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GF2 or GX1?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by webmonkey8, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. webmonkey8

    webmonkey8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2012
    I'm leaning towards the GF2 as it's much cheaper than the GX1, however I'm wondering if the GX1 is that much better. So for example, if the Panny 25mm 1.4 lens would be attached to both cameras, would there be a drastic difference in quality of photos, video, and autofocus?

    Also, does the GF2 capture stills while recording video at the same time?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    The GX1 has a much better sensor. While I haven't used the GX1, I did own a GF2 for a bit. The usability was great, the size was perfect. But I found it really noisy at ISO 1600, and didn't care for it's JPEG/auto white balance.

    However if you're in a pinch for money the GF2 is still a great deal, and if you're willing to work the RAW pipeline you can still get great pictures out of that camera.
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    That's the $64K question isn't it? Frommy perspective the difference between M43 cameras IQ wise is quite small. The G series, GF series, E-P series, E-PL series and now E-PM1 all share pretty much the same sensor. I've had a number of these cameras and in all honesty you'd have a hard time telling them apart IQ wise without looking at the EXIF data. There are differences in usability, speed of AF, AWB, metering and such but in terms of IQ...not so much.

    The Panasonic G3, GX1, GH1, GH2 and now Olympus OMD use a different sensor. It's better than the older sensor but whether or not that is significant to you is really a matter of personal taste. The GF2 is a terrific camera and can be had for reasonably low prices these days.
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    What have you got for glass? Asking just about a body for an entire system is only telling us 1/5th of the story. Maybe your money would be better spent on better glass with the cheaper body, or maybe you've got enough glass that it's time to upgrade to the best body you can. You mention the Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux, which is a very nice lens. If you have more lenses like that, then maybe the GX-1 will be the better body to support them?
  5. webmonkey8

    webmonkey8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2012
    I have an Olympus 45mm 1.8 right now. I did own the Panny 20mm but I didn't like the slower autofocus, so I'm thinking about getting the Panny 25mm for low light shots.

    starlabs - since you owned the GF2, were you able to shoot stills while recording video?
  6. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Sorry I can't answer that. I didn't really use video that much on the GF2, and I sold it recently so I can't test it. Perhaps other current owners of the GF2 can answer that...
  7. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    If there were one right answer, then the other wouldn't exist. I do just fine with my G2, although I readily acknowledge that the G3 and GX1 take noticeably better photos given the same shooting circumstances and lenses. Only the G3 and GX1 can do stills during video. If you feel that you need this feature (which I can tell you that once people get more serious, they don't often use), then your choice is made. The GX1 also gives you some on-camera controls, whereas in the GF2 you are forced to use the touchscreen more often. It can also take a better electronic viewfinder.
  8. webmonkey8

    webmonkey8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2012
    Ok, thanks for the info, shnitz!
  9. dre_tech

    dre_tech Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2012
    Webmonkey8, what camera are you using now? I remember your thread from January asking between the GF3/GX1.

    I see you have the Oly 45mm and have/had the Panasonic 20mm.
  10. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 9, 2011
    Seriously quite much information lacking here.

    If this is a first body, go for G3 or GX1.
    If is second body, can consider GF2.

    Lenses can slowly accumulate.
    A good body will make a difference in usability.
  11. webmonkey8

    webmonkey8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2012
    Hey dre_tech,

    ok, this is quite the dilemma for me for far:

    actually I'm in the process of testing a few cameras right now to see which one's a good fit for me. I originally got the Olympus EPM1 for its simplicity and value. Then, I felt that I wouldn't mind the EPL3 for its tilting screen and more manual controls. So I returned the EPM1. The EPL3's tilt screen was pretty nice, and it was useful when shooting pics of my 1 year old boy crawling around the house, for example. I could shoot low from his perspective, etc. But I thought the $200 premium from the EPM1 for just a few more manual controls and a tilt screen was a bit overpriced for what it was.

