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Advice on New (first) M43 Camera

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by JT26, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. JT26

    JT26 New to Mu-43

    Jul 23, 2012
    Hi all,

    as you can see I am new to this forum (today) and wanted some advice on buying my first M43 camera.

    I have previously used SLR's and Compacts (Canon 1D, 1DS & Canon S95).

    I am currently looking at both the Panasonic G3 & GX1, from seeing the G5 preview and the slightly larger body (for ergo's I know) I don't think that is of interest, plus the high price tag.

    So, in terms of pure performance, IQ, Focus Speed etc which should I buy, or which would you guys go for?

    Also what do you make of the 14-42 kit lens verses the smaller X power zoom kit lens?

    Thanks in advance
  2. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Too close to call. They both use the same sensor, the GX1 has slightly updated processing. The defining factors are form factor, built in EVF, and price. IMHO, the G3 is by far the best deal out there.

    I don't have either, sticking to primes until the 12-35/2.8 came out. The X lens seems hit or miss - its OK or almost unusable depending on which one you get. The size sure is nice though ...
  3. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    EOS M! Just kidding. I would recommend G3. It is a good value especially with all the features it packs in, and it's not not much larger than a GX1. If you want a viewfinder for the GX1 that's another $250! I would rather use that money towards a nice lens, like the Oly 45 or PL 25.
  4. shoehopper

    shoehopper New to Mu-43

    Jul 18, 2012
    It's not quite that bad, viewfinder is $160 @ B&H with free shipping and no tax for most. Now if only there was a B&M around where I could take it for a test drive..
  5. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Can't go wrong with the GX1 or the G3. I'm biased towards the GX1 because I have one, but you will not notice a difference between the two IQ-wise. Comes down to the deal you can find, the GX1 pricing has dropped a ton in recent weeks. If you have a bit of patience you probably can find a body for a hair under $400.

    I found a GX1 with the 14mm pancake for $560 a few months ago. This was used but I didn't really want to buy either of the kit lenses from everything I read. The EVF is a very worthy upgrade but I took 2k pictures without it just fine.
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    They are both good. I have long been a fan of the G series cameras. With the articulating LCD and built-in EVF they represent a really good bargain. That said I just picked up a GX1 on the recent Amazon sale and I am finding it to be a terrific carry everywhere camera. In the end it boils down to what you want feature wise. They are both wonderful. Since I bought the GX1 and have really found I like the way it handles I'd probably say it edges out the G3 (just barely) for me because it is dropping in price and I think the handling/controls might be a tiny bit better. FWIW if the GX1 had the G3's articulating LCD it would be perfect.
  7. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    may I ask why not go with Olympus cameras? is there an specific reason? when i first jumped onto m43 back in april this year for the first time. I was in between the EP3 and GX1, I wanted the m43 camera to be my backup camera to my FF gear, i really loved the IQ of both but panasonic UI was just terrible for me, and handling/operation of a camera for me its crucial. I ended up going with Olympus and since i ended shortly after with an OMD on my hands, never looked back...even my Canon 5DMKII is collecting dust in the shelf. no joke.
  8. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Just the opposite for me, but I was comparing GF1 and EPL1. Panny qmenu made everything so easy coming from a Canon A650, compared to the Oly which did not seem intuitive at all.

    Different strokes for different folks
  9. byron2112

    byron2112 Mu-43 Regular

    May 22, 2011
    there are a couplea silver GX1 bodies in "used, like new" condition for sale at Amazon warehouse right now... they're around $370...
  10. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    Another vote for the G3 as it's an awesome deal. The GX1 has a better button layout I think as one of the Fn's on the G3 is hard to hit (I added sugru to it, helps a ton) and is more compact by a little. However, if you want to get the EVF, might as well get the much better deal on the G3 (tho, Amazon might do another lightning deal ont eh GX1, heh.. that was so tempting).

    As for performance/IQ... as already stated, it's a wash. It really boils down to the EVF and physical device.
  11. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Any reason you're not considering the GH2?
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    If you're looking at your first m43 there are tons of great options. Olympus and Panasonic both make excellent cameras and each has its strengths and weaknesses. I myself prefer Panasonic cameras because I find the UI and handling much more to my liking but I have had a number of each and none of them is bad. If I were choosing now I think I'd look for whatever deals were out there and use the extra money to get a nice prime lens to go along with the kit zoom. The things you'll want to take into consideration are:

    1. Does the camera have an EVF or can you add one?
    2. Do you prefer the RF style body or the mini DSLR style body?
    3. Do you want a flip up/articulating LCD?
    4. Do you mind using the LCD/menu for controls or do you prefer buttons?

    That should pretty much narrow things down.
  13. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I am very attracted to the GX1 because it's just a really cool camera with an awesome sensor and processing. But from a practical standpoint, the built-in EVF and fully articulated LCD screen make the G3 an all-around much more versatile camera and a true bargain. I see the G3 as a primary and the GX1 as a good second body. Of course either one can be a good primary, by adding the EVF to the GX1, but that's more money and creates a bit of an awkward form factor as compared to the sleeker profile of the built-in EVF on the G3.
  14. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    The mini DSLR form factor of the G3 is really nice. I agree it's tough to beat when it comes to utility and bang for the buck.
  15. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    Hi. Handling GX1 v. G3 with large lenses
    One thing to consider when comparing the GX1 to the G3 is the handling with larger lenses such as the 14 - 140 or 100 - 300
    I have used both bodies with both lenses.
    The gap between the outer edge of the 14 - 140 and the finger grip on the GX1 is quite tight compared to the G3 especially if you have large hands and fingers which makes the GX1 more uncomfortable to use with this lens
    The G3 is much better for one handed use with the 14- 140.
    The one handed use of the 14 - 140 on the GX1 is more 'marginal' and does not inspire confidence due to less 'purchase' and less feeling of a secure grip due to the thinner smaller body
    (I sometimes run along in front of my 3 year old daughter holding the camera with one hand to capture images of her running behind me etc)
    Also when using the 100 - 300 the G3 gives you a better grip and support - the GX1 again being a little more marginal for such use imo and experience (It should be noted though that I have big hands and fingers which might mean that some ofthe above is less of an issue with other users)
    In any case I would recommend any one considering the choice above makes the most of any opportunity to try before they buy including trying the lenses on each body for feel and handling
    PS the GX1 with seperate viewfinder attached is the preferred option if you are using pancakes more than anything else as the GX1 contributes more to a more compact package and pocketability and the ability to fit the camera into a very small camera bag
  16. dre_tech

    dre_tech Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2012
    I have the GX1 and I love the size/grip and direct controls. If you combine it with the power zoom it's very compact, however current prices aren't great.

    When I bought my Panasonic I avoided the G3 because I wanted something more compact without a DSLR look. However it's a great deal now and if you're planning on using lenses larger than the 45-175 for example, you'll probably appreciate the larger body and RVF.

    Features introduced on the G5 you may want to pay attention to: higher resolution display & the "function lever" or toggle near the shutter release, which works as a second adjustment (default for EV comp).

    If you don't have a trip/project coming up you may want to wait another 7 weeks until Photokina to see what is coming out.
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