Introducing the New Panasonic GX9 – Press Release

Panasonic is proud to introduce the LUMIX GX9, a sleek, compact new Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera for everyone who wants to shoot vibrant, true-to-life, high quality images in their own creative way with excellent resolution, high contrast and impressive color reproduction.

The LUMIX GX9’s 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor without a low-pass filter and Venus Engine combine to drive maximum lens performance while rendering natural, high-precision images. The L.Monochrome D mode is newly added to Photo Style, making it easy to shoot detailed dynamic monochrome photos with emphasized highlights and shadows. Plus, Grain Effect can also be adjusted in all monochrome modes with Photo Style.

A 5-axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) in the LUMIX GX9 effectively suppresses blur. Combining an O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and a B.I.S. (Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis), the Dual I.S. compensates for a wider range of movement to enable blur-free photo/video shooting from wide to tele, even in low-light conditions.

A new wide screen LVF (Live View Finder) in the LUMIX GX9 tilts up approx. 90 degrees. With its high, approx. 2760k-dot equivalent, resolution and 100% color reproduction, this 16:9 LVF provides approx. 1.39x / 0.7x (35mm camera equivalent.) magnification and 100% field of view. Plus, the camera’s large 3.0-in., approx. 1240k-dot high resolution static-type touch monitor provides nearly 100% of field of view tilts upapprox. 80 degrees and down 45-degrees to enable shooting in high or low angle even easier.

The Contrast AF System in the LUMIX GX9 features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology and excels in both speed and accuracy by exchanging digital signals between the camera and the lens at max. 240 fps*1, for ultra-fast auto focusing in approx. 0.07 sec*2. A range of extensive AF functions include Face/Eye Detection AF, Pinpoint AF, One-shot AF and advanced Low Light AF to enhance usability to comply with various shooting situations. Live View Boost makes it possible to check composition even in total darkness by boosting sensitivity just for live view.

The LUMIX GX9 records smooth, high-resolution 4K video in 3840×2160 at 30p or 24p in MP4. 4K PHOTO is easier to use in more creative ways with Auto Marking and Sequence Composition, two new additions to Post Focus, Focus Stacking, Light Composition and 4K Live Cropping.

*1 Contrast AF with DFD Technology works only with Panasonic Micro Four Thirds lenses.

*2 In AFS, at wide-end with H-FS14140 (CIPA).

Ultra HD 4K video and 4K PHOTO

With a high-speed sensor signal readout and engine processor, the LUMIX GX9 records smooth, high-resolution 4K videos in 3840×2160 resolution at 30p or 24p in addition to the Full-HD 1,920×1,080 60p videos with practical full-time AF. With this technology, LUMIX 4K PHOTO lets users capture perfect moments by extracting single frames from 4K burst files shot at 30 fps to save as 8-megapixel equivalent photos.

Choosing the best shots out of hundreds of 4K video frames is now easier with a newly added Auto Marking function. Auto Marking identifies the frame most different from others in the file to help minimize the time it takes to choose the best individual shot. A Sequence Composition function creates a stromotion image in-camera by synthesizing multiple images shot at fixed frame to produce a unique image of a subject’s motion without special retouching.

The LUMIX GX9 also includes Post Focus, a function selects an in-focus area even after shooting. Post Focus is helpful in situations such as macro shooting where strict focusing is required or for changing expressions by changing the focused subject. This capability combines high-speed, high-precision DFD (Depth From Defocus) auto focus technology and 4K technology. A Focus Stacking function adjusts depth of field after shooting by combining multiple images shot with Post Focus in the camera. Now users don’t need to focus strictly while shooting because they can create images with the defocus level they want or pan-focus simply by selecting the focus area after shooting — beneficial when shooting macro images of insects, small accessories and so on.

LUMIX GX9 also incorporates a Light Composition function, a new 4K PHOTO option. The camera synthesizes images by choosing and saving a brighter pixel to easily produce more dramatic images of fireworks or night scenery in-camera. What’s more, the LUMIX GX9 also enables 4K Live Cropping in video recording to realize stable panning or zooming. In panning shots, users just set the viewing angle to begin and end with for smooth panning imagery without using special equipment like a slider. And in zooming, users can set the after-zoomed viewing angle firs to ensure the subject is perfectly in the frame. The imagery of zooming is smooth because it does not move the zoom lens physically.

