I'm usually rather hard-hearted about the fate of companies—hey, it's a dog-eat-dog world out there—but I find myself mournful over the news that Panasonic is retrenching its camera business. They've done such a good job in my opinion, and come out with so many excellent products. One expects and hopes that a company that is fighting to compete and striving for market share will continue fighting and striving. I find myself regretting that its efforts didn't earn more response from the market and greater loyalty from the likes of us. I've owned and liked Panasonic cameras and lenses, from the GF1 to the GX7. I feel like I took the company for granted—all the while knowing it's not a faceless megalith, that there are dedicated individuals there who have worked very hard to create the company's photographic products.
Did you ever wonder if you're a bit "obsessive"? I've sometimes privately accused myself of that. Well, I just finished reading a book about obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) on the recommendation of a TOP reader, and I absolutely do not have OCD! Wow. Nothing close, nothing like it. Any "obsessiveness" I might have is in the common, colloquial, everyday sense of the word only.
The Sony IMX 269 from the GX8
That said, recently I've found myself fixating a bit—no, not in any clinically obsessive way—on the Sony IMX 269 sensor. As far as I can figure out, that's the name of the new 20-MP Micro 4/3 sensor in the Panasonic GX8 and GH5 and the Olympus Pen-F and E-M1 Mark II, although take that with a grain of salt—I'm assuming, and don't know it for a fact. I'm no expert on sensors.
I know we're supposed to fantasize and GAS about larger sensors, not about smaller ones! But man, I am loving the look of the images that come out of those cameras. Twenty-five years ago I liked smaller format (35mm) and faster films (Tri-X and P3200) because I liked a little roughness. Pictures had a little bite and grain, a certain clarity. I see some of the same qualities in images from the IMX 269 sensor. They have that lovely "bite." I even love the quality of the noise, when you can see it. Go to your favorite picture site and plug in one of those cameras and look at the pictures that come up.
Some people love the "look" of larger sensors and I absolutely get that, no reservations. Some people love the colors (and the B&W) possible with the X-Trans sensors. I get that too. But right now I can't stop looking at GX8 and E-M1 Mark II shots. Loverly.
Beautiful sensor, that.
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