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Archive 2012 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100
  
 
Kit Laughlin
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p.1 #1 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


Hello all,

Like many here, I have had a number of the mirrorless cameras: Ricoh GXR with M module, many of the Panasonic G series (H and F), the Oly OM-D, and thought about the RX100 for shirt carry.

I owned the OM-D for about two months, and shot around a thousand images with it. One aspect I disliked was something as basic as the on-off switch; after many years of photography, I found it difficult to get used to that position and action, and because of the occasional lockup problem with the Panny 20/1.7 lens, I needed to do that quickly.

There are many undocumented features of the OM-D, one of which I found and will pass on here: any change to focus rectangle size (magnification) and position will stick and be available after a power-down, if you have the magnifying glass icon selected for Fn2's action: one press after turning on, and your previous setting will return.

I found I needed a grip of some kind to feel good about walking around with the camera in hand. I ended up with the Milich grip, which allows battery access (necessary if the camera locks up) and the Mk II version has excellent texture for the vertical part.

Anyhow, some thoughts about the other contenders: I liked the GXR's interface, but disliked its detachable EVF (low rez., too) and the fact that, mounted, it protrudes a long way, and even if you plan on tilting the finder up (to reduce camera–lens thickness) a flat plate the same depth remains—so that tilting has no effect on the thickness.

As well, although I tried many CV lenses on the M module and the focussing aids are excellent, I did not find the combination fast enough for shooting three-years olds reliably. The 50mm macro module is very sharp, but it too suffers in the focussing speed department.

Now to the GH and GF cameras: all are good, and I always remember that Panny got a lot right with the G1. Some of the Panny lenses are great (and are what I use now): the 20/1.7 is my most-used of them. More on this later. The GF series I owned, but they did not grab me (no EVF, and the clip-on one looked/felt like a add-on and it too is not high enough resolution to add pleasure to the image-making process, for me). As well, I did not feel the grip protrusion was adequate, though the rubber felt excellent.

I have owned two of the GH series, and (again) the overall thickness of the body and lens, even with the 20/1.7 fitted) is simply too deep to make any small (P&S-size) over-the-shoulder case workable, let alone put one in a cargo pant pocket.

I had high hopes for the NEX 5n/7 cameras (owned both of these, too...) but again the kit and Sony branded lenses make the overall form factor just too large for me (again, it's overall thickness that seems to make the most difference for me, carry-wise). Sony's best lens, the Zeiss 24 dwarfs the body. Excellent IQ, but the Perar 35/3.5 stopped to ƒ8 was the lens that I found on the camera most of the time—that one worked from the carry perspective, but not for the rapid three-year-old.

Then came the OM-D, along with two sensational lenses: the 12/2 and the 45/1.7. These are tiny and focus quickly on the OM-D. I shot a whole gymnastics seminar in appalling light (ƒ2, 1/30", ISO 2500) and all were usable, apart from when I missed the timing and motion blur was visible. Nonetheless, a successful job for the client, and I felt µ4/rds had really come of age. The built-in finder is excellent, the eye-switching works perfectly, it focusses fast, and the higher ISO are useable.

I bought the GX1 from Adorama, slightly used, for a tiny amount, just to play with it. When it arrived, I found it liked the feel of it in my hands immensely, and took a chance on the new EVF (also a reasonable price). I waited until that arrived, and (anxiously) clipped it on, and did a side-by-side comparison with the OM-D. So far, to me, the new LVF-2 is better than the NEX-7's (which I disliked so much I sent the camera back for a replacement assuming it had a problem; it didn't) and seems the same as the OM-D's. So far, good.

But... still not small or light enough for me for carrying everywhere. I started considering the RX-100; everyone seems to be very happy with theirs. Then went to Camera comparison's site, and found this:

http://camerasize.com/compare/#183,332

I was amazed: if I removed the LVF-2, I had a 4/3rds camera that was very close to the same size, though ~1/3rd heavier, and with some great primes. This alone has convinced me to not buy the RX-100.

The GX1 sans finder and fitted with the 20/1.7 is a true carry-everywhere camera. The on-off switch is in the right place (for me): under the fingers on the top of the camera, where a thumb can just—well, turn it on!

