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Monday, 17 December 2018


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Glad to see you stuck with m4/3. I'm looking forward to hearing your ongoing thoughts about the G9 especially in regards to size, weight, and overall handling. Enjoy!

You rented several cameras you were considering so you could try them before buying them and then buy one blind, hoping you will like it? (scratches head)

On the positive side, at least you'll be able to deduct your purchase on your 2018 tax return, which counts for something. 8^)

A Leica M10-D for me this year. The "digital M7" that I dreamt about since the introduction of the Epson R-D1.

The Typ 24x cameras were pretenders and even Leica figured that out.

I know... it is ridiculously expensive but we only live once.

One reader told me it was his favorite of all the photographs I've ever posted

I'd agree.

I am trying really hard to resist the siren call of the heavily discounted G9. You are not helping, Mike. Rest assured though, that if I do cave, I'll use your link...

Only a chapter, not a Biblical-class tome? Wow, I hope it's the one true cure for my shopping disorder.

The G9 is going to be a beauty. I have the cheapo version ...G85 .... great to hold, water resistant IBIS , easy to hold one handed.

Would love the G9 but cant justify.

But for me the portability of the m43 combined with Fuji ( XT1) and fuji primes is all the flexibility I need.

Wonder if the price of G9 may drop after FF comes out. Here is hoping.

So now you’re getting a Panasonic G9, while Kirk Tuck is buying up Fujis like mad. Interesting cross-fertilization.

You traded a tilting EVF for less shutter shock? I am curious to read what you have to say about the G9 after using it.

I did gaze at that photo for a long time. Very lovely.

As years advance I found that camera size became increasingly important especially when carting a "system" around. I downsized from Canon EOS 5x, first to Pentax (K7 at the time), then to Fuji (Xt1, Xpro2).. and now I'm kind of baulking about going out with APS-C (two bodies + lenses)

Maybe time to start looking at M43. I'll be following your experiences

Congrats on getting the G9. I hope you'll do a write-up of it similar to what you did for the X-H1.

I really liked the G9 when I shot with it for two hours at the Sacramento Zoo for a Mike's Cameras demo day on May 5. It's well-made, a nice size for real work, the menus are logical and controls well-laid out. My only "gripe" was the AF joystick was not ideally positioned for me, but that was a niggle. Most importantly for me, the camera is very fast and ultra-responsive. I can tell you right off the bat getting used to the shutter button will take you a while, Mike, its even more hair-trigger than the X-H1's leaf shutter mech; you will find it will rip off a stack of frames from just breathing on it.

Overall, though, Mike, I don't know if you will find it more compelling than the GX8, or as compelling and nice to use, in the long run (I'm talking about the next 4 years or so) as the Fujis you have owned and used.

If so, more power to you; the G9 is a great camera, IMHO.

PS – BTW, Fujifilm just released a major new firmware update for the X-H1 today. It now fully integrates the IBIS and OIS functionality, so many OIS lenses now have a full 5.5 stops of stabiliization in 5 axes. Kaizen at work...

As a G9 owner, I welcome you. I feel that all of the cameras you considered would serve you equally well. I agree about the sensor and the grain. Somehow it is filmish. The color reminds me of Ektar negative film.

As to the 12-35mm lens, my favorite lens. The best description I read about it came from our friend Kirk Tuck. It was when he was first using micro 4/3. He was talking about going for a walk and not taking the 12-35 because it was so good that it was boring. He has a way with words.

Congrats on the choice Mike! As a user of Fujifilm and Olympus systems, I would suggest you consider also getting the Panasonic 35-100 f2.8. Its just under 4” long and does not change overall lens length as you zoom. For those times when you cant get close enough and/or want to compress some of the image composition. It makes a nice portrait lens too. Together with your 12-35, you can have a w lens kit with 24-200 range in a very small package.
P.S. That picture of Peter Whitmer’s log cabin is one of the nicest you’ve posted. It would make a great print for a print sale!

Mike - agree about the log cabin photo. I confess I skimmed text and thought that some guy named Peter Whitmer took it.

But, yes, I think it is the very best photo of yours that I have seen posted here and it holds its own against _any_ photo you've posted here.