The LUMIX GX9 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® connectivity for a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (Bluetooth Low Energy) enables consistent connection with a smartphone or tablet with minimum power consumption.

About motion picture recording / 4K Photo recording

  • – Use a card with SD Speed Class with “Class 4” or higher when recording motion pictures.
  • – Use a card with SD Speed Class with “UHS-I UHS Speed Class 3 (U3)” when recording motion pictures with [MP4] in [4K] or [4K PHOTO].
  • (SD speed class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.)
  • – MP4 motion pictures with [MP4] in [FHD/30p] [FHD] [HD]: You can continue recording without interruption even if the file size exceeds 4 GB or 30 minutes in length, but the motion picture file will be divided and recorded/played back separately.
  • – MP4 motion pictures with [MP4] in [4K]:
  • – When using an SDHC memory card: You can continue recording without interruption even if the file size exceeds 4 GB, but the motion picture file will be divided and recorded/played back separately.
  • – When using an SDXC memory card: You can record a motion picture in a single file.
  • – When the ambient temperature is high or continuous recording is performed, the camera may stop the recording to protect itself. Wait until the camera cools down.

For [4K] video output, use an HDMI cable that has the HDMI logo on it, and that is described as “4K compatible.”

Photographing Wildlife in the Sunshine State (Story by Tamron)

Photographing Wildlife in the Sunshine State

Story Contributed by Tamron

Carolyn Hutchins’ very first camera was a hand-me-down Canon AE-1 from her parents, which she used in high school to learn the basics of photography. It wasn’t until 10 years or so after she’d graduated, however, that she started taking her picture-making more seriously. “I’m really into hiking, so I started packing my camera when I went on my nature walks,” she says. “Then I began volunteering with the Osceola County Camera Club, where I met and interacted with a bunch of experienced photographers. Surrounding myself with people who were much better photographers than I was, and being able to learn from them, was a great help in advancing my own skills.”

Today, Carolyn explores nature and wildlife, camera in hand, both near her home in central Florida and when she visits family in West Virginia. Her proximity to Florida’s Space Coast (where she photographs the launches she includes in her “Flying Machines” portfolio) and her job at Orlando’s Gatorland offer her an abundance of convenient photographic opportunities. 

Carolyn taps into two Tamron lenses for her wildlife work: the SP 35mm F/1.8 VC and the 18-400mm VC, which she recently acquired. “The 35 prime is what I use mostly for landscapes and when I need as much light as I can get, which the F/1.8 maximum aperture helps immensely with,” she says. “I also love how sharp that lens is.” 

As for the 18-400, Carolyn mainly appreciates the versatility of its focal-length range. “When you’re around captive wildlife, you don’t want to freak the animals out by putting a noisy camera right in their faces,” she explains. “And when you’re in the wild, you don’t want to jeopardize either the animals’ safety or your own. The 18-400 allows me to keep a comfortable distance from my subjects.” 

The Vibration Compensation feature on both lenses helps ensure sharp images, as Carolyn rarely brings along a tripod unless she’s doing landscape photos. “I tend to especially use the VC when I have the zoom pretty far out, like at 300mm or 350mm, because I’m terrible at balancing,” she says. “It helps me keep camera shake out of the picture so I get the sharpest photos possible.”

Gatorland has proven to be especially fertile photography ground for Carolyn, and she often brings her camera to work to see what creatures she can capture. “It’s important to have patience when staking out my subjects,” she says. “I have to approach them very slowly, or else I’ll scare them. I once sat in the same spot for almost half an hour watching one particular dragonfly.”

Her technique is often to simply act distracted. “If an animal sees you walking straight up to it, most of the time it won’t hang around,” she says. “But if you walk really slowly, maybe focusing on something else or looking at the ground by your feet like you dropped something, it will make you look less intimidating, and it will be less likely the animal will scurry away.” 

