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GX-7 vs G6 : Some form-factor questions

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Dave Reynell, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    This is really a question about the form factor, and body size/shape of these two offerings by Panasonic.

    I have in earlier posts queried the performance of the older sensors (as in the G1) vs the newer 16mp ones (G5/G6 etc.). Your replies were most helpful and informative.

    Now for the next step !

    On my way out of Heathrow several evenings ago I had the opportunity of handling a Panasonic GX-7 (compliments of Dixons outlet in Terminal 5). They even left a charged battery in the camera which was very thoughtful. Anyway, I was impressed with the ergonomics of the camera, having come from a G1 (which I still use), it had a decent grip, though not up to G1, G5 or G6 standards. Having said this, it (the ergonomics) will suffice, as the camera is compact. It is also beautifully built with well thought out controls and I did enjoy the "Made in Japan" sticker on the underside of the camera body.

    Several things did, however, bother me, these being the inadequate eye-cup around the EVF viewfinder (which I also thought was a bit "gimmicky" - the tilting bit that is; but we can agree to disagree on this issue) and, more importantly, the lack of a fully articulated rear screen. I have never been a fan of the latest, space-saving, alternatives i.e. the partially articulated screens which slide in two directions.

    I would be interested to learn what forum members, who have done the switch from the G1,G5, G6 bodies to a GX-7 have to say about these matters i.e. the eye-cup and the rear screen.

  2. I have the G6 but wish I sprung for the GX7 because it is just all around a better camera.

    Why? I will give you my opinion and my % of importance. Remember. I am an amateur.

    #1 50% - It is way cooler looking, smaller and not plasticy
    #2 35% - It has IBIS and some other better specs color depth, resulting in better IQ
    #3 15% - Max shutter speed is 1/8000 on GX7 v 1/4000 on G6

    However, The articulating screen on the G6 is very handy. I like facing the screen inwards so it stays protected. The G6 also has a spot to plug in a mic, if you are interested in video. The evf on the G6 is fine. I have no complaints.


  3. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 25, 2010
    I have the GX7 now, but found the viewfinder to be very awkward until I bought the rubber eyecup accessory for it.
  4. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    I have the GX7 as well as a pair of GH3s and a new GH4.

    The GX7 is almost the perfect travel camera for both stills and video in that it has much of IQ and functionality of the GH3 built in. It look enough like a tourist's "point 'n shoot" (unless you hang a large lens on it) that it does not draw attention like a DSLR "form factor" does.

    It's compact enough that I am more likely to have it with me.

    Lack of a mic input is not that much of a "problem" for as I use a ZoomH2 or H1 for audio when working a video project.

    So I consider it an all round better performer than the G6.
    • Like Like x 3
  5. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    I had both and sold the GX7 because of difficulty seeing through the eyepiece in bright sunlight
    and because for me the ergonomics of the G6 are better.
    The grip is just so comfortable and the screen is more adjustable.

    I really wanted to like the GX7 - I had been lusting after a rangefinder form factor camera
    but resisted because I didn't like the look or function of the big, clunky add-on EVFs.
    I jumped at the GX7, paying full price early on to get a black one from Canada before they sold here in the US.

    The camera is beautiful, feels solid, has nice features, but just never felt comfortable in my hand
    and as I said the EVF was hard to look through.
    The tilting feature also never seemed as convenient in use as it did in concept.

    A friend who also bought a GX7 on my (early) recommendation had the same experience.
    Granted, I never bought the bigger eye cup.
    Because I wanted to like it so much, I held on to it a few months too long
    and really took a bath when I sold the like-new camera - at about half-price.

    They're really a bargain now used and, if the form factor works for you, still an excellent camera.

    Granted the G6 has a more plastic body, doesn't feel as hefty,
    but it's just so comfortable to hold and use
    and the EVF is excellent.

    I still wish the GX7 had worked for me - it's such a cool and sexy camera -
    a secondary and perhaps shallow consideration, but a consideration nonetheless
    (for us shallow types).
    Someday down the line, when they are selling for less than $200,
    I may buy another one, just to play with on occasion.

