by Gavin Stoker Published 01/06/2014
"Having covered a lot of the wars, it was comfortable to have only one camera. With the Panasonic Lumix GX7 I don't need anything else."
At the time of writing the GH4 was being offered at a manufacturer's recommendation of £1,299.99 body only, or £1,749.99 with an allencompassing 14-140mm zoom. Alternatively for those who want to make the most of the 4K video facility the body can be purchased with a pro workflow interface unit (DMW-YAGHE) for a combined £2,499.99. Street and internet prices will naturally be more affordable still. Time limited promotions including a free battery and free battery grip upon redemption if buying a GH4 were also due to run until 2 June at participating retailers.
Your new 'Magnum force' compacts
Free lens and cash back deals are also being offered on the more classically designed and compact styled GX7 (either a 12-32mm or 20mm lens) and GM1 (an £80 saving via redemption) this summer also - the two additional interchangeable lens camera choices for members of The Societies from Panasonic. Both are more portable yet than the GH4, yet with little if anything in the way of compromise considering the smaller form factor.
A case in point is that no less a photographic authority than worldrenowned picture agency Magnum has trialed the GX7, on launch the world's first in its class to feature a 90° tilting electronic viewfinder, specifically its photographers Ian Berry and Thomas Dworzak.
"The prospect of walking around with a camera like this and just a pocketful of lenses is just extraordinary," says Ian Berry, a Magnum photographer who initially made his reputation shooting for the Daily Mail. "It really is a life-changer for me. It has an incredible dynamic range.
It holds up the highlights brilliantly when I assume they would have been lost but also holds up the shadows, so you can work with this extreme contrast."
He adds: "One of the really good things apart from the ability of the viewfinder to see better than I could with my naked eye, is that I can go to really high ISO ratings, the combination of which opens up possibilities I've never had before."
Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak, on the other hand, noted that he found the GX7's silent shutter function perfect for street photography, as he was able to take images without being noticed. Useful - not to mention potentially a lifesaver - if you've spent a lot of your pro career photographing wars and conflicts.
"One of the great joys of this camera is the absence of shutter sound," enthuses Thomas. "It's great, I love it. I usually spend half of my life constantly coughing to create a noise to cover up the shutter sound."
Thomas adds: "Having covered a lot of the wars in Chechnya and the Caucasus in the 90s, I came back to discover the modern Georgia. The challenge for me was to document how Georgia has changed in these years. It was comfortable to have only one camera. With the Lumix GX7 I don't need anything else anymore.
Like the GH4, the GX7 compliments that tilting viewfinder plus million+ dot touch screen monitor with a 16-megapixel resolution from its Four Thirds CMOS sensor, and a significantly improved low light performance over its GX1 predecessor, with up to ISO25600 offered. Factor in a contrast auto focus system, the first in-body image stabilisation system of any Panasonic Lumix G, Full HD video with stereo sound, and in short you could say that it was a magnificent '7'.
If you're looking for an even more compact back up to either these two Panasonics or any digital SLR, then the third choice from the brand comes in the compact form of the GM1, launched last November, and is the one that most decisively makes the claim for being pocket-sized with a depth of just 30.4mm. Past fans of Panasonic's pocket sized Lumix range have included the likes of Goodie turned 'twitcher' Bill Oddie.
With classic appearance this Micro Four Thirds system camera matches the GX7 for its 16 megapixel top resolution and 1,036K-dot touch screen LCD, along with modern must haves like Full HD video and Wi-Fi connectivity, making it a true option for anyone wanting high performance yet the near ultimate in interchangeable lens camera portability.
For more on the choices in the Panasonic Lumix G line up best suited to the photo professional please direct your browser at the URL below: www.panasonic.co.uk
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