It's odd, isn't it, when people go into raptures about images that we didn't think all that much of, yet don't about images that we are most proud of. It's why we need the honest critical views of others. It is a great image - it falls squarely into the "wish I'd taken that" category. Like others, I was sure you'd get the X-H1.

The reason that picture is so good is because I'm reasonably sure it is secretly a 17th century Dutch or Flemish painting. I'm tempted to say Vermeer but I think that's wrong: may be Rubens (also wrong)?

This is not meant to be damming it by comparison with things which are better: it really is very good indeed I think. I don't like much colour photography, especially recent colour photography (I am, obviously, a fan of 'Early Color'), but this is wonderful. I would buy a good print of this at TOP prices without thinking.

For lack of a better word to come to mind, the light in that photo has a “painting-like” glow and beauty. It is quite lovely.

Based on actual use, I'd say the G9 is a better camera in all ways possible. You'll like it once you get used to the haptics.

Didn’t I predict you were going to get the G9 (eventually)? :) Enjoy the new camera!

I think that is the way photography has been going for some time. Every camera has its strength, and every user can find a camera that plays off their own strength/needs/wants (in that order). Like always, there is no perfect camera - never has been. But, there is a camera out there for everyone. Sort of like love... it just takes the time, the effort, the perseverance, to find that “One.”

Maybe a bit more fickle in the digital age. We all seem to live in the age of FOMO, aka GAS.

Maybe things have not changed all that much.

I’ll be interested to hear your take on the G9. I have one arriving Thursday from Lensrentals to try out until 2019. I have never used a Panasonic camera and all my lenses are Olympus m4/3. Should be interesting.

Awesome Christmas present! Now...what prime lens will you nest with the 12-35mm?

Looking forward to hearing (and seeing) more as you have fun with your new camera.

I liked the 'Waterfall, Snow and Leaves' picture even more. I've never seen a scene (homophone alert!)like that in real life and it blew me away.
The Panasonic G9 is a wonderful M43 camera--one that I can only dream of owning, here in India. Daniel J. Cox of 'Natural Exposures'
speaks very highly of it.
Amazon.in is quoting the rupee equivalent of US$ 900.00 for the aging GX85, which is highway robbery, pure and simple.

As much as I love getting new equipment, I find myself slowing down, of course, not having a lot of discretionary income helps. I have always wanted to do big “ medium format “ quality prints. I want to do poster size prints that have the same quality of a 4x6 print. On that regard I’m hunting down an inexpensive 42 or abouts megapixel camera. Lens wise, for many years I lusted after fast primes and fast zooms. I got all the fast primes I lusted for, and now the fast zooms don’t seem so fast or necessary for the kind of pictures I take.
I got some flash equipment, enough to scratch the itch. And slowly I am realizing that my equipment is good enough, now I need to be better.
Even if I never become a “Pro” I will always cherish the pictures of my family. That I take with my dream lenses.

Mike, you say you hope you like the G9 better than the GX8. Did the GX8 just come up short for you in some way or was this purchase just GAS? I have the G9 and I think you're going to love it. But, remember, it's a substantial camera.

I also have the Sony A7III and enjoy it very much. Yes, I'm very fortunate to be able to run both full frame and micro four thirds even as I am at the very end of the acquisition phase of my life. I figure getting myself set up with both systems will serve me well for the next 10-to-15 years with perhaps only one camera-body purchase required for each down the road.

I might also add that I think full frame and micro four thirds complement each other very nicely. Each has its unique strengths and will work especially well where the other may come up short. I'm just saying.

But good luck with the G9. I can't imagine that you won't love it.

Awesome, I'm going to get the G9 myself in the next few days! For me it's a straight upgrade over the GH3. Looking forward to reading about your experiences with it.

Interesting to see your selection of the G9 over the X-H1. I can't make up my mind as to which is better so I'm keeping both. Where the G9 is concerned I just can't give it up because the ergonomics are so good. I would recommend looking into the Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 as your longer lens; it's just so damn good! I'm also having very good luck with the Panasonic/Leica 12-60mm. I like the extra reach when compared to the Panasonic 12-35mm which I've owned in the past. Finally, if you enjoy 50mm equivalents you might find the 25mm f1.7 Panasonic lens to be surprisingly good. Even more so if you can snag one on sale for $149. It's really good. Hope you enjoy the G9. It's really fun to shoot with. Happy Holidays!

