Panasonic’s kicked off 2017 with a exceptionally exciting range of new cameras and lens updates – so if you want to give your photography a fresh new look for the year ahead, perhaps Panasonic could be the system for you…
There’s a new flagship in the house: the GH5
When a manufacturer announces a new top-of-the-range camera, it’s always worth paying attention to – and the new mirrorless Lumix DMC-GH5 (to give it its full name) is no exception. A flagship model always has the very best technology a manufacturer can offer, and the GH5’s super-small body has been packed to bursting with features designed to help you easily take fantastic photos and videos. Its new Digital LIVE MOS Sensor has 25% more pixels than the GH4 and the low-pass filter’s been removed: and though we know it isn’t all about the number of pixels on a sensor, the combination of a new image processor, no low-pass filter and more pixels means the GH5’s picture and video quality are sure to be absolutely first-rate.
Bad photos are so 2016…
The GH5 is also purpose-built to ensure you never miss a shot again. Not only does the GH5 have a brand new advanced AF system, as well as Panasonic’s Post-Focus Function – where you can choose the point of focus AFTER you’ve taken the photo – the camera’s also ready to shoot 6K PHOTO. Announced back in September last year, 6K PHOTO lets you pick 18MP-equivalent still images out of 30-frames-per-second shooting bursts, so you’re guaranteed to get the precise moment you’re trying to capture. No more blinks, people looking the wrong way or dogs leaping out of family photos at the last minute – the new GH4’s 6K PHOTO mode will probably become your favourite function very quickly indeed.
Outdoorsy-types have a new camera to consider: the FZ82
Panasonic’s FZ line of rugged bridge cameras has always been popular with those who love spending their free time in the great outdoors – walking, hiking and adventuring over hill and dale… If this sounds like your cup of tea, then before you finalise your expedition plans for 2017, we think you ought to take note of Panasonic’s new announcement: the LUMIX DMC-FZ82. This super-tough camera has a super-zoom lens that offers 60x optical reach (which can get to a staggering 120x with Intelligent Zoom switched on), then widens out to 20mm at the low end for capturing huge landscapes in a single shot. POWER O.I.S helps keep your pictures and video sharp, even while working hand-held and on the move, and there’s also Panasonic’s 4K PHOTO mode for picking out the shot you like best. Oh – and once you’ve run the batteries down, the camera’s USB charging function will get you back out there in a flash. It’s definitely one to watch out for when it’s released in March.
Struggling with selfies? Not any more: here’s the GX800
If you’re a fan of taking self-portraits or have set yourself a photographic challenge to try more selfies in 2017, the new GX800 mirrorless could be the one for you. A flip-out touchscreen LCD will automatically turn on Self Shot mode when put into position for self-portraits, optimising the camera’s settings for people pictures. You can also choose to de-focus the background with the camera’s new Background Control mode, so it doesn’t matter which lens you’re using – and even shoot panoramas for super-wide-screen selfies.
Even if self-portraits aren’t your bag, this camera has heaps to offer keen photo-takers. You’ll get super picture quality thanks to the removal of the low-pass filter, plus a new Venus Engine processor for vibrant, true-to-life colours and tones; a sleek and stylish body with 4K PHOTO and 4K video modes, plus Wifi connectivity for fast transfer to mobile devices and social media uploads.
There’s a new standard zoom to tempt mirrorless owners: the 12-60mm f/2.8-4
If you’re already a Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera user then you’ll own at least one lens – and perhaps this newest from Panasonic could be the next addition to your kit bag? This superb standard zoom is the first in Panasonic’s LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT line to be released: it’s rugged, dust and splash-proof and freeze-proof down to -10° (perfect for this time of year!). The lens is the equivalent of a 24-120mm, which works out as a 5x zoom, and will help you out in all sorts of shooting situations – particularly low light, thanks to the lens’s exceptional high-speed performance. There’s also POWER O.I.S built in to help compensate with blur caused by hand shake, especially when working at the end of the zoom – and it’s especially suited to video capture, due to the silent operation of the focus system and the micro-step drive system for smooth brightness changes while filming.
Other LUMIX lenses are getting updated
In a refresh of the existing lens line-up, Panasonic is increasing the performance and mobility of four of its mirrorless lenses:
- LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 II ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.
- LUMIX G X VARIO 35-100mm / f/2.8 II / POWER O.I.S.
- LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm / f/4-5.6 II / POWER O.I.S.
- LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm / f/4-5.6 II / POWER O.I.S.
The new versions of these lenses will work with the advanced photo-taking features found in the latest LUMIX G series cameras, such as POWER O.I.S and Dual I.S.. There’s also a firmware update for the 100-400mm f/4-6.3 lens available from February, which will enable owners of this superzoom optic to use the latest image-stabilising functions found in the GH5 and G80 cameras.