I have been using Think Tank products for many years, I used to use the Thinktank International V2 for all my DSLR kit. When I made the transition to Mirrorless cameras and the Lumix system I needed something smaller, stronger, and just as robust to give me the protection to my equipment that I have had with the International. Furthermore I wanted something that was discrete and durable.

I saw the Urban Approach and I thought I’d give it a try. At first glance it looks small; but surprisingly it had the capacity to carry my 15 inch MacBook Pro, plus all of my other equipment comfortably.

It looks like an ordinary backpack, which is something I like straight away. I don’t want to draw attention to myself when I have this on my back especially when I am in a city. (TIP: In busy cities use a cable tie to lock your bag, its more discreet than a padlock.)

When you open the Urban Approach you will be surprised by the variety of space options that you can have in such a streamlined bag. The simple velcro system allows you to configure the compartments to suit your needs. In my opinion the best features are: the loop on the back, allowing me to slip the Urban Approach over the handle of my main luggage bag, which is very useful at any airport or train station; the chest clip for added comfort; the easy access zip pocket at the front, which is great for business cards and passports; and obviously, the flexibility of the customisable sections, which protect my equipment.

So, what can you fit into this little gem? This is the contents of my photography bag. I think you will agree I can get quite a lot in a small amount of space, without compromising any protection of my equipment.Think Tank Urban Approach 15

The list for this shot is:

  1. Two Passports
  2. Joby Gorilla Pod
  3. Business Cards
  4. Lens Wipes
  5. Charging Cable
  6. HPRC SD Card Case
  7. Battery Chargers
  8. Leica 100-400mm Lens
  9. Lumix 12-35mm Lens
  10. Leica Nocticron 42.5mm Lens
  11. Leica 12mm Lens
  12. Think Tank Powerhouse Pro (Sold Separately)
  13. Lumix GH5 with a Leica 12-60mm Lens and a Eddy Cam Strap
  14. Spare Batteries
  15. Lumix GX8 with a Leica 15mm Lens
  16. Notebook and pens
  17. MacBook Pro 13 inch.

Is it durable? Yes very. Since I have been using it for about 18 months, it still feels snug to wear. It has been used in variety of environments and in all weather, and there is no damage.  A rain proof cover is supplied with the bag.
Therefore, the Urban Approach is the ideal bag to transport your camera equipment safely, and it caters for all eventualities- a coastal walk, over seas travel, sport events, street photography, the list goes on.

You can get your Think Tank bags from:

Snapper Stuff (UK)

ThinkTank Photo (US)

Having been lucky to shoot with a Lumix GH5 before the launch. I considered myself very fortunate. There was one downside. I am missing it and cannot wait to have one.
Incase you are not aware, prior to launch there are only a few models. You could say they are like hens teeth. To have two, was like a kid being let loose in a sweet shop.
But why am I missing a product that has not even been released yet?
I’ll tell you why. Because I was able to dip my toe into the GH5 world, I got a taste of something I really liked. I loved the Dual IS, the joystick, the low light performance, and not forgetting 6K Photo. I could go on but you know how I feel about it. Because it ticks all the boxes I was looking for in a camera to use in a professional environment.
Now don’t get me wrong. The G80, GX8 and the GH4 are all still fantastic cameras and I will continue to use them along side the GH5.

I can’t wait to get my hands on another. In the meantime here are some images from my time spent with the GH5.

Charlotte on Tenby Beach, Pembrokeshire. Camera: GH5, Lens: Lumix 35-100mm f2.8.
Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto, Japan. Taken on the a Lumix GH5. ISO 200. 1/0.6sec f2.8 Handheld
Lime in Water, simple and effective. Camera: GH5, Lens: Leica Nocticron 42.5mm. Photo: Ross Grieve

The evolution from the GH4 to the GH5 is more like a quantum leap than a natural progression, which is a good thing. I have been using Lumix cameras for over two years, since moving to a mirrorless system. With technology moving so quickly, Panasonic really have embraced the needs of Photographers and Filmmakers. I have been shooting on the GH5 for a while and putting it through its paces. As you will see, the rumours are true…”Its a Beast”.

