Debating on trading GM5 and GX8 for a GX85, and adding a G9

Generationfourth

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I think I have a severe case of G.A.S. and need you guys to knock some sense in me.

Heres my current setup:
  • GM5- mainly use for hiking/backpacking, and supposed to be my take everywhere camera. Though when backpacking I mostly snap photos because it's diminutive size. And I don't really take it anywhere because though it is small, it is not pocketable. I love this camera but I rarely use it.
  • GX8- Camera that I take out for "serious" shooting. I love this rangefinder form factor, tilting EVF, etc. A tad small for serious shooting, and a tad too big as a take anywhere camera.
  • Lenses: 20mm & 42.5 f/1.7; 12-35 and 35-100 f/2.8, 12-32 and 35-100 f/4-5.6
I'm going to be real with you- I haven't been taking many photos. Though it's quite normal to me to go in/out of photography because I have a lot of hobbies. I have been surfing a lot more lately and took the GX8 out recently to try some surf photography. It was a blast because it was so different. I can feel myself getting bit by the photo bug again. I've started to edit photos again.

Then I had this idea that I could sell the gm5 and gx8 and replace both with a GX85. It would be a compromise for a more reasonable hiking/backpacking/take everywhere camera.

Then I would add a G9 for more serious shooting and possibly a PL100-400 in the near future. I've been seeing some pretty good deals locally on both.

At the same time I could see myself regretting getting rid of the GX8 or GM5 and not really needing the G9. Like maybe I've watched too many YT reviews and convinced myself I need the latest and greatest.

Annnddddd I feel like the smart thing to do would be to hold out and see what happens in the coming year. Maybe Panasonic will shove some G9 features into a GX8 styled body 🤞

Thoughts?
 
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The GX85 will not improve the image quality much from what you have already, IMO. The G9 might, just a tad. But perhaps not enough to justify the cost when you already have the GX8, which for many is their only 'serious' camera. The only real advantage of the GX85 would be the superior IBIS, if you need it. The GM5 will always be the perfect tiny camera, especially for hiking. I'd keep it for ever unless you do not have to as I doubt there will be anything like it again.

And so, if I were in your position, I would buy the 100-400 now, see how it goes on the GX8, and take it from there. If you feel then then the G9 would be a better option for the lens, then buy the G9. But buying the lens first is a no brainer for me - new glass is always the best part of photography :D
 

kinlau

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For what you already have and like, why the G9 and 100-400? The two are almost the size of your entire kit combined.
 

JensM

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I run the GX8 and G9 combo and see where you are at with the GM5. Once upon a time I went into the brick and mortar store to check for a second house to compliment the GX7, and was keen on the GM5, handling it it was for me, just to small. When I got the G9 last summer I got a bad case of GAS and though I would upgrade the GX8 to the GX9, but when actually handling it, it is by far any upgrade to be had, so I will just keep running with the GX8 for when I want something a bit smaller than the G9. It is not like its compromised in quality, even if there are upgraded sensors out there. My pocketable camera is on my phone.
 

agentlossing

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Get the GX9 instead of the GX85, it's maybe $550 right now new, body only, at some online sources. You'll get good IBIS and the 20MP sensor with Panasonic's newer, better colors and JPEG styles. Then you can decide whether you need the G9 but you'll eliminate the GAS related to the sensor and IQ.
 

Generationfourth

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All good feedback. To clarify:
  • I'm not after better IQ since there isn't much of a difference between all the cameras mentioned. It's more about shuffling my 2 camera kit to match my changing needs/style.
  • Reasoning for GX85/GX9 body is that I see some benefit to something sized in between the GM5 and GX8. IBIS, tilting screen, better ergo, more dials/buttons which would be worth the extra weight. The GM5 lacks all of that, and the GX8 just a little too big.
  • I'd like to explore more action/sports/wildlife photography so thats how the G9/PL 100-400 came about. The G9 would better handling especially with a larger lens or shooting with flash, and be a faster focusing/bursting camera. Definitely much larger but I don't see myself hiking this setup around.
After much deliberation I agree with starting with the glass, and possibly the G9 before making any drastic decisions. I think I have great cameras and maybe splitting hairs? The motivation to make photos should come from me, and not the new gear.
 

agentlossing

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In general, investing in glass is always a good idea. I think you actually have a pretty good kit right now, as the 20mm and 42.5mm are very good quality options for the normal to short tele area. The better long tele lens, if it's something you need, would probably be a good way to round it all out.