Carolyn’s approach to her wildlife photos: “I like to create images that make people think,” she says. “Images should tell a story. Often, that means showing the animal or bird actually doing something, whether that’s hunting, preening, feeding, building a nest, or even interacting with other wildlife.”

© Carolyn Hutchins
18-400mm at 250mm, F/6.3, 1/1600th sec., ISO 200
Carolyn often heads out to a wetlands preserve about an hour from her home to see what birds she can place in front of her lens. It’s there that she photographed this great blue heron while taking an early morning stroll near a popular feeding spot. “Like I mentioned earlier about the slow approach, that’s what usually works when you’re dealing with birds like these,” she says. “Many times, they’ll pick at their food first, so if you approach cautiously, you can get pretty close to them.”

© Carolyn Hutchins 
18-400mm at 65mm, F/7.1, 1/1600th sec., ISO 100
Many of her photo ventures take place at the Avian Reconditioning Center in Apopka, a rehabilitation and falconry venue for birds of prey. For her photo of a red-tailed hawk taken at the center, Carolyn sat low to the ground behind the bird’s trainer to get the photo of the bird landing. “This hawk is injured and was being trained by a falconer to return to flight,” she says. “You can see the falconer’s glove stretched out and waiting. It took a few practice shots with the tracking so I could keep everything focused just right.”

© Carolyn Hutchins
18-400mm at 350mm, F/6.3, 1/640th sec., ISO 200
The gators, of course, are some of Carolyn’s main photographic draws at Gatorland, and one of the first photos she took with her 18-400 was of an alligator emerging from the water right outside her office. “I had only had the lens for about a week and had taken it to work with me for some practice,” she says. “Early one morning, I spotted this gator. I was able to zoom in to 350mm and fill the frame, getting really tight on its eyes.”

© Carolyn Hutchins
18-400mm at 300mm, F/6.3, 1/1000th sec., ISO 200
For Luther, a 14-foot-long American crocodile that’s the resident “alpha male,” Carolyn had more of a heads-up on when to capture him. “The American croc is an endangered species in Florida,” she explains. “We’re lucky to have two of them at Gatorland. Luther sits in this same place outside of my office almost every afternoon, like clockwork, usually with a female or two. On this particular day he was in the water sitting just right so I could capture his reflection.”

Each year, staff members at Gatorland collect alligator eggs scattered around the property, letting them incubate until they hatch in August and September. “The keepers are really amazing—they watch these eggs and keep them at the right temperature until they’re ready to break open,” she says. “Then, once they hatch, we put them in their own pens so they’re protected and won’t be picked off in the wild by birds. Eventually they’re old enough to go out and hang out by the big lake on their own.”

© Carolyn Hutchins
35mm, F/1.8, 1/640th sec., ISO 800
On the day Carolyn photographed this particular hatchling peering out from inside its half-broken shell, she happened to have her camera at work and was hanging out with some of the zookeepers. “This turned out to be my absolute favorite of all the baby photos I captured,” she says. “They hatch very quickly: In the very next frame, this baby’s entire head was out of the shell. One of the reasons I switched to the 35mm lens for this photo was that I didn’t want to shine a big light down on this newborn. With the 35mm, I was able to dial back all the way to the maximum F/1.8 aperture to let more light in.”

© Carolyn Hutchins
18-400mm at 122mm, F/7.1, 1/1250th sec., ISO 200
With captive wildlife, Carolyn often prefers to zoom in tight to help eliminate background distractions such as buildings, fences, and parked cars, which can change the feel of the final image. “Be prepared to move around and approach each situation independently so you can figure out which elements to get rid of,” she says. Eliminating such distractions was necessary for Carolyn in her picture of one of the rehab center’s great horned owls, though these particular distractions were located on the owl itself.

