PBS: American Masters: Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable (video – regional restrictions apply)

https://www.pbs.org/video/garry-winogrand-all-things-are-photographable-tdq83s/

“Discover the life and work of Garry Winogrand, the epic storyteller in pictures who harnessed the serendipity of the streets to capture the American 1960s-70s. His “snapshot aesthetic” is now the universal language of contemporary image-making. …”

Leica Q (Typ 116) digital camera with 24.2 megapixel 35mm sensor and Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 Aspheric lens, perfectly suited to the snapshot aesthetic.

Commentary

American documentary photographer Garry Winogrand was called “the central photographer of his generation” by photography curator, historian, and critic John Szarkowski and this documentary movie  provides some insights into how and why he earned that accolade.

Winogrand was a key member of the generation that established the snapshot aesthetic as applied to photography in public as a genre in its own right, alongside Joel Meyerowitz, Lee Friedlander, Tony Ray-Jones and others, all relying on Leica M-Series rangefinder cameras and often the 28mm focal length.

Now that street photography has become even more established as a genre and in some manifestations as a cult, practitioners would do well to study its beginnings at the hands of artists like Winogrand and his colleagues back in the 1960s and 1970s, starting with Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable.

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Presentation by TV Journalist Turned Photographer Ray Martin at Ted’s World of Imaging, Sydney, Saturday 27th October 2018

Some of the many things I miss from my time in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe include the many wonderful agent and artist show-and-tells, art and photography festivals, book launches, face-to-face interviews, gallery and museum shows, meets-and-greets, movie premieres, new venue openings, portfolio reviews, presentations, private members’ clubs meet-ups, product launches, professional organization events, sneak previews, trade shows and private meetings with fellow moviemakers, photographers and other artists at all stages in their careers. 

That sense of belonging to a constantly active and vibrant creative community is crucial to the development of any artist and is as important as the mutual respect shared amongst students, starters, established and late-career artists alike that I observed many times overseas. 

I experienced a reminder of all that when I attended a presentation by Ray Martin, Australian journalist and television presenter, at the recently opened photography concept store Ted’s World of Imaging in Pitt Street, Sydney, last Saturday. 

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Australian journalist Ray Martin is a longtime photography enthusiast who recently had a book of his photographs published. I made this portrait of him at his presentation about his work at Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney in October 2018.

Mr Martin described himself as a street photographer and related his late start as a photographer while working as a journalist, carrying a superzoom bridge camera on location during assignments.

After starting to take photography more seriously, he invested in a range of cameras and lens brands including Canon and Panasonic, and over a year ago was given a Fujifilm GFX 50S for use on location in travels around Australia with landscape photographer Ken Duncan.

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Australian journalist and television presenter Ray Martin with one of his Panasonic superzoom bridge cameras.
Ray Martin with Panasonic superzoom bridge camera and photograph from one of his many travels around Australia.
As a self-described street photographer, Ray Martin always carries a camera, most often superzoom bridge cameras with long focal length zoom lenses.
Ray Martin with his photograph of Said al-Islam Gaddafi, one of two sons of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Ray Martin has been Chairman of The Fred Hollows Foundation, the non-profit aid organization that focuses on treating and preventing blindness throughout Africa, Australia, the Pacific, South and South East Asia.
Ray Martin has travelled with and photographed naturalist and television presenter Sir David Attenborough.
Staff members at Ted’s World of Imaging and presentation attendees.
After the presentation on his photography, Ray Martin spoke with attendees and signed copies of his books.
A compact gallery space is located behind the retail section at Ted’s World of Imaging, Sydney.
Gallery space and large format exhibition printer at Ted’s World of Imaging, Sydney.
Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney hosts photography training by the Australian Centre for Photography.
Photography students at the Australian Centre for Photography workshop space at Ted’s World of Imaging, Sydney.
Copies of two of Ray Martin’s books were available for purchase and signing.
Members of the public and photography students are well catered for at Ted’s World of Imaging.
Fujifilm cinema zoom lenses, cameras and accessories at Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney.
Fujifilm lenses and instant film cameras at Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney.
Olympus cameras, lenses and binoculars at Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney.
Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras made by Blackmagic Design, Olympus and Panasonic, at Ted’s World of Imaging, Sydney.
Towards the front of the store at Ted’s World of Imaging, Pitt Street, Sydney.

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Image Credits

Portrait photography of Ray Martin made by Karin Gottschalk with Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R in available light as seven HDR bracket raw files merged in Skylum Aurora HDR 2019 then finished in Skylum Luminar 2018 and Adobe Photoshop.

Other photographs made with Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens.

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?

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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.

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pdn: Street Photographers on Success, Methods, Motivation and Overcoming Fear

https://www.pdnonline.com/features/photographer-interviews/street-photographers-on-success-methods-motivation-and-overcoming-fear/#gallery-1

“When Hong Kong-based photographer Xyza Cruz Bacani started making street photographs, she read about the subject on social media and saw a lot of arguments about rules, and about the definition of the genre. At first she thought parameters might be good for her as an emerging photographer. But before long, she said “fuck the rules.” What appealed to her about street photography was that it’s “very freeing. It’s up to you what you really want to photograph, it’s how you see the world….”

“Central Park, New York City, 1966” by Joel Meyerowitz. © Joel Meyerowitz

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The Guardian: Photography legend Joel Meyerowitz: phones killed the sexiness of the street

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/mar/07/photography-legend-joel-meyerowitz-phones-killed-sexiness-street-most-stunning-shots

“… “In the 60s and 70s you could look at my street photographs and trace lines from the eyes of people connecting with other people’s eyes, setting up these force fields.”

Today, what entranced Joel Meyerowitz about the street is all but dead. “Nobody’s looking at each other. Everybody’s glued to their phones.” But street photography still exists? “It’s thriving but not in the way I used to do it. The best street photographers now show humans dwarfed by ad billboards. The street has lost its savour.”…”

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Leica M7, classic 35mm format analog street photography, urban documentary and photojournalism camera

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Leica CL with Leica Summicron-TL 23mm f/2.0 Aspheric prime lens and Handgrip for CL

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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

panasonic_lumix_dmc_85_black_top_12-32mm_01_1024px_60%
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

panasonic_lumix_dmc_gx8_g_little_lenses_1920px_60%
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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Gerry Orkin: Street Photography’s Man Problem

http://www.gerryorkin.com/blog/street-photography-s-man-problem

“… The most active and influential street tribes have been top heavy with men. And they defined the language and culture of street in their image, a legacy that is largely intact today.

That explains why some women experience the street community as a boys club. They feel tolerated, but don’t feel like they fully belong, and that the deck is stacked against them. And that’s not just the view of women; many men I’ve spoken to are also alienated by the overtly male culture of street.

That situation isn’t unique to street photography;  it’s a legacy of history….”

Link

PDN: Dear Men: Allies Call for More Men to Step Up in the Photo Industry

https://www.pdnonline.com/features/industry-updates/dear-men-now-time-good-allies/

“… For every man we celebrate and also shield from the effects of his misdeeds, there’s a woman who’s left the industry because of all the harassment and undermining they’ve faced. This isn’t a hypothetical. We know women who have. They’ve given up their dreams. They’ve given up on their careers. Their mental health suffers. Who knows how many important stories have gone untold because they’ve left the industry. The total loss from this toxic culture is incalculable….”

PDN article authors Daniel Sircar and Justin Cook

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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

panasonic_lumix_dc-gx9_black_12-32mm_kit_square_slant_1024px_60%
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.

panasonic_lumix_dc_gx9_majorfail
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.

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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