It’s funny how we have certain concepts and beliefs around particular brands.
Perhaps 10 years ago, before I’d seriously got into photography – and cameras – I was vaguely aware of a few different manufacturers, and had formed opinions of them based on the very little information and experience I had.
Panasonic Lumix seemed to be a higher end and more interesting contemporary brand than the mainstream likes of Canon, Nikon and Olympus.
They also gave the impression of being more of a photographer’s brand than those coming from more of an electronics background, like Sony (whose TVs, hi-fi separates, headphones and of course PlayStations I’d greatly enjoyed, right back from my first Sony Walkman, probably around 1988) or Samsung, who seemed to be more at home making phones and fridges.
Of course this partly illustrates how wrong these opinions can be, because Panasonic also originated in electronics and have less of a pedigree in cameras than Sony, especially since Sony bought the rich photography mine of experience and technology in the guise of Konica Minolta, in 2006.
My first direct experience of a Panasonic Lumix camera came some years later, a very modest old compact.
It was fun, but didn’t particularly wow me, and the only memorable feature was the heart icon on the mode dial that was a kind of easy auto setting for beginners that simplified the remaining options on the camera radically.
Nothing special really, I just liked that the icon was a red heart rather than a green camera, like virtually all other brands.
Since then I’ve had at least half a dozen Lumix, and enjoyed them all in their own way.
Common themes are a very decent build quality, a sensible user interface (buttons and switches, and menus) and excellent lenses.
They also often seem to include key features I rely on and wish other cameras had, such as high contrast black and white modes, and zoom resume, which zooms the lens to the same position it was in when the camera was switched off – excellent for setting your zoom lens camera up as if it has a prime lens.
Three of the cameras in my remaining arsenal of less than a dozen are Lumix.
I can’t see myself parting with any of these, especially as my camera buying has slowed to a virtually halt these days.
But I’ve also had others, that I’ve donated or sold not because I haven’t like them, but because they were not quite as great as the ones I’ve kept.
Whilst I’d say my heart was with Pentax more than any other brand, I’d be lying if I said Panasonic’s Lumix line hadn’t made a very strong impression on me, and especially considering their relatively short brand lifespan compared with Pentax, of which I’ve owned cameras going back to the early 1960s.
So in my collection, I say long live the Legends of Lumix!
Which is your favourite camera brand, and why? Or do you have no interest or allegiance to any brands and just appreciate and enjoy each camera for what it can do?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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