Here is my opinion, which could be debated I suppose, on the cameras you have: the GM5 produces some really good files, I have some from the time I spent with a GM5 that I still look back on and am impressed. Technically the GX85 onwards is supposed to be sharper as it has no AA filter, but the GM5 sensor was no slouch. Where I found the GM5 limiting was the 1/500 max mechanical shutter. I almost never used the electronic shutter, since I don't like rolling shutter at all. And, of course, the tiny body is a bit hard to stabilize sometimes. But the camera is overall a very capable and surprisingly ergonomic choice. Other big advantage of the later bodies is the IBIS. Running the 20mm without IBIS versus with is a big difference when the light drops.

The GX8, while it has a good sensor, has an inferior image pipeline, in terms of how the detail and colors come out. I know the prevailing wisdom is that that only matters if you shoot JPEG, but in practice, I've had a harder time editing RAW files to my liking with older Panasonic cameras than with the newer (GX85 onwards) ones. Certainly the G9 files I've seen in image comparisons look better than any other M4/3 camera I have seen, a small step above the GX9, and, obviously, the GX8. Also the GX8 does have shutter shock issues at some speeds, which might matter more to you if you get into more long telephoto applications.

Both of your bodies are still capable of great stuff. However, the all-in-one solution of something like a GX9 rolls both of your current bodies into a (albeit compromised) hybrid that might be compelling. It's a midway size compromise between your two bodies, a compromise in EVF quality (not a great one, certainly worse than the GX8, but certainly better than the GM5), but an improvement in IQ, IBIS, and a lot of other small quality of life features.
 

demiro

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@Generationfourth I totally agree with you about the GX85 vs the GM5. The GM5 is tiny, but still not pocketable. For me that just makes it an ergonomic miss. The GX85 is bigger, but still a small camera, but the difference was significant for me. Especially if you add the grip to the GX85.

I definitely get wanting a small body and a DSLR-style camera as a combo. That option is one of the cool things about this format. I also get trying to move beyond the mess that Panasonic created with the GX8 and GX9. So you have my vote for a GX85 + G9 pairing. :)
 

cjoliprsf

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Being the owner of a GM5 and of a GX80/85, here are my thoughts:
- I would never sell my GM5! This little beast is simply invaluable for its tiny size as a pocketable camera one can bring everywhere. I mostly use the Oly 17mm 2.8 pancake with it which makes the perfect daytime street camera. I also most of the time have in another pocket the 35-100 (the small one) for shots that require zooming.
- The GX85 I will use for when there is less light for its better IS, but then I need a bag as it is quite bigger than the GM5 and won't fit in a pocket unless a very large one. Also when at home, I'll rather use the GX85. However, I don't think a GX85 really replaces the GM5.
- Also having the 2 bodies when I travel insures that I have a backup.
For really serious shots, then I take my Canon EOS 5D mk II out... But then that is usually on a tripod, and this isn't one to carry along.


I think I have a severe case of G.A.S. and need you guys to knock some sense in me.

Heres my current setup:
  • GM5- mainly use for hiking/backpacking, and supposed to be my take everywhere camera. Though when backpacking I mostly snap photos because it's diminutive size. And I don't really take it anywhere because though it is small, it is not pocketable. I love this camera but I rarely use it.
  • GX8- Camera that I take out for "serious" shooting. I love this rangefinder form factor, tilting EVF, etc. A tad small for serious shooting, and a tad too big as a take anywhere camera.
.....
Then I had this idea that I could sell the gm5 and gx8 and replace both with a GX85. It would be a compromise for a more reasonable hiking/backpacking/take everywhere camera.
.....

Thoughts?
 
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I'm going to be real with you- I haven't been taking many photos. Though it's quite normal to me to go in/out of photography because I have a lot of hobbies. I have been surfing a lot more lately and took the GX8 out recently to try some surf photography. It was a blast because it was so different. I can feel myself getting bit by the photo bug again. I've started to edit photos again.

