For GX7 users -- what do you like/not like

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by WT21, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I've got a trip for a couple of weeks out to Utah, and was considering a GX7 as my body. I'm not going to list the lenses, as I am hoping to get info on the body, not the lenses, but in general, I'll have a wide, a telephoto zoom and a fast prime.

    For GX7 users -- what do you like/not like about the GX7?

    I have a NEX6 now, and I love:

    • EVF
    • tilting LCD
    • built in grip
    • pop-up flash that I can tilt back with my finger
    • some nice external controls
    • clean blacks

    What I don't like are the terrible native lenses.

    Can the GX7 pretty much replace the above (with, of course, m43's better lenses). Are there particular issues about the GX7 that you DON'T like?

    (I don't need to know about DOF differences between m43 and APS-C, as I am aware of those)

    I need to make a purchase this week, so any help is appreciated.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Patassa

    Patassa New to Mu-43

    Feb 21, 2014
    I've only had mine for a few weeks but coming from point/shoot and dslrs, I can't imagine wanting more out of camera. It's an amazing piece of technology. Sorry that I can't be more specific. The only things I don't like are very nit picky nuances that would not sway me to replace the camera with anything else. In terms of lenses, I have:
    Panny/Leic 25mm 1.4 (this lens is dreamy good, as good as any lens on any system I've used before)
    Olympus 9-18 (great uwa and useful wa walk around)
    Kit 14-42 (good enough for government work, actually really good for video)
    • Like Like x 1
  3. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Real Name:
    Here's what I like about the GX7:

    • EVF
    • tilting LCD
    • pop-up flash that I can tilt back with my finger
    • very nice external controls
    • overall IQ
    • Like Like x 2
  4. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    • I am mostly a tourist photographer. I bought my GX7 early last October, paying full "early adopter" price because of an October trip to Spain and Morocco. I just got back from a second trip, to Central America. I have probably taken about 3,000 shots with seven different lenses from three different vendors, from the 9-18 to the 300 f6.3. I have never bothered to figure out how to use it for video, however. So I know nothing about that.
    • I have been taking pictures for a long time and even made some money at it back when I was in graduate school. Cameras I've used or owned are a wide range: Koni-Omega Rapid M, a couple of Hassies, a Rollei, multiple Nikon F series, and some Nikon RFs just for fun. My first digital camera was a Konica-Minolta A1, followed by an A2. I switched to M43 because the lens on the A2 was too limiting and I shot a couple of G1s until making the upgrade to the GX7.

    • EVF; a requirement for me. It may not be the best, but I only use it for composition so I don't care about the fine points that some obsess over.
    • Compact, relatively un-lumpy shape; small is the reason I bought into M43 and the GX7 is the leader here where an EVF is a requirement.
    • Focus Peaking; Finally, I can manually focus pretty much as well as I could with the Nikon Fs.
    • Low light sensitivity: This thing will practically take pictures in the dark. A huge improvement over my G1s.
    • Controls: These work well for me. I especially like the easy access to manual focus mode. With the peaking, this lets me quickly override the autofocus when it latches onto something that is between me and my subject, like grass or a twig.

    Nice but not critical:
    • Tilting EVF; I had this on the A2 as well and have always liked the capability. You can have good fun with it:
    • Flash can be held straight up for bounce: Nice but very awkward to actually accomplish while shooting. I would like a latch.
    • WiFi: This is kind of silly in my view; it is faster to take the SD card out that it is to fool around setting up a WiFi transfer. But I do foresee using my phone to release the shutter when I am making a long exposure on a tripod. Using the self-timer works OK, but the phone app provides more flexibility.

    Don't Like:
    • Tilting LCD; I want a fully articulated LCD. I shoot a lot of vertical format pictures and really miss the capability that the G1s had. I am hoping that this shortcoming is remedied with the GX8.
    • Lack of a good grip; The "stylists" apparently decreed the wimpy grip, which has two problems. First, my hold on the camera is less secure, even after installing sandpaper type skate board tape. Second, the battery has become wimpy because there is no space for it. With the G1s I could shoot all day on a battery. Not so with the GX7. This means that I have to carry three batteries. Two to use and one spare. It also means that I have to charge two batteries overnight = either two chargers or hoping one battery will fully charge before I go to bed so I can charge the other.

