Panasonic Lumix Engineers Visit Bozeman

Posted Jul. 15th, 2017 (5 days ago) by Daniel J. Cox

Panasonic Lumix Engineers Visit Bozeman. This last week all of us here at Natural Exposures and Polar Bears International were honored to have five wonderful people from Panasonic’s headquarters in Osaka and Lumix Luminary liaison Tom Curley from the US come visit us in Montana. The folks from Japan included engineers and a public relations person. What an opportunity to sit down and discuss the pros, cons, and future development of Lumix cameras with the actual engineers developing this impressive new gear.

Panasonic Lumix Engineers Visit Bozeman

Panasonic Lumix engineers visit the Natural Exposures office in Montana. I shared a couple of large prints with them, the largest one of wild garlic in Croatia, printed to 40×60 inches. Shot with the Lumix GH4 and Leica 15mm F/1.7. From Left to right Henri Nishikawa–Sr. Coordinator, Daniel J. Cox, Tom Curley–Lumix Luminary Liaison, Jill Mangum–NE Operations Mgr., Tanya Cox–NE Trips Coordinator and Social Director, Emi Fujiwara–Lumix PR, Koji Shibuno–DFD and Dual IS Engineer, Kyosuke Osaka–User Interface Engineer, Manabu Watanabe–User Interface Engineer. Photo: Paula Posey

Those who’ve traveled with us know Tanya’s ability to entertain is legendary. Our original thought was to take everybody to one of our preferred restaurants, Ted Turner’s Montana Grill. We love the quality food, but Ted also happens to be one of my all-time favorite conservation heroes and we do everything we can to support his sustainable ideas.

Panasonic Lumix Engineers Visit Bozeman

Tanya with her fabulous raspberry tarts. Photo: Daniel J. Cox

But as usual, Tanya came up with something a bit more personal, dinner at our house that included steak, truffle potatoes, asparagus, and raspberry tarts. It was a wonderful evening sharing Montana hospitality with new and current friends from Japan and the east coast.

Panasonic Lumix Engineers Visit Bozeman

Dinner with Panasonic friends at our home in Montana. Photo: Tanya Cox

As usual, with a meeting like this, there are numerous things I can’t talk about. But I can tell you, I was impressed with the general purpose of this get together which was to help support the team in outlining a multi-year plan for Lumix cameras. Imagine that. A company in the game for the long haul. Not many corporations plan that far out anymore. Often it’s how fast can they make money for the next quarter.

Panasonic Lumix Engineers Visit Bozeman

Panasonic engineers at the Natural Exposures office reviewing large prints with my Lumix cameras. Photo: Jill Mangum

One of the engineers, Shibuno san, is responsible for the revolutionary Depth From Defocus (DFD) that’s giving us excellent Predictive AF results. DFD is a Panasonic exclusive and it gets better and better with each new model. I recently tested four

Panasonic Lumix Engineers Visit Bozeman

Dan discussing the Speeding Pooch Test with Henri san and Kyosuke during their visit to Montana. Photo: Christopher Carter

different cameras, all of them in Predictive AF mode, and the new GH5 performed considerably better than the other three, including the Nikon D500.

However, that test was with fast moving cars that were fairly predictable. What I’ve really wanted to try was the GH5 on a speedy dog. You know what I’m talking about, the “Speeding Pooch Test.” So in honor of having so many Lumix engineers within my grasp, so to speak, I recruited Tanner Johnson, Sales Manager and camera expert at Bozeman Camera, and his young dog Lucy. Tanner is an excellent photographer, check his website out at Yellow Horse Photography.

Panasonic Lumix Engineers Visit Bozeman

Marshal Lewis, owner of Bozeman Camera, with Panasonic Lumix engineers at his store in Bozeman, Montana. Photo: Daniel J. Cox

All the pieces fell in place for a chance to show world-class engineering experts the kind of photography many of us desperately want. Autofocus that excels in speed and accuracy to capture birds in flight, sprinting deer, dashing dogs, and anything else that flies, swims, or runs. The stage was set for another “Speeding Pooch Test.”

Birds in flight

White-tailed eagle in flight is an example of the type of subject matter many of us want to capture with our Lumix cameras. Lumix GX8 with Leica 100-400mm, ISO 640

To document it all I hired a friend and fellow PBI camera man, Christopher Carter. Chris is working on a short film highlighting the Speeding Pooch Test and our morning with the Lumix engineers. It may be 2-3 weeks before I can share the final film but I think it will be worth it.