Thinking of "The Look" of various cameras and brands - how do you put that into a cohesive grouping for the next Baker's Dozen?

I know it turns out to be more work for than you thought at first, but it is a popular item that gets good response.

Why not one with a month or so lead time? Maybe even a limited time window such as a particular week, or specific day? Maybe even a specific time on a particular day? With some lead time you will most likely get a number of fine images this way.

While I have never owned (or even held) a Panasonic—or any other micro four-thirds camera—I cannot resist comparing specs (via dpreview.com side-by-side comparator) to my most recent acquisition: a Pentax K-70.
The Pentax has a 24Mpixel APS-C sensor and the Panasonic a 20Mpixel four-thirds sensor. Dimensions of the Pentax are a little smaller and the weight only slightly heavier despite the mirror-box. Both cameras have fully articulated LCDs—which is a major feature for me. But the Panasonic does not have a built-in flash, which I have found useful over the years.
And a big difference is the Panasonic body costs over a thousand dollars more.
Like you, I already have lenses on-hand (like the 21mm (e-31) that I've been using since 2007. Fits great—best friends.


Did you sell your X-T1?

So....Mike's post here about getting a G9 for Christmas and his review of the X-H1 just kinda triggered an interesting thought for me I thought I'd share...

Mike mentioned the G9 in his "Ten TOP Recommended Cameras" article: "Waved off by the major sites and forum mavens, it's drawing rare raves from people who actually use it."

And regarding the X-H1, Mike said, In its review of the Fuji X-H1, DRPreview criticized the camera with a phrase I thought was extraordinary. "Our only real concern is the camera's failure to excel in any respect."

Seriously? Well, I only used the camera for a week. Maybe I'm misjudging it. But I would say it excels in all respects.

So, I got to thinking about this, and interestingly....Mike's right about the X-H1, but his comments also apply to the G9.

While both cameras have become something of a "rad-haired step-child" in the view of the review sites/YT channels because there are cameras on the market that excel in one or two (extreme) areas of performance, there aren't any mirrorless cameras that debuted in 2018 that I can think that are as good in as many areas as the X-H1 and G9 along with, and this is really mportant, the useability and ergonomics that make you want to pick them up and get out and shoot with them. Most importantly, these two cameras just work in the real world, not the mystical world of reviewer land, populated by unicorns and hobbits.

I shot with five new cameras in 2018, and the X-H1 and G9 were the best. The third was the ground-breaking new GFX50R...

HI Mike,
I just got rid of 20 years worth of NIkon gear from shooting weddings and outfitted with G9s (and a GH5S). I've just completed my first two weddings with them and love em! In each case I've roughly doubled my shot count for the weddings as I'm not completely exhausted from hauling stuff around. Love the 12-35 and the 35-100, but I have to say my fave lens is the PanaLeica 15 1.7. I've always been a 28mm guy on full frame and that lens (complete with aperture ring) just fits my eye. Chris

I'm happy for you that you were able to treat yourself to a new G9. It seems you've been on a quest the past few years for a camera that fits your needs, and the G9 seems quite competent at checking the right boxes. You mentioned not wanting too big a lens, but I recall past posts about needing a long lens to isolate some of the rural scenery in your area. I definitely agree with Kirk Tuck on the Olympus 40-150 2.8. I use mine more than expected for such scenery. Living in the rural foothills of North Carolina presents a lot of similar scenery, we even have an Amish community about 5 miles away. For less size and money, you might try one of the consumer grade telephoto zooms, surprisingly good for the money. It will give you a great opportunity to see for yourself if the telephoto range works as desired at a low price point.

UPDATE: I caved. G9 + 8-18 ordered with the link. It only took me $1800 to "save" $1000! Thanks, Mike!

The G9 with the P/L 12-60mm is high on my list as a travel camera; to replace my Sony RX10m1. It is an expensive upgrade, but the slightly better IQ, much better AF and great ergonomics add-up to make the camera more fun to use.

[I rarely shoot over 100mm-e, 24mm-e to 120mm-e in a single lens is perfect for travel.]

I have a few niggles with the G9: there's no built-in (or even clip-on) flash and there's a magenta colour case at base ISO.

I'll be interested to hear your experiences with this well-designed system of camera + lenses.

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