Sunday, 27 November 2016

Photography Kit

I thought I’d do, as one or two other bloggers have done, and go through my camera details. Sue has done a post on the camera equipment she uses here. As Sue takes photographs of the places we visit I often take video if nothing else to be different. I still want my camera to take good still shots when I’m out and about and for this reason I have moved away from the camcorder I used when I first started taking videos.
The world of video has moved on very quickly to encompass the world of 4k UHD (Ultra High Definition). As daft as it sounds a camera capable of shooting 4k video can produce video of a quality as good or better than normal broadcast TV quality.

My main camera is a Panasonic GH4 and is capable of shooting 4k UHD video and still images.
I put a great deal of thought into the decision to purchase this camera as it went against my idea that I wanted a camera where I didn’t have, what I see as, the nuisance of changing lenses. I wanted a camera with a lens that ranged from wide angle to long telephoto. However, there are lots of video on the Internet showing the image quality achievable with the GH4 and this persuaded me that this was the camera to go for especially for capturing video. Unlike our other Panasonic cameras this one doesn’t come with a multipurpose built in lens, so once I’d decided on the camera the next decision was which lens to buy to use with the camera. I chose a 14mm to 140mm zoom lens in the hope that this would fulfil all my video and still image requirements with just one lens dispensing with the need to change lenses.
Whitby Harbour Panasonic GH4 14 -140mm lens
If you follow my blog, you’ll know that photographing steam locomotives is one of my hobbies. The 14mm to 140 mm lens is perfect for doing this as zooming in to the full extent of the lens is not normally required. A camera has to be held very steady to avoid shaky video. I don’t particularly want to be limited to using a tripod for taking video and in any case where there are lots of people about it seems dangerous for both camera and passers by to have a tripod erected on a busy railway station platform. Nor do I want to be carrying a tripod around on the North Yorkshire Moors.
North Yorkshire Moors Panasonic GH4 14 -140mm lens
I also enjoy wildlife photography and I haven’t found much wildlife that hangs about long enough for me to get a tripod set up and camera switched on to capture the scene for either a still or moving image.
Thorp Perrow arboretum Panasonic GH4 14 -140mm lens
For some wildlife photography where the subject is reasonably close, like the swan at Thorp Perrow arboretum above, the 14mm to 140mm zoom lens captures some excellent still images and video. However, visiting nature reserves and wildlife parks when the subjects were further away, it didn’t cut the mustard. I’d been using a Panasonic FZ1000 with an equivalent zoom lens of 400mm so 140mm maximum wasn’t giving me the results I wanted. As a result, I’ve added an additional Panasonic  100-300mm lens to my camera bag even though it goes against the grain of having one single all purpose lens.
I’d normally take both lenses if I’m visiting a nature reserve or wildlife park but on other occasions like visiting the allotment I wouldn’t bother with the longer telephoto lens.
RSPB Reserve – Old Moor Panasonic GH4 100 -300mm lens
Providing the wildlife isn't too far away the 100-300mm lens gets some good shots and isn’t too heavy to carry around.

Then there was a new kid on the block. Not to replace what my existing Panasonic camera was capable of but to add a new dimension to my videos.
DJI Osmo 4k camera & gimbal
Doesn't look much like a camera does it! I think the DJI Osmo deserves a post of its own as it's most unlike any other camera I’ve used.


  1. Very nice interesting post Martyn and I like your sensible reasoning especially the tripod part on station platforms I look forward to the post on the DGI osmo

  2. The photo shoots look awesome! I think it's worth for your liking!

    1. Thanks Malar. There's always room for improvement though.


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