Monday, November 30, 2015

MY GM1 12-32 Kit Lens BROKE!!

If you are following my photo blog, you will know that I just ADORE my little LUMIX GM1 and it's tiny Lumix G 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens!

For the last two years, I have been using this set up for everything from food to line dancing.

I love this little lens for its compactness and good sharpness, so what if it is not very "bright" at F3.5 but I can live with that!

To maintain the compactness of this little lens, you need to twist the lens barrel to extend the lens and make the GM1 active. The camera WILL NOT WORK if the lens is not extended.

Now I suppose you realised that, if you switch on your camera thousands of time to take pictures, you will have also twist and extend the little lens thousands of time!


If you read my review on the LUMIX FZ300, you will realise how impressed I was with this SUPER-ZOOM camera with a small sensor!

For those of you who do not understand how and why a DIGITAL CAMERA SENSOR work, please read some of the articles here.

Sensor sizes are important in digital photography because in general, THE LARGER the sensor, THE BETTER image quality you will get.

But how true is that assumption?

Before we go on, let us look at the type of sensors that digital cameras come in.

The diagram, of course is NOT the actual size, to put it in perspective, see below...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Lumix DMC-FZ300, the Works..

Thanks to Panasonic NZ, I had the opportunity to "play around" with their marvellous weather sealed "Super-Zoom" Bridge camera, the Lumix DMC-FZ300.

For the last three week ends, I have the chance to shoot different subjects and different functions; I even took shots in HIGH ISO 1,600 at an indoor festival!

Before I go on, I like to point out that, even though the rear monitor's resolution has increased from 460,000 dots in the FZ200 to 1,040,000 dots and includes touch control, I only use it for low-angle framing!

The monitor is fine, it is just me, who believe the best way to frame and get a good shot is by looking through a view-finder!

And what an incredibly good EVF this camera have!

The new EVF has been upgraded to an OLED display with 2,360,000 dots, compared with 1,312,000 dots in the older camera. It is bright and so life like that I ended up using the EVF most of the time!

Monday, October 19, 2015

LUMIX FZ300 One Camera To Rule Them All?

I use to have reservation on so called BRIDGE or Superzoom camera.

When I received the latest Lumix DMC-FZ300 from Panasonic NZ, I was rather amazed with the following features from a NZ$ 989.00 camera!

  • A f/2.8 constant aperture 25-600mm (equivalent) 24x Leica zoom lens
  • 12.1MP high sensitivity MOS, 1/ 2.33 inch sensor
  • 0.7x  EVF with 1440k dot and eye sensor
  • Rotating 3inch 1040k LCD touch screen 
  • 5-axis hybrid IS
  • ISO 100 to ISO 6400 sensitivities
  • 12fps continuous shooting
  • 4K photo / video, with stereo sound recording
  • 1cm macro mode
  • Wi-Fi  and QR code connection
  • Built in 3.5mm microphone socket
  • Splash and dust-proof weather-sealed body
  • Large 380 shot battery
That 25-600mm f/2.8 lens must be a typo, right?

It is NOT a typo and Panasonic actually caused a stir when they launched the DMC-FZ200 with the same f/2.8 superzoom two years ago!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

LUMIX G VARIO 35-100 / F4.0-5.6 Mini Zoom

When Panasonic NZ send me the tiny GM5 they included a just as tiny zoom lens.

According to them, the LUMIX G VARIO 35-100mm F4.0-6.6 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. is...
"A versatile focal distance of 35-100mm (equivalent to 70-200mm on a 35mm camera) is useful in shooting snapshots, including portraits and close-ups, with an impressively defocused background to take advantage of the high portability of this lens. The auto focus system is driven by a stepping motor to achieve quiet, high-speed AF with a 240-fps capability."

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Lumix GM5, a Much Better GM1!

If you are following my photo blog, you will realise that I am gaga over the Lumix GM1; this mini MFT small wonder is the only camera I use in the last one year!

Guess who got excited when Panasonic launched the GM1 replacement, the GM5?

Externally, the new GM5 still look a lot like a the GM1, with a little weigh gain.

The new GM5, left, has put on extra 6mm in thickness and 13g extra weight compare to the black GM1. The "grip" on the GM1 was a third party product which I highly recommend.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Lumix DMC-GX8 - Last Words...

This is to wrap up my review of the marvellous Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8, I have it for too long and it is time to send it back to Panasonic NZ  ;)

I had lots of fun the last three weeks I was having the camera, I wish I had more time to explore the many features this cutting edge MFT mirrorless provided. The weather doesn't help, the nagging rain and more rain driving me up the wall.

Monday being my off day, I decided to try out my 50 mm F1.4 Nikon prime lens on the GX8...

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Lumix GX8 Dual IS, How Slow Can You Go?

Four days after my Dual I.S. on the GX8 appear, I got this comment..

Anonymous said...
Have you tried shooting at 1/4 sec.?
I've been getting a 95%+ success rate at 1/4 sec. shooting with the Nocticron on the 
GX8 with Dual IBS. I'm sure you can do at least as well with the 12-35.
September 19, 2015 at 5:31 AM

This is what I saw every day when I am in front of my two monitor screen, I will use this as a simple target for my GX8 Dual I.S. at 1/4 second test.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lumix DMC-GX8 - Dual I.S.

I.S. (Image Stabilisation) in a camera or lens can permit the use of shutter speed 2 to 5 stops SLOWER, but still result in SHARP PICTURES.

When I was starting in photography many years ago, I was told...

