Starting Run & Gun videography with my Panasonic Lumix G81 : The Türlersee

I have been a passionate photographer for as long as I can remember. For some reason, I never had the same passion for videography. Therefore my video activities have so far been mainly confined to doing interviews.

However, inspired by YouTube videos recently, I decided I wanted to start doing ‘Run & Gun-‘ style videography. Given the fact that I like hiking a lot, and that I always take a camera with me on my trips, it only seemed to make sense to combine my hikes with making videos.

At about the same time as I decided to start with videography, I bought a book by Franz Wille with hiking tours in the Canton of Zurich (Switzerland) where I live. The title of the book is ‘Zürich Zürichsee Wanderführer – Mit 50 Touren und Outdoor App’ and is published by Hallwag Kümmerly+Frey AG.

A new project is born

Wanting to pick up Run & Gun videography in combination with obtaining this book inspired me to start a new project: I plan to do a hike from this book every other week and then publish a video on YouTube about it. 

The purpose of this project is threefold. First of all, I want to share the beauty of Caton Zurich, where I live. Secondly, I would like to share my progress in the field of videography. Thirdly if forces me to do some physical exercise during these COVID19 times.

Choosing the Lumix G81

Being cursed with the GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), I have four cameras: a  Nikon D750, an Olympus OMD-EM5 II, the Panasonic Lumix G81 (or G81 or G85 – depending in which country you live) and the Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100.

There were four reasons why I opted to take the Lumix G81 with me on these hikes:

  • Weight – The Lumix G81 in combination with the Panasonic 12-60 mm 3.5-5.6 lens only weighs 740 grams. Weight is important because I discovered a long time ago that the ideal camera for hikes is the camera you do not notice when it hangs around your neck, but is always be there when you need it
  • ‘Kit lens’ – The reason why I put ‘Kit lens’ in parentheses, is because the Panasonic the 12-60 mm 3.5-5.6 lens is a great lens, which deserves more credit than the label ‘Kit lens’ suggests. First of all the optical quality is excellent, secondly, the lens provides a great reach (12-60 mm – the full-frame equivalent of a 24-120 lens), and thirdly, in combination with the body, the lens provides dual image stabilization. This is obviously a great advantage when doing ‘Run & Gun’ videography
  • Splash-proof –  I do not want to stop taking pictures and making videos when it starts raining!
  • Video features – The G81 has a ton of video features – including 4k 30 fps (great for cropping) and 1080 60 fps (helpful to create slow-motion footage).
Panasonic Lumix G81 Kit (12-60mm, 16.10Mpx, Micro Four Thirds)

My first ‘videography hike’ at the Türlersee

The first hike from the aforementioned book by Franz Wille I undertook was Route No 12, a trip around the Türlersee. The Türlersee is a beautiful lake, not too far away from where I live. It is a nice and not very demanding 11-kilometer long tour alongside the banks of the Türlersee, and through alternating sceneries of woods and meadows.

Auch ich bin ein Hybrid shooter!

What I quickly discovered when I started on my first ‘videography hike’, is that I quickly turned into a hybrid shooter. Despite my ‘good intentions’ of only wanting to make video footage on these trips, I quickly found myself taking stills again as well. 

Fortunately enough, the Panasonic Lumix G81 has the possibility to store different photography and video settings via custom settings. Given that photography and videography require different shutter speeds, ISO, and autofocus settings, the possibility to use the C1 and C2 positions on the right dial of the camera to quickly switch between photography and videography settings is a great feature. (I still need to figure out how to set and switch between the C2.1, C2.2 and C2.3 settings by the way, but perhaps that is something for a next post).

How did my Panasonic Lumix G81 behave?

Three things I liked about my Panasonic G81 camera on this hike were:

  • The quality of the video footage – I really like the video footage out of this camera, super crisp, super sharp, great colors
  • The Custom Settings – As I wrote before, the C1 and C2 positions on the right-hand dial proved to be extremely effective to quickly switch from stills photography to video settings and vice versa
  • The weight – I did not realize I had the camera with me, except when I needed it, which is a great thing!

Three things I did not like about the Panasonic G81 camera

  • Reliability – One time during this shoot the camera was completely stuck. I had to reset it by taking the battery out and re-inserting it again. Probably time for me to do that firmware update I keep postponing…
  • Low light performance – As you can see the picture of the church (in Kappel) at sunset is extremely pixelated, even though I took it with a very slow shutter speed (around 1/20 s). However, this is something which is, unfortunately, part and parcel of my (otherwise beloved) Micro Four Thirds system
  • The quality of the jpegs. I find Nikon and Olympus jpegs straight out of the camera much better. However, for me that is not a problem because I tend to shoot in RAW anyway.

Enough said: The footage!

By clicking on the YouTube picture below to watch my video on YouTube.

You can see all my pictures on Flickr by clicking on the picture below.

I hope you like my video footage and stills photography. Let me know in the comments!


Lumix G81 camera | Panasonic 12-60 mm 3.5-5.6 lens


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