“Besides zooming in tight, I also converted the photo, which I shot in RAW, to a high-key black-and-white image in Photoshop,” she says. “I feel like that helped enhance its features and also to camouflage the glove it’s sitting on and the ID band around its feet, which you can see if you look closely. Plus, by converting to black and white, I could best capture the contrast of its stripes and patterns, as well as accent the owl’s eyes more—they’re so beautiful and piercing. That’s why I prefer to shoot in RAW, as it allows for more control like this in post-production.”

Seeking out a clean background that showcases the animal’s natural environment also helps eliminate pesky distractions. “Birds look great with the sky behind them, while alligators look great in swamps,” Carolyn explains. “I like having a natural-looking background, so I tend to stay away from anything that would have straight lines or bright colors, like fences or barriers. I basically try to get low and get the sky in the background, or get high and shoot down. That usually eliminates much of the extraneous.”

© Carolyn Hutchins
18-400mm at 80mm, F/7.1, 1/1000th sec., ISO 160
The sharpness and detail offered by the 18-400 is a big part of what’s made Carolyn a fan of this lens. It was on full display in her photo of this crested caracara, one of her favorite birds at the rehab center. “They look so prehistoric,” she says. “This bird I photographed has the biggest personality—it loves to play with its trainer’s cellphone whenever it hears the phone’s noises. One of the things I was trying to show here were the details in its feathers and face. When birds have very colorful feathers or eye-catching patterns, it’s awesome to focus in on all of those different visual elements.”

© Carolyn Hutchins
18-400mm at 145mm, F/5.6, 1/200th sec., ISO 400
That same detail was also clear in her photo of a Florida panther, down to each tiny hair follicle. “We have two main big-cat species in Florida: bobcats and Florida panthers, which are an extremely endangered species,” Carolyn explains. “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimate there are only about 200 left living in the wild.” 

Carolyn snapped a photo of this panther, one of two resident panthers at Gatorland, through a solid plane of plexiglass. “That can make reflections really tough to get around,” she says, though she managed to do so in this case. “Many times the panthers will lounge on the deck, but I didn’t want the deck in the background, so I caught the panther on the ground here, which looked more natural to me.”

For those interested in trying their own hand at wildlife photography, Carolyn offers one main piece of advice. “Keep shooting, and check out all of the locales around you for possibilities,” she says. “I visit a lot of parks, forests, and conservation areas. And I strongly believe in visiting the same places more than once, at different times of the day and year, and in different weather conditions. Be respectful, and pay particular attention to things like migration patterns, nesting areas, and feeding locations to get a grasp on your subjects’ habits. Plus, don’t forget to talk to people. Forest and park rangers can be extremely helpful in giving you tips about the local wildlife that will enhance your photography.”

To see more of Carolyn Hutchins’ work, check out her website

 

How’d You Get that Shot? (Story by Tamron)

How’d You Get that Shot?

Story Contributed by Tamron

 

Image by Daniel Schenkelberg

10mm, F/8, 1/500th sec., ISO 1000, with a Canon 70D

I took this photo at Nitro Circus, an “action sports collective” in Bakersfield, California. It’s one of the biggest action-sports events in the country, featuring BMXers, freestyle motocross stars, skaters, even scooter athletes—all the top guys out there to show the crowd their best, most daring tricks. I was invited out there by my buddy James Foster, whom I started racing cars with a couple of years ago. James is a professional BMX rider and recently won a gold medal at the X Games. 

Because I have a media pass, I get free reign, more or less, on where I want to stand. I had originally set my camera up on a tripod to photograph the BMX jump, which is a smaller jump that you can’t see in this photo here. As the day started coming to a close, that’s when they brought in the motocross jumpers—and I had to quickly adjust to capture this shot.

I knew I wanted the composition to be super wide to capture the full crowd with the stadium lights backlighting the rider, so went as wide as I could go, to 10mm, using the new Tamron 10-24mm Di II VC lens. I hoped to show how huge that in-air trick was—my goal was that the final image would make the viewer feel like he or she was part of the crowd. That unreal sunset, which I got lucky with, simply put the photo over the top. 

