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Four third to Micro Four third - mixed feelings

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by srivastava, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. srivastava

    srivastava Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 26, 2012
    Hello users,
    I just wanted to share my views on the switch from 4/3 to m4/3.

    I used to have the Panasonic DMC L1 with the Leica zoom lens(14-50mm).
    The lens delevoped a zoom problem for the second time and the insurance company decided it was too expensive to repair it again. They gave me a voucher for another Panasonic camera.

    I liked the reviews of the GX1 and bought it with the 14-42 zoom lens.
    However, I still have the L1 body and the Olympus 35mm macro lens.
    I also have the Lumix LX5 ( my wife's camera).

    I have had the GX1 for about a month and have taken pictures in various settings.
    The positives are so many: So small and easy to carry, very very fast Auto Focus compared to the L1 and there seems to a good list of lenses I can buy.
    I do not find the increase in megapixel too useful as I rarely print anything A4 or larger. I also like the fact that the flash can be held back, effectively making it a bounce flash, though it is not as strong as the flash on the L1.

    However, the pictures are nowhere near the same in quality. I shoot JPEGs. Now how do I describe quality? Well, they are not as sharp, the colours a bit flat( compared to the Leica and Olympus lenses) and the Black and Whites are all a bit hazy, lacking the contrast I got with the other 2 lenses.Infact, the black and whites on the LX5 seem superior.

    On the whole, I feel a bit let down. I hardly got any bad pictures with the L1. With the GX1, I can capture more pictures ( as faster to focus), but I do not have a single picture in the past one month that can match the quality with the L1.

    Now, is the difference due to the lens?

    I am thinking of buying the leica 25mm f1.4 lens. Should I buy the micro 4/3 version or buy the 4/3 version to use it with the L1?
    Am I being too hasty and judging the camera on the inferior 14-42 lens?

    Your thoughts please?

    I attach 3 samples
    1. L1 with Olympus ( black and White )
    2. L1 with leica zoom (black and white)
    3. GX1 with 14042 zoom lens (black and white)

    Attached Files:

  2. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    I'm only just recently back on the forum but there seems to be strong indication from several members that the new 14-42 kit lens is poor. Before judging the quality of the camera or the entire format...i would suggest you try a lens known to be sharp and contrasty....any of the following would fit that bill.

    ....Oly 12 or 45
    ....Pany 20, PL25 or if zooms are your thing, the original Pany 14-45 is still considered by many as the sharpest mu43 kit zoom.

    Good luck.
  3. Johnytuono

    Johnytuono Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2012
    Lancs., UK
    25mm 1.4

    Here is a shot with a panny 25mm lens on my GX1
    [​IMG]"640" height="604" alt="Charlie1"></a>[/IMG]
    Only levels and converted to B&W done
  4. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    The Panasonic 14-50mm is an amazing, $1,000+ lens that had superb optics, and you're comparing it to the cheapo, consumer-grade f/3.5-5.6 aperture midrange zoom lens. If you have the collapsible lens that Livnius mentioned (a complete travesty), then you're comparing an even larger differential. To add on top of that, m4/3 cameras aren't that good with moving subjects because of contrast detect autofocus, so you have to make sure to prefocus before pressing the shutter.

    Think about this: both your 4/3 and m4/3 camera use the same size and technology sensor. The 16MP sensor of the GX1 is fairly advanced, multiple generations newer than your L1's sensor. If you were to buy the Panasonic MA1 adapter and use the 14-50mm lens on your camera, you'd have a completely different opinion with respect to the image quality (although the handling and autofocus speed may put you off). So, I'd say turn off image stabilization, and see if that helps, and if not, then sell that lemon of a lens and pick up the trusty older version for $140:
    Amazon.com: Panasonic Lumix 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 G Vario Aspherical MEGA OIS Lens for Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Cameras: Camera & Photo

    If you buy the 25mm lens, definitely get the m4/3 version, as it is cheaper, optically just as strong, works better on your GX1, is paired to a newer mount that will continue to advance (face it, 4/3 is all but dead), and will hold its value better.
  5. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    That's not a fair comparison JT, you photographed a dog and srisvtava merely shot people.

  6. Johnytuono

    Johnytuono Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2012
    Lancs., UK
    ....sorry I thought he mentioned clarity not subject matter.:smile:
    As a side note..I've turned off touch screen focusing as its so easy to accidentally touch the screen and the focus area moves...focusing in the totally wrong area!
  7. srivastava

    srivastava Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 26, 2012
    Thanks for the prompt replies, guys.
    I think I will buy the Panasonic 25mm f1.4 for GX1 and give it a go.
    The 14-42 zoom lens seems to be the problem here
  8. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Good luck to you srivastva, I tend to purchase top-of-the-line stuff, that way it is easy to identify where fault lies for less then top-of-the-line results.

