Jill's Panasonic Lumix GX9

When I initially persuaded Jill to take up photography as a serious hobby, I bought her a Canon EOS 400 DSLR with the standard kit lens. She loved this camera and quickly became quite proficient with it.

For a variety of reasons I was able to upgrade to the Canon 40D with the venerable 24-105 "L Series" lens.

For a couple of years she never took this lens of her camera, and she took all sorts of photos (mainly of trees!). She loved the flexibility of the zoom lens, we both enjoyed the picture quality from the Canon sensor and lens combination, and she became reasonably adept at shooting in aperture priority mode.

But after a while she fell out of love with the weight of this combo and so we started out on the "slippery slope" of trying to find the "ideal" mirrorless system!!!

So in 2009 I bought her a Panasonic Lumix GF1 with two Panasonic kit lenses.

This was certainly light compared to the Canon!

...But, in truth we were both rather disappointed with the image quality both from the micro 4/3 sensor and the lenses, and after a couple of years the system fell "out of favour"

So we went back to traditional DSLR's and for a while she shot with a Nikon D5000 and also a "full frame" Nikon D750. But in the end her desire to downsize won!

And so, we ended up with the Sony RX100 (Mii)

Yes, I know, this is a 1" sensor so much smaller than the APS-C and full frame sensors she was used to, and also somewhat smaller than the micro 4/3 sensor we had previously decided we didn't like.

But it was certainly small and light, it had a built in flash, which meant she didn't have to bother with an external flash unit, for "fill flash" only shots, and it had no viewfinder, but a tillable screen, which she loved for composition.

So the Sony became "flavour of the month" for a couple of years, ultimately falling out of favour due to the poor screen display which made composition in the harsh Australian sunlight a bit of a guessing game. In true, I also disliked the image quality and the poor high ISO performance of the 1" sensor on this camera.

So as we prepared for our 2018 trip to Dubai, England and Hong Kong I decided to try to rekindle Jill's photography enthusiasm and get her a new camera which finally ticked all her boxes!

The Panasonic Lumix GX9...

My reasons for choosing this camera, in order of Jill priority were:
1. Small and reasonably light form factor
2. Very capable and small 12-32mm kit lens
3. The latest generation of m4/3 sensor is now MUCH improved
4. High res, tilt able rear screen AND high res viewfinder
5. Reasonably simple control and button layout (Jill does not like too much confusion!)
6. Great, fast autofocus with In Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS)
7. Acceptable low light and high ISO performance
8. WiFi and bluetooth connectivity with auto track logging (More on this later)

We were not bothered about the video performance or the fancy "4k photo mode", although I am sure I will investigate these in the future.

So there we are...with that list of criteria, the brand new Lumix GX9 was the obvious choice...

So how did it fare?

Photos From Dubai...

It was bloody hot in Dubai, which meant we were out and about mainly in the evening, just before, or after, sunset. Any photos we took during the day were either indoors in the air conditioning, or outside but near water. During the day time the entire city was "hazy", no doubt caused by the fine sand particles floating around the Dubai atmosphere.

Overall, given these constraints we were pretty happy with the images from the GX9.

The rest of Jill's photos from Dubai can be seen HERE at her Google Photos album, which in addition to her Lumix photos also included the inevitable iPhone shots and selfies :(

Photos From England...

It was high summer in England in June, and as you can see all of these photos were shot in bright sunlight, (with no Dubai sand haze!) so at a relatively low ISO. These conditions are, of course, where the m4/2 sensor excels, and these images reflect this.

Photos From Hong Kong...

We made a fundamental change in Hong Kong. We bought a new lens for the camera!
The kit lens was great, but I knew that, much like Dubai, many of the shots in Hong Kong would be in low light, and as Jill would be shooting almost exclusively, hand held, I wanted her to have the advantage of a "fast" lens so that show could get a reasonably fast shutter speed in low light, without resorting to ultra high ISO values.

Most of these shots were taken with her new Sigma 30mm F1.4 DN lens.

The rest of Jill's photos from Hong Kong can be seen HERE at her Google Photos album, which in addition to her Lumix photos also included the inevitable iPhone shots and selfies :(

So, overall, with the addition of the new lens we are both very pleased with the new Lumix.
The buttons on the back of the camera are, bu necessity small and a bit fiddly and there were a few occasions when Jill had "pressed something" inadvertently and I had to come to her rescue and take the camera out of the wrong mode!

It is also too easy to accidentally turn the exposure compensation dial, so she has to be vigilant and check this before a photo shoot, but overall the "Jill Usability" of this camera is excellent.

Lets see how she fares with this system in the coming months when we are not visiting such spectacularly photogenic locations...


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