Opening The Box – Number Three – The Panasonic DC-G9

Opening The Box – Number Three – The Panasonic DC-G9

I first encountered this new Panasonic mirror-less camera at a recent blue blood moon shoot down in Rockingham. Sam Perejuan from our shop had one with a long Panasonic lens on it ready for the rising of the moon over the fertiliser works. He took shots through the heat haze and we were both amazed at the detail of the wobbles in the moon’s outline as it rose. Sam wasn’t using a tripod, but the extremely effective anti-shake system of the camera meant that the whole thing was sharp. I was seriously impressed.

Keeping that in mind, I checked out a camera body and a Panasonic 25mm f:1.7 lens for the studio – I knew that the micro 4/3 sensor size would regard the 25mm as a standard focal length for the camera – just as the 35mm Tokina lens did on the Nikon D7500. The idea of a ” standard ” lens is important for my tabletops, as it simulates what might have been done with the 35mm camera for full-sized subjects. My choice, and sometimes I do use shorter focal lengths, but you cannot do effective plane of focus stacking for models any shorter than about 25-27mm.

The Panasonic shape now mimics all the other DSLR cameras, without a mirror but with an EVF as well as a the LCD screen. You’ll find:

a. The handle is a good big size. They do not require you to hold modern mirror-less with two fingers and a thumb. The disposition of the controls ( 19 of ’em on the Panasonic ) is well done.

b. There is a particularly welcome thumb joystick that can take over many of the functions that are normally tacked onto the 4-position D-ring lower down. I welcome this since I discovered the utility of it on my Fujifilm X-T2. The position of the thumb crossing over during shooting is far more natural than going down to the D-ring. Those people who are used to tilting their cameras forward to access a turning ring in this position may need to re-train their reflexes.

c. The familiar concentric control stack on the LHS top plate has adequate choices, but you’ll have to remember what they are. There is no lock for the drive mode but it is adequately detented.

d. Flash connections: One hot shoe dedicated to the Panasonic TTL on top and one standard PC sync terminal on front. More on this tomorrow…

e. Good big battery in a securely lockable compartment. The compartment has cord access in case you have this camera hooked up to a constant power supply. Good idea. The charger for the camera is a two-piece one – a small plug-in box for the mains and then a smaller intermediary box with the actual charging bay. I am going to hazard a guess that you can probably charge a battery inside the camera from a USB port at a pinch…and this is the only sensible explanation for what otherwise amounts to a complicated system.

Complicated systems get forgotten on the bedside table when you check out of the hotel. Be warned.

f. Two card slots – secure door lock.

g. Swing-out LCD screen – reversible for protection and all. Do not take this as praise – look and see how far that screen swings out to the side as compared to a single-fold screen. The movable screen is a wonderful thing – I use the one on my Fujifilm all the time indoors, and it is the total answer for above/below/around the corner shots. But I want mine closer to the axis of the camera lens…

Note as well that the screen has many touch features – very light touch features as it happens. That, and the extreme sensitivity of the shutter button mean that you may come home with more image options than you actually intended to take.

Tomorrow I’ll detail what happened when I tried to compel the camera to follow my will. That phrase alone’ll give you a hint to what it was all like…

 

 

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