GH5 First Impressions

To hold the GH5 feels comfortable and snug, without bulk. It is only slightly bigger than a GH4, but it does feel well balanced. The joystick on the back is a great addition, as are the Dual Card Slots. The welcome news that it is now Freezeproof down to -10c is again a nice little feature to the already dust and splash proof protection.

As a Portrait and Commercial photographer, I sometimes need a camera that can react quickly to get the images that I want. I have been a fan of 4K Photo for a long time and hearing 6K Photo announced at Photokina really excited me. One improvement I was hoping for was low light shooting on video. I am not disappointed, in fact I am over the moon. With being able to shoot at 3200iso in 6K Photo mode I can really exploit that high frame rate of 30fps in 6K Photo and 60fps in 4K Photo mode.

.In the Studio:

One of the things I like about the GH5, is how versatile it is in the studio. I don’t use High Speed Sync lights (HSS). I use Bowens Limelite Mosaics, which are perfect when I use 6K or 4K Photo modes. So the option now to choose between 4K (60fps) or 6K (30fps) is fantastic.  The bigger sensor (20.3MP) , will certainly please a lot of people. I have printed 50 inch prints from the GX8 and know I can easily get prints this size from the GH5.

This is the lovely Hugo, running flat out in my studio for the worlds first 6K Photo (30fps) from the GH5. Camera GH5, Lens: Leica Nocticron 42.5mm. Photo:Ross Grieve

Lime in Water, simple and effective. Camera: GH5, Lens: Leica Nocticron 42.5mm. Photo: Ross Grieve

On Location:

When I am on location, I like to travel as lightly as possible. Even if I shoot locally or abroad. It makes the day easier and more productive. In addition to having to carry external equipment as lights, hard drives and a laptop, while not getting some clothes and of course my camera. Therefore weight is at a premium.

Steven Clarey gets big air. 6K Photo. Camera: GH5, Lens: Lumix Leica Summilux 12mm. Photo by Ross Grieve.
Beautiful results achieved quickly using 6K Photo. Photo:Ross Grieve

Now on to low light shooting. As I touched on above low light on the GH5. It is epic. A massive improvement and as you can see being able to get results from video at 3200iso is a treat. Stills are obviously a huge improvement too.

Even at 3200iso it looks fantastic. Photo:Ross Grieve

With studio and location covered. I couldn’t end this post without mentioning the Dual Image Stabilisation 2 (Dual IS 2). First of all, the 5-axis/5 stops is jaw dropping. Its one of those features you really have to experience, and consequently it will be a favourite for all photographers and filmmakers. The photo below was made easy with the Dual IS 2.

GH5 4K Photo
Charlotte on Tenby Beach, Pembrokeshire. Camera: GH5, Lens: Lumix 35-100mm f2.8. Photo:Ross Grieve

Now the tech bit with all the specs:

GH5 Specs 

  • 20.3MP Sensor
  • 5-axis Dual IS
  • No Crop factor in 4K
  • 3680k 0.76x OLED EVF
  • 1620k 3.2” RGBW rear monitor
  • Improved low light
  • Improved AF speed using new DFD tech
  • No Low Pass filter
  • Reduced rolling shutter
  • Unlimited recording time
  • 4K 60/50P (150mbps, 4:2:0 8-bit)
  • 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording (DCI and UHD up to 30p + HD 60p*)
  • 400mbps All-intra (DCI and UHD up to 30p**)
  • Variable frame rate (up to 180fps in HD)
  • Full size HDMI Type-A
  • USB-C
  • Dual Card Slots (UHS-II U3)
  • LUT display
  • High-res Anamorphic Mode**
  • Simultaneous recording internal and external
  • Waveform + Vector monitors
  • 709-like Gamma + Knee control
  • Hybrid Log Gamma (for HDR video)
  • Freezeproof down to -10C
  • Cable lock included
  • Optional XLR adapter to record 96kHz/24bit internally

*Firmware in April, **Firmware in summer

Finally, you may think I am biased. Because I wouldn’t be shouting about a new camera if I did not believe it was up to the task. I need cameras like this to run my business. It is very important to have equipment that can go beyond my requirements. Like a good chef will have his favourite knife, I have a new favourite camera the Lumix GH5. Going forward I believe 2017 is already exciting.

