising camera collection.
Fujifilm’s rangefinder-style X-E3 does not have the GX8’s unique tilting EVF nor its more pro-quality stills and video features although it is reportedly a great little interchangeable lens camera for stills and video though crippled by Fujifilm’s bizarre aversion to exposure zebras.
The X-E3 might otherwise make for a good, discrete, near-invisible documentary and street camera when equipped with Fujifilm’s only pancake lens, the Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8, though I have yet to obtain an X-E3 review loaner to put this hope to the test.
There is also the fact that Fujifilm does not make other equally good pancake prime lenses and nothing like Panasonic’s amazing though awfully under-rated Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Mega OIS zoom lens.
Fujifilm’s real-rangefinder fixed-lens APS-C-sensored X-100F makes for a great little documentary and street photography camera though it badly needs its own version of the Fujifilm MHG-X100 hand grip, a crucial accessory given the X100F’s small, slippery body.
Panasonic’s recent design, manufacturing, marketing and naming decisions and lack of communication about them have thrown me and not a few other professional users into a quandary to the point where we are wondering if we should be looking at other makers’ products even though the Micro Four Thirds Super 16 format has its many advantages and those other makers also have their own bizarre blindspots and weird omissions.
Then there is the question of the GX8’s unique and irreplaceable tilting EVF, the one thing that allows me to shoot in the magnified waist-level viewfinder manner of great classic analog cameras like the Rolleiflex TLRs and that no other camera maker emulates in the digital era, not even with tilting monitors you have to squint at and shade with your hand in order to have a hope of seeing well enough under bright outdoor light.
If Panasonic no longer makes the stills cameras I need and my GX8 finally wears out after too many shutter actuations, I face kissing goodbye to a way of seeing and photographing upon which I built my style, my career and my life.
There is so much more to the GX8 and the technology it gave me and that is mostly absent from the GX9 than an homage to some of the best of the past, as I was reminded on absentmindedly picking up and handling my GX8 just now.
Its combination of fully-articulated touchscreen, touch focussing, tilting viewfinder mechanism and beautiful, brilliant EVF screen is an incredibly potent one for unobtrusive, immersive documentary and portrait photography often at times mere centimetres away from your subjects.
If you are lucky enough to have a GX8, pick it up, turn it on, flip up its EVF, open its monitor to the left and tilted slightly flat, place your left thumb on the touchscreen to perfectly nail focus, operate the camera’s buttons and dials with the fingers of your right hand, all simultaneously, and feel the power and control in your hands, the GX8’s uncanny ability to help you capture the perfect moment.
Now consider what has been lost to us with the GX9.