Thank you, Panasonic. To have the Panasonic Lumix engineers visit Bozeman was a tremendous honor, and coming all the way from Osaka was no easy task. We’re very grateful for your visit.

Photo Credits: Tanya Cox, Jill Mangum, Christopher Carter

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There are 11 comments on this post…
  1. DeanOn Jul. 18th, 2017 (2 days ago)

    Panasonic, and we photographers, are fortunate to have your input into making photo gear achieve new levels of performance. There probably isn’t a better representative of “photographers” on the planet; thankfully, Lumix recognizes your wisdom and experience. All too often, photo gear is designed and built without meaningful input from users, and there is no better “user” than you to give them an earful!

    Dean

    P.S. Please ask Tanya to send me her tart recipe. ;0) That woman has limitless talents!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 18th, 2017 (2 days ago)

      Dean, you’re too kind. People are going to think I’m sending you payments for such praise. Like I said, your overly impressed with me but it’s greatly appreciated. I’m writing this on my iPad as I lie here digesting one of those amazing raspberry tarts. Family is here for a summer visit and I’m surrounded by great food. And that’s after two months of culinary delight in Europe. I was hoping to loose some weight this summer. Will have Tanya get the recipe out for you. I just might have her do a blog post for others to enjoy as well. Thanks again.

  2. IvanOn Jul. 18th, 2017 (2 days ago)

    Glad I bought into this system, the Panasonic G85 is a joy to use and a very well thought out product. Everything about it is just right. Any talks of future lenses? They’ll be done with the Panasonic-Leica 2.8-4 zooms soon (hopefully the 50-200 will be released) and it would be cool to know they are thinking about releasing some longer primes (45mm is their longest as of today). Thank you for reporting about their visit!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 18th, 2017 (2 days ago)

      Great to have your input Ivan. Unfortunately, I can’t comment on any coming lenses. Nothing was discussed and if it was I would still have to be silent. But Panasonic is very committed to getting us new optics we want. Glad you’re enjoying the G85. I think that camera is exceptional, especially for the low price.

  3. Dennis LindenOn Jul. 16th, 2017 (4 days ago)

    Brilliant, just brilliant. Well done to you, the crew and to Lumix for actually getting out here.

  4. Gerry HeineOn Jul. 16th, 2017 (4 days ago)

    Glad to see they are interested and listening. I hope you repeated we want some of their nice feature to save raw files, not just jpgs. Memory cards have gotten bigger, faster, and cheaper. With support for the type II cards in the GH5, saving the larger files shouldn’t be an issue.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 16th, 2017 (4 days ago)

      They got the message, Gerry. But thanks for reminding me.

    • Portrait of Fred Kurtz

      Fred KurtzOn Jul. 17th, 2017 (3 days ago)

      I am confused with Gerry’s comment about asking Panasonic to save raw files and your response that they got the message. I have been saving raw files since they first came out. I reread the comment and response a dozen times and cannot make heads or tails of either. Call me stupid. And great blog post and is there anything Tanya cannot do? Wow.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 17th, 2017 (3 days ago)

      Freddy, totally understand where the confusion comes in. What Gerry was inferring to was the ability to save RAW files from some of the faster frame rate tools the GH5 has, such as 6K Photo Mode. 6K Photo Mode allows us to shoot at 30FPS but only saves them in JPEG files. Both Gerry and I have been impressed by Olympus’ ability to shoot 18FPS in continues AF and 60FPS in Single AF, both options having the ability to save all files as RAW. That is impressive, to say the least, and Panasonic knows this. Stay tuned.

    • Portrait of Fred Kurtz

      Fred KurtzOn Jul. 17th, 2017 (3 days ago)

      Thank you Dan. Now I understand. I was just not getting it and it was bugging me. I cannot wait to find out what Panasonic is going to do next when you are able to say. I think it is great you have such a great relationship with them.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 17th, 2017 (3 days ago)

      Glad to help clear the confusion, Freddy. Panasonic has some exciting new imaging tools in the pipeline and it’s been so rewarding to be part of such a responsive and forward thinking team. Thaks for your input and joining the conversation.

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