    Overall: I am still delighted when I pick this thing up. It's a great tool and, for my shooting, the best in the market. I'm just hoping for the fully-articulated LCD when I buy my second body/GX8. Probably the stylists will not give me a decent grip or battery in the GX8 but that's something that I can live with.
    • Like Like x 3
  5. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Thanks all for the answers so far.

    On the GX7 grip -- I'm assuming it's still a better grip than the EM5 (without add-on grip), EPM2, etc.?

    Also, can folks comment on these three items:

    1) does your nose ever trigger the touch screen when using the EVF?
    2) can you bend the pop-up flash backwards, to bounce off the ceiling?
    3) is the EVF refresh rate good, so there's no staggering in the EVF, even in lower light?
  6. westcan

    westcan Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2012
    I've had mine since December but have not been able to use it as much as I like.


    the evf - I came from a GF1 with the accessory evf and the GX7 is much much better

    better pictures - again, much superior than the GF1 when in low light

    the function buttons - still learning the best setup for these

    electronic shutter - this is pretty neat


    I think the smartphone aps will only work from an Android or Iphone and I have a nokia

    The camera strap is too small. (picky picky picky! someday I will go out and buy one I like)

    I tried to set up the wifi but gave up. who needs it anyway.
  7. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    What I dislike about GX7 is :
    When you activate the touchscreen for all the various functions it's very handy, but then when you use manual focus lens, it keeps changing the focusing aid zone (note : this is only for adapted legacy lenses) when you switch between lenses

    What I would like to be enhanced:
    I would love to have better high ISO grain/noise, but I guess this is too much to ask.
    I want better customisability of the custom buttons (meaning a wider palette of choice in the function assignable)
    I want more custom buttons
    I want weather sealing (not that I had problems)
    I want a bigger EVF

    What I love about it:
    EVF is very nice and responsive
    custom buttons make life of a photog better
    Small size
    Perfect handling
    native lenses are killer
    silent shutter is godsend for my shooting style (read better than leica)
    looks unobstrusive, can shoot strangers in the face all day
    looks sexy to me (geek alert!)
    takes legacy lens better than my previous NEX (C-mount, pentax 110)
    Now with focal reducer it's a joy to shoot fast legacy lenses
    lightness (my photo bag is my friend now!)
    friends tell me that camera looks cool/beautiful (if that's a thing)
    nice menus (way better than NEX)
    more solid than my NEX it seems (less flex)
    Love the videos
    and everything else.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Palmguy

    Palmguy Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 3, 2013
    Orlando, FL
    I bought a NEX 6 right at the same time as my GX7......still have the GX7. I can't really think of anything that, in my use, I would consider to be an advantage in favor of the NEX.

    Wifi will actually come in handy for me for tripod/remote use
    External controls are great, the best setup I've had that works for me as far as "configurability" goes
    Electronic shutter is useful
    AF is fast enough for most things
    Ergos/grip size and feel are great
    EVF and LCD are good enough
    Focus peaking is amazing
    I prefer the form factor of the GX7 to that of the OM-D and G series
    • Like Like x 1
  9. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    I think in general people report liking it. It doesn't feel insecure, especially with the skateboard tape. The tape is actually sold at Home Depot as 3M "Safety Walk" for ladder and stair treads. For a few bucks you get enough for about 1,000 cameras. If you buy the GX7 and want some, PM me an address and I'll mail you a strip.
    Yes, always, but you can disable the touch function.
    Yes, but as I said it's kind of awkward to hold. Maybe some gaffer tape would help.
    I have never seen the problem, though it is talked about in various threads and reviews. I am not very fussy, though. The EVF meets my needs 100%. I just want to get the framing right. YMMV

    BTW, I didn't mention the electronic shutter. I would put it in the nice but not critical category. I think it has enough problems (banding with fluorescent and other non-continuous light sources, distortion from subject motion during the relatively long scan, etc.) that I would only use it when silence is critical. Personally, I've never run into that situation. Again, YMMV
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Patassa

    Patassa New to Mu-43

    Feb 21, 2014
    I find the grip to be more than adequate. Enough to be functional but not overly bulky.

    1. Never, I use my right eye to shoot. In fact this is one of the huge advantages of an offset viewfinder (range finder style). My entire nose and left side of my face is off to the side of the camera. I can use my left eye to scan the area outside the framing when I need to for various purposes. It's brilliant, no more smashed up face against the screen.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Nate Crisman

    Nate Crisman Mu-43 Rookie

    May 23, 2012
    Iv have a gx7 for only a few days, so take this with a grain of salt. I'm coming from nikon v1 (of which I had a laundry list of functional gripes), but have a few years of extensive shooting with nikon D3, nikon cls flash, and nikon pro zooms.