    As an aside, I think the most perfectly ergonomic camera made so far -
    size, weight, grip, LCD, EVF, and especially external control points -
    is the GH2. It's just been surpassed on internal features now.

    The functional side of these two cameras (G6, GX7) is so close
    that I think it boils down to ergonomics
    and by definition that is going to be different for different people.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    Thank you for taking the time to spell it all out. I do appreciate this.

    Like you, I am not entirely convinced that the ergonomics will suit me, especially after five years with my trusty G1. I too had the G6 in my sights, but had read that it was a bit more "plasticky" than the earlier G's (G1, 3, 5). It is also a tad larger than the G1. I was also a bit bothered that it was "Made in China" : Stupid, I know, but I'm big on quality (but cannot afford Leicas !).

    I think I'll give the GX-7 a shot as (a) One can buy an after-market eye-cup for it. (B&H), and (b) It is a beautifully built camera.

    But I shall miss the fully articulated screen and the grip of my G1 (a camera whichI shall be keeping anyway). At £529 (body only) the price of the GX-7 is rather steep in the UK, but I shall be travelling to Australia in the next few weeks where one can be found for A$ 514 (GBP equivalent £285 !). Difficult to let that one go.

    I wish I could buy one in my home country (warranty etc.) but here (South Africa) sellers rule, not buyers !

    Thank you again.

  7. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Well, I only tried them all in a store, but G series definitely has a more hefty and comfortable grip. It also has a larger viewfinder. GX7 has a newer better sensor though, so that's the big one. I really like the grip on the Sony NEX-7 model. it's really so well designed. Viewfinders on those NEX models seem larger than GX7 too. I guess Sony is just better at the minutuarization business.
  8. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    You can see the GX7 eyecup here.
  9. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    In the last 10 months I have switched from a pair of G1s to a pair of GX7s. Overall I am very happy with the switch. The camera form factor is less bulky and the low light performance is fantastic.

    Yes! Me, too. The crippled screen is the biggest negative about the camera IMHO. It would have cost them maybe 2mm in thickness to give us what the G1 had! Grrrr... The grip is OK but not great -- as you say the G1 is much better. One unfortunate side effect of taking away the good grip was that they also lost space for the battery. The GX7 batteries will not last me a day of shooting where the G1 batteries almost always did. This means carrying more batteries and (as a tourist) one more charger/total of three. I don't want to get up at 3AM and go to the charger to switch a charged battery for an uncharged one.

    Personally, I don't find the viewfinder to be a negative. I only use it for framing and composition, though, so even a black & white image would be adequate for me. I wear glasses and do find myself shading my eye with my left hand in bright sunlight, though, so I'm going to try some of those extended eye cups.

    Regarding the tilting EVF, don't write it off so fast. I have had this on a couple of other cameras and like it a lot. You can have a lot of fun with it: https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=57513

    So I recommend your plan, especially because you seem to recognize the things that you are losing from the G1. Life's a tradeoff and in this case IMHO the tradeoff favors the GX7. I'm hoping, though, that Panny will remedy the screen articulation with the GX8. I am less optimistic about getting a good grip and bigger battery, since "styling" appears to trump utility.
  10. I hope that Panasonic brings out a G7. The GX7 size, grip, layout, and screen articulation make sense for the type of camera it is.
  11. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

  12. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    The eye cup is an issue but can be partially addressed by getting the optional bigger cup. Get an EM-1 if you want a really great optical view finder. My wife has a G-5 . I hardly touch it,I love my GX-7 Its my go to camera when quality counts and you have plenty of time.
    It also is small enough to nestle in a small carrying case with some lenses. I don.t like the " taxi door" flip out screen on the G-5. I don't see the advantage. The GX-7 allows waist level and over the head pictures and is centered on the subject ,not some odd angle like the taxi door type. The G-5 is more bulbous and more bulky. That's just my opinion
  13. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    It is not uncommon for me to shoot very low angle pictures. The GX7 screen is marginally acceptable for landscape/horizontal format shots at low angles but not for vertical format. A couple of weeks ago I was chasing a baby sitting on the floor -- a vertical format shot that I could have easily gotten with my G1s but which required lying on my belly to get with the crippled GX7 screen. If you don't shoot at low angles from time to time, IMO you are missing opportunities for interesting shots. Try it!