With the LV-F2, and any of the lenses mentioned, the GX1 has excellent IQ. I know that there is no IBIS, and that the OM-D has a stop or two better DR, but I am making lovely images from the GX1. I can use it with the 7–14 for the occasional interior (where, like the GXR, the tilting EVF allows positioning the camera right into a corner possible); portraits are lovely with the 45/1.8; the on-camera flash can trigger strobes; and removing the EVF and fitting the 20/1.7 turns it into a carry everywhere, slight wide normal fast lens camera—perfect for me.

Anyway, a very long post, but I am happy with the GX1 as it ticks many boxes, and is a Jekyll and Hyde because the body without the LVF-2 is about the same size as the RX-100—to which a finder can't be fitted for those times when it's necessary. I have been surprised that the GX1 has hardly attracted attention here, so though I would offer this perspective.

UPDATE

I forgot to add that I fitted the RRS modular L-plate to the GX1: it improved the handling out of site, because this clever design continues the vertical grip a critical amount downwards, so all fingers (medium hand) are now able to hold the camera. As well, the bracket stays on all the time, because it has a cutout for the battery door. it is one of the nicest designs I have seen, and makes a genuine significant improvement to the camera's handling.

To sum up, even though I know the OM-D has slightly better IQ, the images out of the GX1 with the excellent lenses we can use on it, are just lovely, and good enough. This is for me personally such an important point—said as an endless IQ chaser for these years of digital. I remember using a pair of Nikon Photomic head bodies for ten years professionally, and most of my colleagues did the same. I imagine most reading here can't imagine that these days. Anyhow, I am hanging on to the GX1 (I tell myself!).

Cheers to all, KL

Edited on Aug 16, 2012 at 01:18 AM · View previous versions



Aug 11, 2012 at 11:18 PM
michaelnel
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p.1 #2 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


Well, you have really covered it. I too had an OM-D (for a short time) and decided we simply weren't going to get along... I sent it back for a refund.

On the other hand, I have seriously enjoyed my GX1 since day one. I have the LVF-2 also, and although I can remove it when I want to, I seldom want to. The GX1 feels like an old friend to me, and I have been amazed at the IQ, even making 16x20 prints from it that look terrific.

The OM-D is the "oooh ahhh" camera of the moment for a lot of self-proclaimed experts (some of whom felt as strongly about the GX1 before they bought their OM-D). Not me, I vastly prefer the GX1.

So now there are two of us. ;-)



Aug 12, 2012 at 12:58 AM
aleksanderpolo
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p.1 #3 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


Thank you for the great writeup. The GX1 is the true successor of GF1, which I love. The improvement in sensor is not enough to drive me to upgrade it though. With the IBIS of EM-5 surpassing the effectiveness of the OIS of Panny's lens (so I heard) and with Oly using Sony's sensor with better DR (so I heard), I doubt that I will be upgrading along the Panny's body. The smaller lens in Oly's lineup without the OIS seem to be more attractive than ever with the new IBIS. I am glad that you enjoy the GX1 though.

PS Love my GXR



Aug 12, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Kit Laughlin
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p.1 #4 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


I forgot to mention the touch screen too: it really works (as it does on the OM-D, too). And the thing about its size is that, although very similar to the GF-1 and 2, it feels way more secure in the hand.

So, @ michael: two's probably better than one, and @ aleksander, I loved my GXR too, and had a hard time selling it, but trying for a bit of self-discipline, I am confining myself to one system only, for the very first time!



Aug 12, 2012 at 02:14 AM
cputeq
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p.1 #5 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


Thanks for the writeup. I own e OMD and really like it, but I am planning to get a more compact 2nd body, so these thoughts are helpful.


Aug 12, 2012 at 02:40 AM
jerrykur
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p.1 #6 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


As a current GF-1 user, I have considered upgrading to the GX-1, especially since the price has fallen so far. I like the GF-1 size and images, but hate the OCF, slow focusing, poor low light focusing, noisy shutter. Have these been addressed on the GX-1?


Aug 19, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #7 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


I own both the GX1 and the OM-D. The GX1 is my ultra light carry, and I usually bring it with the 12/2 and 45/1.8 in a small belt pack. The AF is awesome on the Gx1 and image quality is very good, but the OM-Ds significantly wider DR has me using that more often.


