On the weekend that Harry and Meghan tied the knot, the Panasonic LUMIX Roadshow crew were just a few miles away at the magnificent landscaped gardens of Stowe in Buckinghamshire – one of the stops on their series of roadshows with the National Trust, which continue throughout the summer.
Their mission was to hand out a selection of the latest LUMIX cameras and lenses to any visitors to the site who wanted to try them out. AP was there too, and our mission was to talk to Panasonic when they brought them back and find out how they got on.
The testers ranged from AP readers toting bags full of their own cameras and lenses, to families who had never used a ‘proper’ camera before. Each was matched to a camera that suited their particular interest, budget and experience level. Here, a selection of those visitors show some of the pictures they took and share their thoughts about the experience.
Laura Thomas, Buckingham
Camera used: LUMIX G9 with G Vario 12-60mm lens
My favourite feature on the G9 was the 4K Photo function. Trying to get that perfect moment with the kids playing is really difficult with my DSLR, but I can see that it would be easier with this camera. You just go into 4K mode, hold the shutter down and get a burst of 4K video at 30 frames per second, then extract the best frame as a still image. It isn’t full resolution, but 8MP is more than enough for most things.

By Laura Thomas, Buckingham

Derek Hubbard, Derby
Camera used: LUMIX G80 with G Vario 14-42mm lens
This is a lovely camera. I like the styling, and it was small and light to carry around. One feature
I really appreciated was the touchscreen panel. It made choosing the focus point easy, and I liked how you could also take a picture by touching the screen.

By Derek Hubbard, Derby

Geoffrey Cotterill, Oxfordshire
Camera used: LUMIX GH5 with Leica 12-60mm lens
I tried out a GH5. It was very light but it took a while for me to get used to how large the body was, compared to my Olympus OM-D E-M5, which is so small. It was easy to use though, and the viewfinder was lovely. Overall though, it’s a powerful and versatile camera that delivered a great performance.

By Geoffrey Cotterill, Oxfordshire

Stewart Cowie, North Wales
Camera used: LUMIX G9 with Leica 12-60mm lens
I’m a photographer and happened to be doing a shoot at Stowe with a ballerina this weekend, so I took the opportunity to try a G9. It was significantly lighter and promised a comfortable shoot without the aching elbows and forearms at the end of a long day, compared to my Nikon set-up. The G9 was easy to set up and I could soon start exploring its full capabilities. I was impressed by its versatility too and the information fed back to me through the viewfinder made my job on the shoot much easier, as it directed me quickly to the adjustments needed to get the results I was after.

By Stewart Cowie, North Wales

Cathal Gantly, Milton Keynes
Camera used: LUMIX GH5 with Leica 12-60mm lens
The GH5 and Leica 12-60mm lens is a lovely combination. I was impressed with the handling, and the GH5 strikes the right balance between buttons and menu selections – without any manual to hand, I was able to change all the settings I required intuitively. The viewfinder was by far the best electronic viewfinder I’ve used. While the GH5 is targeted as a video camera with excellent stills (I did shoot some video, too) I was impressed with the output of the stills. I’m a raw shooter, and found the files very easy to work with in post.

By Cathal Gantly, Milton Keynes

Chris Scrivener, Towcester
Camera used: LUMIX G9 with Leica 12-60mm lens
I haven’t used focus peaking before. My Nikon D750 doesn’t have it. But now that I know what it is, I think it’s really good. It makes manual focusing so much easier. At first I didn’t think there was much difference in weight, but after walking around with the G9 and the 12-60mm lens, if that had been my D750 with the 24-120mm, which is the equivalent, I would have felt the weight around my neck a lot more. I travel quite a lot for work and I can see myself switching to something like this in time.

By Chris Scrivener, Towcester

Esther Ling’s Top Tips

Esther is a professional photographer and LUMIX Ambassador whose main passions are social, documentary, food and travel photography. Her camera of choice is the Panasonic LUMIX G7. Here she shares three tips for those who are new to the Panasonic range. Visit www.estherling.co.uk.
• You have invested money in a camera, so invest time learning how to use it. Spend five or ten minutes a day getting used to it – even if you are sitting watching television,  just get the camera out and get a feel for it.  It needs to become an extension of yourself.
• Get things right in-camera. I work predominantly with prime lenses, so if I can’t get what I want in the viewfinder I have to move my feet – this helps me to focus on my composition. I try to get as much as I can right in-camera, so my editing is just a case of tweaking rather than major changes.
• Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Cameras these days are so amazing that we think they will do all the work for us, but you need to put the work in. For me it’s about learning from our mistakes – so don’t be embarrassed, just try again.

Other events coming up
The Panasonic LUMIX Roadshow, in partnership with the National Trust, will continue to tour various properties this year (see below), and AP will feature articles with tips for shooting some of these beautiful locations. See nationaltrust.org.uk/panasonic-roadshows
Mount Stewart NI 18/19 Aug
Giants Causeway NI 1/2 Sept
Dunham Massey Cheshire 8/9 Sept