Trick out your GX7 so you can do the kind of photography you want to do
May 20, 2014
Properly accessorized, the Panasonic GX7 is a great camera for street photography, travel, sports and action, and sports photography. Here's our suggestions to your best shots with this camera.
Also see: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Guided Tour
Funky version: Try an Olympus 9mm f/8 fisheye body cap lens. It is flat as a pancake, unobtrusive, and cheap. You may not get tack-sharp focus, but it has a valuable manual focusing tab and is great for experimenting while giving you a super-wide 18mm (equivalent) angle of view. For more serious street shooting, the Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 provides a 30mm (35mm equivalent) view and superior optics, and takes in enough to include lots of interesting peripheral action that can make or break a street shot.
One of the advantages of Micro Four Thirds is that the lenses are small and light, so you can carry an extensive focal range. Supplement the 14-42mm kit lens with the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f/4-5.6 for long-range (90-300mm 35mm equivalent) zooming, and the Panasonic Lumix 7-14mm f/4 wide-angle (left), which gives you near-fisheye views and a 14-28mm 35mm equivalent range. This gives you a powerful 7-150mm focal range, which will cover nearly anything you come across.
Also consider bringing a monopod such as the Manfrotto 682B Self-Standing Monopod. Lighter than a tripod and easier to take with you, it will give you extra stability when the light is low or when you're shooting at full telephoto extension.
Finally, the built-in flash may be fine when your subject is less than ten feet away, but you may need more power than that. The Panasonic DMW-FL220 more than doubles the light output, so you have more flexibility when the light is low.
Since you'll need to get close to the action, a long zoom lens is a good idea for sports photography. The Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6 MEGA O.I.S is perfect for this; you may also want to invest in the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 ASPH for wider shots. Remember: Double the focal length to get the 35mm equivalent. With these two lenses, you'll cover the 35 equivalent of 70-600mm, which should be enough to play in the big leagues.
A monopod such as the Manfrotto 682B Self-Standing Monopod will help when you're shooting at 150-300mm. It's lighter than a tripod and easier to take with you, it will give you extra stability when the light is low or when you're shooting at full telephoto extension.
One of the lens features that helps a portrait stand apart from a snapshot is control over depth of field. At f/1.2, the Panasonic Leica DG Noctitron 42.5mm f/1.2 lens can produce magical results. It may be tricky getting focus just right when the depth of field is so limited, but it will be worth it in the results.
Bring it into the studio with a couple of Panasonic DMW-FL360L wireless LED flashes, a pair of light stands and shoe mount adapters , plus a couple of shoot-through umbrellas to soften the light, and you're ready for your subjects' close-ups.
Stuff you should just have for all kinds of photography
Be sure to conduct maintenance on your camera. If you switch lenses fairly often, a good sensor cleaner is important. Here's how to clean your sensor. For your lens, be sure to have a lens cloth handy, and protect the front element with a UV filter. Have at least 2-3 SD cards—Class 10 transfer speed is preferable—an a spare battery. Enjoy using your Panasonic GX7!