A little visit to the area near Fukushima Nuclear Power Station, makes you realise how devastating this disaster was. It was very apparent that many people/families just dropped everything and left, never to return. Don’t worry we made sure we were in a safe area.

We travelled up north from Tokyo to see first hand what Mother Nature can do when she unleashes an Earthquake and a Tsunami. As our journey rumbled on, we passed through several towns from where you could see the damage escalating. It wasn’t long till we came across some houses near the coast, which seems to be waiting in line for their turn at being demolished.



From here we headed back down South and passed several abandoned car sales. But this one stood out. It was located on the main road and with the big American cars, this second hand car yard it made fantastic photography. Weeds growing through the cars that were left there in peoples haste to leave, it almost like a car graveyard, just left there to rust.


The three of us were all struck with the efforts from the government to get everything back to normal. There is a lot of new homes being built. A constant stream of works to the surrounding sites to assist in the clean up. Which will go on for generations.

As we approached one town we saw an amazing building which would have been so busy in it’s day. It was a Pachinko Hall, which is full of machines, where people can try their luck, and is very popular in Japan. We took our time and had a good look around the outside. The building was just in decay.




After spending some time outside. It was decided the open door was too good of an opportunity to miss. We walked in to an emotional scene with everything scattered on the floors and counters. We could only imagine people dropping everything to get away from the incoming Tsunami.



Abandoned buildings are scattered in Fukushima.Aware of safety, we always made sure that we were safe at all times. The trip to Fukushima was well worth the visit but it will not be for everyone.

All images were taken on a Lumix GX8 with a Leica 15mm lens.

Ebony - Winning Photo of Pet Photographer of the Year

UK Pet Photographer of the Year. Pembrokeshire-based photographer Ross Grieve has won a top prize in a major national and international photography award ceremony.

Celebrating the Masters of Photography, the annual Master Photographers Association (MPA) Awards welcomed some of the greatest photography talents in a glittering awards ceremony on Sunday.

Bringing the photographic industry together, with unprecedented awards, the Master Photography Awards is the most anticipated event in the professional photographic calendar. Judges from across the globe selected a record number of nominees this year. Which reflected the high standard of photography entered into the awards. The MPA annual awards celebrate the Masters of International Photography.

Ross won the UK Pet Photographer of the Year in the 2016/17 Master Photography Awards. Ross beat-off stiff competition to scoop his prize, with other leading photographers from across the UK and overseas all striving for recognition in the awards.

Professional photographers from around the world were joined by representatives from the major photographic companies and trade. With knowledgeable industry observers keenly attending the awards ceremony..

Ross, whose studio is based in Cresselly. Picked up three awards of excellence and three merits to add to his outstanding achievement.

The awards, run by the Master Photographers Association (the MPA), is one of the most prestigious within the photographic profession. Membership of the association is restricted to professional photographers.

Clare Louise, CEO of the MPA, commented: “The standard of photography we have seen this year is world class. It was exciting to see new faces coming through and rewarding to see such great talent upholding previous years’ titles. With entrants both UK and worldwide, our winners really are the masters of their craft. It is an absolute honour to showcase imagery of such high standard and we are proud to represent the best image makers globally.”

For bookings and details please contact Ross on studio@rossgrieve.com or phone 01646 651750

My journey started a few months ago, when I had a call from Panasonic saying. “So how would you like to go to Photokina and talk to several hundred people about what you do and 4K Photography?” My mind said “gulp” and my heart said “hell yes”. So here I am.

Day 1: Saturday 16th September 2016. After the 4 hour journey from my studio in Cresselly. The flight from Heathrow to Cologne was only 55mins. I need to get over her more often. I have never been to Germany before. So to arrive for such a huge event is making me feel like a kid with a super sweet tooth being let loose in a sweet shop.

Today was about arriving in good time as I wanted to see a bit of the city. The beauty about discovering new cities with photography allows you to to see things that are sometimes everyday to the locals. For example there are a lot of bikes in Cologne, and mean a lot. I know Ironman is on in my home town of Tenby this weekend, but there are a lot more bikes here. You very quickly learn to be aware of them, plus they make for great photos. There are bike lanes everywhere so you soon get used to it.


One of my tasks I had set myself was to find a good coffee. So I met Rainer and his lovely wife at a market with their Coffee-Bike. Being a kiwi I asked if he could make a Flat White. He didn’t disappoint in charm.


