AP's Tracy Calder joined the Panasonic LUMIX Roadshow, in partnership with the National Trust, at Studland Bay recently, and saw how readers got on using LUMIX cameras.
Studland Bay is popular with holidaymakers and reptiles in almost equal measure, so it was no surprise to see a grass snake slithering across the path, metres away from the Discovery Centre where the Panasonic LUMIX team had set up for the weekend. This popular event provided a chance for visitors to attend a photo walk, try out some of the LUMIX gear, and seek advice from the Panasonic team (including professional photographer Esther Ling). Despite the threat of rain, the photo walk was well attended, and Esther provided plenty of guidance, including how to use lead-in lines to direct the viewer’s eye into the picture. The group was quick to put this into action using the ropes and paths leading up to the beach huts. Attendees were then free to take the cameras off into the dunes for a few hours before returning to report back on their experiences. Some participants share a few of the pictures they took on the day…
Camera used: Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ330 with 25-600mm Leica DC lens
I borrowed a bridge camera (the DMC-FZ330) so I could zoom up to 600mm – I wanted to see the difference between this and my usual set-up (a Canon EOS 7D with 70-300mm lens). It took me a while to adjust, but I soon got the hang of it. The multitude of features ‘sold’ me on this model, but I wish I had tried a mirrorless camera, too. Once I have saved up enough pennies, I think my next camera will be a Panasonic LUMIX. All in all, it was a pleasant morning and the staff were very accommodating and knowledgeable.
Camera used: Panasonic LUMIX DC-GX9 with Leica DG 12-60mm lens
The roadshow was a chance for me to get my hands on some LUMIX gear. I chose to borrow a DC-GX9 with Leica 12-60mm lens. I loved the electronic viewfinder and, as someone who wears glasses, I liked the resizing button. It felt good in the hand, and I’m sure a battery grip would make it perfect for me. The shutter button is on a hair trigger. If there was a way to take the edge off that, it would be better for me. I was expecting to be able to use the flip-out screen, and then use the EVF seamlessly. There must be a way to set that up so it happens automatically.
Camera used: Panasonic LUMIX DC-GX9 with 14-42mm lens
My photography skills are quite poor, so I learnt a lot from our guide, Esther. I very much like the fact that the LUMIX cameras are lighter than a DSLR. I was also impressed with the 4K function. I learnt how to use the screen to select a focus position and also more about the 4K feature from the Panasonic expert. It was fantastic that we were able to select any camera from the range to borrow for several hours.
Camera used: Panasonic LUMIX DC-GH5 with Leica DG 12-60mm lens
I attended the roadshow with the intention of having a nice day out with my father, and to test the new lenses and cameras Panasonic had to offer. Little did I know I would be leaving there having ordered my very own GH5 and lens! I chose to use the GH5 as I am into videography and have heard amazing things about it from other videographers. I wasn’t disappointed. I already have a GX7, so I was familiar with some of the settings, although there are a lot more features on the GH5, so I’ll definitely need to spend some time playing around with it. I’m so glad I came to the roadshow.
Esther Ling’s top tips
Esther Ling is a professional photographer and LUMIX Ambassador whose main passions are social, documentary, food and travel photography. Her camera of choice is the Panasonic LUMIX G7. Here, she shares her tips for those who are new to the range. www.estherling.co.uk.
1) If you’re nervous about taking the camera off auto, don’t worry – treat it as a positive instead. Using auto allows you to concentrate on other things, such as composition. If you have an eye for a picture, you’re lucky; so don’t be afraid to use auto as you build up your confidence.
2) Keep it simple. People have a habit of overcomplicating things: they take an image and crop it, but why not move your feet instead? Another mistake people make is to over-process their files. If I’m doing something in Lightroom, I keep the original up on screen – that way I don’t lose sight of where I started.
3) Since I moved over to Panasonic, I have been taking more photographs. My previous gear was so heavy, I didn’t take it out unless I was working. But the cameras I use now feel right, and everything is just a touch of a button away.
Dates for your Diary
The Panasonic LUMIX Roadshow, in partnership with the National Trust, will continue to tour various scenic locations this year (see below), and AP will be featuring articles with tips and techniques for capturing them at their best. Full information here.
Mount Stewart, Northern Ireland, 18/19 August
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland, 1/2 September
Dunham Massey, Cheshire, 8/9 September.