    Here's an example G1 shot, just playing with my9-18mm, that would have been much more difficult with the GX7:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    • Like Like x 1
  14. ex machina

    ex machina Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Baltimore, MD
    There are times when I wish my GX7 had a more fully articulated screen, but more often I find controlling the shot via my iPhone as a remote allows a tremendous amount of flexibility.
  15. tlovegrove

    tlovegrove Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 3, 2014
    Southern California
    I have both cameras. I mildly prefer the G6 viewfinder, though I have found the articulating viewfinder to be handy sometimes. But overall I don't strongly prefer the G6 viewfinder just because the GX7 is good enough for my infrequent usage.

    I do greatly prefer the G6 grip, however. I use the GX7 as my primary camera because of its other advantages, but definitely miss the G6 grip.
    • Like Like x 2
  16. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    I came from a Canon 7D to the GX7.

    IMO the DSLR form factor is the most comfortable -- if the grip is full-sized (deep), and long enough for four fingers. The GX7 grip is a good example of what can be done with the compact form factor, but you'll soon know it if the camera is kitted up, eg with a solid lens, maybe a flash, you can't hold that one-handed with any comfort. But two-handed it is very comfortable.

    OTOH the compact form factor is miles better for street shooting. Much less conspicuous. And when noticed by street subjects, much more accepted by the general public subject.

    I think the flip-screen is actually superior to the full-artic type for general above-and-below work in landscape format. It is quicker. But I really notice its limitation when holding the camera below-the-knees for one-handed shooting, which is invariably portrait format, and the screen can't tilt as needed. And then there is the self portrait for those so inclined, where fully-artic has the flexibility to handle it, but as some have mentioned, there is the remote app to help out.

    I got the rubber eyecup to help out with EVF shooting in bright light especially shooting into the light, and it works perfectly, but makes the camera more difficult to slide into and out of a compact bag. At the moment I am not using it, and hold my left hand over the EVF on those few occasions when light is leaking past the standard eyecup. It's not a big deal. And I definitely use the flip-ability of the eyepiece, it's a boon. One obvious example being the into-the-light scenario I described a moment ago.

    As for appearances -- she's a beauty in silver.
  17. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    One thing that I always do with my camera bodies is to add grip tape. It goes under various names; "skate board tape" is one. The stuff I use is 3M "Safety-Walk," which is intended for ladder steps and stair edges. Ten bucks at Home Depot gets you enough to do a couple of hundred cameras. Since I will never need the majority of what I have, anybody who wants a piece just PM me with a mailing address and I'll send enough to do two or three cameras.

    Here is what it looks like on a G1:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    and on a GF2:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    I also put a dab of the tape on the back of the camera. Size and position varies. Like:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    The grip tape is a big improvement to GX7s.
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    Once more, I must (happily) thank you all for you MOST constructive comments. We are ALL different and what is good for one is another man's poison.

    I am going to sit tight for a while and see what develops. My trusty G1, starting to look a bit weather-worn, still serves me well with it's 20/f1.7 and the kit 14~45. And if one is to be perfectly honest, it produces far better prints than my string of Pentax (35mm film) SLRs ever did.

    We really are spoilt for choice.

  19. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    OldRacer - Will the tape come off without damaging the camera finish?
  20. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Yes, in my experience. Whenever I have sold a camera I have removed the tape just to avoid explaining it when the buyer sees pictures of the item. I always feel a little bad about that because the tape really is a worthwhile improvement.

    I am talking specifically about the 3M tape and on plastic surfaces of one type or another. I would be a little nervous about putting it onto genuine leather (Leica, etc.) without doing some kind of testing or investigation first. Other vendors, other kinds of adhesives: Probably OK but I can't say more than that

    PM me a mailing address and you can try some for yourself.
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