Aug 19, 2012 at 02:19 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #8 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


michaelnel wrote:
The OM-D is the "oooh ahhh" camera of the moment for a lot of self-proclaimed experts


Is it necessary to write like this? I don't recall anyone saying they were experts.



Aug 19, 2012 at 02:33 PM
najibs
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p.1 #9 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


carstenw wrote:
Is it necessary to write like this? I don't recall anyone saying they were experts.


He's just stating his opinion. Nothing wrong with that. I'm no expert, but I do have an OM-D, but the camera that's blown me away is the RX100. It's not a replacement for an OM-D, but for what it is, a pocket sized point and shoot, it really is amazing.

I briefly used a GX1 and I do get what people say about the ergonomics being a bit more intuitive than the OM-D. For the price, you can't go wrong with a GX1, now that it's about half price of what an OM-D is.



Aug 19, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #10 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


carstenw wrote:
Is it necessary to write like this? I don't recall anyone saying they were experts.


Might not be pointed toward this forum...



Aug 19, 2012 at 03:26 PM
 

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carstenw
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p.1 #11 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


najibs wrote:
He's just stating his opinion. Nothing wrong with that. I'm no expert, but I do have an OM-D, but the camera that's blown me away is the RX100. It's not a replacement for an OM-D, but for what it is, a pocket sized point and shoot, it really is amazing.


It is still a very aggressive (and irrelevant) way of making a point.

I briefly used a GX1 and I do get what people say about the ergonomics being a bit more intuitive than the OM-D. For the price, you can't go wrong with a GX1, now that it's about half price of what an OM-D is.

Agreed, nice camera. The OM-D is impressive, but the GX1 is very nice in its own right, and for some, the different ergonomics and/or lower price point might make it more attractive.



Aug 19, 2012 at 03:52 PM
millsart
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p.1 #12 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


I've had both myself and while I totally respect your opinion as it sounds like the best choice for you, I think your leaving out some issues of the comparison with the RX100, making them sound the same size, which they aren't.

The GX1 is a fairly small body yes, but its still about 15% wider and 17% taller than the RX100, not to mention 33% heavier. Now that isn't a huge difference on its own, maybe enough to make it a tight fit into a jeans pocket, but its important to note that its SANS LENS on the GX1. Non one is going to carry just a camera body alone in their pocket.

I've tried the GX1 with the 12mm f2.0 and 20mm f1.7 and its a nice little mirrorless camera. I certainly did miss the amazing IBIS of the EM-5 but those lens are fast enough for typical shooting its not a big deal. After all, even though its nice to do a handheld night shoot at 1/5th a second with the 12mm f2.0 at just ISO800 its not exactly something I do everyday.

With either of those lenses mounted though the camera is really much too big for a pocket, save for a coat pocket or maybe some very loose cargo shorts. Same goes for if your using the 14-42 (or 14-45 if your lucky) kit zooms. Its not a large body but its not pocket sized either, which is one of the great appeals of the RX100.

Amazingly, the RX100 imho, has better IQ as well than the kit zooms, and being faster, at least on the wide end, gives the smaller sensor the ability to have really the same lower light shooting and subject isolation (which admittedly isn't much, but neither it is with the kit zooms on m4/3).

Now the GX1 is nice as you can stick some great lenses onto it, 7-14, 25mm f1.4, 45mm f1.8 etc. Lets you do A LOT you can't do with the RX100 such as ultra wide, shallower DoF portraits etc. But..... no way a 7-14 is going into your pocket, nor is carrying even a couple of smaller m4/3 lenses around going to really happen either unless you stick a lens into each pocket, which is something I'll admit I've done lol.

Really you end up with the need for a small bag, or some belt pouches. Thats a perfectly fine way to carry gear mind you, but its just very different than a camera like the RX100 which with its built in zoom can still really fit into a pocket, shirt pocket, jeans pocket, dress slacks pocket etc.

GX1 is a good m4/3 camera, but like any m4/3 camera, its simply not a pocket camera by most practical standards



Aug 19, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Kit Laughlin
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p.1 #13 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


@ millsart: what I said was 'sans finder'; with the 20/1.7 lens fitted, the GX1 is very small, and much closer to the RX-100 than the OM-D with the same lens is; that was all I was saying. And it certainly fits my coat pocket (leather jacket; it's winter here).

