Panasonic Lumix: Black and White Photography

Have three different Lumix cameras to shoot with I am not only finding out what camera serves which type of photography the best. I am also learning more and more about photography.

As I said I own the following Lumix camera:

  • Lumix LX100: great camera for travel and on-the-go photography. Fixed Leica lens and amazing image quality and cool almost analogue controls for aperture, shutterspeed and exposure compensation
  • Lumix G-7: perfect for sports and wildlife photography and it packs 4k 30fps for the videographers
  • Lumix DC-FZ82 (80 in North America) which is a bridge camera with 1200mm extended optical zoom and it was my first camera. Really a great first camera

I use the following lenses

  • Lumix 20mm f/1.7: Great all-round prime lens for photography, for videography it is not suitable as you hear the focus engine.
  • Lumix 25mm f/1.7: This lens is such good value for money ($150 new) especially for photographers. The image quality is very good. For videographers the image quality is excellent but it does tend at time to struggle with focus hunting. Still love this lens
  • Lumix 12-60mm f/3.5-f/5.6: An all-purpose lens and the kit lens of choice. This lens is extremely reliable both for video and photography. It delivers good image quality combined with a solid build a excellent weight and doesn’t break the bank. The more premium version is the Lumix Leica 12-60 f/2.8-f/4.0 which is worth your money but comes at much heavier price

Great thing is that all of these cameras share the exact same black and white presets/menus you can chose from

In today’s post I’ll be sharing some examples of Black & White stills I have shot with various cameras.

Night Shot in B&W with the Lumix DC-FZ82 and retouched with LR.

Black & White Photography produce many of my favourite pictures (especially Vivian Maier). What I have found about B&W Photography is that it is actually hard to get it right.

Lumix Cameras by default offer FIVE B&W presets:

  • Sepia (pretty much brown tones)
  • Monochrome  (all forms of black-and-white photography, which produce images containing tones of neutral grey ranging from black to white.)
  • Dynamic Monochrome: Now things get a bit more complex as dynamic & monochrome differ only between the darkest and the latest part of the subject. Effectively rendering higer contrast
  • Rough Monochrome: granular picture. loads of noise and distortion
  • Silky Monochrome: This preset is still a difficult one to understand but basically it blurs the overal image to provide a more softer “feel” according to Panasonic.

I have spoken with quite a few photographers about B&W photography (with a digital camera) and what is the best way of shooting B&W.

Taken in in color and later edited in LR.
  • Using the camera preset and making life easy
  • Shooting the pictures in colour and later edit them in LR, Photoshop etc.
  • Manually configuring your camera settings.

The responses that I have received were very mixed. One photographer takes all his stills in colour, another likes to configure his camera settings (M button on any Lumix) and others are happy to shoot with the pre-settings. One thing all agreed on is that one setting is key to have set which is “RAW+JPEG” as it allows your better control once you start editing.

Below you’ll find some of my own Black & Whites. I have to add that my editing skills do not go far although I generally tend to shoot in “RAW+JPEG” or “RAW+Fine” as it is named on the Lumix my editing skills are left to be desired. Additionally mastering the WB (White Balance) setting is one essential to a quality B&W picture I have been told.

One of my favourite shots (Lumix DC-FZ82) edited in LR shot from 25 meters
A shot taken with (Lumix G-7)Preset Monochrome
Taken in colour (Lumix G-7) edited in LightRoom
DMC-LX100 Shots with pre-set Monochrome
DMC-LX100 Shot with the pre-set Rough Monochrome

The interesting thing is that all Panasonic Lumix cameras I have seem to perform well in low light conditions, which is great on the other hand if I would really make top quality black and white stills I really have to master a few things (more on the technical side) before I can really be satisfied.

One other great thing about Lumix camera and especially lens is: they are budget friendly and fast

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