Normally I shoot a Canon 5D MK II, but it is quite heavy to lug around and “looks” like a pro camera. Not only does the size get you noticed, but it also makes it very hard to carry discreetly. Whenever I take it with me, I feel like I HAVE to take photos, if for no other reason than to have something to show for putting up with the hassle of bringing the beast along. After a few years of this, I ended up just leaving it at home when I went out.
I missed the days when I had a Ricoh GRD III that was perfect for slipping in your pocket and was a big reason why I was able to capture almost all of my street photography. I decided I needed something similar to that but a little more versatile. At first I thought about the Sony A6000 line of cameras, but even though they are mirrorless, their lenses are still pretty big and pretty expensive. I was looking for something small like a point and shoot, but still had some ability to take decent shots with advanced setting options. My needs were pretty much answered with the Micro Four Thirds system.
I ended up going with the Panasonic Lumix GX9. It’s the perfect camera for what I need. It hasn’t been reviewed much or well, but that is mostly because of it’s video handicaps, the fact that it wasn’t weather sealed, and Panasonic’s weird naming convention. This led people to believe it was a successor to the GX8 rather then the GX85 with which it has more in common. The weather sealing issue is annoying, but then again, if that really is an issue, I’d just take the 5D anyway. The EVF is pretty poor which was another sticking point for most reviewers, however, It doesn’t bother me as I’m old school and used to using a viewfinder that slides into the hot-shoe (previously mentioned GRD III & my old film rangefinder).
The included kit lens is better than most kit lenses, but I added the Lumix 20mm F/1.7 II Pancake lens. This lens is the one I’ve used the most over the past month (also the lens used to take all the images in this post) and while it’s good, I’m not sure if I like this focal length. I like shooting wide and 40mm (35mm equivalent) is a bit tight for me, especially when shot in the 4:3 format. The great thing about Micro Four Thirds is that their is a ton of lenses available, almost too many. I already have a few on a growing list over at B&H.
Originally, this post was supposed to be about Bryn Athen Cathedral, where all of these photos were taken. However, the reason for taking these shots was to test out the new toy, which was possible because I can carry it with me all the time. I’ve wanted to shoot here for a while, since I drive by it a few times a week. Having the camera with me all the time allowed me to stop and take a few shots once the weather cooperated.
Normally, I would include the settings of each shot, but as I’m still playing with the camera, these settings are not dialed in yet. For example, there is an auto-ISO feature that seemed like a good idea, since it could be limited to not exceed a certain speed, but in practice………it allowed me to take a shot at 1/4000 (cool) at ISO 1000 (not cool and totally unnecessary). At the time, checking in the EVF it showed an ISO of 200, so not entirely sure how it ended up switching to ISO 1000. I was shooting toward the sun so a 1/4000 at F/4 wasn’t a crazy setting. Of course, I could just be an idiot (which is most likely the case).
Anyway, here are some shots to show Micro Four Thirds isn’t dead.