Outdoor Photographer Highlights Dan’s Work With Lumix Cameras

Posted Jul. 30th, 2016 by Daniel J. Cox

One of my favorite publications, Outdoor Photographer, ran a piece last month I wrote titled Advantages of Micro Four Thirds cameras. Awhile back, after retuning from Africa and about four months of using the new Leica 100-400mm, I contacted the new editor, Wes Pitts, and pitched him the idea. I guess you could say the rest is history.

The opening spread for the article I wrote for Outdoor Photographer titled Advantages of Micro Four Thirds. Click on the image to be taken to the full story on the OP web site.

The opening spread for the article I wrote for Outdoor Photographer titled Advantages of Micro Four Thirds. Click on the image to be taken to the full story on the OP website.

I’m writing this in between our two Pantanal Jaguar Photo Tours. These past three weeks I’ve been using both the Leica 100-400mm and the hard to get Olympus 300mm F/4. Both are performing extremely well. This is the first time I’ve felt like my needs are finally being met when it comes to needing serious MFT telephoto reach

Facebook IPT jaguar

with professional quality. The 100-400mm Leica comes out when the light is still good. The Olympus swings into action in the tranquility of late dusk or early dawn—both filling the needs I’ve dreamt of since I began shooting the Lumix system in 2009.

Facebook IPT jaguar & caiman

For some, having both lenses is more than they may be able to afford or want to carry. For me, it’s essential to  have similar tools to what I had with my Nikons. Even though I’m carrying both the Leica 100-400mm AND the

Dan on the Cuiaba river several years ago shooting the Nikkor 600mm F/4

Dan on the Cuiaba River several years ago shooting the Nikkor 600mm F/4

Olympus 300mm F/4, together they are still much smaller and less expensive than even one of the monster lenses I used to shoot with Nikon, my tried and true Nikkor 600mm F/4. Below is a video showing how little space both the Leica and Olympus take up.

Thanks goes to Wes Pitts at Outdoor Photographer for giving me a chance to show others this little system can produce quality, professional results. It’s a great way to lighten the load and put money in the bank to boot.

 

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There are 12 comments on this post…
  1. Randy UrryOn Aug. 21st, 2016

    Hi Dan,

    I also read your article in Outdoor Photographer. I have been playing around with the idea of a back up system to my full frame Nikon gear. I’ve been a Nikon shooter for 24 years, but at almost 64 years old, it’s getting cumbersome to carry, especially for travel. I bought a used Sony RX10, which is nice, but not quite what I was looking for. I see in your comments that the GX8 (one of the cameras I’m considering) has parallax issues over 100mm. I’m also a little concerned with how “weather resistant” it really is?? I don’t see a lot of other weather resistant Lumix lenses, so without one, that’s not worth much. I would just like to get your general thoughts on using this particular camera in the field. What do you really like and not like about it? Thanks! Randy

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 22nd, 2016

      Randy,

      The parallax issue is real with the GX8 but isn’t a problem until 150-200mm using the Leica 100-400mm zoom which is 300-400mm equivalent. As far as your concern about the potential lack of this setup being “water resistant”? That is definitely a nonissue. You should watch the video below to see just one situation, out of many like it, I’ve used the GX8 and 100-40mm in that created no problems whatsoever. Video link to Japan Winter Wildlife with the GX8 and Leica 100-400mm

      Not sure about your comment regarding not seeing many weather resistant Lumix lenses. I have virtually every lens they make, some promoted as weather sealed, some are not. I’ve not had any issues with any of them in rough conditions. In fact I’ve been extremely impressed with the overall durability and RELIABILITY of my limix cameras and lenses from the first day I started shooting them. I’ve dropped them, banged them, had them in weather like you see in the video and they just keep working. My decision to start working with the Panasonic Lumix people had a lot do do with my use of Panasonic office equipment in the 80’s and 90’s, I had Panasonic phone machines and a stand alone fax. They worked with no issues for over twenty years and in the early 2000’s, I finally threw them out, taking them to the office equipment recycle bin since I no longer needed a fax machine and my cell phone eliminated all needs for a phone machine. They just kept running and running and running. Seems they’re building the same quality into their cameras and that’s a big deal for people who use their equipment in inclement weather.

      In short, long answer above for what could easily have been, don’t worry about any of the concerns you expressed above.

    • Joe DotsonOn Sep. 15th, 2016

      Hey Dan,

      I have been following the blog as a true “explorer” should. I have a question about parallax as it pertains to my GX-8. Since the view finder is basically a small video screen that receives its signal from the same sensor that captures the picture, why would there be parallax? (There is no optical view from the top left side of the camera).

      I would think that the “view” you observe is the same–since it is generated electronically. It is the EXACT same view as on the display on the back. For example, you would not have parallax issues with a monitor mounted remotely, since it is getting it’s signal from the same sensor.

      What am I missing?

      And, again, thank for the recommendation for the GX-8. Thinking about selling some Nikon equipment….

      Joe

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Sep. 17th, 2016

      Joe, Five points for following as a good Explorer should. You raise a great question and I have to say that there have been several people who have questioned my use of the world “parallax” in this situation which, after further thought, I may be using incorrectly. Maybe I should use the term
      Pseudo Parallax? Here’s what I’m seeing when I look through a rangefinder camera, the GX8, when using a long lens.

