The subject of camera sensor sizes is one that causes great debate among photographers. For years we were led to believe that the only way to go was a full frame sensor, although no doubt many medium and large format shooters would argue that their cameras are superior! I subscribed to this thought too and worked my way up to a full frame Canon camera, a 5D mk3. Then I bought my first mirrorless camera, a Panasonic GX7....
Using the GX7, with its tilting screen, electronic viewfinder and its smaller form factor I began to see there was an alternative. As many of you know, I spend a lot of my life travelling for work and I found the smaller size and weight suited me better when travelling on trains with lots of work gear. A couple of years ago I upgraded to the GX8 and absolutely loved it, so much so that I eventually realised I was using it much more than my Canon.
Yes, there can be a small impact on image quality in certain conditions but these are easily worked around and I found I was taking better pictures on my mirrorless as it enabled me to be more creative. Finally, last March, I decided to sell my full frame camera, although I kept a crop sensor body (the Canon 7D mk2) and a few lenses for wildlife and action photography.
Selling my 5D freed up some cash to buy a long lens and a standard zoom for my mirrorless kit. Over the months I've used these to expand the sort of photographic work I do with the GX8 and I've experimented with motorsport, aviation and wildlife with a good degree of success. All the while I knew the GX8 wasn't really quite up to the task so I held onto my remaining Canon gear until something better came along....
Back in November Panasonic launched the G9, a new body aimed squarely at wildlife and sports shooters and my hopes were raised. I grabbed an opportunity to try the camera later that month and was very impressed - it's a big step up from the rangefinder style GX8. While the camera wasn't available until this week there have been pre-production copies out in the hands of working pros and it was the amazing work of Ian Cook that really got me thinking about buying one. When I made contact with Ian he described the camera as 'a beast' and his action photos show it really does the job when it comes to complicated action photography.
I've used my remaining DSLR less and less in recent months so on Christmas Day, instead of watching the Queen's speech, I ordered my G9 and began the wait for it to be released. It finally arrived today and I'm itching to give it a really good workout. Of course, the delivery man came late in the day, after dark, so I had to make do with photographing the cat again until I could get outside in daylight. I thought I'd also share a photo of the camera itself. It looks more DSLR-like than my GX8 but it's only a little larger and much lighter than the Canon. My plan for tomorrow is to visit Cambridge and try it out on a variety of subjects. Testing its action skills may have to wait a little longer but I'm going to make sure I've completely made friends with the focus tracking before my next visit to Goodwood for some motor racing.
So what's happened to my Canon, I hear you ask? Well, it's gone to a good home - my Dad to be precise! The sale of the lenses has more than covered the cost of the new camera (and the 100-400mm lens I bought last month) so I am now fully mirrorless and loving it! No more headaches and aching shoulders from lugging heavy gear around and I genuinely love the creative options my smaller gear offers. Who knows, I'll never say never about returning to full frame but I can't see it happening any time soon while I'm getting results that please me.