3 months with the GH1

Panasonic GH1 vs. Ricoh GX100

Key: R20091107-161024

I’m about 3 months into my return to carrying a larger camera in the form of the Panasonic GH1.  None of my initial impressions have diminished much.  I was really hoping that I would get used to carrying a larger camera again, but I’m afraid my hope was misplaced.  As the photo illustrates, it much closer to a DSLR than a serious compact. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy photographing with it.  But the size is just such that I’m just not that keen to lug it around. And this is one of the smallest DLSR type cameras mind you. Although the weight is not significant, the size dictates that a padded pouch becomes the size of a small messenger bag.

I’m still considering a smaller lens like the well regarded 20mm f1.7.  That would change the profile quite a lot, actually.  I should then be able to fit it in a much smaller bag. But I bet it will still feel bulky.

Then there is the subject reaction. Pointing the Ricoh around doesn’t raise too many enybrows, but pointing this lens around draws more attention to the camera that results in less candid people shots.  It hasn’t been bad, because this is not a honking huge DSLR, but it’s big enough that it looks “serious”. I’m best off using the excellent articulated live view, which lets me hold the camera down near waist level where it’s less intimidating.

 

4 thoughts on “3 months with the GH1

  1. What you need is a lens with focal lenght around 400mm to get candid photos from afar. ;>

    Anyway, you must be rather close while taking photos for people to notice at all. Then, how the photos would classify as candid if you are “that close” (for some definition of it)?

    • Hi Parv,

      I don’t know the official definition of “candid”, but I don’t think of that as the photographer being unnoticed. It rather refers to the state of the subject: less of a portrait/pose and more of just spontaneous natural interaction. People see a big lens pointed at them and they pose to some degree. With a smaller camera it is less intrusive into the scene and allows a more relaxed interaction with the subject. This is in general, of course. There are people who can be completely at ease even with a large movie camera recording them and there are photographers that can put people at ease even though they are carrying a large camera. My skills in that area are not so great, thus I prefer the natural advantage of the small camera for people photography.
      For nature and still life work, etc. I’m really, really enjoying the GH1. It definitely confers large benefits to these types of subjects. However, carrying it is a pain.

  2. Pingback: The pancake « Red Skies at Night

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