Eye Upgrade

It has been said the cam­era is and should be an exten­sion of the photographer’s eye, cap­tur­ing the light and beauty as the pho­tog­ra­pher sees it. Well, that is why I am upgrad­ing my cam­era eye. It has become time.

A few years ago, I took a giant leap of faith and gave up DSLR’s for mir­ror­less when I upgraded from an aging Nikon D200 to a Pana­sonic Lumix GH3. The smaller sen­sor was hard to jus­tify but I wanted smaller, lighter cam­era for hik­ing and travel. The lower cost of the cam­era and lenses was also an attrac­tive quality.

That leap was an adjust­ment in mind­set which told me I needed to either shoot Canon or Nikon to get best results. After a year, I had learned that this cam­era even with the smaller sen­sor was shoot­ing bet­ter pho­tos than my D200 and it made it eas­ier and more enjoy­able. It was funny show­ing up to fash­ion work­shops with mod­els and hav­ing all the Nikon and Canon shoot­ers look at me strangely. It was all redeemed when I posted my images, however.

So, after a few years with lots of use and travel, my GH3 was start­ing to show signs of wear. I had bro­ken the label on the expo­sure dial while hik­ing and it was start­ing to occa­sion­ally do some odd things elec­tron­i­cally. I fig­ured it was about time for an upgrade.

I hon­estly was look­ing at get­ting a Sony Alpha 7RII for my next cam­era. I liked the idea of a full frame mir­ror­less to get a more shal­low depth of field on por­traits and bet­ter light sen­si­tiv­ity for night pho­tog­ra­phy (where the full frame has an advan­tage) but couldn’t jus­tify the cost of the cam­era and new lenses at this point.

Recently, how­ever, a price drop on the Pana­sonic Lumix GH4 caught my eye. It was the suc­ces­sor to my beloved GH3 and would work with most of my cur­rent gear includ­ing bat­tery grip, shot­gun micro­phone, and cur­rent lenses. Perfect!

The Pana­sonic GH4 has some addi­tional fea­tures miss­ing from my cur­rent cam­era too. The GH3 was known for its great high-​definition 1080p video but the GH4 ups the ante with 4K video. It also allows the user to cap­ture 8.8 megapixel still images from 4K video which is a great option.

The video aspect of the Pana­sonic cam­era has always been an attrac­tive fea­ture for me. While Olym­pus has some great micro four-​third cam­era options, Pana­sonic has always been slightly bet­ter for video and the Olym­pus has nor­mally favored bet­ter for still photography.

Another fea­ture I am going to appre­ci­ate is the increase in flash sync speed. The GH3 was lim­ited to 1160 of a sec­ond. There were times when doing out­door por­traits I wanted to mute my back­ground more but felt a bit lim­ited here. The GH4 improves upon that with 1250 flash sync speed and it also boosts shut­ter speeds with­out flash as well.

So, the order has been made and I am anx­iously await­ing the arrival of the new cam­era. I was rely­ing on my old D200 for a backup but I believe my GH3 will become the backup cam­era and the D200 will be for those times I need a Nikon to work with another photographer.

cam­era d200 gear gh3 nikon pana­sonic

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