Of course while in Cologne you have to go and see the Cathedral. I walked around the corner and my jaw just dropped. The photos don’t do it justice as I only had my Street Photography setup on my Lumix GX8 which is my 15mm f1.7.


While walking around you do see some events happening in front of you. When two Mercedes , a classic and a modern version get a bit close. I guess you could say its German engineering coming together. Everyone was calm, and no one seemed hurt.




So first impressions of Cologne are fantastic, I even stumbled on a fashion show in this incredibly diverse city. Blue sheep and for sale too. Day 1 there was a lot to take in and see. Just feeling the atmosphere in a city is exciting enough for me. Who knows what Day 2 will bring.


The next busy day was rehearsals for the Panasonic Photokina Press Conference on Monday. There was a lot of secrecy as the GH5 (in development) was going to be mentioned and confirmed with a taster of the features. I was lucky to hold a mock model at the rehearsal to get a feel of what is to come.

Today arrived and the nerves and excited arrived too as 12.30pm got closer for the Press Conference. All I had to do was talk about what I do with 4K Photography. Sharing how fantastic the use of 4K Photography in my business has become. Everything went smoothly and it was a privilege to be part of such a major event.

So with the release of the new cameras I was very interested in one in particular, the G80. I was fortunate enough to test prior to Photokina and here are a couple of images.


Of course, no test would be complete without a 4K Photograph. Shot the Thursday prior to Photokina.


So back to Cologne. Experiencing my first Photokina was better that I had imagined. The diverse range of tech and cameras announced and on display certainly makes the industry extremely exciting. The week is made of various Ambassadors speaking, my subject was 4K Photography. There have been a lot of urban myths about quality etc, but I have been pushing the limits and have had outstanding results, with amazing prints at about 40 inches.

We also had some wonderful models who worked so hard all week. Great to meet Elisa and Anna. They posed for the visitors to the stand and even put up with our crazy ideas.

Always expect the unexpected
Always expect the unexpected

The talks were well received and also created a lot of interest, which is good to know that photography in this evolving stage is drawing crowds of people who are keen to discover new techniques and technology.

With Cologne the methods of transport is endless. I have already touched in the bike. But the tram is such a cheap and fast way to get around. Walking around the city you will discover much more too.

The tunnel heading up to Photokina 2016
The tunnel heading up to Photokina 2016
Great fun with random people and Nick Driftwood.

All good things have to come to an end, and I only realised that I had booked a red eyed flight home on Saturday morning, on the Thursday.

Cologne Airport
Cologne Airport
Queuing to board my flight with a beautiful sunrise.
Queuing to board my flight with a beautiful sunrise.

Thank you for taking the time to read my journey. I would certainly recommend a trip to Cologne. Its a perfect city for photography of many genres. I will be back.

If you would like to know more about my workshops on 4K Photography and 4K Street Photography please email studio@rossgrieve.com

Street Photography has been growing in popularity around the world. It is accessible to everyone, plus its a great way to improve your photography skills. Everyone loves people watching. Whether it be from a cafe or in a park, or even just walking along the street. Street Photography makes it even more enjoyable as long as you are considerate about who you are photographing.

So recently I have been taking Street Photography one step further, I decided to do 4K Street Photography. If you are not sure what 4K Photography is, have read on my Beginners Guide to 4K Photography.

Why on earth would I do this you ask? I decided to shoot in 4K because it is completely silent. Now I know you are saying, well I could just shoot in silent mode for Street Photography. Yes I could, but I would miss key moments that I am trying to capture. For example this photo taken in Cardiff, I wanted to get a person with the perfect stride as they walked past. So I put my camera on the footpath, with my foot on the strap, and triggered the camera from my mobile app. (Panasonic Image App, free for both iOS and Android). This image was filmed for about 9 seconds at 25 frames per second, and then I knew I had the image I was looking for. You can see  the top of the famous Millennium Stadium, in the background.

Silent Street Photography in Cardiff - 4K Photo

I would have been waiting for longer, if I was shooting traditional stills.

Using 4K technology is a great way to enhance and add another tool to your photography bag. I use a Lumix GX8 with a 15mm f1.7 lens as it small and light. But most importantly discreet. This the essence of good street photography.