  9. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Welcome to the club MFT and congrats for ur new camera. As pointed out earlier , I don't know why did u compare panny kit lens with Leica . I have a different suggestion if u don't like Panny GX1 .
    1) Sell ur GX1
    2) Order Olympus OM-D
    3)In the meantime get Olympus 45 mm 1.8 and PL 25 mm 1.4 lenses
    4) If money is not a concern then buy Olympus 12 mm f/2 as well
    5 )Then shoot and compare with ur older Panny . U will be shocked to see how good mFT has become ..
  10. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England

    I bought a G3 last year - same sensor as the GX1 - and was initially very disappointed with the JPEG output. Shooting RAW was much better but I don't like to be tied to post-processing every single shot. I prefer to shoot RAW+JPEG and sometimes it would be nice to be able to use the JPEGs straight from the camera.

    Then I read a thread on here "GP heads for Alaska" in which pjohngren, an experienced user, posted the settings he was using after extensive trials of the different settings available. I tried the same settings and found they transformed my JPEGs. I tried altering them but couldn't get any improvement with the exception that I use "Natural instead of John's "Vivid". The difference was startling and I am now very much happier with my G3.

    Quoting from John's posting, "Yes - I actually leave it on Vivid all the time, but have the contrast at -1,the sharpenning at +2, the saturation at 0, and the noise reduction at -2. Both Intelligent Resolution and Intelligent Dynamic remain on high all the time. Both do fine and are conservative and don't ever cause any problems."

    Here's a link to the discussion:
  11. From my own experience of both formats, and for the way I use them, there is nothing that a 4/3 camera did for me that a m4/3 camera doesn't do the same or better. I note however that I haven't used an L1, and I don't shoot in jpeg. As far as lenses go, the PL 14-40 f2.8-3.5 is one of the greatest "kit zooms" ever, and I've recently been using one with an E-510. However I've come to wonder whether the lens offers anything more over my m4/3 14-140 in their overlapping range other than being one stop faster, and the answer is: probably not much.

    As the others have said, try a better lens, and investigate the various jpeg settings available.
  12. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    One more thought: Since you say you shoot jpegs, I wonder if the jpeg defaults (or the settings you've chosen) are different. The sharpening level set has a huge affect on perceived image sharpness. If your older 4/3 camera is applying a greater level of sharpening, and/or higher contrast, that will have a large effect on how your images appear.
  13. srivastava

    srivastava Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 26, 2012
    Bought the PL 25mm f1.4 lens and am now really enjoying the GX1. I have attached a couple of pictures I took yesterday.

    Anybody want a used L1 ? ;-)
  14. Johnytuono

    Johnytuono Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2012
    Lancs., UK
    ...pics not showing up for me....
  15. srivastava

    srivastava Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 26, 2012
    Pics here..

    Sorry...somehow the pictures would not show. Hope this works

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 3
  16. bedojo

    bedojo Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 14, 2011
    Congrats on the lens, it will probably be my next lens I buy. I got to stop purchasing stuff for a while . Getting ready to go to Bangkok for half a year xD

    The 12mm f2.0 is an Awesome lens
    Here is a sample photo, I shoot alot of studio work, I'll take it and try it outside soon
    The lens is quite expensive 800 x.x yikes.
    But it on par with my 5d2 24-70L @24mm ... Well besides very fine detail but won't be noticeable unless pixel peeping

    P1010131-Edit by Nathaniel.Allen, on Flickr

    The 45mm gets here Wednesday , can't wait :) 
  17. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    Srivastava-glad you are now enjoying your GX1. I guess the lens has a lot to do with it. I used an Olympus E-500 four thirds DSLR for several years and was very pleased with it---it had really great JPEGs out of the camera, and until recently I was not a big post-processor. I purchased my first :43:, an Oly E-P1, in 2010, and had mixed results as well depending on the lens I was using.

    However, in a few months I had taken enough photos to know that I was getting essentially the same quality, thought to this day when I look back at my favorite E-500 photos the colors seem cleaner and the overall look of the images smoother than what I get on my E-P1 or E-PL1. That said, I sold most of my E-500 kit last year and have not looked back. The :43: Oly images are great, especially with the fixed focal length native lenses as well as my manual focus adapted Olympus and Leica lenses.

  18. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Hi Srivastava....nice shots mate, that last image, the portrait, I just love....the colors are absolutely gorgeous :) 
  19. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    Hey Sri,

    I have the Digilux 3 (same as the L1) with the 14-50mm and 14-150mm Pana-Leica lenses. They are superb lenses, to be sure.

    My favorite camera these days - bar none - is an old Olympus E-1 paired with the PL 14-150mm. The E-1 can be bought for a song, and produces gorgeous pixels, I know of the qualities you speak. If you still have the PL 14-50mm, bite the bullet and get it fixed regardless of insurance. With the adapter, it will focus just fine (not excessively slow) on the fast-focus new Olympus offerings (E-P3, E-PM1, E-PL3), and of course, the Olympus E-1, E-3, E-5.
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