      Even though the EVF of the GX8 is placed far off center from the lens, is seeing the same image that is coming through the lens, my eye’s are seeing the image straight out in front of me. When I pull the camera to my right eye, my brain naturally thinks the subject is going to be directly in front of my eye, not an inch or two to the right. But in reality, the subject is not straight out in front of my eye, but rather somewhat to the right of where I naturally would point the camera. In short, when the camera is to my eye, it’s not lining up with where I would naturally point the lens since my eye sees directly out front. Here’s the Mirriam Webster Dictionary definition of “parallax”

      Definition of parallax
      : the apparent displacement or the difference in apparent direction of an object as seen from two different points not on a straight line with the object.

      The human eye and the lens are not on a straight line with the subject. This effects my ability to quickly line up my subject when needing to move fast as in the situation I first noticed this issue, photographing jaguars in the Pantanal.

      So in conclusion, it’s possible I’m using the word parallax incorrectly but I do know that when I use the GH4, which has the EVF directly over and in line with the lens, I don’t have the issue of needing to search for the subject. Keep in mind, this only happens with the super powerful telephotos. I first noticed it when using the Olympus 40-150mm with the 1.4X teleconverter attached which is 420mm’s on the GX8. This is not an issue with lenses of 35-100mm (70-200mm equivalent) or shorter. Since this is an issue with the GX8 on a powerful telephoto AND I regularly use the new Leica 100-400mm for my natural history work, I much prefer the GH4 for use with long telephotos and zooms. Hope this helps. Let me know you’re still confused and I’ll give it another shot.

  2. Trent AndersonOn Aug. 20th, 2016

    So, I’m wandering around a newsrack in Heathrow with 12 hours to kill because British Airways couldn’t find a gate for my flight from L.A. and my New Delhi flight took off in the interim. I spot the article on the cover of Outdoor Photography and flip through the mag looking for the story. A few paragraphs in and something is feeling familiar and then I see a photo of the snow monkeys in Japan. The picture looks v-e-r-y familiar. I search out the byline.

    Nice article Dan. Small world.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 20th, 2016

      Thanks Trent. Was fun to have another piece run by such a great publication. I appreciate the nice comments and support. Can’t wait to see you on Kenya.

  3. Ira SkurnickOn Aug. 13th, 2016

    Dan, Many thx for your response – the G7 would be much more to my taste.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 13th, 2016

      My pleasure Ira. I really like the G7. Lots of great features like Touch Screen, 4K Photo Mode, 4K video, built i flash, Wireless remote flash and on and on. It’s a great camera and for the price it’s hard to believe all you get.

  4. IRA SKURNICKOn Aug. 12th, 2016

    Dan, how would you compare the GX8 to the G7 – As a long-term Nikon shooter I would ask what you felt the deficiencies of the Nikon 1 system are compared to the Panasonic LUMEX.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 13th, 2016

      Ira, The one major difference between the G7 and GX8 is their style of viewfinders. The GX8 is a rangefinder style which means the EVF sits off to the far left of the camera’s top deck rather than being directly over the lens, as is the G7’s EVF. Doesn’t sound like a big deal until you start shooting very long lenses like the Leica 100-400mm and the Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 with a 1.4X converter attached which makes it 420mm or the Olympus 300mm F/4. The issue with th GX8’s rangefinder, with long telephotos, is you begin to have parallax problems. The one inch offset of the rangefinder EVF turns out to be many feet at the long distances telephotos are used and I’ve had issues finding my subject with the GX8. This is only an problem if you are shooting the super telephoto lenses. It’s not an issue with lenses 35-100mm and shorter. I love the GX8 for travel photography but not so much for my wildlife work. Below is a screen shot from a great web site that does a super job highlighting the differences between the two cameras.

      Click on the image above to be taken to a great article explain gin the differences between the Lumix GX8 and G7 cameras.

      Click on the image above to be taken to a great article explain gin the differences between the Lumix GX8 and G7 cameras.

      Regarding the Nikon 1 system. Nikon has some very good technology in the Nikon 1 cameras but the one inch chip is a deal breaker for me. I have to say, as much as I love the Micro Four Thirds sensors, in my Lumix cameras, I don’t want the sensors to go any smaller and the Nikon 1 uses a 1 inch sensor. A one inch sensor is considerably smaller than MFT. Additionally, Nikon’s lenses never took advantage of that small sensor. Nikon 1 lenses should have been considerably smaller than my Lumix and Olympus lenses but they never really were. Small lenses is the major benefit to the MFT cameras and I personally feel Lumix and Olympus have hit the sweet spot in giving us superb quality produced by a relatively small chip that allows for extremely compact, lightweight and affordable lenses.

  5. Joe DotsonOn Jul. 31st, 2016

    Dan,

    I subscribe to Outdoor Photographer. When I saw the cover of the magazine, I was wondering …. “I’ll bet Dan had something to do with this”. Nice article. I am glad that I took your recommendation and bought a GX-8 and have started assembling a bag with Panasonic gear. I am really enjoying the camera. I have started carrying it with me on business trips and was lucky enough to get some nice shots in the Columbia River Gorge a couple of weeks ago.

    I hope all is well with you, Tanya and the team at NE. I am looking forward to our next adventure.

    Joe

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 1st, 2016

      Great to hear Joe. Look forward to traveling with you again at some point.

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