Then I had this idea that I could sell the gm5 and gx8 and replace both with a GX85. It would be a compromise for a more reasonable hiking/backpacking/take everywhere camera.
It seems like your goal is to replace a tiny and medium-sized camera with one in-between. I see the logic. I'm kind of a minimalist though.

If you're not shooting much I agree with your strategy. Why have two cameras in that case? The gx85, despite the iffy viewfinder has the new electronic shutter (silent awesomeness), the camera is dirt cheap and it's still pretty small. It has dual-IBIS and is probably all the camera most of us needs. You could offload a couple cameras you're not using already. Sure the gm5 is unique but if you're not using it why keep it?

The only thing I'd consider is keeping the gx8 instead of getting a gx85, just for the viewfinder. Sure it's bigger and chunkier but it's a unique camera in the lineup. There's probably no need for a G9 if you keep it.
 

Stanga

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I wouldn't part with my own GX8, but my GX80 does get a lot of use as the stealth option alongside the G90. It fits in my coat pocket when using the pancake lenses. That's something that the GX8 struggled with, which is why I got the GX80. When I do whip it out, I use the rear screen. From a distance it looks like if I am taking a picture with a camera phone, which in turn attracts less or no attention.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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I started my m43 adventure with the GX85. It’s a nice little camera and I took many good shots with it. However, it was too small for my hands, so I moved on to the G85 and then finally the G9. While the G9 is clearly the heftiest of the lot, it feels great in hand and the quality of construction is certainly a step above. I only have one small lens, and that’s the 9mm BCL, so the small body doesn’t do me as much good anyway. Still, I would consider a GX85 as a secondary camera because it’s that good, especially for the prices you see it at these days. I do enjoy a lot more cropping freedom when I moved to 20MP. My answer probably isn’t much help!
 

Generationfourth

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Thanks guys for all your feedback. I think I'm sticking with the GX8 and seeing where I go with my shooting. After some more thought I'm pretty sure I'm selling my GM5- it's great on paper, is plenty capable- but in the end I just don't enjoy using it. Too bad mine has some dings on it, and is the international version. But I'm sure someone else will put it to use!

.... snip
However, the all-in-one solution of something like a GX9 rolls both of your current bodies into a (albeit compromised) hybrid that might be compelling.
I agree with all your points! This one in particular is an interesting suggestion, I was leaning towards the GX85 because there are a handful on CL for less than a few hundred dollars. I may rent a GX9 in a couple of weeks to see how it handles, and to check it out and see if I can tell the difference in file quality. I'm also interested to see what Panasonic does this year.

I definitely get wanting a small body and a DSLR-style camera as a combo. That option is one of the cool things about this format. I also get trying to move beyond the mess that Panasonic created with the GX8 and GX9. So you have my vote for a GX85 + G9 pairing. :)
I've never really thought of that, but that is a huge positive. Choosing between a full dslr like body, or rangefinder/compact. Or have both!

If you're not shooting much I agree with your strategy. Why have two cameras in that case? The gx85, despite the iffy viewfinder has the new electronic shutter (silent awesomeness), the camera is dirt cheap and it's still pretty small. It has dual-IBIS and is probably all the camera most of us needs. You could offload a couple cameras you're not using already. Sure the gm5 is unique but if you're not using it why keep it?

The only thing I'd consider is keeping the gx8 instead of getting a gx85, just for the viewfinder. Sure it's bigger and chunkier but it's a unique camera in the lineup. There's probably no need for a G9 if you keep it.
I agree, I think I'm looking for something new because I think it'll motivate me to shoot. I'm going to make an effort to bring the GX8 with me with some primes and to shoot more. It's possible that I end up with just one camera, or if I do end up shooting more action I could end up with a G9 + GX combo. Glad I have all these options but also exhausted by the many different possible combinations.
 

jimr.pdx

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Hm, you aren't shooting much but plan a G9 for more serious shots? That does come across as wishful shopping.. but if you think it will recharge your interest it's your call!

I retreated to elder bodies to better align with less frequent shooting time due to spousal health; i pray that's a temporary arrangement.. but not just for a better camera.
:hiding:
 

D7k1

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GX8 and G9 are a great complementary pair. GX85 my travel camera. It will take an extraordinary camera for me to buy for 4 or 5 years. Had GX8 since they came out and love it. G9 for birds and high res. Happy as I have ever been with cameras.
 
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