On the other hand, if the RX-100 is as good as you feel it is, I might have to buy one. Well, I will try to hold off until I get to the US in ten days or so.



Aug 19, 2012 at 11:10 PM
millsart
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p.1 #14 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


I'd say the RX100 is one of the rare camera's I've bought that has actually exceeded all my expectations. I thought I was getting just high end compact that was going to be a little better than my LX5, S100 etc I've owned but its really ended up being not just a camera I throw into my pocket when I don't want to take something larger, but actually the camera I'm going out of my way to shoot with. Good enough that I sold my NEX7 and EM-5 for it. Now that doesn't mean its as good as those camera's, but its combination of take anywhere size and far better IQ than anything so small has any right to be able to produce just makes it ideal in my book.

Check out this image thread to get some idea of what type of output it can produce. Hardly the type of amazing images you'd see from true alt classics like a 50 Nocti on a M, but also hardly what you'd expect to see from a true pocket sized point and shoot camera either

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1139172/1



Aug 20, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Kit Laughlin
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p.1 #15 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


Thanks for that, millsart; this is just one of the reasons I love this forum so much. I will check out those images and report back. I see too that Richard Freniec has made a grip for the RX-100; that would make the world of difference for me. Have you seen the leather case for it; these look good too. Cheers, kl


Aug 20, 2012 at 02:11 AM
ytwong
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p.1 #16 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


I don't have a GX-1 but a GF-1. The 2 bodies are similar (at least in size). I don't really like the sensor on GF-1 and the GX-1 does not seems address my concerns to the sensor. I am OK with just 12 MP but the DR and shadow noise is what I don't like about it..and tests I have seen show that the new sensor is not better in those areas.

What also stopped me from getting a GX-1 is lack of stabilization. I really like 20 1.7 (IQ, aperture, size, weight, prize all considered... and my avatar is exactly taken with GF-1 + 20 1.7 combo placed inside a refrigerator) and I wish I could use it with IBIS like Olympus could so I am more hoping to see an EPL-3 with improved sensor.

I just got my RX-100, it is much smaller than GF-1 + 20 1.7 and it is silent too...the shutter noise from GF-1 is higher than expected.

BTW, sounds like I an the only one who is happy with the Panasonic kit lens (14-45)



Aug 20, 2012 at 02:27 AM
millsart
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p.1 #17 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


Kit Laughlin wrote:
Thanks for that, millsart; this is just one of the reasons I love this forum so much. I will check out those images and report back. I see too that Richard Freniec has made a grip for the RX-100; that would make the world of difference for me. Have you seen the leather case for it; these look good too. Cheers, kl



Anytime,

Even the very tough to please Lloyd Chambers says he is astonished by the IQ of the RX100. Also interesting if scaled to full frame it would be a 148meg sensor! My D800e is going to be "obsolete" before I know it lol

http://diglloyd.com/



Aug 20, 2012 at 04:17 AM
FlyPenFly
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p.1 #18 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


Yeah but you can't scale up sensor technology as a linear relationship. The EXMOR technology scales down better than it can scale up, as in more efficiencies are gained the smaller the sensor (up to a practical point of course).


Aug 20, 2012 at 04:46 AM
ukkisavosta
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p.1 #19 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


This is an interesting thread - I need to check out the RX100 just for curiosity's sake.

As for the GX1, I very nearly got one myself before going for a NEX-C3 instead, when I was looking for a small mirrorless system a couple of months ago. The GX1 pretty much ticked all the boxes for me, but what pushed me over to the C3 was the new Sigma 30 and the unbeatable price for the kit comprising of a Sony 16 and the Sigma 30.

Jaakko



Aug 20, 2012 at 08:28 AM
Kit Laughlin
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p.1 #20 · No love for the Panasonic GX1? And some thoughts vs. RX100


I subscribe to Lloyd's DAP; an excellent resource, and I have read all his comments on the RX-100. Seems like the JPEGs are excellent SOOC, and that works for me for this sort of camera—and aberrations and distortions are corrected in camera, too.


Aug 21, 2012 at 12:29 AM
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