More acronyms and the OCOLOY challenge. What about the Lumix G9?

Posted on by Mike Evans

I think I’m right in saying that photography blogger Mike Johnston invented the OCOLOY concept — one camera, one lens, one year. In March 2016 I wrote about reader Stephen Jenner’s year-long experiment with a Leica M2 and 50mm dual-range Summicron. 

Panasonic Lumix G9 and the G Vario f/3.5-5.6 12-60, a cheaper alternative to the faster Leica DG 12-60

Mike is now considering choosing the Panasonic Lumix G9 — just considering — as his one camera for 2019. He hasn’t yet decided on the one-lens to go with the rest of the acronyms. But it’s an interesting choice of camera and I set to thinking whether or not it could be my choice.

The Panasonic G9 is a great choice for sports and wildlife photography, especially with one of the long but compact and relatively light zooms —the overwhelming advantage of the m4/3 system. But is it a one-camera for one year choice?

The G9 is a camera I own, but I’ve pared down my m4/3 lenses to just two excellent zooms, the f/2/8-4 Leica DG 12-60 and its sister, the f/2.8-4 50-200. This combo gives a 35mm-equivalent range of 24mm to 400mm and turns the G9 into a versatile all-rounder. Whether I could use it as my only camera, I don’t know. 

Stephen Jenner’s OCOLOY challenge in 2015 — a Leica M2 and dual-range Summicron. A real back-to-basics choice

For a micro four-thirds camera, the G9 is larger than I would like for general carry around purposes — street photography, if you like — even when twinned with a compact prime.

I don’t do sports photography or attend the sort of events where fast AF and long lenses are a priority. As a result, the G9 hasn’t had as much use as it deserves. I feel guilty about that. As for choosing it as the one camera, one lens, I feels zooms are rather cheating if we stick to the spirit of the challenge. It ought to be a prime and I now don’t have any (other than using an M lens with adaptor).

If I were to choose just one camera and one lens from my current stable, I suspect my choice would be between the M10-D and the Leica CL, both with a suitable 35mm or 50mm prime.

Oh, and did I mention the venerable Leica X1 and X2? I could well imaging adopting the X2 for a one-year, one-camera experience. But I don’t think so; I would soon run out of stories to write for Macfilos and we all need a bit of variety.

As I wrote in the 2016 article, however, I like being able to wake up and choose a camera and lens for the day. I fully accept that restricting myself to one camera, one lens for a whole year would be a cathartic experience. But it is probably one that I will have to pass on.

What do you think? Have you considered joining Mike Johnston’s OCOLOY challenge? Or, better still, have you done it in the past and what are your conclusions?