“The rule of thumb to determine the slowest shutter speed possible for hand-holding without noticeable blur due to camera shake is to take the reciprocal of the 35 mm equivalent focal length of the lens, also known as the "1/mm rule". For example, at a focal length of 125 mm on a 35 mm camera, vibration or camera shake could affect sharpness if the shutter speed was slower than 1/125 second.”  - Wikipedia

In the good old film days, we stick to this rule; for example, with a 300mm telephoto, we will not use a speed slower than 1/250 to get sharp result. Just to make sure, we also shoot at 1/500.

What happen if there is only enough light to allow F4 (max aperture) and 1/60 for the ISO 400 film you are using?  No, you have no tripod and monopod either, what then?

Fast forward to present...


To understand the concept and the working of IS, I suggest you read this excellent write up.

The mechanism of an image stabilisation can be found in either the lens or built into the camera.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Lumix DMC-GX8 - Performance

Wellington weather was crappy the week I receive the review cameras from Panasonic New Zealand.

It was good of them to include both "kit lens" that came with the GX8 kits, I also asked and got a GX7 body for comparison.  Much appreciated Panasonic NZ :)

 In New Zealand the new GX8 are offered in two kits,  NZ$ 2,895.00 with a 12-35 f2.8 X lens (left) and 

NZ$ 2,548.00 with a 14-140 f3.5/5.6 zoom lens.

The Lumix GX Vario 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH / Power OIS is a weather sealed ultra high performance zoom lens, with bright F2.8 over the entire 24-70 (35mm equivalent) zoom range.

The slightly cheaper  Lumix G Vario 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH / Power OIS is not weather sealed, however it's 28-280 (35mm equiv.) zoom range can "pull in" your subject 3 times closer compare to the X lens.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Lumix DMC-GX8 - Prima Facie

Panasonic raised many eye brows when they released their DMC-GX7 in 2013.

The GX7 is compact, with nice retro design and stuff with all the latest M43 technology, lots of external controls and today, remain a reasonably priced, high end camera that you still can buy.

Then in mid July Panasonic launch their GX7 "Update" or "Refresh", the GX8; the camera got me excited, just look at the new features this LARGER camera include!

Friday, July 31, 2015

150 Shades of Wellington, New Zealand!

On 25 and 26 July, Wellington celebrates its 150th year as the capital of New Zealand.

In the last few weeks, I am trying to amass 150 photos that I took around this Coolest Capital City In The World and also our adopted Capital City since 1988.

Happy Birthday, Wellington!

Part of Wellington CBD and Oriental Parade taken from Mt Victoria in 1988.
Our first day at Manners Street, in our adopted city; 1988.
For new arrival like us, in 1988; we were not that impressed with Wellington. Why do they have so many branches of BNZ in the CBD?

Monday, May 25, 2015

A DSLR Fanboy's Rant...

2015 is NOT a good year for my Photo Blog, two months ago, I was told by the person who loan me test cameras and lenses that his "bosses" do not like what he did; so no more toys for me :(

Oh well, I knew good things don't last...

Looking at the brighter side, I noticed this long comment from "Rob" in Adiós DSLR!, a September 2014 post.

I love the way he express his dissatisfaction with my "test"...

"This is the most biased review I have ever read. Never mind that you're comparing a 1 year old pano with upgraded glass that's arguably the best pee-wee you can get, to a 5 year old mid-range nikon with a bargain-box lens. Despite all this you failed to note the colour depth in the nikon being far superior to the pano, and there's at least 10m difference of effective shooting distance in your "Sharpness Test"... Whether it was the zoom or the standing position it still skews the outcome. 

Don't get me wrong. I agree that there's way too many people in the world lugging around slr's they really don't need to. But to try and give the impression that a pee-wee is better than an SLR is preposterous.

"review" blogs like yours are half of the reason it was so hard to make someone buy the correct camera for their needs when I sold them for a living. Because people who don't know any better read this drivel and actually believe it.... 

you want to do this test for real? try using two cameras that were actually built in the same generation of digital technology for a start. The GM1 is an impressive camera for what it is, but it isn't better than an EQUIVALENT D-SLR, and it never will be. Stop talking garbage."

The cameras that started Rob's comment, on the left, in Rob's words, the "PANO PEE-WEE" and right, my 5 year old Nikon D300 with a "BARGAIN-BOX" lens.

In reality the small "Pee-Wee" was my feather weight Lumix GM1 with the Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 ASPH LUMIX G VARIO ultra wide zoom.

The 5 year old Nikon was once the Camera Of The Year, the zoom lens was a Nikon 12-24mm f/4 AF-S DX, an expensive highly praised and reviewed ultra wide zoom; never in the "Bargain Box"!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How Good Is Lumix G 20mm F1.7 @ F1.7?

One of my photo friend was thinking of getting the little Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH pan cake lens for his OM-D E-M5.

My friend love to shoot dim available light pictures, not surprising then he wanted to know if this compact glass is any good, FULL OPEN!

The compact 20mm/1.7 on a OM-D E-M5
How do you answer question like that?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Compact Camera Of The Year

2014 has been a good year for my photo blog!

Most of my blog followers realised that I am mainly interested in testing point n shoot compacts, I still believe strongly that the heavy, bulky DSLR days are numbered ;)

Among the memorable compacts I had a chance to try out...

The very impressive Lumix LX100.

The Lumix TZ60 with a whopping 30X Leica DC Vario-Elma 24-720mm in 35mm equivalent zoom.

      The smallest compact with interchangeable lens, the incredible Lumix GM1.

                      The versatile and just as compact Sony RX100-3.

                  The slightly larger but able to change lens, the Sony A6000.

                                 The bulky Canon G1X Mkll.

Out of these SIX compacts, which one do you think I will pick as my COMPACT CAMERA of 2014?