When photographing buskers, always make sure you leave a donation in their collection box. Its how they earn a living and we as photographers should respect that. This next photo was also taken in Cardiff. Its of a lovely woman from Eastern Europe. The wonderful story about this photo is she loved seeing her photograph as no one has taken it before.

This photo only took about 5 secs of filming, and I then saved the 4K Photo in the camera, so I could show the subject her photo. The black and white conversion is done in Adobe Lightroom.

Busker in Cardiff. Silent Street Photography

The photo below was taken in Dublin. Another great city for Street Photography. This was actually filmed in 4K though a window. I wanted to make sure I had the subjects hand up to his face when he was drawing on his cigarette as I preferred this look. Again its about not missing the moment, by exploiting the high frame rate of 4K. This was actually taken on a GH4 (30fps) with a 100-300mm lens as I was doing some testing.

Dublin Silent Street Photography - Shot in 4K

So the secret to good Street Photography is being able to be discreet, but not to the extreme where you are spying on people. Always make sure you pay buskers. Black and white works well and it adds a documentary look to your photos, but colour will work in the right time and place.

4K Street Photography makes all of these very easy to achieve.

So get out there with and try 4K Street Photography. I use the Panasonic Lumix GH4 and the Lumix GX8. The GX8 with a 15mm lens is my preference.

If you would like to know more about how to photograph 4K Street Photography please get in touch. email: studio@rossgrieve.com or phone 01646 651750

About the Author: Ross Grieve is a Panasonic Global Ambassador. He is a Pioneer of 4K Photography, runs workshops on 4K Photography and shooting with Mirrorless Cameras. Contact Ross for more details. studio@rossgrieve.com

January is always an odd month in the Photography industry, with the phone ringing from those New Years Eve engagements, to husbands and boyfriends panic buying vouchers for a Valentine’s Day Portrait Session for their loved ones. But its also a great time of the year for us photographers to meet up and catch up, have a beer and discuss what we have all been up to. 

I was fortunate enough to be asked back to speak at The Societies (SWPP) in London this month to deliver a Masterclass on 4K Photography.

What is 4K Photography? I can hear some of you ask, while others scratch their grey matter. 4k Photography is the art of taking a “Frame Grab” from 4K Footage and using that frame to achieve the photograph that you would like. Now before you say ‘nah, its not for me’, answer this question…Would you like to be able to photograph at 30 frames per second(fps)? I can see you all nodding now.

Photographing at such a high frame rate has its advantages across many disciplines of photography. Sports and action is the first thing that comes to mind. But its also great for portraits and believe it or not food photography. The principles of 4K photography are the same as traditional stills photography. You still have to get your aperture, shutter speed, and your ISO correct to achieve the results you are after.

4K Studio Photography -Lighting by Bowens Limelite Mosaics 4K Studio Photography – Lighting by Bowens Limelite Mosaics 

Now before I go any further, I’ll explain just what 4K is. 4K is 4 times the resolution of HD, so this means we can get an 8.3mb “frame grab” from 4K footage. You may think this sounds small but I have tested this with positive results- I have printed to 38 inches and have a 4K Canvas in my studio. The quality is outstanding. I use Adobe Photoshop to enlarge my photographs.

The beauty about 4K Photography is that there is no shutter sound, so you can get results you would not normally expect, as most people freeze once they hear the shutter. This is a fantastic bonus if you love your Street Photography too.

I use 4K Photography as part of my day to day business as its another tool in my kit bag. When the opportunity came along to try this new technology I jumped at the chance. I have pushed the boundaries, and I am consistently impressed with the results.

Don’t worry the world is not going to be taken over by videographers suddenly grabbing frames. There are two mind sets with 4K Photography. Firstly, the Videographer who wants beautiful footage and maybe a still for say cover art. And secondly, the Photographer who will shoot in short bursts, primarily to get the still they want, and to exploit the frame rate.

Then you get results like this

Which lead to this…

Over the next few months I will be going over how to use 4K Photography in different genres and situations.

About the Author: Ross Grieve is a Panasonic Global Ambassador. He is a Pioneer of 4K Photography, runs workshops on 4K Photography and shooting with Mirrorless Cameras. Contact Ross for more details. studio@rossgrieve.com