Haven’t you heard micro four thirds is dead! Tony Northrup said so! He could be right. But who cares.
No matter what camera you have, your photographs will always be the same. Some years ago a relative of mine was using a Canon 7D with a crop sensor quite happily. One day, he bought a Canon 5D Mk3 and announced it on Facebook.
He had arrived at the full frame nirvana that many photographers aspire to.
Sometime later, I was talking to him on Facebook and I asked how it was going with the new camera. He seemed pretty disappointed and told me his photographs looked the same. Snap! I’d the exact same thought when I went from a Canon 50D to a Canon 5d Mk2. Nothing was different. High ISO noise was the only improvement. I suspect there are millions out there who’ve gone through the same.
It’s Not the Camera It’s the Person Behind the Camera
If you stop and think about it, that is always going to be the case. It’s not the camera that takes the picture. The person who’s holding the camera does. They’re the same, hence the same photographs. Yet this obvious fact is over looked in our lust for new gear. If I buy a Phase One IQ4 camera tomorrow for the bargain price of £29,620 (not including VAT or a lens) do you think my photographs will be any different tomorrow than they’re today?
The opposite is also true. If I buy a micro 43 camera compared to a Nikon D850, will there be a huge difference? The answer is no.
If you’re screaming at the screen now that I’m crazy, then you’re just the sort of person the large camera marketing teams love.
Bigger sensor cameras really only have three advantages over smaller sensor cameras:
- Less digital noise at higher ISOs (if you really care about that, I don’t).
- Larger natural print sizes due to more megapixels (if you really care about that, I don’t).
- Less depth of field (if you really care about that, I don’t).
But they also have two big disadvantages:
- They cost more (I really care about that).
- They weight more (I really care about that).
Please note, these are general rules and there are alway exceptions. The Canon full frame RP is £1399 where’s the Olympus OM-D E-M1X
is £2700. Things get blurred again however when you start adding lenses into the cost. Full frame L lenses are expensive.
Panasonic Lumix GX9
I digress, back to the Panasonic Lumix GX9. Full frame cameras are big. They’re also heavy. Those two things stopped me from going out with a dSLR most of the time. Although I was a professional photographer, I wanted to enjoy my photography as a hobby as well. Over the years I have learnt that the simpler you can make the process the better it is. I wanted something small that was a real camera. By that I mean a camera that I can fully control manually. Shutter, aperture, ISO and white balance.
It had to be small so I could be in the background and not scream photographer. I want people to think what I’m holding, isn’t really a proper camera. That allows me to be ignored in places where someone with a dSLR would stand out and be told “no photography”. Have you ever stood next to someone taking a photograph with a Nikon D700. The earth shakes.
I also wanted a camera that had in body stabilisation that would negate the need for a tripod and allow slower shutter speeds. It had to have great colour.
Where could such a camera be found? For me I found all that in the Panasonic GX9. That and three small prime lenses are all I need to create great photographs. These three prime lenses are sharp wide open. I only need to close my aperture down to gain a greater depth of field. Being a contrast detect autofocus system with the Panasonic DFD technology, I’m not sure I’ve ever missed focus with this camera, yet.
There’s no such thing as a perfect camera. For the GX9, for me, it’s main disadvantages are:
- Small battery.
- EVF is poor.
- I don’t like having to charge the battery in camera.
Your mileage may vary, but for me the Panasonic GX9 is everything I need from a small mirrorless camera.
I haven’t even covered video yet but plan to explore this further in later posts.
Update: 09/04/19 I like the Panasonic GX9 so much, I’ve bought a Panasonic G9 to go with it. More soon.