Photography

Masters Snooker and Lumix G9

Lumix G9 was not snookered

I took my Lumix G9 to the 2018 Masters Snooker tournament at Alexandra Palace to put it through its paces. This is a challenging environment because there are many types of lights with different intensities and colour temperatures.  Lots of tungsten, TV lights and various bits and bobs in the public and play areas.  Getting the correct exposure and producing technically good images can be difficult.  I left the exposure management to shutter priority and I shot RAW.  Auto ISO for most of the day.

This is the third year my son and I have come to the Masters.  We enjoy the drama, the play, and the cross-section of fans.  I always take a camera with me. This year was no exception.  I had the good fortune to bring my Lumix  G9, the latest iteration of the Lumix micro four-thirds line. This model is specifically designed for photographers as opposed to hybrid video and stills photography that their GH line of cameras is for.

The image below of Shaun Murphy shows how good this camera is. The ISO is around 2000 and the shutter speed is 1/800th of a second. The image is tack sharp and beautifully rendered.

Shaun Murphy’s last stand

Unfortunately, 2018 was not to be Shaun’s Master tournament as he was beaten by Judd Trump shortly after this photograph was taken.

Masters snooker
Shaun Murphy waiting his turn

 

The day is split into afternoon and evening sessions.  The winner of each session goes through to the next stage.  The schedule gives ample opportunity to focus on the snooker and to spend time watching what is going on in the crowd during the breaks, take photographs and enjoy some food and a drink.

Refreshments and people watching

Into the bar for some food, a drink and photographs.

No shortage of spirits!

 

I like these photographs, the older folks seem out of kilter with the snooker fans. Maybe they were in for a quiet drink only to find that the National TV and snooker circus has arrived.

The colours are vibrant and saturated. The 75mm Olympus f1.8 lens was ideal to capture these photographs of two ladies and two gentlemen each enjoying a blether and a drink.

Masters snooker
Masters snooker

 

Lots of choices

Once again, the colours are excellent given tungsten lighting, processed in Lightroom.  1/100th at f4.0 and ISO200.

Masters snooker
Masters Snooker

Back to the Baize

The final three images show that B&W conversion is good. Lots of contrast, room for shadows and dynamic range but I did not want that for that photograph. Setting up the balls shows good colour whereas the final photograph was taken using the 12-35mm f2.8 lens.


Masters snooker

Summary

The Lumix G9 is a reliable and enjoyable camera to use. I do not find it large, the ergonomics are excellent, probably better than the GH5 in my view, especially for this type of work. The image quality is fabulous.

The RAW files stand up well to post-processing in Lightroom. The camera did not let me down at all.

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