I had two surprises when I read one of Eric Kim’s latest blog posts. One was that he had forsaken his trusty Ricoh GR as his street camera of choice — it broke at last — and the second was the arrival of a brand new Leica DG 14mm Summilux. I perked up on this and had a second take, then a third. Surely Panasonic hadn’t slipped in a 14mm ‘Lux under my radar?
I needn’t have worried about the lens. The alarming text was the first edition which came via the RSS feed system and, by the time I’d clicked the link, the 14mm had resumed its rightful description as the 12mm Leica DG f/1.4 Summilux that I know and love. It’s easily done, Eric, as I know to my cost in the past. At least it grabbed my attention as I flicked through the news feeds. But I hope you’ll enjoy this lens because it is a cracker of a 24mm-equivalent prime and is an oddball but sensible choice for street photography.
Maxitog: The G9
The big surprise isn’t that Eric has chosen micro four-thirds as his new platform. It’s the specific camera he has opted for that caused me to raise my eyebrows. Eric went for the new Panasonic Lumix G9, which I also own, and does indeed make a wonderful combination with the Leica 12mm. But it is hardly street photography material because of its size. Convention wisdom is to go for a body that is no larger than, say, a Fuji X100 or a Leica M whereas the G9 is definitely small DSLR territory.
After all, Eric the Streettog is coming straight from a Ricoh GR. That camera (another excellent choice by the way) is tiny by comparison with the G9 and yet sports a much larger APS-C sensor. Might he have been happier, from a size point of view, with the Olympus PEN-F, I wonder? or even the Fuji. Purely in size alone, I would prefer to marry the Twelve with the smaller GX8 or, even, the yet smaller GX80,
What is for sure, though, is that Eric’s endorsement of the G9 (and the Leica DG 12mm ‘Lux) will not harm Panasonic’s chances in the marketplace. You can read Eric’s reasoning for his choice of the Panasonic outfit here. I’ve borrowed his unboxing video which is useful, if typically Eric, if you haven’t fondled the G9 or the Leica lens.
So is the G9 going to be the new street photography camera de rigueur? Far be it from me to carp in the light of Eric’s obvious enthusiasm. But there’s only one way to find out — take the G9 and 12mm Leica out for a day in London. Something else to try.
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