    The gx7 has a bit of an ergonomic hit/miss for me. IMHO I wish the eyelets for strap were completely removable, the right side digs right into my palm. I'm likely going to take the demel tool to it and grind it off smooth with the grip.

    I LOVE the touchscreen for focus point adjustment while using the EVF, a Panny only feature. I have no issues with nose interference due to the left most placement of the EVF, but I'm sure this would be an issue on the G6. This feature alone sold me on the gx7 vs any of the OMD bodies.

    I love the mechanical lever for on/off, but i wish it was a little larger.

    Focus peaking is good, I wish there was an even higher sensitivity setting, as I often get no peaking at all in low contrast situations with my adapted nikon 50 1.8.

    No auto ISO in manual mode really kills me...this is a stupid restriction.

    With adapted lenses, auto ISO works in aperture priority mode, but does not in shutter priority mode. Again, stupid implementation.

    I love the electronic shutter, but hate that it disables the flash completely.
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  12. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    This is true? That's a real pain, then. I use S mode and auto-ISO on the NEX6 all the time.
  13. Patassa

    Patassa New to Mu-43

    Feb 21, 2014
    This is one criticism that I do not understand. I've always thought the point of manual mode was to completely control the three exposure variable yourself.
  14. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Depends on what you are looking for, but why not support the ability to set ap and shutter speed, but not have to worry about setting the ISO. (also, best to allow ap and ss, and also EV setting, then use ISO as the dependent variable)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    I don't have any adapted lenses, but FWIW with the manual focus, fixed aperture Tokina 300mm mirror, auto ISO works fine in shutter priority mode.
  16. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I do a lot of hiking in the early morning with a legacy macro. The lighting can vary, and I need to alter the shutter speed. So, auto-ISO is preferred. But, is it easy (1-button) to change ISO?
  17. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Real Name:
    Bruce Foreman
    No, this is the way you really want/need it.

    Be sure you have CONSTANT PREVUE set to ON so that any changes you make in any of the settings results in a change in the appearance of the EVF/LCD image. This is what gives you manual control. If ISO was AUTO then AUTO ISO would compensate for exposure adjustments you might make with aperture or shutter. You definitely DO NOT WANT THIS happening.

    Further, not having Auto ISO allows you to use the ISO also to adjust exposure. In video/motion picture mode you might be trying to keep the shutter at 1/50 or 1/60th to prevent problems with artificial lights in the scene and stay in synch with power line freq in your region. A specific aperture might be selected for DOF (Depth Of Field) effect desired, but the scene in the viewfinder is too light or too dark. ISO setting is the only manual control left to adjust exposure with.

    Somewhat the same for still photography in MANUAL mode on the dial. In all the auto modes ISO AUTO and one other parameter automatically adjust and compensate for any changes you make, and give you a display with "good" exposure. Because that is what the exposure system is going to attempt to give you in your final image.
    • Like Like x 3
  18. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Real Name:
    Ciaran Reilly
    I haven't tried, but thinking about it an elastic band will probably hold the flash back in the bounce position very well if you can think to bring one with.

    I shoot with my left eye, and find the tilting EVF very handy for keeping my nose off the screen, plus one looks like a serious large format pro when looking down into the body like that!
  19. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Disagree on auto-ISO. It's correct for the use cases you mention, but it's much easier to say "I want f/2.8 for DOF reasons, shutter speed of 1/250 for motion stop reasons, and I want it a little overexposed for backlit reasons (so +2/3EV or whatever), and let the ISO fall where it may" Then you can just adjust the one variable you need (let's try a faster shutter or more +EV) without ALSO having to adjust ISO.
  20. Nate Crisman

    Nate Crisman Mu-43 Rookie

    May 23, 2012
    Exactly! That's exactly how I used the nikon D3, Control the two variables that affect image mechanics...shutter speed on the front wheel, aperture on the back wheel. Let the auto-ISO fall where it needs to be for a middle grey exposure. Hit exposure comp when I dont want middle grey. Honestly, ISO is the least important exposure variable, this it's the one I would most like the camera to choose for me when I need to gun&run.

    When I want to directly control all three exposure variables, I'd just push the ISO button and lock it to 200/400 or whatever was THAT instance, I would want constant preview on.
    • Like Like x 1