When they wrapped up the BMX jumps and brought on the motocross performers, I literally had no time to adjust the settings I’d had programmed for the BMX jumps. I simply grabbed my tripod and moved it up to the other jump as quickly as I could. I had just enough time to make sure the image was composed the way I wanted it. My aperture was set to F/8, and my shutter speed at 1/500th of a second. I set it on auto ISO because with the clouds and changing light during the day, I needed the auto ISO to compensate a bit. I knew those settings would work to freeze the action; I just hoped it would be in focus.

Speaking of focus, locking it down was another challenge. I use manual focus and then lock the focus ring down with tape so it doesn’t move. However, when the object I’m trying to focus on is going to be extremely high in the air, it’s hard to pick a focal length that will lock down the focus exactly how I want it to be. Even when I lock it in at infinity, it doesn’t always come out the way I hope. What I do in a case like this is pull the camera back and guesstimate: I’ll point it at something else, like a ramp or a light or something high up in the air, in the same general vicinity where I think my subject will end up when he jumps. Then I’ll lock the focus there and tape it before putting the camera back on the tripod and composing the image.

I triggered this shot remotely. I was about 150 feet to the left of the remote camera, shooting into the sunset. [Check out the video here to see a short snippet of how Daniel triggered his remote camera.] Now typically, if I were shooting through the camera myself, I’d wait until the motocross rider was in the air before I’d trigger the camera. But for a shot like this, where I’m using a remote Pocket Wizard, I trigger it to shoot right before the rider hits the jump. If I wait until he’s in the air like I usually do, he’d already be gone.

In post-production, I dodge and burn a lot, and I pulled out the shadows to bring the rider up, but that’s pretty much it. I didn’t have to go too crazy during the editing process, because everything just came together so perfectly. I was extremely pleased with how sharp this image came out using the Tamron 10-24. 

To see more of Daniel Schenkelberg’s work, check out his websiteFacebook, and Instagram

Customer Spotlight – Greg Koch

 

Welcome to our eleventh Bergen County Camera Customer Spotlight. This monthly posting features a customer who’s made an impression on us. They might have grown in their understanding of photography, gained a mastery of the craft and / or have become a strong advocate of our way of doing business in the world of photography. During the next month you will see this customer’s images displayed on our digital signs in store, in our emails, blog posts and social media.  

Greg Koch is our customer spotlight for the month of February. We hope you both enjoy and are inspired by this new addition to In Focus and look forward to your comments and suggestions. Below you will find a word from Greg, followed by some of his images in the gallery below.

Here is a word from Greg Koch: 

 

Growing up in New Jersey, I have always been passionate about the outdoors.  I spent countless hours as a kid exploring the woods in my family’s backyard, and even more time hiking and fishing in the Adirondack Mountains.  My love of the outdoors can often be seen in the images I create.

 

I received my first camera when I was a freshman in high school.  It was my Mom’s 35mm Cannon AE-1 Program, and an exceptional camera with which to learn the basics of photography.  Using film and being limited to 36 shots really taught me the importance of slowing down to make sure everything was in frame exactly how I wanted it to be before taking the shot.

 

In college I made the switch to digital photography and spent some time living in Florence, Italy where I continued to study photography.  After graduating college, I worked in various financial roles in New York City while pursuing photography as a hobby.  I now work full-time as a photographer in the Northeast, and I am always available to travel! 

 

The work I am currently doing includes capturing the fly-fishing scene in the Northeast, landscapes from my travels, engagement and wedding proposals, and portraits of people I meet along the way.  When not working, I can be found fishing, hiking, hunting, camping and snowboarding.

  

Bergen County Camera has been extremely beneficial over the years, whether it be answering the many questions I have about a lens before purchasing it, or having a 24×36 photograph printed and framed on short notice, BCC has always been there to help me out.  Every person I’ve worked with at BCC has been extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about photography.  Over the years I’ve built a great relationship with both Bob and Jeremy, who offer some of the best customer support imaginable.  When making a large purchase like a new lens, it’s great to be able to sit and chat with them about the product and leave the store knowing I made a great choice.  I cannot imagine going anywhere else for my photography needs.

For more of Greg’s work, check out his instagram at @gregkkoch