    Then I thought, it would be great to take stills while shooting video at the same time. There were a lot of occasions I wanted this. While the current Olympus PENs could do this somewhat, this was limited when shooting a still would end the video recording altogether. So, I went back to do some research and saw that the Panasonic GX1 had this feature. I knew this was a more advanced camera and had the updated sensor, new technology, etc. I thought I'd be happy with it for a while, so that's why I returned the EPL3 and bought the GX1 (body only). The GX1 is nice. Nice build quality, menus, controls, etc. But I found the jpeg colors a bit dull compared to the Olympus PENs. I read on this forum that Olympus' jpegs are better in terms of colour than Panasonics. But the Panasonics do video a bit better.

    Ok, so I thought to myself of what I really wanted in a camera and it all boils down to the quality of images.

    The colors on the Olympus PENs are nice, as I only shoot JPEGs. I can't be bothered with RAW, as I'm just interested in taking really nice pics of my family and friends, as well as nature/travelling shots. I really don't think I'd use the Panasonic GX1 controls and features to its maximum, so it maybe an overkill purchase for me. So, now I'm thinking I should go back to the Olympus EPM1. Plus the PENs don't do that bad for video, right?

    As for lenses, I currently own an Olympus 45mm 1.8. I did have the Panasonic 20mm 1.7 for a week, but thought it was slow to focus, so I returned it. Focus speed is important to me. The Olympus 12mm is something I want, but it's way overpriced.

    I have a week until I can return the GX1, so I'm playing around with it more to see if it really is a good fit for what I need it for.

    I definitely need to buy another lens regardless. I'm thinking the Panasonic 14mm or the 25mm. I think the 25mm coupled with the EPM1 would be awesome, I believe, (simplicity and quality). But then again, there are reports about this "rattlesnake" sound when pairing Olympus bodies with Panasonic lenses, such as the 25mm.

    Anyway, this forum has been a great resource for my research and I look forward to any insights from all of you on this regard.

    I believe my post should be on the "This or That?" section of the forums. :) 
  12. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    Adjusting the JPEG output is a simple proposition. If you want additional saturation, sharpness, etc. then just change the adjustments. Panasonic has conservative jpeg settings because if you ever end up taking photo manipulation courses, you will learn that it is easy to add saturation, sharpening, contrast etc. Removing them, however, is either not very easy, or impossible. Just adjust the JPEG settings from "standard" to your personal preference, such as nature, smooth, dynamic, etc. Also, I haven't played with it much, but my G2 has a multi-film mode, which you should be able to use to quickly test the differences between film modes, or even to shoot bursts and pick the best film mode later. Once you've settled on a film mode, you can tweak the saturation sharpening and contrast to your liking.
  13. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    It seems to me that the GX1 is overkill for your use. Since it's brand new there's still a price premium on it. It's the "enthusiast" camera of choice right now for Panasonic.

    Maybe the G3 or EPM1 are more suitable and a bit cheaper - a double win. You never mentioned the G3 but I bring it up because it's a good choice for all-around video and stills for the average person.

    It depends on what you want to do but, in my mind the strategies depends on your budget and use.

    If you're going to buy the latest and greatest for family use and you intend to keep the camera a long time then you may as well get a GH2 or EM5.

    Middle road, the G3 can't be beat right now. It has the lowest price for the latest sensor and most features. Video is great and the flip-out screen is versatile.

    Budget road, so long as you're buying the "older sensor" camera, a GF2, PL2, G2, GH1 can all be found for super-cheap or used. I saw Amazon has the EP2 for $250 right now brand new. That's freaking amazing! It's hard to imagine spending $800+ on a new camera these days with prices like that.
  14. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    IMO it's not just how Olympus creates the jpegs that are "different". The way they meter/AWB and plain process the pictures through their raw pipeline is different.

    One option is to sell the GX1 and get a used E-P3. There's quite a few sellers here. You can probably get a good used E-P3 for the price of a new E-PL3.

    If you have a kit lens, don't bother with the 14mm pancake. Get the 25mm instead.
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