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Panasonic Lumix GX9 Camera - Hands On Trial
13th February 2018

Before today’s launch, I was asked by Panasonic to test drive one of their newest Micro Four Thirds, Lumix G cameras. The GX9 is marketed as a step up to the current compact GX8. I only had a week with a hands-on test drive of the GX9, equipped with a few Lumix lenses, but my first impressions are good. Here is a round up some of the highlights…

As a street/lifestyle photographer, there are certain criteria I look for in a camera, and I would say the GX9 covers a lot of them. The body itself, which is quite compact in size, and simple in design, felt very solid and weighty in a good way. A large, well defined hand grip, so even though I wore a strap around my wrist, I never felt the camera would slip from hands, thanks to a well designed contoured grip at front and at back for the thumb. At first, I was concerned that the pad of my thumb would accidentally press function buttons at back, but thanks to a smart thumb-rest design this never happened. The large tilting touch-screen LCD screen is very sharp and clear. The ability to choose a single focus point and simply touch the screen to change that focus point position to anywhere I wanted made getting shots a breeze. An articulating EVF, which can be swiveled upwards so you are looking down to view, comes in useful for shooting at awkward angles and levels. I didn’t test out the built in Wi-Fi option this time around, but may come in very useful when on the road/travelling without a backup facility.

There are a LOT of features packed into the GX9, and also a lot of menu options to customise settings to suit your needs, which I ended up doing. I didn’t get a chance to review every single option. Instead I resorted mostly to using the handy Q MENU button on the back to get to the most commonly used settings, to make any necessary changes on the fly. Again, I didn’t really read the manual, but then the menus themselves are quite intuitive and once you have the personalised settings that you want you are ready to go.

There are only two dial knobs for simple control - the Aperture dial at the front and the shutter dial on the back. As mentioned the smart grip design meant that I was able to continue looking through the viewfinder to see my changes, while instinctively adjusting the appropriate dial settings without having to look at the camera. This functionality came in handy when shooting candid street scenes. Coupled with a 20MP sensor, fast auto focus, a high burst rate with no buffer lag, I felt assured that I would never miss a moment. I tested out the 4K Photo option, which allows you to record a 4k video then select and save a high quality 4k photo frame. Ideal when you want to grab the perfect moment in fast moving action giving you a great sharp shot.

Other useful features include a silent shutter mode, which came in really handy for close up candid shots in quieter locations. I dabbled with some of the in-camera filters, typically sticking with the ‘street photography’ monochrome filters, which are a fun feature to have if you don’t shoot RAW. Another useful feature is the ability to set a minimum shutter speed and a maximum ISO range number. Pushing the ISO to 3200 on a night shoot, I was still able to produce decent quality images. Thanks to built in image stablisation, I was also able to lower my shutter speeds a little lower then usual, without the effects of camera shake. Overall, the GX9 was a pleasure to use, and managed to produce high quality, sharp images that I was impressed with.

A Room With A View - Photo Series
28th January 2018
As street photographers, we can spend hours, days, weeks, months and years pounding the local streets, travelling the world, searching for that perfect shot. I personally love the outdoors, I love walking, I love my photo walks. The anticipation of possibly turning a corner and observing a cracking moment. The butterflies you get in your stomach just before you hit that shutter button knowing the moment maybe gone in seconds. I have even been known to plan a photo walk around a rainstorm/snow forecast, just to add to my ever-increasing Rainy Days & Brollies series of shots.

Sometimes though, I glance through the windows of my room with a view - raindrops streaming down, camera in hand, debating with myself 'is it worth going out today? Should I risk the warmth and coziness of my Maida Vale apartment to go out and make some pictures? Am I prepared to get soaked by our horizontal London rain? Is it worth my (non-weather sealed) camera of choice getting soaked and possibly damaged? With a 50/50 possibility of only getting some ok shots. Or, god forbid, coming home with..... nothing?! The sound of the kettle boiling brings me back to my senses, I take a sip of my hot tea and I say to myself "Nah! fudge that! I'm staying in today!!"

Thankfully, on those off chances that I did stay indoors (come rain, snow or shine), observing the local life from the comfort of my first-floor apartment, peering out my window (like Dot Cotton but with a camera), I managed to 'document' a few moments that caught my eye!

Here is a selection from my ongoing Room With A View photography series!

Seen in London Series - The gloves are off
17th January 2018

The gloves are off in Soho...well, one of them anyway! Sometimes its good to see the world from a different point of view.

Part of my Seen in London Series, an ongoing photography project - snapping my visions of London and the people who live in it one click at a time!