Because I was trading in two other camera bodies for the Lumix G90 there was a delay as my kit was picked up, shipped to the camera dealer MPB, inspected by them, then the deal confirmed/done and the G90 shipped to me. As an aside, I have dealt with MPB down in Brighton on many occasions over the past decade and have always been impressed by the ‘details’ as in this case. I had described one of my camera bodies as ‘good’ in the on line quote tool and they on inspection, decided it was ‘excellent’ and I got the financial benefit of the consequent price uplift on the deal.
When the G90 arrived, the original packaging it came in was rather tatty however the camera body was as if it were brand new and hardly ever used, a big result and I am delighted. The G90 camera body alone can still be bought for around £899 brand new and taking into account my trade ins of the G7 and M5 bodies, this G90 has cost me just over £100 including shipping which does make it a rather good deal in my opinion.
On to Battery Grips
The interesting thing about battery grips is that they cost an awful lot of money brand new and yet when it comes to trade in time, you get very little money back for them so not a great investment. I have battery grips for both my Canon 5DS and my Canon 7D MkII but not for the additional shooting duration they bring with two batteries rather than one but because when using some of my heavier telephoto lenses, they bring better handling and balance when using the camera hand held. And oh yes, both my grips were bought second hand and not new.
The original G7 was constructed from high quality plastic which made it very light but starting with the next upgraded model the G80, a lot more in the way of metal and weather sealing came to be used and again on the following upgrade the G90. Although these upgrades only ‘grew’ slightly in various dimensions the main impact was to increase the weight so that they remained physically small camera bodies but at the same time became a bit more ‘dense’.
The BGG1 Battery Grip
Mainly because of trying out some of my adapted prime Canon FD on the G90, I knew that I needed to get hold of a battery grip to improve handling when mounting heavy glass. Now obviously and if you could find any in stock, a brand new OEM BGG1 battery grip would set you back £250 which I wouldn’t be paying so it would either be a second hand one or a cheap Chinese knock off copy for £50/60. I opted for the latter and ordered one from the UK Amazon website…
When it turned up it was identical to the Panasonic original, fitted perfectly and so all fine except… When I turned the camera to portrait mode, apart from the shutter button on this grip, none of the other buttons worked – eek ! Not a problem and one of the benefits of using Amazon, logged in to my account, told them the problem, asked for a refund, printed out the returns label and shipped it off next morning. By the afternoon they emailed me to say that they were processing my refund on the basis that the goods were en route, I can’t complain about that.
So the next thing was to look for a second hand one from a decent dealer who offered a 6 month warranty. Eventually I found one, an original Panasonic BGG1 in excellent condition though it did cost me £20 more – in total £70 but I wasn’t prepared to risk another ‘dodgy’ copy so if I wanted a battery grip…pay up and smile.
A few days later it turned up and yes, all the buttons worked properly as they should so I became a happy bunny !
There was one other thing about the G90 which I noticed hadn’t improved since the original G7 which is the “focus peaking” that acts as a focus aid when using manual focus lenses. This overlays a coloured outline on objects/people to let you know that they are in focus but on the Panasonic cameras, how visible this is becomes greatly impacted by background. In comparison, the Canon M series offers a much more robust version which was one of the reasons that I originally switched brands for my “carry anywhere” small system camera.
All that said though, this G90 will fulfil my video requirements plus give me first hand experience of how effective IBIS – In Body Image Stabilisation at a modest price because it is a feature that most often comes with a big price tag on most camera brands.